Directed by Juan Meza-Leon
Joker: "Just say the word and I'll call it off."
Harley: "Til death do us part."
Joker: "Fine, kill her."
I can't believe it's been an entire year since this actual show was announced but between two seasons of Titans and a season each of Doom Patrol and Swamp Thing (RIP), it's time for animated Harley Quinn to come up and seriously fuck up the place and I promise the swearing will not be a regular thing in these reviews.
However the swearing and cartoonish violence will absolutely be a thing with this 13 part series from DC Universe as our titular and aspiring criminal mastermind Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) tired of being the Joker's (Alan Tudyk) sidepiece wants to join the Legion of Doom. Unfortunately for her, she just ends up getting arrested by Batman (Diedrich Bader), berated by Commissioner Gordon (Christopher Meloni) and sent to Arkham for a year.
Waiting for the Joker to break her out of the joint, it's up to both Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) and the Riddler (Jim Rash) to come up with a wonderfully OTT way of proving to Harley that the Joker doesn't love her and will always choose Batman over her to boot.
On the plus side, their plan is a massive success and Harley properly breaks up with her Puddin' by trashing his place, killing most of his lackeys and leaving him alive so he can be around to witness her taking over Gotham during the course of the series.
Now we've had deconstructions of the toxicity of the Joker/Harley pairing for years that it doesn't feel like you can really say anything new on the matter. It's usually come from Poison Ivy and while the show doesn't seem to be going down the romantic path with her and Harley just yet (maybe in Season 2 perhaps?), this episode did it in such a fun way along with the gentle reminder that Ivy really does care about her maniacal best friend/sometimes girlfriend to boot.
Cuoco is on great form as Harley Quinn throughout this episode as Harley slowly came to the realisation of having to get away from the Joker but I absolutely loved Lake Bell's portrayal of Poison Ivy. The sardonic, pithy comments from Ivy are going to be a delight to watch while the likes of Rash, Tudyk, Bader and Meloni all pulled in some decent performances as well.
With Harley aspiring to join the Legion of Doom, there's a solid story arc for the season and with the slew of characters we're going to be meeting over the next few weeks, her mission is definitely going to be highly amusing as the Joker severely underestimated her. He might wish he killed her after all by the end of this one.
- Love the change of music for the opening sequence with the usual DC Universe characters for this episode.
- Another noteworthy character was Frank the Plant (J.B. Smoove). We also saw the likes of Killer Croc, Man Bat and Calender Man in Arkham and was that newsguy meant to be Jack Ryder?
- Ivy mused about a former ex-boyfriend of her own in Arkham. The show has also confirmed that she'll be paired with Kite Man later on in the series.
- Chronology: Let's assume it's 2019, shall we? Unless the show later specifies a time date.
Til Death Do Us Part is a pretty fun opening episode. This show definitely seems to be drawing a lot from some of the recent Harley comics and with Birds Of Prey around the corner, fans of Miss Quinzel are definitely eating well at the moment. While the swearing and excess violence might not be for everyone (I could've done without Harley implying that Batman fucks bats), I'll be sticking with this show for the whole season.
Rating: 8 out of 10