In the first episode, we met the players and got a general idea of who’s who. In the second, we got something of an idea of what Harley wanted and a few of the obstacles in her way. Now, she’s starting to work on actually getting what she wants, and, of course, that doesn’t go smoothly. Add in the show’s absurdist slant, and you have an idea what’s coming in “So You Need A Crew?”
Starting off in Russia, Harley’s attempt to steal a nuke (nukes come up a lot in this show, I’ve no idea why) runs afoul of a rival. Not entirely without reason, she decides she needs a crew to become a real supervillain, and ignores friend/roomie Poison Ivy’s efforts to talk her out of it. Aside from a few quick scenes, Ivy isn’t in this episode much, which is too bad, as she’s been damn entertaining so far. As they watch tv, the news covers a fight between Wonder Woman and Dr. Psycho, where Psycho slips up and calls the Amazon the one word that both you never call a woman and that apparently even this show will censor. It doesn’t go well for him. Psycho and Harley cross paths at UnderWorld Talent, a very corporate hiring agency uniting villains and henchmen. When they learn about a recent change in her life, the company stops talking to Harley, much to her annoyance.
Harley decides to try the direct route, and attempts to recruit at a low-life bar called Noonan’s (amusingly, also the name of the place everyone eats on the CW’s Supergirl). Things go badly, and she gets even more irritated when Kite-Man shows up with a half-baked (at best) scheme and the flunkies flock to him. Dr. Psycho pops up again, as does long-time Bat-foe Clayface (one of them, anyway, there have been several). Angered and frustrated, Harley returns home and there’s a great line from Ivy touching on last episode. Not one to give up, Harley drags Ivy to a seminar by Maxie Zeus (a really obscure Batman enemy, although this is a very different version of him). Harley tries to get some tips, but gets some unwanted attention instead. Later, trying to make her feel better, Ivy breaks a few unpleasant truths to Harley, and sends her to visit a different villain. Her story is literally unbelievable, but the character is entertainingly voiced by Wanda Sykes.
Not at all taking the lesson Ivy had hoped she would, Harley decides on a different approach, especially after someone we’ve seen a few times screws up a public appearance on a rehabilitation tour. As you could probably see coming, Harley’s initial recruits are Dr. Psycho and Clayface (but a really weird version of the character). They decide to start easy and go off for some “petty personal revenge.” The three have a long way to go before they’re really a team, but they pull this off, eventually. Harley gets some news coverage and some of her highly unlikely goals from earlier in the episode get checked off, much to Ivy’s surprise.
What I liked: Harley is fun, and I enjoy this version, too, although they write like they get paid by the swear word. I’m fine with the concept, but there comes a point. The nod to last episode’s Ivy/Kite-Man bit was great. Wonder Woman’s brief scene had her voiced by Vanessa Marshall, who has played the Amazon before, as well as Hera on various Star Wars cartoons, and she did great. I do wonder about naming the place Noonan’s.
What I didn’t: It felt like there was a thematic shift in this episode that came out of nowhere, and it didn’t quite feel the same as the other two. I’m not sure why words that wouldn’t fly on public tv are fine and that one got censored. It was a bit odd.
The show is entertaining, and this was some good setup to what’s likely coming as the season goes on. I’ll give it a 3 out of 5.