Last episode showed us that the Joker survived the destruction of his tower, even if he isn’t quite himself. That thread gets tossed aside for now as we see the follow up to Harley and Ivy being captured, the adventures of Gotham’s newest hero, and an old ally finally starting to work up from rock bottom. Most of the gang gets this episode off as the two leads discover “There’s No Place to go But Down.”
Harley and Ivy have a short trial, in which Bane is the judge, Two-Face is back in his old role as prosecutor, and the defense counsel is Man-Bat. Let’s just say this version of Man-Bat is lacking something to make him effective. Harley, finally taking some responsibility for her actions, urges a defense for Ivy. Taking the stand, Ivy ignores this to stand by her friend. It was probably a foregone conclusion anyway, but the trial goes against the pair. Down in the sewers, Batgirl and what’s left of Commissioner Gordon team up to clash with a very minor Bat-foe. Even this is beyond Gordon’s diminished abilities, and Batgirl is really not happy with the man. Neither am I.
Following the trial, Harley and Ivy discuss Ivy’s decision, and aren’t worried about their life sentence, figuring they can easily escape Arkham, because let’s face it, who can’t? Well, apparently the bad guys learn quicker than the city government, because the partners aren’t going to Arkham, they are going to a giant pit in the ground, which Bane runs. It’s called Pena Duro North, after the prison that’s a major part of Bane’s origin, in the comics at least. Among their follow prisoners are Killer Croc and Zsasz, so I guess this is where the more murdery people go. Bane lays out some rules, and Ivy goes on a rant about all the things she wanted to do. We also learn they are far enough down that there’s no convenient plant life for Ivy to “beanstalk” them out.
At the Gordon home, Barbara tries to put on a brave face and ask how her father’s day went, but Gordon’s too sunk in booze and self-pity to be of much use. Barbara’s attempt at a rousing pep-talk gets interrupted when Two-Face and some goons show up. In the attack, Gordon is still fairly useless, and Barbara slips away to change. Ivy suffers through group therapy with Zsasz, the two learn about a talent show with a special guest, and make a plan to escape that hinges on standup comedy. Really.
Two-Face and company rampage through the Gordon home while Jim hides in a closet. Yep, he’s that far gone. Naturally, Batgirl saves the day, and, after the thugs are driven off, reveals her secret to her father to try and snap him out of his haze. Harley, being Harley, violates about the only rule we heard for the Pit, and gets tossed from the competition that was supposed to trigger their escape attempt. As she’s dragged away to be guarded by a Venomed-up guard, Harley yells instructions to Ivy, who really isn’t sure about this new plan. Bane is fairly hopeless as the MC and would-be magician, and then special guest star George Lopez (yes, it’s really him) comes to do his set. The plan falls apart when we see that the generally capable Ivy can’t do at least some things Harley can.
Gordon breaks the fourth wall as he makes a new resolution, and then reveals his new plan, which is really too ambitious. Ivy’s attempts have failed, so she actually gets very honest with everyone there. It’s an interesting change of pace, and shows some depth to her (I’m still not convinced this version of Harley has any). Finally, chaos ensues and the two struggle to make it out after all.
The final few scenes alternate between Gordon making a stand, while the show indulges in its usual blood-spattered combat, and Harley and Ivy fight the battle of the Pit. Bane is determined to not let them go, and one of his rants strikes a chord. Inspired, Harley does something utterly unselfish. Equally determined, Ivy saves her, they make it out, and have a moment afterward that a lot of fans have been asking for which clearly stuns both of them.
What I liked: I am enjoying this version of Batgirl. The depth of friendship between Harley and Ivy is clearly on display here, and done well. I’m impressed they got George Lopez. Hopefully, this marks a turning point for Gordon the joke, and a return to competency. Ivy’s improvised speech near the end was impressive.
What I didn’t: I don’t like what they keep doing to Gordon (no, I’m not going to drop it). I didn’t care for this version of Man-Bat either. The first part of the escape didn’t really work. I found myself missing the usual crew, especially Alan Tudyk’s great performances.
I’ll give this a 3 out of 5. The follow up should be interesting.