I have some mixed feelings about the Harley Quinn series. It’s often funny and does have some great ideas, but also tends to slam on things that I like. I particularly have problems with how certain characters are treated, and that, too often, Harley seems to come out on top simply because it’s her show. All that said, I’m intrigued enough to keep watching and see where they take things. For the third season, the idea seems to largely be Harley supporting Poison Ivy, her now official girlfriend, as Ivy pushes ahead with her eco-friendly, people-unfriendly plans. How’s it going? Well, the title, “There’s No Ivy In Team,” should give you an idea.
The show opens with one of the brooding narrations that’s common with characters in Gotham. Of course, this show can’t do anything normally, and we learn in quick succession this stream of words is from Dick Grayson (voiced by Harvey Guillen/Guillermo from What We Do in the Shadows), it’s being said out loud on a bus, and that Harley is his very reluctant seatmate. He sounds a lot more like Batman than Nightwing, and is being really bad about his secret ID, but that’s played for laughs so it doesn’t matter. Naturally, he gets to Gotham and Harley and Ivy promptly steal the car Alfred brought to pick him up in. Harley and Ivy arrive back at the hideout in their usual cataclysmic style, doing a lot of wholly unneeded property damage and destroying something King Shark was working on, but he doesn’t seem to care. Harley pushes Ivy to address the team about their new mission, but Ivy is a lot less sure about things than Harley is, and goes to unpack and settle in instead.
In the Batcave, we learn that Nightwing has been gone for eight years, he’s never met Batgirl, and isn’t sure about his place in this new organization, or with the new Robin. The team takes off when they hear Firefly (the villain, not the beloved tv show) is attacking part of the city for no clear reason. Poison Ivy finally gives her pitch to the team, and it’s part eco-terrorist, part Jurassic Park. She has impressively documented her ideas with briefing binders that would make Ava from Legends of Tomorrow happy. There is one odd aside as Clayface goes deep into some hypothetical bit about something that might happen, and then the team goes off for a museum heist. With the level of powers and skill on this team, going after a museum seems almost beneath them, but that’s the target for something Ivy needs. Things get weirder still when Bane pops up, declaring a vendetta against Ivy for a really bizarre reason, but it’s unique, I’ll give them that.
Things go off the rails at the Museum, in part because of something bizarre and unlikely that is even more unlikely than what was predicted earlier. The team barely gets in and out, and King Shark and Harley share some surprise at how badly things went. Ivy’s initial attempt at her master plan goes badly, and later, when Harley tries to reassure her, Ivy shares some news that shocks Harley. The Bat-Family mission against Firefly goes equally poorly, in part because Nightwing does some foolish things and doesn’t follow the plan, both of which are remarkably out of character. Bias warning: in the decades I’ve been reading comics, Nightwing has long been my favorite hero, so I’m probably a bit protective of him. Harley tries to figure out a way to help Ivy, and settles on a team building plan that just isn’t going to go well.
Harley goes to ridiculous lengths to get Ivy where Harley wants her, and things get stranger by the moment. Only in Gotham would you end up with a popular pastime that turns out to be run by a supervillain, and no one seems particularly surprised, just annoyed. Surprisingly, someone on the other side had some similar thoughts to Harley’s, and it turns out the Bat-Family is here as well, although it turns into a fight the common foe situation. The teams are split up and mixed, and Ivy and Nightwing end up together, with him still being less than helpful, and Harley teams with Batgirl. The two characters have met before, and the voice actors are sisters, which just makes thing more entertaining. Harley and Batgirl are alarmingly on the same page about a few things (really, that should be a source of concern), Ivy ends up solving something before the weirdly emotional Nightwing (really, that should be impossible), and, of course, Batman solves the larger issue before them, although mostly off screen.
There’s more weirdness with Bane, a bizarre tv movie that gets mentioned, and the two groups go their separate ways with no additional conflict, which is out of character for everyone involved. As things wind down, we see Ivy try again with unexpected results, Bane ponder a deep question, Nightwing start acting more like the man he usually is, and a rematch in the works. I suspect next episode is going to have some really interesting developments on the heels of all this.
What I Liked: The weird place everyone ended up worked, and the character behind it made perfect sense. As I said, Nightwing’s my favorite hero, so seeing him was great, and Harvey Guillen did a great job voicing him. It was entertaining to see Harley and Batgirl agreeing on so many things. Bane’s feud was a weird choice, but I could see it, in smaller scale, for a lot of people.
What I Didn’t: Bane is a really dangerous and deadly villain, and I’m not thrilled with his use as comic relief here. I have similar thoughts about Nightwing’s use in this episode, although the visuals and voice were good. I don’t buy the two teams went their separate ways at the end with no issues. I get her being supportive, but I’m a bit surprised Harley is so blasé about Ivy’s goal here.
I’ll give this a 3 out of 5. It was a very strange episode, which really says something with this series. Hopefully, I’ll manage to catch up on this soon.