Harley Quinn: A Thief, A Mole, An Orgy

We’re ok with people being beaten bloodily to death, but oh my god, there’s sex in this one!

The insanity that is the Harley Quinn series continues in its new direction. Ivy is trying to up her mad scientist/eco-terrorist game, and Harley is trying to be supportive. However, this version of Harley has the patience and attention span of a six year old (which makes me wonder how she got her doctorate) and isn’t really helping Ivy focus. Things get messy and yet another dangerous Bat-foe becomes a joke in “A Thief, A Mole, An Orgy.”

Ivy is in her lab, working on her new project with the improved Frank, when Harley wanders in offering more distractions. Ivy outlines some of the problems and limitations she’s trying to overcome with her current work. A character we haven’t seen in a while gets brought into the place they’re borrowing from Catwoman, and Frank demonstrates a new talent that surprises Ivy. The scientist’s new attempt to focus doesn’t last long, as Harley comes up with yet another way to shatter Ivy’s concentration. Trying to avoid a confrontation, Ivy starts a lie going that you just know is going to come back and bite her later.

The mayoral race continues along its farcical path as the incumbent proves harder to kill than we’d thought, and James Gordon continues into the darkness. Barbara tries to get him to change his course, but Jim’s listening to his campaign manager, who isn’t noted for his morals. Domestic tensions continue with Harley and Ivy, and Frank offers some unsolicited but accurate observations. Harley takes out some frustrations, Ivy makes a breakthrough, and the crew goes out for dinner. The team comes back to find they had unwelcome visitors, and something important is missing.

Speaking of weird domestic situations, we see Joker, still with the family he became part of when his memory was gone, doing his unique version of helping with homework. Harley and Ivy come by to follow up on something they found, and Joker is unusually cooperative and helpful. He, in turn, points them to the Court of Owls, a relatively new but very deadly part of Gotham’s villains. Among the players at the big gathering are Harley, Ivy, Two-Face, Jim Gordon, Catwoman, Bruce Wayne, and Bane. Bane continues his weird vendetta, Harley and Ivy try to do their investigation, and Gordon has his own mission. Catwoman proves to be a much more petty agent of chaos than she usually is, and Harley gets another clue, although it’s not one anyone wants to really examine too closely. As anyone could see coming a mile away, the secrets Haley and Ivy were keeping come spiling out and cause problems.

Gordon continues to harass Bruce Wayne, and more or less gets what he hoped for out of it. Harley and Ivy fight about what they’ve learned, and Catwoman seems to be delighting in it. Again, this seems out of character. The discussion reveals yet another secret, and Harley doesn’t take it well. The nature of the event suddenly changes (the episode title is a clue), and for some reason Harley and Ivy both seem shocked by this. Given everything we’ve seen from the two of them, I have no idea why this would be the case, aside from the usual American morality of “ultra violence good, sex bad.” They keep arguing, with Harley overreacting and Ivy getting worried.

Things start wrapping up as Gordon stumbles his way through some low comic relief, and Ivy and Harley patch things up. Ivy gives a very good explanation about why she didn’t talk about one of the issues that came up in all this, and it’s a rare serious moment with some real depth of character. Gordon’s bit of buffoonery seems to work out in his favor, with some help from his shady campaign manager, and Ivy and Harley realize they’re no closer to solving their immediate problem. The last thing we see is one of the characters in a fair amount of trouble, and their prospects for rescue not being outstanding.

What I Liked: Barbara Gordon’s characterization is at least roughly in tune with most of the versions of her I’ve seen in the past. Ivy’s motivations make some sense and there were some good character moments. Bane’s ongoing obsession works for what they’ve made the character into.

What I Didn’t: I don’t understand why Harley and Ivy were so shocked by what the party turned into. I don’t care for this version of Gordon at all, and Catwoman’s characterization seems to be inconsistent.

It was an odd episode with some weird choices. I’m giving this one a 2.5 out of 5.

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