Episode 17 Review
Harley Quinn

Harley and the Crew return to Mr. Freeze's territory to exact revenge for her getting frozen into a block of ice but some new revelations come to light and they become invested in saving the life of Nora, Freeze's wife. Meanwhile, Kite Man and Poison Ivy try to secure their wedding venue the former is adamant about but run afoul of Kite Man's nemesis.

Harley exhausts all the fuel in the plasma flamethrower for the sake of art and finishes crafted a tunnel to Freeze's hideout that looks like an ice vagina. She can't wait to get revenge on Freeze and imagines sticking an apple in his mouth then roasting him like the male chauvinistic pig he is. They get the news on their phones that Kite Man and Ivy are officially engaged. Harley can't wait to party with Ivy at the wedding and ignores their urging she look for a date. Freeze's goons, armed with hockey sticks, skate towards them. While the Crew figures out what they're going to do for the wedding, Harley elaborates she's going to hook up with as many randoms as she can because she doesn't want anything serious with anyone again. She take a pair of skates and starts decapitating goons. Mr. Freeze greets them at the entrance and quickly freezes them.

Kite Man is livid about a passive aggressive text from his nemesis Condiment King but he's more stressed about getting a reservation at the Old Gotham Corn Factory because that's where he's dreamed about getting married at ever since he saw Melanie and Chuck Howard's nuptials in Obscure Celebrity Weddings Yearly. Surprisingly, Mr. Freeze has no interest in killing Harley or her Crew and unfreezes them in a cell then explains he built up the lab for the sole purpose of finding a cure for his wife's incredibly rare and terminal blood disease. He claims to have a rousing success conducting experiments on snow rats, which share 98 percent of its DNA with a human. In reality, tons of snow rats have died. Freeze finds the timing of their arrival to be fortuitous as he needs a human woman to test his theory that the 2 percent difference is the only issue. Harley is brought out of the cell but she fights back until Freeze knocks her out with her own bat. She comes to frozen and lying atop a slab much to her annoyance. Freeze is ready to inject her but she stalls by convincing him Poison Ivy can find a cure because she's brilliant and has a biochemistry background. Freeze agrees to the proposition and leaves to make them lunch. Harley, however, wants to take Nora hostage then freeze Freeze with his own Freeze Gun. However, Freeze freezes them in their seats then wheels the frozen Nora into the dining hall then starts talking crazy that she hasn't hosted guests in some time. Harley changes her plan to save Nora then kill Freeze.

Kite Man is stoked they showed up at the venue just 4 minutes early but things hit a snag when Condiment King reveals he is also competing for the last weekend booking for his own wedding. Ever so petty, Condiment King blasts some mustard on Kite Man's suit just before the manager Stew arrives. Dr. Psycho tries to eat his steak but he's weirded out by Freeze staring at him and licking his lips. Freeze asks him to describe how the meat tastes. Psycho thinks its buttery. Freeze revels in it. Things get more weird when he spoons some soup down into Nora's open mouth. King Shark tries to change up the vibe and asks how they met. Freeze lets Nora tell the story but she's not talking so he explains she was running a mom and pops cyrogenics lab and he was the CEO of a multinational corporation entrusted by his stockholders to expand and the two of them hit it off anonymously online. Harley interprets it as a woman's livelihood being ruined. King explains to Freeze she's sour on love. He suspects she never experienced true love. Harley is angered and elaborates true love made her sacrifice her career as a psychologist, permanently changed the way she looked, and got her almost killed so many times. Love was bull to her. Freeze frowns but hears that the spinach puffs are ready. King and Clayface lament how Joker ruined her view on love. They're astounded Clayface squeezed out of his ice just so he could get more Mac n Cheese. Harley gets him on track with getting the Freeze Gun and unfreezing them. Harley turns the gun on Nora and declares she doesn't believe the story of how they met or how in love they are with each other. Despite Freeze pleading with her not to, Harley unfreezes Nora. Nora is elated to be unfrozen and asks Freeze where the cure for her incredibly rare blood disease is so they can spend the rest of their lives together. She soon feels the effects of her disease. Freeze warns Harley that Ivy better find a cure of he's going to blow everyone up.

Kite Man is concerned with how smitten Stew is with Condiment King. Things get progressively worse as Stew take offense to Kite Man's singular obsession with the Howard wedding and not the rich cultural history of the factory then Ivy has to run off and save Nora. Ivy isn't too pleased to have been involved in the debacle but Harley admits she screwed things up and had no choice but to call the smartest, coolest, and hottest person she knew. Ivy can't argue with that. Harley contends Freeze was the one who orchestrated the Injustice League hit on her. Freeze finds that accusation absurd. She points out she woke up in a block of ice. Freeze reveals the truth: the others were intent on killing her but he convinced them to freeze her and turn her into an object of mockery. Harley is crestfallen. Ivy announces she might have a cure. Ivy's call bails Kite Man out of the tense one-on-one with Stew and he departs, hoping the gesture shows how much he loves his fiancee and will do anything for love. Stew signs and quietly admits he wouldn't know. Kite Man has a hard time discerning a magenta plant and accidentally touches a paralytic. He grabs a magenta one and quickly glides to Freeze's lab but succumbs and crashes through a window, making a rough landing. Ivy nonchalantly tells him it will wear off and synthesizes the cure. However, she's honest with Freeze that he has to be administer it through a blood transfusion that will kill him. Freeze is resolute about making the sacrifice and fulfilling his promise to cure Nora. Harley can't believe it. Freeze goes through with the transfusion. With his last words, he tells Nora to live the life he could never give her. The Crew is overcome with sadness and Harley is stunned.... until Nora snaps at them to just leave. Kite Man's last bit of hope is crushed when Condiment King announces he won the booking then unleashes terrible condiment puns. Ivy realizes he's her nemesis, too, now.

"Thawing Hearts" turned to be a weirdly heartbreaking episode. Mr. Freeze wasn't a terrible or evil supervillain and he genuinely loved his wife and just wanted to cure her. He ended up making the ultimate sacrifice to save her life even! And he made lunch for Harley and the Crew. It was a brilliant move to in part use Freeze's story to contrast what Harley went through with the Joker and prove to her that love was really real. Or make Freeze another victim of Harley's proclivity for rash decisions. It's only proven by the revelation that Mr. Freeze tricked the others in the Injustice League into sparing Harley's life at the start of the season. And maybe this is the only appearance of Nora... but it's just the fourth episode of the season and she's got a real reason to go bad. Become Mrs. Freeze like she does in the more current comics and then pop up later this season to exact revenge on Harley. Like say at a big wedding bash? And, uh, I doubt they hired Rachel Dratch to say just one line.

The B story isn't a tragic tearjerker, the opposite really. It continues the subplot of Kite Man and Poison Ivy's engagement but more importantly introduces the rivalry between Kite Man and Condiment King. This is the D-list feud I didn't know I needed in my life. Add in Kite Man once again being a glutton for punishment like in last week's "Trapped," and we're treated to an effective counter balance to the more serious elements of the episode. The deep cut name drop of Clint and Melanie Howard aside, with the Old Gotham Corn Factory out of the running I'm betting Harley's hideout at the Gotham Mall will end up being the new wedding location.

Odds and ends wise, my favorite easter egg is no doubt the Yes Norman Woof Woof being Harley's ringtone. The subtitles for the Snow Rats was a close second but props for the Billy Hagan shout out. The music references were all so hilarious. From Harley and Ivy to starting a fight with a dad at weddings with Kelly Clarkson or King Shark and Clayface mistaking Mr. Freeze for Beyonce and Lady Gaga respectively for the flashy entrance. And in turn Freeze almost calling the Crew an Insane Clown Posse. It great to glean some insight into them by what they referencing. Like it's got be Clayface who sees the familiarity of Victor and Nora's back story to "You Got Mail" or Dr. Psycho thinking "Silence of the Lambs" in reaction to Freeze's creepiness. There was also that intriguing little line of King Shark admitting he's betrothed.

"Thawing Hearts" is an unexpected jewel of an episode. You go in thinking it will be another battle royal with the next Injustice Leaguer but instead it's a lesson in unconditional love where Mr. Freeze saves his wife's life without any concern for his own and Kite Man gives up his fantasy wedding to come to Poison Ivy's aid. But in the process, Harley and Ivy have each inherited a new enemy. Well, it's never easy is it?

Rating: 8 out of 10