Episode 21 Review
Harley Quinn

Harley Quinn can't tell Poison Ivy everything she feels about that kiss and goes into denial anything's wrong and quickly focuses on the next problem, Commissioner Gordon has to take her down in order for the President of the United States to take Gotham City back. All she needs is an army, and Dr. Psycho has a suggestion. Meanwhile, Ivy gets to meet Kite Man's parents...

Commissioner Gordon fixes his tie, combs his hair neat, and puts on cologne then calls up the President of the United States. He introduces himself, lists off his nicknames, and announces Gotham is ready to rejoin the U.S. but he is cut off by a male secretary. Jim realizes the President wouldn't answer his own phone but admits he doesn't often hear a male secretary. The President puts Jim on speaker. Jim claims he single handedly defeated the Injustice League and states Gotham is ready to rejoin but the President identifies one last supervillain that needs to be taken care of: Harley Quinn. Jim tries to downplay her as polyp up his bung hole while the President does a photo op with a boy. President isn't convinced and blames her for the fall of Gotham and thinks she's a menace that strikes fear in the hearts of the public psyche. Jim vows to get her.

Back at the mall lair, Harley is hesitant to talk to Poison Ivy on the couch and paces. Ivy finally says something and suggests they just talk about the kiss. They both agree it was so crazy. Harley admits she was thinking about it a lot. Before she can continue, Ivy calls it as an impetuous spur of the moment thing that happened because of the adrenaline of escaping the Pit. Harley quickly agrees and Ivy suggests they chalk it up as a crazy moment where something crazy happened. Harley agrees and finds impetuous on brand. She proves how random she is by picking up Dr. Psycho and kissing him. He isn't having it and yells she's not his type. Ivy asks her if they're cool. Harley insists they are. Ivy is relieved and mentions she has to focus on the wedding. Harley lies about how busy she is planning stuff, too. Ivy is glad they talked and admits she would never want anything to mess up their friendship. Harley quickly agrees then asks Ivy is she's going to tell Kite Man. Ivy freezes.

Cut to Kite Man's apartment. Kite is devastated. Ivy forgot to make a reservation for four at Senor Mexico's Authentic Mexican Adobe House for brunch with his parents Darryl and Wendy. Ivy is mortified enough for Kite to notice. He becomes worried, gets on his knee, and asks her what's wrong. She only tells him she has a lot on her mind. Kite apologizes for putting pressure on her and confesses he just wants his parents to love her as much as he does so they approve the wedding and come. Ivy promises to blow them away and they kiss. Meanwhile, Harley holds a meeting with her crew and quizzes them what she is super busy doing. King Shark answers first saying he thought they were just going to chill and have fun now that things with the Injustice League are done. Harley promises they are going to, as she becomes the world's most feared supervillain. King and Clayface don't think that's her. Harley disagrees. Psycho loves it and is all for pushing the "evil envelope." Batgirl arrives and interrupts the meeting to warn Harley about Jim Gordon. Psycho isn't having it but King complements her stitchwork. Batgirl tells Harley what's going on and shares her opinion she doesn't think she's a villain. Harley disagrees vehemently but she points out she has done heroic things like kicking the Legion of Doom out of Gotham, killed Joker, and got rid of the Injustice League. King points out Batgirl gets it. Psycho volunteers to melt Batgirl's mind. Batgirl suggests she just lay low and wait for it to blow over. Harley refuses. Batgirl points out Jim stopped Two-Face who had a legion of goons. Harley realizes she's saying she needs an army. Batgirl denies that but is ushered out of the mall. Clayface asks Harley why she's been acting so different ever since she left the Pit. King wonders where they would even get an army, more so since the goons unionized. Harley denies anything happened and declares no one was getting in her way. Psycho hints he knows where to get an army but asks if she's down to get her hands dirty. Harley claims she is and does impetuous stuff then smooches King on the cheek.

At Senor Mexico's, Kite Man attempts to negotiate a table for four but the hostess tells him it is a three hour wait. Ivy points out a hoity-toity couple is waving at them, it's Kite's parents. He takes the blame for not getting a reservation. They're not happy about not getting their favorite booth. Ivy offers to talk to the manager. She summons vines and tosses the couple out. Wendy is smitten with her. Harley and the crew take in a magic show at the Iceberg Lounge. Psycho finally clues them in that the performer Mister Miracle has a device called a Mother Box that makes Boom Tubes they can take to Apokolips, pledge fealty to Darkseid, and be given an army of Parademons. Harley is psyched and walks off. Psycho tells Clayface to pretend to be a drunk stumbling on stage but Clayface goes overboard likening his new character to Shakespeare's Falstaff. Psycho slaps him and emphasizes he is the director. They watch as Harley walks on stage and bats the assistant Oberon and Miracle mid-performance. She tosses Psycho the Mother Box and unceremoniously reveals he kept his Mother Box in his dressing room. Psycho opens a Boom Tube and they head off world. Ivy learns Kite Man's parents both have super powers and they just want grandchildren with powers, not mincing words about how disappointed they were in having a powerless son. Jim Gordon suits up and like Harley misinterprets Batgirl's warning and gathers his own army at a rally with the promise of clean water, fresh food, and overpriced Internet providers and the statement that they let villains run over their lives and destroy their city for too long.

Harley and the crew arrive in Darkseid's throne room just as he executes Forager then goes into an overly long speech about what it takes to wield his power and army. To her chagrin, even Darkseid senses something is wrong with her and warns not even a Parademon army can fill all holes in a person. Adding to Harley's annoyance, she finds out Psycho once tries to procure an army from him before but ran away because he couldn't fight Granny Goodness and win. Harley perks up at the simple sounding requirement of beating up an old lady. Granny bursts into the room and handily knocks Harley out. Psycho uses his telepathy on the sly and puppets Harley into bashing Granny over the head with a boulder. Darkseid declares her a winner and awards her with Granny's scepter. A suit similar to Granny's materializes over Harley and Parademons swarm into the throne room. Psycho is stoked but King and Clayface are scared. Back on Earth, Ivy drags Kite Man outside Senor's and grills him about why he lets his parents treat him so badly. He points out they're his parents. Darryl and Wendy catch up to them and reveal they made another reservation, not wasting to the chance to dump on Kite Man again. Ivy has enough and admits it was her fault then totally blasts them wondering how two ghouls raised a kind, loving, and supporting man and declares she is lucky to have him, not the other way around. After the Browns storm off, Ivy notices a Boom Tube over the mall.

Harley gives Jim one chance to turn around and leave but he is adamant. The Parademons arrive and completely massacre Jim's army. Harley takes in all the carnage until Ivy asks her what is going on. Harley briefs her and declares she's finally going to take over Gotham. Ivy reiterates she has her back but asks her if this was how she envisioned it. Harley comes back to reality and admits it isn't. Ivy asks her what she really wants. Harley breaks Granny's scepter over her knee. The Parademons pause and leave. Psycho is infuriated and quits the crew. Jim can't believe he won. Harley admits to Ivy she was avoiding something she really wants to talk to her about. Kite Man interrupts and lauds Ivy for being the coolest and hottest fiancee a regular guy with super powers could have. They kiss. Ivy asks Harley what she wanted to talk about. Harley lies and tells her they need to plan her bachelorette party.

"Inner (Para)Demons" rightfully and immediately addresses the aftermath of both plots from last week's "There's No Place to Go But Down", Jim's victory over Two-Face and the kiss between Harley and Ivy, and structures it around utter denial. Harley can't bring herself to say what she really thinks about the kiss, Ivy goes full steam ahead with the wedding and meets Kite Man's a-hole parents, and Jim has to steel himself into accepting Harley as a threat so Gotham can be part of the U.S. again. The comedy of everyone from Clayface to Jim Gordon to even Darkseid getting the feeling that Harley is in denial was perfectly written. And in the end, Harley makes the choice as a friend to not express her real feelings so she doesn't jeopardize Ivy's run of genuine happiness and ruin the wedding. Obviously, repressing stuff is a recipe for disaster and Harley is the poster child for ticking time bombs so it seems this could run parallel to Harley's slump in season one when everyone abandons her after the lies and the Joker debacle. Another perfect choice her was to have Harley distract herself from the truth by trying to accomplish her original goal of completely taking over Gotham, now that the Injustice League is all but dealt with. Then with perfect timing, Harley has an adversary in her way of that goal: Jim Gordon. The rally was also a perfect little subtle way to kind of address the opening back drop of the series with the Legion of Doom pretty much operating in the open, a la other shows like Venture Bros, and confirm the people of Gotham are done being complacent about villains. Well, for this episode anyway. So in taking inspiration from a Sam Humphries Harley comic centered around Apokolips, Harley goes to Darkseid for an army to back her up and the results are a total blast.

Things coming to a head with Dr. Psycho is another bonus if you paid attention to the cues early this season like when he claimed he put aside a lot of projects to help save ice block Harley or his frustrations with the Riddler. A desire for carnage and to be recognized as a legitimate super villain and not just a flunky definitely been boiling in him all season and even last season. It'll be interesting to see what happens when he next appears. Will he even become a more adversarial force to his former friends? Another pleasant surprise in the episode was a peak into Kite Man's past through the introduction of his parents, Darryl and Wendy, who Ivy succinctly describes right off the bat. If it wasn't so apparent now, there's the definitely feeling the showrunners and writer's room decided a long time ago that everyone's parents on this show will be a-holes. In any case, it was intriguing to watch as meeting them propels Ivy even closer to Kite Man while endearing Kite Man even more to the audience through what many could empathize with: parents with high standards. Andy Daly, voice of Two-Face and many others, and guest star Jennifer Walter, who also voices Malory on "Archer" among a starred career, clinch it as the worst parents ever. And also, while brief, Batgirl's indirectly comedic role in the episode was a hoot. Nothing funnier than both sides totally not understanding her warning and doing the total opposite. It was also interesting to see from Batgirl's point of view, Harley seems to be wrongly credited with a lot of things like ousting the Legion of Doom, killing Joker, and defeating the Injustice League when in truth the status of the LOD is up in the air – I mean we only have seen the Gotham based members survived but kinda vague about the rest – or Harley was only involved in taking out 3/5 of the Injustice League and one sacrificed his life in front of her. Still, it was oddly gratifying to see even the President consider Harley to be Public Enemy #1.

And of course, can't end this review before mentioning Darkseid and Granny Goodness. What a spectacular get having Michael Ironside reprise Darkseid! Clutch move to play him straight as opposed to Teen Titans Go! and indirectly comedic because of his unending soliloquy and subtle reactions to Harley's impertinence. Or making him part of the recurring joke of the episode was genius, that even he of all people could see Harley was in denial. While it was an even briefer appearance, the more I think about it, Jessica Walter voicing Granny Goodness is kismet and I'm hoping somehow she shows up again. Plus, let's not brush it aside either, the show actually left Gotham for a new locale after what feels like a really long time stuck in New New Gotham. I'm really hoping this isn't the last excursion out of Gotham. I'm curious to see the rest of the world, within reason. Would it be outside the realm of possibility if the season ends on Harley and Ivy pulling a Thelma and Louise and ditching the city for good and going through a road trip of mayhem across the nation?

The episode also had an excellent swatch of references. It's a blink or miss moment but be sure to freeze frame the President's file on Harley Quinn and check out all the Batman: The Animated Series, The Adventures of Batman and Robin, and The New Batman Adventures nods. Or kinda yesterday's news, the Legion of Doom gets a mention by Batgirl. Or the Iceberg Lounge scene, aside from Psycho hilariously snapping at Clayface, lot of great movie and theater nods like Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, Wizard of Oz, Falsaff, and Henry IV. Some might care for it, but I chuckled at the quick and mundane take down of Mister Miracle. Aside from the many callbacks to Bane, Two-Face, and the Injustice League, it was well played to have Ivy's anecdote be a callback to "L.O.D.R.S.V.P." when Ivy immobilized Aquaman instead of something new made up for the scene. The episode is 21 episodes in after all and makes sense to start weaving in smart references like that and enrich the canon. And a quick and smart way to button on a possible loose thread, King Shark mentions all of the goons have unionized in the wake of current events! Can't forget Jim's tattoo either! And that Forager cameo? Part of me wondered if they were trolling Young Justice. I mean, Forager in his original design gets a horrific death immediately upon his debut on the show vs. on Young Justice, he's one of the new main characters and a brand new design.

"Inner (Para)Demons" is another killer episode as season 2 continues its stride towards what's gonna be an explosive wedding all while Gotham gets closer and closer to rejoining the USA and finally exiting Joker's disastrous middle finger to the city. The show can do no wrong at this point and is pumping on all cylinders. We're just along for the ride! The two ongoing arcs featuring Harley and Jim and their crusade to take back Gotham cross paths and the epic confrontation takes the action to another level. A new Harley and Ivy sub-plot that was always kinda there hits the denial stage and tugs at our heart strings and leaves us wondering if anyone will really be left standing with a happy ending or will everyone's inner demons tear the gang apart again? Five episodes to go, and what's the right move forward – everyone get in a circle and be totally honest and truthful to each other then come up with the compromise that benefits everyone? Nah. Bachelorette party!!!

Rating: 8.2 out of 10