Episode 6 Review
The crew pulls off another successful heist and returns to the lair with the sarcophagus of King Tut but Harley's unhealthy obsession with getting into the Legion of Doom rears its head again after she sees the hot supervillain review site Villainy lauds KGBeast for his nomination into the Legion. Feeling like she hasn't gotten due credit for the last two months of work she and the crew have put in, she endangers everyone during a high stakes heist at WayneTech. To make matters worse, Clayface loses an arm during the escape and it befriends the downtrodden Commissioner Gordon, who it might tell the location of Harley's lair and ruin everything. And while realizing she put herself before her friends, Harley finds herself helping repair another friendship...
The title alone, "You're A Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon," and Jim's sub-plot seems like the episode is a riff on the 60s Peanuts musical "You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown," where Jim wonders if he really is a good cop but it revolves around the theme of broken homes and relationships - Harley and her crew, Jim Gordon and Batman, and Dr. Psycho and his son Herman - and how they get repaired. More or less. Probably. For this week. The more tangible of the sub-plots is Harley hurts her crew by (once again ignoring Ivy) obsessing over Legion membership when she has a great thing going already. Because of it, she calls an audible to steal something cooler at WayneTech which snowballs into Clayface losing an arm, the arm being a security risk who can blab about their secret lair, Dr. Psycho and Poison Ivy getting dissed, and King Shark getting thrown into prison. Naturally, as she finds herself in the Batcave talking it out with Batman, she realizes the error of her ways (self-preservation was a big help) and convinces Batman to make amends with Gordon, who just is an emotional wreck (plus wife issues). And lastly, Dr. Psycho and Herman. After a brief appearance early into the season, Giganta and Herman are back. While Psycho and Giganta remain at odds, he does come to a place of understanding with Herman about their "hatred" for each other. As Ivy puts it, a weirdly moving scene for the cad of the series. But ultimately, what I loved about this all is that the 'lesson of the week' doesn't fall on Harley solely and a good chunk of the main and recurring cast share in the experience in a weird interconnected way even though it's really because of Harley and her impulsive ways.
Ivy has solidified herself in the role as the BFF who dispenses her wisdom to deaf ears but this week, she gets a more active role in the proceedings and has some of the best moments of the episode from bemoaning the theft of King Tut because she was legit planning to see it in the museum, asking Harley to use words, finally gets Harley's Legion obsession as just a way to rub it in Joker's face, throwing Dr. Psycho all over the place, justifying to Harley why she wants to confront the Cowled Critic, her reaction to Giganta being Psycho's ex-wife, being insulted some more, Brad, and observing Psycho and Herman having a moment. The episode is just proof positive, to me at least, that Ivy needs more screen time and hopefully this is just the beginning. Well, I mean, I know the answer to that already. I'm just planting the thought into who ever reads this review. In similar fashion, Sy needs to be around more. Not just because Jason Alexander but ignoring his bit part in the cold open, his other appearance late into the episode is comic (mis)timing at its best, coupled with his awkward Italian chef finger kiss finish thanks to his barely working cybernetic arm, makes him another contender for more screen time.
Another unexpected delight of the episode was King Shark. Thanking Harley for being utilized as a techie while casually chomping the head off a nameless security guard or passively pointing out his laptop got smashed to bits during Harley's freak out, King Shark becomes the punching bag himself. King Shark volunteers to be the distraction at Gotham Central but thanks to some hilarious quick cuts, he's very quickly, in a Merrie Melodies fashion, is quickly shot and stomped out by the cops, thrown in a paddy wagon, and rushed to his cell at Blackgate Penitentiary then "forgotten" about until he's mentioned at the end. Then we get some prison humor. You know. Toilet wine, shower shanks, the failings of the prison industrial complex. Clayface was fairly stock Clayface, going overboard while in his various disguises - the douche and the cop to be specific - and a bit of just being around to be the episode's plot device and point out 'hey, let's get my arm back' for laughs... in a strange way, he was overshadowed by the others this week. I guess someone had to. Aside from the father-son stuff at the end, Psycho was as well stock Psycho. Hoisted on his own petard when he tries to pull off a Fast and Furious 7 and plummets, thrown around with little disregard, being the team jerk... sure. But sometimes it's the classics that make me chuckle. Case in point, for whatever reason "dance coppers" got me this week.
And obviously, Jim Gordon gets a big focus. And sure, everyone needs someone to talk to, but so much over share about his marital problems and lack of intimacy during sex. Boy do they really throw Mrs. Gordon under the bus. I guess time will tell if we get to see her side of things in a future episode or not. Still, for the purposes of the episode, it makes sense he's so far down the rails that he would use an animate clay arm as an emotional crutch. It's worth it if only for the hilarious fantasy friendship sequence. It's also worth hitting pause when Gordon looks at his list of possible Harley lairs. Just to see what an alcoholic he is. Oh, and the Bludhaven shout out. But just when things are on the mend with Batman, Gordon gets a swift metaphorical kick to the gut for sparing Clayface courtesy of Dr. Psycho. This show. Heh heh.
The episode also has a fair swath of references as well as callbacks now that the series is comfortably six episodes in. Brushing aside the many, many, many mentions of the Legion of Doom, it was a nice surprise to see KGBeast as a "rival" of sorts to Harley to get into the outfit after his brief cold open appearance. Or the random King Tut hilarity. Then a blink or miss hat tip to Google when Harley sees KGBeast's nomination. On the screen before is the universe's tongue-in-cheek equivalent to Google, Snooble. Also a nice but BIG caveat is an episode where the Joker doesn't appear at all and only gets name dropped twice. And it turns out to be a really good episode. Sy's political reference of the week was Henry Kissinger. Sure. Harley even gets in a pop culture reference comparing the main heist to The Fast & The Furious 7's big stunt (and another "sex with bats" jab). Clayface's cinema reference is the 127 Hours true story adaptation. My favorite though goes to the Bruce Springsteen name drop used as the lure to draw the police away from HQ.
"You're A Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon" is another strong contender for one of the best episodes of the season like last week's "Being Harley Quinn" because its structure, pacing and comedic timing is really on point, well laid punchlines are harvested perfectly, a variety of callbacks and references aplenty, a needed break from the Joker, an easy to relate to theme of broken relationships that permeates throughout the main and recurring cast, and it's not just Harley who is subject to the lesson of the week. No more world building, no origin stories or flashbacks, no greater canon stuff. Just Harley and her crew and a well executed script.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10