Harley Quinn season two puts Joker and Harley together again in a fantastic episode that saw the diabolical duo team up to free the Justice League from the Queen of Fables’ storybook in order to defeat Dr. Psycho and his Parademon army.
The core dynamic between The Queen and King of Gotham is what makes this episode so strong. They’ve never been in a place like this before, with Harley firmly holding the reins and Joker expressing a level of genuine care and human emotion rarely displayed by the Clown Prince of Crime. Their examinations of each other’s unique love life was hilarious, heartwarming, and fun as hell.
This episode reminded me of the Joker and Harley Quinn movie announced for the DCEU once upon a time, a project that is almost certainly dead now. “A Fight Worth Fighting For” made me wish that Harley Quinn: Birds Of Prey hadn’t blatantly tried to erase Jared Leto, an act that likely killed the Suicide Squad spinoff. Despite Harley and Joker’s resurgence of popularity on the big screen, they’ve never had a teamup story quite like this one in live action, and that’s a crying shame.
Harley Quinn And Her Exes
After Harley gave the amnesiac Joker a bath in Ace Chemicals at the end of “Dye Hard”, he returned to his villainous ways and shattered mental state. Harley brought him to his soon to be ex-girlfriend Bethany’s house where he renounced his life as a suburban bartender in a surprisingly stirring confrontation with his former lover. The conversation ends in contention as Bethany tells Joker to stay out of her life before throwing the Book of Fables into the air, where it’s snatched by a Parademon.
Their lover’s quarrel doesn’t last long however, as Harley and Joker’s journey to find the book provides Joker with two important revelations. The first of which is the importance of holding onto true love, even when the odds are stacked against you and your relationship seems doomed to fail due to the flawed nature of the people (or in this case, unstable supervillains) in love.
This realization strikes Joker during the continuation of his talk with Harley about her relationship with Ivy. This combined with the second big discovery (Bethany actually threw a different book into the air and held onto the Book of Fables) prompted Joker to return to Bethany, looking for both the Justice League and a second chance at love.
Now, there’s absolutely no reason to believe that Joker will revert to his harmless and mundane ways. In fact, he tells Harley that he’s simply found a new reason to kill, that reason being love instead of madness. Joker’s seen some radical reinventions as of late, from Sean Murphy’s Batman: White Knight to Todd Phillip’s Joker, and it’s wonderful to see Harley Quinn embracing the loosely defined boundaries of the iconic character and subsequently creating an unexpected and brand new version of the Harlequin of Hate.
I don’t expect to see much more of Joker this season, as I expect last two episodes to focus on the defeat of Dr. Psycho first and the final resolution of the #HarlIvy love story, but if we’re blessed with a season three renewal, if we’re blessed with a season three renewal, Joker’s relationship with Bethany will be one of the most hotly anticipated elements.
On top of this fantastic story of love and Harley/Joker’s twisted friendship, we’re treated to a few Kite Man/Poison Ivy scenes that revealed what fans had long assumed; Poison Ivy is still very much hung up on Harley and feels compelled to marry Kite Man just so that she can escape the confusing and immensely powerful feelings she has for Harley. This actually brings her into conflict with Psycho, as the Parademon scourge is ruining her wedding plans. Psycho quickly takes control of her mind and sends her to destroy his former leader, setting up a monumental penultimate episode.
“A Fight Worth Fighting For” hits home thanks to the phenomenal chemistry between Alan Tudyk’s Joker and Kaley Cuoco’s Harley Quinn and is further bolstered thanks to the seamless comedy and organic setup for the season finale. Stay tuned for our review of episode 12, “Lover’s Quarrel”.