The season finale of Harley Quinn was a phenomenal conclusion to the love story between Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn, and to the season as a whole.
That being said, at the beginning of “The Runaway Bridesmaid”, things we’re not looking good for their relationship. After Dr. Psycho broadcast their scandalous affair in the skies of Gotham, Kite Man learned the truth about Harley and Ivy’s relationship. I fully expected the two to part ways after “Lover’s Quarrel”. It felt safe to assume that either Kite Man would leave Ivy after discovering her rendezvous with her former BFF, or Ivy would leave him, having felt true love’s kiss.
I underestimated just how deep Pamela Isley’s river of denial ran. Even when Kite Man gave her an out, telling her “If you don’t wanna marry me, just say it, so I can go to bar, and get loaded, and get into an argument with somebody about what the most metal album of all time is, and then start crying for no reason, and puke on myself.” She tells him that despite her fling with Harley, she does want to marry him.
In her defense, she’s not outright lying to him. Ivy really does want to marry him, just for all the wrong reasons. She’s spent the majority of this season running away from herself and her true feelings. She’s too scared of the risks associated with the life she really wants to go for it. Life with Kite Man is the safe option, the easy option, and so, in order to protect herself she pursues that instead.
Harley Quinn And The Great Inner Struggle
The pain of seeing Poison Ivy end up with someone she doesn’t truly love proves to be too much for Harley, and so on the day of their wedding, she admits herself into Arkham. It’s in those accursed walls that she encounters Two-Face, who tells her about Commissioner Gordon’s plan to infiltrate the wedding and arrest dozens of deadly supervillains, including her true love.
Unbeknownst to Harley is the fact that Two-Face supplied Gordon with knowledge of the wedding. By filling up Gordon’s head with dreams of becoming mayor and utilizing the cities comedic disregard for the Commissioner’s service, Harvey Dent convinced him to take a woefully unprepared team of cops to the Gotham Corn Factory, which became available as a wedding destination after Poison Ivy fed Condiment King and his fiance to Frank The Plant.
Harley realizes that Poison Ivy’s happiness is more important than her seemingly unreciprocated desire to be with her, and comes to save the day. Tragically, she punches the wrong Gordon imposter in the face (poor Mr. Covington was just an innocent venue representative) declaring that “no one ruins my best friend’s wedding but me!” which probably wasn’t the best choice of words.
This leads Ivy to pull Harley aside for a painful conversation about the wedding and their future. Harley is adamant that Gordon really has infilitrated the wedding, but when she reveals who tipped her off, Ivy loses any shred of trust in Harls’ motivation. Believing that Harley was simply looking for an opportunity to disrupt the wedding, she tells her to leave. Defeated and heartbroken, Harley prepares to leave, but on her way out, she makes a startling discovery.
The plants are plastic, fakes planted by Gordon in order to keep Poison Ivy’s powers neutralized. After Kite Man’s proudly said his vows and Ivy apathetically stumbled through hers that Commissioner Gordon reveals himself, comically pronouncing the couple “under arrest”. The fact that Poison Ivy doesn’t catch onto this switcheroo until she tries to use her powers, is a subtle but powerful testament to how clouded and confused her mind must have been on the day of her wedding.
The wedding appears to be ruined as bullets fly and supervillains battle the GCPD in a fantastic firefight set to Clayface’s operatic singing (his attempt to win over the affection of Catwoman’s date Gary, who Clayface believes to be Tim Burton). While escorting Kite Man and Poison Ivy towards safety in the corn maze, Harley pulls a wild card out of her pocket. She became an ordained minister and offers to marry Kite Man and Poison Ivy, proving just how much she’s grown as a person.
In a shocking twist, it’s Kite Man who says no. He delivers a powerful speech to his now ex-fiance about how while he wants to be with her, he’s finally accepted that she doesn’t feel the same way he does. The flaws in their relationship were evident since day one, and while it’s painful, Kite Man knows he’s doing the right thing by finally diverting their river of denial. He tells her that while he’s simple, he’s not a fool and then quotes her, saying “I deserve the best” before flying away on his kite.
In that moment, Ivy is set free. She needed to hear his words in order to finally acknowledge and change her ways, and as soon as she does, she’s finally able to embracing her feelings for Harley Quinn. Our heroes passionately kiss and drive off into the sunset together, embarking on a new journey. This is the story that Harley Quinn has set up since the very first episode, and it is immensely satisfying to see the couple receive the happy ending they deserve.
With no season three renewal currently announced, “The Runaway Bridesmaid” could be the swansong of this incredible animated series, and personally, I’m at peace if it is. Over the course of twenty six episodes, Harley Quinn has taken us on a hilarious, emotional and wholly unique journey throughout the DC Universe. While there’s no doubt that Patrick Schumacker and Justin Halpern have more story to tell, it’s hard to picture a more fitting end to the love story of Poison Ivy and Harley Quinn.