This Harley Quinn review contains spoilers.
Harley Quinn Season 2 Episode 4
In case you were worried about Harley Quinn getting softer in its sophomore season, this episode opens with The Clown Princess of Crime carving a giant vagina into an ice cave using a flamethrower that once belonged to lesser known Batman villain Firefly. Basically, this crude delight is still firing on all cylinders as we venture into the icy heart of Gotham City to kill Mr. Freeze.
This season’s setup of crafting distinct worlds within Gotham each themed to a different villain has so far been paying off, and after visiting the Riddler in episode 2 we’ve now made it to Mr. Freeze’s icy lair. Of course, this new locale means that we get plenty of vicious snowmen and frosty fight sequences which are nothing short of a total joy. The standout here though is an extremely bloody sequence that sees the crew decapitate multiple henchmen in a beautiful Ice Capades-style performance which features a lot of gore, some impressive kills, and Harley singing the gospel of being newly single (i.e. hooking up with as many people as possible).
In other relationship news, if you’ve been reading these reviews you’re likely aware that I am not a fan of the Ivy and Kite Man relationship, and that takes a terrible step forward this week. Despite the fact that the pair are now engaged, the episode has a lot of fun making Kite Man a Bridezilla archetype freaking out over getting the perfect wedding venue. There’s also a great ongoing Condiment King gag tied to the nuptials so it was hard to hate on the subplot too much.
Meanwhile, Harley, King Shark, Dr. Psycho, and Clayface face down against Alfred Molina’s superbly deranged Mr. Freeze. It could be hard to re-imagine such an iconic character but the animators and Molina do just that by ramping up the style and ridiculousness to 11. Here Freeze is still driven by trying to save his wife but Molina is far more of the mad scientist than we’ve seen before and it’s a lot of fun. Sadly for Harley, he needs a human subject and she’s the only one at hand. This is where the show’s big conflict comes from because Harley knows someone who might be able to cure Victor’s wife, but she’s currently planning her wedding.
Ivy has long been putting Harley before herself, and here she abandons her own wedding plans to help her friend after Harley does something which puts all the crew in danger. It turns out that Mr. Freeze is actually an okay guy, and definitely not a creepy abuser like the Joker, which answers that burning question Batman fans have been asking for years. All jokes aside, Molina does a great job here playing two sides of the nefarious villain so well, especially when the second half of the episode turns him into a truly tragic anti-hero. Redeeming villains is a theme we always enjoy and it’s nice that Harley Quinn is turning it into something of a series trope.
“Thawing Hearts” is an episode about love and it causes Harley to have a revelation. What she had with the Joker wasn’t love. In fact, it wasn’t even close. Though we’ve seen Harley deal with the horrors of that toxic coupling, what wasn’t clear was that she still thought it was love, and that love could only be like what she shared with The Clown Prince of Crime. When she witnesses how Victor and his wife loved each other, though, that all changes. It’ll be interesting to see where she goes from here. With Ivy and Kite Man all loved up, it’s unlikely that we’ll see that pairing occur anytime soon, but Harley’s feelings for her friend are slowly bubbling to the surface. Where will that lead? We’ll have to wait and see but I’m feeling pretty hopeful.
I wanted to take this time to shout out the incredible animation team at Warner Bros. who put this series together. Adult animation shows rarely have a shine and style like Harley Quinn and “Thawing Hearts” really showcases both of those. Never has a head being ripped off of a body by a shark looked so beautiful, never has a woman cutting off a man’s head with an ice skate been so entertaining and enjoyable to watch. Harley Quinn has a lot to offer but this episode is a great reminder of the awesome character designs, gorgeous animation, and hilarious visual gags. We all need an escape during this trying time and I’m grateful for the team behind this show for making something completely beautiful and ridiculous to lose ourselves in right now.
You can watch new episodes of Harley Quinn each Friday on DC Universe, with season 1 now airing in re-runs on Syfy. Keep up with all our season 2 news and reviews right here!