NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Harley Quinn” are present in this review
Harley Quinn exceptionally soared throughout its sixth episode, presenting potentially the strongest offering to date from the fledgling DC Universe animated series. “You’re a Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon” is consistently upheld on writing that works in terms of both narrative and humour, after Harley’s latest heist mishap ends up having some unintended personal consequences for Commissioner Gordon. At the same time, Harley steps up her efforts to be noticed by the Legion of Doom, which ends up causing more issues for her crew, particularly when a popular super-villain critic sets his sights on Harley and her friends.
Right from the jump, this episode is packed with fantastic jokes, which naturally begin with Harley angrily destroying more technology, in response to her and her crew being overlooked by the media. Leave it to Harley to get another harebrained scheme quickly cooked up however, when she decides that the crew’s next course of action should be robbing Wayne Enterprises. Apparently, Bruce Wayne is debuting a new invisible motorcycle, which Harley plans to steal, though this eventually gives way to an ‘Even More Restricted Area’, which sees Harley grab a mysterious device, while Doctor Psycho tries and fails to steal the motorcycle, merely destroying it in the process.
The real takeaway from this chaos though is that Clayface ends up losing his hand under a door during the getaway, which Batman later confiscates, and hands to Gordon as evidence. This provides Harley Quinn’s first serious opportunity to better show off its take on Gordon’s character, a beat-down sad sack and cuckold, who struggles to have his issues taken seriously by Batman, just as Harley struggles to get her crew noticed by the super-villain big leagues. Chris Meloni nicely makes use of Gordon’s spotlight as well, further exploring his perpetually frustrated and downtrodden Gordon to hilarious effect, especially when Gordon ends up beginning an unlikely friendship with Clayface’s childlike, fully sentient severed hand.
Not only is this a hilarious idea in and of itself, but it also provides a useful narrative obstacle, since Clayface’s arm knows everything that Clayface knows, in turn making it only a matter of time before he spills the beans on Harley’s new hideout to Gordon. This creates a race against the clock for Harley, one that hilariously gets King Shark thrown in Blackgate Penitentiary the second he tries to set foot in the GCPD precinct, thus forcing Harley and Clayface to find Gordon on their own. This ultimately leads to Harley discovering the importance of caring about her friends over her own career ambitions, a lesson that’s nicely paralleled with Batman, who has to come to the same conclusion with Gordon. Not only does this provide a funny satire of the popular trope wherein a super-villain claims to be no different than a superhero, but it also provides a mutually satisfying resolution, after Harley’s mysterious stolen gizmo warps her into the Bat Cave, and forces Batman to admit to Gordon that they are indeed friends.
Ivy and Psycho meanwhile get separated into their own subplot, after they both decide that they want to give the Cowled Critic, an online personality that severely criticizes Harley’s crew after their failed Wayne Enterprises heist, a piece of their mind. This leads the two to the house of Giganta’s new boyfriend, Brad, where Giganta is apparently staying with hers and Psycho’s son, Herman. The payoff of Herman being the Cowled Critic is pretty good too, even if it felt like this subplot wasn’t quite as consistently funny as the main storyline. Psycho getting such a quick and clean resolution with Herman in the end also felt like a bit of a missed opportunity, particularly considering how much Psycho’s ex-wife hates him, and how much Herman is already shown to be ashamed of his super-villain father.
The humour does end on a pretty fantastic note though, after the Cowled Critic/Herman revises his stance on Harley’s crew, only to have Harley suddenly realize that they forgot King Shark at Blackgate. The episode ending with King Shark starting an initiative to improve the prison-industrial complex, only for Harley to break him out, is just as funny, once again proving that King Shark is one of this show’s best secondary characters at this point. Even considering the standout laughs with Harley’s crew however, “You’re a Damn Good Cop, Jim Gordon” primarily bills itself on its first proper story arc for Gordon, and on that note, it’s a winner. This is one of the funniest episodes that Harley Quinn has delivered thus far, and while it’s a little lighter on social commentary this time, the excellent humour nicely helps to compensate for that. As with Batman, I hope that the show doesn’t start over-using Gordon from here, but considering the restraint that Harley Quinn has exercised with Batman at this point, I don’t imagine that will be an issue. In fact, maybe we’re due for some more fun with the Legion of Doom after this, now that Harley’s taken a big step closer to their ranks, despite her crew’s recent screw-ups.
- Especially superb humour throughout
- Gordon's friendship with Clayface's hand is cute and gratifying
- Harley's biggest critic being Doctor Psycho's son
- Doctor Psycho subplot has slightly less consistent humour