NOTE: Full spoilers for this episode of, “Harley Quinn” are present in this review
With Harley Quinn having already resolved its major Season Two threat last week, within a definite highlight episode to boot, this week’s season finale definitely found itself with a tough act to follow. The only conflict left to resolve for Season Two at this point, at least, among the anti-heroes that lead this show’s ensemble, is the issue of Ivy’s and Kite Man’s long-awaited nuptials. Harley, however, has apparently been locked away in Arkham Asylum, with, “The Runaway Bridesmaid” seeing Harley more or less surrender to her fate. Once Harley gets a tip from Two-Face that Gordon is about to bust everyone at Ivy’s wedding however, Harley becomes determined to break out and stop him, even if it means sacrificing her chance at love with Ivy forever.
So, inevitably, the latest declaration of love from Harley to Ivy has once again been rejected. The difference in this case however is that Kite Man is now aware of Harley’s and Ivy’s affair from the girls’ trip to Themyscira, creating a fresh batch of drama that surprisingly brings Kite Man down to Earth a bit for this season finale, so to speak. Ivy, meanwhile, is nonetheless determined to complete her marriage to Kite Man, creating a decent plot hook for this episode, even if it naturally has less momentum than last week’s stellar offering. In fact, it’s a little disappointing to see how rushed some of this season finale is, with Harley’s off-screen capture and imprisonment at Arkham feeling particularly head-scratching, considering that she more or less saved Gotham City alongside the Justice League. Gordon being spurned by the comically absent Gotham mayor when it comes to receiving the same Key to the City as the Justice League is a pretty funny way to kick off that wedding obstacle though, even if Two-Face’s manipulated escape is clearly being withheld for a potential Season Three.
Yet again though, as much as there are some really funny character moments at the wedding, which Harley inevitably runs to, after Two-Face tells her about Gordon’s plot (thus providing Two-Face a convenient excuse to escape Arkham alongside Harley, and then disappear!), the same stubborn problem from much of this season’s Ivy/Kite Man storylines keeps constantly creeping in with this season finale storyline– Ivy’s and Kite Man’s relationship is obviously doomed, and this episode could only realistically end one way, at least, if it doesn’t want to piss off a ton of DC fans. Considering that Harley Quinn is a DC Universe Original Series, and is thus made for a niche streaming platform that specifically caters to avid DC fans, it’s inevitable that the show is going to give fans what they want, while doing its best to at least make a solid spectacle out of it.
Sadly, it takes until the climax of this episode for said spectacle to truly spark though. Beforehand, Harley simply bumbles around Ivy’s and Kite Man’s cocktail hour, looking for Gordon, after Ivy has Frank devour Condiment King and his fiancee, thus freeing up the Gotham Corn Factory for Kite Man’s dream wedding. Admittedly, Gordon picks up a lot of slack in an otherwise disappointingly slow-paced season finale for Harley Quinn, setting up an over-the-top GCPD sting effort that Harley surprisingly can’t correctly identify, which predictably miffs Ivy’s bridal party in particular. Harley’s efforts to find Gordon eventually cause Ivy to lose patience and boot Harley from her wedding as well, despite Harley being the Maid of Honor. Not only is this rather dramatically contrived, but once again, it’s ultimately pointless. Harley just runs back into the church during the ceremony anyway, just in time to thwart Gordon’s sting, as well as his big publicity effort for Tawny, which was supposed to secure him a mayoral bid. Maybe the idea of Gordon being Gotham’s mayor could come back into play for a potential third season of Harley Quinn, but for now, this idea feels like it’s done and over with by the time Harley interrupts Gordon’s plot, making this promising manipulation by Two-Face feel like a missed opportunity at this point.
On the bright side however, the inevitable chaos that erupts from a prolonged battle between the many DC super-villains in attendance at the wedding, and a huge platoon of high-powered GCPD officers, does at least lead to a flashy, funny and fittingly ridiculous ending for Harley Quinn’s sophomore season. Even if Kite Man inevitably breaks up with Ivy in the end, claiming that he can’t repeat their perpetually strained wedding plans anymore (this is actually a subtle, effective callback to Kite Man’s previous claim during his final marriage proposal to Ivy), Ivy nonetheless achieves the epiphany that she’s spent too much time worrying about the feelings of Kite Man and her friends, rather than being true to herself. This finally allows Ivy to embrace love for Harley, and, after an extended chase through a very confusing parking lot, the two women drive off to an uncertain future, with a whole slew of GCPD officers behind them! The subsequent, “The End?” title card reminds us that Harley Quinn has yet to be renewed for a third season, not to mention that just because Harley and Ivy are finally together, doesn’t mean their romance will go smoothly, but I for one am very excited at the many possibilities that Harley Quinn can now explore in potential future seasons!
“The Runaway Bridesmaid” isn’t the most exciting or consistent end to an otherwise superb second season for Harley Quinn, but it does at least provide a fittingly spectacular start to Harley’s and Ivy’s new romantic relationship, while also setting up some promising new obstacles for a potential Season Three. The show could have done a little more to build on ideas like Two-Face motivating Gordon to run for mayor, but that’s nothing that a new season couldn’t fix. There’s the rub though– Harley Quinn is still on the bubble at this point. In fact, the future direction of the DC Universe streaming platform in general feels like it’s currently in flux, considering WarnerMedia’s obvious desire to bet most heavily on their multi-purpose streaming platform, HBO Max. Whether it’s hosted on DC Universe and/or somewhere else however, Harley Quinn simply demands a third season. This show has become one of the crown jewels of DC Universe across its current two seasons (and in the case of my native Canada, a crown jewel of our Adult Swim channel!), and it deserves to keep presenting its twisted, irreverent and female-forward take on Gotham City. Best of all is that Harley and Ivy finally becoming a couple feels like a new beginning, rather than a definitive ending, so I’ll definitely be anticipating future developments within this animated universe!
- Harley putting her reputation on the line to root out Gordon
- Fittingly ridiculous climax
- Harley and Ivy finally getting together in the end
- Ivy/Kite Man break-up is trite and inevitable
- Gordon mayoral bid could have used more development