This was the episode that clarified what this show was going to be for me, and also crystallized a lot of feelings for me, while still making me endlessly laugh.
I don’t love that my personal emotional emblems are the women of Gotham, because I am a middle-aged dude. It’s not a great look, I admit, but I can’t help it.
HARLEY: “Okay, here it comes; here’s when that piece of shit pushes me in the acid.”
IVY: “Woah, woah, are you okay?”
HARLEY: “This whole time I thought he pushed me, that it wasn’t my choice. But it was!”
That said, this episode did a lot of self-reflective good for me. Being Harley Quinn is 100% trauma therapy, and exactly what I needed when I watched it. It is an absolutely perfect depiction of disassociation and also of repair.
Seriously, and sadly, the entire ep is an encapsulation of my youth:
HARLEY: “Oh, I wasn’t sweet at that age — or any age, really. I was a total shit back then.”
HARLEY: “Hey Ive, I think there’s something really screwed up about me.”
IVY: “I want to say this in the most loving way possible, but there’s no way this is just occurring to you now.”
IVY: “You know, in a way, it’s almost comforting to know that you’ve always been this fucked up.”
HARLEY: “Yes, isn’t it? I’m starting to realize why my mother recycled so many wine bottles back then!”
And the B-story! Gilda and Sy trying to dispose of everyone’s inert bodies is fantastically hilarious. I’d love to get a flashback to their spy days, but sadly, seems like they’ve been cast away from the show.
All of that said, you have my wife to thank or hate for this post, as she commissioned a surprise gift to me of Harley’s reckoning from one of my favorite artists, Dijana Granov — who also illustrated an astounding recreation of Catwoman’s creation from BATMAN RETURNS that gives me me endless comfort — which spurred me back to revisiting HARLEY QUINN S1. (See the featured image above! No that is not a screenshot!)
I’ll briefly note: I fucking hate feeling like this. It is unrelenting and terrible, but I am who I am, and I can’t pretend to be anything different and to do otherwise would undermine the positive work I’ve done towards getting better.
I’m lucky enough to have a supportive partner and friends and I have my therapists to aid with it, but goddamn. It does not get any easier. I’d be lying if I said it did. That said, it’s not getting harder, and I’m still fucking here, just like Harley Fuckin’ Quinn.
HARLEY: “My mind. My rules.”