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Harley Quinn, Welcome to New Gotham

Harley Quinn Season 2

Harley Quinn Season 2, Episode 1 Review

In hindsight, I really wish that I had reviewed the first season of DC Universe’s R-rated show, Harley Quinn. I wound up binge-watching this weeks ago and fell in love. I love the zany characters. The over-the-top violence is hilarious without feeling gratuitous. Most of all, though, I love how the show self-parodies the hero-villain dynamic in comic books. It’s like The Venture Bros crossed with South Park. So when Season Two came out on DC Universe earlier today, I vowed to review the whole season. Buckle up, buttercup, because this is going to be amazing.

Welcome to New Gotham

Harley Quinn and her new pets in "New Gotham"

At the end of last season, Gotham laid in ruins and anarchy ruled. The Justice League’s trapped in a book, the Legion of Doom’s gone, Joker’s an amnesiac nobody, and Batman’s missing. Taking a page from the No Man’s Land story of the 90s, the President decides to bail on Gotham and throws it out of the USA.

Meanwhile, Harley wants to revel in all she’s accomplished: she took down the Joker and became the top hyena in the New Gotham. She just goofs around and has fun, thinking she can rest on her laurels as everyone knows she’s on top. Which is a rookie mistake!

What Harley fails to realize is that order and chaos are cyclical. Once the anarchy wears off, new players will rise and start to restore order. Harley doesn’t realize this, though, because of one key problem. She learned how to be a criminal from the Joker, and without even realizing it, she’s emulating his “agent of chaos” style of villainy. Even her solution to shutting down the other major villains in Gotham is very Joker-esque. Convincing all the henchmen to become their own villains causes more chaos, but it doesn’t last long.

Harley’s failure to take charge comes back to bite her when the other villains freeze her in a block of ice for two months. As a result, Penguin, Two-Face, Mr. Freeze, Bane, and the Riddler divy up New Gotham. Once Ivy and Harley’s Crew bust her out, she’s back to square one. Well, not entirely. She kills Penguin in a very over-the-top manner. Now she’s gunning for all the other villains.

Harley Quinn in New Gotham biting off Penguin's nose
Freaking brutal

Poor, Poor Gordon

Meanwhile, we get a hilarious subplot involving the show’s haggard version of Jim Gordon. He’s trying to hold out hope that Batman will come and save them, but everyone around him is jumping ship. The police join the villains, Robin’s no help, and his wife divorces him. It’s sad to see, but also hilarious at the same time. As for whether Gordon actually gives up in this New Gotham remains to be seen. As we see in the trailer, this season will see the introduction of Batgirl. Maybe Gordon’s daughter will be what lights a fire in her dad again. Or not.

Oh, and Batman’s still alive.

Welcome to New New Gotham

In short, the new season of Harley Quinn manages to hit the ground running and doesn’t stop. And if the Penguin’s brutal death is anything to go by, then no one in this season will be safe! Though, to be fair, the finale to last season saw Joker kill Scarecrow, so I’m not surprised Penguin bit it. Here’s hoping even more people die in the most insane manners possible.

Speaking of which, I enjoyed watching the violence going on in the background of the show as everyone in New Gotham fends for themselves. Two dogs were fighting over one man’s arm, while two thugs were fighting over the other one. It’s morbid and dark, but also hilarious and I hope to see more of it.

With everything that’s going on in the world, I think that we need a good laugh. Hopefully this season of Harley Quinn will give us just that while we wait for COVID-19 to die. Fingers crossed!

I Give “New Gotham” A 4/5

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