Episode 1&2 spoilers ahoy.
The first season of the Harley Quinn show ended not even two months ago on the tail end of February, and while the world might not have expected to tailspin into a global pandemic where everyone is ordering their toilet paper and groceries online while hunkering down and hoping this doesn’t turn into a zombie apocalypse, the news that season two of Harley Quinn was just a few weeks away might have been slightly more surprising.
First, a recap since the finale of season one was quite the doozy. Gotham has been destroyed by a massive earthquake caused by the Joker’s fortress being destroyed. The Joker is alive and may or may not have been turned normal by the acid he tried to throw Harley into (protip: He probably hasn’t). The Justice League is still trapped in the Book of Fables, the Legion of Doom was destroyed, Batman is missing, Scarecrow is dead, and Dr. Psycho still has problems with not calling women the C word.
I half expected the show to pull a rabbit out of its hat and miraculously explain away Gotham’s destruction at the start of the season, and what do you know they didn’t. Instead we are set up for a season-long plot where the heroes are gone and the villains come out to play. With Gotham now disowned by the United States, Harley is going to have to take down Batman’s rogue’s gallery before she can claim her place at the top.
While season 1 mostly focused on Harley Quinn’s (Kaley Cuoco) story, season 2 has spread the spotlight around to Gotham’s various supporting roles. Harley is still making boneheaded decisions like convincing Gotham’s population of henchmen and goons to become their own villain, leading to dozens of question based villains sprouting up.
Easily the spotlight of the first two episodes are Bane and King Shark. Bane (James Adomian) continues to spiral into a parody of himself with an emphasized moaning at the beginning and end of each sentence, now the butt of the joke for the Injustice League. King Shark meanwhile gets plenty of cutesy-yet-violent one-liners.
Season 2 sets us up immediately for its premise; New New Gotham has been divvied up by the Injustice League and Harley is going to take them down one by one. Typical villain of the week story but with a lot of murder. Penguin (Wayne Knight) marks the next major villain to bite the dust and Riddler (Jim Rash) comes out from his episode alive at least.
Having destroyed Gotham, the writers on Harley Quinn can do pretty much whatever the hell they want. Penguin encases Harley in ice to show off at a fancy dinner? Sure. Riddler builds an expensive college where admission also gets you access to the only place with power and clean water? Definitely.
We do get glimpses of the canon moving forward at times, with Damian Wayne (Jacob Tremblay) taking over in an ill-fitting Batman suit, Barbara Gordon (Briana Cuoco) taking on the mantle of what will eventually be Batgirl, and Bruce is still lying in a hospital somewhere deep in a coma.
I am both disappointed and also somewhat relieved that Dr. Freeze (Alfred Molina) did not go with a bad Arnold impression. Clayface also redeems himself in episode 2 by putting on a disguise that while at first coming off as a really awful idea eventually ends up winning the day. Behind Harley’s back of course.
With most of the heroes out of commission, Harley Quinn season two is shaping up to be a hilarious take on the often times ridiculous villain roster of the Batman universe.