My heart broke for Harley Quinn this week. Anyone who has ever had feelings for their best friend knows how painful it can be to conceal those emotions, and how much harder it can be to express them honestly. “Inner (Para) Demons” deals with Harlivy’s kiss last episode, through some rather unconventional means.
Harley’s desire to preserve her friendship with Ivy (despite her overwhelming romantic love for her BFF) brings Darkseid, Parademons, and the death of countless Gothamites. The real tragedy of episode 8 of Harley Quinn is not the blood which runs through the streets of Gotham, but Ivy’s refusal or inability to see the true motive behind Harley’s uncharacteristically hyper-violent actions.
The Story Behind Harley Quinn and Her Inner Parademons
Our story begins with the newly sober James Gordon declaring war on Harley Quinn. As the villains’ presence in Gotham is the only thing preventing The President from reaccepting Gotham into the United States of America. With his renewed vigor and sense of purpose, Gordon unites the people of Gotham, but no number of tanks or battle armor could stand against Harley Quinn’s inner turmoil and subsequent overcompensation.
Back at the abandoned Gotham City Mall, home base for our heroes, Ivy and Harley are on the couch. Quinn clearly wants to open up, but when Ivy chalks their kiss up to nothing more than spur of the moment craziness, Harley lies, claiming that she feels the same way. They part ways, with Ivy going to brunch with Kite Man (it’s worth noting that she fails to mention the kiss to her partner) and Harley teaming up with her crew to find a good distraction.
After Batgirl arrives at the lair to warn Harley of Gordon’s plan to take her down, Harley decides the most logical course of action is to gather an army and lay waste to Gotham. At the recommendation of Dr. Psycho, they go to Mr. Miracles show, assault him, steal his motherbox and take a boom tube to the hellish world of Apokolips, home to none other than Darkseid himself. Psycho gets more time than usual in the spotlight this episode, as his truly vile and monstrous side is revealed. He relishes in suffering and villainy, an attribute unique to him among Harley’s crew.
While Harley and Psycho battle the frighteningly powerful Granny Goodness in order to prove themselves worthy of Darkseid’s Parademon army, Ivy spends time getting to know Kite Man’s parents. The pair are shallow, posh, and absolutely terrible to their son. They treat Kite Man like a brainless child, and they loathe his lack of superpowers. As powered supervillains themselves, they’re ecstatic that Ivy could provide them with metahuman grandchildren. Ivy is appalled when she realizes how cold and cruel Kite Man’s folks are. Her defense of Kite Man is a series highlight for their relationship, which is tragic considering that their love is now practically doomed to fail.
Back on Apokolips, Harley and Psycho defeat Granny Goodness, leading Darkseid to give Harley Quinn the reigns to his Parademon army, as well as a stunning new costume. The team catches a boom tube back to Gotham, leading to a violent and horrible battle between Gordon’s army and Harley’s. The parademons lay waste to the city until Ivy confronts Harley. Ivy asks Harley what she wants, and in that moment, it’s clear that Harley knows what she wants, or more accurately, who she wants.
Moments before Harley can finally tell Ivy how she feels, Kite Man appears, and the couple embrace. Seeing how happy they are together, Harley quickly changes course and decides to keep her feelings to herself. The Parademons return to their fourth world hellscape, and Dr. Psycho quits the crew, realizing he’s the only true villain on the team. Whether or not he’ll return to the fold remains to be seen.
“Inner (Para) Demons” more than lives up to its namesake. Harley’s confusion and conflicting emotions wreak havoc on her crew and Gotham as a whole. The parents of Kite Man lose their son due to their internalized bigotry and prejudice. Gordon’s pride and ego leads to the death of countless citizens. Episode eight is an examination of the core flaws of our characters, and it’s consequently more thoughtful than viewers may expect – but it’s not at the expense of the series trademark comedy. As always, Harley Quinn’s comedy is absolutely side splitting.
What did you think of the latest episode of Harley Quinn? Will Harley confront her feelings for Ivy next week, or will she bury them deeper? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below or on our social media.