I really wanted to see Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy embrace each other this time, and Halpern and Schumacker truly gave me what I asked for in “Bachelorette.” Harley took Ivy and her loose assortment of female associates to the new, modern, millenialized Themyscira for a bachelorette party of legend – and you guessed it, they got drunk and hooked up. Twice.
Why can’t good things last? Each morning after, Ivy expresses shame, regret and disappointment in her choices, and Harley just tries to keep her chin up and be honest with Ivy about her feelings. Ivy’s eventual rejection of Harley’s advances broke my damn heart, and it’ll break yours too.
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If Ivy chose Kite Man because she truly loved him and felt genuine remorse about her unfaithful escapades, it would be one thing. That’s just not what happened, unfortunately. Ivy really enjoyed her time with Harley, and she chose not to be with her because Ivy lacked faith in Harley’s ability to stay committed, not because she really loved Kite Man.
Harley Quinn And The Tragicomic Bachelorette
“Bachelorette” is an examination of the most intimate aspects of Harley and Ivy’s relationship. They really do love each other, and they could live a wonderful life as parners, but that’s not going to happen. Pamela Isley knows Harleen Quinzel too well for their love to blossom. She refuses to risk the stability of a simple life as Mrs. Kite Man for the possibility of a whirlwind romance with the criminally insane queen of Gotham.
For what it’s worth, Ivy’s stance is understandable. Toxic love is synonymous with the Harley Quinn brand, so would it really be smart to get into a long term relationship with her? Also, why aren’t the pair together in the source material? Some might argue that it’s due to editorial behind the scenes politics at DC Comics, but what if it’s simply because their love isn’t built to last?
The only thing that we know for sure is that Poison Ivy is about to marry someone who she doesn’t truly love. The overarching message of “Bachelorette” is surprisingly dour; sometimes marriages are built on bad choices. Even the lackluster King Shark b-story examined this concept.
Speaking of our finned friend, I have to say how massively disappointed I was with King Shark’s underwater adventures. I was hoping for an intelligent Aquaman spoof, because that’s what it appeared to be setting up. More than that, I knew that sort of high quality parody was well within the creative team’s wheelhouse. Regardless, his storyline this episode is mostly an elongated poop joke. While Rick And Morty may have mastered the art of toilet humor, Harley Quinn has not.
I enjoyed the Bridesmaids-spoofing sensibilities of the eponymous bachelorette party on Themiscyra, but even then the core cast’s humor was rather lackluster. The invisible jet gag (birds keep flying into it, and it’s bloody. Solar Opposites did the same gag better in it’s first trailer.) felt tedious and I have the same problem with the Amazons in this episode as I initially had with Barbara Gordon. Halpern and Schumacker simply can’t write millennial culture authentically. While their humor is generally the gold standard for DC, that area is something of an outlier.
Episode 9 may not have been the strongest comedically, but it was one of the most emotionally rich episodes of television I have ever seen. Harley’s yearning for a happy life with the girl of her dreams is universal, and the pain and anguish she feels following Ivy’s rejection is palpable. Seriously, if you have a soul and even the tiniest bit of investment in this story, your heart will be in your knees before all’s said and done.
“Bachelorette” impaled my heart on a tree stump Logan style, making it a series highlight in my opinion. I just hope they lay off the poop jokes next week. Thanks for reading, and tune in next week for our review of episode 10! As the season draws ever nearer to it’s conclusion, relationships will be strained, hearts will be broken and blood will be spilled.
Who’s next on the emotional chopping block? Find out next week, only on DC Universe! And also SYFY occasionally! But not HBOMax, despite it being a DC hub.