Harley Quinn is well on her way to becoming the Queenpin of Gotham City. She and her gang of misfits that include Poison Ivy, King Shark, Clayface, Sy Borgman, Dr. Psyco, and Kite Man (kind of) have successfully taken down the Penguin, the Riddler and last week Mr. Freeze. Now she must turn her attention to Two-Face and the very sensitive Bane. Which will she go after next? To find out we’ll have to tune in next week! This week’s episode of Harley Quinn doesn’t even show Harley or any of her associates. Episode five titled, Batman’s Back, Man, written by Sara Nevada Smith focuses on… you guessed it, Batman!
Bruce Wayne, voiced by Diedrich Bader, has finally awakened from his coma. When he looks out towards Gotham City, he finds his city in ruins. Unfortunately for him, his body is in no shape to get back into the Batsuit. But he wouldn’t be Batman if he didn’t try despite Alfred’s disapproval, especially after he finds out that there is a Batgirl running around Gotham wearing his logo… I mean symbol. He makes it a point to meet with Batgirl, voiced by Briana Cuoco, and warn her about the dangers of wearing the Bat-symbol.
He warns her that through years of hard work his symbol has built trust with the people of Gotham. Seeing it around the city could give them the impression that they could rest easy as Batman was there looking over them. This all backfires on him as Batgirl, an obvious millennial, goes live on social media to let her million-plus followers know that Batman was back! Now the Gotham citizens a false sense of hope that will put all in danger. Especially because Batman is in no shape for crime-fighting. This also leads the two remaining criminals Two-Face, voiced by Alan Tudyk, to try and convince Bane, voiced by James Adomian to team up together.
So how does a crippled Batman attempt to fight crime in his state? By having Lucious Fox make him a special suite of course. What he doesn’t anticipate is that in his first time out, he would be facing an enraged Bane. In a bloody battle, he is further crippled and captured by Two-Face’s goons. Lucky for him, Alfred has also created an alter-ego named the Macaroni. He along with Batgirl shows up and saves the day. At the end of the day, Bruce realizes that he is in no condition to fight. So he introduces her to Jim Gordon, voiced by Christopher Meloni, and lets him know that she will serve as the Bat for the time being.
This is a great episode that showcases two toxic traits with two characters. The first is Batman’s extreme ego. The second is Bane’s lack of self-esteem. Often it’s thought that Batman can do almost anything and the explanation is “because he’s Batman”. This episode showcases that if Batman’s ego runs wild, it could eventually lead to his death. Being fixated on thinking he is the only solution could lead him to have tunnel vision and not see other options. In this case, the option was letting Batgirl help out while he gets better. Also, I enjoyed the father and child back and forth that we saw between Bruce and Alfred throughout the episode. At some points even making Bruce seem like a spoiled child.
Bane is often pushed around by the other villains. Despite being an almost unstoppable physical force, Bane doesn’t take charge. This season he didn’t even have a seat at the table with the other villains. Instead of a cushy chair, he was forced to sit in a foldable chair in the corner. Even though it bothers Bane every time the other villains do something like this to him, he just lets it build up inside. Here Two-Face is in desperate need of muscle, so he manipulates Bane to be his partner. But Two-Face’s narcissism only allows him to make it a partnership by word of mouth alone. The name and image of only reflect Two-Face and not Bane. Something that pushes Bane over the edge and ends up almost costing Batman his life. Sadly when Bane confronts Two-Face again, he quickly once again manipulates him by comforting his insecurities.
Harley Quinn has not pulled any punches as far as making fun of its universe. But this episode takes an interesting shot at a group of people we call Fan Boys. At the beginning and end of the episode we see two middle-aged men in a basement. One wearing a “Release the Snyder Cut” shirt and the other wearing a “The Last Jedi is Not Canon” shirt. One of the characters just sounds off on Harley Quinn. He calls it a “heavy-handed female empowerment story… so basic.” Also, he says “why would I watch a show that is set in Gotham City but Batman is barely in it”. What is interesting is that he complains and complains but also seems to know a lot about the series. By the end of the episode, he has found something else to complain about. We all know a few people like this.
Another solid episode this week! Despite that the show’s focus is supposed to be Harley Quinn, I like that this season they have given a little more focus to some of the other characters like Poison Ivy two weeks ago and now Batman this week. It allows them to put Batman away for the rest of the season and give a little more attention to Batgirl. Now it’s just a matter of Harley and the Gang defeating the remaining villains. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the end, she has to come face to face again with the Joker before she can officially be the Queenpin of Gotham!
What are your thoughts on this week’s episode of Harley Quinn? Let us know in the comment section below!
DC Universe’s Harley Quinn Season 2 Episode 5, Batman’s Back, Man can be streamed now on their streaming platform!
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