What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about DC Universe’s Harley Quinn “A Seat at the Table”. With a bit more time to stew on the events of last week’s episode, it was easier to understand how we have reached that point in the season where things would begin to wind down. The craziness and madness made sense when Harley was trying to make a splash and grab the attention of the Legion. Though now that she has their attention and accepted into the fold? This is the point where it should be expected more that she begins figuring out the kind of person or villain she really wants to be.
Now where last week moved a bit slow, this week picked up the pacing. Even if it was just a little. If anyone was looking forward to more craziness, then this was entirely that episode for you. Not when of course this would be the time that they take to really give Harley the experience she had been craving since she first broke it off with the Joker. This was her time to be in with the Legion and let the win sink in. With that said, obviously one would think that they would take this opportunity to keep us on our toes about the unexpected. However, this also wasn’t the time for that. This was always going to be one of those things where things had to be too good to be true.
There was one thing expected more than anything else, and that was the fact that Harley naturally would find she must spend time with The Joker. It was no big shocker what the answer would even be to if Harley backslides into her old toxic relationship with Gotham’s Clown Prince of Crime. One of the biggest things emphasized about Harley up to this point is that no matter how many steps she takes forward, she is a creature of habit. Worse than that? She is your typical person who doesn’t know how to permanently walk away from a toxic relationship. Its a real thing, and so far this animated series has handled that very well. In he books we simply jumped o that point in the future where Harley for the most part had all of this figured out. Though for this show we are here in the dirty bits where walking away and staying away is easier said than done.
Credit where it is due, the writing for The Joker was brilliant for all the ways he knows how to talk his way into getting whatever he wants. Harley may have the IQ and PhD, but that does not ignore the fact that manipulating people the way The Joker does is deeply rooted in his DNA. That it took Harley so long to genuinely understand this was frustrating, but the process was worthwhile to spend the time on.
If there was one worry about Harley joining the Legion, it was the idea that everyone would be offered the same seat at the table. Since the start of Harley putting this crew together, a big thing was always her remembering the people she needs to make feel as important as her need to be recognized. For the rest of the crew, this was a big time for them to finally get something out of their adventures with this mad woman. The only problem I had with the direction that things took is that a villain like Psycho should have known what they were signing up for when joining back with the Legion. He personally wasn’t being accepted back as the big time villain he was before. So he more than the others should have had some idea as to where his value would lie at the end of the day. Aside from this, it was still entertaining to see what the experience is like from their perspective where everything is not as glamorous.
This week’s subplot for Ivy was another favorite. Even though we know the angle they are trying to play with Harley, there is something to appreciate about their approach towards it. If Harley was going to be the kind of friend who struggles being helped, then Ivy was going to have to be that friend who learned the hard way that there is only so much that you can do for a friend like that. It was a slow-crawl for Ivy reaching that breaking point, but it was worth the wait and build-up to that moment. Particularly when they put enough effort into Ivy being that kind of friend without ever truly sacrificing what’s more important to her than anything else. By the end of the episode, I loved that they also took a greater opportunity to put Ivy front and center in the middle of the action. I don’t know who would be crazy enough to cross someone as powerful as her? But it makes you anxious to see where that leads next week.
The big question by the end of “A Seat at the Table” was how far Harley would go to become her own person. Would she betray everything she stood for when climbing to the top? The answer we got to that was heartbreaking, but part of the journey we knew we would have to take with Harley when change doesn’t come so easily for someone who can’t get out of their own way.