What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about DC Universe’s Harley Quinn “Bensonhurst”! Ever since the first time I saw the title of this episode, I had big questions about what this one meant. Every other episode pretty much spoke for itself when it came to giving us an expectation. This one did not, and it wasn’t until they started promoting this episode did we have an idea as to what Harley was going to get herself into next now that she has been abandoned by her crew and closest friend.
This week was definitely something different. For the most part this one was all about Harley, and after so many episode where she has shared the screentime with friends, allies, and enemies, this was a refreshing change of pace to take a step back and simply explore the mindset of Harley on her own. What you only couldn’t have expected, was that this would mean taking a trip back home to Harley’s old stomping grounds with her parents. An opportunity that most of us should actually appreciate considering in the comics, this is one of those stories where you would leave this background information to your imagination. As far as we all knew or ever really needed to know up to this point was that Harley was a doctor, had a living family before her transformation, and left all of that behind after it. So this was definitely going to be a treat no matter how it turned out.
Meeting Harley’s family was a fun ride. You would think that the craziness started when Harley was first introduced to The Joker, and then this episode comes along and you find yourself so wrong. If anything, that acid bath only took whatever craziness lied inside of Harley and magnified it. Getting to know her mother and her father was an enlightening experience. On one hand the mother seemed normal, and on the other hand we learned exactly what was meant by her dad being deadbeat. The relationship we came to understand between them was the real breath of fresh air. It was welcomed having this one person who she genuinely despised. Not for superficial reasons, but for something that truly affected her and the direction she took in life. In some ways her relationship was also relatable when it is a thing when a parent puts their needs before their kid’s.
How the madness in her own home began was a shocker. The execution was quite brilliant because this should be a family where things out of the ordinary should come as a surprise, and yet here they all were thrown for a loop when trouble comes flying through their window. That Harley herself could be so caught off guard made a statement knowing that there are lines that even she would not cross to get someone back.
There was action in this episode, and the choreography and brutality of it made the wait through the past couple of episodes worth it. If there was one concern you had about this second half of the season, it was definitely the fact that things seemed like they were calming down. For better or for worse, we all got hooked on this show for the scenes where **** hits the fan. The good thing was that they delivered on this, they pulled no punches, though they also didn’t go too over the top with it. Even at a time like this you got to give credit where it is due that these writers and animators know where to strike that balance between style and substance. With that said, the second action sequence was the kicker, because of course that was where we would learn just how dangerous Harley’s father really is. It’s a scene which hits hard when Harley is hit with the realization both emotionally and physically that love was not where she thought she would find it in Bensonhurst.
Aside from this, it was a slow crawl getting through what came next for Ivy. You would have thought that her situation was going to be handled this week, though they used that time for the most part to set events in motion for the rescue. Of course that was going to happen, so the question was how Ivy would eventually get the attention of someone who could get her the help she needed. It was all very interesting as well since we were seeing Ivy use her powers in a creative way. At the same time it was hilarious since the first person she was able to reach out to was probably the most unreliable. Not to mention the most talkative.
After the past couple of slower episodes of Harley Quinn there was no better time than now for things to pick up again with “Bensonhurst”. This was a once in a lifetime experience to get from Harley, the action once again knocked you at the edge of your seat, and even in spite of Harley’s frustration at this developing situation she and others did not fail to make us laugh once more. Not that there wasn’t reasons to laugh with previous episodes, but this one was actually trying to go to that place again.