What’s up everyone! Welcome to Beyond The Panel. Coming at you today with talk about the DC Universe’s Harley Quinn “Thawing Hearts”! Last week’s episode was a fun set-up for Harley’s next confrontation. Not only that, it was one you admired for the first time in a while that we have seen the Gotham City Sirens outside of the books. This was the episode I was looking forward to a lot, because what do you think Harley has in store for the very guy who put her on ice? That kind of embarrassment does not come without a response!
Now when I got to the end of this episode, color me shocked by how different this turned out from what was expected. Sometimes you can get so used to one format that it’s hard to see events unfolding any other way. For me, it seemed so easy to assume that this was going to be Harley and company trying to take one villain down after the next. You know, they infiltrate, find out that they got themselves into something worse than what they prepare for, and then cleverly found some way to turn things in their favor. However, that was not quite how things went down with Mr. Freeze. Once more they focused on substance over everything else and it really paid off by the end of the episode.
Of course this is not to say there wasn’t some violence to indulge in. That opening scene was gold for the fact that Harley, Shark, Psycho, and Clayface were so casual about killing grunts. I felt speechless as they were juggling humorous banter with taking these guys out brutally. Cracking skulls, biting them in half, decapitating them, all these things were happening and not a single one of them batted an eye. I loved how natural this all seems from a villain’s perspective. Always I will say that if you are going to write villains, you go big or go home.
What took me by surprise was the endearment that went into the writing for Mr. Freeze. In most cases when he is written, most have moved past his desperate need to save his wife. They focus more on the lengths he is willing to go to save Nora, or the things he does because that’s not what’s on his mind. This episode focused solely on what he was willing to do to save Nora, and I’m glad that this was something they even foreshadowed before the dawn of New Gotham really kicked off. Overall, Mr. Freeze was very different from dealing with Penguin or Riddler. Those two are egomaniacs who are only out for number one. With Freeze there was a breath of fresh air where the only danger Harley and friends faced was the danger they put themselves in.
At the same time you had to admire what he was able to bring out in Harley. Once more she was a creature of habit, and they did not fail to show her the error of being in that mindset. Between the Ivy being engaged to Kite Man, and seeing the depths of Freeze’s marriage, this was an excellent time for them to address what a real relationship is supposed to look like for someone who has not experienced genuine love.
Speaking of Ivy and Kite Man, it was entertaining to see their struggles with trying to impress the manager of Kite Man’s ideal wedding venue. This could have easily been seen as a detractor from something else going on that was more important, but you have to appreciate that at the core they are taking this thing seriously between them. After an episode like this, you see their relationship more for what it is. What it looks like when there is a healthy relationship to invest in. Who knows if the wedding will actually be a thing, but the journey has been worth it so far.
DC Universe’s Harley Quinn “Thawing Hearts” really does manage to melt your heart. If you were expecting this to be another chaotic battle because Mr. Freeze is higher up on the food chain? This episode catches you off guard with a plot that journeys into matters more sincere.