Harley and Ivy

  After being dumped by the Joker, Harley Quinn teams up with Poison Ivy.
  Original Airdate: January 18, 1993
  Episode # 56
  Rating: * * *

Credits Cast

Written by Paul Dini
Directed by Boyd Kirkland
Music by Michael McCuistion, Peter Davison
      & Shirley Walker
Animation by Dong Yang

Kevin Conroy as Bruce Wayne
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. as Alfred
Mark Hamill as the Joker
Arleen Sorkin as Harley Quinn

Diane Pershing as Poison Ivy
Robert Constanzo as Rocco
Ingrid Oliu as Renee Montoya
Neil Ross as Chairman

Okay, okay, everyone says "Thelma and Louise" after seeing this episode (though writer Paul Dini says he hadn't seen that film before penning this episode). But although there's a lot of chin music about "sisterhood" in the episode, it is not terribly convincing. Poison Ivy is too rooted in plant life to care about other people; her impatience with Harley's pining for "Puddin'" is symptomatic of a deeper impatience with the complexities of human relationships (as "House and Garden" conclusively demonstrates). And Harley, of course, can't shake the past, finding her beloved's face even in a plate of greens.

So it is her relationship with the Joker that catches my attention. The entire episode begins with a quarrel between them, after all, and even if the story is not, strictly speaking, about how that quarrel is resolved, it forms the entire backbone of the story. The female gang angle is episodic and develops only as a series of shootings and robberies. Instead we spend our time waiting for Harley and the Joker to get back together. We never for a moment believe that they won't reconcile, somehow.

It's interesting to see their relationship from the inside. Harley's love may be kind of twisted, but doesn't seem any less genuine for it. Those scenes of domestic comedy—he can't find his socks, and the mutts have turned sour—suggest that even a dysfunctional relationship as zany as theirs has its humdrum side. Like many an abusive spouse, the Joker thinks of his helpmeet as a domestic servant. But she needs him as much as he needs her. "Harlequinade" more clearly illustrates the theme, but it is already implicit here: The rocks in her head are a perfect fit for the holes in his.

Production Notes
Paul Dini: "We wanted this as our first prime time show, and Fox was going to run it. Then a Fox excutive saw it and said 'What the hell is this? Batman's not in this episode. He's only in it at the end? The whole episode is two girls running around in their underwear. There's no boy appeal here.' I said, 'Well, maybe not any boys you know.' "

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What Others Are Saying ...
"A real girl power episode from beginning to end that anyone can enjoy."World's Finest

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