Episode 7 Review
Harley Quinn is still being ignored by the Legion of Doom so going on Queen of Fables' advice, sets off to steal what even they couldn't steal, a Kord Industries Weather Machine but not before going on another heist in preparation for that heist then getting entangled with Fables after she is released from the U.S. Tax Code book and learning just how much of a bad guy she really is. Harley's personal code about indiscriminate killing gets tested when a survivor from Fables' bloodbath arrives at the lair to get revenge. In the meantime, Poison Ivy comes to grips with her secret relationship with... Kite Man.
Yes, the episode isn't being subtle about what it's about this week. "The Line" focuses on Harley's rule about killing and the line she isn't willing to cross even though she's a super villain who's gone solo and is trying to get into the Legion of Doom. She'll put a beat down on those who deserve it, but she won't let innocent lives be lost or sacrifice friends. Though it's only fitting that her mentor, Queen of Fables, is the one to challenge her rule. Instead of following a typical straight structure, this heist is a wee bit more complicated. First, the crew heads out to steal a personal force-field from S.T.A.R. Labs so they can steal the weather machine from Kord Industries. But along the way, Harley springs Queen of Fables after a judge rules she is to serve the rest of her prison sentence at Arkham Asylum once Zatanna freed her from the tax code. As payback, Fables tags along on the first heist. But she elects to be a distraction after a participant in a nearby family reunion sees them. The crew pulls off the heist but they discover Fables slaughtered the entire family using the Big Bad Wolf and stresses it's important to end the bloodline of whoever is a threat to you and leave no survivors. And like, well, every time, Harley realizes Ivy was right and in this case, Fables was a bona fide super villain who deserved to rot in Arkham. And after a tense moment, Fables splits. The crew gets their weather machine and blackmails the mayor but... Fables is back and wants the machine for herself. But because of Harley's mistake, the lone survivor of the massacre arrives hellbent on getting revenge and in his grief got electric powers. Despite everything, Harley once again uses her brains and instead of compromising her rule, uses the force field to save Fables' life and knock out Jason Praxis. Though Fables still warns her she'll regret not killing her then fatally kills Praxis. So buckle up, it's a really graphic episode in the violence department.
Like last week, Harley's crew are pretty much set up in their static roles in this episode and are there to react to Fables' violent tendencies. Because well, Fables is the big guest star who gets the main focus. Still, some good character moments we've come to enjoy are peppered into the episode. Clayface goes overboard on his latest persona and drops a few pop culture references. King Shark points out the obvious like how stealing the unstealable might be best not attempted and is alarmed by new things, namely the Cinderella Mouse who Fables conjures to help in the heists. Dr. Psycho is Dr. Psycho but a few tidbits like he taught Evil 101 at Boston College and can generate a force field of sorts while on cough syrup. One gripe is Frank's appearances lately have been muted, which is real shame because he was a hoot in the early episodes.
There's also a decent focus for Poison Ivy in the B-story. As if it hasn't been obvious, there was something going on that Ivy was keeping on the down low sort of. She's been seeing Kite Man. And naturally, she's a little embarrassed about it. To her surprise, Kite Man wants to forgo the usual meet up at a motel and go out in public. Then things go downhill when Kite Man can't get a table at the restaurant of choice, Martha's Bruce Steakhouse. Then Riddler pops in with no reservation and gets seated right away. And super awkward when Ivy declines to name drop herself to get the table. Kite Man finally catches on. Humiliated, he leaves. In an intriguing move, Ivy grows as a character and goes to Kite Man's apartment to apologize. We get a little peek into Ivy's mindset, past the bravado of being the bad ass who doesn't care about others. It turns out she actually does and lacks real confidence, hence why she's charmed by Kite Man's insane level of confidence in himself. Rather than only Harley like we've been led to believe, Ivy openly admits she likes Kite Man. When his roommate Bill arrives, Ivy even admits she's Kite Man's girlfriend.
Wanda Sykes was amazing in her extended screen time this week and she made it look effortless, revealing what kind of person the Queen of Fables really is when she's not just a talking book. The other guest actor of the week is Phil LaMarr. Obviously most famous as the voice of Green Lantern John Stewart and Static Shock, LaMarr voices Jason Praxis. Yes, Praxis is from the comics and a rather obscure late 80s/early 90s character to boot. Even more amusing is his power set in this episode is actually that of his "white whale" in the comics, a electrokinetic serial killer named Richard Ridditch while Praxis himself had telepathy and telekinesis and for time was a police detective. But in his animation debut, Praxis is simply the lesson made manifest. It's not LaMarr's opus but a fun role nonetheless. Fables went on about her insane rule of killing everyone in a target's family to prevent a revenge scenario to which Harley breaks and the last act is when Praxis appears, forcing Harley to use her brains without breaking her own rule about killing.
The episode does have a decent spread references aside from the constant Legion of Doom mentions. In the pop culture realm, there's a mention of classic TV series ALF, turns out Harley's favorite book is Clive Cussler's Sahara, Clayface thinks he hears a line out of Mamma Mia, Harley name drops Tinder, Fables mentions the B. Dalton and Waldenbooks book stores, Kite Man name drops REI, and Clayface's password involves Neil Patrick Harris. In terms of DC, Harley combs through stock photos of Bane, Sinestro, Grodd, and Joker. Ivy is reminded of her Earth Day murder of the ACE Chemicals head. Fables was going to be taken to Arkham Asylum. The Teen Titans gets another mention. And the setting of the two heists were at S.T.A.R. Labs and Kord Industries. Zatanna gets in a cameo. And lastly, it's a who's who of fairy tales and nursery rhymes with Fables' conjurations. There's Humpty Dumpty, the Cinderella Mouse, Momma and Poppa Bear, Goldilocks, the Tortoise & the Hare, Puss n Boots, Tinkerbell, the Big Bad Wolf, the Three Little Pigs, Rapunzel, Rumpelstiltskin, and mentions of Bo Beep and the Three Blind Mice.
"The Line" is another solid episode. While graphically violent at times, the episode shines with its character study of both Harley Quinn and Poison Ivy. Instead of a lesson of the week, we get to see a focus on Harley's personal nature and how much of a killer she really is or isn't. Ivy gets a much needed focus and has a growing moment in accepting another person into her life. Though like she admits, despite all logic and reason, she and Kite Man are girlfriend and boyfriend. It should be fun to see how the rest of the cast reacts to that.
Rating: 8 out of 10