Episode 16 Review
Harley, Ivy, and the Crew are unable to get past the ice wall into Mr. Freeze's territory but thanks to two goons running off their mouths, a solution is revealed, Firefly's plasma flamethrower but it's currently in the possession of one Dr. Trap at the Gotham Natural History Museum. A simple smash and grab is complicated by the fact that Dr. Trap has installed numerous fatal death traps in the museum, forcing Harley to recruit the services of the not-so-trustworthy Catwoman.
Harley Quinn finally opens up to Poison Ivy she thinks she could do better than Kite Man and she doesn't have to accept the first guy who's nice to her. Ivy counters with her ex-boyfriend and the implication she doesn't know what it means to be treated well by a significant other. Harley is about to bash the front doors but they open themselves. After channeling her missed opportunity to a bust, they head inside and meet Dr. Trap. The room is filled with masks, weapons, and mementos of various super villains. He invites them to take the flamethrower if they can survive his traps. Harley notices the Penguin's trick umbrella and reckons it's worth more since she's killed him. She tries her luck and tosses a coin at the display case, triggering two sets of spears to shoot out at the display followed by flames. Ivy states the obvious, they have to rethink their plan.
Meanwhile, Dr. Psycho brings Bud and Lou their helping of dog treats but gets taunted by Riddler, still running the wheel powering the mall's utilities. Psycho tries to brush him off until Riddler makes a veiled threat to get even. Psycho counters he should have been offered a spot on the Injustice League if he was ever interested in a real collaboration. Riddler is amused he thinks they're of the same class of supervillain and points out he's been reduced to a babysitter with no friends and doesn't even go out on heists anymore. Psycho hears enough and uses his telepathy but Riddler can't be controlled so easily so he pathetically throws the cache of looted body butter bottles at him. Riddler asks if he has anything for thinning hair. Elsewhere in the city, Harley takes Ivy to Chez Feline for lunch. Ivy quickly catches on the burglar Harley has recruited is Catwoman. Harley tries to hype it up as a reunion heist then brings up a caper Ivy and Catwoman did in the Amazon. Ivy informs her Catwoman didn't help her take down the loggers, ditched her for a blood diamond, left her to pay the entire hotel bill, and treated herself to a bunch of spa treatments. Harley suggests it could be a much needed exercise in emotional boundaries. Ivy starts going off on how terrible Catwoman is and just wants to leave but it's too late. Catwoman has arrived and Ivy's demeanor suddenly changes into a pushover to Harley's chagrin. Catwoman tells them she's in, mainly because an Egyptian ruby at the museum is now in her sights.
That night, Catwoman is fashionably late and learns Ivy is dating Kite Man. Kite Man makes up an excuse he is deathly afraid of traps and elects to play look out. Ivy fangirls over Catwoman does her signature move carving a circle of glass out of the skylight. Harley tries to take charge but Catwoman won't have any of her catsplaining and tells them to let her deal with the traps and just follow her. Kite Man stops Harley once it's just the two of them and asks for her help in stealing the Leaf-Shaped Diamond Ring so he can properly propose to Ivy. Harley isn't thrilled. More so after Kite Man trips on a pencil on the floor. Ivy and Catwoman navigate traps while the latter brings up the boyfriend situation despite the whole hatred of people shtick. Catwoman is more put off when she learns the flamethrower isn't for any environmental caper but to help out Harley. She laments Ivy used to have a clear brand and asks her when was the last time she did something for the environment. Ivy tries to deflect and asks her when it was the last time she stole jewels. To her surprise, Catwoman is decked out in jewels all of a sudden. Kite Man is not doing so well against the traps but surprises Harley by knowing the real Ivy is really a supportive, understanding, caring, and funny woman who can control plants. Harley is ready to really help get the ring but Kite is launched into a web and attacked by mutated spiders.
Dr. Psycho vents his frustrations out on Frank but learns the Riddler escaped using the body butter to slip free from his harness. Psycho orders everyone to fan out and search for Riddler before Harley gets back. Catwoman doesn't get the usefulness of team work and brings Ivy to the finish line while Harley and a heavily wounded Kite Man arrive at the same time. Kite Man attempts to propose but discovers Catwoman swiped the ring on her way out. To make matters worse, they are trapped after Harley removes Firefly's flamethrower from its case. Things don't go as well for Psycho either and he gets darted by Sy Borgman who mistook him for Riddler. Ivy starts believing Catwoman's claims of working solo being better but Harley realizes the flamethrower can get them free. Dr. Trap backs off and tries to persuade them to leave but Harley introduces him to her bat. Harley is understandably irritated to learn the Riddler has escaped but they find him in the wheel room with Psycho running instead. Riddler reveals he has it pretty good as their human battery and promises to escape when he feels like it. Harley joins Ivy in murdering Ace Chemicals' Board of Directors with their own illegally dumped toxic waste. She admits to Ivy that Kite Man is growing on her and tells her she'll never be Catwoman because she was people who lover her. Ivy admits she is happier but it is hard to let go of her past self. Ivy goes to Kite Man's apartment and tells him to ask her again.
"Trapped" introduces two super villains, an A-lister and a...lesser known. Subject of an amusing name drop last season, Catwoman makes her official debut at last and is voiced by Sanaa Lathan, known for various roles such as 2000's Love & Basketball, the protagonist in that Alien vs. Predator movie not many Alien or Predator fans like talking about, the voice of Donna Tubbs in The Cleveland Show and Family Guy or her Tony nominated performance in A Raisin in the Sun. Catwoman and Poison Ivy make for an interesting dichotomy. While both are portrayed in this series as cooler than cool, it gets very apparent that Ivy was sort of emulating Catwoman and sublimating herself this whole time. And Catwoman, herself, is the cautionary tale who Ivy could have become without a friend like Harley Quinn or boyfriend in Kite Man. An unrivaled supervillain who is trapped in the belief she can't depend on others and can only rely on herself to get what she wants in life. Harley is keen enough to point out to Ivy that Catwoman only cared about getting herself out of the museum with a pay off, in this case it was Kite Man's engagement ring, and she left them to rot in a death trap. And she's a cat hoarder who can never leave Gotham to go on vacation. It's enough to unsettle Ivy and make her question what she wants in life. But with Harley's sage words, she knows she's happier than she used to be, has a friend support system, and could have a future with Kite Man while Catwoman just has her 19 cats. This is not the last we'll see of Catwoman and it should be entertaining to see her clash with Harley and co. again or how she'll fare against a more actualized Poison Ivy. Time will tell.
As for the "lesser known," Dr. Trap is a character from the modern run of DC Comics, and a minor villain in the Manhunter and Martian Manhunter comics but did clash with Harley once in the early 2000s. His moniker says it all but he also has the mechanical jaw a la Richard Kiel's Jaws or He-Man's Trap-Jaw. On the show, he's portrayed more as a dweeb who excels at death traps. Alan Tudyk makes that abundantly clear. Dr. Trap has found the ultimate pieces of cheese to lure unsuspecting victims into his over the top traps, the belongings of various super villains he stole in the aftermath of Joker's earthquake. However difficult his creations are, Dr. Trap is overconfident in himself and his true colors as a one note D-list villain shines through when Harley escapes from the glass trap and he's utterly helpless against her one-on-one.
A lot like Baneton last week, this episode is somewhat of a soft introduction to Mr. Freeze's territory and also establishes Freeze won't be a push over either. But more pronounced that last week is more insight into Dr. Psycho's growing frustrations. Picking up on his "fall from grace" last season, Riddler brings out his inner rage. Riddler scoffs at the notion that Psycho should have been invited to join the Injustice League and given his own territory and thinks of him more as a babysitter and washed up goon. Psycho only seems to prove him right has Riddler resists his telepathy, childish use of telekinesis, and manipulates Psycho into proving he can't even do something as simple as guard him. And to make matters worse, his attempt to lead the Crew is a failure and he ends up darted by Sy by mistake then subjected to running the hamster wheel. In addition to Psycho's arc, there's also the instance of Kite Man trying to take his relationship to the next level while Ivy is jilted by Catwoman about how off brand she's strayed from the feared environmental terrorist. It can't be some coincidence that Harley's allies are all feeling the same sort of thing at the same time so could the Crew be headed towards another break up? Plus, the Injustice League isn't all that big and there's only 3 members left to pick off. Logically, the war against the League should be enough to last the first half of the season but what of the other half? Obviously, if Harley makes good on her promise and takes down the League, she'll need allies to run the now leaderless territories and it would make sense she install each of her Crew as the new figureheads but how long and how well could that work out?
"Trapped" is a side-quest in Harley's agenda to defeat the Injustice League but nevertheless an important character-driven story for this season for Poison Ivy and Dr. Psycho who both feel trapped in their current predicaments and feel they strayed far from who they used to be. The timely debut of Catwoman inadvertently helps Ivy get out of her funk and take a step forward in life. But it isn't all just them as Harley starts to understand Kite Man's appeal and acquires Firefly's plasma flamethrower so she can take on Mr. Freeze next. Although, Harley has to lead and take care of her crew, too, instead of narrowly focusing on her war at hand.
Rating: 8 out of 10