Although initially setting “Trapped” up as a fun heist, writer Sarah Peters quickly shifts the narrative to an introspective look at Harley’s bestie Ivy, in a heartwarming character arc, exploring her roots through a cameo from fan favourite anti-hero Selina Kyle/Catwoman (Sanaa Lathan).
With Harley not resting until she buries “each and every one of those Injustice League f*****s who stole Gotham from me”, the gang head to Mr Freeze territory, but quickly find themselves in a chilly predicament; they can’t get through the encasing ice. Thanks to a hilarious exposition dump from Mr Freeze’s goons, the crew head to the Natural History Museum to retrieve Firefly’s flamethrower to help in their fight against Victor Fries. Problem is they need to team up with the best cat burglar in the business to retrieve the artefact, as Mr Trap has booby trapped the joint, but Catwoman and Ivy have a complicated history…
The simple yet enjoyable narrative in “Trapped” continues in a similar vein to last week’s episode as Harley and Ivy’s mission serves as the main A plot, which cleverly introduces a brand new DC character to the animated show. This week’s new addition comes in the form of Sanaa Lathan’s uber confident Catwoman, who’s colourful relationship with Ivy nicely fleshes out the anti-hero’s past. While Ivy fangirls over Catwoman, Kite Man goes on his own endearing quest with Harley as he attempts to retrieve a leaf shaped diamond for his girlfriend, in a fun sequence featuring many failed booby traps involving arrows and bee stings, ouch!
There’s an intriguing dynamic in the episode as Ivy attempts to justify her newly settled lifestyle to the alluring but cold Catwoman, while Kite Man kinda wins Harley over as he confesses his true feelings for her BFF. Initially jealous of Catwoman’s international lifestyle, stealing and doing whatever she wants, Harley quickly points out that Ivy’s surrounded by people who love her (and not just a whole bunch of cats) in a surprisingly warm message. There’s also some nice DC easter eggs in the museum, including an intriguing Deathstroke tease!
Concurrently, Doctor Psycho, King Shark, Cy, and Frank the Plant have a silly but fun adventure in the episode’s B plot, as the Riddler proves a hilarious antagonist for the telepath. Exploiting his inadequacy for leadership and mocking him for merely turning into Harley’s sidekick, the Riddler manages to make his escape. Jim Rash’s villain makes for great comedy as he plays on Psycho’s need to be accepted; I’ll be intrigued to see more from these two as I have a sneaking suspicion Nygma may cause division between the ranks. Also it’s great to see Bud and Lou make an another appearance!
“Trapped” provides some genuine character development for Ivy, (who, let’s face it, is the most solid character in the show) but overall the episode feels like it’s really just building up to next week’s instalment and the eventual showdown with Mr Freeze. Featuring a touching moment between Harley and Ivy which will undoubtedly please long serving fans of the character, the episode ends on a bit of a confusing note, seemingly changing the dynamic between Ivy, Kite Man and Harley. With the showrunners previously commenting that this season will explore Harley and Ivy’s relationship further, I’m rather intrigued to see just how this will play out.