Following last week’s Bat-centric chapter, Harley and Ivy are back (woo!) but in another side step of an episode, as their mission to take back New New Gotham is halted as they take a trip down memory lane. Following the popularity of the recent graphic novel Harleen by Stjepan Šejić, it was just a matter of time in which the writers would return to Arkham Asylum to retell Harley’s origin tale, complete with an interesting twist.
Harley and Ivy spot a seemingly ‘normie’ Joker as the new barman in their local pub following his fall in the normalizing acid, but can he really have changed so drastically?! The two debate whether people can truly change their nature as they revisit their experiences back in Arkham Asylum, documenting Dr. Harleen Quinzel’s first meeting with Joker and Ivy.
Ok let’s address the elephant in the room; yes this is a flashback episode which doesn’t really progress the main narrative, also Harley’s crew hardly make an appearance, BUT we do get more Alan Tudyk as the Joker which is never a bad thing! Incase you’re worrying this episode retreads old ground with Harleen’s origin, the writers do give it a little Harley Quinn twist, as Harley and Ivy’s relationship is also established in the episode in a touching scene. I’ve always wondered how the two became best friends and the seeds are definitely planted in the sixth instalment, as Ivy admitted she gave up on humans until she met Harley.
Meanwhile we also meet a pre-Two Face Harvey Dent and his hilarious bromantic dynamic with Gordon, as the two compete to be the most manly through squats and push ups. I’m genuinely intrigued to know what happened to the police commissioner to go from this to the current iteration! The episode is also peppered with a few easter eggs, as we get some cameos from other Batman villains including Killer Croc, Scarecrow, Riddler, Man-Bat and Calendar Man, along with a cheeky reference to Jason Todd.
Overall “All the best inmates have daddy issues” is a fun filler episode which marks the return of Tudyk’s zany take on the Joker and leaves us with the question, is this new normie Joker truly changed? That cackle at the end definitely left me questioning the transformation…Hopefully next week we’ll finally head to Bane Town!