While the series has long established itself as one that is absolutely fearless in tackling absurd, violent, radical storytelling, Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 6 manages to surprise. By killing an actual superhero, the series has further upped the ante on what it’s able and willing to do to create greater moments of tension even as it’s imbued with the requisite silliness. Even greater than the death in question which the events of the episode revolve around, “Metamorphoses” proves that the series is hitting a high point in its storytelling with some of the most ambitious plotting we’ve seen yet in this DC adaptation.
Dick, aka, Nightwing, has died. And while it’s a moment that in any other adaptation would be treated with gravity, here, the mourners are given complimentary pillows “for sad screaming” to cry into, his coffin having been shaped as a giant butt, in honor of one of his more celebrated assets. The remaining Bat Family are on edge, with Damian happy for the eventual rescue by his mother, wearing a bulletproof vest over his costume. Harley is trying to hold it together while Barbara is barely doing that much, enraged and conflicted following her teammate’s murder.
Because the big question of the episode comes down to who actually did kill Nightwing. From the jump there are assumptions. The Natural Disasters, Volcana, Terra, and Tefe seem like possibilities considering their bizarre absence in last week’s episode, “Getting Ice Dick, Don’t Wait Up.” Even Harley herself can’t be ruled out due to her continued bouts of violent sleepwalking. While it’s so far been relatively harmless as she stabs pillows and screams into closets, there’s no discrediting the fact that repressing some of her more violent impulses could’ve resulted in the death of Dick.
Batgirl fairly believes that even if Ivy didn’t kill him herself, she’s responsible considering her position of power. Harley refuses to believe it and is pacified by Ivy’s response when she asks her upfront, but it puts in stark contrast the different levels of complications both are running into while pursuing their own goals. It begs the question of if they’ve always brought out the best in one another, and that’s why they’re stumbling while separated, or if they’re more fundamentally different than when we first met them and rooted for their romance.
Because Ivy continues to miss calls and dodge questions from Ivy as she builds her empire. She begins the episode enjoying time with the Evil Women in Business Collective at the Lazarus spas (hilarious) and ends it with young girls cheering for her after a giant version of her assistant has been killed in a spectacularly gory manner by Natural Disasters. Adopting more of an Uma Thurman version of Poison Ivy look, this is a version of the character who has become obsessed with crafting her own image, especially if it goes against what’s expected of her.
That said, we have to wonder if the return of the Joker to villainy is going to pose any major disruptions to her success. It seems like it would need to be a line in the sand considering his past with Harley, though he’s confessional in the ending pushes things further into chaos. Harley, continually caught in the middle of the mayhem as she tries to speak with her girlfriend while holding Batgirl back from going on a drunken rampage, is further confused when she sees what looks to be her among the crowd of villains celebrating the news of who killed Nightwing, wondering if she’s once again dreaming, or if her mirror self was real.
As is the case with all of the show’s best episodes, Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 6 excutes the finest balance of carnage and wit. From Security Guard Gordon treating his adult daughter as if she’s still teething, to Ivy’s absolute disdain for bras with underwire and Almond Milk, to the brief moment with Alfred as he continues to hope to be admitted into fancy prison with his “Master Bruce,” there’s bits and pieces of humor than could’ve been their own entire episode. Though the idea of an episode dedicated fully to the dysfunction of the Gordon family seems too depressing to sit through. And still, with all these pocket asides “Metamorphoses” manages to deliver one of the season’s most tightly written episodes, delivering answers by the end of Dick’s death and who is responsible while further setting into motion greater mysteries to be unraveled.
Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 6 delights in the gore it gets to indulge in while demonstrating the chaos that happens when a hero is killed. As we hit the midway point of the season, the series and its terrific writers are determinedly crafting a story that begs more questions before settling on answers, as our characters continue to shift in front of our eyes into varying versions of themselves, as they, namely Harley, remain stuck as she tries to figure out who she is, where she belongs, and how she achieves her goals. That this happens in an episode where an army of PR consultants conjoin to create a giant version of themselves and Gordon helps King Shark with parenthood just demonstrates the extreme balancing act this show is operating on.
Harley Quinn Season 4 airs on Max with new episodes each Thursday.
Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 6
Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 6 delights in the gore it gets to indulge in while demonstrating the chaos that happens when a hero is killed. As we hit the midway point of the season, the series and its terrific writers are determinedly crafting a story…