If nothing else, Harley Quinn knows how to nail a finale. Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 10, “Killer’s Block” does a fine job at rounding up any loose threads of the season while promising even greater subject matter for its characters, whose growth is evident in key sequences. Harley, Ivy, and Batgirl have been put the emotional and psychical ringer, and the finale offers up both a culmination of that pain while also finding a way to channel it into chaotic good with a flare for deviance.
Essentially, Harley and Ivy blow stuff up, but they target the evil companies and make sure the areas have been evacuated first. This is them finding a middle ground and a way to use destruction for good and it’s a fabulous pivot for both characters. Harley has spent all season being tugged in two directions. On the one hand, she wants to be a hero who helps people. On the other, her caustic inclination for violence is at war with those heroic instincts. Even The Joker can’t get a read on her as she walks him around on a leash, threatening death and torture but never committing to it. He calls her a “normie” lambasting her inability to choose a side. If she hasn’t killed him yet to avenge Barbara — alive, but paralyzed and nearing her Oracle stage — she’s not going to. And they both know it.
Ivy too has been struggling and the ways in which her and Harley’s conflicts have mirrored one another while being vastly different in execution is just one example of how smart the writing on the show is. Ivy’s been so caught up in finally being recognized for her abilities and power that she didn’t realize she’s been Lex’s pawn this entire time, something he takes glee in announcing to an entire room of villains who all understand the rules of the game better than Ivy. In a move that parallels real life, Ivy realizes that the feminism she’s been engaging in, the women villains corporate league whose meets she’s been attending and leaving with little more than tote bags, is meant to be little more than virtue signaling. They can appear like they have power, but it’s still Lex who rules the game. Until, of course, they take over the atmosphere laser beam and Ivy calls in a favor from Steppenwolf.
But still, even if the end result is triumphant for Harley and Ivy, the moment between the two after Ivy’s public humiliation is heartfelt and well-earned, speaking directly to who they are as characters. They’ve spent the season trying to fit into organizations that refuse to budge and bend to their will, so they’re better off doing their own thing, their own way, and doing it together.
The way the series has increasingly become a biting satire of real-life plights has been joyous and it works best when Harley occupies that gray space. The show doesn’t seek to be relatable, nor should it, but it, like Bojack Horseman before it, introduces just enough thematic material that parallels real life to make its acidic nature burn greater.
While overall the episode is demonstrative of the series strengths, there are some elements that falter. Notably, the animation of Harley walking directly to the camera after announcing she doesn’t have to be a good guy or bad when she’s Harley Quinn is wonky at best. The animation is often one of the weaker aspects of the series, mainly due to character design inconsistencies. But this is one of the few moments where the choppy nature of the direction and animation is egregious. It’s sloppy in a way it so rarely is.
That said, the writing is tight, weaving together the threads of the season that make the Gotham City Sirens reveal deserved. Harley, Ivy, Batgirl, and Catwoman are going to be an absolute treat to get to see play out, especially as all but Catwoman have gone through their own mini-metamorphosis in Season 4. And while Talia Al Ghul is cooking up a mess for the group to contend with, Harley’s group has never seemed more formidable, this iteration the best it’s been after seasons of working with different variations of team members.
Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 10 is an excellent culmination of the major events that have taken place leading up to this point. Dedicated to Arleen Sorkin, the original voice and inspiration for Harley Quinn, who died late in August, and written by Sarah Peters, “Killer’s Block” fittingly dedicates itself to the evolution of the character. By embracing the fact that she’ll never fit simply in the world of heroes or villains, Harley Quinn hits its strongest notes by allowing the titular character to morph and change as needed, evolving with the situation and facing it head-on.
Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 10 is available now on Max.
Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 10
Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 10 is an excellent culmination of the major events that have taken place leading up to this point. By embracing the fact that she’ll never fit simply in the world of heroes or villains, Harley Quinn hits its strongest notes by allowing the titular character to morph and change as needed, evolving with the situation and facing it head-on.