Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 8 reminds viewers of the series’ chaotic insistence that every character operates in a larger-than-life sphere. While Harley and Ivy take the backseat as we learn what happened in their six-day absence to lead to their current apocalyptic state, Nora and Bane are given the spotlight in two hilariously opposing storylines. The focus on Bane is a particular delight following three seasons of this downtrodden take on the character being a consistent highlight.
Nora, Ivy’s assistant, is desperate for a hookup, believing that by working alone on a Sunday at the League of Villains headquarters she’ll be able to get with Captain Cold. Bane is desperate for a romantic connection — with Nora — and has been traveling to Italy on a quest to fix Ivy’s pasta maker at Nora’s request, a continuation of an ongoing joke from the past couple of seasons. Neither achieves exactly what they want and while neither is responsible for the end days Harley and Ivy return to — that would be Lex — that’s what makes their stories so hilarious as they’re largely anecdotal.
Nora has largely amounted to little more than background fodder, good for a casual off-hand joke. Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 8 defends her continued plot involvement as she demonstrates that she’s highly capable on her own, even if she’s driven by a want for alone time and her own selfishness. She manages decently to stop Lex from attacking the tower and keeps Volcana away from him, though all of her efforts are for naught when, in the end, one of Lex’s main projects still manages to infect the atmosphere.
Nora’s storyline in “Il Buffone” highlights the series’ deep roster of characters. Nora, Captain Cold, King Shark, and Volcana are as random a grouping as they come but work as a comedic unit due to this. This is especially true in moments that highlight Captain Cold’s ineptitude such as shoving Volcana in a closet in an ill-advised means to hide her from Lex or Nora’s scrappy nature, such as using promotional items sent to Ivy to build an explosive. It’s the type of grouping that this desperate version of Lex deserves, whose apocalyptic goals are inspired by his want to get to Superman.
But for as funny as this group is as they wreak mayhem while trying to protect the tower from Lex, it’s Bane’s storyline that brings the biggest laughs and could’ve made up an entire episode. It’s the type of classic comedy vignette where a character is placed in increasingly ridiculous situations despite having one main objective.
Bane wants to fix the pasta maker so he goes to Italy where it was made to get a replacement part. This leads him to an elderly woman’s house who teaches him how to make his own pasta, which leads to their bonding, and her ultimate anger at him leaving. As she dangles his fingers over a meat grinder, she learns he’s friends with Clayface and begs a ticket off of him for his show which allows him to leave in peace. All of this to bring the fresh pasta back to Nora who can’t be bothered since she had pasta for lunch. It’s a long joke for a single gag and it works so expertly because it both adheres to timeless comedy structures (think The Simpsons or Seinfeld) while adding its own frenzied energy to it.
While the episode works as an aside, it does derail the overall plot, especially with only two episodes left and so many questions left unanswered such as Nightwing’s death and Harley’s doppelgänger. That said, Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 8 is a lightweight, hilarious episode that utilizes the colorful ensemble to fill in the gaps of the story with a superb and well-earned Bane sideplot. As we near the end of the season and wrap up the ongoing mysteries, the characters are once again faced with the end of the world as the series finds creative ways to tackle the looming threat.
Harley Quinn Season 4 airs on Max with new episodes each Thursday.
Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 8
Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 8 is a lightweight, hilarious episode that utilizes the colorful ensemble to fill in the gaps of the story with a superb and well-earned Bane sideplot.