[S3E2] There's No Ivy In Team
Should Bane decide to bury the hatchet, he could experience camaraderie and love if he joins Harley's crew. Harley's group has always had each other's back, whether it be against fellow Bat-rogues or the rebuilding Bat-family. It would be a nuanced storyline for them to help Bane find himself by working on his mental health, but he'd also fit the team's quirky brand of humor and scrub that lonely feeling underneath all those muscles. That would produce a bunch of wacky adventures for the rest of Harley Quinn Season 3.
[S3E2] There's No Ivy in Team
But Nightwing's attitude endangered the team in the field when they had to stop Firefly's crew and again Riddler's deadly escape room. It came out that he was struggling with depression after he let Tarantula kill Blockbuster and wondering if he could cut it as a superhero without Batman. After a teary breakdown, he realized that there was no need to skulk around or prove himself -- everyone had already accepted him.
The discrepancy between pun-spouting acrobat and brooding vigilante shifts ever so slightly when he returns to Wayne Manor, where the "Bat Family" expects him to be a team player. Here he resembles the too-cool eldest child, returning from his adventures in the world and here to demonstrate that he doesn't need any of them to do his job. Naturally, they saddle him with Alfred's vigilante alter-ego, "The Macaroni," who dresses like an extra from Dangerous Liaisons and flies a Bat-Copter that looks suspiciously like Adam West's. It's not great for his street cred.
Nightwing's emotional tie-in comes through Poison Ivy, who's struggling to fit in with her team just as Dick is with his. They have a strange/awkward bonding as they confront their shortcomings, and Nightwing suffers a complete meltdown after failing to solve the death trap they're both stuck in. The scene tosses out a pair of Easter eggs to connect its barbs to the comics, including a jab at the infamous Nightwing #93 by Tom Taylor and Bruno Redondo, in which Dick allowed fellow vigilante Tarantula to kill the villain Blockbuster. The issue earned criticism for its casual use of rape as a story trope and for its obvious emulation of Daredevil's "Born Again" storyline -- so naturally, Harley Quinn dives right in by citing the Blockbuster incident by name in the midst of Dick's sobbing collapse.
The discovery that his parents' death is being exploited to make yet another "trashy reboot" sets up a hilarious rant regarding how overplayed the death of Bruce Wayne's parents is in modern cinema. This complaint has been made by numerous critics and comic book fans, who have noted that Warner Bros. keeps telling the same stories with the Batman movies. The Dark Knight confirms the same problem exists in the world of Harley Quinn, noting that "every few years there's another film depicting the Waynes' murder."
Don't get me wrong. I adore Cameron and do believe he's always got the team's best interests at heart. But wouldn't Fisher be the logical choice? Lawman. Not in love with and/or living with anyone else on the team.
We get plenty of teases for other storylines too, such as Nightwing arriving in Gotham and his new mentorship with Batman. Bane also appears to walk into the abandoned shopping mall that our ragtag group of anti-heroes call home. Could this be the start of a potential new teamup?
The group finds themselves in the wrong place at the right time as multiple villages are being attacked by dragons. Determined to finally show off their heroism, the team embarks on a perilous journey to save the realm from the dragons, only to find themselves on the edge of a much larger, and personal, war.
All told, another solid episode of Gotham. Still lots and lots of plot to juggle. Hopefully the writers and showrunners are up for the challenge and can skillfully weave it all together and resolve everything. We still don't have an established Big Bad this season, which is odd. And like I said up above, there's little indication of where everything is headed exactly.
Ivy helps Oswald track down Victor Fries, who is still angry at Oswald for running him out of Gotham. Oswald offers to help Victor reverse his condition, so Victor agrees to help Oswald. They then look for Bridget, who is working in a welding factory. After Ivy hear how Bridget's boss talks to her, she convinces her to embrace what she has become, and Bridget goes with them. They hole up in Oswald's mansion, and Ivy breaks up a fight between Victor and Bridget, saying they are on the same team and calling them a family. Ivy sees Nygma on the news, and Oswald tells the group to rest up as tomorrow is going to be a busy day.
Despite Ivy's growth spurt into adulthood, she still showed signs of a child-like nature and immaturity; due to not having a natural progression growing up. When she teams up with Oswald Cobblepot to create themselves a gang of "freaks", she sees the union as a big happy family. Yet, she dislikes being talked down to and disrespected, as she aspires to be taken seriously in the criminal underworld.
Amazon Brigade: Ivy decides to make the new Legion of Doom that she will create and lead into the Ladies of Doom, an all women ("and nonbinaries") organization. Knockout is the first new recruit.
Breaking the Fourth Wall: Like in Eat. Bang! Kill. Tour, the comic begins with Harley addressing the audience and recapping what's just happened in the latest season of the series.
The Bus Came Back: Frank's stoner friend Chaz is back for the first time since Season 1.
Call-Back: The opening continues from the rooftop scene in the final Season 3 episode.
Bane is still mad at Todd the barista from the "A Seat at the Table" episode from Season 1, and still wants to kill him.
Harley and Ivy are told for the first time that they had won the Best Couple Villy Award.
Ivy and Harley find Peaches from Detroit has moved to Gotham.
Issue #5 ends with Ivy doing an Atomic F-Bomb like she did at the end of "Climax at Jazzapajizza".
Cheap Costume: To go crimefighting with the Bat Family, Harley puts together an outfit with a Bat-logo shower-curtain for a cape, a cowl (with bat-ears taped on) and one of Catwoman's old catsuits both re-colored dark red, and wears body paint to make her chalk-white skin look regular white-skin color.
Curb-Stomp Battle: Bane gets beaten to a messy pulp repeatedly, first by Harley and the Batfam working together, and then by Knockout all by herself.
From New York to Nowhere: Bane reveals that he's getting transferred to Tempe, Arizona.
Immediate Sequel: The comic's opening is on the rooftop with Harley now with the Batfam who are swinging down on their lines with Harley left to curse at them and having to take the stairs down.
Mythology Gag: Harley and Ivy first encounter Knockout while she's beating up Bane. Knockout and Bane (and King Shark) were teammates in the Secret Six, and Harley was very briefly with the team.
Knockout is a strip dancer at a club called the BoomBoom Room, which is how she debuted in the comics in 1994.
Nightwing tries monologuing, "What I am is VENGEANCE. I am the NIGHT. I...AM--" then is stopped by Damian citing copyright infringing.
Series Continuity Error: In the series, on becoming mayor the Joker declared that he was firing Gordon as police commissioner. Gordon turns up here seemingly still in charge of the police.