Harley Quinn season 2, episode 4 recap – “Thawing Hearts”

May 3, 2020
Jonathon Wilson 0
TV Recaps

Summary

Harley takes on Mr. Freeze in “Thawing Hearts”, though she quickly discovers that his mad scientist routine might be in service of a nobler goal.

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Summary

Harley takes on Mr. Freeze in “Thawing Hearts”, though she quickly discovers that his mad scientist routine might be in service of a nobler goal.

This recap of Harley Quinn season 2, episode 4, “Thawing Hearts”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous episode by clicking these words.


And we return to New New Gotham in “Thawing Hearts”, a tellingly-titled episode centered on Mr. Freeze (Alfred Molina!) and his enduring ill-fated love story with his wife, Nora (Rachel Dratch). Since Freeze occupies one of the city’s new themed territories, Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) has made it her mission to kill him and wrest that neighborhood back for herself – after, of course, making an icy vagina tribute out of Firefly’s flamethrower. Female empowerment, and all that.

Speaking of which, there’s a subplot in Harley Quinn Season 2, Episode 4 in which Ivy (Lake Bell) and Kite Man (Matt Oberg) look for a wedding venue, with the latter somewhat predictably attempting to fussily micromanage the whole arrangement himself. It’s a neat gender reversal in-keeping with the show’s running themes, at least, but it also doesn’t really amount to much or feature as much fun gore and slapstick as the episode’s A-plot, so let’s get back to that.

So, Harley, King Shark (Ron Funches), Dr. Psycho (Tony Hale) and Clayface (Alan Tudyk, who also voices the Condiment King seen in the B-plot) take on Mr. Freeze, who here has had his camp and vaguely upper-crust etiquette dialed up to really enjoyably silly levels. His core story, though, of being desperately driven to save Nora at any cost, is retained – his beef with Harley is, in the first half of the episode at least, mostly down to the fact that she makes a fitting human test subject for his research.

But Ivy is a better medical option, and the latter half of “Thawing Hearts” shifts into redemptive territory, with Molina expertly handling the shift from mad scientist to tragi-comic anti-hero. When we get to the crux of Freeze’s motivation, which is and has always been true love, Harley Quinn Season 2, Episode 4 is smart to really lean into that and play it earnestly. In seeing what true love looks like, Harley is also able to realize how toxic her relationship with the Joker was, which is another step on her road to recovery and independence and wooing Ivy, who continues to put Harley first even to her own detriment.

These underlying themes always help to give Harley Quinn some depth beyond the facile pleasures of cartoon uber-violence, although there’s a load of that here and it’s as enjoyable as ever. The show consistently takes familiar characters in interesting directions, and its midpoint pivot here makes for a good lesson and a better surprise.


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