DISCLAIMER: This recap of the Harley Quinn episode “The 83rd Annual Villy Awards” has spoilers. Prepare to overtake Gotham and proceed at your peril. 

Welcome back, queepins of crime! “The 83rd Annual Villy Awards” is another delightfully uproarious installment in the Harley Quinn universe. It not only brings back notable supporting characters like Kite-Man, Catwoman and The Joker, but we get a fun new storyline for Clayface. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for my fave clay thespian. 

While there’s not as much of the blood-drenched whimsy we’ve come to expect from Harley Quinn, it’s lighthearted escapism at its best, with some wonderfully heartfelt moments to boot. 

Ready to delve into “The 83rd Annual Villy Awards”? Let’s get to it. 

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Catty Pad

We open with Ivy (Lake Bell) thanking Catwoman (Sanaa Lathan) for letting the crew crash at the latter’s pad following the explosion of their headquarters. Naturally, there are cats everywhere. Catwoman gives Ivy strict rules regarding her cats and what rooms to which the gang has access. When Catwoman ends the video call, we see Batman (Diedrich Bader) asking her if she wants him to go down again. Is this the result of that scene wherein Warner Bros wouldn’t allow Harley Quinn to show footage of the Bat doing that (I wanted to rhyme)?

Later, Ivy creates a lab space in Catwoman’s home while Harley (Kaley Cuoco) withers away in boredom. Harley gets an invite to the 83rd Annual Villy Awards after discovering that she and Ivy are nominated for Best Couple. The Riddler and Clock King are also on the “Best Couple” ballot. Yeah, our gals have it in the bag. 

Harley persuades Ivy to delay her vital terraforming work for a few hours of glam among Gotham’s finest villains. Our titular queenpin needs a palette cleanser after attending the event with The Joker in years past. Ivy reluctantly agrees to humor Harls. 

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Meanwhile, Clayface (Alan Tudyk) is hard at work being James Gunn‘s chair on the Thomas Wayne biopic set. Billy Bob Thornton portrays Bruce Wayne’s ill-fated father. After doing a take, Clayface asks BBT to be his acting mentor, to which the veteran actor declines. Clayface sees an in when Gunn rejects BBT’s request to revise some of the dialogue. He transforms into Gunn and invites BBT over to Catwoman’s luxury apartment to chat about “the script.”

Clayface chatting with James Gunn on Harley Quinn Season 3 Episode 3 "The 83rd Annual Villy Awards."

HARLEY QUINN Season 3 Episode 3, “The 83rd Annual Villy Awards.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

The Red Carpet

Then, we arrive on the red carpet of the Villys, wherein Tawny (Tisha Campbell) interviews The Riddler (Jim Rash) and Clock King (James Adomian). Harlivy makes their official red carpet debut with King Shark (Ron Funches) in tow. Our girls look HOT! 

Later, Harley and Ivy take their seats next to none other than Kite-Man (Matt Oberg). Fun fact: if you look at who’s behind Kite-Man, you’ll see Deadshot. Anyway, awkwardness ensues, but that’s not where it ends. We see The Joker (also Tudyk) is hosting the awards show, complete with Harley Quinn backup dancers for his opening number. Ivy departs for fresh air while Harley wanders to the bar to mingle. She even chats it up with the competing “Best Couple,” Riddler and Clock King. 

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Next, Harley spots an imposing man with a briefcase. She assumes he’s carrying the winning ballots in the said briefcase. Strangely enough, this man’s also handcuffed to the case. While in the bathroom with him, Harley notices that he’s not altogether human, as his eyes glow a demonic red. The pair engage in a bathroom skirmish. 

Golden Glider

Meanwhile, Ivy sits outside to clear her mind after encountering her ex-fiancé. We see she’s seated next to The Golden Glider (Cathy Ang). Ivy receives a text from Harley about Riddler and Clock King cheating, but she ignores it. Ivy and Golden Glider chat about how anxiety-inducing the ceremony is. 

Billy Bob Thornton arrives at Catwoman’s pad under the impression he’s meeting with James Gunn. He realizes it’s Clayface masquerading as Gunn. Thoroughly impressed, BBT decides to take Clayface under his acting wing. BBT asks for access to the bathroom, but Clayface directs him to the wrong room. We see BBT walk through the infamous green door, the one space from which Catwoman barred the group. 

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Suddenly, BBT’s head rolls into the hallway. There is a tiger in that room. Said tiger escapes while Clayface discovers BBT’s severed head. Uh-oh. 

And the Award for…

Meanwhile, Catwoman receives the Joe Chill Honorary Award (named after the man who murdered Bruce Wayne’s parents). Catwoman launches into a diatribe about the racist awards system, which feels apropos to the lack of diversity in today’s entertainment industry. I’m Team Catwoman. 

Harley and Ivy clasp hands while aboard the Invisible Jet on Harley Quinn Season 3 Episode 3 "The 83rd Annual Villy Awards."

HARLEY QUINN Season 3 Episode 3, “The 83rd Annual Villy Awards.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

Ivy and Golden Glider realize who the other is — Ivy is Kite-Man’s ex, while GG is Kite-Man’s current girlfriend. They bond over how kind KM is and decide to tackle this show together for the sake of their significant others. Anxiety be damned!

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Then, we see Harley fighting the robot in the bathroom, which gets messy. She finally conquers him and opens the briefcase. Unfortunately, before she can read the winner of Best Couple, the robot eats the ballot and gives her the bird. 

Kite-Man finds Harley in the bathroom, and the pair essentially mend fences regarding Harls stealing his girl. It’s a sweet moment and proves what a standup guy KM is. 

The Role of a Lifetime

Later, Clayface receives a call from James Gunn, so he transforms into Billy Bob Thornton. Gunn reveals he made the desired edits to the script, so Clayface decides to take on the most significant role of his career — portraying deceased actor Billy Bob Thornton as Thomas Wayne! 

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Ivy and Harley reunite, and the pair apologize to each other. Harls for not being sensitive to Ivy’s anxiety; Ivy for not showing more excitement about their nomination. They decide to leave together. F*ck the Villys!

After they depart, Joker announces Harlivy as the winner of Best Couple. Since they left, Mista J accepts the award for himself, delivering a heartfelt speech that includes thanking his lady love. Riddler and Clock King mourn their loss, but it’s all good: Riddler loves his CK no matter what. How sweet!

I love that Harley Quinn reeled in Billy Bob Thornton to voice himself, even though his appearance on the series was short-lived. I’m glad we got an amicable resolution to the Kite-Man storyline and that he’s thriving with a love of his own. Hell yeah. This bit leads into the plot for Noonan’s, the Kite-Man spinoff chronicling KM and Golden Glider’s purchase of Gotham’s seediest bar, Noonan’s. Bring it on!

This series is an instant serotonin boost. Long may it reign. 

Harley Quinn drops new episodes every Thursday on HBO Max. 

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Melody McCune
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