DISCLAIMER: This recap of Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 2, “B.I.T.C.H.,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Harlivy lovers! The second episode of the season finds Harley and Ivy conquering their respective jobs. We’re blessed with the magical pairing that is Harley and Alfred. (Also, the B.I.T.C.H. Method is life-changing.) “B.I.T.C.H.” brings Talia al Ghul into the fold as a presumed villain for the season. Bane is still entertaining as hell.
All in all, it’s a delightful outing that’s the equivalent of eating a heaping helping of comfort food. It’s nothing inventive, but it establishes a crucial narrative arc for Ivy and puts Harley in good standing with the Bat Fam. I mean, that costume is killer.
Ready to delve into “B.I.T.C.H.”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Harley (Kaley Cuoco) getting reprimanded by the Bat Family for breaking their number one cardinal rule: no killing people. If you recall, in the season premiere, Harley slaughtered Professor Pyg. However, she saved Nightwing’s (Harvey Guillén) luscious rump, so she feels this is a fair trade. Batgirl (Briana Cuoco) says they have “Do Not Kill” signage all over the Batcave. It’s embroidered on pillows, used as screensavers and on Harley’s slippers. Even Talkative Teddy Tilapia is there with a singsong-y reminder. Thou shalt not kill.
So, as punishment, she must train with Alfred (Tom Hollander) while the Bat Fam continues to fight crime without her. It’s only temporary, thankfully, until Harley completes her training. First thing’s first — she must learn how to brew Earl Grey tea. Meanwhile, Ivy (Lake Bell) is on-site for a special Legion of Doom tree-planting ceremony. On camera, Tawny Young (Tisha Campbell) interviews Ivy and Mayor Joker (Alan Tudyk). Ivy reveals they plan to replace all male trees with female trees. Joker wonders aloud if the Legion has a nefarious plan in place. However, Ivy remains tight-lipped on that, irritating the ex-Legion member-turned-Gotham mayor.
Harley appears at the ceremony to support her girlfriend but not in a professional manner. She knows they have boundaries. Nora Freeze (Rachel Dratch) tries to keep Harls at bay, citing that no heroes should be present at a Legion event. Harley sees Nora holding a Mama Macaroni’s menu and asks Ivy if she wants to meet her there later. The Bat Fam also makes their grand entrance. They chastise Harley for supporting Ivy, even if it’s not in a professional capacity. They also give a big thumbs down to Harley’s new Bat Family costume, which she purchased at a porn shop. Hey, a girl’s gotta do what a girl’s gotta do.
Later, Ivy asks Nora to call the company that made her and Harley’s pasta maker. The handle broke off of it, and it needs fixing. Initially, Nora says “no,” but one stern look from CEO Ivy has her backtracking, albeit reluctantly. Nora foists it onto Bane (James Adomian), who tries vainly to flirt with her. Next, Frank the Plant (J.B. Smoove) and King Shark (Ron Funches) join Ivy and the rest of the gang for a presentation. King Shark is now the head of IT at the Legion of Doom. Ivy unveils her evil scheme that lurks beneath the surface of the tree-planting ceremony.
Her plan? Put the devilish allergy industry to bed. Male trees spread more allergens than female trees. By uprooting the male trees and replacing them with their female counterparts, the Legion can render Wayne Enterprises’ allergy medicine obsolete. Besides, WE tortures baby plants for their drugs, anyway. It’s a win-win. I like how Ivy’s plans aren’t necessarily “evil” but more geared toward bankrupting corporations in favor of protecting our environment. During the meeting, Nora informs Ivy that she was selected to attend a women’s luncheon spearheaded by Veronica Cale. Frank the Plant encourages her to go.
King Shark tries to get Legion members to orchestrate his impending baby shower. After seeing our King’s crestfallen face, Nora offers to throw a party for him. Aww. Meanwhile, Harley struggles to understand Alfred’s unique training style. She’s tired of pouring tea, washing cars and cleaning Batarangs. At the luncheon, Veronica Cale (Edi Patterson) welcomes the group’s newest members, including Ivy and Livewire, while recognizing the return of Talia al Ghul (Aline Elasmar). Talia is fashionably late, and she arrives via helicopter.
Ivy bonds with Talia during the event. Ivy complains about running into the roadblock that is the Joker while attempting to uproot all male trees in Gotham. Joker won’t give her the permit to do so. Talia offers advice in dealing with stubborn men. Before departing, Talia gives Ivy her phone number. Talia travels from the women’s luncheon to Wayne Manor. She orders Alfred to let her inside. Apparently, Robin (Jacob Tremblay) is her and Bruce’s son. She had a fling with ole Brucey back in the day. Oh, and she’s also the acting head of Wayne Enterprises while Bruce is behind bars. She claims the Bat Family must run all activities through her for approval. Nightwing and Batgirl aren’t a fan of this.
Meanwhile, Ivy attends a basketball game with Joker. Joker presses Ivy for all the deets regarding her master plan. He misses being in the know; it would seem. She hopes they can remove all the male trees by Wednesday if she has clearance from the mayor’s office for a permit. Joker interrupts her while beaming with excitement. He knows something now! He eagerly signs the permits. Joker is all too happy to play a part in the Legion’s schemes. He certainly had some character growth last season, but some of the old Joker is still in there.
Ivy calls Talia, who’s in a Wayne Enterprises meeting, to revel in her success in snagging the permits. At Wayne Manor, Harley tries to sneak out after completing her chores. Alfred catches her. The two battle it out. Alfred admits he understands why Bruce chose her to join the Bat Fam, but the rest of the group can’t handle impulsivity. “You have to show you can do things their way,” he says. He goes on to explain the B.I.T.C.H. Method:
B — Breathe
I — Identify the problem
T — Tea break
C — Consider your options
H — Handle it
Listen, I might need to apply this to my own life. It’s perfect. Anyway, Harley departs Wayne Manor for the Legion of Doom headquarters, where she reunites with her love. She asks Ivy if she’s ready for date night at Mama Macaroni’s. Ivy apologizes, but she’ll have to take a rain check. She has work to do. Ivy learns during their convo that Talia works for Wayne Enterprises. Not only that but Ivy just revealed her grand plan to bankrupt the organization to Talia. Uh-oh.
Meanwhile, Bane creates decorations for King Shark’s baby shower while calling the pasta maker company responsible for Ivy and Harley’s broken pasta maker. Bane and pasta makers? A match made in heaven, apparently. On the other side of Gotham, Talia makes a pit stop at the store to purchase a pacifier for a 12-year-old boy (her son). She notices said store rejecting a truck full of Wayne Enterprises’ allergy medication. After all the male trees in Gotham are uprooted, everyone in the city discards their allergy meds. Even Talia’s cashier at the store claims she no longer suffers from them. Honestly, this sounds like a dream to me.
Of course, Talia is furious that Ivy is trying to destroy them. Then, King Shark has his baby shower. A fun time is had by all except for Bane, who’s still on hold with the pasta maker company. He watches from afar while Nora flirts with Captain Cold. Aw, nuts. He’s missing out on a chance to ask her out.
Later, Talia confronts Ivy regarding the latter’s tree scheme. Yes, Ivy tanked her company as allergy medicine sales plummeted, but Talia has a newfound respect for her. She finally has a worthy adversary. Before departing, she gifts Ivy a tote bag from the luncheon as a token of that respect. On the Bat Fam front, Ivy drives the Batmobile with Alfred in the passenger seat. He urges her to drive it around the corner as fast as possible. She gleefully does this. It’s in Harley’s nature to seek those thrills.
What transpires next is a montage featuring our new dynamic duo shopping for supplies. They even buy matching beanies. I love this pairing. Harley pulls up to the Gotham City Bank. Alfred reveals he must put a gun in a safety deposit box. While inside, Harley witnesses another man and his partner in matching beanies robbing the bank across the street. Then, she realizes what Alfred’s doing — he’s robbing the Gotham City Bank.
She runs through the B.I.T.C.H. Method to tamper down her penchant for impulsivity. Aw, she’s learning. Next, she runs inside the bank and seizes Alfred before the Bat Fam arrives. Nightwing, Batgirl and Robin congratulate Harley on her act of heroism. She’s back on the team! They give her a new official (non-porn shop) uniform. It’s pink and blue like her hair, with some black thrown in there for good measure. A Bat symbol takes center stage on the front. I love it. Alfred is carted off to prison. We learn he only robbed the bank to reunite with Master Bruce and get him out of Alvin’s clutches. Unfortunately, he’s sent to a different prison. The prison Bruce is in is only for the uber-rich. Oh, my.
Do you think Bane is still on hold with the pasta maker company? Will King Shark be able to support his nine children with his new IT job? Will Alfred break out of prison and make a beeline for Bruce’s location? Only time (and more episodes) will tell.
Harley Quinn streams new episodes every Thursday on Max.