DISCLAIMER: This recap of Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 9, “Potato Based Cloning Incident,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril.
Welcome back, Harlivy lovers! Season 4’s penultimate outing is, hands down, its strongest thus far. It’s an action-packed thrill ride from beginning to end, with a nice mix of the show’s signature raunchy, irreverent humor and genuine shock. Harley killed Nightwing during a sleepwalking spell! Gordon accidentally made a Harley clone! Joker murdered Batgirl! It feels like classic Harley Quinn.
While I loved last week’s Bane-centric episode, this season, overall, has fallen short for me. It’s felt inconsistent tonally and narratively for me. Sure, I’ve loved exploring Harley and Ivy’s respective professional lives, but we’ve been missing some of that community that makes this show so special. For example, there hasn’t been nearly enough King Shark and Clayface. This series thrives on its hilarious character dynamics and strong supporting cast.
That said, the writers have brilliantly planted the seeds for this explosive episode, from Harley’s sleepwalking to her killing Nightwing and Joker shooting another Bat Fam member. It’s entertaining as hell.
Ready to delve into “Potato Based Cloning Incident”? Let’s get to it.
We open with Harley (Kaley Cuoco) and Ivy (Lake Bell) brainstorming their next move after returning to Gotham to find it in shambles, no thanks to Lex Luthor’s Earth Saver ray. Did he do it just to disarm Superman? The world may never know. Harley reassures her GF that they’re stronger together regardless of what happens. They learned this when meeting their future warlord/traitor daughter in 2048.
Suddenly, they run into another version of Harley, who our Harls saw at the Legion of Doom during the Nightwing death party. As it turns out, she wasn’t a hallucination. Other Harley leaps out of the window to do Bat Fam stuff while Our Harley follows her. Once outside, Our Harley asks for some context. We learn Other Harley is a clone, made from Our Harley’s hair and Gordon’s baked potato in the cloning machine in the Legion of Doom employee break room. Thus, Other Harley is mostly Harls but also a smidgen of potato. She has the butter smell to prove it.
Anyway, Other Harley has mastered this hero thing. She’s been kicking criminal ass and taking names alongside Batgirl while Our Harley was MIA. Meanwhile, Ivy finds Lex (Giancarlo Esposito) sunbathing despite the lack of sunlight. He did mean to weaken Superman while thickening the Ozone to make himself the hero. Well, that somewhat backfired. Lex offers to take anyone of note who’s suffering from no sunlight to the Moon (his Moon). Ivy tries to attack him with her plant powers but is depleted without the sun.
Before departing, Lex vows to take over the Legion of Doom again as the rightful CEO. It’s nothing personal, Ivy. In the streets of Gotham, the two Harleys share ice cream while Other Harley talks about attending a CPR class with Batgirl and The Flash, a well-known jokester. After beating down a passerby for destroying her ice cream, Other Harley joins Our Harley in assisting Ivy. We see the trio scaling the building as Ivy looks for a method of ingress into the Legion of Doom. Ivy’s already exhausted by the two Harleys’ overabundance of vim and vigor.
Suddenly, three of Lex’s goons cut their ropes, sending Ivy and the two Harleys flying. They land in a bush on the ground. Other Harley plants an idea in Ivy’s head inspired by Succession. There are other Legion of Doom board members. What if Ivy persuades them to vote out Lex as CEO? It’s a move plucked from Kendall Roy’s playbook.
Thus, Ivy sets out to convince the board to meet for a vote, including The Riddler and Clock King. Talia al Ghul (Aline Elasmar) stands before a dry-erase board with the names of LexCorps shareholders. She reveals the big gun, Clegg, makes his one public appearance a year at the Gotham celebrity golf tournament. Ivy must sway him toward kicking Lex out.
Meanwhile, Other Harley informs Our Harley that she killed Nightwing. Yes, our girl murdered Gotham’s Ass. (like America’s Ass, but more emo). Naturally, Our Harley is incredulous. She flees the scene. Ivy takes up golfing at Gotham’s celeb golf tournament to impress Clegg (Gregg Turkington). Unfortunately, Lex is also there, foiling Ivy every step of the way. Ivy turns up the charm, and Clegg seems to warm to her.
Then, Harley chats with Dr. Psycho (Tony Hale) about appearing on his show in a three-hour unedited session where nothing is off the table. I can’t wait to listen to that episode when it debuts. In exchange, Psycho will take Harley back in time to that night at the cabin. After the requisite tightening of the buttocks, our duo lands in the snow outside the cabin. They see a sleepwalking Harley sleep-eat in front of the roaring fire.
Nightwing (Harvey Guillén) confronts her. He knows Harley kidnapped Batgirl and brought her here. Nightwing knew she was a rotten egg from the start. Harley tries to get him to wear her friendship bracelet. When he refuses, sleepwalking Harley proceeds to choke him with it, killing him. Other Harley watches in horror from afar. After he drops dead, Our (sleepwalking) Harley puts the bracelet on his wrist and, presumably, places him in the tree. Our Harley orders Psycho to take them home. She’s seen enough.
Next, Psycho is psyched to record his latest episode with Harley. It will be even more popular than his Joker/Batgirl episode! Harley knocks him unconscious, though, before recording can begin. Meanwhile, Ivy proves to be a quick study on the links as she gets a hole-in-one during the golf tournament. Clegg cheers her on. Lex fumes in the background. Unfortunately, Ivy takes it too far by hitting a ball so hard that it kills Clegg, smashing through his skull and knocking out an eyeball. Uh-oh. Bane (James Adomian) vomits.
Ivy calls Harley and tells her that she killed Nightwing while sleepwalking. Ivy admits to inadvertently murdering Clegg on the green. Aw, our girlfriends are so in sync with each other. An idea strikes Harley. Perhaps there’s a way to remedy this for both of them.
She calls upon her new BFF, The Flash (Zeno Robinson), to turn back time. He’s upset that she hasn’t responded to his memes lately. Of course The Flash is a weird jokester meme guy. However, he agrees to help her. Harley hops on his back as The Flash turns back the clock a few minutes. It still doesn’t bode well for Ivy; instead of killing Clegg with a golf ball, she sends a club flying through his butthole and out of his mouth. Two holes in one, if you will. Too soon?
Thankfully, Harley fares better on her end. After kicking The Flash in the Kid Flashes, Harley makes an excuse to get out of Psycho showing her the memory. Then, she reunites with Other Harley, who has two people tied up in the Batmobile for committing very minor crimes. Back on the green, Tawny Young (Tisha Campbell Martin) films a segment on Clegg’s untimely demise. This spells doom for Ivy because, without his vote, she might be unable to oust Lex as CEO.
Bane gets a text from Clayface. It’s time to uphold his end of the bargain. Clayface orders Bane to head-butt Ivy on camera and to throw his whole “bussy” into it. Clayface would use that term. So, Bane does as he’s bid, head-butting Poison Ivy in front of Tawny Young and Gotham. Meanwhile, Other Harley handcuffs Our Harley, hellbent on punishing her for killing Nightwing. Our Harls isn’t gonna give in, though, so the two start fighting.
Later, at the Legion of Doom, the vote commences to give Lex Luthor the boot. Like that Succession episode, the vote is a tie, so Lex is here to stay. Or is he? Clegg’s widow, Devora Macklewaithe (Elasmar), arrives to save the day. Sure, Ivy accidentally killed her husband, but Harley saved her clavicle. Therefore, she’s voting in favor of Ivy. Boo-ya! Buh-bye, Lex.
Meanwhile, Our Harley manages to break free of those handcuffs and entrap Other Harley. Batgirl (Briana Cuoco) flashes the Bat Signal, summoning Harley. She brings Batgirl coffee. Suddenly, Other Harley reappears, having wriggled free from the handcuffs. The two resume fighting. Batgirl launches a Batarang at Other Harley, nicking her in the arm. Our Harley pulls her down by the pigtails and kisses her, remarks that she knew she was a good kisser and sends her flying over the building ledge.
Other Harley lands on the ground with a splat. All that remains of her is a puddle of mashed potatoes. A group of Gothamites start shoveling the potatoes into their mouths. Hey, you can’t turn down free street potatoes. At the Legion of Doom, Ivy presses the button to dismantle the Earth Saver ray, reversing the damage to the Ozone and bringing back the sun. Huzzah!
Immediately after that, Ivy spots Lex escaping to the Moon in his phallic-shaped rocket. He flips Ivy the bird. We see everyone from Captain Cold to Alfred enjoy the return of the sun and the return of color into the world. Harley tells Batgirl that her clone killed Nightwing, which Batgirl buys. She reveals she needs to step back from the Bat Family. Harley doesn’t feel like she’s the hero she wanted to be. Batgirl encourages her to stick with it. She’d much rather fight crime alongside our Harls than that clone.
Suddenly, a gunshot rents the air. We see a wound form on Batgirl’s stomach, which bleeds profusely. Joker (Alan Tudyk) pulled the trigger. We see him standing in the shadows and laughing as he retreats. Harley holds Batgirl as she dies in her arms. Holy motherforking shirtballs, y’all.
Will Harley seek revenge against Joker for Batgirl’s death? Will she continue to be a hero? What’s next for Ivy and the Legion of Doom? #WhereIsClayface? Only time (and one more episode) will tell.
Harley Quinn streams its Season 4 finale on Thursday, September 14, 2023, on Max.