DISCLAIMER: This recap of Harley Quinn Season 4 Episode 1, “Gotham’s Hottest Hotties,” contains spoilers. Proceed at your peril. 

Welcome, Gotham’s hottest hotties! Our fave girlfriends are back to wreak havoc/save Gotham with the Harley Quinn season premiere, “Gotham’s Hottest Hotties.” It’s all about an ass — Nightwing’s ass, to be exact. Seriously, the animators said, “We’re going to craft a bum so breathtakingly beautiful that Michelangelo will rise from the dead and add it to the Sistine Chapel.” They probably didn’t say that, but this is my story, so it definitely happened. 

This episode is a delightfully strong season opener, with the jokes landing successfully and the cast firing on all cylinders. It’s fun dissecting a new facet of Harley and Ivy’s relationship. Knowing the creative team doesn’t plan to split Harlivy gives them the freedom to explore uncharted waters. Breaking them up would be too predictable and an overused storytelling beat. Their fighting on opposite sides — Ivy as the CEO of the Legion of Doom and Harley as part of the Bat Family — will undoubtedly yield entertaining drama. 

Ready to delve into “Gotham’s Hottest Hotties”? Let’s get to it. 

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We open with Harley (Kaley Cuoco) kicking security arse as she tries to deliver Ivy’s brown paper bag lunch to the Legion of Doom. Ivy (Lake Bell) calls her, revealing she staged a bank robbery so Harley would arrive with the Bat Family. There, Ivy would give Harls her lunch. Aww! Ivy returns to work, getting in the elevator with Lex Luthor (Giancarlo Esposito). Ivy’s holding a mug that says, “World’s Hottest CEO, I Love You.” Obviously, this is a gift from Harley. Super cute. We learn Lex is taking a trip into space on his penis-shaped rocket. Why? Because that’s what the one percent does. 

Next, Harley meets her fellow Legion of Doom baddies — the new team she’s supposed to oversee. One of them includes Snowflame (James Adomian), an ’80s DC villain who gains his abilities by snorting cocaine. As for the rest, we’ve got Bane, Gorilla Grodd, Metallo, Black Manta, Reverse-Flash, Man-Bat, Doctor Trap and Solomon Grundy. Naturally, Ivy’s crew is chock full of sexist turds, so they don’t accept her as the CEO. She passes out folders containing her grand plan. She hopes to put an environmental/green spin on their evildoings. For example, perhaps there’s an oil spill, and they force the oil execs to drink it. 

Meanwhile, Harley feels torn between certain sides of the newsstand she’s in front of. One side is marked “Good,” while the other is “Evil.” Harley picks up the latest issue of Gotham Monthly. She notices the “Gotham’s Hottest Hotties” list includes Nightwing and his noteworthy derriere. It’s an incredible bum, that’s for sure. She runs into Professor Pyg (Tom Hollander), who’s being a creep, as always. 

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Later, Harley enters the Batcave in style. However, Nightwing (Harvey Guillén) and Robin (Jacob Tremblay) are unimpressed. Batgirl (Briana Cuoco) is excited to see our Harls, though. Nightwing reveals they’re organizing their villain records. Essentially, they wait until someone commits a crime before defeating that baddie. In the meantime, they exercise incessantly.

At the Legion of Doom, Ivy brainstorms her next moves with Frank the Plant (J.B. Smoove). She needs to get her team on her side. So far, they despise her. When someone brings Ivy her new power suit, she notices the Legion of Doomies replaced said suit with a pink bikini with the words “I’m a dumb boss” emblazoned in white. Misogyny! 

While working out in the Batcave, Harley acknowledges Nightwing’s bangin’ butt as part of the “Gotham’s Hottest Hotties” list. Nightwing doesn’t like the attention. Suddenly, the Bat Fam makes a beeline for a new crime scene. They see a dead social media model/heiress in a pool of blood. Someone removed her wrists. Fun.

Meanwhile, Alfred (Hollander) takes Robin to visit Bruce Wayne in prison. Unfortunately, Master Bruce’s DJ lessons are running a bit long, so he won’t be able to see Robin. We learn this from Alvin (Guillén), Bruce’s penal butler. Naturally, Alfred’s pissed. Let the Battle of the Butlers commence.

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Next, Ivy watches a commercial for Clayface’s Vegas performances. She notices he’s wearing her purple scarf. Harley barges in and tries to elicit information regarding the Bat Family’s latest case via foreplay with Ivy. Ivy picks up on it and gently reminds her that they need to set boundaries if their relationship will last. After all, Harley’s a good guy now, while Ivy spearheads the Legion of Doom. Our career babes. 

Realizing she won’t get the info she needs from Ivy, Harley calls King Shark (Ron Funches), who’s with his lady at her ultrasound. He reveals he can’t tell her anything because he’s trying to maintain good standing in the villain community. Oh, and he and his love are having nine shark kids. Guess he better get a job! 

Then, Ivy gives her team vegan doughnuts as a peace offering. She claims she’ll happily listen to their crime ideas. She approves all of them, including Bane’s (Adomian) desire for “splosives” so he can splode things. Meanwhile, we see a Gotham News Network news segment play out. In it, Batman (Diedrich Bader) introduces his Bat Family as the ones fighting crime while he serves time. (Ahem, I mean, “doing something really cool and important.”)

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Batgirl and Harley speak with one of their mysterious villain’s victims who lived to tell the tale. He took her clavicle. Suddenly, it all clicks for Harls — she realizes Professor Pyg is behind this string of bloody incidents. He’s stealing body parts from members of the “Gotham’s Hottest Hotties” list. That’s our girl. At the same time, Ivy retreats to the executive bathroom to get away from it all. Snowflame pops in unexpectedly, even though he’s not supposed to use that restroom. 

Nora Freeze (Rachel Dratch) barges into the bathroom, too, and urges Ivy to put those crybaby boys in their place. Ivy offers Nora a job as her assistant, which the latter accepts. Why? Because she gets access to the hallowed executive bathroom. 

Later, Harley and Batgirl disguise themselves as photographers, with Nightwing stripping down for a sexy photoshoot. Harls snaps pics of Nightwing’s glorious glutes. Nightwing’s starting to embrace his body and beautiful rump. Suddenly, the lights go out. Professor Pyg injects a serum into Nightwing that knocks him unconscious. Pyg slings Nightwing over his shoulder and flees. 

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Next, Ivy, Frank the Plant and Nora knock Ivy’s haters down a few pegs. Ivy sets their proposals with crime ideas on fire. Then, the baddies lash out, trying to displace Ivy as CEO for good. However, our eco-friendly villain knows a thing or two about combat. She effectively defeats them without breaking a sweat. 

Harley and Batgirl take out Pyg’s Dollotrons as Ivy fights off the Legion of Doom villains. It’s a nice splicing of two episodic arcs featuring our badass girlfriends kicking bum. On a similar note, it looks like Ivy’s new team is developing a reluctant respect for her after she puts them in their place. 

Later, Harls and Batgirl find Pyg attempting to remove Nightwing’s luscious ass. Harley kills Pyg with her trusty bat, much to Batgirl, Nightwing and Robin’s (who just arrived) collective horror. We even see Pyg’s jaw, unattached from his face. Meanwhile, one woman (Aline Elasmar) watches a news segment about Ivy taking the Legion of Doom in a “green” direction, which sent LexCorp stocks soaring. However, Wayne Enterprises’ stocks subsequently plummeted. “We’ve hit the trigger. Fuel up the jet. I’m going to Gotham,” the woman says into an antique telephone receiver. 

RELATED: Catch up on the Harlivy goodness with our Harley Quinn recaps!

I’m elated that Gotham’s weirdest and freakiest are back to make us laugh. This outing is funny as hell while keeping its finger on the pulse of pop culture. Harlivy is also one of my favorite couples. In an age of media that still relies on burying the gays, seeing a wlw couple be happy and in love makes my heart smile. 

Who do you think that mysterious woman is in the final scene? Will Bane get to explode more things? Will we see Clayface pretend to be Billy Bob Thornton again? Only time (and more episodes) will tell. 

Harley Quinn streams new episodes every Thursday on Max

Geek Girl Authority Crush of the Week: HARLEY QUINN

Melody McCune
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