Despite only having 13 episodes, Season 2 of Harley Quinn packs a lot of humor, heart, and compelling character development into its runtime. After finally leaving the Joker (Alan Tudyk) behind and making a name for herself in Season 1, Season 2 sees the titular queen of chaos discover what love looks like for her post-Joker. With the help of her friends and crew, Harley Quinn (Kaley Cuoco) takes what she wants from the ruins of Gotham City and refuses to let anyone stand in her way. Season 2 has romance, revenge, parademons, and so much more.
Here’s everything you need to remember before Season 3 premieres:
New New Gotham and the Injustice League
After the events of Season 1 and the collapse of Joker Tower, Gotham City is in a state of anarchy and disrepair. The United States government has abandoned the city and Batman (Diedrich Bader) is nowhere to be found. Harley is thriving in the chaos and has no interest in taking control of Gotham, even though Ivy (Lake Bell) encourages her to do so. To fill the power vacuum, Bane (James Adomian), The Riddler (Jim Rash), Mr. Freeze (Alfred Molina), Penguin (Wayne Knight), and Two-Face (Andy Daly) form the Injustice League, and divide the city into their own respective districts in New New Gotham. They offer Harley a small sliver of territory, but when she refuses, they freeze her in a block of ice. Two months later, Ivy and Harley’s crew — Dr. Psycho (Tony Hale), Clayface (Alan Tudyk), King Shark (Ron Funches), and Sy (Jason Alexander) — break her out of the ice and free her from Penguin’s casino. While escaping, Harley bites off Penguin’s nose and kills him. She then vows to take revenge on the rest of the Injustice League.
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When Harley discovers that Riddler’s makeshift university has control of Gotham’s water and power, she makes him her next target. She, Ivy, and Clayface go undercover as students and discover that the Riddler’s power is generated by kidnapped students on giant hamster wheels. Using that same technology, Harley forces the Riddler to generate power at the mall. Mr. Freeze is next, but in order to break into his ice fortress, Harley needs to steal Firefly’s plasma flamethrower from Doctor Trap’s (Alan Tudyk) lair at the Gotham history museum. With the help of Catwoman (Sanaa Lathan), and (kind of) Kite Man (Matt Oberg), Harley and Ivy survive his booby trap-filled lair and retrieve the flamethrower.
Harley, King Shark, Clayface, and Psycho are then able to infiltrate Freeze’s fortress, but don’t make it far before being captured. Freeze wants to use Harley as the first human test subject in his quest to cure his wife’s rare, fatal blood disease. During Harley’s efforts to stall Freeze and find a way to escape, she frees his wife, Nora (Rachel Dratch), from the ice block that was keeping her alive thinking that she was also a prisoner. Enraged, Freeze threatens to blow up his fortress with them inside unless Ivy can develop a cure. Ivy is successful, but Freeze has to sacrifice himself to save Nora with a blood transfusion.
Feeling cornered, Two-Face convinces Bane to team up. Bane is hesitant at first, given that Two-Face refuses to take him seriously, but ultimately agrees after Two-Face offers him full control of a prison pit. Two-Face and Bane then arrest Harley and Ivy for Penguin’s murder, sentencing them to life in the pit. In true Harley and Ivy fashion, they leave Bane and the pit in fiery chaos when they escape.
We meet Barbara Gordon (Briana Cuoco) at Riddle U, where she helps Harley and Ivy take down the Riddler. That encounter sparks something in Barbara, and she decides to step up in Batman’s continued absence, becoming Batgirl. Throughout the season, she teams up with Alfred (Tom Hollander) — who has become a vigilante known as The Macaroni — her father, and even Batman himself to keep Gotham safe.
Initially, she keeps her identity a secret from her father, Commissioner Gordon (Christopher Meloni), but that changes when Two-Face comes for Gordon while they’re eating dinner together. After momentarily chasing off Two-Face and his goons, Barbara confronts Gordon about his drinking problem, and inspires him to take back the GCPD from Two-Face. They have a really sweet moment where Barbara tells him that he is the one who inspired her to take action and become Batgirl, not Batman. They storm the GCPD where Gordon takes a stand against Two-Face, locking him up.
With the Injustice Society currently out of the way, Gordon appeals to the President to let Gotham back into the United States, but the President will only let Gotham rejoin the U.S. if Gordon gets rid of Harley too. Despite Barbara’s pleading, this puts Gordon on the warpath, and he forms an army of Gotham citizens to go after her. Barbara knows that Harley isn’t all bad, and warns her of Gordon’s new mission.
Batman and Joker Return
Bruce Wayne and the Joker were both found in the ruins of Joker Tower. Bruce was in a coma for a couple of months, and he spends most of the season trying to heal. He wants to get back in the field as soon as possible, so he commissions a special batsuit from Lucius Fox (against Alfred’s advice to slow down and rest). After getting his ass kicked by Bane, he finally decides to listen to Alfred, and works with him, Batgirl, and Gordon remotely until he’s healed. He returns to full-strength just in time to help fight the parademon army unleashed by Psycho.
After being pushed into the reverse-acid by Harley at the end of Season 1, the Joker is no more. In his place is a regular dude who bartends and loves his girlfriend and her kids. Just as Harley finally accepts that this new version of the Joker is real and means her no harm, she has to find a way to bring her old flame back in order to find the Book of Fables and free the Justice League so that they can stop Dr. Psycho and his parademon army. She pushes Boring Joker into a vat of acid, and the original Joker returns. However, his time as a regular guy has actually changed him a little. He realizes that the love he has for Bethany (Justina Machado) and her kids is genuine, and he decides to stay with her.
Fighting Inner (Para)demons
Harley and Ivy kiss each other after they escape the prison pit, but they both try to brush it off because of Ivy’s engagement to Kite Man. Harley tries to keep herself distracted to avoid her feelings, and Batgirl’s news of Gordon’s vendetta gives her the perfect excuse to keep her mind off of the situation. With the Injustice League finally out of the picture, Dr. Psycho encourages her to form her own army to fight Gordon and take over Gotham. They travel to Apokolips and ask Darkseid (Michael Ironside) for an army of parademons, his insect-like minions. Harley defeats Darkseid’s lieutenant, Granny Goodness (Jessica Walter), in combat — with a little help from Psycho — and receives a staff from Darkseid that gives her control over the parademons.
They return to Gotham and fight Gordon’s army, but Harley realizes, with Ivy’s help, that this isn’t really what she wants. She breaks the staff and gives up control of the army. Psycho leaves the crew, enraged and vengeful – throughout the season he has felt underutilized by Harley and this was the final straw. Hell-bent on taking over the city, and eventually the world, for himself Psycho recruits the Riddler to steal a brain-wave amplifier from Wayne industries. Using this, Psycho is able to control the entire parademon army, King Shark, Clayface, and even Ivy. He tries to convince Darkseid to give him even more power in exchange for killing Harley, but when he’s unsuccessful, Darkseid offers the Earth to Harley. When she declines, Psycho reveals Harley and Ivy’s feelings for each other to everyone in Gotham as one last act of petty revenge.
Harlivy Forever (Sorry Kite Man)
Image Via HBO Max
Harley and Ivy’s friendship starts off strong in Season 2. Ivy supports Harley in her quest for vengeance against the Injustice Society. Harley warms up to Kite Man when she realizes how much he truly cares for Ivy. They help each other realize how much they’ve changed since they first met, and that change isn’t always a bad thing. Things get complicated when they kiss for the first time after escaping the pit. They both try to chalk it up to the adrenaline they had in the moment, but it’s harder to deny their feelings when they hook up twice during Ivy’s bachelorette weekend on Themyscira.
Harley does her best to give Ivy the best bachelorette weekend possible, despite her growing feelings. When she finally opens up to Ivy after the trip, she rejects her, stating that even though she trusts Harley with her life, she isn’t ready to trust her with her heart. Ivy then throws herself into wedding planning with Kite Man and shuts Harley out. Harley tries to hide her feelings in drinks and dudes, but stumbles onto Psycho’s plan before she can truly drown her sorrows. After Ivy is taken by Psycho, Harley is willing to do whatever it takes to get her back. She works with Kite Man to develop an anti-mind control device, but he naively decides to try true love to bring Ivy back, and she knocks him out. Harley also kisses Ivy to help her, using it as cover to put the device in her ear. They defeat Psycho together, and Harley asks Ivy to be with her. However, once Kite Man regains consciousness and Psycho reveals their secret hookups, Ivy makes it clear that she still plans to marry Kite Man.
Harley is locked in Arkham Asylum with the Riddler and Two-Face, but shows no interest in escaping when King Shark, Ivy’s plant Frank (J.B. Smoove), and Clayface come for her the day before Ivy’s wedding. However, once she learns that Gordon plans to bust the wedding as a publicity stunt to run for mayor, she breaks out and tries to stop him. Ivy gets mad at Harley for interfering, and thinks that her story about Gordon’s plan is an elaborate ruse to mess up the wedding. But despite having Ivy and the rest of the wedding party against her, Harley doesn’t give up. She realizes that the wedding bouquets were replaced with fake flowers just in time to stop Gordon from arresting everyone there. The event still erupts into chaos once the villains realize what’s happening and chase the GCPD from the scene. Harley even offers to marry Kite Man and Ivy herself as they run away, but Kite Man refuses. He realizes that Ivy’s hesitation to marry him all season was a sign that she doesn’t really love him. Harley and Ivy then escape together, finally vocalizing their love for each other as they ride off into the sunset.