Harley Quinn’s story of love and loss is a tale as old as time. Girl meets homicidal maniac boy, falls in love with said boy, and then comes to the realization that he’s a whole piece of garbage who was actively holding her back from the true greatness that everyone around her could always see she was destined for.
Harley and the Joker are more than done in the antihero’s DC Universe series (which is officially coming back for season two), which is what made it seem as if the first season would naturally play into Harley eventually finding love in the arms of her friend who’s just a good friend Poison Ivy. And yet, by the season’s end, there was little to no romantic energy between the two Gotham baddies—especially since Ivy spent the bulk of her time spiraling into a weird relationship with Kite-Man (hell yeah) of all people.
It would have made all the sense in the world for a show about Harley determining her own destiny to involve her realizing that Ivy’s the person she was meant to be with, but in a recent interview with Geeks WorldWide, showrunner Justin Halpern explained there’s a very specific reason why that didn’t happen in season one.
Though Harley and Ivy are clearly a match, Halpern explained that neither of them was really in a healthy emotional space in Harley Quinn’s first season, and putting the two characters together simply for the sake of it would have been a disservice. According to the showrunner, “Our thinking was we didn’t want Harley to jump right back into another relationship when she was on a journey for self-discovery. That felt like selling out her character.”
“For Ivy, we felt like it was important for our version of the character, who has a bit of social anxiety and neuroses and scars from her life (we get into that more in upcoming eps), to operate from that place at first. When you are emotionally hurt and haven’t dealt with your issues, you don’t always pick the best partner for you. In fact, most of the time you pick the wrong one,” Halpern continued. “So we felt like both of these characters needed to go through some things emotionally, and grow as people before they would be in a place where they could really and truly experience a loving relationship and make it work.”
Halpern also expressed that while there is a very brief moment where it seems as if both Ivy and Harley realize that they might be attracted to one another, Harley Quinn as a series isn’t merely teasing their relationship to titillate viewers with the promise of what might be.
“We’re not trying to bait anyone or tease anyone,” he said. “We pay off things [in season two] in a satisfying way but we want to make sure we earn it.”
Though Harley’s a product of the Joker’s popularity, she’s taken on a life that exists outside of him and her romantic entanglements to other people. Harley breaking free of the Joker’s toxicity is very much a part of the brand that DC is currently pushing for the character, which is a very good thing that Harley Quinn is handling in a very thoughtful way.
Going forward, Harley’s more stable sense of self is likely what’s going to end up making her realize that Ivy’s her person when Harley Quinn returns this April.
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