"A Fight Worth Figting For" is the eleventh episode of the second season of Harley Quinn, and the twenty-fourth episode of the series overall. It was released on June 12, 2020 on DC Universe.

This episode is preceded and followed by Frank the Plant and Chaz in the basement from the cold opening of "Batman's Back Man". Here, Frank does a recap of past episodes to explain how the Justice League ended up in Queen of Fables' storybook in the season 1 episode, "Devil's Snare", requiring Harley to restore his memory in the previous episode, "Dye Hard", which he had lost in the season one finale. This episode then plays as normal, and afterward they return, with Frank singing praises of the show's writing quality while also complaining about Chaz's buttered popcorn, declaring that he is "watching [his] cholesterol".

Synopsis

In order to defeat Psycho's army, Harley & Joker need to track down Fables' storybook with the Justice League inside.

Plot

Following the episode's cold open, Harley watches for the Joker to emerge from the vat of acid. When he does, he begins to laugh hysterically, once again his old self, but Harley slaps him repeatedly and demands to know where Queen of Fables' book is. At some point during this time, or perhaps when he was in the vat of acid itself, Harley plants a bomb in the Joker's brain to ensure his cooperation.

In the Gotham Mall, Doctor Psycho has taken it over and made it his base once again, and from here he commands the Parademons to take over all of Gotham, slaughtering their way through the cities remaining inhabitants. While this happens, the Riddler wonders what the plan is, so Doctor Psycho has the Riddler call Darkseid - but naturally, the Riddler doesn't have an "inter-dimensional data plan", so Doctor Psycho has to look through his own phone for Darkseid. After commenting about Doctor Psycho's dermatologist for his adult acne, he finally finds Darkseid and calls him.

The Joker's new family

Back in Ace Chemicals, the Joker comes to and is outraged at having been slapped. He's far more concerned about what happened to himself than Harley's insistence on learning where Queen of Fable's book is, and he slowly begins to remember what happened to him since falling into the vat of acid during "The Final Joke". After the collapse of his tower, he was pulled out of the rubble by an older hispanic nurse named Bethany, who nursed him back to health and fell in love with him. She even introduced him to her two children who, although initially distrusting of the Joker, were warmed to him when he introduced himself by giving them a puppy. They began to see him as a father figure, and he seamlessly integrated into their family.

Continuing to remember his time as a sane man, he recalls a point where he accidentally backed into another car, forcing Bethany to defend him from the car's angry owner with her broken bottle. He would spend time at his job as a bartender and come home to Bethany's kids to read them bedtime stories, the picture of domestic bliss and familial happiness, but now that the Joker has his memory back he is horrified at what he became. However, Harley doesn't care and only wants to know where the book is, threatening to blow up his brain if he does not comply, so he reluctantly acquiesces.

In the Batcave, Batman tracks the Batplane and eventually traces it to ACE Chemicals, where he spots the Joker and Harley Quinn. He presumes them to be behind everything, and so declares that it is finally time for Batman to return. Alfred Pennyworth immediately says no, but not because Batman isn't healed; he simply needs to disinfect the Batsuit first.

Fon-damn it!Kite Man

Kite Man and Poison Ivy are planning their wedding even as the skies over Gotham are swarming with Parademons. Given these conditions and Ivy's unusual hastiness, Kite Man wonders why Ivy seems in such a hurry to be married, even suggesting that they might postpone things for happier times so their marriage could be better. However, rather than simply going anywhere else on the planet without Parademons, Ivy is insistent on getting married in Gotham and as rapidly as possible so that she can "move forward with my life and leave some things behind". She says she's that those "things" might catch up with her if she doesn't get married immediately, and also because she loves and wants to marry Kite Man, which fills him with joy.

Meanwhile, Harley and the Joker arrive at Bethany's house, where the Joker laments his time as a "loser suburban stepdad", but he nonetheless turns off the sprinklers out of a domestic concern that he's overwatering the grass and the entire neighborhood. They are greeted by Bethany's gun in their faces, telling them to leave, but Harley reassures her that they aren't there to rob her. Still wary, she demands elaboration, so the Joker explains that they're just there for an evil fairytale book, that the man she was dating for six months was really him all along while he was suffering from amnesia.

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Bethany
That's fuckin' ridiculous.
The Joker
Is it any more ridiculous than pointing that gun at my face? The gun you think little Sofia and Benicio don't know about? The gun you've never loaded or shot in your life?
[The Joker takes the gun away]
The Joker
Soy yo, pudding.
Bethany
Mi corazon.
— The Joker proves his identity to Bethany

Although Bethany does not believe the Joker, he proves it to her with his knowledge and disarms her, his sheer force of personality preventing her from firing as he does. She opens her door for him, slaps him, and then rants at him in Spanish. His patience quickly expires and he orders her to give him the book or he would kill her (although Harley orders him not to, threatening to explode his brain), at which point Bethany demands to know if anything they had was even real. She rattles off all the fun times they had, which the Joker begrudgingly admits to having truly enjoyed, but he insists that he didn't know who he was and so it cannot have been genuine: "I'm the Joker! Obvious, I'm not going to date some suburban mom."

Bethany begins to cry at the Joker's harsh rebuke and leaves to get the book, and although Harley thinks he was being too harsh, he says "I'm the Joker" as an explanation. Bethany then returns, and tells him that if he's too much of a "coward" to try and make their love work then he can have the book, at which point she tosses it at him. Miraculously, a Parademon swoops by at that exact moment and snatches it away. Bethany curses the Joker angrily in Spanish one last time and then slams the door in his face.

Doctor Psycho
All right. I'm gonna make this quick. When I was a little boy, my mother brought me to the county fair. There was a Ferris Wheel. A big, beautiful thing, and you had to be a certain height to ride it. And, of course, I was too short. But, my mother would always say, 'Patience, Eddie. I'm sure next year you're gonna be big enough.' Let me tell you right now. The next year rolled around, and I hadn't gotten any taller. Years went by. I hung upside down from my ankles for hours. I took growth hormones. Anything to ride that big wheel in the sky. I never did get there. But, then, one day, somethin' very unexpected happened. All those people fell to their death! And it was a rush! I thought it was so satisfying to watch all those people die! And, that's when I decided to hate women.
Darkseid
I'm not sure that tracks.
— Doctor Psycho's backstory

As this happens, Doctor Psycho finally gets in contact with Darkseid and asks for Harley's contract to be added to him. He says he's late for a meeting, so Doctor Psycho takes the opportunity to launch into his long-winded backstory, at which point Darkseid said he would be ending the transmission. However, the Riddler quickly comes over and advises Doctor Psycho that 87% of apocalyptian business transactions are fueled by revenge, at which point Doctor Psycho reads his mind, finds his logical conclusion, and then uses it to entice Darkseid into making a new contract; Harley's head in exchange for control of planet Earth. Delighted, Doctor Psycho sends his Parademons to capture Harley Quinn, although he gets distracted by the Riddler's massive calves briefly.

Poison Ivy's wedding dress

The Parademons flood out even to where Ivy and Kite Man are doing a fitting for their wedding. Ivy comes out in a gorgeous white wedding dress, but Kite Man is concerned that him seeing her in a dress before wedding day breaks tradition, that Harley should be the one to offer feedback on dresses. Ivy brushes this off, and Kite Man wonders if Ivy and Harley got into a fight. Again Ivy brushes this off and says that Kite Man is better at dress feedback anyway, so he does get into the gradients of white used for the dress (which confuses Ivy) until a Parademon bursts into the fitting room. Ivy dispatches the Parademons and becomes enraged that they ruined her dress and wedding, declaring her vengeance against Doctor Psycho and asking Kite Man to "hold my hair" ("yeah sure honey").

Harley Quinn and the Joker are also taking the fight to the Parademons, infiltrating their nest so that they can recover Queen of Fables' storybook. The Joker complains vociferously and asks to be killed, but Harley says it's his fault for being so callous to Bethany and making her throw the book. The Joker insists that she actually threw it because she's loca, but that they did have some good times together. As they continue onward, he comments that it may have been the most fulfilling relationship he's ever been in, discounting his relationship with Harley completely.

Harley wonders where his sudden sentimentality was when they dated, but the Joker says that she came for him when he was already famous, whereas Bethany loved him when he was nothing, a nobody. Harley angrily rounds on him and says it's because he'd forgotten what a "piece of shit" he was, which bemuses him and prompts him to wonder how she was ever a therapist. They continue on, and the Joker actually begins to regret his actions with Bethany, mentioning that Harley's failure to get with Poison Ivy has him thinking about his own relationships.

Bethany and I used to cuddle just like that. God, we could just sit on the couch and talk about nothing for hours. We just got each other. She always had my back. … Good God! That's true love.The Joker

Harley and the Joker come upon two Parademons snuggling together, which prompts the Joker to recall back to his own relationship with Bethany. As he monologues, Harley herself remembers her times with Ivy, and urges him to "fight for" his true love with Bethany. They then grab the book and leave, but suddenly find themselves surrounded on all sides by Parademons. Fighting side by side once again, they manage to defeat scores of the Parademons, but although they find themselves standing atop a mound of corpses, the Parademon numbers are too great and they begin to tire.

They prepare to die, but at the last moment Batman arrives and captures them, saving them in the process. He accuses them of being in league with Doctor Psycho, but Harley clarifies that they're trying to save the justice league from Queen of Fables' book. Unfortunately however, the book they just fought for is the wrong one, the actual book is still at Bethany's, so they head that way while Batman calls Zatanna Zatara to meet them there. Back in the Gotham Mall, the Parademons report their failure to Doctor Psycho, who is initially concerned until Poison Ivy arrives to kill him. She demands that he rein in the Parademons until after her wedding or she'll end him, but he is totally unconcerned, happy in fact, as he then takes control of her mind.

I wanna give this a shot. ¿Y tú, mi amor?The Joker to Bethany

Batman and company arrive in suburbia to get the book, but the Joker halts Batman, saying that it's his task to go before Bethany. She opens the door for him cold as ever, but the Joker has an uncharacteristically heartfelt moment of vulnerability where he earnestly says that he's been missing something; love. This is surprising to Batman, but the Joker finishes his statement, at which point Bethany takes him back. She begins to kiss him, at which point Batman irreverently says they need the book, angering Harley who says to "read the fucking room!"

Zatanna Zatara arrives and frees the Justice League, and although Bethany's children are initially delighted to see them, their shellshocked relief at being released from the horrors of Queen of Fables' storybook quickly dampens their delight. Wonder Woman described it as "hell", Superman shudders at the memory of listening to the same songs over and over again, and The Flash mutters in traumatic horror about something being "Too soft. Too Hard. Never just right. Never just right."

"I am going to kill you"

Batman debriefs the Justice League, at which point The Flash leaves for Central City, Zatanna Zatara departs, and the rest of the Justice League disperse to deal with the Parademons. With them gone, Harley asks the Joker if he just plans on returning to his amnesiac suburban self, and in response he says that he'll still be a serial killer; just with a reason to kill, love. He then urges Harley to go get her own love, and although Harley insists that Ivy said no, the Joker asks her if she's prepared to live with that. Harley leaves, but meets Ivy at the door, who has murder in mind.

Cast and Characters

Main Cast

Guest Cast

Cameos

Trivia

  • This episode is preceded and followed by a cold opening, mirroring that of "Batman's Back Man", even taking place in the same basement but featuring Frank the Plant and his weed dealer Chaz. It is filled with fourth-wall-breaking jokes with Frank praising the show and promoting Harley getting a EGOT.
    • At one point the website EGOTforharley.com shows up on the screen, which is a real URL created for the show.
    • Showrunner Justin Halper confirmed in a reddit post after the episode that the segments with Frank the Plant recapping the plot was added to reach the necessary run time.[1]
  • The shot of a frantic Joker grabbing his head after emerging from the acid is a reference to the most iconic panel from The Killing Joke
  • A shot in Joker's flashback montage, remembering his relationship with Bethany featuring the pair sharing a sundae in a diner is a reference to the painting Nighthawks.
  • Harley and Joker's profiles seen on the batcomputer in this episode is full of easter eggs
    • On Joker's profile, Jerry Robinson, Bob Kane and Bill Finger, the original creators of his character are listed as "Known Associates" and on Harley's profile, her creators Bruce Timm and Paul Dini are listed.
    • Harley's profile shows she's wanted for, among other things, "Nuclear Intimidation", a call-back to her threatening to nuke the city unless she got a highway named after her in "So You Need a Crew?".
    • Aside from more obvious and serious crimes like Arson and Murder, Joker is wanted for "Cattle Rustling" and Harley for "Digital Piracy".
  • When Batman decides to return to crime-fighting he says "It's time for Batman to... return" and shortly after "Batman begins... again", referencing two of the most well-known Batman movies Batman Returns and Batman Begins.

Gallery

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References

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