Harley Quinn’s relationships are some of the most contentious storylines in the broader scope of the DC universe.
On the other hand, the showrunners of her animated series on HBO Max have made a vow to fans that, as long as they’re running that particular show, she’s going to be staying with Poison Ivy.
The two villains broke up in the comics earlier this year, frustrating fans who were already annoyed that DC still hasn’t introduced a Poison Ivy to Margot Robbie’s Harley in the cinematic universe. However, at least they had season three of Harley Quinn to look forward to, and they were recently reassured that nothing is changing in that regard.
“For me, we still have the occasional fan reaction of ‘I don’t like Harley and Ivy together. She should get back with the Joker,’ which we’re never going to do,” co-showrunner Patrick Schumacker told the AV Club. “Harley and Ivy will never break up in the series as long as we have a say. That’s something that we never want to touch again.”
Harley Quinn started out at the very tail end of the titular hero’s relationship with the Joker, following her difficult journey towards understanding just how much he was mistreating her and how she deserved better — with, of course, the help of her BFF Ivy.
After watching that narrative play out, with more of a nuanced criticism of the relationship between Harley and the Joker than is sometimes the case, it makes sense that the show would never have her run back to him. Her relationship with Ivy, on the other hand, was a slow burn that lasted two seasons, until the women finally managed to get on the same page by the season two finale.
And that was always the plan. Co-showrunner Justin Halpern spoke further on the reason they decided to take their time getting to the fan-favorite Harlivy relationship, saying: “We wanted to make sure that we were telling a story first. How is Harley figuring out her own identity? What sort of self-discovery is she doing after this relationship with the Joker, right? When have you ever in the history of human beings seen someone leave a terrible relationship that they’ve had for a really long time and instantly make the next relationship work perfectly? It doesn’t happen a lot. So we wanted to sort of [take] our time with that.”
To that end, this doesn’t mean that Harley and Ivy’s relationship is going to be all smooth sailing forever... as they’ll face plenty of bumps in the road. However, Schumacker and Halpern are committed to finding ways to do that without resorting to break-up drama just for the hell of it.
Fortunately, the first three episodes of Harley Quinn season three dropped on HBO Max yesterday, with new episodes to be released every Thursday.