The Suicide Squad: why Harley Quinn is back in prison
Harley Quinn was last seen taking off with her apprentice Cassandra Cain in Birds of Prey, but come on The Suicide Squad, she’s back in jail.
WARNING: The following contains spoilers for The Suicide Squad, now in theaters and streaming on HBO Max.
Viewers who haven’t seen 2016 Suicide Squad can go to James Gunn The suicide squad cold. That being said, it’s still a continuation of its predecessor and the DC Extended Universe films that followed. For most of the characters in Task Force X, that doesn’t mean much. They’re either new to the Cowardly DC Cinematic Universe, or haven’t appeared since. Suicide Squad. There is one character that is an exception: the star of the first film, Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie).
Harley was last seen in the 2020s Birds of Prey (and the Fantabulous Emancipation of a Harley Quinn). True to its subtitle, the film was about Harley Quinn struggling on her own after being dumped by the Joker. She teams up with the titular team against their common enemy, Mafia boss Roman Sionis, better known as Black Mask.
Harley fought alongside Black Canary, the Huntress, and Renee Montoya against Sionis. Probably due to her experience with the Suicide Squad, she was a good team player. She was able to work with the Birds despite how easily her personality might have clashed with theirs, especially the sane cop Montoya.
The makeshift group succeeded in defeating Sionis’ army of criminals. With the help of the Huntress, Harley was able to chase Sionis on roller skates after kidnapping Cassandra Cain, the young thief Harley had taken under her wing. Harley confronted and ultimately killed Sionis, pushing him off a jetty as he held a living grenade that Cassandra had planted on him.
While Harley worked well with the Birds, she was not interested in joining the group. As Canary, Huntress, and Montoya bond over tacos, Harley and Cassandra escaped with the Diamond that was the MacGuffin in the movie. To add insult to injury, Harley stole Canary’s car to get away. even though she worked well with them, Harley still considers the Birds to be “stupid little benefactors.” Nonetheless, Harley threw a bone to the birds when she allowed Huntress to access her family’s fortunes via encrypted bank codes on the diamond. Harley pledged the diamond himself and used the money she earned to go into business with her “apprentice,” Cassandra.
It seems Harley’s time as a girlboss was short-lived. In a disposable line in The suicide squad, Rick Flag tells another squad veteran, Captain Boomerang, that Harley joined the team after being caught robbing a bank. Obviously, Harley’s startup didn’t work. Either she needed the money or she was bored working as a freelance badass. It also calls into question what happened to Cassandra between the end of Birds of prey and The suicide squad. Although none of the above is provided in The suicide squad, fans will always be happy to see Harley again with the team, which requires her to return to prison and under the thumb of Amanda Waller.
To see how Harley Quinn’s story unfolds, watch The Suicide Squad, now in theaters or on HBO Max.
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