Dr Harleen Quinzel is a fictional character in the DC Comics Universe who later becomes the Joker's sidekick/girlfriend, Harley Quinn. In the Joker Blogs she is arguably the secondary protagonist or hero character and (currently non reciprocal) romantic interest of the Joker. In series 1 she is portrayed by Kira Westburg, however due to issues with travel the part was recast. She is currently being portrayed by Kendra Cashmore.
After the events of The Dark Knight, the Joker was placed under the care of Dr Harleen Quinzel for a 6 month trial period to assess whether he was truly insane and to spend the rest of his imprisoment at Arkham or Blackgate prison.
The Joker BlogsEdit
Dr Harleen was first introduced in the first episode of the Joker Blogs. She is not seen on camera but she talks and interacts with the Joker while video taping the sessions for reference. The Joker develops a obsession with her and their interaction blurs the lines between doctor-patient and banter. The Joker makes inappropriate and often sexual innuendos and comments regarding Harleen's appearance which she rebuffs or tries to ignore.
She tries to talk to him about his past and his sanity yet he never fully answers her questions. However she believes they are making progress due to him actively communicating and responding to her until the Joker breaks out of the asylumn one night and leaves the body of a killed security guard in her office. Things get worse the following day where it is discovered that the Joker has also killed and skinned alive the new District Attorney in the exact manner of a dream he has been describing to Harleen.
As a result Harleen is promptly replaced as the Joker's therapist with Dr Hugo Strange taking on her role, which Joker is not pleased since he had already developed an although unrequited obsessive love for Harleen however due to a violent altercation in Strange attacks the Joker, she is reinstated. In Series 1 Episode 6, Dr Jonathan Crane interrupts their session and reveals that he and Harleen had a brief relationship which she disgustedly denies. He also warns Harleen about the Joker not faking insanity though she remains undeterred. She later reveals to the Joker that she is engaged to Guy Kopski, a medical intern, which upsets Joker. In episode 7 she tells him that they have set a date for a wedding and are planning on moving to Metropolis. The Joker is clearly upset and agitated by the news which sets into motion the events of the Road Trip section of Series 1.
After the Joker's escape from Arkham, Harleen is seen on camera for the first time, albeit in a hazy, unfocused recording in an appeal to the audience to find Patient 4479 before news gets out to the media and a panic arisies in Gotham.
At the wedding we see Harleen's family and ascossiates which include characters from the comics who have been unseen in the Nolan franchise including Dr Thomas Elliot, Dr Hugo Strange and Jack Ryder, who is serving as camera man for the wedding. Before she walks down the aisle Harleen confides her doubts about the move to Metropolis to her roomate and maid of honour, Pamela who encourages her to go for it.
However before they can say their vows, the Joker crashes the wedding and shoots the priest, Father Joseph claiming he has been sent by Guy's brother to assume the mantle of the best man (he is shown killing the Best Man in an earlier episode). He proceeds to knock out Harleen's father and consequently shoot Guy himself. As Harleen clings to Guy's dying body the Joker attemps to kiss her before the lights cut off signalling the arrival of Batman.
In the chaos, Harleen picks up a gun and proceeds to shoot at Batman. The Joker wrestles the gun from her and tells her that she didn't want to go through with the wedding or she wouldn't have gotten so close to him. Harleen in response shoots him in the arm and leaves.
Sometime later a GCN news report reveals that Harleen is resuming her duties as the Joker's therapist and is determined to help him as she no has nothing left to hold onto.
In series 2, Harleen is shown to be suffering from nightmares and insomnia and this has taken a toll on her at work and in her personal life. Her father and fellow colleague and friend, Nurse Pearl express their concern for her but she still carries on as normal. It also is revealed that in the six months since the events of the wedding she has taken on the name Harleen Kopski and is now Chief of Staff at Arkham.
She visits the Joker who is being held in maximum security and restrained from the neck down, she confronts him and tells him that she intends to lie at the Arkham board meeting and say they have been making progress when in fact it is the first time in months that she has been to see the Joker. As a result the scheduled therapy sessions have become a time for the guards to beat and assault the Joker. An action to which she responds will earn them a raise. She tells the Joker there is no fixing him and she will do everything in her power to ensure he stays down in maximum security for the rest of his life.
As she proceeds to the Board meeting Dr Arkham puts the entire asylum on lockdown. Panicked, Pearl begs Harleen to leave before it is too late but she refuses. She instead heads back to her office where Dr Crane is waiting and proceeds to knock her out with fear gas.
In episode 3, Harleen undergoes a series of hallucinations due to the fear gas, including reliving her past therapy sessions with the Joker, though their roles reversed, as she is seen as a patient and the Joker as a doctor. Jonathan Crane mentions that if she were to wake up, "she would never be the same person again." During this episode it is revealed that Harleen's mother left her and her father, ("Mommy ran off with some thug") and that Harleen promised that she would never end up like her mother. Which, is ironic considering she will (probably) run off with the Joker as Harley Quinn. As the dream sequence continues, she is seen in her apartment, with the Joker telling her that she could stay there with Guy, but that it would not be real. The Joker tells her she has to make a choice, and that Harleen is afraid to move on. In another sequence, the Joker and Harleen enter the church where she was going to marry Guy. The Joker claims that Guy is not her fiance and that he represents "everything standing in her way." The Joker states that he, himself represents everything Harleen "knows in her heart to be true." He tells her to end Guy, then she can leave the hallucination. She is then shown holding a shotgun, having to choose between the Joker and Guy. As she fires the gun, the scene ends and Crane is shown boxing up the things in Harleen's office. He then looks at the Harlequin mask, before the camera turns to Harleen, who has woken up from the hallucination.
Harleen out of all the characters undergoes the biggest change throughout the series. She starts as a professional and well meaning therapist. Unlike those around her she has a genuine belief to help others and is annoyed at some of the lax procedures and undercurrent corruption at Arkham, a frustration she openly expresses to both the Joker and Jeremiah Arkham. She maintains that she can help the Joker and tries to get him to respond in a variety of ways including art therapy and prescribed medication. As her relationship with the Joker progresses she becomes more self assured and agrees to leave Gotham with her fiance.
After the Wedding, Harleen is gradually showing signs of reaching her breaking point. She has become tougher and more closed off to others. Her belief in the benefits of Arkham and helping others has become distorted and she no longer believes the Joker is capable of saving, and it's very clear she hates him. She also breaks down and cries in the lift on the way to her Board meeting.
There are countless references in the show to Harleen's future as Harley Quinn:
The first was the Joker's suggestion that she would look good as a blonde. She at the wedding is shown to have highlighted her hair blonde. Harley is a blonde in the animated series and in the comics, in the latter claiming that she is not a natural blonde, suggesting that at one point she was a brunette.
He also mentions a photograph where she went a bit heavy on the eyeliner stating it is his influence on her. Harley's costume does consist of wearing heavy clown make up including thick black rings around her eyes.
After she shoots the Joker she refers to him as Pudding- one of Harley's infamous nicknames for the Joker.
Pamela, Harley's maid of honor is shown. Pamela being Pamela Isley the alias of Poison Ivy who is Harley's best friend in the comics.
Just above her desk in series 2 is a carnival mask similar to the one she paints on her face as Harley Quinn.
The most obvious foreshadowing is in the the trailer for series 2, Harleen is shown sitting at home where a pack of flying cards surround her. She is looking at the portrait of her the Joker painted in episode 7 and gradually begins to smile. The music playing in the background is "I Started A Joke" another reference to the Joker and Harley Quinn.
In the first series Harleen has a lip piercing in the second series due to recasting the piercing is no longer there.
Harley refers to the Board Members as a Rogues Gallery, indeed the Arkham Board Members consist of some of DC's great villians including Dr Hugo Strange, Jeremiah Arkham who became the second Black Mask, and Dr Thomas Elliot otherwise known as the Villian, Hush. And of course Lex Luthor arch enemy of Superman, one of the members of the Justice League with Batman.
Episode Appearances Edit
- Therapy Begins
- Arkham Bound
- A Dream Come True
- My Funny Valentine
- An Apple a Day
- Artistic Merit
- Find Patient 4479
- Shotgun Wedding
- Staff Verification