Before Birds of Prey, recap of how Harley Quinn and Joker's relationship was depicted in Suicide Squad
Suicide Squad, released in 2016, charted Joker and Harley Quinn's romance, and if it had any Easter Egg for Birds of Prey.
The wait is finally over for DC fans as Birds of Prey (And The Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn) releases worldwide this Friday on 7 February. Directed by Cathy Yan, Birds of Prey is a follow-up to Suicide Squad from 2016, and sees a post-Joker Harley Quinn band together with Gotham City cop Renee Montoya, Cassandra Cain, the vigilante Huntress, and the lounge singer Black Canary to take down Gotham City crime lord Black Mask.
Ahead of the release of Birds of Prey, here is a look at the events of Suicide Squad, and how it impacted Harley Quinn and Joker's relationship.
Suicide Squad begins with an emergency: Superman is dead, which has prompted intelligence officer Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) to set up a task force consisting of dangerous criminals locked up at the Belle Reve Special Security Barracks. In a flashback sequence, the audience is introduced to all the members of the team, including Quinn (Margot Robbie). Once a psychologist at Arkham Asylum, she falls in love with Joker (Jared Leto), her patient. Described as a "workplace romance gone wrong," their relationship becomes the seedling to chaos and mayhem as they escape the asylum together. In an attempt to transform her into what he is, Joker tortures her to the brink of insanity.
In the present, Waller instals nano bombs in the necks of Task Force X set to detonate should anyone from the team try to rebel or escape. When Joker learns this, he blackmails the scientist who made the chip to disable Harley's bomb. On the other hand, Harley receives a text message saying Joker is coming to extricate her.
Joker then hijacks the helicopter meant for Waller to rescue Harley. Predictably enough, she abandons the squad, and heads for the helicopter. Realising Harley intends to escape with Joker and her nano bomb has been disabled, Waller instructs Deadshot (Will Smith) to shoot Harley. Deadshot deliberately misses the shot, letting Harley go. She is reunited with her psychotic lover but their romance is cut short as Waller's team shoots the helicopter down. Harley slips out of the helicopter, and lands onto a building roof. Meanwhile, the helicopter crashes. The film ends with a heartbroken Quinn joining the squad again.
Birds of Prey picks up from where Suicide Squad had left off, with Quinn trying to deal with her current single status. Suicide Squad indicated Joker is dead but Harley Quinn maintains in the Birds of Prey trailer they have just undergone a "breakup." After a significant amount of cheese whiz guzzling, jumping out of cars and blowing up what seems like Joker's headquarters, she declares she is "completely fine."
Upon release, Suicide Squad was met with mixed reviews for using Joker as a pawn and not delving deep into either his character or his romance with Quinn. But it was Margot Robbie's performance that lapped up all the praise. As the actress gears up to reprise the role in Birds of Prey, it will be interesting to see if Harley Quinn comes on her own as a psychotic anti-hero, now that Joker is out of the equation.
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