HARLEY QUINN Recap: (S03E09) Climax at Jazzapajizza

DISCLAIMER: This summary of the harley quinn the episode “Climax at Jazzapajizza” has spoilers. Prepare for the zombie plant apocalypse and proceed at your own risk.

Welcome back, Harlivy lovers! It’s hard to believe we’ve reached Season 3 penultimate episode territory, but here we are. “Climax at Jazzapajizza” has a title I need to fathom spelling it out and actualizes Ivy Gotham’s terraforming plan. This outing is light and fun, displaying the charm and biting wit of the series; however, it seems short. And rushed. Overall, Ivy’s plan to terraform Gotham is short-lived and ends in a whimper.

I was hoping for something that spanned at least two episodes. Maybe see Ivy fight more, because it’s been her dream for so long. Of course, she loves Harley with all her heart, and I wouldn’t want this conflict to end in a breakup or their death. That said, there’s nothing wrong with high-octane opposition, even between lovebirds. Perhaps my disappointment stems from the time spent on this arc, only for it to end, well, as it ended.

Ready to dive into “Climax at Jazzapajizza”? Let’s go.

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Gotta put it on the pod

We open with Nightwing (Harvey Guillén) and Batgirl (Briana Cuoco) standing guard over Harley (Kaley Cuoco), Ivy (Lake Bell), Psycho (Tony Hale) and Clayface (Alan Tudyk) at Wayne Manor. Harley and the others explain that Bruce Wayne is responsible for the ensuing plant zombie apocalypse. On cue, ole Brucey (Diedrich Bader) bursts into the room with his zombie parents in tow.

Then Psycho utters perhaps one of my favorite lines of the season: “I gotta put it on the pod.” That’s such a dudebro podcast thing to say. Batgirl peeks out the window and quickly closes the curtain, bewildered at the sight of so many zombie plants. Then she frees our crew from their ropes.

Frank (JB Smoove) suddenly bursts into the mansion with a horde of terrifying zombies chasing him. He was able to avoid detection by acting like a zombie himself. That’s how you do it.

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Unfortunately, the zombies enter Wayne Manor and our team fends them off as best they can. One of them vomits on Psycho before Frank warns against contact with their tar-like vomit. Psycho turns into a tree.

Teenagers scare me

Meanwhile, in the Batcave, Bruce introduces Damian Wayne, aka Robin, to his zombified parents. However, Robin doesn’t seem enthusiastic about meeting her undead grandparents. Teenagers, am I right? Upstairs, our team is developing a game plan. Ivy struggles to get back into The Green. Plants and Plant Zombies share the same DNA, so she might be able to control them.

HARLEY QUINN – Season 3 Episode 9, “Climax at Jazzapajizza.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

Having learned that everybody raised from the dead, Clayface flees, presumably hoping to stop the real Billy Bob Thornton from stealing the job he stole. Only Clayface has the depth to portray Thomas Wayne as Billy Bob Thornton. We should start a hashtag campaign on Twitter — #OscarforClayface. He deserves to be in the annals of entertainment history.

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So, Frank lights a joint while Ivy heads to The Green. Harley pilots the Batjet like the badass she is, while Batgirl hops on a motorbike and Nightwing rides what looks like a dime. I desperately need it to be a dime for comedic purposes.

Our new Bat-trio targets zombie plants while surveying Gotham. While in The Green, Ivy meets Swamp Thing (Sam Richardson), who encourages her to clear any emotional stumbling blocks that stand in her way. Frank battles hordes of zombies to protect Ivy.

She has the power (of the plant)

Suddenly, fueled by a new type of power, Ivy emerges from The Green, invigorated. She also wears a costume similar to her comic book roots, including the slippers she wore in her first comic book appearance (Batman #181, June 1966). Ivy can now control zombie plants. Hooray! However, she wants to seize this moment to carry out her plan to terraform Gotham. Hooray?

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While flying through town, Harley calls King Shark (Ron Funches), who is now a bona fide ruler. She asks KS to watch over Ivy. He pretends he’s in the middle of diplomatic and royal business, but he does what he asked. Once King Shark ends the call, we see that he is in the bathroom. Hey, it’s a kindly of the throne.

Don’t Kill Assholes

Harley learns that the Bat family doesn’t like killing anyone, even if they’re assholes. Ivy controls her plant zombie followers, forcing them to do the Macarena. Now that’s settled, let’s make Gotham green!

Ivy floats in The Green as her body glows an emerald color on Harley Quinn Season 3 Episode 9,

HARLEY QUINN – Season 3 Episode 9, “Climax at Jazzapajizza.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

King Shark arrives at Wayne Manor after Ivy and Frank leave. Bruce finds him and, thinking KS is there to attack, resumes his fighting stance. However, King Shark comes in peace. He gives our Batman advice on grief and that resurrecting your long-dead parents is no way to deal with your grief. Bruce listens intently and seems to genuinely absorb King Shark’s wise wisdom. Who would have thought?

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Afterwards, Harley, Nightwing, and Batgirl kick zombie ass while Ivy is determined to multiply them. Joker (also Tudyk) hosts Jazzapajizza, Gotham’s premier jazz festival, and introduces the next performer. Ivy, an unconditional jazz fan, unleashes her zombie plants on the mass of festival-goers. We see a slew of greenery and trees growing after the zombies vomit on the humans.


Ivy descends onto the Jazzapajizza stage, her excitement palpable. She rallies her plant zombies, telling them that humans have taken nature for granted for far too long. Batgirl and Nightwing spot Ivy from afar, realizing she is behind Gotham’s new green initiative. Greenery, trees and vines materialize before their eyes. Harley urges the couple to let her talk to Ivy. She will listen to reason.

While Harley supports Ivy’s new look, she voices her concerns about the city’s rapid terraforming. Killing innocent people to achieve this vision is not a good idea. Harley has now become the voice of reason. I love his evolution in this show.

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Ivy refuses to back down, so Harley jumps in front of a vomiting plant zombie. Suddenly, Harley starts turning into a tree in front of Ivy. Bane (James Adomian), who believes Harley sacrificed herself to save him, finally forgives him for the big pasta maker gaffe of 2022. A true saint.

Killing in the Name of (Thomas and Martha Wayne)

Meanwhile, King Shark kills Bruce’s parents in an act of kindness. Thomas and Martha Wayne are (again) murdered. Maybe now Bruce will seek therapy!

Clayface, Harley, Ivy, and Psycho are tied up with rope and seated by a fireplace at Wayne Manor on Harley Quinn Season 3 Episode 9,

HARLEY QUINN – Season 3 Episode 9, “Climax at Jazzapajizza.” Photo courtesy of HBO Max.

Ivy, shocked by Harley’s transformation into a tree, screams in agony. His loss of control strips Gotham’s greenery, de-animates zombies, and returns humans to their natural state. Harley also returns to normal. Hit! Although Ivy is happy to have her daughter back, she is also disappointed with her failed terraforming plan.

Well, you know what they say: “(Wo)man makes plans…and God laughs.

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Overall, “Climax at Jazzapajizza” is not my favorite harley quinn episode. Of course, most of the elements that make a great harley quinn slice are there, but the execution, namely of Ivy’s grand plan, which was supposed to be a central plot point this season, left something to be desired. With that resolved, I wonder what the season finale has in store for us.

I’m glad Psycho is back, and I hope he’s here to stay. King Shark helping Bruce Wayne deal with his grief and trauma made me laugh. I love the constant experimentation this show dabbles in and how it’s not afraid to push the envelope in that regard. I guess “Climax at Jazzapajizza” proves how rock-solid Harlivy’s love is; I am grateful for that.

harley quinn releases new episodes every Thursday on HBO Max.

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