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A eulogy for Harley Quinn's egg sandwich in Birds of Prey
Friends, we are gathered here today in a heady time, one of celebration and deep grief. We're celebrating the release of Birds of Prey: And the Fantabulous Emancipation of One Harley Quinn, which brings an eye-popping array of fabulous fashion, outrageous action, and badass broads ready to throw down in Gotham. However, we are also here to pay our respects to one of Harley's closest allies, her dearly departed breakfast sandwich.
There are relationships in this life that define us. There are stalwarts on whom we rely to be there for us when we are weary, heartbroken, and horrendously hung over. For Harley, when she was at her lowest, she found no solace in her bad beau Joker. She'd not yet teamed up with the hip heroines Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya. In the wake of her breakup from the clown prince of crime, she found herself surrounded by fair-weather friends, unleashed foes, and gossiping roller-derby girls. The only comfort she could trust came from her dependable and delicious breakfast sandwich.
Warning: Spoilers within for Birds of Prey.
The morning after she bailed on margaritas and blew up the chemical factory, Harley rolled into her local bodega, wearing clothes from the night before, a thin sheen of debris, and only one shoe. But the breakfast sandwich wouldn't judge her.
Screenwriter Christina Hodson sings the praises of this sandwich's warmth and wonders through Harley's breathless voiceover. Margot Robbie's tone trills in lusty anticipation as she describes: Two eggs, cooked on the griddle. Bacon, crispy. Two slices of American cheese, two splashes of hot sauce sandwiched between the buttered halves of a golden brown bun. In food-porny close-ups, celebrated cinematographer Matthew Libatique pays tribute to the beauty of a sandwich that's a staple of Gotham's real-world inspiration, New York City. There, breakfast perfection is ordered in four words: bacon, egg, and cheese.
Before Harley leaves, she chirps praises to the sandwich maker, Sal, whose Armenian arm hair is basically its special spice. Then she heads out into the city, reveling in every step of this sacred ritual of healing. On the sidewalk, she unwraps the top. The crinkle of the paper becomes a tempting invitation. Harley's mouth spreads into a smile, and we can almost feel the heat of the sandwich in our own hands, nearly smell the butter, bacon, and bun. Then, disaster.
A chase scene runs Harley and her sammy through the bustling streets and crowded alleys of Gotham. In a smart move, she tucks her sandwich into her bralette, doing her best to protect her BFF (bread food friend). But the fates are against them. Despite some quick thinking and dumb luck, Harley loses grip on her egg sandwich, which falls to pieces on the foul pavement in slow motion. Director Cathy Yan then cuts back to Harley's reaction, also in slo-mo so we can see the precise moment where her heart explodes into a confetti bomb.
"It took the last thing I truly love!"
So today, we remember you, Bacon Egg and Cheese. For you have been a friend to more than just this capering criminal with fierce fashion sense. You have been there for us on rainy mornings, offering motivation to roll out of bed. You have been there for us on bad days and cheat days, and you have been there for us in long nights that stretch into rough early mornings. You were our hangover cure, our Sunday treat, and our boring meeting co-pilot. So when Harley lost you before she was able to take a single bite, we all felt that loss. Our hearts broke for her, and our stomachs growled for you.
However, my friends, this sandwich, warm and cheesy, would not want us to mourn its death, but celebrate life. Bacon Egg and Cheese was a champion for good days and would want Harley and us to have many more. It would be glad to know we can rally and learn to love again. Looking down from its perch in food heaven, where its bun is never stale and its bacon never burnt, it smiles seeing Harley ride off into the sunset with fresh egg sandwich in hand, sharing the love for its perfection with a new friend.