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Season 2 of HBO Max's adult animated Harley Quinn ended with Harley (Kaley Cuoco) and Poison Ivy (Lake Bell) finally embracing their feelings for each other and trying to make a go of things as an actual couple. After a season together now, things are a bit different, but the pairing known as "Harlivy" lives on for a very good reason.
**Spoilers for Season 3 of Harley Quinn below.**
We already know that Harley Quinn is getting a fourth season at HBO Max, and this week's Season 3 finale set the stage for some interesting developments in the next round of episodes, particularly when it comes to Harley and Ivy's relationship. Though they're still together personally, professionally they seem to be going in different directions, as Ivy joins forces with Lex Luthor to lead the Legion of Doom and Harley teams up with Batgirl, of all people, who's just become head of the Bat-Family in Gotham after Batman himself was arrested.
It's a study in opposite professional directions, to be sure, but according to executive producers Justin Halpern and Patrick Schumacker, it's no reason to suspect the couple's in trouble. In fact, Harley and Ivy's ability to fight about these different paths and still come home to each other is an indication of their strength.
"I remember when we broke that story, we wanted to make sure that the episode wasn’t like, 'Are they going to break up?,' so we ended that scene where they fight with Ivy being like, 'I’m going to Costco, just text me if you need anything,'" Halpern told TVLine. "Because that’s how so many actual married couple and like close relationship fights end, where it’s like you have the fight, but then there are also errands that need to be done. We wanted to take the heat out of it a bit and show you that it’s just two people in a good relationship who are fighting."
For Schumacker, the connection goes even deeper, and becomes proof that Harley and Ivy have been able to change each other for the better over the course of the series.
"I also feel like Harley has taught Ivy over time — more than anyone, or maybe she’s the only one? — empathy for humanity on some level," he said. "She is able to rein her in a little when she does go off the rails, as she does in this season in her supervillainy. I think that’s a component that does keep them together, that Ivy has changed for the better and become more three-dimensional because of Harley."
In Season 4, Harley Quinn will get a brand-new showrunner, as longtime writer Sarah Peters steps up into a leadership role for the show. While they didn't tease new plot points outright, Halpern and Schumacker did speak to what their conversations with Peters have been like in terms of setting the stage for what's to come, particularly as it applies to the emerging Batgirl/Harley collaboration.
"We’ve talked with Sarah Peters — who’s going to be the showrunner of Season 4, who was a huge influence on the first three seasons, and who has been a writer every year — about this idea of struggling with how things are so binary in the superhero world," Halpern said. "Like, there’s a bad guy, there’s a good guy, and the feeling you have to be one of those things. There’s also the idea of, 'Who creates this sort of bureaucracy within superhero world?'
"But with Batgirl, we thought there was a lot of stuff to mine in the sense that she is, like, Gen Z and looks at the world a certain way, and Harley is like a millennial who looks at the world a certain way. And without getting into the archetypes where it’s just a very basic, 'I’m a Millennial! You’re a Gen Z!,' we liked the idea of these two people having to both work together. Also, the way they look at what’s good and bad, and the way that they talk to one another, felt really fun and interesting to us."
Harley Quinn's entire third season is now streaming on HBO Max.
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