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Here's Why You Need to Watch 'Harley Quinn' Season 3 as a Trauma Survivor

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Editor's Note

If you have experienced emotional abuse, the following post could be potentially triggering. You can contact the Crisis Text Line by texting “START” to 741741.

If you’ve ever entered a new healthy relationship after experiencing a negative and abusive one, you may relate to Harley Quinn in this new season of HBO Max’s hit adult cartoon, “Harley Quinn.”

ICYMI, “Harley Quinn” explores Harley breaking apart from The Joker and ultimately trying to build her own life as a super villain. They break up in the first episode of the first season, and explore very quickly the psychology behind entering, leaving, re-entering, and healing from an abusive relationship, and all the mental harm that it can do. While this all sounds super serious, the show is incredibly lighthearted and does a great job of taking you on this journey with Harley without it being too heavy. 

Come season two, fans got to see Harley fall for Ivy (yes, Poison Ivy) and all of the chaos that came with it, but that’s nothing compared to what we’re seeing unfold in season three, which is not only a healthy relationship for Harley after trauma, but the growth that happens on that journey.

So often when we see media that depicts someone getting a happily ever after, of sorts, after a traumatic event or relationship, we don’t see what happens after the aspirational happy ever after. In fact, usually the story stops right there and it’s implied that the main character gets to live their life free from any major strife or conflict. Suddenly, everything is just “better,” and that isn’t realistic at all compared to what it’s really like to experience your first healthy relationship after an abusive one.

Even after the self-work you’ve done prior to the relationship, you find out that there’s more that needs to be done. You learn about triggers you didn’t think you had, and you find new ways you like to be appreciated and loved compared to how you were treated before. It’s a brand new and scary process that causes us to challenge what we knew, who we thought we were, and who we want to become. 

All of this is incredibly evident in the third season also as Harley and Ivy go through “normal” couple things, like running into exes or needing some introversion time. As viewers, we get to watch Harley enter a supportive relationship where some of her negative traits are challenged versus berated, and she gets conscious intentional honesty versus manipulation and unfair criticism. 

The showrunner was asked if we’d ever see Harley get back with The Joker, and he responded that we wouldn’t as long as he had a say in things, and I think that’s great. We won’t have to see someone fall back into abuse for entertainment sake, another trope that we see so often.

If you’re looking for a mature laugh featuring some of your favorite Gotham City Sirens, then “Harley Quinn” is 100% the show for you, especially if you’re in need of a happily ever after that shows you can have that dream love now, even if you aren’t completely healed.

Lead image courtesy of HBO Max’s official YouTube channel.

Originally published: August 26, 2022
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