After being little more than set dressing for the first two seasons of “Harley Quinn,” Batman takes on a much bigger role in Season 3. He gets a whole episode dedicated to his childhood trauma, complete with references to the Adam West, Tim Burton, and Christopher Nolan eras. He gets a romance plotline of sorts via his relationship with Catwoman. The whole Bat Family plays a major role in Season 3, and in the finale, Bruce Wayne is arrested for Tax fraud. All in all, it’s a pretty eventful 10 episodes for Gotham’s favorite billionaire.
Some of that material is really great. It’s fun to see Harley’s psychology training being used to help Bruce, and it’s nice to have a major DC show that directly acknowledges some of Batman’s more questionable traits. But, more often than not, Batman plays the same way he always has in the show — as a joked-up caricature whose main recurring bit is being depressed.
To be fair, Bruce does seem to be on a path toward self-improvement by the end of “Harley Quinn” Season 3. But for most of it, he’s an echo of jokes the show has already made. He doesn’t understand rent or know how to make food, but he’s still supposed to be the heroic Batman who comic book fans have come to know and love. This balance just feels a bit off given how much screen time the Caped Crusader gets.