Warning: spoilers for Birds Of Prey are in play. If you haven’t seen Harley Quinn’s latest adventures, then back out and come back once you’ve caught up.
Following the colorful blast of chaos that sees the dawn of some new heroes/antiheroes in Gotham City, there are some repercussions that will possibly be felt for some time in the world of DC Comics movies. And it all comes from the final act of Birds of Prey, which is why we’re about to discuss what happens and what it all means.
Consider this your last chance to avoid spoilers, as we’re about to dive into that movie’s ending in detail. So if you’re looking to go in fresh, this isn’t the place for you. Still here? Good, then let’s begin.
How Birds Of Prey Ended
In Birds of Prey, the conflict at hand centers around teenage pickpocket Cassandra Cain (Ella Jay Bosco). Seeing as Cain has her hands on the Bertinelli Diamond, a jewel that holds the account numbers to the vast Bertinelli fortune, almost every main character wants to get their hands on young thief.
While Harley is Cassandra’s pal for most of Birds of Prey, a betrayal from a friend leads her to decide she wants to hand the kid over to Roman Sionis (Ewan McGregor), the Gotham crime boss that’s looking to cash in on the Bertinelli fortune. Taking Cassandra to The Booby Trap, an abandoned amusement park that Harley used to hole up in with The Joker, the hand off is interrupted by team that forms into a DC supergroup by the end of the film.
Renee Montoya (Rosie Perez), Dinah Laurel Lance a.k.a Black Canary (Jurnee Smollett-Bell), and Helena Bertinelli a.k.a Huntress (Mary Elizabeth Winstead) all converge on The Booby Trap. With Montoya and Lance working to protect the girl and destroy the Sionis crime family, and Bertinelli looking to avenge her family’s death, everyone has their own reason for wanting to be there, and nobody trusts anyone else.
All it takes is Roman himself, showing up in his full Black Mask persona, to help Harley Quinn to convince the Birds of Prey to become a temporary alliance. A hard fought battle dispatches all of Sionis’ hired goons, but he manages to capture Cassandra and escape in a caravan of cars.
Harley gives chase, after Black Canary uses her superpowered voice to blow away the remaining Sionis goons, and eventually tracks them down to Founders Pier. Fully empowered, she stands up to Roman Sionis, despite the fact that she misses her one and only shot at taking him out with a bullet. Cassandra swoops in to save the day, though, by pulling the pin on a grenade she hides in Roman’s jacket.
Kicked over a railing, Roman Sionis explodes into chunks before he hits the water below, and Harley saves Cassandra to fight another day. The two remain bonded, as they skip out on Montoya, Black Canary, and Huntress during a post-battle bonding breakfast. Thanks to the Bertinelli heiress reclaiming her fortune, a new superhero team is founded in this trio of heroes, the Birds of Prey, and Harley and Cass get to live with a little bit of luxury by pawning the diamond.
Where Birds Of Prey Leaves Harley Quinn And Cassandra Cain
While the Birds of Prey are teamed up, ready to take the battle to the criminal scum in Gotham City, Harley Quinn and Cassandra Cain have formed their own clique as “Bad Ass Motherfuckers.” Clearly, this leaves Harley open to pursue her own adventures in the future, as she isn’t tied down to any group of do-gooders she may have temporarily fought alongside.
Harley was only ever meant to be the fateful, cosmic force that brought the Birds together. But that doesn’t mean she’ll be flying solo forever, as we already know that Margot Robbie’s DC Comics hellion will be returning for the James Gunn sequel The Suicide Squad in 2021. So it’s probably a good thing that she still remembers Jai Courtney’s Captain Boomerang, whose image she spots on a wall, as they’ll be reunited in the near future.
That could also mean that Harley and Cassandra Cain's new joint venture isn't meant to last terribly long either. Between her loose cannon personality, and the fact that she'll be working with the Suicide Squad again, Harley's ways will probably see Cassandra in need of somewhere else to hang out fairly soon after the events of Birds of Prey. This could mean some interesting things for the future slate of DC Comics films of the future; none of which are spelled out in any post-credits scenes (Though Harley Quinn does try to tell the audience something interesting about Batman before she's cut off by the studio logos).
What Could Birds Of Prey’s Ending Mean For Future DC Movies?
DC has tried to form a connected cinematic universe before, but with the results of Justice League being underwhelming, that initial approach has dissipated to a certain degree. With most DC movies operating as independent franchises at this moment, don’t expect Birds of Prey to connect to the exploits featured in Matt Reeves' upcoming The Batman, or any other feature beyond the aforementioned The Suicide Squad any time soon.
However, that doesn’t mean Birds of Prey can’t start its own smaller-scale interconnected franchise. The events and players of Suicide Squad are recognized in the film, and although what's ahead for the team is a soft reboot from writer/director James Gunn, there’s still a shot that Harley and her crime-loving friends might be able to cross paths with Black Canary, Huntress, and Renee Montoya in the future.
Also certainly on the table is a spin-off, as the Birds of Prey could find themselves with their own film separate from everything going on with Harley Quinn. Given that Cassandra Cain becomes Batgirl in the world of DC Comics, perhaps there’s a chance that when Harley Quinn rejoins her teammates for The Suicide Squad, Cassandra will enter the protective custody of her other protectors, and gain her own costumed identity.
In its own sly sort of way, Birds of Prey took a breakout character and not only introduced a new cadre of crimefighters, but renewed the idea of a limited but connected DC Extended Universe that could function as a long term moneymaker for Warner Bros.
All it took was an explosive break up, a gigantic fight sequence with some sick needle drops, and the death of one breakfast sandwich. Some sacrifices were made, but in the end they were totally worth it. Except for maybe that breakfast sandwich, which is still pretty traumatic to talk about.