Monday, 23 April 2012

Young Justice: Episode 26 Review and Recap

Auld Acquaintance
- Recap
Turns out last week wasn't the last episode of the first season after all. Oops. Anyway, back on with the actual season finale before Invasion starts next week.

The episode begins in Washington DC, where Roy is on the run from the mindcontrolled Justice League. They easily beat the tar out of him while he attempts to escape through he subway system. They knock him around some more, but he uses the distraction of a passing train to escape down a drain.

Title sequence.

The Team are still celebrating their victory from the last episode, though Aqualad is still cautious as despite them proving Superboy, M'Gann and Artemis innocent, the information leak still had to have come from somewhere. Which is the point that Batman reveals that it was in fact Roy who was the Mole the entire time. Interesting tactic, making the truth with an edge of lies to make the untruths more palatable. Batman then states that Roy was infact another Cadmus clone, and that the original Speedy was abducted and replaced shortly after becoming Green Arrow's sidekick. Clone!Roy's subconscious programming drove him to try and prove himself League-worthy, but it only fully kicked in once they admitted him to the JL. Batman then says though, that he was able to deduce what was going on before Roy could cause any actual damage.

Batman then goes on to say that since the original Roy Harper wasn't located at Cadmus, in all likelihood he's probably dead at this point (yikes!). Aqualad and the Team angrily state that they'll go and capture Fake!Roy, but Batman says that since Roy is a League member it's their responsibility to go and get him. As he returns to the Watchtower, Zatanna can be seen clutching her head, evidently something is giving her a migraine. But just when Red Tornado is about to touch the back of Aqualad's neck, his entire body shuts down.

Zatanna says that she's feeling a low level mystic force coming from him, and that she was receiving a similar one off of Batman. Robin then mentions that Batman had just called them kids, which is some that he would never do, and then Wally finds one of the nanochips in Red Tornado's hand, which they recognise from being part of the stash that Cheshire had in a previous episode. Aquald splits the Team into two, one half will sort of Red Tornado and try to bring him back online, while the rest will try and bring in Red Arrow.

Robin isn't sure where to start with fixing Red, as the problem is with his hardware not his software, but Zatanna remembers the android that he was making up in his apartment. Just while they're completing the download though Black Canary shows up, and when Red Tornado tries to yell at the team to get to safety, she Canary Cries him on half. Robin and Rocket knock her out by sticking a knockout gas capsule to her and sealling her in a forcefield bubble, while they act shocked that she's attack them. Red Tornado says that Black Canary attacking them is the least of their problems, and they need to abandon the cave as quickly as possible. They manage to escape just before Icon, Captain Marvel and Dr Fate arrive in their HQ (wow, the Light aren't pulling any punches are they?).

At the Hall of Justice, Aqualad mentions that Red Arrow has caches of equipment littered around several major cities, which is the point they use to start their search. They eventually find him, and after Aqualad proves that he's not under control, Roy allows himself to come quietly. Back in the Bioship, Conner mentions how Roy is a clone like him, which Roy says certainly explains a whole lot. He says how Sportsmaster was his handler, and how he had a codephrase to shut down Roy's brain (like how Red Sun worked with Conner), so he could get new information from the League and give him new orders.

Back on the Superbike with the other half of the Team, Red Tornado fills the other side of the Team in on the situation. He says how the League are now under Vandal Savage's command, and how the brief delay between the insertation of the nanotech device and when it actives allowed himself enough time to create a subroutine to close down his powercells if he attempted to infect another person. The Team regroups and compares notes, just as Black Canary comes to...

Shortly afterwards, robot!Red Tornado, Roy and Black Canary appear on the Watchtower. Dinah says that she was able to reinfect Red Tornado, and they went on to get the rest of the Team as well. Unfortunately it turns out that due to the magical nature of the technology, Vandal and Klarion are able to tell who is infected and who isn't, and right now they know that none of the three are under their control at present. They are captured by Hal Jordan.

Vandal takes the opportunity to monologue. Saying that in 50,000 years of life he's never seen such a threat to humanity as the Justice League. He voices the opinion, while reinfecting the heroes, that due to his philosophy of Survival of the Fittest, the Justice League would stall Humanity's evolution by getting rid of such factors as war, disease, famine etc. which are needed to cull the weak from society.

He explains that he formed the Light out of similarly "enlightened" individuals, and they pooled their resources to remain at the cutting edge of technology, be it mindcontrol, genetic engineering, biochemistry etc. etc. Vandal explains that now that cold, hard science and little misdirection has beaten the "agents of stagnation", now they can force humanity to evolve on a faster schedule and allow Earth to take its place as the heart of the cosmos

While Vandal was monologuing though, it seems that the Team infiltrated the Watchtower at another point in the facility, while Red Tornado had wirelessly turned off the security protocols that would have prevented them from doing such a thing. They then start going through the facility and deactivate each member of the Justice League one at a time through combining their abilities. While this is going on though, Klarion points out that he's lost four members of the League to the Team already, so Vandal just decides to recall all of the Teams away missions and just outright murder them, to Klarion's delight. It's at this point though that Teekl, Klarion's cat, points out to him that Red Arrow, Red Tornado and Black Canary should really be back online at this point... only for the heroes to attack. Yay!

Hal is deactived by the heroes, but just then Superman, Wonder Woman and co. all arrive, and they promptly steamrole the three, end with Superman and Wonder Woman pulling Red Tornado's arms and legs off. Vandal then decides that since those cured of his Starro tech can't be reinfected, there's no point in taking any of them alive...

Meanwhile, they manage to deactive Icon, Captain Marvel and Dr Fate in a move that required more stealth and luck than outright strength. Still, top marks for effort. As the Team run off to assist the group with Artemis and the like, Zatanna attempts to get the Helmet of Nabu off of her father, but alas it doesn't work. Infact the Lord of Order outright electrocutes her to get her to stop. This doesn't improve her mood.

Superboy, Robin, M'Gann and Rocket all take on the big members of the League, and its interesting in that due to Wonder Woman's comparitive lack of weaknesses compared to the others, they just have to resort to keeping her in one of Rocket's kinetic energy-powered forcefield bubbles (which gets stronger every time she punches it) while the rest are taken on with more traditional means. M'gann goes into J'onn's brain and makes him think that he's surrounded by fire, which breaks his mind long enough for her to cure him, while Conner and Robin have to team up to defeat Batman and Superman. This consists manily of Conner throwing Robin at Bats while he's in the middle of a jump, causing him to get smashed against a wall, allowing Dick to cure him while he's dazed, while Conner restrains Superman until he's weakeded enough by Batman's kryponite bullet (which Dick stole from the Batcave vault). Really good fight scene, call things considered. Amused that they got away with Batman punching a 13 year old boy in the face repeatedly though.

Vandal Savage and Klarion beat a hasty retreat, as although it's possible for Klarion to beat the Justice League by himself, chances are he'd destroy the Watchtower in the process, and Vandal needs the League alive for the next part of his plan. After they escape via Klarion's magic, Red Tornado congratulates the Team for their victory from his vantage point on the floor. And just then, the Watchtower's clock announces that it's New Years Day, resulting in the Team pairing off and macking on the opposite sex, seeming that Artemis and Wally finally get together, as do Zatanna and Robin. Rocket just kisses Aqualad's cheek though.

In the spirit of everything being all sunshine and roses now, Superman catches up with Conner. Supes congratulates Conner and the rest of the Team for their work, saying that they did good here today. He then says that he's heard that Conner has chosen a name: Conner Kent, and Superman explains that they now share a surname. Conner begins to panic, not wanting to offend the superhero any more than he's imagined he's already done, but Superman says that it's okay and that the choice of name is... appropriate. They finally share a moment, awww.

Things aren't so hot with Roy though, who is having an identity crisis over the fact that NOTHING about him is actually real. He's now a hero, he's not a sidekick and technically he's not even a real person, just a copy. Fake!Roy declares that his new mission in life is going to be finding the real Roy Harper, and Batman says that Guardian is searching Cadmus right now for him too.

Unfortunately, the Team doesn't know that Cadmus is still under the Light's control, and they've already killed all of the gene-gnomes, Dubbliex and even Dr. Amanda Spencer too. Ra's al Ghul tells them not to leave anything behind that they might find useful, which includes not just Match but also a certain young red haired archer in a cryotube as well...

Fake!Roy leaves the Watchtower with Black Canary and Green Arrow, but despite everything appearing to be settled, something mysterious is causing them major concern. It seems that although they've managed to account for all of the League, there is a 16 hour stretch that can't be accounted for for six members of the League, including Wonder Woman, Superman, Batman, J'onn, John Stewart and Hawkgirl. Naturally is concerns Batman what exactly happened in that time, considering the power of those people...

- Review
Again, a very solid episode from this show. Interesting to see just how savage the violence got in places though, starting with Green Arrow attempting to shoot Roy in the face with an arrow (only JUST missing) to Batman's beatdown of his sidekick, but it fit the overall tone of the story, so it wasn't exactly a negative.

The overall motive revelation for what the Light are up to, in that they're trying to improve the human race through social Darwinism, is actually something of an intriguing spin on the supervillain team-up concept. Of course they didn't call themselves the Legion of Doom or Villains United or the like, in their minds THEY are the good guys, with the Justice League's efforts just leading to social stagnation. Certainly a more interesting idea than just trying to take over the world or steal loads of cash.

The resolution to the last remaining plot threads from the season was nice to see, with Artemis and Wally finally getting together, Conner and Superman finally coming to terms with their relationship with each other, and Roy actually getting some kind of plotline to himself were all well handled. But I thought that the Zatanna/Robin and Aqualad/Rocket couples seemed a bit rushed if they were actually meant to be. The detail that Wonder Woman doesn't really have an exploitable weakness (any more) was an amusing detail, as was the probably unintentional parallels that cyrogenic!Roy has with the similarly frozen, potentially brainwashed, cyborg ex-sidekick Winter Soldier, aka Bucky, Captain America's sidekick.

Very good episode, though felt rushed in places.

1 comment:

  1. I was surprised how dark they went with the Roy Harper reveal. He can't have been very old when he was captured. Do you think the Guardian is still his uncle in canon? Maybe that's how they caught him.