Monday, 21 May 2012

YJ: Invasion - Episode 4


- Review: The episode begins in Washington DC, where a robber is making his escape after having ripped off a grocery store. He doesn't get far though, as an arrow embeds itself in a wall, tripping him, and then dosing him with knock out gas. The guy working at the store comes out to thank the archer, who turns out to be a rather bedraggled Red Arrow. Roy packs the money stolen by the robber into a convenient sack, while the shopkeeper offers to give Roy anything in the store as a reward for helping him, not noticing that the hero has hidden a bundle of bills behind his back. This doesn't go unnoticed by Ollie though, who has been watching from a nearby rooftop, it seems that the League have been searching for him, and his situation is worse than they initially thought...

Title sequence.

Elsewhere, the combined efforts of Adam Strange at STAR Labs and the JL have finished the construction of the satellites needed for the Zeta Shield, which they need to stop a repeat of the attempted invasion from the earlier episodes. The Team are watching from their home in Mount Justice too, while Snapper Carr is overseeing the homeschooling of Gar. Lagoon Boy tells Carr to get Gar to write a term paper on it in that tone of his that I don't know if he's joking or is kind of mocking Beast Boy in some way. Anyways, Conner walks up to watch too while LB is boasting about how now no one can get to Earth without prior approval, but Conner points out that although the shield's great, it won't stop a spaceship or a boomtube. Jaime asks what one is, and Khadji Da's voice is heard for the first time, filling in both Jaime and the audience into what said thing is, and that it apparently isn't "compatible" with it. This annoys Jaime who loudly says that he doesn't understand half the things that he says, while the rest of the Team look on in confusion. Conner asks where Dick is, and Cal says that he's taken the night off for personal business. And when LB starts acting all lovey around M'gann again, Conner grabs Jaime and drags him off for some "personal business" of his own... no not like that... I think.

Back in DC, Roy is swinging around from rooftop to rooftop, apparently looking for something, only he stumbles and falls flat on his face. He lands at the feet of Ollie, who offers to help him up, but Roy swats his hand away, saying that he doesn't need any help. This apparently is the cue for Jim Harper, Dinah, Dick and Wally (yay, he's not dead!) to appear, where they're staging an intervention for the hero. Ollie grabs Roy's stolen cash, as evidence that he does need their help, but Roy tries to say the he deserves it as the guy offered him a reward anyway. Wally asks Roy if he as any idea what he sounds like, and the archer snaps back by saying that he needs the money to search for the real Roy Harper as it's expensive and the rest of them seem to have given up looking a while back.

Elsewhere in the city, Conner and Jaime are following a van for some reason. With some verbal prodding from Khadji, Jaime asks Conner what exactly the mission is, and Conner explains that the bomb used to explode the aliens in the last episode was of alien origin, and that since Intergang uses alien tech smuggled to Earth via boomtube, he's been keeping tabs on them to see if they're connected. It seems that Ugly Mannheim and his second in command Whisper have finally come out of hiding, so they're now following them to see where they're going... which appears to be the Hall of Justice. Uh oh.

Back on Roy's rooftop, Dinah is trying to convince Roy to look after himself, asking him when the last time he trained or even slept was. Roy tries to brush her concerns aside by saying that he's in the best shape he's ever been in, but a brief attempt of her kicking his ass while holding back nearly causes her to knock off off the roof. She asks him what happened, as he used to treat his body like a temple. He explains that his body is no temple, as it's a "cheap knock off" as he's a clone, which responds in the assembled heroes looking even more concerned.

At the Hall of Justice, the Intergang crew have arrived. After Conner's attempt at using his infrared vision to look into Mannheins' briefcase fail, he asks Jaime to do it, only for Khaji to say how he can't look inside it either as the contents also "aren't compatible". This finally gets Conner to ask who it is that Jaime is talking too exactly, and Jaime admits that it's the scarab that's fused to his spine... which he says is an artificial intelligence created by Ted Kord, the previous Blue Beetle. Conner admits that he's met Ted, and that he's a good man. Or was anyway, as Jaime reveals that he was murdered by the Light some time ago.

Meanwhile, the two Intergang member arrive at the Hall, where they get an Apokalypian device out which in turn causes the alien host bodies on display in the Hall's museum to merge together and become sentient. Conner tries to arrest them, but the now gigantic element... thing smashes through a wall and looks menacingly at them. The two heroes attempt to smash the thing, but it turns out that it can both regenerate and deflect attacks, like Jaime's sonic blast, back at people. Conner is knocked out, while Jaime is outright stepped on by the thing, but shows no other signs of being injured. Whisper asks if they should kill the two heroes, but Mannheim says that he knows from experience that trying to kill a Kryptonian can be "time consuming" and since the League'll be there in a few minutes it's best that they just retreat for the moment, which they do via making the elemental golem thing grow wings and fly away.

Back on the Rooftop, tries to convince Roy to come back to Star City with him, and they can go and fight crime, hang out etc. just like Old Times. This gets another brush off from Roy, saying that he's thinking of the other Roy Harper, only for Guardian to pipe up that Roy isn't the only clone on the rooftop. He says that he also had a lot of trouble accepting the fact that he's a clone, which is why he retired from the Guardian persona so he can work out who he is. He goes on to say that he and the rest of the League literally spent years looking for the real Roy and Jim, but he's gotten to accept the fact that it's unlikely at this point the Light kept them alive. Jim says that it was Cadmus policy to "delete" the source material once a clone was made, so Roy just has to accept that the real one is likely dead by this point.

Back on the trail for Intergang, Jaime asks the somewhat deafened Conner how he's holding up after the sonic blast, resulting in Conner yelling FINE. He explains what the golem is made of, including a crystal entity that can absorb and redirect energy blasts, and what its connection to the League is. How they're were the League's first enemy, with the host bodies being their first trophies etc. They track the golem and Intergant to Arlington, where Mannheim is explaining how the device uses the residual psychic signatures of the aliens that used to inhabit the original golems' bodies to activate the combined one, and that now he has it as his enforcer, he can expand his power exponentially. Conner then shows up to mock the gangster's seemingly boosted vocabulary and to gets the Sphere to block any Apokalyptian energy signatures in the area, which releases the golem from its control... but it responds by by smacking Mannheim and Whisper aside, smashing the machine, and then launching an attack against the heroes, which it casually knocks aside. The golem stomps off, and seeing a nuclear power plant, starts walking towards it. While it does so two shady figures watch from the nearby forest, one of which appears to be Sportsmaster. They talk about how the golem combined with the potential for a nuclear meltdown could be a recipe for disaster... but they don't feel in any hurry to stop it. Sportsmaster's partner says that although he doesn't want him to stop the golem, he can go and kill the heroes and Intergang people back in the clearing, a task that the supervillain happily agrees to.

Back in the clearing, Jaime staples the Intergang members to a tree, with Khadji telling him it would be more effective if he was to fire the restraints through bone. Conner tells Jaime to fight his inner demons later, and they race off to stop the golem, which is smashing the majority of the power plant at this point. The heroes put up a good effort but are basically just thrown aside. Jaime sarcastically asks if they could just ask it to play nice, which Khaji says would be a display of weakness. Reyes perks up at the idea being possible, and sets to work on a plan.

Roy is suddenly massively depressed though. He then focuses his attentions to Wally, and asks what he's even doing here, as he'd retired from the hero gig. Wally says that he might have retired from being a superhero, but he didn't retire from being his friend. He and Dick go on to say that they'd done the math, and he was the only Roy Harper that they'd ever known, and the "real" one had been abducted before any of them had even met. They say that just because he's a clone with anger management issues, it doesn't mean that he's not their friend. After all, they still hang around with Superboy. Roy sits there for a moment, contemplating this, before ignoring any potential epiphany, saying that their time would be better spent trying to correct the course of Kaldur, and promptly just walks away.

Meanwhile, Jaime has managed to get a communication link up between the golem and themselves. It seems that the golem is in constant pain, and craves being still and inanimate again, and wants to use the heat and power of the nuclear power plant to kill itself. Learning this, Conner tells the golem that they'd help it, but this sudden stop in he hostilities doesn't stand well with Sportsmaster's mysterious partner, who blasts the golem with a sonic cannon that looks suspiciously similar to Jaimes... Anyways, the golem explodes, killing it, and though the guards of the power plant are happy that they stopped it and saved the entire East Coast, Jaime and Conner aren't happy that it came at the cost of the golem's life. Conner scans the forest for the second shooter, but can't find anyone so he presumes that it was Ugly that did it. But when the heroes find the members of Intergang, they're still pinned to the tree, but their minds appear to have been wiped. Conner glares, as it seems that he might think that it was M'gann that did it. Meanwhile, Sportsmaster meets up with his partner, saying that he made Ugly and Whisper into living examples of what happens to those who get in the way of the Light. he does ask why he chose to kill the golem though, as it would have been a valuable resource. The mysterious partner says that he'd rather destroy a resource than allow it to fall into the hands of the enemy, which causes Sportsmaster to grimly say he likes the way that he thinks...

Later, Wally arrives at his house, where he acts depressed that he wasn't able to help Roy, and that he forgot to write his paper on Vietnamese literature. He asks if he can copy his girlfriend's note she says no, and she appears to be... Artemis, yay! He wishes her a happy Valentines day, and she's pleased that he remembered after forgetting for three or four years in a row (she said she only remembered two). For his present, she got him his favourite food, everything, and he tells her that she rocks. She's also sad that they weren't able to reach Roy, and Wally admits that he's lost, and that at this point he won't let anyone in...

...Which leads to the last scene in the episode, and the one that's received the most hype amongst the comic fan community. Roy arrives in his dump of an apartment in the rough part of town, only to find a mystery guest there in the form of Cheshire. She tells Roy to chill, as she says that she's actually there to get Roy to clean up his act, something that makes Roy groan that even she's got onto the game. He tells her that she lost the right to tell him what to do when she left him to return to a life of crime, she says that she only did that as a side benefit, but legally she's still his wife(!!!). She says that she left Roy because his quest to find the real Roy was becoming all consuming, and that he'd become incapable of caring for anything else, not her and now their daughter(!!!). The appearance of a kid suprises Roy, who apparently didn't know, and Cheshire said that it took some effort, but she'd also managed to get a lead on where the real Roy Harper is too...

- Review: Interesting episode this, though it didn't exactly feature the umpth factor of some of the episodes, it did feature a lot of cool moments and nods that were enough to make it entertaining in its own right. It did however produce a lot of character building moments for both Roy and Jaime, which was good. Cheshire having grown from being a villainess to something of a antiheroine was interesting to see also, considering how NOT heroic in any way she is in the comics.

The introduction of Lian was nicely surprising, as was the reference to Ted Kord existing in the YJverse. See DC, you can have characters have kids and be legacy characters without them appearing to be incredibly old! The fact that Artemis and Wally were both alive was also a nice thing to see, what with the speculation floating around that they might both be dead/evil at this point. And they made a cute couple too, which was nice. I have to say that I am curious as to whether the alleged comments made by the creative team that if the current season is a success than the third season will involve another time skip with Jaime's sister Milargo and Lian Harper as superheroines, though I'd have to wait and see in regards to that personally.

I do have to say that I'm interested in the Mysterious Partner that Sportsmaster is working with at present. The arm cannon implies Reach, but the voice and references to people as "meat" imply Red Volcano... Which leads to the nightmarish in-verse suggestion that the Light somehow retrieved the Red Volcano AI, and rebuilt it with alien tech that includes some of the same weaponry as Jaime's armour. This kind of doesn't seem like a good idea, what with RV's previous activation resulting in it attempting to murder everyone in the Western Hemisphere via exploding the Yellowstone Park supervolcano, which would have contradicted the Light's goal of improving humanity via social Darwinism (hard for the strong to survive when they're just as dead as the weak) more than a tad.

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