- Recap: The episode begins in Metropolis, where Jaime and Bumblebee are going to Superman's friend Bibbo's diner. While this is going on, Tim Curry's G. Godfrey is on the TV again, complaining about how the Justice League have offered up their scanners to all of Earth's governments so they can detect any of the aliens posing as humans. Or rather, complaining how it seems too convenient for the technology to have appeared JUST when they needed it, and how they gave the technology to humanity like a gift from the gods, and what might they demand later in exchange for it?
While this is going on, Jaime and Bumblebee stop by some food only to find Bibbo bolts as soon as he sees Jaime. The heroic pair pursue him, changing into their superhero costumes while doing so, as fake!Bibbo tries to make his escape. Unfortunately for him, the real Bibbo steps out from a side alley and one-punches him. This unfortunately doesn't stop the alien though, despite Bibbo's oneliner, who jumps down a sewer grate and escapes by rocketcar. The three are coated in soot, and Jaime isn't able to scan where the rocket is going to. Khaji Da tells him it would have been preferable to just vaporise him at the diner, but when Jaime angrily corrects him it results in a weird look from the other two present. And the pre-title sequence ends with the alien piloting towards a submarine with several more of its kind aboard, where he is welcomed by Black Manta... or someone who appears to be him. The voice is different. The submarine submerges, finishing this section...
Later at the Taos branch of STAR Labs, we are treated to another reference. Said reference being to Dr Erdel, the scientist who accidentally teleported J'onn to Earth, which in this continuity appears to have been the first case of human zeta beam teleportation or something. Anyways, the offworld team from the last episode return home, where they announce that they completed destroying the offworld teleportation platforms, as well as having the designs for a zeta shield to keep unauthorised teleportation to a minimum. Beast Boy acts like the overeager kid he is and reveals that M'gann knows what happened in the Missing 16 Hours, a fact that immediately perks up the ears of Wonder Woman and John Stewart, two of the people effected by said time skip.
M'gann explains that the aliens bribed a member of the Rannian Science Council to allow them to land a massive craft on their planet, where they stole zeta tech from Adam Strange's friend Sardath, which they used in conjunction with the craft in New Orleans to build teleportation platforms to aid in their kidnapping and replacing human, possibly as part of an invasion strategy. Diana ask what this has to do with the lost 16 hours, and M'gan goes on to say that Vandal teleported the league members to a planet called Rimvarr, where they spent a full 16 hours demolishing the place, and announcing that in seven alien languages that they were the Justice League from Earth, and that the galay had to beware. She says that that's why the aliens came to Earth, as it was the League that brought it to their attention. Diana is shocked and upset about this, as she had know idea what she'd done due to the mindcontrol she was under. Captain Atom bluntly says it wasn't her fault, but that of the Light, and goes on to ask John why the Green Lanterns hadn't known about this. John says that he doesn't know, but he's going to go to Oa to find out. Cap tells the team that they did good work on Rann, but that they're now needed at the Hall of Justice...
Cutting to the Hall of Justice, which now appears to have been turned into a museum for the public to explore and learn about Earth's heroes. The League's spokeswoman, Ms. Colbert, is showing a tour around the Hall, describing how the League was formed in response to a group of alien energy beings with elemental host bodies invading the Earth. A member of the tour whispers loudly how G. Gordon Godfrey says that the JL is actually in league with the aliens, a thing which noticeably annoys Colbert. Meanwhile, behind the scenes, Batman has brought M'gann and Conner along to help interrogate the alien captured by Tim Drake, Jaime and Lagoon Boy, saying that J'onn has been trying it for days but even translating the alien's language is taking them forever. But, while Batman is explaining the situation, M'gann goes all Sith Lord again and sucks the information she needs out of the alien's head, leaving it mindwiped. She cheerfully tells Batman that there was a third teleportation platform that they didn't know about, and that they have standing orders to retreat back there if they were ever discovered.
Cutting to the tropical island where the aliens' final platform is located, we find out that Black Manta's men are still in the process of constructing it. And while we're at it, it appears that the Black Manta we were following earlier is actually Aqualad, who is now working as second in command for his father, the original one. *dramatic sting* Kaldur then announces that it's now time for phase two, whatever that is.
Later, Batman, Tim and Batgirl approach the island by land, while Aquaman and Lagoon Boy approach it by sea. Batman explains that this is primarily a recon mission before they can call the Green Lanterns in to take the aliens into custody. But despite this, the aquatic heroes bend open the underwater entrance into the facility, while above, the Bat Family make easy work of just beating the guards into submission. Meanwhile, within the base, we find that the aliens are grumbling about how they're having to evacuate the planet. One complains about how Earth could have been so profitable if only the humans hadn't discovered them, but another says that it's not the humans that they have to worry about, but rather a mysterious "Competitor" that may already have claws into the world, who from the sound of it may be the Reach.
Kaldur tries to get his men over their comms, but can't reach one of the sectors of men. Realising something's up, he grabs his helmet and goes to see what it is. He immediately spots the Bats and the Aqua Folks, and after telling his guards where they are via their comms, he starts attacking them. Despite the combined forces of the bad guys powerarmour and mechs, the Bat Family and their fishy friends easily make a meal of them. But while the fighting is going on, a mysterious shadowy figure plants a bomb by the aliens' ship...
Kaldur and Aquaman fight, with the former sidekick blasting his former mentor with his eye beams. Kaldur calls his dad to say that the base has been infiltrated, but Black Manta says that he knows and that he has a few minutes to get out before a bomb kills the heroes, aliens and anyone else left behind. Kaldur grimly says "Perfect" and gets his troops to evacuate, which is a fact that Nightwing calls in to their back-up, which turns out to be Diana, Cassie, Superman and Conner. Conner and Superman now seem to be in a brotherish relationship (outright stated as such at the end of the episode), which is nice to see. Cassie and Diana get a nice moment too, with Wonder Girl fangirling over Diana before giving some superheroine action of her own too.
Lagoon Boy punches off Kaldur's helmet, revealing his identity to the heroes, who are shocked by it. Aquaman says that when he was told by Nightwing that Kaldur had gone evil, he hadn't believed it, but the former sidekick explains angrily that the reason why he joined up with his biological father is that Aquaman hid his dad's identity from him while the Team allowed his One True Love Tula to die. But while Nightwing tries to explain that Tula, Aquagirl, died during a mission and that there are risks with such things, Lagoon Boy interupts him and starts yelling at the top of his lungs about how Kaldur is a traitor who has joined forces with his king's greatest enemy. Kaldur responds to this by firing a missile from his power armour at Superman, with the explosion and smoke causing enough of a distraction for him to escape.
However, once he's done sliding to the bottom of the tube he dived down, he finds Nightwing there already, who again tries to reason with Kaldur, but is again interrupted by one of the hotheaded teammates, this time in the form of Conner. Kaldur incapacitates Conner with his suit, and gives Nightwing the options of either trying to disarm the bomb or taking him into custody. Dick reluctantly choses the former, informing everyone to evacuate as the bomb is alien in design, so he can't defuse it. Kaldur escapes in the resulting chaos.
Everyone gets out, but Superman stays behind to try and convince the aliens to board their ship so he can fly them to safety. They think that he's lying though, and just shoot him some more. J'onn and M'gann, meanwhile have stolen the aliens' files to find how just who they were in league with. But, the bomb explodes anyways, killing all of the aliens and having enough force to knock Superman unconscious. The Team and the League puzzle over what exactly just happened, whether Kaldur was trying to help the aliens to escape or was trying to lure them into a trap to get rid of them all at once? Batman grimly says that since the bomb was of alien origin it may up to the team to find out.
Later, in the North Pacific, Kaldur meets up with his dad, who is eating a fish dinner, heh. He asks Kal if Aquaman had died in the explosion, but then seems mildly irritated when it says that he doesn't think that it's likely. Black Manta gets a call, which turns out to be the Light. It turns out that they're in business with the Competitor (ie the Reach, possibly) and that they are pleased with how the entire business with the aliens went down. As a result, they're making him a member of the Light now to replace Oceanmaster, who had managed to disgrace himself in some manner some time before.
The episode ends with the six members of the League effected by the Missing 16 preparing to go to Rimvarr to be tried for their crimes, as per the Guardians of the Universe's suggestion. Hal and Guy have gone on ahead to the planet to let them know that they come in peace and to ensure that there'll be a fair trial, while Icon is coming along too as their advocate and because he was experience in intergalactic law. The various older heroes say their goodbyes to their partners and sidekicks (except for Hawkman, who insists on accompanying his wife to the trial), and they set off.
- Review: The new plot twists and turns seem to be continuing with this episode, which had enough going on to maintain my interest at least, with the alien abductee plot being given a strong resolution and with the possible defection of Kaldur to the dark side. I say possible because I think that it's possible that he and Dick might be up to some kind of deep cover exercise, what with Kal firing his missile at the one person in the room who could have survived it and giving the Team time to escape, etc. I don't know, I guess that whatever happened in the last five years may have turned him evil, or at least antiheroic, but I kind of need to see more one way or the other first.
Interesting to see Black Manta appearing to be given a larger role this season, though I guess that it was going to be obvious, what with his son's identity being revealled and all. Lagoon Boy needs to shut up and let the grown ups talk though, but I guess that he's replacing Conner in the hotheaded "RARRGGHHH" category, with with Conner himself having matured personality-wise significantly since the last season.
Bibbo getting his own moment to shine was nice, what with him kind of being a character since season one in this show (he owns a dinner that both Batman and Superman have eaten at). G. Gordon Godfrey continues to be interesting, though I am beginning to worry that his crazy person rants might be getting to the people of the DCU. Don't turn them into Marvel citizens, you fiend! Jaime and Bumblebee were also cool, with the former at least acting far more in character than his current comicbook version, as I previously stated.
Overall, good episode. Not super-great, but good all the same.