Thursday, 31 May 2012

Young Justice: Invasion - Episode 5 Review and Recap

Beneath

- Recap: The episode begins in El Paso, which presumably means that Jaime Reyes is going to show up. A grouchy looking Native American kid skateboards through the nighttime streets, showing that he's got attitude by making a car have to break suddenly for him. He arrives as a bus deposit, which he glares at for a while. Shortly after, we cut to Jaime sprawled on his bed, asleep and surrounded by textbooks. He's awoken with a start by a mobile going off, and it's the Native American kid, Ty. It seems that he's finally had enough of his... dad(?) and is taking a bus to Houston, and that he's ringing Jaime to say goodbye. Jaime, understandably concerned by his friend suddenly wanting to leave town, tells him to wait there until he can get there to talk to him. But, right after Ty says he's not going to make any promises about staying, he's grabbed by a mysterious figure from the shadows... Shortly afterwards, Jaime arrives and not finding Ty anywhere, he asks one of the works working at the depo if he'd just missed a bus to Houston. Finding out that he'd just missed one, Jaime presumes that he'd just missed Ty before he left, and he walks sadly home, not noticing that Ty's skateboard has been left behind.

Title Sequence.

Later, in Qurac, M'gann's bioship is flying an all female team in to investigate the origins of the bomb that nuked the aliens several episodes back. Nightwing explains that satellite surviallence of the country has shown a massive  upsurge of Boomtube occurances, and they're heading there to investigate what's going on. Cassie, Wonder Girl, eagerly cuts off Nightwing to explain the mission, which Dick doesn't seem to mind as she pretty much had the details right. M'gann asks if Psimon is still in a coma, after she break his mind some five years ago, but Nightwing says that to the best of their knowledge he's still in the hospital she's been in since she reduced him to a catatonic state. Nightwing explains that the reason why it's a full female squad for this mission was that the head of the country, Queen Bee, has the power to control (most) men's minds so the all girl team was put together to subvert this. Batgirl asks him whether he'd had to justify putting an all male group together for a mission, which causes Dick to stumble verbally before just giving up and saying there's no right answer for that question, before signing off. Babs jokes that Queen Bee isn't the only woman who can mess with a man's mind, and the team laughs.

Back in El Paso, Jaime goes around to Ty's house, and his mum answers the door. It turns out that Ty's last name is Longshadow, which I think is meant to be the name of the Native American Superfriends expy from JLU. Anyways, he tells Mrs Longshadow about how Ty threatened to do to Houston, but when he asked the clerk is anyone had bought a ticket, it seemed that no one had. So that Ty couldn't have been on the bus to Houston like he first thought. Mrs Longshadow seems relieved that this means that he must just be letting off steam somewhere, as he'd previously had a "disagreement" with his mum's boyfriend, Maurice. Jaime asks what kind of disagreement it was, just as Maurce walks in and glares at the pair of them. He says that he'd forgotten his lunch, and that as a school employee he's got to report Jaime for skipping school, though Jaime says that he's on a free period so it's okay for him to be off schoolgrounds. Khadji says that Maurice has hostile intentions, and reccommends a preemptive strike, and when Maurice threats to teach Jaime a lesson, just like he taught Ty, the helpful scarab starts assembling a sonic cannon on Jaime's arm, which he hides with his sleeve. Shelley, Mrs Longshadow, swiftly moves Jaime out of the house, explaining that Maurice had just been having a bad day. When Jaime says that he's heard that he's had a lot of bad days, Shelley feebly says that he's had good days too... sometimes. She says that Ty is probably with his grandfather, who he goes and hangs out with sometimes, and Jaime grumbles that he hopes she's right.

Back to Team Alpha, they've just reached the last of the boomtube locations in Queen Bee's country, Bialya. Unlike the other locations, which were all busts, this one has heavy military security surrounding it, so this must be their primary location. M'gann gives herself, Bumblebee and Batgirl hangers to investigate, while telling Cassie to stay behind and be their lookout, as WG isn't exactly stealthy. Cassie doesn't take well to this, as she's all enthusiastic about punchin' folk, but she reluctantly stays put. The three stealthy folk manage to sneak into the hangers easily, but while they're doing so, Cassie notices a truck containing not just Mammoth and some of the other Light affiliated supervillains in it, but also Psimon as well.

Realising that not both psychic and regular communications are compromised, Cassie sneaks into the hanger where M'gann is, and points out to her who has just arrived. M'gann shuts down their psychic link, but she tells Cassie to go and physically tell the others before getting back to the previously arranged meeting point. She does praise Cassie for making the sensible choice in telling her what's going on though. Unfortunately, just as she's going to tell Bumblebee or Babs what's going on, a villainess who I think was in the episode last season in Belle Reve, sees Cassie's shadow as she flies overhead, and is promptly grabbed and smacked against the floor. The villainess tells the soldiers that this means that there must be other members of the Team around too, and tells them to find them.

Back in El Paso again, Jaime is asking Ty's grandad whether he's seen him around, but Mr Longshadow says that he hasn't seen him in some weeks. He says not to worry though, as Ty comes from a long line of Apache chiefs, so he's probably just on a spirit journey or something. Khadji comes to the conclusion that talking to the old man is a waste of time, as he appears to be "unbalanced", and reccommends that they go back to Ty's house and murder Maurice. Jaime is taken aback by the scarab's decision, and instead asks Longshadow whether Maurice might be responsible for Ty's disappearance. The older guy explains that years ago, Maurice was jealous of Ty's father for a role he played in their band's, and now that he's passed on he's now jealous of Ty, but overall he's just a distraction. He gives Jaime some advice which either implies he knows something about Khadji, or was just generic psychological musings, but either way Khadji comes to the conclusion that he knows too much, and tries to blast him, but Jaime makes his excuses and makes a run for it before anything happens.

In Bialya though, things are going from back to worse, as the base is now going into full lockdown mode to trap the intruders. The supervillainess takes time to mock Cassie some, but before the Icicle (the younger one who was friends with Artemis) can start freezing her face for information, WG flies up into the air and throws off the bad guy while she's unbalanced. Psimon tells them to search every inch of the facility, which results in Bumblebee getting trapped in her hanger. The little heroine flies down into the airducts below the base, before getting the shock of her life when she finds Batgirl there already, wedged into a pipe. Babs explains that she was already down there when the psychic link when down, and has no clue as to what's happening. Bumblebee explains how the base has gone into lockdown, and how she's not sure how to get out. Babs uses her hologram thingy to show that the three hangers are connected by airducts, but that they also connect to a deeper chamber underground, which they decide to investigate to see if there's an exit. It turns out that the chamber is part of a millennia old temple or tomb, probably from Black Adam's time, which has been converted into a secret base by the Bialyians. The pair sneak about, and Babs finds a group of people who have been knocked out and sealled into status pods alongside a plane on an underground runway. But while she's staring at them, she's knocked out by Psimon's psychic blasts, leaving her unconscious and surrounded by badguys.

Psimon has the villainess from earlier, who turns out to be called Devastation, chuck Babs into a status pod to be shipped off with the rest of the kidnapped folk. Icicle says that that's probably a majorly bad idea, as the other kids are runaways, and likely won't be missed, but kidnapping one of the Bat Family... won't end well for all concerned. Psimon says that for the time being Batman is out of the picture, and if anyone else was to miss her... well he just doesn't care. He has the others load up the plane, which he says is going to be leaving in ten minutes. With the door to the hanger bay open, Bumblebee flies out to try and get help for her friend and the rest of the kidnapped people.

Back in El Paso... again, Jaime tries to break into Maurice's shed in case Ty is inside, but he's caught almost instantly. Maurice says that since Jaime was caught breaking and entering, he should caught the cops, but while Jaime struggles to keep Khadji from blasting him, Maurice takes it as a suggestion that he just beat Jaime up instead. Jaime asks if that's what happened to Ty, that he was jealous that he'd become a tribal chief and he won't, so he beat up him and stuff him in his shed. Maurice says that that idea is stupid, as chiefs have to work for free, and he only works for cash. Jaiem dodges around him and opens the shed, only to find that it doesn't contain Ty, but it does have a whole bunch of pirated DVDs and games in it. Maurice threatens Jaime again if he tells anyone about the shed, and says that he doesn't know what happened to Ty, and frankly he doesn't care either. As Maurice walks off, Khadji confirms that Maurice was telling the truth, and Jaime says that he's going to turn him in for the DVDs, meaning he'll get what he deserves, but this doesn't really solve the mystery of where his friend's gone.

Meanwhile, Cassie beginning to panic over where her two friends are. Cassie is beating herself up for getting spotted and foilling the mission, but M'gann explains that nearly all missions take an unexpected turn, and that the most important thing is to adapt as events change. Bumblebee shows up, to Cassie's relief, and explains the situation, and how she's got a plane to save Babs too. A few minutes later, Bumblebee has rescued Babs from her pod, and M'gann has impersonated Mammoth's sister Shimmer. The plan is that while Babs flies the plane and the kidnappees to safety, M'gann defeats Psimon in a psychic battle again. Psimon shortly finds out that M'gann's there, mostly because she reintroduces herself to him, and while the two are in battle on the mental plain, he tries to get the other villains to murder to while he has her attention. But Babs stealing the plane means that they can't come to his rescue, and the heavy hitters run off to try and stop the plane from escaping, while Icicle Jr shuts the hanger doors. While the heavy hitters attempt to grab the plane though, Bumblebee shoots Mammoth in the eyes with her blasters, while Devastion just jumps onto the accelerating aircraft. The doors shut as Dev tears open the roof of the plane, and tries to grab at Babs, which is the cue for Cassie to tear the hanger doors off and come to her friend's rescue. While that is going on, Icicle attempts to decapitate M'gann while she's distracted, but Psimon is defeated by Bumblebee breaking his conscentration and directly blasting his brain, while M'gann just smashes Icicle into a wall with her TK. They both fly after the plane, while Cassie manages to fend off the two heavy hitters, just as she starts celebrating, Mammoth throws a forklift at them, causing one of the wings to explode, while the other is sheared off by the tunnel wall after it looses balance. The plane begins plunging into the canyeon below, too heavy to be lifted by Cassie or M'gann's TK, so they call in the last female member of the team, the bioship, who saves the plane, Babs and the hostages, huzzah!

Back in Mount Justice, it seems that Psimon planted psychic suggestions in the minds of his doctors and nurses, Nightwing explains, and that they've been tending an empty hospital bed for months. He apologises to M'gann for not finding this out sooner, though she says it was bound to happen sooner or later. M'gann explains that from the information she extracted from Shimmer's mind, that Queen Bee has been acting as a middle man, and sending abducted humans to an unidentified Partner ever since the bombing of the alien's island some months ago. Cassie seems annoyed at the growing number of unanswered questions, but Dick says that it's those questions that keep the investigation moving forwards. He then congratulates them for saving lives and getting everyone home safely, which causes them to all beam madly.

The episode closes out back once again in the base, where Queen Bee is enraged at the loss of the cargo. BUT, it seems that although the first shipment of abductees was lost, there are enough in the second shipment, which was in the process of being collected when the first one was lost, to make up the order requested by her "partner". And amongst the second batch of people to be shipped off is... Ty! *dramatic music*

- Review: It is interesting how the structure of the villains' schemes has changed since the last season, in that rather than having a rerun of the Xanatos schemes from Gargoyles (where the plans are multilayered so that whatever the outcome, the bad guy benefits) they now appear to just be settling for ensuring that they remain as secretive as possible to ensure that no one knows what they're up to. It's not necessarily more clever, but it does make for a more interesting mystery than the Light sitting around going "mwhahah, just as planned!" for the ninth episode in a row.

Anyway, the episode itself. Jaime's investigation into the disappearance of Ty was interesting, as it's cool to see him being explored a bit more in the show. The implication that Ty might become a superhero along the line is also interesting, though presumaby something that's going to pan out further along the line. The character arc with Cassie was also fun, as was seeing M'gann and Dick acting in mentor roles this time around, which was... different but they seem to be doing such a good job that I can't really complain about it.

Could do with Bumblebee and Batgirl being explored a but more though, as although they seem to definitely have some kind of personality there, we don't really seem to have an idea of what's going on in their heads like we do with the other characters thus far. But since this season appears to be following the same structure of exploring roughly one character an episode, their time will presumably come further along the line.

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