Sunday, 7 October 2012

Young Justice: Invasion episode 9 - Recap and Review!


 - Recap: The episode begins in Black Manta's submarine in the Gulf of Mexico, where Lagoon Boy is yelling at Aqualad for how much of a traitor he is. BM comes in and asks why LB hasn't been sent off with the other prisoners yet, and Aqualad explains that he was going to send him personally. His dad rebuffs this, saying that he'll do it as he has another assignment in store for AL.

BM says that although his faith in his son is absolute, the Light require him to do something more to prove that he's totally on their side. Huh, you'd think that him seemingly killing one of his oldest friends would be proof enough wouldn't you? Anyways, the pre-title segment closes with AL looking determined and saying that he'll do whatever's necessary to enter the Light's favour...

Title sequence.

AL heads out with the smaller of the two ships, accompanied by the Terror Twins (the two Southern supervillains that Conner and Megan impersonated in the Belle Reve episode last season) and Icicle Jr. They three talk about how they don't 100% trust AL due to his past as a superhero, and IJ hits on Tuppence Terror (having kind of fallen for the Megan version of the person some time ago). They also point out how they don't really trust the newest person added to their little troupe, the assassin Tigress (Artemis in disguise). She points out that she and AL can hear them perfectly well, what with only being a couple of feet away. Tigress then points out that although the Terror Twins claim that the issues of whether they can trust them are Open Questions, are they actually willing to go to BM and tell him that they don't want to work with his son and his trusted, hand-picked righthand woman? The supervillains cave, and IJ icks out Tuppence out some more with his pawiness.

Meanwhile in El Paso, Impulse has shown up at Jaime Reyes' house (in costume) so that the two of them could hang out. Jaime points out that by doing so he's technically putting his secret identity at risk, but he begrudgingly caves as the alternative appears to be Khaji Da's suggestion of just killing Impulse because he seems crazy. Impulse then complains that he doesn't understand this "retro obsession with secret identities" as he says that they shouldn't have to hide how awesome they are from regular people. Jaime mutters that if he has to explain, then Bart won't understand. He then changes into his outfit and they go off somewhere where they could hang out. While in Ivy Town University, Herald meets up with Bumblebee (out of costume) and says that he wants to hang out with her as well, as lately they haven't really had the time to do so. Bee says that she needs to put in a couple of hours in Dr Palmer's lab, but he's more than welcome to hang around there if he wants.

Far away, LB awakens in his pod in the place where all the kids have been sent too. It seems that an adapted version of the inhibitor collars from Belle Reve have been put on the kidnapped people, himself included. While he's in his pod, he overhears two creatures talking in an alien language, with one complaining that they have no use for an Atlantean who has his powers from sorcerery, while the other explains that Atlanteans are a subspecies of humanity, and that the Metagene must play a factor into how there are so many different varieties of them. Besides, the latter one says, experimentation subjects are experimentation subjects.

Back in Texas, Jaime and Impulse are hanging around in the desert showing off each other's powers. They then get jumped by AL and his crew, and during the brief fight scene, Impulse decides to go and start making fun of AL at close range. He then nicks the tracking device he was using to follow the two, and he and Bart run off back to Mount Justice. Nightwing points out that Bart taking a piece of possibly alien technology to their base without fulling knowing what it does was a really stupid thing to do, but he starts analysing it anyway. And as it turns out, it was a stupid thing to do, as AL had a tracker planted in the first tracker, so that he could follow them back to their base. The fact that he should really know here the base is anyway isn't really brought up, but since he would have been expected to tell his dad about Mount Justice as soon as he changed side, I guess I can't blame him for pretending he didn't know about MJ. It also seems that the tracker remotely deactivated all of MJ's security systems, so that they could properly assault the facility without difficulty.

Back in the alien place of alienness, LB once again manages to wake up. He sees some more of the kidnapped teenagers, which also seems to include Jaime's friend from a while ago as well as the villain Shimmer apparently. Huh, so the Light are kidnapping their own people to sell as test subjects? Doesn't really surprise me. While in Ivy Town, Mal is suddenly feeling the burn of someone who peaked in highschool, as it seems that Bumblebee has kind of let him in the dust both as a superhero and in her professional capacity as well, so he sadly walks away.

The assault on Mount Justice continues, with Artemis disabling a sleeping Wolf with one of the inhibitor collars, while Tuppence beats up Beast Boy (interupting his watching his mum's old tv show, aw) and JI and the other twin jump Conner in the Grotto. They take his powers with the collar too, but AL stops them from killing him, as he apparently needs him alive for something. Team Evil manages to quickly take out the rest of the Team except Blue Beetle, even using Conner as a projectile against Nightwing while doing so. AL tells Jaime to stand down, as he's got another one of the bombs used to nuke the island from earlier in the season, and that if his thumb comes off the detonator it'll explode. Jaime reluctantly caves, as he's not willing to sacrifice his friends' lives even if he'd probably survive the blast. He then says that he's kidnapping Beast Boy, Impulse and Jaime, as Nightwing is an unpowered human while Conner is a human/Kryptonian hybrid, and thus both parties aren't of interest to their partner.

Dick says that AL will live to regret this, and AL punches him in the stomach, saying that he's outground the name Aqualad as well as any regrets he might have had. He leaves the bomb behind as a souvenir, and warns that the tigger has a five mile range, and that they shouldn't try to follow him. Team Evil leave, and Khadji tells Jaime that he's hacked and disabled the collar and that he should attack AL now. Jaime refuses, on the basis that the blast will still kill Nightwing and Superboy, so Khadji hijacks his body and attacks the bad guys on autopilot. Predictably AL drops the detonator, which (unsurprisingly) doesn't explode the mountain. Angry about the bluff, Jaime attacks AL who panics and attacks him with magic, exposing a piece of Jaime's chest, which Tigress them darts with a sedative. AL admits that even he didn't know that would work, and they quickly run off. The evil members of Team Evil complain about how they couldn't kill Superboy when they had the chance, and that AL must still have a soft spot for his old team. Angry at this, AL tells Artemis to press the back-up detonator, she asks him if he's sure, and with the confirmation nukes their former home. The three kidnapped heroes wake up just in time to see their base, and potentially two friends, go up in radioactive vapour.

Mal is driving back home through Happy Harbour in time to see Mount Justice... just disappear, and panicking calls the JL Watchtower to tell them about the attack, before rushing back to dig through the rumble for his friends. Huh, turns out that it wasn't actually a nuke after all. Just a really powerful conventional explosive. The area should still be really hot though. Anyways, it turns out that the Sphere had managed to save Conner, Wolf and Dick before the blast, though the three organics are still knockout out still. Nightwing slips into the water, so Mal is able to have his hero moment and save his friend from drowning, yay! He wakes up Conner, and they manage to get back to shore, with the Sphere sinking to the bottom of the bay to heal.

Later at the Hall of Justice, Wally demands that Nightwing tell him just what the hell just happened. Dick sadly admits that it was necessary, explaining that they needed to find a way to rescue Lagoon Boy, that AL had already injected him with a microscopic tracker, and used the stomachpunch as a means to pass essential information to Dick, including software to locate LB with it. Wally points that that wasn't all he did, and Dick protests that he had to make it look good, that AL knew that Dick would be able to get the inhibitor collars off of them, but Wally says that they still managed to take three more hostages in the process. Dick says that AL had given them time to get out, but they mistimed it and got caught in the debris fields of the explosion. Wally says that it's really starting to seem that Nightwing is just making excuses for AL's increasingly more overtly supervillainy behaviour, and what if even one of them had died in the explosion? Dick repeats that AL needed to make it look good, and that he needed to cement his postion with the Light nad their partner, with really angers Wally, as wasn't that the reason why Artemis had to "die". Nightwing says that Mount Justice was just a place, and that he's sorry that Wally lost all of his stuff, which makes West even worse, as he shoves Dick backwards, yelling that he doesn't care about his stuff, he cares that Dick put Artemis in a really dangerous situation. He then asks whether it might be possible that with everything that's happened to him, that AL might actually have fallen into the role of Bad guy for real... That he's actually a triple agent, and that he might actually be playing Nightwing this whole time...

Back at BM's submarine, he decides to officially introduce AL to the Light in light of how he'd kidnapped an additional two superheroes to the official target, Blue Beetle, as well as blowing up Mount Justice. Huh, guess that it wasn't a secret base after all. Though I guess that it is meant to be canon that the JL abandoned it after the Joker managed to get inside somehow... Anyways, Ra's al Ghul welcomes AL to the group, says that they appreciate AL's initiative and strong family ties, and that it's time for him to meet their Partner...

- Review: Well the stakes just keep getting raised, don't they? Interesting that they seem to have gone from the heavily introspective episode last week, to the complex undercover work of this one. Definitely the tonal shift from the previous season to this one is worth further analysis in the future.

Hm, things that I liked. I liked that Mal (Herald in the comics) appears to be realising that he's rapidly becoming the Xander of the Young Justice team, but what little had actually got to do in the episode make me want to see him do more in the future. As a nonpowered regular person who works behind the scenes making sure the superheroes plans work properly isn't really a role that we have in comics at the moment, the closest I can think of possibly being Oracle, but even she had 133t haxx0r skillz to edge her above the Normals.

On a different note, I think that I might have realised why Impulse is being somewhat callous regarding people's feelings, or even what the villains might be up to. To him, he stopped the main threat that destroyed the future, so he can just kick back and relax as his powers make him virtually untouchable. However, with the destruction of Mount Justice (which we saw was a crater in the future he's from and assumes he stopped), he might realise that things aren't as fixed as he thought, so maybe he'll undergo some character development and take things a little more seriously. Something to take the edges off him, like last season's 'Coldhearted' did with Wally.

The overly complex machinations of AL and Nightwing are interesting, and although I don't think that he's gone to the darkside, I do at least like that the creators acknowledged that Dick's explanations for all of AL's actions are starting to sound a lot more like excuses than actual plans. Should be good to see where this is going though.

On a minor note, I'm kind of disappointed that the Grotto of Rememberance was exploded so quickly, but I guess that it might become overused if they keep going down there to be introspective and brooding or something.

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