Sunday, 10 March 2013

Young Justice: Invasion - Episode 19 Recap and Review


Recap: The episode begins in the caves below Santa Prisca, the home of Bane. It turns out that the Reach and the Light are having a conference to discuss the future of their relationship and what exactly will happen to the Earth under the Reach's rule. Despite the convivial tone struck by the actual leaders of both sides, Black Beetle causes a touch of tension by insisting that no one wear masks to the meeting, something that causes Artemis to unconsciously touch her disguise amulet as she knows that at this point she and Aqualad are in way, WAY over their heads. Black Manta isn't too happy about it either, considering wearing a mech suit is kind of his deal, so he'd be leaving his head exposed. With that out of the way, the titular summit begins...

Title sequence.

The Ambassador begins by asking why the more public members of the Light aren't there, and Vandal Savage says that they're busy with damage control following the Reach's recent defeats so he'll have to make do with them instead. The reference to the Team's recent victories doesn't seem to be a good starting point, as it causes the Ambassador to question why the heroes in the last episode were allowed to get to the Bialyan temple so they could depower Blue and Green Beetle. Aqualad says that he has an explanation for this, only for Black Beetle to tell him to shut up, with in turn annoys Black Manta even further. Savage points out that no one here has sacrificed more for the Light and the Reach's endeavours than Kaldur, which is why they put him in charge of security for this meeting (Ha!) so he has a right to be heard. With that out of the way, Kaldur explains that the Light didn't know what the connection between the Reach and the temple was due to the Reach not telling them how long ago they'd been sending things to Earth. IF the Reach had told them, then they could have inferred what the temple might have been for then thus protected it better.

When the Reach Scientist pipes up that she had in fact pointed this out ages ago to the Ambassador and his short sightedness caused all this to happen, the Ambassador ends up yelling at her to shut up. After he glares at her, making her apologise for talking out of turn, BM says she was right for calling her leader's tactics into question and goes on to say that the Light have provided everything the Reach required to succeed, but have failed again and again due to their own incompetence. The other Light members reel of the other Reach defeats, including the low sales of their mindcontrolling soft drink, as to why the aliens are the ones letting the side down here. The Ambassador said that they don't have to worry about Green and Blue Beetle, as they've summoned BB down from War World for him to kill Jaime and the Martian so they can reinstall their scarabs in new, loyal host bodies. He then decides to tell them that as per their arrangement, the Light are actually their slaves due to the Earth being property of the Reach, and that they have no right to talk to them as equals as they aren't in his opinion.

Being called a slave to his face... doesn't impress Black Manta. At all. He says that no agreed exists where that's the case, and BB says that there is no agreement in place that says that BM won't be killed for speaking out of turn either. They end up point guns at each other, and Ra's al Ghul says that they seem to be at an impasse. BB casually smacks BM in the face, knocking him to the floor, which causes Deathstroke and Artemis to leap to his defence. Being a lot faster and agility than BB, they in fact manage to at least temporarily disable him by jamming a taser into one of his open energy ports, something that manages to shock the Reach's assumed guards, who then open fire on the humans. Artemis deflects a blast aimed at Ra's, who thanks her for saving from the temporary inconvenience of getting kill, but her stumbling backwards into him allows her to see her charm necklace, which he recognises.

Before the fight can get too far, Kaldur actually steps between his dad and BB, saying that the Reach and the Light fighting benefits no one but their enemies. The Ambassador agrees that this is actually pretty sensible, mostly because Artemis effortlessly incapcitated the other Reach guards, and tells BB to step down. Which he does, eventually. Kaldur says that they have to get whatever it is done quickly as the main League members and the Green Lanterns will be ack soon and sway public opinion in their direction once more. The Ambassador and Savage say that they don't have to worry about that, saying that amount of damage that the Light forced the League to do on Rimborr (and some careful bribes) will ensure their conviction, while the Green Lanterns aren't allowed to return to Earth as per their treaty with the Guardians, as they managed to convince the head of the UN to officially welcome them there. While this conversation is going on, Ra's just walks up to Artemis and takes off her charm, hereby revealing her identity to the bad guys. Uh oh.

The Ambassador and Savage are confused and angry at Artemis being there, on account of how she's meant to be dead. This makes them naturally work out that Kaldur is a double agent as well, and the Ambassador tells BB to kill them both for duping them. BM tries to stop BB, but is unable to stop Deathstroke from just shooting the pair (blood and everything) while quipping that the Light takes care of its own. BM is upset, naturally, but Kaldur says that it doesn't matter, as he's already won. He then, seemingly with his dying breathe, actives a hologram which guts the Reach/Light alliance by explains just how the Light have fooled them from day one. HoloLad explains that the Light were the ones who sent the League to Rimborr while mindcontrolled in the first place as bait on a galactic scale, and the Reach snapped it up. While the hologram explains the numerous ways that the Light cheated or tricked the Reach with the intention of using them as part of their suvival of the fittest philosophy with the intention of using them to help humanity take over the Milky Way, Savage tries to get Deathstroke to shut it off, but even Slade doesn't know how to do that. HoloLad explains that they also added a neutralising agent to the soft drink to get rid of the mindcontrolling chemicals, they were the ones who caused public opinion of the Reach to fall, either by leaking the Pacfic fleet footage to G. Godfrey or GGG is working FOR them in some capacity, AND deliberately allowed the temple to be used to remove Blue and Green Beetle from the Reach's control. BM asks what did Kaldur do, and a visibly enraged Savage says that he's in death done more to sabotage his plans than any human has managed to do in the fifty thousand years he's lived.

The Ambassador, angry at being made to look like an idiot (more so than usual), says that he'll use the War World to destroy the Earth in revenge for the Light daring to think they can sabotage their plans. This causes Savage to smirk that they'd have a hard time doing this, as he's the one who has the key needed to make the damn thing work. This confession turns out to be last bit of information needed, as Kaldur and Artemis both sit up, to the bad guys' amazement, which is nothing on the revelation that Deathstroke is actually Miss Martian (Woo!). The rest of the Team shows up, including Wally in his Kid Flash outfit, to take down the Light and the Reach. Savage says that they should know at this point that the Light always have back-up plans, and the Brain seals the exits and summons some of Ra's al Ghul's ninjas. At least some of which actually turn out to be MORE members of the Team, who begin mopping the floor with the bad guys.

Vandal makes a hasty retreat with Klarion, and Ra's says that he probably has the best idea as they're outmatched. BB decides to just stab him to death instead, causing Ra's henchman Ubu to grab his master and run off to the nearest Lazarus Pit. Wally and Artemis reunite (yay!), and BM is still trying to comprehend that Kaldur had been betraying him from the very start. Aqualad admits that he'd been conflicted, as he's seen his father's noble side, but as long as he continues to waste his gifts on villain, he WILL continue to fight him. BM says that this means that he's been too permissive, and that he'll have to teach AL some discipline, and they begin fighting. Bart and Wally meet up, having a brief bit of banter and Wally officially passes over the Kid Flash identity over to him, saying that he's earned it and after the invasion is over both he and Artemis are going back into retirement. AL manages to defeat BM in a cool fight scene, huzzah.

The Ambassador and the Reach Scientist (never did get a name for her, did we?) try to flee from the melee, only to get stapled to a wall by Jaime. The Ambassador calls for Black Beetle to help them, only for him to call them pathetic as all their scheming and sneaking around have cost them so much. BB then uses the Ambassador's failures as evidence that he's not fit to command, takes control of the Reach's Earth expedition, grabs the Scientist as she still might be useful, and flies away. Leaving the Ambassador still nailed to a rock, ha!

The day appears to be saved, but Kaldur is disappointed that some of the bad guys managed to get away, only for Wally, Dick and Artemis to say that he's being ridiculous as he's not only won the day, but he's outright triumphed. Not only did he ruin the Reach's plans for Earth, but he broke the Light in half and holographically recorded their confessions so they can use the Light's own words against them to free the Justice League. Yeah, good going Kal! Beast Boy shows up to hug Artemis for not being dead, and is visibly happy that Kaldur isn't a traitor. He also tells for Nightwing for the death-faking thing, but in a fun way that indicates that he at least understands why it was necessary.

On War World, the Reach guards are suddenly boomtubed away somewhere, while Savage teleports into the key chamber. The League members attack him... but then the action cuts to the JL Watchtower some distance away. There Kal is being congratulated for his service, and Dick is even passing leadership of the Team back to him in recognition of this. Even Aquaman is heaping on the praise, when suddenly a boomtube opens up and the War World Leaguers are dumped at their feet. Savage then pilots it back out into space, but the heroes aren't certain whether that's good news or not. I mean, at least he gave them Black Canary and co back before he left and all.

Later, at the UN, Captain Atom has presented the evidence of the Reach's wrongdoing to the security council, and after an emergency session, they remove their invitation and tell the Reach to get the hell off of their planet. BB sulks at this, as it means that the Green Lantern Corp will be arriving soon to ensure that they leave so they'll do what the humans want and just leave. He also works out that the reason why the Light called the conference in the first place must have been to remove him from his guarding post on the War World so that they could hijack the thing. The scientist questions just leaving, saying that wouldn't that leave behind evidence that they had been on Earth before they were invited, thus breaking the treaty the Guardians are coming to enforce. BB smiles smugly at this, and says that there won't be any evidence behind if they destroy Earth before they get there...

Review: Well, that was an episode and a half. Good character moments, good action, resolution to plotlines while opening up more. Much better than I'd have expected for an episode nearly entirely focused around some guys standing around in a cave for some twenty minutes or so.

Although the way that the good guys managed to trick the bad guys might be something of an echo of how the Light's previous attempts to make each member of the Team a traitor, I did think that the way that they were able to round off the main plotline of the epsiode was actually well executed, so kudos. And it was nice to see the Light having something akin to one of their own gambits being pulled against them, heh.

In addition I liked how it was Ra's that was able to figure out what the charm necklace was, as out of the members of the Light that were able to make the meeting he's kind of the one who has the most experience with the supernatural outside of Klarion.

The resolution of the Black Manta and Kaldur relationship was actually a lot better done than I'd have expected, as the level of heartbreak being evidenced by Black Manta was actually really well done on the part of the actor and the creative team.

The little moments between Wally, Artemis, Bart and Beast Boy were nice, providing a little lightheartedness in an otherwise pretty intense episode once the action got started. Kaldur being made head of the Team again was also pretty nice.

Things I wasn't so keen on... not really anything I can think of at the moment. They actually seem to be doing a pretty good job at rounding off all of the major plotlines on the way to the series finale, even explains what it is that the Light wanted to gain out of this entire escapade. All the heroes were represented well, even if they didn't all get a line, they were at least shown to be doing something cool. Maybe if they get a third season they can sizedown the cast a little so that they have more time to spend with each member, but that's just all hypothetical.

No comments:

Post a Comment