Killer Queen

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Arrow Season 3, Episode 8

“The Brave and the Bold”

SUMMARY: Oliver Queen and Amanda Waller explain to the audience how police brutality is actually good. An actor claims to be Captain Boomerang, but doesn’t even try to do an Australian accent.


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Syd: The episode starts with Roy Harper in his silly hood (which is not something I’ve seen him wear in any comics, but I guess it’s better than his Robin Hood hat) doing a goofy little run, and this is what we were missing from the Flash episode of this crossover – Roy Harper doing something dumb.

Margaret: Roy is famous for his parkour in Arrow. I also find the hood a little unfortunate as it seems way too big for his head. But, he’s there for Oliver’s backup while Diggle watches from the van. They’re about to bust into the house where their bad guy is supposed to be and realize that both doors are rigged with explosives. They blow them up, because fuck disarming them, and realize that their target isn’t in the house.

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Syd: You know who is in this house? ARGUS! It’s Amanda Waller’s secret police. They have guns trained on Roy and Ollie. Why they are here – in terms of how they got the information – isn’t explained. Also, what their relationship with Ollie and Roy isn’t explained. I would say that this episode is inhospitable to new viewers, except, when you get down to it, none of this stuff is actually important to the episode’s story. I hope this is compelling for longtime viewers, because it does nothing for me. Anyway, Diggle knows someone at ARGUS – who he seems to think is his wife, but Oliver points out they are no longer married and she has the same name as a character from The Crisis on Infinite Earths. Margaret, a little help?

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Cross Training


The Flash Season 1, Episode 8

“Flash vs. Arrow”

SUMMARY: Rainbow Raider infects The Flash with a Rage virus that turns him against his friends, including visiting vigilante Oliver Queen.


Syd: I can’t believe we finished recapping all of Young Justice that there is and I can’t believe that soon there’s going to be more. In the meantime, we’re going to switch gears, starting by watching the first CW DC crossover event, when Flash met Arrow. This is going to be interesting for me because I usually hate DC crossovers (for the record, I have never liked any comic with Crisis in the title), but the crossover with The Flash was the only episode of the first season of Supergirl that I genuinely liked. Can Grant Gustin’s overwhelming charm also save Arrow?

Margaret: Technically, Arrow met Barry Allen in the last season of Arrow and the Flash in the pilot episode of The Flash, but this is the first time they’ll actually work together. Or, well, as much as Oliver works with anyone. Once the CW got another show, they start doing a crossover event every year which became more and more intense as the network got more shows. Last year it was a full four hour event involving Nazis, so you know we have to get that at some point.

Syd: The episode starts with a recap of Geoff John’s reboot origin of Barry Allen. I know it’s been over a decade, but I still hate this origin. The Flash doesn’t need a dark, tragic backstory. We have enough heroes with dark, tragic backstories, and the more the same tropes and motivations get retconned into various heroes’ stories, the more blandly uniform they become. During the recap, Felicity refers to Team Arrow as a “well-oiled archery machine,” which is something I would like to purchase for my own archery needs. Then the actual episode starts.

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Here’s Looking At You, Kid Flash

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 20

“Endgame”

SUMMARY: While the Justice League are exonerated and set to return to Earth, The Team, with a little help from Lex Luthor, races to deactivate the Reach’s devices that have been set to destroy the world.


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Syd: We start our finale on Rimbor, where the Justice League’s trial is concluding. The judge is very unsubtly suggesting that they bribe him, but Icon either doesn’t understand or refuses to do so. As a result, the League is found guilty.

Margaret: The judge has clearly made the point multiple times that he’s wanting a bribe. It’s definitely a corrupt court system and this is a point of contention with the Justice League. The Light has provided their bribe, the Justice League refuses on principle. It’s weird to me, though, that they don’t bring it up. It’s clear all sides know what’s going on and what’s being expected. This seems ripe for a big “No you’re out of order, this whole court is out of order!” sort of moment.

Syd: Maybe that would be impolite? I don’t know, it seems like that’s what would have happened if the Justice League were the protagonists of this series. Instead, they need to be rescued.

Continue reading “Here’s Looking At You, Kid Flash”

Criminal Entente

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 19

“Summit”

SUMMARY: The Reach and the Light meet to discuss their plans, but their meeting is cut short when they discover that they have two traitors in their midst – Tigress and Aqualad.


Syd: We start off in a cave in Santa Prisca – home of Bane. Black Beetle enters, then Slade Wilson enters. They both nod, then their respective teams – the Reach and the Light – enter. It’s unusual setting for this meeting. It does house some Light controlled facilities, but it isn’t the home base for anyone present. I guess it has some mysterious caves that provide some secrecy?

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Margaret: It’s also quite an interesting place to set this considering the rest of the episode. This is the island where the Team first became a Team. It’s where they all started to work together after all their disagreements and squabbles. To set the Summit here, I think, is really a masterful point on the creator’s part as it is really bringing everything full circle.

We also start off with a bit of a misdirect with the Reach appearing and then Deathstroke being the only Light representative. It’s only for a moment before the rest of the Light contingency arrives, but I found it a very interesting fake out to think that either Deathstroke faked out the Light or has been cornered by the Reach.

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The Beetle Generation

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 18

“Intervention”

SUMMARY: Zatanna and Rocket abduct Blue Beetle and whisk him off to Bialya to free him from the Reach’s control.


Syd: The episode starts back on Warworld, where Black Beetle is fighting Mongul, and when Green Beetle shows up, tells him that he is disappointed he only has one opponent, which is clearly just bluster, because the two beetles working together don’t even quite overpower Mongul, they just get him into position to freeze him. So, that’s taken care of and we can reflect on what a jerk Black Beetle is. Or should we mention how Despero is still in his pod, so apparently the Justice League is fine with him staying there?

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Margaret: As I must update every episode since Warworld showed up, it is still right outside of Earth and messing things up. This time, at least, it’s because we know the key is taken by Deathstroke.

Syd: It hasn’t even been a day yet, so I don’t think Warworld has done that much damage.

Margaret: Extreme weather patterns cause a lot of damage! Aquaman can only be in one place at a time! And we’ve seen that La’gaan is doing nothing! For all we know huge swaths of beachfront land is totally gone.

Syd: Are you forgetting the great hero of the seas, Orm, who is not a villain in this series? Hey, we haven’t seen him in a while. I’m sure off-camera, he’s saving so many days.

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Syd: Seriously, in the season finale, Orm is going to show up and make everything right and you will regret your sass-mouth.

Anyway, now that the Reach has lost the key, they need to focus on standing guard to make sure no one USES the key, despite the fact that the Justice League is already doing that. Of course, neither the Reach nor the League trusts the other to do what they both want.

 

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Royfriends

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 17

“The Hunt”

SUMMARY: Trapped on Warworld where he is being pursued by the Reach, Arsenal makes a desperate attempt to rescue the Team. Meanwhile, Virgil, Ed, Sam, and Tye have been sent by Lex Luthor to rescue the Team. Also, Nightwing and Miss Martian have come to Warworld to rescue the Team. Look, if someone doesn’t rescue the Team, I’m going to be pretty disappointed.


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Margaret: Okay, I have to start this off with one main question. WTF is Warworld still doing there?! It is a huge problem for Earth and I get that it is randomly parked there and they can’t find the keys, but surely Dr. Fate can Ankh his way into a parking brake or something.

Syd: I don’t know, for me after the Warworld episode, I kind of thought, “What are they going to do with the new moon orbiting Earth?” And now that I see the answer is, “What can they do?” I think, “That makes sense.” I feel like, left long enough, the Justice League has enough firepower to destroy Warworld, but as it is right now, I can understand not wanting to do anything rash. It was a problem when it showed up, but now that it’s in stable orbit, they have a bit of time to figure out what they’re going to do, especially since they’re on uneasy terms with the Reach and don’t want to jump into an incident with half the League gone (on trial for murder).

Margaret: I am just imagining Aquaman in a constant stream of saving dolphins. “This is finally my time to shine! Where is everyone?!”

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Syd: Poor Aquaman. Too bad the important members of the Justice League are on Warworld standing guard – most notably Plastic Man, with his goofy stretch head. Does that help him watch things better, or is that to remind onlookers what his powers are, or does he just like creeping people out? It’s the last one, isn’t it?

Margaret: If anyone is a creeper, it would be Plastic Man.

Syd: Or The Creeper. It’s in his name.

Continue reading “Royfriends”

Sub Optimal

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 16

“Complications”

SUMMARY: Cheshire and Sportsmaster break into Black Manta’s ship to kill basically everyone who works there and must be stopped by Artemis, the very person they are there to avenge. Meanwhile, Nightwing investigates the disappearance of almost his entire team.


Syd: This episode starts aboard Black Manta’s ship, with a quick recap to get everyone up to speed. Artemis is pretending to be a villain, guarding Kaldur, who is being mentally repaired by Megan, who Deathstroke has orders to kill. Everybody got all that?

Margaret: It’s a complicated situation, but I guess that’s why that’s the name of the episode. They manage to remind us of it all very quickly. I will admit I had forgotten that Megan was under the ocean and last episode had to wonder why she wasn’t with the rest of the Team.

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Syd: The plot starts moving forward when we find out that Kaldur is actually fine and Megan has been stalling to try to come up with a plan. They were just wondering how long they could stall when Black Manta enters and tells them that he’s run out of patience and he’s going to have Megan killed in 24 hours. So that answers that question. It’s funny to me that they never actually come up with a plan – they’re really saved completely unexpectedly.

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On My World, It Means “A New Hope”

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 15

“War”

SUMMARY: Mongul comes to Earth in a moon-sized space station with an excessive amount of ordnance. While the Justice League holds off the big guns, the Team sneaks inside to shut down the station. Meanwhile, Mal is dissatisfied with his relationship with Karen and wants to end it.


Syd: This episode is notable in that, according to an interview, this story was the first one pitched for a Young Justice series. The idea was to show, even in a world where there is a Justice League to take on huge, world-threatening challenges, the smaller, subtler team of young heroes can have even more interesting adventures.

Margaret: That’s an interesting one to pitch, as it seems like there is quite a lot that has to go into it in order to make sense. Otherwise it’s just some large Death Star the team has to fight and once that’s taken care of, where do you go from there? To me, for this show, it doesn’t work as a one off that isn’t tied to the main story.

Syd: I think that’s why they saved it for the second season. They did tie it into the Reach’s plans for the season so it didn’t feel pointless.

Margaret: Right. I like how they handle it in the scheme of this season. There’s still the bigger threat of the Reach. Without those ties, once you fight a Death Star and without a plan for something afterwards things tend to devolve into needing BIGGER and MORE INTENSE villains until one day they’re going to Hell again to fight an even worse version of Lucifer. Sorry, that’s just Supernatural.

Continue reading “On My World, It Means “A New Hope””

Jaime Vs. The Volcano

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 14

“Runaways”

SUMMARY: The Reach’s former abductees escape from STAR Labs where they are being held, but shortly must return there to save it from an attack by Red Volcano.


Margaret: We start the episode with the titular Runaways (or at least the DC versions, not the Marvel ones. You can tell because this team doesn’t have a dinosaur) that the Team rescued from the Reach earlier in the season. Their powers are being rigorously tested. To the point of slave labor, honestly.

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Syd: With the exception of Virgil Hawkins (on loan from the series Static Shock – but also a stand-in for Black Lightning, who is already an established Justice League member in this series) all of these characters are from Super Friends.

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What you may not know about the Super Friends original characters is that none of them were given real names in that series, so in this one, we’re treated to a series of joke names. There’s Asami, or Sam for short, or Sam-urai for short, but then the rest of her name added on. Then there’s Ed Dorado, Jr., who is the son of another character named Ed Dorado, just to make talking about them confusing. Finally, we have Longshadow who has giant powers, and that’s the least offensive name. I am not okay with any of this.

Margaret: Yeah, I don’t like any of that. I’m glad they don’t say any of their full names in the cartoon. Or, at least, they don’t address each other that way. Only Lex Luthor uses their full names and we already know he’s a villain.

Continue reading “Jaime Vs. The Volcano”

It’s All in the Mind

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 13

“The Fix”

SUMMARY: Tigress “kidnaps” Miss Martian and “coerces” her to repair Aqualad’s mind. Green Beetle “disables” the Reach’s connection to Jaime’s scarab. Everything works out?


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Syd: We start in the Atlantic Ocean. Artemis’ narration is catching up first-time viewers on where the plot is. For her part, she regrets taking her mission. She was happy living a completely non-superhero life with Wally, but maybe she wasn’t as happy as she thought, considering how ready she was when Nightwing called on her.

Margaret: She feels like she’s losing herself and that the only time she’s reminded is when she looks in the mirror and sees her own reflection. I know they never really go into it, but it does make me wonder what exactly she’s had to do as Tigress. She’s obviously trusted by the group to a certain extent, so has she murdered people? That seems like it’d be the standard evil outfit initiation.

Syd: That does seem like an odd detail to leave out, if it did happen. But, then, that is also exactly the kind of plot detail that this show would spring on us as a surprise.

Continue reading “It’s All in the Mind”