Appellaxian Trail

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Young Justice Season 2, Episode 4

“Salvage”

SUMMARY: Green Arrow arranges an intervention for Red Arrow, who has been on the skids since he devoted himself to finding Speedy. Meanwhile, Conner and Jaime fight an Appellaxian shell that has been animated by Apokaliptan technology.


Syd: We open with Red Arrow stopping a health food store robbery. He knocks the criminal unconscious and gives most of the money back to the store clerk. So, mostly yay?

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Margaret: It doesn’t seem like Roy is doing very well. He’s got long stringy hair and a five o’clock shadow now. Not to mention stealing. I’m guessing he is not taking the events of the season finale well.

Syd: He’s remarkably capable considering he looks like he hasn’t eaten since the season finale. Still, Green Arrow, who is watching, is very concerned.

Margaret: Understandably! At the same time, Adam Strange has finished installing the satellites that will keep people from Zeta tubing from offworld to Earth. Most of the members of the Young Justice team are watching from the cave, calling it historic event. Lagoon Boy is particularly happy about it.

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Syd: Could I point out that Megan and La’gaan predate The Shape of Water by five years? Anyway, Conner thinks that the zeta shield is insufficient because it still doesn’t block boom tubes, prompting the voice in Blue Beetle’s head to explain to him what a boom tube is. So now that we hear it, we know that he isn’t crazy. Or at least not crazy in that way.

Margaret: With Lagoon Boy and Megan canoodling, Conner wants a distraction. He asks where Nightwing is only to be told he took the night off for personal business. So, instead, he grabs Jaime and decides they are both taking the night off, too.

Syd: Yay! We have B plot! Back in the A plot, Green Arrow is staging an intervention for Red Arrow and he has brought along all of his friends who are neither dead nor evil.

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Margaret: Hey! It’s Wally! Yay! Wait, why am I excited to see Wally? Ugh, this season is making me feel weird things. I’m mad at Kaldur and am excited to see Wally.

Syd: You thought Wally might have been dead, didn’t you?

Margaret: I did! So, I’m glad he’s not dead. But still. Weird.

Syd: So Roy is rationalizing stealing from the store, because he needs to fund his quest to find Speedy.

Margaret: The search is expensive and he’s pissed off that everyone else has forgotten or given up on the real Roy.

Syd: You mean Li’l Roy? He’s the original Roy, but he’s totally not the REAL Roy.

Margaret: Right right. Roy Prime. Though, Red Arrow definitely feels like the other Roy is the Real Roy Harper.

Syd: Roy is clearly not thinking straight, though. He’s wallowing in self-pity and has let his body go to seed, which Black Canary demonstrates when she nearly knocks him off the roof, assuming five years ago he would be able to defend himself.

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Margaret: It’s clear he’s cut himself off from everyone he used to know and isn’t listening to them when they’re trying to help. This definitely sounds like something they’ve been through before and then he disappeared. He hates the fact that he is a clone and refuses to believe that Roy Prime can’t be found.

Syd: At this point, Jim Harper chimes in. He knows what Roy is going through, since he’s a clone, too. That’s why he gave up his Guardian identity.

Margaret: Point of order, when the hell did we find out that Guardian was a clone??

Syd: Just now.

Margaret: Okay, good. Because I feel like I would have remembered that piece of information from last season! I was also trying to figure out who the hell the other red haired guy was.

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Syd: Jim points out that Cadmus’ policy was to “delete the source material” after cloning – a nice little euphemism for murder.

Margaret: This is a kid’s show!

Syd: It makes me wonder why they kept the Jim Harper clone alive. Do they still have a use for him after they cleared out Cadmus at the end of the first season? In the finale, he was there when Ra’s Al-Ghul took Speedy and Match away, it seems strange that they wouldn’t at least tie up the loose ends by killing a clone they were no longer employing.

Margaret: My guess is probably because it’s the Light and they love their long game plans. They just kept him alive as a hopeful plant – since he still didn’t know he was a clone at the time – and could just use him like they used Red Arrow. If he was lost or killed, eh no big deal. It’s not like he knew any highly classified information.

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Syd: Anyway, next is Wally’s turn. Roy is skeptical of why he even showed up, since he quit being a superhero. Wally points out that even if he’s not on the Team any more, he’s still Roy’s friend. And that he never knew Speedy – the clone Roy was the only Roy he was friends with, which shoots a hole in Red Arrow’s claim that Li’l Roy was the only one who matters. Still, that doesn’t stop him from sulking off and leaving his friends on the roof.

Margaret: He’s totally being a moody teenager about the situation. Let your friends help you, Roy!

Syd: That has never been Roy’s style. Meanwhile, Conner has taken Wolf and BB8 along with Blue Beetle to track down where the bomb from last episode came from. It was obviously some sort of alien technology, so Conner is tracking Whisper A’daire and Ugly Mannheim, who are known to traffic alien tech. They are meeting at the Hall of Justice.

Margaret: Blue Beetle definitely knows that Conner only asked him along because Nightwing was busy and Gar was studying. He also knows they’re doing this now because he’s upset about the relationship between La’gaan and M’gann. I wonder if they got together just because of how similar their names are to each other.

Syd: They have a lot in common – they’re both green and inflatable. I’m sure that gives them plenty to talk about.

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Margaret: Superboy and Blue Beetle track Whisper and Ugly and it seems impossible that they can’t see the Sphere-cycle. Conner has them floating right in the middle of the sky and not that high up. How are they not getting caught?

Syd: I guess Ugly and Whisper are not very observant? Or BB8 has some sort of cloaking? Or they’re higher up than they appear? By the same token, why are Ugly and Whisper not getting caught? When Jaime scans the Hall, he says it’s deserted and there is no further comment on that, despite the fact that this is insane. Why would the Hall of Justice be left unguarded ever?

Margaret: With the Watchtower, I kind of assumed the Hall of Justice was sort of just like their office building. It’s late at night, so everyone went home? It definitely is weird that there are no guards, though.

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Syd: However, Jaime using his Beetle powers allows us to get a bit of exposition and some explanation of where his powers come from. His powers and armor come from a scarab that was created by supergenius Ted Kord, the previous Blue Beetle, who was killed by the Light and left no instructions on how to use the scarab. So all things considered, despite the fact that he frequently appears crazy, Jaime is doing remarkably well.

Margaret: It’s also weird that Jaime has the Blue Beetle now. It’s supposed to be his most important work…how did it get attached to Jaime? He doesn’t even seem to know who Ted Kord is!

Syd: Come on, we’re four episodes into this season. You should be used to them doling out information not a moment before they’re ready.

Margaret: I am! I just still have to point it out.

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Syd: Ugly uses some sort of Apokaliptan radio device to combine the Appellaxians – the aliens who attacked Earth and forced the formation of the Justice League – into a single giant monster. Between that and the Mother Box, I have to say Apokalips’ Voltron technology is light years ahead of ours.

Margaret: I also like that the height of their technology is just taking whatever is around and shoving it together to make something stronger. It’s like the Lego school of science.

Syd: Considering these things previously took on seven members of the Justice League, Conner and Jaime didn’t stand much of a chance. Good thing Ugly was in too much of a hurry to kill them.

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Margaret: Ugly and Whisper land in Arlington and plan to use the creature to exert their power over more gangs.

Syd: That is just about the comic bookiest evil scheme I have ever heard.

Margaret: It is pretty ridiculous. The have control of a creature that required the formation of the Justice League to take down and their sights are lowered to just…more gangs? Really?

Syd: Oh, the banality of evil. I kind of love how limited Ugly’s scope is and how Whisper is totally willing to go along with it.

Margaret: The construct makes a noise that – to me – sounds like a whale. Whisper says that it sounds sad, and I can see that. However, that quickly changes as Conner and Jaime show up and immediately wreck Ugly’s control for it.

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Syd: Great job, heroes. Now you have an out of control alien monster to deal with. First, though, Jaime uses the Beetle to staple Ugly and Whisper to a tree. The scarab points out that it would have been more effective if he shot through their bones. Holy shit! What was wrong with Ted Kord? What did he design this thing for?

Margaret: We never met Ted Kord, maybe he was secretly a psychopath. Speaking of psychopaths, we see that Sportsmaster is there with someone he calls ‘partner’. We have no idea why he’s randomly at some nuclear plant, but it is the same one that the creature has decided to eat. I’m not exactly sure how it works or how it would absorb the nuclear power, so I’m going to go with eat.

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Syd: I mean, they haven’t explained Sportsmaster’s presence, but that’s just because they haven’t told us anything about the Light’s plans for this season. As for the Appellaxian, Blue Beetle gets the idea to try to communicate with it to find out what it wants. Amazingly, this is something the scarab can do. He discovers that the Appellaxian is in horrible pain and wants to end its life and is thus trying to blow itself up with the nuclear reactor. Arguably fortunately, Sportsmaster’s “partner” shows up to kill it.

Margaret: That’s so sad! The poor creature. The fact that Sportsmaster’s partner has enough energy to blow up the Apellaxian in a single shot is also terrifying. Also terrifying is Sportsmaster making Ugly and Whisper ‘living warnings’ to people who stray from the Light’s plans. How in the world did he do that? I thought he only had power over, like, hockey sticks and stuff.

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Syd: There’s a lot of stuff that this season is holding back on. I still want to know what happened between Megan and Conner WAY more than I want to know what’s going on with fucking Sportsmaster.

Margaret: Point. I definitely want to know more about Megan and Conner. And also how Megan turned into some sort of Manic Pixie Murder Girl. Sportsmaster’s mysteries definitely takes a backseat to that.

Syd: Time to wrap up the episode. Wally returns to Palo Alto, where he lives with Artemis and an adorable dog. Oh, and surprise, I hadn’t been checking the date stamps, but it turns out this was a Valentine’s Day episode the whole time.

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Margaret: Wally is upset that he and Dick couldn’t reach out to Roy. However, he does wish Artemis a Happy Valentine’s Day. Artemis is surprised he remembered, to which Wally asks, “What kind of jerk would I be if I forgot Valentine’s Day…for the fifth year in a row.” You’d be the Wally-est Jerk.

Syd: Well, this shows that he’s getting better. This was the year he didn’t forget.

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Margaret: I notice, however, that Artemis got him a whole fridge of food and he got her a request to copy her homework.

Syd: Well, he can’t quit being Wally cold turkey.

Margaret: Back to…where ever Roy has been living and making bad decision, he sneaks into his crummy apartment only to find Cheshire there. They exchange a few quips – par for the course – and then she tells him, “We’re still married, legally.” WHAT. Man, that was some spiral, Roy Harper.

Syd: That seems so weird that they would have gotten married, considering how both of them are very unstable and not exactly long-term planners, nor beholden to tradition. I mean, a guy with a death wish isn’t usually the marrying type. I can only guess that Cartoon Network mandated that they be married so that it was less questionable that they have a baby together.

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Margaret: THEY HAVE A BABY?! WHAT.

Syd: Yeah! Lian! She’s the best part of the Harper family! Oh, this show.

Margaret: I’m still….Jade is fighting crime with a little baby girl on her back. That’s insane! How can she do those back flips without worrying Lian is going to fall out of the backpack? Also, why does she have red hair?! That seems genetically unlikely. WHAT IS GOING ON.

Syd: We don’t know what recessive genes Huntress had. That’s within suspension of disbelief.

Margaret: We do know, though! Artemis is blonde! She has to have the blonde recessive gene. This is why I was so weirded out in the beginning about Artemis being half-Asian.

Syd: Oh, yeah, that is weird.

Margaret: Okay, yes, I’m getting a little hung up more on the fact of the genetic impossibility of a red haired daughter than the daughter itself. I think I’m just focusing on a specific because, WHAT THE ACTUAL HELL.

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Syd: Look, this season is moving fast and you can’t get caught up on petty things like genetics.

Margaret: I have to, though! DAUGHTER.

Syd: But Cheshire has called in some underworld connections and she thinks she may have found where the Light is keeping Speedy and that’s where this story is going.

Margaret: But. DAUGHTER.

GRADING THIS EPISODE

Syd: A. This is where I think this season really starts to sell me on what it has to offer. We’ve gotten so much darkness and now we see a sliver of hope.

Margaret: I’m at an A, too. This was a really interesting episode. I’ve never really liked Roy, but now he’s a very interesting character. It was nice to check in with Artemis and Wally and I completely agree with Roy in the fact that no one else is looking for Speedy is totally messed up. Also, Wally may not be the worst any more?! What is this world?!

Syd: Nothing is safe. This is Season 2, baby. Buckle up. Kaldur and Megan are bad and Wally and Roy are good and nothing is sacred.

Margaret: THIS. IS. YOUNG JUSTICE.

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