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Comments for the week ending October 3, 2021

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My favorite out of context Keith David quote is, "Evilevilevilevilevil!"
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

I know that Greg says he'd be happy to make this show forever (and I hope he gets to make as many seasons as he wants), but ultimately one day it'll be completed, and I wonder if - that day in the future - S3's place in the overall story will turn out to have been a sort of second-act darkest hour. Things become yet more dire, the heroes' resolve has weakened or led them to dark places, but ending with them affirming their mission, heading into the future with a renewed and reforged vision. Though I do think S3 currently suffers from being the last season we got - I don't know how many times during this watch did my comments have some variation on 'I'm interested to see how this is picked up later', but it definitely came up a lot. I have mixed feelings on it now, but I do think - once we have a season that will tell us what some of these subplots were building to, or we can see how threads that were not set up as deftly as we might have liked were ultimately used well, or when we can see what course-corrections were made over choices that were well-meaning but fell short in execution, or even just once we have a season where the writing team has had time to find their rhythm and the animation budget isn't quite so stretched - it will be more cohesive. That's my hope, anyways.

And hey, after all that dark and heavy stuff, the last bit of material to rewatch is at least something light and fun! Relatively, anyways, and with some tantalizing setup I can't wait to see pay off.

Also I saw the Ghost and Molly McGee - it was fun! I'm curious to see if the musical numbers are going to be a per-episode thing, a la Phineas and Ferb, and I'm pretty interested to see how the show settles into whatever its plot will be.

Karrin Blue

I think my vote for best out-of-context Keith David quote is "Now, this is a man who knows how to marry his cousin!"
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

Meant to specify it being from Amphibia.

And best out of context line by Keith David [SPOILER] Kill the kid, get the book. [/SPOILER]

Thanks for the Season Three overview, Matthew.

Inspired by yesterday's "Gargoyles" reference in "Sally Forth", I decided to look up the allusions to "Gargoyles" in other works on the "Gargoyles" page at TV Tropes. It didn't include the "Sally Forth" mention (probably too recent), but did include:

1. The "Gargoyles" allusions in the "DuckTales" series finale and the Season Two finale of "Amphibia" that we noted here earlier. (I noted, by the way, when watching the Season Three opener of "Amphibia" this morning [SPOILER] that the robot King Andrias sent after the leads holed up next to an architectural gargoyle at the end, and wondered if that was a nod to Andrias being voiced by Keith David. I also wondered if there are that many architectural gargoyles in Los Angeles, where the episode was set; I find it harder to imagine them in L. A. than in New York. [/SPOILER])

2. Architectural gargoyles appearing in "The Spectacular Spider-Man", and J. Jonah Jameson commenting that Mysterio's gargoyle-like homunculi should have their own show (though I recall Greg Weisman saying once that that line wasn't actually intended as a "Gargoyles" reference).

3. The description of a gargoyle in the game "Adventure Quest" states that you won't find it on a clock tower in New York.

4. In another game, called "Saints Row IV", when Keith David is making a public speech, some of the people in the audience are holding signs saying "I love Goliath".

5. The "Lawn Gnomes" episode from "Freakazoid".

Todd Jensen

Season 3, what fans wanted for so long and what we got, no one saw coming. If Season 2's time skip was the controversial thing, then I'd say the overall darker tone was it for this season. We got to see what Greg was capable of when he didn't have the kiddie gloves from Cartoon Network and that did turn some people off. At the same time, it allowed the show to tell more mature storylines than what would be allowed on the channel and explore relationships that would've been taboo for CN if the season picked up right after season 2. Another thing that stood out to me is that because of the 3-part release, not every episode is dictated towards an action piece, sometimes the fight scenes were really brief and only happened early on in the episode. And because of that, episodes could spend plenty of time on smaller yet still important moments. Now whether that's good or bad is going to be left up to the viewer. But with that out of the way, here are my 10 favorite episodes of Season 3. Once again, listed in chronological order:

Episode 1: "Princes All." A downright haunting episode and in the first few minutes sets the tone, the theme and the overall threat of the season. Once you see what happens to Ana and Jefferson, it sticks with you until the end.

Episode 4: "Private Security." The funniest episode of the series by far, but also has a lot of drama to it with Will and Dick's heart-to-heart and Artemis being there for her friend on an annual heartbreak.

Episode 5: "Away Mission." We get our first look at New Genesis and M'gann's family. And a great introduction for the hero no one knew was coming.

Episode 7: "Evolution." Perhaps the best written episode of the series as we get the origin of Vandal Savage, the truth of the partnership of Apokolips and a heart wrenching look into the family dynamic of the first meta-human.

Episode 13: "True Heroes." The search for Tara is over and the new team lives up to the title. But a new threat looms...

Episode 15: "Leverage." A nice little return to the espionage roots of the series and I so enjoy the three-way battle between each faction. And we finally see just why you don't mess with Amanda "The Wall" Waller.

Episode 16: "Illusion of Control." A genuinely nice episode which not only lets the kids be kids but gives a nice little look into the friendship between Cyborg and Forager.

Episode 20: "Quiet Conversations." Probably the second best written episode of the series. If you don't need a tissue after watching this one you'll at least want to give the characters a hug. An episode that properly delves into the harshness of abuse and sorrow that comes with facing death.

Episode 22: "Antisocial Pathologies." The truth of Jace and the Anti-Light comes pouring out and Violet's connection to it all makes for a dark conclusion. By the end you'll be just as overwhelmed as poor Jeff.

Episode 25: "Overwhelmed." Another heartbreaking reunion and one that examines the lies we tell others and ourselves. And the twist at the end is going to keep the audience guessing once more.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Oh, is that out already? Seems like it was just yesterday the first promo songs and clips were coming out at some con or another. Thanks for the reminder!
Karrin Blue

So besides the Season 3 premiere of Amphibia, anyone catch The Ghost and Molly McGee? First episode of that show is on Disney's YT channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7YonXyVJtkU

Watching Amphibia currently.


Also, I'd heard an interesting perspective on the Sopranos ending - that maybe he did die, but maybe he didn't; the point is that as long as he's in this life, he will always be on that knife edge, he will never know whether people who seem to be fidgeting oddly are out to get him or are just feeling twitchy that day. Or something like that - I should go and try to find where I read or heard that, now I think of it.

Though some people really do have trouble with ambiguity or implications. The number of times I've seen a character be a clear struggle between someone's trauma and past with violence and their trying to heal, grow, and connect with people get reduced to 'they're a cool perfect badass who wimped out at the end for some reason,' I tell you. Or a friend and I have been talking about Silent Hill lately, and the infamous 'they look like monsters to you?' Line - where although the character saying it is obviously shady and untrustworthy, and although it'd make no sense thematically, people still spill ink over whether or not the horrifying monsters that try to eat your face off are real people out getting groceries or somesuch.

Though I do ultimately think it's what we see that counts, and otherwise people have to be free to interpret accordingly. There's certainly questions I have that I won't send into Ask Greg, just because I like the ambiguity or the open space better (or because I have my own, personal theories that are so specific as to be very unlikely to be correct.) Fandom and analysis thrive in the gaps.

Karrin Blue

Once again, we return... oh wait, wrong series. And congratulations on having finished before October!

It was truly a joy to see Lex get faced with something he couldn't fight. I understand completely why Conner took so long to come forward - putting his origins up for public dissection is an incredibly hard thing - but I'm very proud of him for it, and while the callbacks don't always work for me I love his repetition of his original speech here.

I see Tara's choice coming down to the wire here as the Team wanting her to have the same opportunity Artemis, Conner, and M'gann had in s1 - it feels very much like an echo of that to me, them wanting her to feel secure enough that, just as they came forward in the critical moment, she would too - but she never did. But of course the problem there is that you can't push someone to take it without giving everything away, and I do think if they'd tried harder or let her know they knew that, too, could have ended very badly. So they hoped she'd trust them in time, and that if she didn't they could do damage control (which, really, if she had decided to kill Beast Boy, with him being an experienced hero and all the others on site, I think she likely wouldn't have actually succeed.) And she fails the test, but I think that just shows how brave M'gann, Artemis, and Conner were, to take that chance on trust, and given how intensely Slade abused her I can't blame her there, either.

That scene in the garden still kills me, though. Especially Tara Strong's delivery that she's almost trying to convince Slade the heroes are good people - augh. And to your point about how we are finally seeing a Terra who isn't vilified for being abused (and who lives!) I very much appreciate how it's not just that, but also that the ties that draw her back from the edge are her platonic and familial bonds, not a heroic boy (no shade on Garfield, but come on, we've seen it all before.)

The thing with Brion is... I think they knew he'd have a strong reaction, but one - they still didn't want Terra to know they knew, and Brion would not be a good enough actor to wait for her to tell them, and two - I think they weren't expecting things to come to a head so dramatically and publically. If it had been on a quieter mission, or in the Hub, or anywhere other than the royal palace following a murder attempt and with live TV, I think the others could have reasonably thought they'd be able to talk him down and through however the truth came out.

And, that all being said - while I doubt anyone would shed a tear over old uncle Freddy in universe or out, I do think the right thing is what Tara says they should do, and what she follows through on. Answering to justice - because if you believe someone should die, you should believe it strongly enough to defend it to others around you (especially when you happen to be the prince, foiling a coup, when your brother is the freaking king. In those circumstances, Brion isn't exactly going to be sent to the Chateau d'If.) And, if there's one person you very much want to have a clear sense of accountability, it's probably the guy who can set things on fire with a touch and causes minor tectonic events when he gets riled up. And that ties into the resignations at the end - it's all well and good to think you're doing everything for the benefit of others, but at some point you have to leave it in their hands whether or not they believe you.

Also, I actually didn't take Jefferson's speech as him writing Brion off? Rather, I heard that as him showing the first indications that Vandal and Black Adam had been heroes once, and that that was known and grieved for by the League, as a hint for later developments. Though, in the end, I can't be that surprised if Jeff is the sort of person who'd write Brion off for that, since one of the failure states of being a moral compass type can be judginess. I want to wait and see how the Markov plot plays out in s4, and what we see of his thoughts on it two years in, before I decide, though. And I don't see Tara and Violet giving up on him so easily.

I also don't think anyone in that final scene is ignoring that the others did wrong? They're apologizing through their actions, by giving up the power of command and nominating Black Lightning to take it. I'd think that saying 'well, you messed up, so you're not allowed in at all even when you want to give your strength and skills to a more moral leader' would be even more black-and-white. They're not asking anyone to trust them again, they're still in the League because they want to contribute. None of them have spotless hands, but they are all willing to do their best, give all they can, and listen to others when they're off course - and that is what a hero does, more than being right all the time effortlessly.

Also, while it's not in the show, there is actually an ask about how M'gann offered her help to the Kroloteans - who turned her down. And while I'd love to get a view of that in canon, I do understand why it never came up, and it seems entirely reasonable to me. She's obligated to offer, they have zero reason to accept, sometimes that's the way it goes and you just have to accept it.

...and in the end, I extremely doubt we're going to see Brion framed as irredeemable. He's 17, for goodness' sake, and after two years being prodded at psychically, at worst I think he'll be a tragic loss (and even that seems very unlikely compared to him getting to let go of the throne and use his powers to help people. Personally I'm hoping for Tara to be the one to help him through that - as someone who's been where he was, her rescuing him would be a neat echo. Perhaps after a giant, symbolic, earthbender sibling fight through the palace - hey, with Studio Mir doing it, I can dream, right?)

And wow, two weeks to FanDome. I live in hope we might get a teensy little teaser trailer before then, to build hype, but that's in the marketing people's hands and I'm half-convinced they decide these things by interpreting the flights of birds and bones thrown into fires.

(also, what I wouldn't give for a bit where Violet realizes Brion proposed marriage to her during that garden scene. That's what asking her to be his queen would be! Honestly, between that and Tara asking him to face Justice with her and Brion making his reconciliation with her as his sibling conditional on political support and the betrayal of another sibling, the layers of attempts at connection and the fracturing of bonds, I could go on all day. And have! My friends are very patient with me about it.)

Karrin Blue

"Until he accidently clarified it."

Heh, pretty funny. That said, I still maintain that viewers are welcome to interpret a show however they wish, and the creator's outside opinions aren't binding. Like how anything on Ask Greg is "canon-in-training."

" the Isihimura clan would have been something of an unsettlement to her - even more so, the fact that the local humans were so friendly with them (aside from Taro, whose treachery she'd have railed at and yet found oddly comforting at the same time)."

I think Demona would have no problem dismissing Ishimura as an aberration just like her time in Macbeth's court. "Macbeth betrayed me, Taro betrayed you, humans will always betray us in the end." Especially given the very long time frame she has, it would be easy to dismiss any peace as temporary.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

BISHANSKY - Good point about her response to the London clan; I was thinking that Demona might have seen it as acting too much like humans (as in running a business - she'd be on shaky grounds on that after she and Thailog founded Nightstone Unlimited, of course), but as you say, she might have seen it as necessary survival tactics. And, yes, the Isihimura clan would have been something of an unsettlement to her - even more so, the fact that the local humans were so friendly with them (aside from Taro, whose treachery she'd have railed at and yet found oddly comforting at the same time).
Todd Jensen

JURGAN> "but I've seen people argue both sides of the final scene, and I know David Chase refuses to clarify"

Until he accidently clarified it.



TODD> "On Demona's "I know every gargoyle" line; don't forget, also, that she was pretending to be ignorant of who Angela really was, but we learned later that she knew all along. (If Demona *had* met the London clan, I wonder what her response would have been. I suspect she'd have seen them as even more corrupted by human ways than Goliath.)"

I didn't forget that. She knew the strange young female was her biological daughter thanks to Sevarius (Xanatos was probably aware also, he didn't seem surprised to meet Angela in Cloud Fathers and I'm sure he debriefed Anton after Monsters). I don't think Demona was aware Angela was from Avalon or that there was a clan there... she may have had suspicions upon hearing the news, but she definitely didn't know about them prior to "Sanctuary".

As for London? It depends on how human friendly the London Clan was at the time. Leo and Una were running the shop, not protecting London, after Griff's "death". If she encounted a more isolationist London Clan, she may just think they're doing what they need to do to survive. She's doing no different, herself.

Her reaction to Ishimura... well, that would be something different.

Greg Bishansky - [<--- Voices From the Eyrie]
"Welcome to Voices From the Eyrie, a Gargoyles podcast" - Shari

MATTHEW - I found that reference a pleasant surprise too. I doubt we'll see any more of it than today's strip (which is probably just as well; based on the Forths' past history with these kinds of decorations, putting up gargoyles for Halloween would be a sure-fire way of inspiring their neighbors to join the Quarrymen). A few of the comments on that strip at Comics Kingdom (where I read it), by the way, were fond memories of the show; one person particularly praised its voice actors (and brought up how many of them were from "Star Trek"), and another cried "And we live again! We are defenders of the night! We are gargoyles!"

On Demona's "I know every gargoyle" line; don't forget, also, that she was pretending to be ignorant of who Angela really was, but we learned later that she knew all along. (If Demona *had* met the London clan, I wonder what her response would have been. I suspect she'd have seen them as even more corrupted by human ways than Goliath.)

Todd Jensen

Greg B: I would push back a little on that and say that, if a show doesn't spell something out explicitly, the viewer is allowed to interpret it in any way that doesn't contradict what is shown. I haven't seen The Sopranos so I can't rule on that one, but I've seen people argue both sides of the final scene, and I know David Chase refuses to clarify. I used to think that movies and shows with ambiguous endings had a "solution" that you could find if you only looked closely enough. Now I think that, in most cases, there is no single "solution," and the audience interprets ambiguity based on who they are. Storytelling is a collaboration between a teller and an audience. Especially in this age of online discussion groups, a lot of the fun is in fans arguing over what it "really means." After all, how much time have we spent debating Titania's whisper? Maybe not the best example as Greg W. says he has a line in mind, but by leaving such things up to us we can find new levels on our own.
Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]

No need to apologize Greg B. if anything I know I always overthink things. And whether or not the phone was hacked is a minor point in the episode itself and really wasn't even the biggest issue I had with Dick in that episode.

Todd> Was not expecting a Gargoyles reference in a newspaper comic. Now I want to see where that will go.

Oh, one thing I forgot to mention, unlike the last episodes, HBO Max actually gave proper transcripts to the Latvian spoken this episode. Though for some reason it's still referred to as "alien language."

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

To be fair, it's not like hacking Brion's phone woulda been the sketchiest thing Dick's done this season. ;)
The sword is the tool of a soldier, one who fights at the behest of others, a servant to the Power. The scepter, on the other hand, this is the totem of a true ruler.

MATTHEW, I am also enjoying your write-ups, so please don't assume I am trying to pick on you with the following post. I am not. But this is a larger observation I've had.

GREG WEISMAN> Something I've learned from years of being a Gargoyles fan... among other shows; is that sometimes people need things completely spelled out or else they won't assume a character is making a statement without knowing what they're talking about, or even if they're lying.

Demona said she knows "every remaining gargoyle" ... when clearly it's a declarative statement where she's full of it. I can believe she knew about London but not so Ishimura or the Mayan Clan. And definitely not Avalon. But some fans took the statement literally and believe she knows every remaining gargoyle up to and including Pukhan, Xanadu, and New Olympus.

Or a show like Breaking Bad, Tuco beats No-Doze to near death and then tells Walter to "help him" by performing CPR... and Walter says "they don't do that anymore!" and some people thought that was either true or the show spreading misinformation when Walter just didn't want to do it. They didn't give us a scene where Walter clarifies to Jesse later that he was lying because he didn't want to go mouth-to-mouth with No-Doze.

Or, perhaps the most infamous example, the final scene of "The Sopranos"... the cut to black. Many people realized it was a death scene for the show's "hero". Others didn't.

I used to wonder why... but I think the reason is that, because of the nature of a lot of television and movies; dialogue often doubles as both characterization and exposition. We as an audience are so used to that, sometimes we default to it. Okay, the writer here is saying something about the plot or is doing a bit of world building. Dick didn't deny hacking Brion's phone, so clearly he did... when Dick wasn't dignifying the accusation with a response because Brion's eyes were glued to his phone since episode four of the season.

On the opposite end of things, I've been accused of overthinking things at times... sometimes I've been right; other times I was overthinking things.

Greg Bishansky - [<--- Voices From the Eyrie]
"Welcome to Voices From the Eyrie, a Gargoyles podcast" - Shari

Did anyone read today's "Sally Forth"?
Todd Jensen

Wow. Thank you Greg, that...actually means a lot. It really does.

I guessed with Brion considering the shadier actions of Dick, that hacking someone else's phone wasn't out of the realm of possibility. Well it was said that Roy just outright refused counseling, for Tara I figured that she was so closed off for so long that talking to her was like talking to a wall. She had to be the one who talked first if that makes sense. But I guess I should've clarified that.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Not to be a pill, but...

*Nightwing didn't hack Brion's phone. He didn't have to. Everyone saw how Brion spent an inordinate amount of time on that phone, focused on his brother. I mean, you must have seen it yourself, and you didn't hack Brion's phone. The fact that Brion jumped to that conclusion doesn't make it true.

*You're assuming Tara didn't get any therapy. It's a matter of interpretation, but I don't think that's true. Now, admittedly, we didn't show it, but we just don't have the screen time to show everything. But given what you've seen on our show in general, I don't think it's a reach to assume that took place. Or that the reason we didn't show it was because it was largely useless, as she was being dishonest.

Otherwise, I've enjoyed reading this and all of your reviews. Thanks.

Greg Weisman

Thanks Todd, but I still have to give my thoughts on the season and cover the audioplay "The Prize". Then I'll have my break.
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Congratulations on completing your reviews of the third season of "Young Justice", Matthew! (And I think it's a good thing that Season Four probably won't start for a while yet. You've earned a break.)

I was amused, while reading the quotes, to note Black Lightning's "While I nodded..." line; something like that would *have* to show up with a title like "Nevermore".

Todd Jensen

Thus, though we have heard of stupid haste in war, cleverness has never been seen associated with long delays.
-Sun Tzu The Art of War

The whirlwind is reaped, watched "Nevermore" today which closes out the season and once again reexamines the theme of victories and losses for both sides, and what that means for the heroes and villains when they move forward. I've talked before about the back and forth when it came to victories and losses, especially at the end of the season when both sides really get to take stock in their standing. In this case, Luthor ousted and the UN sanctions against the Justice League are almost certain to fall. But the Light still schemes and the idea of superhero registration still around. Both the Light and Apokolips' plans have failed. But the partnership between the two remains and despite the reassurance of that partnership, it's clear that the relationship is rattled and when conflict breaks out, Earth is certainly going to be in the crossfire. The kidnapped metas are saved, but that does little comfort for those irrevocably hurt or killed by those who would exploit them, many of them still around. The day and a country is saved, but a friend and ally is lost and that same country is now under the sway of another villain.

To talk about Luthor's defeat is to discuss the nature of secrecy and its part of this season. We saw throughout the season that a big part of the Anit-Light's goal was to undermine Luthor's criminal activities, knowing full well that his ability to retaliate was hampered by his public image, by that very same position of power that hampered the League. At the same time those clandestine attacks, while annoying for him, did little to improve the situation for the public heroes. But a big thing changed with the Outsiders, they operated out of the system that he controlled like the Anti-Light, but they also operated within the public perception, which is something they weren't willing to do. And that ended up being their greatest weapon against him, he could manipulate it, but he couldn't control it. Even when Oracle and Jefferson managed to hack Terra's feed or when Jeff came forward with Luthor's illegal activities. But one thing he couldn't spin was Conner's origin or an entire city worth of his-would biological slaves. And I feel that that was what was the key factor for sending him running with his tail between his legs and the key factor for the characters' growth, truth defeating lies and faked events, togetherness beating division. Because as the saying goes, you don't fight fire with fire. You fight it with water.

But that brings up the one last deception from the heroes that ultimately cost them more than they imagined. So before going into the big shocker of the season I wanted to look back at the growth, regression and recurring problems of the characters of the season (and the previous season too). Conner took the most direct and personnel approach with helping Brion with his anger problems, and I have to stress that his anger wasn't something that was entirely directed about himself. He saw the problems of the world, what the villains have done and gotten away with, and was angry at that, angry at what he perceived as a lack of progress. While I think Nightwing's dressing down of Brion was a little unfair given that he ignores Brion's legitimate concerns about hacking his phone and still insisting on keeping him in the dark, Brion did make the effort to keep his anger under control, actually accomplishing his goal and rescuing Tara really helped. For Tara, her quiet, aloofness was heavily tied to the fact that needed to keep a certain distance while acting a mole for Deathstroke and in no small part due to the abuse that was heaped upon her. But the healing she received from her training with Artemis, the bonding with Violet, the Harpers and the rest of the Team really showed a huge improvement to her attitude. Looking back at her first appearance in the comics, Marv Wolfman may have wanted her to be an irredeemable traitor from the get-go, but a lot of how she was written was as an emotionally broken young girl. The whole "teenage girl who's been sexually groomed by an older, amoral mercenary and is therefore completely evil" just doesn't fly anymore and really shouldn't have back then. Which is why I was glad that the show instead focused on her moral struggle and how the group helped and harmed her position, the genuine bonds she made pushing her away from Deathstroke's agenda and the reveal of the Anti-Light's manipulation pulling her back in. At the same time I can't help wonder why the heroes didn't try to get some counseling for her given M'gann's occupation and the season and series' emphasis on healthy communication as a way of healing. I can only suggest that they were still using her as a reverse mole of sorts, using her as means of getting straight into the Light's operation even as she feeds them information on the heroes. And while they may have wanted her to make that choice for herself on whether to remain a member of the Shadows or to truly join the heroes for real, the timing was still pretty bad. There was nearly half a month between the rescue at the Orphanage and the coup in Markovia so it's not exactly like they were pressed for time. And despite the emphasis on it being her choice, well the public stage brings with it a lot of pressure, and had it not been for the love and care she had received since her rescue, I can imagine that this confrontation could've gone much, much worse for her.

And this of course brings up Brion's reaction to all of this and the fallout of the secrets and lies that have pervaded the season. I really do wonder why they chose not to bring Brion in on this, did they really not think of how he'd react? Brion was indeed pretty hot-headed but had made some genuinely great improvements. When Violet became distant from him and the others his concern wasn't whether she had done something but feared it was something he had done. After learning the truth about his parent's deaths he does stew in that for awhile but later comes to realize that he was wrong to respond the way he did and gives a heartfelt apology. Even his last conversation with Gregor is missing the early tension from the beginning of the season and you can honestly say that he learned the value of patience. But as John Dryden once wrote, "Beware the fury of a patient man."

So I decided to look back, not just to our own reactions but to that of other fans too, and not a whole lot of people really cared that Baron Bedlam got axed like that. Instead of dredging up the old conversation about whether Brion should or shouldn't have killed him like that. Instead of examining all the hypotheticals of whether or not there was another way to deal with him. And instead of diving into the hypotheticals of what you're supposed to do with a villain that will not stop, I'd instead like to focus on the backlash on both sides of this thing. To make things perfectly clear, Gregor did not deserve to be usurped like that, Tara didn't deserve to be forced from her home so soon after helping liberate it, Brion didn't deserve to be exiled back in the beginning and Violet didn't deserve that broken heart. But I will certainly argue that the would-be tyrant, murderer and human trafficker definitely deserved what he got, and the fact that both of his schemes were undone by his niece and nephews was all the more poetic. And I'd further argue that the heroes deserved that public shaming of their own, a kick in the ass, a "See what you're machinations have wrought" moment. Because they chose to arbitrate who got to know what for reasons that make sense on paper but come off as flimsy when out in the open, they have to deal with the consequences of that choice. Because a big problem of the last two seasons is that the fallout of the heroes' choices has been pretty much limited to the heroes' inner circle and so there's little incentive to change even after being caught. Because shadow politics in Season 2 was a big point but that didn't stop them from repeating it.

And rather unfortunately, Brion's actions elicit a response from Black Lightning that actually made me a bit uncomfortable in my rewatch. When Brion's killing of Baron Bedlam causes Jefferson to group him alongside Black Adam and Vandal Savage, that seemed like a bit much. And really proves Luthor's point about the heroes living in a world of black and white. And worse than that, a selective world of black and white. See, Brion wasn't exactly wrong when he called them hypocrites, because at the end of the season despite twice going behind their friends and colleagues backs, Dick and Kaldur are welcomed back into the fold. Despite abusing her telepathic abilities, M'gann was still considered a hero (the other victims of her telepathic attacks besides Kaldur are swept under the rug). And despite never apologizing for his role in the Anti-Light, Batman is just allowed back in the League. And no, he doesn't apologize, by the time Batman Inc. is folded back into the League, Luthor has lost his credibility with the U.N. and the rumors of the Anti-Light have gotten to the point where they can't deny them anymore. Even then the explanation of that is given to Dick and Jefferson. You know one thing I really liked about Netflix's Daredevil was when they got around to introducing the Punisher the show the two of them actually argued pretty heavily on the killing/no-killing argument and unlike the comic it was based on (it was biased towards killing) weighed the positives and negatives of both sides and explored why they followed their code. And that's what I think the series needs to do in the future in order to grow. To delve into the more difficult conversations and even if neither side really comes off as wholly right or wrong at the very least they can make something more nuanced than right is what the main characters stand for and wrong is automatically anyone who opposes that. And who better to bring this up than a certain red-hooded ninja that we saw earlier? One who offers a pretty strong argument against the code the heroes live by.

And to conclude, I have to bring up the newest member of the Light, the Bad Samaritan himself: Zviad Baazovi. I mentioned before that there was a lot of ambiguity when it came to him, and the Markov brothers. His psionic abilities allow him to nudge the worst part of people's desires which means there's a lot of ambiguity when it comes to both brothers' actions, in part because Baazovi is always so hidden with his words and powers. I always felt that Gregor's more clear-headed responses when it came to action and ruling were hampered by passivity. Someone who's so focused on doing things the right way that he forgets to do the right thing. I can imagine that in the time since Brion's exile and Tara's rescue, there was Baazovi whispering in his ear, "Not yet your Majesty. There's more important matters of state." And that's how it went for the family and the metas. And with Brion? One thing I noticed was that there wasn't much urgency to execute Bedlam until he showed up and there wasn't a whole of urging needed to kill him afterwards. But after that, I also noticed just how much he was laying onto him when it came to taking the throne from Gregor which implies that Brion really wanted his uncle dead but to take the throne required so more convincing. But as I said, it's ambiguous. Where his mind meddling ends and where the actual thought begins is something that may be explored further or it might not. But if not I can't help but feel anxious about the possibility of the narrative depicting Brion as irredeemable even while leaving him under the sway of that the Bad Samaritan.

Some Final Thoughts: You thought that Lil' Lobo was actually going somewhere didn't you? Yeah, me too. But the Main Man doesn't share the spotlight. We also get another hint for the future with the Legion of Superheroes flight ring as worn by the waitress. This has led to a lot of speculation on where the story is going to go from here, some suggesting that the show will adapt The Great Darkness Saga, some thinking that this is where we'll see the origin of the Legion and some just don't know what's going to happen. If time travel is involved this could lead to a whole multitude of story potential. We also see that despite the saber-rattling, the partnership between the Light and Darkseid remains, which honestly confused when I first saw this. Looking back now I'd wager that because Granny conducted so much of the operation solo all the benefits from success or punishments from failure would land on her. The fact that the heroes succeeded in part because of Vandal's information is no excuse. And besides, he got the information he needed on Halo, Cyborg and the Anti-Life Equation. And there's no shortage of cruel despots on Apokolips, so there's bound to be someone else who can fill in for her job of molding new warriors.

Acting MVP: Yeah, this one goes out to everyone in this episode. But Troy Baker's performance as he transforms from hero to antagonist and Tara Strong's reaction to being found out and losing her brother stand out the most.

DC Profiles: Tara Markov was the result of an affair between King Victor of Markovia and an American woman, shipped off to America under the care of Doctor Jace she underwent the same treatment as her brother and developed geo-kinetic powers. Wolfman and Perez imagined her as the "anti-Kitty Pryde", a young girl with the face of innocence and the heart of a devil, a traitor that was ultimately a one and done kind of deal. What they never expected was 1: the concept behind her to age really badly. And 2: the popularity of the character herself, which led to the creation of both a doppelganger with her exact look and powers and another geo-kinetic superhero by the name of Terra.

Geo-Force was a founding member of the Outsiders and is pretty much solely associated with them. After the team split from Batman due to his over-bearing nature, the became the main heroes of Markovia with Brion acting as a public leader of sorts. After being framed and later found innocent of the death of his brother, Brion took over the throne. Fun fact: in the comics he was also responsible for the execution of Baron Bedlam, and Gregor gave him a medal for that.

Favorite Lines:

Oracle: My algorithm estimated you'd be here two minutes earlier. How long were you waiting outside?
Jefferson: About two minutes. Look, I know DeLamb, Baron Bedlam, staged a coup. I assume Brion and Tara are already en route, and I still care about both those kids. I need to know what's going on. Please, Barbara.
Oracle: Like I said, expected you two minutes ago. Look, as you've probably guessed, the League's been sidelined by U.N. Secretary-General Lex Luthor. And, frankly, by public opinion, which Luthor's manipulated. Both sides know a win for Brion and the Outsiders will also help the League's cause. A loss, on the other hand...That's why the Bio-Ship's crossing the Vlatavan border into Markovian airspace at this very moment. M'gann's leading Gamma Squad, combining members of the Team and the Outsiders, to prevent Doctor Ecks from executing those loyal to King Gregor Markov. Meanwhile, Beta Squad is preparing to boomtube straight to Markovburg, to back-up Alpha Squad, who are taking the battle right to Bedlam.
Jefferson: And you coordinate all three squads from here, while keeping the League and Batman, Inc. informed?
Oracle: You're the only person who calls it "Batman, Inc." But, yes.
Jefferson: What else?
Oracle: What else?
Jefferson: What aren't you telling me?
Oracle: Well...

[Geo-Force approaches the entrapped Baron Bedlam, his arms coated in gauntlets of stone and begins wailing on him]
Geo-Force: You kidnapped my sister! [Pow] Murdered my parents! [Smash] Betrayed crown and country!
[With the last blow, the Baron's stone skin is broken off of his face]
Baron Bedlam: Stop. Stop! I...I surrender.
Geo-Force: [arms now turned molten] Surrender is too easy!
Beast Boy: Geo-Force. No! The Outsiders are beacons of hope. We don't deal out punishment.
Deathstroke: [over comms] Brion is right. Bedlam caused all your misery. [Terra flashes back to when her uncle stole her away and attacked her] Do your job, then nothing can stop you and Brion from executing DeLamb. Kill Beast Boy. Now.
[Anger building up inside her, Terra summons up a huge chunk of earth and dangles it above Garfield's head]
Beast Boy: Uh...Terra?
Geo-Force: [dissipating his magma gauntlets] Terra, what are you doing?
Deathstroke: Do it. Kill him.
[At that moment Tigress and Halo rush in]
Tigress: Tara, listen. You don't have to do what Deathstroke says.
Beast Boy: Deathstroke?
Lex Luthor: How does she-?
Deathstroke: I thought this channel was secure!
Terra: [shocked] How long have you known?
Geo-Force: [confused] Known? Known what?
Tigress: [removing her mask] Since before we found you. Batman had surveillance on Slade, and could tell from his micro-expressions that he was lying when he said you'd washed out of the League of Shadows.
Terra: You knew I was still a Shadow? Why didn't you-?
Tigress: Busting you upfront would've taken the decision out of your hands, which is exactly what the bad guys have done to you from the moment you were abducted.
Deathstroke: Don't go soft on me now, Princess. They'll betray you. Like your uncle. Like Jace.
Terra: I have been betrayed so many times. [She thinks back to Brion, Artemis and Jefferson rescuing her from the depot. Of Artemis helping her up during training, the two of them going to find Violet and of comforting an upset Lian] But these people risked their lives to save me. Treated me with kindness and respect. Made me part of their family.
Deathstroke: Those are the tools they use to make you weak. I taught you to be strong.
Tigress: We wanted to show you there is a better way. You can be forgiven, Tara. The choice is yours.
[Everyone waits with baited breath in a moment that seems to last for an eternity until finally she flings the earth away]
Deathstroke: Damn it, Terra, listen-!
[But whatever he has to say is cut off as Terra yanks the comm piece out of her ear and tearfully embraces Tigress. Meanwhile, Cyborg picks up the discarded comm, his machinery starts glowing]
Lex Luthor: Batman read your "micro-expressions?"
Deathstroke: Didn't know he saw me unmasked!
[Just then, the holographic display turns from blue to read and Black Lightning's voice is projected into the room]
Black Lightning: While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping. Well, we wondered who else would be on the other end of this line. Now, we know, Mr. Secretary.
[At Markovia, Brion looks shocked and angry at this revelation]
Geo-Force: Tara...how could you? [to the others] Why didn't anyone tell me this?!
[At that moment, Ambassador Baazovi and a group of Markovians arrive at the royal garden]
Baazovi: Here he is! Here's our Prince!
Geo-Force: Ambassador Baazovi?
Baazovi: Prince Brion! Is that... the Princess? And who are these others?
[seeing his chance, Baron Bedlam regrows his stone skin, breaks free from his encasement, and starts fleeing]
Baazovi: My Prince, you cannot let that war criminal escape!
[Using his powers, Geo-Force knocks him back away from the crowd and traps him once again]
Geo-Force: It is over, Baron.
Baron Bedlam: It will never be over, Princeling! Not as long as I draw breath!
Geo-Force:....Uncle. I believe you.
[And with that, Geo-Force rams his hand right into the face of Baron Bedlam and drowns the usurper in molten hot lava]

Lex Luthor: This is fake news, fake news, and I resent even addressing allegations from unregulated meta-vigilantes like the disgraced Black Lightning. We will soon change the international libel laws, which allow these so-called "heroes" to smear my good name with spurious charges.
Superboy: Every charge Lightning and Cyborg laid at your feet is true, Luthor! And more!
Lex Luthor: [quietly] Think about what you're doing, son.
Superboy: I'm not your son.
[As the Assembly chatter among themselves at this new stranger who arrived with Superman, Superboy addresses them]
Superboy: At Project Cadmus, Luthor bred and enslaved living weapons. Including me. I am the Superboy. A genomorph. A clone made from the combined DNA of Superman and Lex Luthor. I was created to replace Superman should he perish. To destroy him should he turn from the Light. Lex Luthor's Light. I'm more than that now. More than the weapon I was created to be.
[From Geranium City, Dubbilex and other genomorphs celebrate this announcement]
Superman: I've come to think of Superboy as my brother. You can trust him.
Superboy: You don't have to trust me. Test my DNA. It's all the proof you'll need.
Garth: I call for an immediate vote of no confidence in Secretary-General Lex Luthor.

Nightwing: Thanks for coming, everyone. Word's spreading fast, so we might as well get it out in the open. Batman, Wonder Woman, Aquaman, Miss Martian, Oracle, Robin, and I have been running a secret task force, coordinating all our Teams and squads in an attempt to beat the Light at their own game. We kept it a secret in a misguided attempt to protect you. We've had successes, failures, compromises, deceptions and betrayals.
Aquaman: It is now clear, that despite our best intentions, we made a mistake.
Wonder Woman: So I hereby resign as Co-Chair of the League, effective immediately.
Aquaman: As do I.
Miss Martian: I'm stepping down as Leader of the Team, as well.
Nightwing: Which means we need a new leader, one who has consistently acted as the conscience of the League. And although I'm not a member, I'd like to take the liberty of nominating Black Lightning. [Black Lightning's eyes go wide at this nomination]
Wonder Woman: Seconded. All current Leaguers present and in favor?
Present Leaguers: Aye!
Wonder Woman: And aboard the Javelin?
Leaguers aboard the Javelin: Aye!
Black Lightning: Whoa, whoa, whoa! I don't want this.
Superboy: Maybe not. But we kinda need you to take it.
Black Lightning: [to Batman] What say you?
Batman: I don't have a vote, currently.
Black Lighting: If I take this, you're either in or you're out. There's no half-way. No behind-the-scenes crap
Batman: If you take this, we'll fold Batman Inc. back into the League and the Team, on your terms. It's for the best. For the mission.
Nightwing: I rejoin the Team. Team works for the League. I work for you, boss.

Black Lightning: [sighs] We all believe the League needs course correction, because we're all afraid of the same tired old story. "The hero gets lost fighting the good fight"and becomes the very thing he or she is fighting against." And, sure, it happens. Vandal Savage, Teth Adam, Ra's al Ghul. And now, sadly, Geo-Force. But it will not happen again. Not to any of us. Because from here on out, we will not keep secrets from each other. We need each other to know each other's secrets to keep each other on the straight and narrow. No more making decisions to protect each other from the choices we might be forced to make. In this League, the ends will not justify the means! We will not sink to using the methods of our enemies. We will keep our covert Team, not for the sake of it being covert, but because it affords our young heroes a place to learn out of the spotlight. But, otherwise, like the Outsiders, we must live in each other's spotlights. If we fail while doing right, then at least we went down swinging on our own terms. But in the long term, we will not fail. Holding firm to our principles will guide us to an honorable victory! Now, let's get down to business.

When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

And a happy Michaelmas today as well!
Todd Jensen

Happy Birthday Greg!
SarahP - [sarahp7 at gamergirl dot com]

Thanks, everyone, for the kind birthday wishes!!
Greg Weisman

Happy birthday, Greg Weisman!
Todd Jensen

And many happy returns!
Karrin Blue

A very merry birthday to Greg!
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Happy birthday, Mr. Weisman! You've earned it!
The sword is the tool of a soldier, one who fights at the behest of others, a servant to the Power. The scepter, on the other hand, this is the totem of a true ruler.

Likewise! Many happy returns to the Wisest of Men!
Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"I don't think anyone is born knowing the reason why they're here. It's just something you have to find as you go along." - Tohru Honda

HAPPY BIRTHDAY Greg Weisman! I hope its a good one -- I'm pre-celebrating with a listen to "Voices of the Eyrie" -- kudos btw, GregX and Jennifer :)

[SPOILER] Not to be a total meanie, but it's been a while, so I do think I'll revisit my season one DVD and take a gander at the reverse-Dorian Gray in the bonus features, lol. [/SPOILER]

Also, Seventh.

Gus: "I always forget you're there." Hooty: "I forget I'm here toooooo."

Congrats Greg, I need catch up on some podcasts but I'll definitely want to give this one a listen.
When you return to your unobservable but empirically determined dimension of origin--tell them CARL SAGAN sent you.

Mazel tov! I'll definitely have to find time to sit down and listen, it sounds like a great time!
Karrin Blue

Congratz again, Greg. I can honestly say any gargfan not already listening to _Voices_ is missing out.
The sword is the tool of a soldier, one who fights at the behest of others, a servant to the Power. The scepter, on the other hand, this is the totem of a true ruler.

Congratulations on your beginning, Bishansky!
Todd Jensen


Jennifer L. Anderson and I posted the inaugeral episode of our new podcast, "Voices From the Eyrie", on Friday the 24th where we sit down with series co-creator, Greg Weisman, and development artist for season one and lead character designer for season two, Greg Guler, to discuss the development of the series.


We're also available on Apple Podcasts, Amazon, Iheartradio, Spotify, and your podcatcher of choice (I personally use Podcast Addict).

Our goal is to have a new episode on the last Friday of every month.

I'd also like to thank D.Taina for our graphics and Zehra Fazal for lending us her lovely voice for our opening.

Greg Bishansky - [<--- Voices From the Eyrie]


Just read that article someone posted last week (https://www.ign.com/articles/how-disney-gargoyles-cartoon-redefined-cartoon-villainy). The bit about Gary Krisel trying to stop them from having Xanatos and Fox have a child and Greg responds that they already did it made me laugh. "What are you doing to that poor kid?" "Do, Gary? I did it thirty-five minutes ago." It also give a kind of meta-plot to The Gathering, with the creators fighting against an all-powerful Disney executive to save Alex from being taken away.

Jurgan - [jurgan6 at yahoo dot com]