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The Phoenix Gate

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Comments for the week ending May 9, 2021

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Though it sadly makes him more like Goliath. Keith David, betrayed by the company he has sworn to protect.

In addition the featuring Keith David, Amphibia also continues the the proud Gargoyles tradition of being a great animated series [SPOILER] FFFF [/SPOILER]ed over by Disney's Upper Management.
Now I find myself In the wild unknown with the frogs and toads and I'm far from home...

If psychics/psionic ability existed in the Gargoyles universe would they and their powers be connected to the Third Race? Would they be children of Oberon, or would they be their own thing?
Mygrrd - [Amy_girouard at hotmail dot com]

So that makes it the second time Keith David has played the leader of some amphibian race counting his character in the 2012 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

Sometimes it's odd what kind of roles some actors keep playing. I noticed that Hector Elizondo had a tendency to show up in cartoons as giant, winged creatures.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Didn't know it before when mentioning Amphibia (which has Keith David playing Newtopia King Andrias), but playing Neewtopian General Yunan (also a recurring character is Zehra Fazal.

She was also one of the few cast members who did an audio clip as her character to ask audiences to catch the delayed Season 2 finale:



Oh yeah, we've got Lex spouting a certain former politician's rhetoric next season.
Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

And at some point, Godfrey no doubt said that they need to make Earth great again.

Thanks Todd, always appreciated. Hope things work out okay for your computer.

One thing I forgot to mention is that according to Greg, this might've been where the series ended. Apparently there was problems getting funds for the show, as marketing for merchandise was nonexistent and Cartoon Network never did reruns of the episodes. So there was some concern whether they'd be able to finish the last ten episodes.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew. I'm afraid that's all I'm saying about it at present, partly because I don't remember enough about this episode, and partly because my computer is acting up again, as it did back in March. (I really need to get a new computer, but I've been so uncertain about what the right one to get is that I haven't done more than look at a few in stores. I need to actually buy one very soon - as in the next few days.)
Todd Jensen

Thanks for the latest review, Matthew. I'm afraid that's all I'm saying about it at present, partly because I don't remember enough about this episode, and partly because my computer is acting up again, as it did back in March. (I really need to get a new computer, but I've been so uncertain about what the right one to get is that I haven't done more than look at a few in stores. I need to actually buy one very soon - as in the next few days.)
Todd Jensen

The dark truth comes to Light.

Watched "Before the Dawn" today which brings the end to mystery of the Light's partner as well as the mystery behind Impulse's trip back to the past and they all revolve around Blue Beetle. So season 2 played heavily into the mystery of which alien species the Light was aligning with and now that it's been revealed as the Reach it's become pretty clear that this is Blue Beetle's story. In fact, several story beats for the season mirror the ones he had in his own comic series. As I mentioned before, this is the season where the show shifted away from some of the heavier character focus from season 1 to the more narrative focus, and in this case the narrative revolves around a select few. A bit jarring, but fortunately the story is engaging enough that it doesn't hurt it too much. And as I mentioned in Spectacular Spider-Man, Eric Lopez is talented enough to carry a lot of the acting load this season.

I really dig the design for the Reach, even without the Scarabs they leaned hard into the overall insect aesthetic, from the language to the species themselves. In contrast to the smaller Kroloteans they have a much more human-like design but are still alien enough to differentiate themselves from the other antagonists thus far. And they waste no time showing off their villain credentials either; while the Light generally kept to the shadows, the Reach cheerfully show off their atrocities even while conducting tours of their ship. And then there's Black Beetle, in season 1 the most recurring threat the heroes had to face was Sportsmaster and while he was quite the combatant he was still human and thus the chance of beating him was always in the realm of possibility. But Black Beetle is another matter because in the matter of a few minutes he manages to solo not only the heavy hitters of the Team, but pretty much the entirety of the Team. Only Blue is able to handle him for long and even then the battle turns into more of a draw than anything else. Fighting enemies they couldn't overpower is nothing new, but a single enemy that could systematically dismantle each of them is. And then there's the public revelation they have at the end of the episode, where they now control the narrative.

And speaking of revelation, there's the bit where M'gann discovers that Kaldur wasn't the traitor, seemingly at the cost of his own mind. And this is basically the culmination of both Nightwing's shady decisions and M'gann's abuse of her psychic power. Though the former doesn't know it yet, he's unknowingly stranded Artemis behind enemy lines and cut off her contact to the others. But then again, Kaldur and Nightwing worked pretty hard to ensure his place withint the Light and did so by having him become the most hated person in the Seven Seas. If they honestly didn't expect a harsh confrontation after Kaldur "murdered" Artemis they were either thought they could control both sides to avoid such conflict or they were both incredibly naïve. Really, considering how many heroes were gunning for Kaldur, getting brain-blasted was probably one of the least terrible outcomes.

And the latter has once again come face to face with the realization that she's perverted her powers and used them against a friend. And suddenly, the confidence she helped build up after the disaster in "Failsafe" is once again gone, and this time her conscious mind was the cause. It's darkly ironic that the one who actually calls her out is not only her closest friend but the one who had no idea that M'gann was doing such a thing, and she merely asks why M'gann would do such a thing.

And finally there's the revelation that Impulse mainly came back to prevent the Reach and mostly Jaime from conquering Earth. While Bart's friendly attitude towards Jaime was almost certainly genuine it does open up a lot of questions. Like how much of his interactions were him trying to be friends and how much of it was recon on this potential tyrant in the future. A darker theory that popped up was that Bart may be sizing up what kind of person Jaime was and what might happen to set him on mode. A far darker theory is that considering the Scientist mentioned that rebooting the Scarab would mean killing the host. And considering the bulky, inhuman size of Blue Beetle in the future, who's to say that it's Jaime at all?

Some Final Thoughts: Man, even after getting super powers, Shimmer still can't win a fight. The episode picks up a week after "Darkest" meaning that the kidnapped members of the Team have spent a week being tortured by the Reach. Now Nightwing may feel justified in losing the Cave to get the edge on the villains, but I can't imagine anyone would feel he was in the right letting his team be subjugated to that. And once again he misses out on the action, I wonder if he had a first hand account of what they were up against, he might've wanted to be a bit more proactive in their response.

G. Gordon's sudden flip on aliens reminds me so much of political commentators flip flopping opinions to suit their needs and expecting the viewers to not remember what they said a week ago. Like praising the Reach for public appearance yet decrying the Earth/Mars comm sat in "Depths." As enjoyable as Tim Curry's performance is, seeing this in real life is a pain.

Acting MVP: The three main Reach members each make a strong impression this episode, Phil LaMarr's Ambassador with his faux politeness, Masasa Moyo is suitable as the Scientist and everything involving Kevin Grevioux as Black Beetle. I got to meet him at a convention once and I can confirm that his evil laugh and normal laugh are one and the same.

DC Profiles: The Reach were introduced not long after Jaime Reyes took on the role of Blue Beetle. In the past they battled the Green Lantern Corps to a standstill and a negotiation between the two was reached, no Green Lantern could set foot on a planet that had invited the Reach and the Reach were forbidden from open invasion. The Scarabs act as a dark reflection of the Green Lantern Rings as the rings give the user a universal translator, the power to survive in inhospitable environments and the ability to create anything the user imagines. The Scarabs provide the first two and a wide bevy of weaponry, while enslaving their host.

Favorite Lines:

The Scientist: The Scarab's memory files are corrupted. The only recoverable data is from the last eight months. That is, since it fused with this host body. In fact I was just reviewing the point of insert-
The Ambassador: Spare me the details. If the Scarab is Off-Mode, perform a reboot.
The Scientist: I'd rather assess the cause of the crash, Ambassador, to make certain it can not happen again.
Black Beetle: Now Scientist. Admit it. You just enjoy playing with the meat.
The Scientist: Well, there's that too.

[Miss Martian and Beast Boy come across Kaldur]
Miss Martian: You! Murderer! [Miss Martian telepathically assaults Kaldur who tries to resist but eventually succumbs and begins screaming]
[Elsewhere, the Team leads the hostages into the Bioship]
Superboy: [telepathically] M'gann, where are you guys? M'gann? The link's down. I'm going in. [Superboy is suddenly knocked hard back into the hangar]
Black Beetle: Apologies meat. But no one goes anywhere. [He activates the door sealing them from the Bioship]
Wonder Girl: Listen, uh, Black Beetle, you're totally outnumbered. Open those doors now and we'll go easy on you!
Black Beetle: You? Will go easy? On me? Hehehehe! AHAHAHAHA!
Bumblebee: Oh, that is not a good sign.

[Miss Martian continues assaulting Kaldur's mind, seeing visions of their time together on the Team, Kaldur's visit to Atlantis, his death in the simulation, the agreement he and Nightwing made, faking Artemis' death and the destruction of Mount Justice.]
Miss Martian:.....No! [She collapses]
Beast Boy: M'gann? M'gann?
Artemis: Kaldur! [M'gann telepathically sees through the glamor charm] M'gann, what have you done?
Miss Martian: I thought he had killed you. That he deserved...

Impulse: That's how it was. I mean, that's how it will be. Somehow the Reach gets you on-mode and Blue Beetle becomes the biggest, baddest Big Bad in history.
Jaime: Ugh, no. I wouldn't. I'd never-
Impulse: Except you do. And that's the real reason, well, the main reason I came back to the past. To stop you from betraying the human race and bringing on the Reach Apocalypse.

Wonder Girl: What did you do to her?!
Black Beetle: Shifted the density of the door. Wasn't quite prepared for that, was she? But don't be jealous. I can put you halfway through the door, too. Halfway... the hard way.
[Black Beetle repeatedly smashes Wonder Girl into the door, each impact showing another member of the Team unconscious]

G. Gordon Godfrey: Well, thumbs up to the Reach. Oh, I know what you're thinking: "Old G. Gordon has gotten soft on the spacemen." But don't you see? This is exactly how aliens should come to Earth. Knocking on our front door—not sneaking in the back... like some Leaguers we know.

Nightwing: So before we warn the public, they go public.
Aquaman: It could be worse. We know exactly where they are.
Nightwing: That's right. We know what we're up against.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

That's a pretty good assessment Karrin, and acting closer to a ringleader does fit Dick's background a lot better.

Also nice of Greg (both Gregs) to stop by.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

(Oops, meant to add this onto the end -) I've just been having a great time going through what we have, working out new questions, seeing what might have affected what else in unexpected quiet ways - whether that's from episode to episode or looking over the season as a whole. Of course it's great to be right, but even being off the mark and having to start again is fun, and with a twisty tangled-web-y show like Young Justice, there's always more to find, or ask, or connect. So I hope making it, and seeing all our successes and dead ends in trying to puzzle it out from the outside, are just as fun too.
Karrin Blue

Well alright then, I'm not sorry, I have fun writing this and I hope it's fun to read too! Here's more of that very thing, then:

Jesse McCartney really is a talent as a voice actor. I was watching some friends play the Kingdom Hearts games and one of the things I really enjoyed was how, even though how he has two characters who speak in the exact same register, you can always tell which is which by the slight differences in how they speak - some of that is down to the writers giving them different speaking styles, but it wouldn't work nearly half as well without that work. And his VA work as Dick is always top notch, and this is a great scene for it.

To be clear though, I don't think that just because Dick didn't mean what he said to Wally doesn't mean it wasn't a terrible thing to say, or that he didn't deserve to get yelled at. If anything, saying it because he wanted to lash out and make Wally angry makes it worse - and I don't think it helped Wally at all to know that Dick probably said that because he knew, correctly, that it'd get under his skin. That's the worst part of fighting with your best friend - if they want to say something to hurt you, they'll know exactly what to jab at. Ultimately they did both cool off, and I generally read Wally being around for the island fight as a sign they made up offscreen, but in the moment it's rough.

I also don't think Wally is having an easier time than the other four - his situation is less physically dangerous, and the stakes for him aren't life or death, but emotionally it's got to be harrowing. Maybe it's that he's under a lot of stress, but less pressure? Wally still has to keep the ruse up, for Paula if no one else, but even that has to feel like a less necessary lie - teammates who might end up fighting Tigress or Kaldur might give the game away by pulling punches or breaking character, that's almost justifiable, but Artemis' mother has almost no contact with anyone who could find out through her, and she thinks her youngest child is dead. Keeping that lie up for her would be incredibly hard, while being the sort of thint that would leave him a lot of time to think about failure states, all the things that can go wrong, without being able to go 'I just need to focus on this next piece of the puzzle' or 'I just need to keep it together and keep working' or 'I just need to do the job in front of me and make it through the day' as a way to block off a mental doom spiral.

I do think Nightwing is losing some perspective on what it's like to be where some of the younger heroes are, I just see it more as... hm, temporary lapses of judgment that happen more frequently as the season goes on, rather than a change to his base worldview? The sort of thing where he'd know what he's doing wrong, if he thought about it for a minute, and then be annoyed at himself that he forgot when he's normally good at it, he's just sleep deprived and full of washout adrenaline and caffeine and he's fraying at the edges. His kicking Arsenal off the team in a few episodes is a good example, I think - objectively, I think benching him was the right call, but how he went about it caused a lot of issues that didn't need to happen, and it happened because he was in a tired angry vindictive mood that didn't leave any room in his decision-making to be less blunt. So I don't see this, expecting to just be listened to and aggravation at other people not taking him at his word or not doing what they should, as a general's perspective, so much as a very tired nineteen-year-old who was expecting expecting have a hard enough time keeping all the original plan's plates spinning and now all the other acts keep wandering through, tossing new things at him, and heckling, and he'd like it very much if they'd all go to their spots and do their own jobs like he was banking on (I don't know if that makes any more sense as a metaphor, but I have a hard time not using circus analogies when we're talking about him.)

(There actually might be something to the idea of Nightwing doing a better job in command using the concept of a ringmaster as a model - one who gets people to the right spot for their skills to shine, keeps everyone coordinated, and matches wits against the audience - rather than a general - who expects to get obedience first, rarely steps in to handle interpersonal issues, and matches wits against another general, but it's already well past when I meant to go to sleep and I need to ruminate on it more.)

And thanks again Greg, this show has been a lot of fun to speculate and dig into - heck, even when I'm off the mark, it's been great to go back and see what I've missed, what fits together differently a few episodes or arcs later, and what ended up being right but in a completely different sense than I thought. (I know I've been on tenterhooks waiting for promo material to guess at and be completely wrong about.) Hopefully seeing analyses is still fun for the crew even when they're totally off the mark, too!

Karrin Blue

That last one was me... I just couldn't resist. ;)
Greg Bishansky
""When Demona wipes out humanity, I hope she starts with the Demona Apologists." (Saving them for last so they can grasp the truth is nice too, but too little too late.)" -Matt

... I never do.
Norman Osborn - [TotallyNotTheGreenGoblin at Oscorp dot com]
Life's pretty simple... just cowboy up and do what you have to do.

Don't apologize!
Greg Weisman

Thanks Todd, always appreciated. And no need to apologize Karrin, look at how long my posts have gone.

One thing I forgot to mention was Jesse McCartney's own excellent acting at the end as well, the amount of effort Nightwing's putting into justifying what happened has to be soul crushing. The best analogy I can think of (and it's not entirely accurate either) is that Nightwing has spent so much time as a general, overseeing the big picture, that he's forgotten what the perspective of a soldier might be. And while Nightwing may not have believed Wally would be upset by the lost souvenirs, it doesn't mean he should've said it in the first place. And while Wally may not have the pressures Dick, Kaldur and Artemis have the scene he shared with Paula last episode shows he has pressures of his own. Different, but nonetheless important.

But we're only just coming up on the midpoint of season 2 and we still have a whole other season to go through. And how characters like Dick, Bruce, Kaldur and M'gann will progress or regress is still something to discover.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

oh lord I did not realize how long that all was when I was typing it up. Uh. Sorry I just have a LOT of thoughts on how these characters act under stress and how that changes or doesn't change over time.
Karrin Blue

I think I have a slightly different read on Nightwing's state of mind than you - I think he's fully aware of all the little details, he's just both very good at compartmentalizing and, more to the point, thinks that that itself is necessary. The tragedy of his character thus far - even back to the beginning, Bruce's explanation of why he took in Dick and made him Robin to Diana - is that he doesn't want to be Batman, Batman doesn't want him to be Batman, he's excellent at things Batman is passable at - including interpersonal skills, figuring out how people tick, and small details - but he keeps ending up in circumstances that reinforce an idea he never grew out of: that Batman's way is the best, most effective way, and that following his mindset (if not his methods) will get the best results. But unlike Batman, who does seem to actually be able to close out everything that isn't the mission and go all tunnel-vision (see season 3), Dick seems to have harder time living with the choices he makes - he hates making them, but he can't convince himself to make the ones he actually wants to. To jump ahead to S3, in Private Security, quite a lot of the episode is about the question 'what are we going to do with these kids', where Dick insists they weren't planning on taking in strays- but even he seems to be saying that mostly because he thinks it's what he should be doing, and he gives in the minute he can annoy a redhead into telling him to knock it off and do what he already knows he wants to/should do.

Or, to look to the more immediate future, in a few episodes M'gann gets kidnapped, and Dick finally tells Lagann and Conner what's been going on with i can only read as relief to just being able to let other people in. He knew exactly how much he hated making these kinds of calls at age 13, and that stress never went away - which brings us to that excellent argument with Wally at the end. As later, he's under enormous internal stress from what's been happening, but he won't let himself acknowledge any of that outside of his own head. So he justifies things - trying to convince himself as much as he's trying to convince Wally - and then snaps about his souvenirs. I don't believe for a second he thought that was actually why Wally was angry, but I do think he wanted to lash out at him, push him away because the guy he trusts to question his judgment is doing exactly that at a time when he can't let himself be the one to blink first. So it's all about necessity and the mission - I think the most honest thing he says there is that "we're talking about Kaldur". Ultimately, the thing that separates him from being what he thinks he wants to be right now is that he trusts and wants to trust people, and his trust in Kaldur is ultimately validated. And, conversely, I don't think Wally actually does think Kaldur might be a triple agent, but I do think he's catastrophizing and that, because he's the one member of the group who's in the know but who doesn't have the enormous pressure to keep it together, do the job, and make it to the other side - and justify everything that's happened in order to be remotely composed enough to handle  the next crisis - he's free to stew on every way this could go wrong, without distractions, and verbalize them.

Speaking about catastrophizing, how about Artemis and Kaldur, huh. If we have a scale of mission-focused tunnel vision where Bruce is in the zone, doesn't pick up on anything outside his field of view except in an intellectual sense, and Dick is aware of everything and needs to convince himself to stay the course, I think Kaldur is one who's aware of his responsibility to others, the ripple effects his actions can have, but who's self-possessed and confident enough in himself to hold together far better under pressure - fittingly for the guy from the bottom of the sea. Artemis, I think, is in a similar boat, but has a slightly easier time because she's not the one in official command and because she got involved specifically because she was needed by a friend, and continues to be needed. So we get the scene of Kaldur deciding to destroy the mountain, her checking in - and, when he repeats himself, her bracing herself and setting off the bomb.

(the next episode doesn't get into it, of course, but I would genuinely love to see just a brief snapshot of that week between this episode and the next, where Artemis and Kaldur have no idea whether or not they just killed some of their closest friends, and can't show it to anyone or even reassure each other, because of the impossibility of finding privacy on a submarine. And the first actual proof they get is a giant fight, that ends with Kaldur in a coma. It's been an emotional rollercoaster for them, to say the least.)

Honestly, I kinda figured that one of the reasons Nightwing asked Artemis to be Kaldur's backup - aside from nerves of steel, an apparent retirement that would justify why she got taken out so quickly, and her general personality as a ride-or-die who would let a guy who, as far as she knows, just blew up an island get close enough to stab her on nothing but her faith in his character and the word of someone who's barely managed to make contact with him in the middle of fights, is that her skills aren't that unique. She's a well trained ninja type - so are four hundred other randos. They're a dime a dozen, and because there's so many of them it would be impossible for anyone to hear of or remember them all, especially freelancers - with a well fabricated background trail, it might even come off as discreet professionalism, not being a showboat who's in it to make a name for herself. (And, while Artemis did use a crossbow and had been trained by Sportsmaster, it was always her backup, and I got the feeling her fighting style was more Canary-inspired by this point. Lawrence never struck me as a teacher who was very good at tailoring training for the person - more the type to try and hammer square pegs into round holes, or to try and teach tiny ten year old girls to fight like a six foot adult man - so I kinda figured Artemis pivoted quickly to a style that would actually work for her and only uses moves she learned from him to, for instance, make a point that she is who she says she is. Of course there's some suspicion, but it's definitely not conclusive or even very solid for a while.)

So how about that series theme of secrets and lies, huh?

Karrin Blue

Here's me trying to hide my insecurities by showing off TSSM and YJ set from McDonald's:

- https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/2/4/4/AAQfvwAAByj8.jpg

- https://gamefaqs.gamespot.com/a/user_image/2/4/5/AAQfvwAAByj9.jpg

Matthew> Guess no one told Nightwing that The Team can no more stop protecting Mount Justice than breathing the air.

But then he is a Dick. Grayson.:-D


Then came fair May, the fairest maid on ground,
Decked all with dainties of her season's pride,
And throwing flowers out of her lap around:
Upon two brethren's shoulders she did ride,
The twins of Leda; which on either side
Supported her like to their sovereign Queen.
Lord! how all creatures laughed, when her they spied,
And leapt and danced as they had ravished been!
And Cupid self about her fluttered all in green.

Edmund Spenser, "The Faerie Queene".

MATTHEW - Thanks for the latest review.

I recall the destruction of Mount Justice, though little else about the episode. The Quotes that stood out to me most was Impulse talking about just how much time he'd put into that portrait of himself, and Wally making it clear (in what struck me as a great moment) that he was concerned, not about the destruction of his souvenirs alongside Mount Justice, but that some of the team members could have been killed in the explosion, if things had gone a bit differently.

Todd Jensen

You can't go home again.

Watched "Darkest" today, which sees the loss of three more Team members, the destruction of Mount Justice and the growing concern that Kaldur may not be the double agent the show claims he is. As Wally points out there have been far more losses than victories since his fake defection and now they've lost their home base and several members of Nightwing's team.

Back in "Disordered" Nightwing, then Robin, confessed to Black Canary that he he didn't want to be the Batman. That he didn't want to have the drive that Batman has to complete the mission at any cost, to sacrifice everything to achieve his objection. And now, he hasn't sacrificed everything, not yet anyway. In the previous episode I mentioned how unusual it was for Lex Luthor to be willing to bet his own arm and even life on Arsenal making the right choice. But for Nightwing, well let's get some background. Since becoming Team leader he's taken a very backseat approach to heroics, in "Depths" he mentions that he's been missing out in the action and before then the only fights he's been in since was the assualt on Malina Island. I feel that him being less directly involved may have given him a wider perspective but he's also lost sight of the smaller, more intimate details. That while he does understand the depth of his decisions, he's losing sight of the complexities behind each of his schemes and what that means for other people. He knows that he's playing a dangerous game but I don't think he's quite grasping the fact that this game involves other people's lives and the fragility of the situation. If Mal hadn't stopped to try and hang with Karen, he could've been killed in the blast radius. If he had arrived too late, Nightwing would've drowned. If Sphere hadn't been able to get them to safety then Nightwing, Conner and Wolf would've perished. And if Kaldur had been using a dead man's switch, they would've all died when the Scarab went off the rails.

A good example of this disconnection is when Nightwing tries to justify the loss of Mount Justice as just a place, something that could be sacrificed. But Mount Justice wasn't just a place, for many on the Team it was there home away from home. For people like Conner, it was the only home they've ever known. For Nightwing to just brush this off as a necessary sacrifice and figure that Wally's upset that his old souvenirs were lost comes off as incredibly callous and makes you wonder what else he would consider a "necessary sacrifice." And skipping ahead, we hear from Virgil that a lot of kids delivered to the Partner he never saw again. Would Nightwing be so quick to to treat the abduction of Impulse, Beast Boy and Blue Beetle as a necessary risk if he personally knew that one of the kids that was never seen again?

To wrap things up, we finally see the faces of the Light's new partner and though they're not named until the next episode I'll still be referring to them as the Reach. In a little blink and you'll miss it moment, they actually confirm that the purpose of Kaldur's mission was to specifically acquire Blue Beetle, the other hostages and the destruction of Mount Justice was just a bonus. The reasons for this have yet to be revealed but with the ever-looming threat of Bart's future, it can't be good. Especially since the destruction of Mount Justice is just the beginning...

Some Final Thoughts: We see more of the relationship built between Jaime and Bart; you know if anyone wasn't suspicious of how much Bart is trying to insert himself into Jaime's life before, they sure must be now. We also see that in extreme situations the Scarab is capable of taking over Jaime's body and that the Scarab is susceptible to magic, more on both of those later. For some collective heads of knuckle, the other villains were on the right path of being suspicious towards Tigress. So Kaldur kills his former teammate, an archer who was trained by a high-ranking member of the League of Assassins, finds a skilled martial artist who no one has ever heard of to act as his number two, who happens to be skilled with a crossbow, which Artemis had also shown skills in. Nothing suspicious about that.

The bit about Wally being concerned Kaldur may have joined the villains for real wouldn't be so bad if Kaldur wasn't frighteningly good at playing the villain. Especially since if he wanted to deliver information to Nightwing it could've been done without the kidnappings and mass destruction. Heck, he even orders Artemis to flip the switch and destroy of Mount Justice, and he unlike her there's no hesitation to the decision. Kaldur's line to La'gaan about knowing his role in all of this is going to be important later on as we examine the many roles he's played and what that's made him.

Acting MVP: Jason Spisak doesn't get to show up much this season but he certainly makes use of his time here. What started as quiet bitterness has turned into cold fury as he lays into Nightwing.

DC Profiles: Ray Palmer is the second person to take on the identity of The Atom, the white dwarf (as mentioned in the episode) allows him to shrink down to a subatomic level.

Favorite Lines:

Jaime: Dude! What are you doing?
Impulse: Here to hang, the chill, spend a little downtime with my buddy Blue, "BB," the Beetle. The be-tell. You know, chill-anging.
Jaime: And put my secret ID at risk?
Scarab: The Impulse is trouble. Destroy him!
Jaime: Overreacting won't help.

Blue Beetle: [Smashing rocks] How's that, hermano.
Impulse: Not bad, not bad. Boulder's definitely feeling the mode, but - One thing I learned in the future amigo is that it's easier to destroy than to create!
[Re-arranges the rock fragments]
Impulse: Ta-da!
Scarab: The Impulse has created nothing. And it's premise is faulty. Tactical destruction is more effective than creation.

Impulse: Oh man! I spent 1.6 seconds on that self-portrait, it was my masterpiece!

Scarab: The advantage is ours. Recommended tactic, evisceration.
Blue Beetle: Or, since they outnumber us four to two, we could recommend tactic strategic retreat.

Impulse: Ah! My hands! What are you made of?
Tommy Terror: Snips and snails and puppy dog tails. [slaps an inhibitor collar on Impulse]
Impulse: Ah, nice try but I'll just vibrate right out of this-uh oh. No speed. I'm moded aren't I?

Nightwing: Aqualad! You'll regret this!
Kaldur: [socks Nightwing in the gut] I believe I have outgrown the name "Aqualad." As well as anything resembling regret.

Mal: Duncan to Watchtower. Mount Justice is... gone. I mean, there's been an explosion. A big explosion. Request immediate assistance. Get here. Fast.

Wally: What. Happened?
Nightwing: It was necessary.
Wally: It better have been. Spill.
Nightwing: Aqualad needed to find a way to help us rescue Lagoon Boy. He already injected a microscopic tag into La'gaan's bloodstream. And he used the raid on the Cave to pass essential intel. A flash drive with, among other things, tracking software that can locate the tag.
Wally: Like that's all he did.
Nightwing: Wally, he had to make it look good. He put inhibitor collars on us, but he knew I'd get us out of them.
Wally: He took three more hostages. Members of your Team.
Nightwing: And we'll rescue them when we rescue Lagoon Boy.
Wally: Dick, he blew up the Cave! You guys almost died!
Nightwing: No! It's all on the flash drive. He knew I'd have to pursue to make it look legit and that's exactly what happened. He gave us time to get out. We just...We got caught in the debris field from the explosion.
Wally: Do you even hear yourself? What if even one of you had been left behind, huh? Why take that risk? Why go to such extremes?
Nightwing: The drive explains that too. He-he needed to cement his position with the Light and the Light's Partner.
Wally: Wasn't that why he "murdered" Artemis?
Nightwing: I guess it didn't convince everyone.
Wally: You guess?!
Nightwing: The Cave is-Was just a place! Worth sacrificing if it helps us stop the invasion. Look, I'm sorry you lost all your souvenirs!
Wally: [shoves Nightwing back] ARE YOU SERIOUS?! I DON'T CARE ABOUT THAT JUNK! I'm worried about Artemis, terrified for her. You put her right into his hands!
Nightwing: Wally, we're talking about Kaldur here!
Wally: I know, Kaldur, our friend. Who in the space of a few months lost the love of his life and found out Black Manta was his father. Isn't it possible Aqualad might actually be a traitor? A triple agent? He's supposed to be playing them but are you absolutely sure he isn't playing you?

Black Manta: Please allow me to officially introduce Kaldur'ahm, my son. He has succeeded in every mission. And then some. Not only did he capture Beetle as instructed but he acquired two bonus metas as well. As for the destruction of Mount Justice, well.
Ra's al Ghul: Indeed. We appreciate initiative, vision, and strong family ties. Welcome to the Light, Kaldur'ahm. It is time for you to meet our Partner.

Remember, young or old, rich or poor, friend or foe. We're all in this together.

One for All - Shoot Style!
Masterdramon - [kmc12009 at mymail dot pomona dot edu]
"Straighten up, and give me the life I deserve already! SPOIL ME WITH LUXURY, DARNIT!!!" - Lady Aqua