(This is a full episode recap, so if you don’t want any spoilers, please watch the episode first!)
Last episode, Earth scientist, Adam Strange escorted Beast Boy, Miss Martian and Superboy (the Zeta Squad) to Rann to investigate the Kroloteans’ invasion. This episode opens with the Young Justice heroes and Alanna running through the alien jungle, fleeing giant spider-like mecha tanks. Superboy and Alanna are hanging off a cliff and Superboy thinks, “This is not how the mission was supposed to go.”
The scene then flashes back to the team’s arrival. Beast Boy has been slotted into Kid Flash’s role as the exuberant, high energy member. (He also has taken on the souvenir-collector role.) He’s thrilled to be walking on an alien planet, then he remembers his “sis” Miss Martian does that every day on Earth. (Miss Martian was “adopted” by Beast Boy/Garfield Logan’s mother, Rita, a former teen actress that M’Gann based her looks and personality on, after watching transmissions of the TV show “Hello, Meagan” on Mars. A blood transfusion from M’Gann granted Beast Boy his powers to shape-shift into any animal.)
Adam introduces the Zeta Squad to Rannian scientist Sardath and his daughter, Alanna, whom Adam obviously has feelings for. Like Adam, Sardath also studies Zeta Beam technology which allows for teleportation, even between worlds. (It’s also what the Justice League uses to beam to and from the Wathctower.) Miss Martian telepathically links them, so they can understand one another. Adam says “I’m still figuring out the language. This is usually where we start playing charades.” After hearing sirens in the distance, Sardath cautions them to go inside. Earthlings aren’t welcome on Rann or in this sector of space, due to the still mysterious missing “16 hours.” (It occurred in the episode “Auld Acquaintance.”)
In Sardath’s laboratory, Beast Boy studies their pet, a pterodactyl-like bird. Adam asks Sardath why Earthlings are unwelcome and Sardath responds that “The Rannian Science Command is xenophobic in general.” He explains that his experiments in interplanetary teleportation is being conducted “quietly.” Adam deduces that this is also why he didn’t report the theft of his technology. Alanna and Sardath don’t know the specifics of the “16 hours” but Alanna mentions the “incident” occurred on the planet Rimbor. (In the comics, the home planet of Ultra Boy of the Legion of Super Heroes.) Alanna refers to the Justice League as criminals and Sardath says, “I assume you are not associated with these outlaws.” Miss Martian cooly responds, “We are not members of the League.” Their discussion moves to the Kroloteans, the theives that stole Sardath’s technology to secretly invade Earth. Alanna says her father’s Zeta Shield will help. Once perfected, it would allow teleportation within Earth’s atmosphere but unauthorized travel between planets would be impossible.
Alanna volunteers to guide the team into the jungles to the Kroloteans’ Zeta Platform, while Sardath stays and works on his research. Superboy frustratingly points out that he is half Kryptonian and Miss Martian is… well, martian. Nevertheless, they must disguise themselves to get out of the city of Ranagar. Beast Boy shape shifts into a bird, identical to Sardath and Alanna’s. Adam Strange creates a diversion, by shouting Lewis Carroll quotes at the police, allowing Alanna and the others to board a train unnoticed. “His last name is Strange,” Miss Martian comments.
Beast Boy sees the tension between former boyfriend/girlfriend Superboy and Miss Martian and tries to bring up their past courtship to break the ice, but it doesn’t work.
They arrive at their destination and disembark from the train. In the jungle, Beast Boy sees a beautiful flower and thinks it would make a perfect souvenir, but Alanna stops him and points out the flower is located on a fiery Blue Sand Bog. “Basically, if it looks pretty, don’ t touch,” she cautions.
They discover the Krolotean’s massive base and Miss Martian wonders how something so big could have been built without the Science Command knowing about it. She turns invisible and goes inside, then opens a hatch on the roof allowing the others to join her. They spot six Zeta Platforms and Superboy pulls out bombs to neutralize them. The bombs have three minute triggers and Miss Martian and Beast Boy plant them, but before they can get out, an antenna pops up and blocks their escape hatch. Dozens more Kroloteans teleport in from Earth, where they were defeated by the Justice League and The Team last episode.
Miss Martian formulates a new plan. When the bombs blow, she tells them to rush for the front door. However, when the first bomb detonates, Beast Boy is caught in the explosion. He quickly recovers and changes into a gorilla, swatting away Kroloteans. The commander of the Kroloteans orders them to break out the Mech, the giant spider-like tank seen at the beginning of the episode.
Back in the city of Ranagar, Adam Strange narrowly avoids the police.
The Zeta Squad and Alanna make their way through the jungle and Miss Martian explains that the Kroloteans are “too alien” for her to learn their language. “It would take hours, maybe days to learn their language psychically. And I definitely couldn’t do it without them noticing.” Superboy’s super hearing picks up the sound of the pursuing Kroloteans and we replay the opening scene. Alanna’s jet pack is struck and explodes. Superboy catches her, but they go careening off a cliff, the giant spider tank following. They hide in a cave. Miss Martian and Beast Boy are concealed in a tree.
Alanna has deduced that Conner and M’Gann were once a couple and also reveals that she has a crush on Adam Strange. Conner talks about their relationship and reveals that he broke up with her because his physical body will never age. (He ages internally, though, so he will eventually die.) He cryptically says “She left me no choice.”
M’Gann gives her little brother a hug and just like a boy, he says “Get off!” and runs away. He makes mention of the blood transfusion she gave him and M’Gann calls herself his “adopted sister.” Suddenly, Beast Boy freezes and morphs into his “real” form, basically a green version of Gar Logan without the animal features. He is staring at a waterfall and starts crying… his mother, Rita was killed in an almost identical location on Earth by the Queen Bee, we learn. Miss Martian comforts him, but urges him to keep moving. It’s too late though, as a Krolotean cannon strikes them and they are taken captive.
The captain of the Kroloteans orders his people to set a course for Krolotea. Their entire base lifts up toward the sky.
Suddenly, Superboy and Alanna realize they can no longer understand one another, with Miss Martian unconscious. Back in Ranagar, Adam and Sardath make the same discovery. “And we’re back to charades,” Adam mutters.
Alanna distracts the spider tanks by shouting about the “Jabberwock” as Adam had previously in the train station. She tricks one tank into a Blue Sand Bog, where it is engulfed in flames. Superboy overpowers another and frees Miss Martian and Beast Boy. But then, the Krolotean ship fires on them from above. “Are they still trying to capture us,” asks Beast Boy, “Or is this just a bitter revenge thing now?” Superboy and Beast Boy, in the form of a gorilla, attack the Kroloteans, disabling their guns and boarding their ship.
On the ground, Miss Martian wakes up and telekinetically grabs a Krolotean and probes its mind, seemingly rendering him a vegetable. She also rips his sash off. Alanna doesn’t know what to make of this.
Superboy and Beast Boy wreak havoc on the ship and leap off as it starts to lift skyward. It departs and vanishes into space.
Miss Martian gives Beast Boy the Krolotean’s sash as a souvenir. He spies two Kroloteans dragging away the comatose one. He attempts to question M’Gann, but she simply states they need to return to Earth. “I know what the Justice League did on Rimbor. I know what happened during their missing 16 hours,” she announces ominously.
What?! What did they do?! Argh! That’s quite a cliffhanger.
Anyway, as usual, this episode has a lot of treats for longtime DC readers. Fan-favorite Adam Strange and Rann are introduced and are a lot different than they are in the comics, but I like the changes. Adam is, in fact, “strange.” I like his goofier personality. I liked that the Rannians didn’t speak English and that Adam was struggling to understand Rannian.
Fans should be happy with the further elaboration about Conner and M’Gann’s relationship. And Miss Martian’s sisterly relationship with Beast Boy was extremely cute. Speaking of Miss Martian, it was really nice to see her step up into a leadership role. She called the shots with confidence and expertise. She used to be the flakiest member, so this evolution is surprising, but welcome.
The main plot, however, the team disabling the Kroloteans’ Zeta Platforms, was important, but felt almost like an afterthought. But it was nicely balanced with the character development.
What are your thoughts? Comment below!