SPOILER ALERT! This is a full episode recap, so if you don’t want to read any spoilers, please watch the episode before reading this.
After being captured by Kaldur’ahm in the episode ‘Depths’, Lagoon Boy has been held prisoner at Black Manta’s base, but Manta orders he be delivered to their mysterious partner. Manta’s son Kaldur, formerly (and still secretly) the hero Aqualad, injects La’Gaan with a sedative and knocks him out. Black Manta tells Kaldur that he has faith in him, but that The Light require further proof that he has truly gone to the dark side.
Kaldur leaves on a mission, taking with him the Terror Twins and Icicle Junior, who debate why they are agreeing to trust Aqualad and a mysterious new villain, The Tigress. (A disguised Artemis, in a clever homage to the comics.) Tigress calls them out, asking who wants to question Black Manta’s judgment. Icicle also spends time creepily hitting on Tuppence Terror.
In New Mexico, Impulse visits Jaime Reyes, who is worried about his secret identity being revealed. Impulse doesn’t understand why the heroes of this era hide their identities. Jaime can’t explain it, so he simply dons his armor and they take off. (Note: I believe this is the first time the viewer can hear the voice of the scarab that Jaime hears in his head.)
In Ivy Town, Mal Duncan surprises Karen Beecher (Bumblebee) and wants to take her out on a date, but she has to work with Professor Palmer (The Atom). He insists on keeping her company.
La’Gaan awakens in his pod and we get an obscured glimpse of The Light’s new partners, who communicate in a chattering language that sounds like the alien tongue from ‘Falling Skies.’ They express that they don’t see the need to experiment on La’Gaan because he is Atlantean and they are only interested in humans with the Meta Gene (It’s just my speculation, but I now believe the new partners are The Dominators.)
In the desert, Blue Beetle and Impulse are horsing around. Blue Beetle blasts a boulder into rubble, which Impulse uses to create a self portrait. They are suddenly attacked by the Terror Twins, Icicle Junior and Tigress. Kaldur watched from above, but Impulse runs up and steals his tracking device.
They take the device to Mount Justice, but Nightwing scolds them for bringing potentially dangerous tech into the base. Back on their ship, Kaldur states that the device Impulse stole secretly hacked and bypassed Mount Justice’s security, leaving them vulnerable to attack.
Kaldur enters through the grotto. The Super Cycle, in Sphere mode, rolls up to him. He places his hand on it and it rolls away. He then glances back, seemingly to verify that none of his criminal allies witnessed this.
La’Gaan wakes up in his pod and looks around, spotting other containment pods holding Shimmer, Tye Longshadow and the other teens abducted in the episode ‘Beneath‘.
In the lab, Mal asks Karen if she wants to go to the Bowl-a-rama, but she informs him that it closed down months ago. He is sad because they had “killer times” there, but she replies, rather coldly, “Yeah, in high school.” Dr. Palmer enters and Karen is excited to show him her break-though and she cheerily states that a test is ready to go and should only take a few hours. Dejected, Mal silently leaves.
In Mount Justice, Wolf is sleeping when he suddenly sits up, sensing… something. He looks around, then lays back down, when suddenly Tigress slips an inhibitor collar around his neck. As with Sphere, did Wolf not react because he knew it was Artemis and there was nothing to fear? Tuppance Terror easily takes out Beast Boy. Icicle Junior and Tommy Terror use an inhibitor collar to take down Superboy who had been paying respect to Artemis in the team’s tribute to fallen members. The two villains are about to kill him, but Kaldur stops them.
Nightwing is examining the tracking device when an alarm goes off. He spins around only to get struck by Superboy’s limp body. Kid Flash outruns Icicle’s ice blast and knocks him out. He runs down and tries to stop Tuppence, but he bounces off her chest and Tommy catches him and snaps a collar around his neck. Then just to be a jerk, Tommy knocks him out.
Tigress and Nightwing battle. She puts a collar on him, but he points out that he doesn’t have any powers for the collar to block. Unfortunately, the collars have a second feature, electricity and Tigress shocks him until he collapses. The last hero standing – or rather, flying is Blue Beetle, but Kaldur places a bomb in front of him, the same kind used to blow up Melina Island, and tells him that if his thumb is lifted from the detonator in his hand, the bomb will explode. Blue Beetle surrenders and Kaldur takes him, Beast Boy, and Impulse prisoner, stating that since Nightwing is an ordinary human and Superboy is a human/Kryptonian hybrid, neither is of any interest to their partners.
Nightwing comes to and shouts “Aqualad!” Kaldur punches him in the stomach and says he’s outgrown that name as well as any sense of regret. He then warns Nightwing that his detonation switch has a five mile range and warns him not to follow.
Just as they are being led to the Manta Ship, the scarab informs Jaime that it can override the inhibitor collar. Jaime says he can’t risk Kaldur blowing up the base, so the scarab seizes control. It shorts out the collar and begins attacking the villains. It blasts Kaldur who drops the detonator and… nothing happens. Realizing that it was a bluff, Jaime lunges at Kaldur who blasts him in the chest with mystic energy, ripping his armor. Tigress finishes him with a blowdart and the villains take the young heroes captive.
On the ship, Icicle and Tommy gripe about not finishing off Superboy and Tommy says that Kaldur still has a soft spot for his old team. Kaldur then orders Tigress (in an animation whoopsie, she is drawn with blonde hair all of a sudden) to “do it.” She asks if he’s sure and he insists, “do it.” She presses a button and blows up Mount Justice!
Mal spots the destruction from Happy Harbor and radios the Watchtower asking for assistance before racing to the scene of chaos. He begins sifting through the fiery rubble before an app on his phone locates Sphere floating in the water with Nightwing, Superboy, and Wolf. Nightwing falls off but Mal saves him. He wakes Superboy and tells him to grab Wolf before the Super Cycle sinks. It collapses into Sphere mode and plunges to the bottom of the water.
Later at the Hall of Justice, Wally angrily confronts Nightwing, demanding answers for Kaldur’s attack and the destruction of Mount Justice. Nightwing explains that Kaldur injected a tracking chip in La’Gaan and passed off a flashdrive to him when he slugged Nightwing in the stomach containing data on how to track the chip. He tries to reason that they will rescue Blue Beetle and the others when they track down La’Gaan, since they will wind up in the same place. Wally is still angry that Nightwing and the others almost died, but Dick explains that Kaldur gave them time to get out and that Kaldur had to make the attack look legit to insinuate himself into The Light. Wally asks, “Isn’t that why he ‘murdered’ Artemis?” But Dick says apparently that wasn’t good enough. Suddenly, Wally starts to question Kaldur’s loyalty and wonders if maybe he is, in fact, working for Manta and playing Nightwing and the others.
Black Manta proudly introduces Kaldur’ahm to The Light. Ra’s Al-Ghul is suitably impressed and welcomes him to their alliance… and introduces him to their “partner.”
This was a pretty big episode and probably would have worked better as a season opener than ‘Satisfaction.’ We further The Light plot, with Kaldur finally winning their acceptance. I’m not sure how long this storyline is supposed to run, but hopefully our young heroes will be rescued soon.
One plus to losing a few members is that it thins out our massive cast, which ballooned when the series morphed into ‘Young Justice: Invasion.’ The result is that many of the newer characters haven’t been adequately showcased. This is especially true in the case of Bumblebee and Mal. I wanted to care about their subplot – and I did feel bad for Mal – but they’re not established enough that I have anything invested in either character.
We got a bit of additional development on the subplot introduced last episode, of Impulse and Blue Beetle bonding. Wally appears, which is always nice. I’m not quite sure why he was benched (along with Artemis) last season. I’m glad to see them slowly drifting back to the forefront. And of course Kaldur got copious screentime to make up for his absense earlier.
Will next episode finally reveal the “partner” to viewers? I hope so!
What did you think? Comment below!