SPOILER ALERT: This is a full episode recap, so if you want to avoid spoilers, please watch the episode first!
Black Beetle and The Reach Scientist catalog the losses they sustained from Mongul’s attempted invasion, losing over half of their secret attack fleet as well as the earth’s discovery that they had an attack fleet to begin with. They observe the captured Mongul and The Team members encased in stasis pods. Well, all but one…
Arsenal is evading a pack of Reach soldiers dressed in what look like “Red Beetle” costumes. He attempts to contact The Team and the Justice League, but there is no one to respond.
At the United Nations, at a press conference, The Reach Ambassador presents Blue Beetle as the perfect marriage between the humans and The Reach and credits him with saving the entire planet from Mongul’s War World. (See Last Episode.) The crowd eats it up.
A little girl comes forward, clutching her Wonder Woman doll and asks why the Justice League didn’t stop War World. The Ambassador implies that the League actually attracts “bullies” from space and points out, “It’s a good thing your new friends The Reach were here to protect you!” which the crowd also cheers. Blue Beetle scoops the girl up and places her on his shoulder. She drops her Wonder Woman doll, which the Ambassador nonchalantly steps on. Further, he states that The Reach are giving Earth War World to use as a weapon to defend itself from possible invaders.
In Taos, Eduardo Dorado Jr., Asami “Sam” Koizumi, Virgil Hawkins and Tye Longshadow (See the episode “Runaways”) are on a rampage, destroying everything bearing the logo of The Reach, notably the new Reach soda that is laced with mind control elements. Tye even destroys a water tower bearing the likeness of his former best friend Jaime Reyes, touting Blue Beetle as “Earth’s new champion.” Tye is furious that something has turned his friend against them. Eduardo gets a call from Lex Luthor who has an offer for them.
On board the Bio-Ship, Miss Martian is telepathically scanning War World but cannot locate any of their missing allies. Nightwing decides they should try a different approach and they return to where the others disappeared.
Arsenal is still trying to reach someone but he can’t master the alien technology on the ship. He suddenly attacked by two red guards. He fires an energy bolt from his mechanical arm, but that saps the last of its juice. He has to go low tech with a physical assault, after which he kind of loses it, angrily shouting “You’ll never pod me again! NEVER!!!”
Luthor gives the four fledgling super teens a Father Box, capable of teleporting them to War World and that will allow them to track a Kryptonian bio-signature. He wants them to locate Superboy and the other kidnapped heroes. The untrained teens are hesitant… if these professional super heroes were captured, what hope could they have in freeing them. Virgil quickly says he’s in, though, pointing out that The Reach won’t suspect them and that they owe The Team for saving them. Reluctantly, the other three agree. Asami activates the Father Box and they are instantly teleported into War World… right in the middle of a pack of the red guards!
Virgil falls to his knees, pleading with them not to hurt them. The others similarly surrender and ask to be sent home. One of the guards grabs Virgil by his shirt and lifts him up, to which Virgil replies, “Fooled ya!” The teens spring into action and easily defeat the guards. Then, suddenly a transport arrives… loaded with dozens more soldiers! The kids flee.
Arsenal has tapped into War World and has fully recharged his bionic arm when he hears the sounds of battle.
Eduardo is avoiding The Reach’s gunfire on his skateboard, enhanced with his teleportation ability, but a laser blast shatters the board beneath his feet and sends him flying over the edge of the platform down a deep chasm. He teleports himself back to the ledge where the three guards have gathered and knocks them off instead.
The teens regroup and Virgil points out that Tye’s “Longshadow” appears to be laser proof, but Tye says it’s more “laser resistant” and that the blast still stung. Meanwhile, from above, Arsenal is watching the whole thing. Asami uses Father Box to find Superboy and leads the teens away. Arsenal follows.
Nightwing scans the hanger where the others were betrayed, even though he’s already scanned every inch of it. He points out that he is capable of missing obvious clues, since he didn’t realize Blue Beetle had turned against them after Green Beetle “fixed” his scarab. Miss Martian shares the blame, pointing out that Nightwing asked her to scan Green Beetle’s mind, but after what happened to Aqualad, she was too scared to probe too deeply. Then Nightwing counters that THAT was his fault because he didn’t trust Miss Martian enough to clue her in on their secret plan. Miss Martian tells him they need to stop their “guilt off” and focus on saving The Team then Blue Beetle.
Something suddenly starts pounding on the airlock doors! They assume battle positions, but the door opens and in rolls Sphere/The Super Cycle. Miss Martian asks if it can lead them to Superboy and it beeps and transforms into Cycle mode.
The Reach Scientist informs the Ambassador that the four former test subjects are on War World attacking their forces. The Ambassador orders her to have Black Beetle end this attack, before going on the air on G. Gordon Godfrey’s show.
The teens locate The Team, but Black Beetle confronts them. Virgil is worried because he witnessed Black taking down all of the heroes on The Reach’s ship, but Black goads them wanting “the exercise.” Tye attacks first, but Black knocks him down and disintegrates his giant energy form, which appears so painful it knocks him out. The others scatter, but Black easily takes down Asami and Virgil. Eduardo hides as Black taunts him, trying to flush him out. Eduardo doesn’t notice a small door opening behind him. And laser beam zips past his head and strikes Black Beetle right in his scarab, knocking him from the sky. Arsenal leaps out, swings down to the ground level and slams the door shut, blocking approaching Reach guards. Eduardo thanks Arsenal who gives him one of two Reach energy staffs. He tells him they can’t take on Black Beetle head on, but if they can keep him off-balance they just might stand a chance. Meanwhile Black Beetle’s scarab heals itself.
On the G. Gordon Godfrey show, The Ambassador spews forth more peace-loving lies and propaganda. Godfrey, a staunch supporter, turns on him asking him to explain his lies about the invasion fleet they had hidden underneath the ocean. He plays back the footage of The Ambassador claiming they only had one ship that was designed for diplomacy and not armed with any weapons. At first The Ambassador counters, reminding him that the hidden war ships helped Blue Beetle defeat War World, but Godfrey isn’t having it and The Ambassador gets visibly angry.
Arsenal and Eduardo are actually doing a good job keeping Black Beetle off-balance. With his teleporting powers, Eduardo is especially efficient and it helps that Tye is back in the game.
Elsewhere, two guards are watching the battle on a monitor, when a Boom Tube opens behind them and two bolos fly out wrapping them up and shocking them unconscious. Then from out of the Boom Tube steps… Deathstroke! His objective: The Crystal Key.
By this point, Asami and Virgil have regained consciousness and have joined the fray and once again, the kids’ hit and run tactics are actually working!
Arsenal is trying to free The Team, but isn’t succeeding. Eduardo asks if they should be trying to free some of the other good guys, to which Roy replies, “No,” before freeing Mongul instead! Spotting him, Black Beetle lunges and the two behemoths turn their energy on each other, allowing the teens to focus on freeing The Team. Arsenal goes back for The Crystal Key but it’s too late, but he looks up and sees his allies weapons which he collects and returns to them. On their way, they run into Nightwing and Miss Martian and they escape.
Most of the heroes board the Bio-Ship, but Bumblebee pauses at the door. Just outside, Nightwing is congratulating the four new young heroes, pointing out what an excellent job they did and offers them spots on The Team. Arsenal says they need to talk about Blue Beetle and his betrayal, but Bumblebee angrily points out that he blew an airlock nearly getting them killed and certainly getting them captured. He shouts back that he rescued them and deserves a “Thank you.” Nightwing obliges… he thanks him, then tells him he’s off The Team! The younger heroes come to is defense, but Nightwing points at Arsenal TERRIBLE track record of using The Team for his own agenda.
This angers the four new heroes who reject Nightwing’s offer and instead ask Arsenal to join them. When Asami takes out the Father Box, Nightwing seems startled, but the five heroes teleport away before he can stop them.
Via laptop, Lex Luthor welcomes the teens back and congratulates them, but he doesn’t seem happy to see Arsenal. The feeling is mutual, as Arsenal points out that Luthor didn’t care if the teens saved the heroes, he just wanted them to distract Black Beetle so Deathstroke could steal The Crystal Key. Feeling used, Asami flings the Father Box at the laptop and uses her powers to destroy both. Roy seems to strike off on his own, while the other four take off into the night.
I thought the four new fledgling heroes did a great job, considering they really haven’t had any training, but they are adjusting to using their powers pretty well. I’m worried that things aren’t going to go well for them, though but at least they seem to have broken their connection to Lex Luthor. Speaking of Luthor, what’s his angle? Aren’t The Light and The Reach allies? Granted these are villains and only have their own interest at heart.
I’m not sure how many more episodes of this series there are, Wikipedia only lists three and the last one is just listed as “TBA” (to be announced). If there are only three more episodes I wonder how much of a wrap up we will receive? I’m sure The Reach’s storyline will be resolved, but there have been many small sprinkles of Kirby’s Fourth World; G. Gordon Godfry, Father Box. I think if this show had gone on for another season, Darkseid would have factored in as the main villain. Alas, I guess we’ll never see that.
I thought this was a great episode. A lot happened in it that is important to the overall story line. The Reach are losing their grip on the public. The Team was rescued. Miss Martian and Nightwing learned to get past their blame and focus on the future. And Nightwing finally kicked the loose cannon Arsenal off The Team.
What did you think? Leave a comment below!