Saturday, June 9, 2012
Before the final three minutes of this episode, this review was going to open up with these words: couldn't it have been anybody else?
I fell for it. I actually fell for it. For the entire episode, I was waiting for the teaser of doom to become reality. And then, when Aqualad showed up, I had an idea how it was going to go. I was reminded of the second season of "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" when Joss Whedon had Angel kill Jenny Calendar, just to hammer it into the audience that Angel wasn't pretending to be evil. I bought into it all. Hook, line, and sinker.
Then we got to the final three minutes of the episode. Artemis is alive, and Aqualad is under cover. Only Wally, Nightwing and Artemis are in on it. Finally, the Team pulled a Xanatos Gambit of their very own, and this one was on the Light. While the Light still got what they wanted, the communications satellite was destroyed, it was the Team who scored the Xanatos Gambit on them, right after we were told that Black Manta arranged for the satellite to be destroyed weeks ago, in case Aqualad failed. And considering how well the Light has mastered Xanatos Gambits throughout the entire series, that's what made this episode so satisfying... the Team, for once, beat them at their own game. And now, we're seeing the seeds being planted that might bloom with the defeat of the Light.
We also learned why Ms. Martian and Superboy broke up, and half of the story I figured out. He did not like how she was performing deep psychic scans on bad guys, leaving them catatonic. But the fact that she tried to do it to him was what pushed him away. To once again mention "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" it reminds me of when Tara dumped Willow... abusing magic and then erasing Tara's memory of the incident. I really hope these two do not get back together, they probably will, but I hope they don't.
Up until the final three minutes, I was ready to hate this episode. I was drafting this review in my head, and it was a very different review. Instead, we ended up with one of the most satisfying episodes of the series' entire run. Aqualad is still a hero, and Artemis is back in the game. And with Artemis back in the game, Wally won't be far behind.