Wow, so this show, which usually impresses me with it’s satisfying lack of exposition, starts off with Artemis THINKING REALLY HARD AT A MIRROR. “I’m Artemis but now I’m pretending to not be Artemis and this is the plot of the show and my character’s arc thus far”. Yeesh. This episode did NOT start off well. Thankfully, the rest of the episode was more pro then con.
This little slice of animated excellence was triple-tiered: Black Manta doing everything he can to get Aqualad’s busted brain mosaic’d back together, Blue Beetle trying to stave off the possibility of the upcoming “Reach Apocalypse” wherein BB is the uber-bads, and the ongoing thread of The Reach trying to undermine the Justice League and enthrall the human populace.
Of the many overarching threads that ensnare this series, Black Manta's attempts to fix his son take the front seat and provides the most tension, as the first go-round involves Psimon using his telepathic abilities to repair Kaldur, which would be fine, if he wasn't…you know, a double agent trying to bring down the Light from within. Luckily this is averted due to Tigress (a disguised Artemis) hitting him with a poison dart. The best part of this though is her reasoning to the Black Manta: that maybe when Miss Martian wiped Kaldur's mind, she left a "psychic virus" that would infect any telepaths trying to fix him. But oh hey, why don't they "kidnap" Miss Martian and bring here there so that SHE can fix Aqualad? BRILLIANT! It's these sort of nuggets that make this show a top-shelf experience for me. There is nothing more intriquing than watching characters get painted into a corner and watching them try to get out. Is Artemis able to successfully recruit M'gan and save Aqualad's blindfolded brain? I'm not telling.
Another thread that I'm curious about is this new Green/Blue Beetle dynamic. Is the Green Beetle trustworthy? He surely seems to be and even Miss Martian gives him the thumbs up, but man….I don't know. Something isn't right here. Blue's "fix" seems waaaay too easy. "What's that? I might go totally evil in the future and destroy everything? Whelp no worries any longer because Green Beetle poked his Martian digits into my back! CURED!" Balderdash and shenanigans, I say. Heed my words! Are you heeding? You should. Start heeding, NOW.
Some of the cool:
The action. It's pretty limited this eppy, but what is seen is fairly crash. I have seen tons of animated action scenes, but invariably the best pieces are from animated films, where they have time to fully flesh out the choreography. Most television action is pretty limited, but not here. There is a pretty fantastic chunk of work involving a car door that made me rewind for reviewing.
Also two words, one ridiculous name: DEATHSTROKE. Seriously it's up there with Bloodstone and Bloodstrike. It just screams 90's superhero thigh-pouches! That being said however, ole Slade is supposed to be one of the foremost tactical fighters in the DC universe and it's evident here. Already having lined up the angle his sword would need to be at to instantly blind the heroes before even starting the fight? That's classic Deathstroke, and I'm glad to see him enter the show. I never really cared for Sportsmaster (you know what Slade, I'm immediately sorry for making fun of your name, after typing Sportsmaster) and I'm ok with 'Stroke taking his place in The Light.
“Does my smile displease? Is this not how human’s convey friendship…and put each other at ease?”
Some of the not-so cool:
The aforementioned info-dump in the beginning of the eppy.
“Go for it, Angel Fish, reading this guy will be a piece of Crab Cake.” – YES, La-gaan, we GET it. You’re from under the water. Gawwd, shaddup about it already.
Does The Fix need fixing?
Hell no. While this episode doesn't come anywhere near the Speedy/Arsenal episode in terms of depth and emotion, this is still a pretty solid offering. And let us not mince words, dear reader, even the worst episode of this show is scores better than most other shows on television. And of course that means that it's not long for this world. I'm aware that it is going to be cancelled and I am rife with indignation and anger, but for now, I'm just going to enjoy what time we have left. And then cry buckets of tears.