It has only been a few days since their coming out party, and The Reach already have the Earth wrapped around their figurative finger. Probably the only grip harder to break would be the Scarab on Jaime’s spine. He plans to do whatever it takes to get it off so that he does not betray his friends and the Earth itself. I still say this is a terrible idea because the team is in bad shape. As L-Ron pointed out to Despero, the strongest members of the Justice League are still light years away and the team’s performance against him was less than exemplary. When two Justice League members get treated like toys and four team members look sloppier than the original team did against Mister Twister, the last thing needed is the loss of a power player. Blue thus far is the only member that can effectively battle Black Beetle and his powers have proven useful where others were not able to do much of anything. That and having a universal translator is awesome. Even if it is possible, that scarab must not come off of Jaime.GOtta wake up early to get the good veggies!
FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT TO EAT PLUOTS Right off the jump we get the resolution to Jaime’s problem: the Scarab stays attached until he dies. This comes as no surprise because he heard The Reach say as much while he was aboard their ship. The connection between The Light and The Reach is hidden perfectly by bringing it right before the public. A Lexcorp/Reach agricultural partnership is made to increase Earth’s food supply and end world hunger. The official word is that The Reach are able to draw out the full potential of fruits and vegetables; full potential sounds so familiar, doesn’t it? The so-called noble effort hides the fact that The Reach are putting an unknown additive in the food that Robin and his Alpha Squad discover with Blue Beetle’s help.The mission would have gone off without a hitch if not for Arsenal blowing up the lab. This, of course, brings our friendly neighborhood Black Beetle in to clean up the mess. Last time he pummeled the team, they had Superboy and Wonder Girl; this time it is Robin, Impulse, Arsenal and Blue Beetle. Unfortunately, Jaime will not relinquish control of his body to the Scarab. If not for the sudden appearance of Green Beetle, Alpha Squad might have had its final mission.Freddy vs. Jason?
BASS(SPORTS)MASTER Crusher Crock formally voiced his grievance over the death of Artemis to The Light. He requested the life of her murderer, Aqualad, in exchange. He actually knew that his request would be denied. Why would Black Manta, an actual member of the seven, give up his son to The Light’s main flunkie? Sportsmaster was also ready when his attempt on Manta’s life was thwarted by his replacement – Deathstroke the Terminator. For those not terribly familiar with the comics that might recognize the mask, yes, that is Slade from the Teen Titans cartoon. Sportsmaster wisely got the hell outta Dodge because you don’t mess with a guy that has individually fought to a draw with Batman, Nightwing and even Wolverine. SO the father/daughter team of Sportsmaster and Cheshire are officially separated from The Light’s payroll and doing their own thing. Cheshire wishes to claim Kaldur’s life for her sister and Sportsmaster is after Manta because he refused to give up his son. This is going to end ugly, especially when Cheshire realizes that Kaldur’s personal guard is her (not) dead sister.Deathstroke: not someone to trifle with
THE BRET HART OF DC COMICS Deathstroke literally is excellence of execution. A mercenary by trade, Slade Wilson finds himself on either side of the law, depending upon what he feels like doing. The team, as they are right now, are no match for him. Nightwing and Robin are probably the only members with their head fully in the game and it would be unlikely if both of them at once would take Slade down decisively. I have a feeling that Deathstroke may not be used to his full potential in this story, but when he is seen, look for him to do serious damage.Black Beetle got served.
COLORS, COLORS, COLORS The show finally gives a backstory on exactly where the scarabs come from. I have said previously that the soldier class of The Reach are sent in advance to a planet to act as champions to make The Reach look good. In the case of Earth, it did not work because the Scarab malfunctioned and because Jaime is part of a covert ops team. Black Beetle is truly “of The Reach,” as shown in this episode when his face was exposed. That was a good move, as the convoluted history of the comic version of Black Beetle just gets a bit silly. Going by the explanation (given by the Green Beetle), it only made sense that Mars would have a Reach operative. B'arzz O'oomm is a Martian made for the Young Justice TV show. As of now, he does not exist in any of the comics universes. His name is a clear reference to the John Carter series. He is definitely a valuable addition to the team if it is true that he is not with The Reach. He already saved Alpha Squad from Black Beetle and he told Jaime that there is another way to prevent his betrayal without trying to remove the scarab. The show writers have taken many liberties with characters, but this is the first time they have completely created a character (with a speaking role) for the show. I look forward to seeing how this third Beetle plays into the conflict.Still, I'm a baaaaaaaaaaaaad man!
MY FAVORITE MADMAN There was a lot to love in this episode, but the standout winner was easily Black Beetle. This guy was a maniac , talking smack on a WWE level. Throwing out one liners like “That’s just a waste of good fruit,” and “Oxygen? Hardly touch the stuff,” this guy was downright evil. I say that because he is saying these things while beating the crap out of Alpha Squad. They threw like two kitchen sinks at him and he kept coming back for more. One thing you might notice is that he really did not have any intention of killing them though. I believe he was on board with the Ambassador’s plan of humiliating the Justice League. Had he won, I think you would have seen the defeated teens on G.Gordon Godfrey’s show the next day. I hope that Black Beetle continues to be a complete jerk in future appearances because he was (for me) the main selling point of this episode.Psimon is about to do the bad touch to Kaldur's mind.
SINS OF THE SON We never saw for certain what happened to Kaldur after Miss Martian attacked him. I was hoping that maybe his mystical training would offer him some defense, but we see now that he wound up just like the Kroloteans she assaulted. Worse still, we have the ominous words spoken by Vandal Savage that when Psimon is don fixing his mind, he will know Kaldur’ahm better than his own father. That is a death sentence for Kaldur and Artemis (Tigress). It would be nothing for Aqualad to escape on his own, but Artemis neither breathes underwater, nor can she stand the pressures of the ocean depths the way he can. Ironic that M’gann called Kaldur a murderer as she brain blasted him because unless a miracle happens she basically has killed two of her best friends. I wish Despero would have punched her in the face, just once.We're trying to end world hunger! Stop wasting fruit!
So, The Reach is ending world hunger but at the same time they are putting some kind of alien MSG in our food that will mess us up somehow. Top that off with the fact that Lex Luthor and Vandal Savage said Alpha Squad missed the bigger picture in their raid. The Light doo seem to know what The Reach are up to and it does not seem to bother them in the slightest. Considering the future that we have seen, I don’t know if that is wise on their part. Despite once again being ahead of the team, Lex acknowledges their prowess and tells Savage that they should form their own team. The pictures he presents target the teens that were formerly liberated from The Reach; a wise choice since you know they all have powers. For every step the team takes forward, it seems like the Light and The Reach both push them two steps back. At this point, things will be difficult even if the rest of the Justice League return in time.He's a bad, mother-HUSH YO MOUTH! I'm jus' talkin' 'bout Deathstroke baby! We can dig it!