Saturday, March 10, 2012

Young Justice - "Misplaced"

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Episode Eighteen: "Misplaced" - Airdate 3/3/12

It's Young Justice Saturday!

by Andy Luckett

Hey everyone, Andy Luckett here again with a review of "Misplaced", the new episode of Young Justice which aired last Saturday as part of the new DC Nation block on Cartoon Network.
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Our tale opens on Roanoke Island, at a four-way dirt road intersection surrounded by a creepy forest. Klarion the Witch Boy arrives with his cat Teekl, bearing an ominous-looking gem. He places it in the ground, making a pentagram and summoning four other major-league sorcerers: Wotan, Blackbriar Thorn, Felix Faust, and the Wizard. They begin to chant.
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At Young Justice's headquarters in Happy Harbor, Miss Martian arrives with groceries and supplies which Batman, Zatara, and Red Tornado help to unload. Zatanna and Artemis, close friends now after the events of "Secrets", arrive together. Artemis asks whether Zatanna is joining the team full time, but Zatanna is worried that her father will increase his overprotectiveness should she join, and wishes for a little space. Just then, Batman, Zatara, and Red Tornado suddenly disappear! Did someone grant Zatanna's wish?

Turns out, someone did, though not because of Zatanna. The five sorcerers' spell has caused all of the world's adults 18 or older to disappear. Children are left to fend for themselves and all world media is at a standstill. Assessing the situation, Robin asks Zatanna to try a locator spell to find the cause, much as Zatara had done recently to locate the Injustice League. Zatanna is a bit ambivalent, claiming that she is nowhere near her father's level of power, but Robin insists. Meanwhile, the YJ team helps out the local children, and Superboy rescues a small boy with a familiar favorite hero:
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In Fawcett City, Billy Batson's Uncle Dudley has also disappeared. Billy initially plans to change into Captain Marvel, but realizes that if he becomes his adult self, he may disappear as well. He thus runs to the nearest Zeta teleporter, only to find that the computer cannot recognize him as Billy Batson, only as Captain Marvel.
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Meanwhile, Aqualad, Robin, and Kid Flash broadcast a message worldwide advising the world's children to care for each other, especially the youngest among them. Kid Flash and Aqualad discuss the option of using the Helmet of Fate to help the situation, but they agree that the possibility of being permanently turned into Dr. Fate is too risky for the time being. Zatanna decides she is ready to try her locator spell.

Despite her doubt, the spell works, and the team finds the source of the disturbance as Roanoke Island. Meanwhile, Billy Batson has chartered a plane with a teenage girl to get to Happy Harbor. Unfortunately, while in the air, she tells him that she is set to turn 18 at midnight, and as she does so, she disappears, leaving Billy in a pilotless plane!
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At this point, we rewind to a replay of the original scene from earlier, with Zatanna and Artemis arriving at YJ headquarters. Only this time, the entire YJ team plus Zatanna disappears, along with everyone under 18 in the world. Mass hysteria grips the adults as a mob storms STAR Labs looking for answers. While that is happening, a plain-clothes Sportsmaster and Riddler steal something from inside STAR Labs. Back in Happy Harbor, Batman and Zatara also discuss using Fate's helmet, but they too decide that it should be a last resort.

Meanwhile, Billy Batson has a decision to make. Should he change to Captain Marvel to save himself from crashing, and risk disappearing; or should he try to land the plane himself? He decides to call out "Shazam", and changes to Captain Marvel without disappearing. He accesses YJ headquarters, and encounters Batman and Zatara. They realize that the spell has created two dimensions; one without adults and one without kids. Captain Marvel, with his ability to change back and forth, is the only one able to travel between the two.
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Becoming Billy Batson again, he finds himself sent to the kids-only dimension, where he reveals his identity to Young Justice (who are surprised that Captain Marvel is really a kid). Acting as a messenger, Billy/Marvel pings back and forth between the two dimensions, relaying information from the League to Young Justice and vice versa. In this way, the heroes agree on a coordinated attack on Roanoke Island; hoping that by stopping the spell, the two dimensions will merge back into one.
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Young Justice attacks Klarion in their dimension, having little success against his protective spells. Kid Flash remembers that when he was possessed by Fate, he defeated Klarion by attacking his cat. But Klarion is ready for such an attack, and in response, transforms Teekl into a giant saber-toothed monstrosity. Meanwhile, in the adult dimension; Batman, Red Tornado, and Zatara take on the other four sorcerers until Zatara realizes that the gem in the middle of the pentagram is the object keeping the dimensions apart. Once Billy Batson tells this to Young Justice, Zatanna quickly breaks out the Fate helmet and puts it on. She battles Klarion but still has a tough time taking him down. Finally his protective bubble weakens, and both Fate and Zatara are able to destroy the gem, reuniting the dimensions.
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Zatara is horrified to see his daughter caught up by Fate, but no one can persuade him to release her. Zatara agrees to allow Fate to possess him instead, since he is strong and at the height of his powers. He says goodbye to Zatanna, then puts on the helmet and becomes Dr. Fate. Zatanna, believing it was all her fault, is shaken to the core. With the worlds reunited, parents and children are able to reunite as well. Wally goes to see his parents, Billy Batson has Uncle Dudley back, and Artemis spends time with her mother. Zatanna, a few days later, moves into YJ headquarters, still saddened by the loss of her father.

At an undisclosed location, Klarion reports to The Light. The spell was all a distraction so the Riddler and Sportsmaster could steal an item from STAR Labs. The item? A piece of the echinoderm taken from Atlantis in the episode "Downtime", better known as…Starro the Conqueror:
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Okay, so Young Justice is back to finish its first season. This was an interesting, if not completely original, entry. At first, the idea of an adult-less planet reminded me of the Justice League Unlimited episode "Kids Stuff", in which all adults were magically removed from Earth and kid versions of the League had to take on Morgaine Le Fey. However, the mid-episode twist of the two separate dimensions improved the story immensely. I especially enjoyed the idea of Billy Batson/Captain Marvel being the only person able to move between worlds, and his use as a courier of information between the separated heroes was intriguing.

That said, the ending threw me a little. All that mess just to provide a distraction so that two criminals could steal a piece of Starro for The Light? After they got it, were they going to reunite the dimensions, or keep them apart? It seems like a huge event just to hide a robbery but perhaps The Light wanted to introduce a little more chaos to the world to keep the forces of good on their toes. I am very interested to see what they plan to do with Starro.

sgAqualad was very much in the background in this episode. He took point during Young Justice's encouraging message to the kids of Earth, he discussed the option of Fate's helmet with Kid Flash and he took part in the final battle with Klarion, but there were no real standout moments for him, sadly. He did mention contacting an adult-free Atlantis, and Ocean Master did appear on a screen at the end as a member of The Light, but that was it for Aqua-content this week. We'll see what happens next week!

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