It’s been a long road, but the final arc of Young Justice: Phantoms has finally concluded. We went to Mars, saw the new League of Shadows, delved deep into magic and even deeper beneath the ocean waves, and then to a planet inhabited by New Gods of the universe. The final arc of the season sees all of our original heroes team up once again in a last ditch effort to find and save Conner before it’s too late for him or the galaxy.
We see a little bit of everywhere we’ve been and how it led to this moment as Dick Grayson and Zatanna finally assemble all of the pieces we’ve seen throughout the season. If you’ve missed any of the full recaps for the season up to this point, I suggest you start here and follow along until you’re all caught up.
We’re going to do things a little different this time because there is genuinely so much happening that it can be hard to keep straight. There have been a lot of twists and turns this year, and a lot of people involved. Rather than going directly scene by scene, we’re going to follow each group’s stories until they all converge in the final two episodes. Now that, that’s taken care of, let’s jump straight into it shall we?
[ALL THE SPOILER WARNINGS]
E22: “Rescue and Search”
“Rescue and Search” starts off immediately where the previous episode, “Odyssey of Death!” ended with Lor-Zod angrily blasting his way aboard the original Bio-ship. He and Ma’alefa’ak take control of the vessel, quickly overpowering Saturn Girl, Chameleon Boy, and Kid Flash. Bio-ship stands down and they all blast off into subspace.
Using several inhibitor collars taken from the Watchtower, Lor and Ma’alefa’ak are able to subdue Kid Flash and the Legionnaires. Saturn Girl mocks Lor for his impatience. By “killing” Superboy, he had won in the future. But he couldn’t wait. He just had to free his parents sooner. Ma’alefa’ak discovers that the Kaizer Thrall has been taken to Oa for study by disguising himself as the New God: Light Ray. The nefarious duo take Bio-ship and their captives, to the home of the Green Lantern Corps. They will need the Thrall in order to achieve their goal.
Meanwhile, Zatanna finds her “detective” relaxing as a trapeze artist at Haley’s Travelling Circus. She chooses to go to Dick Grayson, instead of straight to the Justice League, with the possibility that Conner is still alive. Dick, having come to terms with the loss months ago, isn’t sure this is right. He has a hard time believing that his friend might still be alive until Zatanna shows him a flash of what she saw in the Phantom Zone. This changes Dick’s mind immediately and the two set to work on finding wherever it is that Conner is trapped.
This leads them to the discovery that Bart Allen (Kid Flash) is missing as well. When the two look into Bart’s disappearance they discover that he has been in contact with two individuals that seemingly don’t exist. Looking into them reveals that these same individuals met with Superman at Bippo’s Diner! Dick and Zatanna waste no time. Superman confirms that he did meet with the two, but can’t explain why. All he can say is that their identities are strictly need-to-know and that he trusts them.
Armed with the knowledge that Bart must have gone with the Legionnaires willingly, they set out to find what else they would have needed for a mission off-planet. At the Watchtower, Artemis confirms that there are several pieces of tech missing and Bart took them. Artemis joins the detective group from here on. With her, Dick and Zatanna discover that the Legionnaires have been keeping close tabs on Superboy for over a year. Artemis explains that a League convoy just got back from a mission off-world where they had dealt with a time-travelling Kryptonian. This leads the group, now three strong, to Rocket’s.
And then there were three.
Rocket is unsure what destroyed the Phantom Zone projector on New Genesis, but posits that it looked like a beam from a cloaked ship. She assumed that was impossible, and didn’t think much more on it at the time. This revelation connects New Genesis to Mars and to their investigation of Bart and Conner’s disappearances. Using Rocket’s memories from New Genesis, Zatanna confirms that Conner is indeed alive AND he’s trapped in the Phantom Zone. Dick puts together that the Legionnaires must be time travelers, like Bart, and that’s why they went to him for help. Rocket is unsure at first, but Dick makes a compelling argument. Zatanna offers up a possible means to getting to the Phantom Zone, but “…you won’t like it.”
Dick and Rocket make their way to Poseidonis to collect their friend Kaldur. Kaldur has spent the last month on leave while he came to terms with Conner’s death, but… They bring him to their hideout where Artemis and Zatanna are waiting with a slew of clues and other materials strewn across a cork board. Kaldur sees this and immediately falls in line, asking what they need. The group needs a “fifth anchor.”
The five plan to use Klarion to get to the Phantom Zone. By imprisoning the Witch Boy in a summoning circle he will have no choice but to take them to gain his freedom. He wouldn’t dare attempt to fight in the Tower of Fate, or so they think. They summon the Witch Boy, and things immediately go wrong. Zatanna tries to make him pay his debt to her by freeing Conner from the Phantom Zone, but Klarion refuses and enters the Tower. He then proceeds to beat the snot out of them. Zatanna tries to force Klarion’s hand, but he simply refuses to kill them to pay his debt and leaves. He mentions the school bus that he was trapped in before meeting his new cat familiar, and this gets Zatanna thinking. After their beatdown, Zatanna reveals a second option: the “magic” school bus.
Ride on the Magic School Bus!
All the while Superboy has been conversing with General Zod and Ursa. Ursa is furious with him, but the General seems to be more curious than angry. As they talk Conner reveals the fate of Krypton and of its sole survivor: Cal El. He still believes that he killed Superman, and confesses as much. General Zod is most pleased by this. Ursa, however, is having a hard time processing it all. As she and her husband leave, Phantom Girl reveals that she is awake and attempts to reason with Superboy.
The credits for “Rescue and Search” play as Green Lantern Forager and another Green Lantern are scanning the Kaizer Thrall. They discover that the sentience inside it is actually an 11 year old boy from Earth. He is unable to communicate through any normal means, though he is desperately trying to do so.
The episode closes with a memoriam for the late Ed Asner.
Overall: 7.5 We’ve gathered all the players. How did we get here, again?
“Rescue and Search” was a pretty solid episode. I’m honestly glad that the writers didn’t stretch out Dick and Zatanna assembling the team into another four episode arc, but it does feel a bit rushed. I’ve been waiting to see what Nightwing’s part in this season was going to be all year, and he barely got this one episode to himself.
Lor and Ma’alefa’ak seem to know what they’re doing. They’ve got a plan, and by god they’re going to see it through. Dedication in your villains is essential, and these two have it in spades. They manage to be menacing and truly threatening, while not coming across as unbeatable. You know that there’s a chance, but these two are just that good. Also, I continue to find the Zod and Superboy relationship interesting. Zod is usually portrayed as a screaming madman type, and its nice to see him calm and calculating here. He’s getting information. He’s also continuously manipulating Superboy to keep him in line and breeding loyalty. It’s interesting.
This episode felt more like a recap than a progression. Going back to everyone so far and getting a few small pieces of information from each that we already know but none of the characters know dragged a bit until they finally started using that info and putting things together.
E23: “Ego and Superego”
“Ego and Superego” opens as a group of thugs is chasing down Lizard Johnny near the border of Markovia. The boy tries to defend himself, but the thugs are bent on killing him. He is saved by Brion Markov and his team, the Infinitors, before any harm can come to him. As one of the thugs escapes into the forest, Brion gives chase only to find another of his Infinitors, Everyman, waiting. We see Everyman’s shape continue to change from behind as Brion approaches. Everyman was the escaped thug, and he is trying to hide it. Why?
Meanwhile, Violet is moving into their college dorm room with Harper’s help. They are excited to get a start on their new life, but Harper has some heavy feelings. She admits that she has feelings for Violet and that it’s ok for them to let go of Brion. Harper doesn’t force the issue; she simply puts her feelings out there and lets Violet sort things out for herself.
Just gonna lob this grenade and leave.
Back in Markovia, Brion is furious with Everyman for losing the thug. The Ambassador Baazovi arrives and immediately assuages any fears that Brion has about the situation. Brion insists that Markovia will continue to be a haven for Metas, and that he will protect them. The Infinitors stand with him as he makes his speech for the press with the snake boy at his side.
Brion takes the boy back to his home in Markovburg. He remembers seeing Lizard Johnny when he was with the Outsiders and the boy responds in-kind. Johnny doesn’t want to fight; he just wants to be left alone in peace. Ambassador Baazovi and another official arrive. The minister starts conversing with Brion about his initiatives while the Ambassador takes Lizard Johnny aside. Baazovi manipulates Lizard Johnny masterfully and gets him to see that what Brion did to his uncle was necessary to create the meta-haven that is the new Markovia. Brion’s Infinitor takes note of this while her king and leader is distracted by the official.
At the Meta-human Youth Center in Taos, Violet, Gar, Victor, and several other meta-youths are meeting for a monthly group session. Violet explains that they are excited to start college, and that someone has expressed feelings for them. They don’t know how to respond because they still feel blocked by their feelings for Brion.
Are we not going to talk about Beast Boy’s corgi?!
At the Markovian Youth Center, Lizard Johnny is being shown a propaganda video about the Infinitors. The video explains that anyone with the meta-gene can come there to have it activated, by choice, and can then be allowed to join the “infinity cadets” to become full-fledged Infinitors. Brion sees Johnny and is surprised by his sudden change of heart. Brion and Fury are both suspicious of this. Ambassador Baazovi arrives claiming there is much to discuss before sending Fury on her way.
Fury is sent with Everyman and another Infinitor to the home of the minister who spoke to Brion previously. Everyman and the other Infinitor, in no uncertain terms, explain that he and his “non-meta” family should leave. Fury is not pleased with this. She clearly doesn’t see eye-to-eye with her teammates or the Ambassador, and she can see that Brion is becoming more and more suspicious as well.
Garfield expounds on his new canine companion, Wingman, named for the Crimson Avenger’s sidekick, the first sidekick ever. Wingman has helped him tremendously, and everyone is very happy to see Gar on the mend. He isn’t sure if he’ll go back to Space Trek 3016 or the Outsiders, but he has talked to his friends and is in the process of setting things right. Violet looks at their phone to reveal that they have reached out to Brion.
Oh, thank Highfather they addressed it!
After the meeting, Violet boom tubes themself to Markovia where they and Brion have a long-overdo talk. He is excited and happy to see them. They ask about why he has cut himself off, and Brion insists that he is doing the right thing. Violet aches that Brion has not been by their side through their journey. Ambassador Baazovi arrives and spoils the moment when he refers to Violet as “she.” Violet leaves, seeing that Brion has not changed and will not be the person that they thought he would be.
Fury comes to speak to Brion in the courtyard after Violet and Baazovi’s departures. She explains that she needs someone to talk to and confide in and Brion agrees he needs the same. She opens up to him about her past before she reveals she has suspicions. Brion, accepts this and asks her to tell him her concerns. Perhaps, there is hope yet. After returning to her dorm room, Violet calls Harper and asks to see her. There is glee in their voice as they ask. This is also the first time, I believe, that we see them with their hair down and with a hijab. It surprised me a lot, but it also made sense for the situation.
In the Phantom Zone, Phantom Girl desperately tries to appeal to the mentally broken Superboy. She explains how they got to the Phantom Zone when she attempted to save him on Mars. Somehow her phasing ability sent them to the Phantom Zone instead of her home dimension. She believes she can get them out. She tries to explain who she and Zod are and what will happen if he is freed before attempting to leave with him. Conner’s will acts as an anchor, preventing their escape, and Phantom Girl doesn’t understand.
They hear the others nearby as they return from “getting some air.” Phantom Girl resumes her prone state to try to avoid capture by Ursa and General Zod, but Conner gives her up immediately. He reveals that she can get them out of the Zone, but before Zod or Ursa can stop her, Phantom Girl vanishes and appears back in the magma-filled caverns on Mars. Her wounds suddenly erupt in pain as she re-enters the corporeal world.
The other members of the Team make their way to an old junk yard where they hope to find the magic school bus that Klarion had bound himself to during his ordeal with the Child a few months before. Artemis is able to find it quickly, but it’s no longer in a useable state. Zatanna summons up the gremlins her students helped capture and has them put the bus back together in exchange for Dick’s car and a bag of chips. The gremlins happily agree, and magically restore the bus before absconding with Dick’s car back to their magical domain. The Team boards the bus, noting that they can’t tell M’gann about this in-case it fails, as Zatanna uses her magic to create a portal to the Phantom Zone.
The credits roll over the announcement of the creation of a new Hall of Justice to be set next door to the UN building. This is to foster as sense of teamwork and connectedness that the Justice League hopes for between the two organizations. It was nice to see the old hall again, even if it was just for a minute.
Overall: 7 Violet and Brion feel tacked on, and somehow they take the entire episode.
I liked this episode, but I don’t understand why it was placed so late in the season. Other than the Team getting on the Magic School Bus and Beast Boy being in a trauma therapy group, both of which take less than 5 minutes of the episode, there isn’t anything here that couldn’t have happened sooner and felt more natural. We haven’t gotten to see much of Violet this season, despite being a key part of last season, and what we have seen has been about their journey with Islam and self identification.
I think this episode should have happened in the first half of the season; being about Violet’s relationship to Brion and his relationship to his country. It would have helped to segue their character’s journey from season three to four and made for more cohesive character development. Having them develop feelings for Harper over the course of the season and identify as “they” would have had that much more impact if it had time to build and breathe a bit.
As for Brion and the Infinitors… they have potential. I wish we’d gotten a little more of this, because I’m genuinely intrigued as to where the writers plan to go with it. There’s something interesting happening there and I’d love to see it explored more in future seasons.
E24: “Zenith and Abyss”
“Zenith and Abyss” opens with Lor-Zod on the Green Lantern homeworld of Oa. Lor is scanned and found to be a Daximite with no criminal record in their systems. While there he asks Tomar Re’s son about the Kaizer Thrall and is told that since the consciousness in it was from Earth, it was returned there upon completion of study. Lor teases Tomar Tu a bit, saying he knew his father before departing. “May you follow in his footsteps.”
Lor, Ma’alefa’ak, and their captives blast through subspace. Lor is concerned that Saturn Girl and Chameleon Boy’s partner has not been found. Ma’alefa’ak thinks to use their communicator rings to track her down.
In the Phantom Zone, Nightwing and the Team have made their way to the House of Zod. They find Superboy and attempt to get him to leave with them, but his mind is still too broken. He barely believes they are real at first, but General Zod confirms their presence. Superboy struggles with his memories of his old friends as they attempt to convince him to leave with them. He refuses to leave, thinking he will only hurt M’gann before confessing to killing Superman. The Team is shocked. They quickly make him aware of Superman’s being alive, sending him down a spiral. Zod questions whether any of Superboy’s stories have been true, and Nightwing and the others confirms them all. The only thing that didn’t happen was the death of Cal El.
Zod asks that he and his people be freed under a probationary period as they have already served their sentences. Kaldur insists that freeing them wait, but the Kryptonians have waited long enough. Zod orders Superboy to subdue his former allies, and he obeys as best he can. His mind is still fractured and seemingly getting worse by the moment. Battle ensues and the Team is forced to abandon their gear. Zod’s army quickly overpowers them. They glamour themselves invisible, but there is little else they can do for now.
The phantom beatdown is brutal.
Miss Martian arrives at the Watchtower where Green Lantern Forager has arrived with the Kaizer Thrall. She explains that is has a living human brain inside it, and Miss Martian should be able to communicate with it. M’gann confirms it was once a human child named Danny Chase. He was abducted and had his meta-gene activated before he was trafficked to Apokolips.
There, the evil henchman of Darkseid, Desaad, removed his brain and put it in the Kaizer Thrall shell. He has telekinetic and multi-dimensional abilities, but using his powers causes him extreme pain and may even be killing him. While Miss Martian is able to create a psychic link with the Thrall enabling them to speak with Danny, she is suddenly contacted by Prince J’emm with shocking news… Conner Kent may still be alive!
Superman arrives at the Watchtower with J’emm and Phantom Girl. J’emm vouches for her before she explains her story and how Conner was still alive. She believes that Miss Martian is the only one who can save Conner. Superman then vouches for her story after seeing her Legion ring. He asks if she has been in contact with her “two friends,” which surprises her greatly. Everyone suddenly looks to Superman and Phantom Girl for answers they can’t give. Superman insists that the others trust him until he can reveal everything.
I don’t think this would have worked with Batman.
M’gann insists that Phantom Girl take her to Conner. They have no choice but to try to phase there without the Phantom Zone Projector. Their first attempt is unsuccessful. Danny chimes in and explains that he could guide the group to the Phantom Zone. Phantom Girl won’t work, but linking with a Mother Box could open a boom tube directly to the Zone. The group then calls Orion to ask for his help and his Mother Box. He arrives promptly.
Mother Box sends the group to a planet under a red sun to prevent the Kryptonians from gaining their advanced powers should any escape while they rescue Superboy. Miss Martian remarks that she couldn’t get ahold of anyone from the Team when Phantom Girl’s Legion Ring goes off. Ma’alefa’ak, pretending to be the captives, learns the group’s plan.
The group arrives on Trombus and Danny and the Mother Box create a portal to the Phantom Zone. Miss Martian sets about psychically finding Superboy as the Zod’s and Conner make their way through the tube. Ma’alefa’ak overtakes Danny in the Kaizer Thrall and uses its power to attack Superman and Miss Martian’s group. With them subdued, there is no one to stand against Zod on his emergence. Superboy falls to the ground as his wounds heal and Lor-Zod reveals himself.
The credits for “Zenith and Abyss” roll as we see an empty throne. On the arm of the seat is Klarion’s familiar, simply taking a quiet nap. I’ve never been more on edge from something so cute.
Overall: 8.5 Nonstop things happening, and happening fast. Almost too fast.
Everything is happening every second of this episode. It’s intense, action-packed, and enthralling, but it can be a bit much near the end. There are so many jump cuts to the different groups and players involved that it could be a little overwhelming.
That being said, this episode had everything that it needed to. Everyone is actively working toward the same goals, albeit not to their collective knowledge, but still! The episode is full of tension from the beginning with Lor and Tomar Tu to the ending with Lor and his father. Superboy is finally out of the Phantom Zone, Lor and Zod are together, and the fate of the galaxy hangs in the balance.
E25: “Over and Out”
“Over and Out” picks up right where “Zenith and Abyss” left off with Lor jovially introducing himself to his future parents. Lor explains that he had previously attempted to free them but had been thwarted by the heroes now strewn on the ground by the Kaizer Thrall. He pledges to take them to a planet with a yellow sun to give them their powers. Zod sends one of his followers back into the boom tube to ready the others for their return. Forager attacks before being subdued again, forcing Lor to move the boom tube to Earth.
Lor takes his injured mother through the portal to Earth. Zod stops to pick up Superboy’s injured body before advancing. Ma’alefa’ak and the Kaizer Thrall make their way through the portal last before it closes behind them, stranding the others on Trombus under its red sun while they make their way into the Fortress of Solitude.
Once there, Lor explains that this is the sanctuary of Cal El on Earth and all that remains of Krypton. It seems fitting to use it as a means to accelerate the Zod’s advancement in Lor’s mind. Lor moves to kill Superboy, but is stopped by his father. Lor insists, knowing what Superboy inspires in the future and that he is a member of the House of El. They are sworn enemies. Zod refuses and insists that he has turned the Superboy. Lor retreats for a moment, accepting his father’s will, before telling them to step into the solar pods in the Fortress. Zod, however, tells Ma’alefa’ak to reopen the boom tube and bring forth the army of the House of Zod first.
Just gonna use my arch nemesis’ stuff real quick. No big deal.
In the Phantom Zone, Zatanna, Nightwing, and the others are all still there as they strategize about how to handle the remaining army. The portal closes and then reopens at its new location, forcing the Team to do battle with the Kryptonians to keep them from reaching Earth. Dick gets to make a great Gandalf reference before the fight ensues. Having been handily defeated by the Kryptonians before, the Team knows that this is their final stand. They must prevent them from crossing the threshold and making their way to Earth. They compare themselves to the Spartans at Thermopylae.
Nightwing makes his way through the boom tube to see where it lets out, and discovers Lor and the others in the Fortress of Solitude. He uses his wing-dings to blow up the solar pods containing Zod and Ursa, but its too late. They have already absorbed enough energy. Lor angrily attacks and throws the vigilante into the towering statues of Superman’s parents. The statues shatter and collapse before Nightwing can escape. Lor listens to the slowing heartbeat of his adversary until he hears it stop. Nightwing is dead.
Or is he…?
Ursa and Zod emerge from the wreckage of the solar pods and Ursa in furious. Her rage boils over and activates the magical eye artifact that Lor had stolen from Metron’s Infinity Vault: the Eye of Ekron. The eye attaches itself to Ursa and transforms her into the new Emerald Empress. Lor explains that, in his time, the Eye was wielded by a powerful sorceress and now the Eye has chosen a worthy successor in Ursa.
Kaldur and the others continue to fend off the Kryptonians in the Phantom Zone until they summon a devourer by intentionally making themselves angry. They are able to prevent the passage of Zod’s leading crony, but the fight is getting more and more difficult by the moment.
Back on Trombus, Superman wakes first and frees Kid Flash from the inhibitor collar that has kept his powers minimized since his capture. M’gann is upset. She explains that Superboy has regressed and thinks himself only a weapon. He could be dangerous, but M’gann knows she can still reach him. Kid Flash returns with Bio-ship, much to M’gann’s surprise, allowing them to make the journey back to Earth.
While onboard Bio-ship, the different groups all take stock of the situation. Phantom Girl is reunited with her team at long last. They have reservations about working with the past heroes, but they have little choice at this point. M’gann is immensely proud of Bio-ship for coming back to save them. The two share a telepathic conversation as they groups make their way back to Earth. Superman stares out the front windshield as Black Lightning asks him how learning of other Kryptonian survivors is affecting him. He admits that it is something he has wished for his entire life.
Lotta different emotions happening in such a small space.
They finally arrive and discover that Lor has taken Zod and Ursa to the Fortress of Solitude. They hastily plan to make their way to Superman’s sanctum and overtake the Kryptonians there before they can become too powerful. Meanwhile the Team in the Phantom Zone is still trying to keep anyone from crossing the threshold to the other side. Rocket throws up a bubble big enough to hold everyone back, but the arrival of Lor from the other side drastically complicates things.
Zod beckons to his son that the boom tube is about collapse and orders him back to the corporeal world. Not wanting to find out what happens if you’re stuck in a collapsing boom tube, Zatanna uses her magic to open a portal back to the magic school bus for her and the rest of the team. Rocket holds her bubble up until everyone is through the portal, but she doesn’t quite make it herself. The Team collapses in a heap on the school bus floor to find that Rocket is not with them.
Ursa is alerted to the presence of Superman’s group aboard Bio-ship as they advance. Ursa uses her new power to blast the ship out of the sky, sending it crashing into the snowy rocks below. Seemingly everyone on board, except for Superman, is killed in the crash. He stands to face Zod in the snow.
Like a boss.
Zod offers leniency if Cal El bends the knee, but Earth’s greatest hero refuses. Ma’alefa’ak pins Nightwing’s kryptonite to the Man of Steel’s chest, sapping his strength and health. He looks up to Superboy for help, but receives none and falls unconscious.
Zod then makes his way to Metropolis. Ursa takes control of all the screens around them to broadcast their message to the world. Kneel before Zod or perish. They show that they have already beaten Superman and turned Superboy to their side before Zod turns to them. Zod asks Superboy to kill his half-brother and become a true member of the House of El. Ursa blasts his chest and changes the once blazing “S” into Zod’s “Z.”
The credits for “Over and Out” roll over a silent still of Amistad’s toy cars, all with their wheels up. Heavy.
Overall: 7.5 More nonstop things happening really fast
We got not one, but TWO characters seemingly killed in this episode before a shipwreck full of more character deaths. How bad could this possibly be for the Earth?! Well… seriously? Do you really expect me to believe that you’re going to kill THAT MANY PEOPLE that have had SO MUCH SCREENTIME this season in the penultimate episode? No. There is plenty of tension without trying to make the audience think that you’ve killed almost the entire main cast.
Zod and Ursa have powers and now Ursa is also the Emerald Empress! These are dire moments for our heroes! Fending off the Kryptonians in the boom tube only to seemingly lose Rocket, actually felt real. We had no way of knowing what happened to Rocket or if we’d ever see her again. They even had the cajones to end the episode on a silent still of HER SON’S TOY CARS. That was heavy, and it really drove home that she had sacrificed herself for her team to escape so that there was still a chance for Earth. *sigh* And now…
E26 (Finale): “Death and Rebirth”
At long last we come to finale of Young Justice: Phantoms. “Death and Rebirth,” just like the last two episodes, picks up immediately where the last episode left off. Zod continues to give his speech to the peoples of Earth, claiming dominion over the planet and naming it New Krypton. He then explains that he will have Superboy kill Superman in front of all of them to show his loyalty. He gives the order and we cut to the opening titles.
Meanwhile back in the frozen arctic near the Fortress of Solitude, we discover that Nightwing is alive! Wooooo! He stumbles upon the wreckage of Bio-ship where still lies on the ground, apparently dead. Nightwing is shocked, until he hears M’gann’s voice in his mind. Her illusion falls, and we see that everyone on-board, as well as Bio-ship herself, are all okay, except for Green Lantern Forager. She appears to be unconscious, but otherwise seems fine. They had planned for this.
That’s like 15 character fake-out deaths averted in less than a minute.
Dick explains how he escaped death by faking the cut above his eye and intentionally slowing his heartbeat to make Lor think he was dead before explaining how he and the rest of the Team were in the Phantom Zone to rescue Conner. M’gann chimes in and explains her group’s harrowing adventure in the snows as well. Superman and Orion took the brunt of Emerald Empress’ blast, but Saturn Girl and M’gann were able to use the time they had before crashing to create the illusion Dick saw when he walked up.
Superman pretended to be the only survivor and was captured by Zod when Superboy didn’t immediately rush to his aide. The two bounce back and forth as they explain to each other how everything in the last episode happened to each of them and how it directly affected the other group. The Team is in Metropolis, apart from Rocket, and the rest of them need to get there ASAP. All of their options to get there quickly have been destroyed or compromised, that is, until Baby Bio-Ship arrives.
Back in Metropolis, Superboy thinks back to happy times with Superman. Being welcomed into the Kent family. He hesitates and refuses to kill his adoptive brother. Lor and Ursa both chastise Zod for not killing Superboy sooner, calling him weak and useless to them. Zod angrily offers up the box of kryptonite as he advances to do the deed himself before… Kid Flash swoops in and steals it. The heroes are here! Zatanna, Kaldur, and Artemis use the magic school bus to cloak and crash and into enemies before disappearing again. The Battle for Earth has begun.
Meanwhile, M’gann, Nightwing, and the Legionnaires all take Baby Bio-ship to the battle. Nightwing tells M’gann in no uncertain terms that she has to be willing to go all out if they’re going to have a chance of defeating the Kryptonians before sunrise. M’gann silently agrees.
The Zod’s battle the Team in Metropolis as Zod summons his army from the Phantom Zone. From there, an epic battle ensues. All the different members of the Team give it their all. Things even seem in their favor at first. They are able to steal away the Kaizer Thrall and Mother Box to isolate them away from the battle. Mother Box is able to reconstitute Danny Chase’s mind in the Kaizer Thrall, but Ma’alefa’ak appears again to take control.
M’gann is able to stop Conner before he can intervene on Zod’s behalf. She touches his mind and restores his memories. He finally recalls who he is and knows that he is more than just a weapon. The two simply exchange, “Hi,” and smile sweetly at each other when everything clicks into place. The looks on their faces say everything else.
Zatanna is able to heal Superman’s kryptonite poisoning which allows him and Superboy to team up together in the final battle. Lor and Zod vs Superman and Superboy. M’gann takes Ursa and is able to mentally attack her. Ursa, believing she has just ripped out Miss Martian’s heart, pays no attention as the real Miss Martian sneaks up behind her and blasts her mind directly. Her empress attire disappears and she and the Eye of Ekron both fall hard to the ground below. She is no god, and M’gann will make sure she knows it.
Saturn Girl intervenes with Danny and Ma’alefa’ak allowing Danny to overtake the evil Martian and free himself. The battle continues to rage until Danny returns and creates a new portal to the Phantom Zone. To add to the deus ex machinas, Rocket suddenly appears with a Timesphere! The collected heroes are able to best the Kryptonians and Ma’alefa’ak, sending all but Ursa and Lor through the portal. The Eye of Ekron saves Ursa by, unwillingly, forcing her into a bubble and blasting off into space. Lor in a rage, blasts past the heroes and jumps directly into the timesphere and disappears into history. The Legionnaires lament the escape of Zod. They aren’t out of the woods yet.
Or are they…? No. They’re really not.
Following the battle, we’re treated to the denouement. Clark and Lois reveal to young Jonathan that Conner is actually still alive. They show him a video invite to Conner and M’gann’s wedding at the Happy Harbor house. We then cut to M’gann’s sister, Em’ree welcoming their parents to Earth. She then reveals that she is going to go back to her original name of M’ree M’orzz to much pleasure. Black Canary, gathered with the elder Justice League members, proposes the creation of a safe place for heroes to step away and recover. A haven where they can take the time they need. A Sanctuary.
Big Bear and the rest of the Forever People arrive, hugging the Foragers immediately while Gar and Perdita have a private moment in the woods. She confesses that she has moved on, but still wants to be a positive part of Gar’s life. She encourages him to move on too. Finally Conner arrives, sporting a haircut, as Kaldur, the Team, and the Legionnaires all discuss the fate of the Kryptonians. They have all more than served their time, and deserve a chance to be freed. Superman recommends Trombus. Under its red sun they wouldn’t gain immense powers and they would have to start from scratch. They could also be routinely monitored during their parole by everyone.
“Then it is settled. After the wedding, we return to the Phantom Zone.” Unfortunately for Kaldur and the others, they won’t have the opportunity. We see all of the Kryptonians, and I do mean ALL of them, in status pods that are revealed to be on… The Warworld! Klarion removed all of them, giving only one to Darkseid at his request for a tribute while also returning Ma’alefa’ak. The evil Martian is rewarded for his hard work for the evil New God. Despite Lor’s failures, Ma’alefa’ak had done everything he was asked and then some. As such he is granted his boon: a planet for the A’ashen (white Martians). When he asks if the planet has a name, it is revealed to be none other than the homeworld of Chameleon Boy: Durla!
Returning to the wedding, Rocket reveals that she was rescued from the collapsing boom tube by Metron. The curious New God then offered her the timesphere. It’s coordinates were preset. She laments Lor’s having stolen it and worries about the potential dangers he poses. As she waxes about this, we see that she has nothing to worry about.
Inside the stolen timesphere, Lor rides through time appearing in the Martian caverns on the day he had previously tried to kill Superboy. The coordinates in the sphere are still locked, but Lor can’t resist. He thinks he’s being offered a final chance to kill him. He exits the sphere and it immediately abandons him as Phantom Girl and Superboy phase into the Phantom Zone. The kryptonite-laced gene bomb explodes, tearing through him and disintegrating him. It leaves nothing but a familiar burnt shadow on the cave walls.
Ah, so THAT’S where it came from.
The timesphere returns to Metron and his Infinity Vault; a victorious grin on his face as it appears. Meanwhile, Ursa and the Eye of Ekron soar through space and Ursa insists that she will raise her son to be a warrior. She descends down to a blue planet, Daxim, where she can recuperate and strategize.
Back on Earth, Braniac-5 appears in a new timesphere to take his teammates home. M’gann arrives and the wedding can finally begin. All the heroes have gathered, mostly in costume, for the occasion. Their parents and family hug them before they take their places. Young Jonathan runs up the aisle with the rings before they exchange very genuine vows. They each have their whole character history in mind as they share their love with all in attendance.
The credits roll on three doggos, resting during the reception, as Lucas, the officiator, introduces the newly married couple to the dancefloor for the first dance. He narrates the hilarity that is them flying high in the air for their first dance, and we can hear the laughter of everyone in attendance. It truly is a happy time.
Before the finale closes, we’re treated to one final scene. Darkseid’s general introduces him to Granny Goodness’ newest Furies: Black Mary (Sargent Marvel) and Kara Zor-El Supergirl. Darkseid smiles his evil smile, and we cut to black.
Overall: 7.5-8 A happy ending that feels a little too happy.
The first half of the episode is an action-packed superhero punch-em-up battle with everybody we’ve seen all season long. Nightwing turns out to still be alive because of some Batman trickery. M’gann and her group are all alive, of course, and the Team is in Metropolis kicking Kryptonian ass with a flying invisible school bus. Only in comic book shows. Seeing Superboy’s return to the light and subsequent trouncing of Zod with Superman was great, and his reunion with M’gann was powerful. I was very happy to see them finally back together after 22 episodes.
The second half of the episode is Lord of the Rings: Return of the King style multi-ending that ties everything up in a neat little bow while also setting up what will undoubtedly be a bit plot point of next season. The wedding serves as a nice respite for the heroes before the coming storm.
We get the wedding of M’gann and Conner juxtaposed with the conclusions for all of the other groups. The Legionnaires are successful and get to go home, Rocket explains how she is alive and we see what ultimately happens to Lor, and we see the fate of the Kryptonians in the Phantom Zone. Darkseid now having a SHAZAM-powered being and a Kryptonian will certainly prove interesting, but Vandal Savage and the Light now have a literal army of Kryptonians that they can unleash at a moments notice. Things do not look good for our heroes. Things do not look good at all.
The Final Word: 7.5-8
This wasn’t the best arc of the season, but it certainly wasn’t the worst either. While the overall conclusion to the season is mostly satisfying, there are more than a few moments that started to feel forced and rushed. There end up being so many people involved by the end of things that its hard for any one group to seem like they’re the focus, and as a result everything comes across as a bit disjointed.
There are multiple fake-out character deaths in the final two episodes, and I personally can’t stand that. If you’re going to kill a character, commit to killing the character. If you want us to be worried or concerned that’s one thing, but you can achieve that without telling us that the character is dead only to have them show back up in the next episode.
The ultimate defeat of Lor, Zod, and Ma’alefa’ak was very satisfying, and I’m interested to see where the writers are planning to go with the Ma’alefa’ak living on Durla storyline. Will Zod bend the knee to Vandal Savage? Will an army of Kryptonians be enough to wage war against Apokolips? There are plenty of questions still to ask and plotlines left to explore, and I’m happy to report that I’m definitely going to continue to enjoy it as it comes.
I’ve worked my whole life to become a comic book illustrator, writer, and stand-up comedian. Batman and Captain Benjamin Sisko helped put a good head on my shoulders. I spent most of my childhood saving Hyrule and the Mushroom Kingdom and seeing the Justice League save all of creation time and time again. I live in Johnson City, TN with my wife Kary and daughter Laila enjoying the beautiful mountain scenery and occasional show. Three puppies round out the family and take up the rest of the time that isn’t spent debating which Wes Anderson or Studio Ghibli movie to watch. I spend an inordinate amount of time binge watching SVU, Futurama, and Letterkenny, and when I’m not watching I’m listening to “My Brother, My Brother, and Me” or playing the occasional game of D&D. If there’s a nerdy endeavor out there, I’ve probably at least tried it.