Last episode saw part of the team travel to New Genesis, far off in space. This time, they stay a bit more Earth-bound as a few subplots inch along, with some interesting developments between the characters. We see a bit more of the world and some relationships, and before it’s done, there’s more than one “Rescue Op.”
The show starts in Al Qawia, one of DC’s fictional Middle East locations. A man’s night of video-gaming gets rudely interrupted as he’s targeted for assassination. The killer is notionally Black Spider, but this character is nothing like the grim, disciplined Batman foe, and a lot more like a certain web-spinner from New York City and a different company. Spider gets some help from a silhouetted form that is a major clue about something one of the heroes has been worried about. Jumping to Gotham, we see that Barbara Gordon has, indeed, been playing Oracle to Dick Grayson’s Nightwing, and that some version of The Killing Joke has happened in this world. Barbara, amusingly, is playing the same game as the earlier victim, and there’s another reference to the Good Goggles. I suspect I know what that’s leading up to, but we’ll see down the road, I guess. I do like Dick and Babs as a couple, so it’s nice to see that here.
Back in Happy Harbor, we get another example of just how limited Halo’s life experiences really are, with Brion providing some help. Following up on last episode, Forager arrives, having been given a crash-course in English via Miss Martian’s telepathy. Halo suddenly provides a weird, detailed batch of information about New Genesis when it’s mentioned, looking just as surprised by what she’s saying as everyone else. After some debate, a new housing arrangement gets put in place for Forager, and possibly Halo and Geo-Force as well. It’s a bit unclear, at least to me. Jefferson Pierce comes out of the house, gets startled, and provides a video chat with Dr. Jace, who is still not someone Brion wants to talk to. Dick makes the huge mistake of sharing information with the hot-headed (literally) Brion and expecting him not to act on it. The trio of recent arrivals decide it’s time to get in trouble and rush off on a rash mission, pretty much doing exactly what Dick told them not to. Really, what was the man expecting? He’s supposed to be an amazing leader, how did he not see this coming?
Oracle calls in with some information on Halo’s past, and the older heroes are happy to share the news… which is when they find out the others have gone. The fugitive three arrive at Infinity Island, and debate what Halo should call herself instead of focusing on the mission at hand. They run into an old man who proves to be the mysterious Sensei, and things go badly from that point forward. While Geo-Force does all manner of reckless things, the other group gets ready to go after their wayward friends. On his own, Sensei defeats the three heroes, and then gets some help to bring down Sphere. The rookies wake up in a cell, where some things prove to be not as bad as they thought, and then get worse again as we see the island is under the control of Ra’s al-Ghul, one of Batman’s most dangerous foes (unless you watch Arrow). Ra’s, voiced by the talented Oded Fehr, muses on resurrections and his own experiences with them
Almost immediately, the rescue gets underway as Nightwing, Tigress, Superboy, Black Lightning, and Miss Martian show up. Nightwing, not being a fool, knows who they are up against and just asks permission to leave. A fight breaks out, with a mysterious man in red and black fighting as well as Nightwing does, before Ra’s ends the fight. The villain makes some surprising statements about several things, and Nightwing grants that the man has flaws, but is not a liar. Tigress asks a few questions about who is in charge of one of the villain organizations, but Ra’s isn’t feeling talkative. After the heroes leave, Ra’s mystery man says something that pleases Ra’s and is sort of a clue as to who he might be, as is character name in the credits, “Red Hooded Ninja.” On the way home, Nightwing is put in charge of a newly evolving team, Halo gets some memories back, and makes her own decision about them, and we get a nod to both names Halo used in the comics.
What I liked: They touch on a lot of important events in this episode, giving us some clues about what happened in the various time jumps between seasons. I like seeing Dick and Barbara together, so that made me happy. Geo-Force is committed to his own mission, and I can respect that. Sensei’s effortlessly besting the superhumans shows just how dangerous he is, and Ra’s was perfect with quiet, understated menace without ever actually doing anything directly violent. I’m intrigued by Ra’s new operative, and foresee a lot of grief for Dick Grayson and the Bat-Clan. I’m glad Black Lighting is back in action and costume.
What I didn’t: Dick was just foolish if he thought Brion wasn’t going to act on what he was told. He really should know better. With the Outsiders subtitle for the season, we’ve now seen, at least in passing, the entire original lineup of that team but one. Bring him in, already. I think Brion is in for as much grief and shock as Dick is going to be.
This show continues to really impress me. I’m giving this a 4 out of 5. I think this is my favorite of all the hero shows I’m watching or have recently watched.