ficticons: Venus, from the Marvel Comic Agents of Atlas, jumping for joy. (venus yay)
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Look at Kaldur’s face when Bats manages to take Clayface out with electricity! Something he can create!

Batman: “I need to speak to Aqualad.”
*AL and Robin stay*
Batman: “Just Aqualad.”
*Robin moves away, looking back at AL plenty of times before he’s out of view.*
Clearly an interesting relationship between the oldest YJer and the youngest! Also, Robin probably knows what it’s like to be on the grumpy side of Batman, so he can sympathize there. :)

Batman: “The team performed...adequately. The problem is you. Your head is not in the game.”
AL: “You are...” *sigh* “...correct.”
<3 maturity.

Poseidonis! :D Interesting. Also interesting that there’s a teleporter that goes directly there.

Aqualad’s number is B02.

Aquaman’s name is “Orin”. I wonder what happened to the "Arthur Curry" side of him, then.

“Annex” means “King” in Atlantean. :D

GARTH! :D The (New-)Teen-Titans Aqualad exists! At least in name, anyway.

He and Kaldur, students at the Conservatory for Sorcery – a place we heard referenced in the last episode! – saved Aquaman from Ocean Master one day. In gratitude, the king offered them both the chance to become his protégé.

Garth declined to continue his studies, but Kaldur took him up on his offer - and became Aqualad.

Mera! Is that Mera? I hope so! Whoever she is, she’s the Queen. She’s also a teacher at the Conservatory, instructing students – Garth and Tula, an Atlantean girl – in combat sorcery. :D

Kaldur’s been on the Surface two months.

Oh-oh! Are Garth and Tula together now when they weren’t earlier (i.e. before Kaldur left)?

Orm is a prince. I wonder if he’s Orin’s brother here...

LOL at poor Kon, covered in ingredients! :P And the way Tornado looks into the room and M’gann and Kon act like it’s all fine and there’s nothing strange going on at all. XD

Ooh. New Atlantean baddie! Interesting. Something big is happening in Poseidonis tonight.

FINALLY we get to see Dick without his sunglasses! :D He’s training in one of the rooms at Wayne Manor and we see that he’s not too pleased that Bats wanted to see “just Aqualad” earlier.

Bruce was watching the whole thing...and then invites Dick to play one-on-one basketball, saying it’s “training...hand-eye coordination.”
SO MUCH LOVE for this. Friendly, down-to-earth, and clearly-caring (and knowing-how-to-parent!) Bruce is awesome.

Ooh. Kaldur’s been thinking of rejoining the Conservatory in Poseidonis...but Mera (who else can a red-haired, green-wearing Sea Queen be?) reminds him that he’s behind and won’t be at Tula and Garth’s level any more. Kaldur hopes – with a significant look at Tula – that he’ll be able to get a tutor.

Central City – Wally’s home. Lots of Flash-family cameos here – Barry (in civvies), his wife Iris, Wally of course, Wally’s (unnamed) parents, and...JAY and JOAN GARRICK! :D <3 love love love. Particularly love that they’re all together for Jay’s birthday.

Mera’s pregnant! Tula at once rushes to congratulate her – she’s clearly very fond of her teacher. As Kaldur congratulates Orin, he says “an heir to the throne after so long...” and then hastily apologizes to Orm, who *is* Orin’s brother here.

Orin (to Kaldur): “Swim with me.” XD love it.

Poseidonis has pretty gardens! Reminds me of the beauty of the underwater gardens in...the new Atlantean city Namor formed – and the Agents of Atlas toured – in Agents of Atlas #6/7.

The difference between Kaldur’s physiology and that of the other Atlanteans is clear(er than usual) here. He has sort of webbed fingers - and gills - that Tula and the others don’t appear to have.

That’s a gentle, frank, not-drawn-out admission of love by Kaldur and a similar denial of a reciprocal love (and reveal of her side) by Tula. It’s a fabulously fresh way to handle the situation and I like it.

Interesting imagery there! The world is literally falling down around Kaldur D: . Poor guy!

LOVING the badass sorcery by Mera and Tula. They’re awesome!

Tula's been hit! D: I hope she’s okay by the end of the episode! D:

Mera (pronounced “Mee-ra”): “I need no protection! Go!” [to the Science Center, where an interesting creature is being studied]
And I believe it, too! But Orm feels it’s his duty to stay by his brother’s wife to keep her and her unborn child safe – so Kaldur volunteers to go. Garth wants to come as well, but Kaldur tells him his “place is with Tula.” :|

Artemis lives in Gotham! Oooh, interesting. She’s clearly not as connected to Ollie – at least as explicitly – as she probably wants to project.

Her mother, an (East?) Asian woman from (presumably) a not-well-off background, is a wheelchair user.

Artemis - who apparently doesn't use a codename, just her real one (hmmm...) - has been offered a place in Gotham Academy via a Wayne Foundation scholarship...but she doesn’t want to leave Gotham North, where she has friends. But when her mother reminds her of the opportunities that the Academy (clearly a more elite school) presents – and says she’ll have to quit her “extracurriculars” if she doesn’t go – Artemis agrees (but not happily) to go “for you”.

Garth’s come, at Mera’s urging, to help Kaldur.

Interesting that Black Manta (the villain) uses his ship to melt through the Science Center’s dome instead of just breaking through.

Hmm. Did Manta just refer to Aquaman as ‘Arthur’?

LOL at Kaldur repeating Batman’s “get your head in the game” to Garth :P

Garth: “I summon the Tempest!”
XD shout-out to what DCU Garth would take as a ‘grown up’ name? Or just literally a tempest, a fierce storm? Or both? :D

Whew. Tula’s survived...

...but the Atlantean Science Center didn’t. A little bit of the creature did, though, and it’s already regenerating. Orm suggests that the Surface World might be a good place for it to be studied and Aquaman agrees.

Tula: “Kaldur, I...we...”
Kaldur: “I wish you both nothing but the best.”
<3 <3 <3 fabulous. Fabulous! Now all three – Tula, Kaldur, and Garth – are still friends.

Kaldur (to Garth, before he leaves): “Have you ever wondered what would have happened if I had stayed behind...and you had become Aqualad?”
Garth: “Never.”
Kaldur: “No. Neither have I.”
While it’s clearly not true for Kaldur, I like that he now has a sense of purpose – being with the YJers “one hundred percent”, as he tells Batman seconds later – that isn’t conflicted. That’s admirable in many many ways.

Ooh, Black Manta was working for the Light!

Manta: “I was unable to secure the objective, and was forced to execute Plan B.”
A member of the Light: “You did well. Everything falls into place.”
Dun dun dun! (Yes, I'm using that a lot. Hopefully I'm not overdoing it, though...)

General Roundup:
In a word: FABULOUS.

This episode focuses mostly on Kaldur - including some of his origin story, which is nice to see because he's a character created for this show - and simultaneously introduces viewers to the Undersea parts of this Earth. We see Aquaman, his family, and other Atlanteans - interestingly diverse and very well-designed from an artistic viewpoint - and the network of relationships they have with one another. They have significant roles to play in this story and it is great. We also, as part of seeing this new part of the world in more detail, meet a water-based villain.

We do get to see the other YJers in their home environments too. We see this Bruce Wayne demonstrate (yet again) that he is a well-rounded character (and meet this 'verse's Alfred), see the Flash family in a warm and relaxed setting, see Artemis and her mother together (although they're in rather different circumstances than Dick or Wally and their folks, leaving plenty of room for story development), and see M'gann and Kon have a pleasant (well...mostly! XD) evening at Mount Justice.

Kaldur - who continues to be a firm favourite of mine - impressed me *highly* in this episode, which focuses on the characters individually while also tying nicely into the overall season's plot with a brief scene at the end.

Probably the best episode to date.
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