Episode 11 Review
Young Justice: Phantoms

Sometimes a little advice can break a vicious cycle but this week, we get a glimpse at the deadly consequences when those wise words were ignored by Marduk, Beast Boy, and Dr. Fate. A son dies a meaningless death. A leader's downward spiral leads an angry outburst. A major set of players get taken off the board permanently and the wolf is brought to the front door. In "Teg Ydaer!", listening to the wisdom of others would have prevented senseless tragedy yet yielded game changers that affected the balance of order and chaos on Earth across several millennia.

While Phantom Stranger and Jason Blood head out a recruiting tour for what will hopefully be an entertaining who's who of DC's supernatural community, the focus of the third entry of this arc is on Zatanna's Sentinels of Magic and they are put to the test by Dr. Fate to see if they are ready to face the forces of Chaos. On one hand, it is very easy to critique this episode as the typical middle of the arc padding that does very little to advance the main plot but on the other hand "Teg Ydaer!" provides much needed insight and context into the individual character arcs and back story of Thirteen, Khalid, and Mary since we are not privy to a conventional origin story for each of them. By experiencing the personal stakes of the three Sentinels, we learn they weren't just three random people stuffed into this story arc by Greg Wesiman and Brandon Vietti and there is a reason why Zatanna took them on as her proteges.

What's a supernatural arc without a little mythology? As Vandal's flashbacks continue, we're given some major exposition on the Lords of Order and the origin of Dr. Fate. In providing both context to and expanding on Vandal's flashback in last season's "Evolution," we see how one simple act of ignoring the logical advice of your son has crazy ramifications. Vandal, going by Marduk, ignores Nabu's protest over Klarion's offer of help. As a result, the Light engages in a tough battle against Starro and Nabu's life is lost. If Marduk heeded Nabu's words, imagine what would happened. The Light would have had no Starro to utilize against the Justice League during season one's events and heck, Dr. Fate may never have come to be. Echoing last week's "Esir Nomed!", Vandal suffers heartbreak over the loss of progeny just to advance his lust for conquest.

Beast Boy's struggles continue. Rather than see what's become of him, Beast Boy gets angry when teammates Wonder Girl, Stargirl, and El Dorado try to give him a "nudge" to wake up, literally and figuratively. However, that falls on deaf ears and Beast Boy storms off. And finally, the "A" word rears its ugly head in Beast Boy's last scene of the episode. A shot of many bottles and pills on his night stand connotes we're heading into a drug addiction phase. Addiction of another sort also comes to a head during Mary Bromfield's test. We learn what she was alluding to in the first episode of the arc when Mary mentioned she had to stop being a hero. She started to stay in the form of Sergeant Marvel and not changing back into Mary, addicted to the power of Shazam. Luckily, she heeded the advice of Billy Batson and Freddy Freeman and quit the hero life cold turkey. Thirteen is revealed to be dealing with failure on a daily basis and suffers from imposter syndrome. But more importantly, she never quits and keeps on training and getting back up when she's knocked down. Khalid literally and figuratively drowns in doubt over his parents' concern he isn't being responsible about living the better, safe life they worked so hard for him to have but he surfaces, certain that his path will be in forging a new one as both a doctor and a sorcerer who relies on his science, faith, and mysticism. To Dr. Fate's surprise, Zatanna did not choose them because they were abject failures in need to training so they wouldn't hurt themselves or others, but because of their undeniable resolve.

In an almost ironic fashion, Dr. Fate also had the same plan as Zatanna's initial one of letting the two Lords of Chaos fight each other then swoop in and wipe out the winner. And even more ironic, Nabu ignores Zatanna's pleas for help much like his father ignored his pleas in Babylon. On the mental plane, Zatara clues Nabu in that no man or agent of Order is an island unto himself. Nabu relies on others, namely the host's strength like Zatara, who finds his through his religious faith, and whether he knew it or not, that was the reason Dr. Fate was a member of the Justice Society of America in the World War II era and why he let Zatara push him to join the Justice League in present day. However, just as Nabu starts to see the light of reason, he's interrupted by perhaps one of the more brutal deaths of this series. Not to mention the implication that the Tower of Fate itself could be in real trouble with Child and Flaw at its doorstep no longer concerned with Klarion and Teekl.

"Teg Ydaer!" also had some interesting asides. "7,586 years after fall of Atlantis." "7,586" had to be Greg Weisman's doing as both the chronicler of the series's timeline but also if you are a regular on his Ask Greg website, you'll know he gets a little cheeky with answering timeline questions and sometimes gives odd numbers so we have to do the actual math. Also, wonder what Eric Lopez's reaction was when he learned he would debut in season 4 as a Blue Beetle puppet. Also noteworthy, it appears Lopez has taken over as the voice of Billy Batson or at least the younger version. And also going back to season one, a second Headmaster reference! Don't worry if you don't know who that off the top of your head (see what I did there?) is even if you're a DC fan. It was a pleasant surprise to have a quick cameo of the gods tied to the S.H.A.Z.A.M. acronym and we finally, finally get to see what Sergeant Marvel looks like. But not Freddy, well beggars can't be choosers. As of this review's posting, I'm not quite show why Khalid's mother's name was changed from Elizabeth in the comics to Jane for this series yet Muhammed is still Muhammed. There was an interesting tidbit when Muhammed says Khalid is following in the footsteps of "Jane's uncle". In the current comics, Khalid's mother is the niece of Kent Nelson which would explain Khalid's reaction to hearing his name earlier this arc. And lastly, that school bus. So are they victim to someone's magic spell gone wrong and doomed to an endless cycle of teleporting to random places?

In "Teg Ydaer!", it's clear a little advice could have gone a long way but not for the people who don't want to hear it. And as a result, some earth shattering revelations took place: Starro was brought to earth, Dr. Fate was created, Beast Boy gets even tragically worse, and Klarion and Teekl meet their brutal end. Let's hope the people Phantom Stranger and Jason Blood paid visits to are a lot more amiable and are ready to bust out the big guns to aid in preventing a new age of chaos...

Rating: 4.5 out of 5