By: Nicole Dubuc

The Story: Beware the Jubjub bird, and shun the frumious Bandersnatch—and the Blue Sand Bog.

The Review: One of the big features of this new season, one I’m not sure I’ll find more enjoyable than irritating, is the weekly efforts to figure out what went down during those five years this show skipped over.  On the one hand, it gives us a reason to actively focus on every detail or sidebar the episode gives us in case we get some clues to the past.  On the other hand, this bit-by-bit gleaning of information can get a little taxing on your patience.

The big question, of course, is what exactly caused Superboy and Miss Martian to break up?  In real life, the most probable explanation is one of them cheated on the other (and if Lagoon Boy was involved at all, that makes Superboy’s grimace at seeing him and Megan make out all the more understandable).  The other major possibility is people grow up; things change; and it just didn’t work out.  When you have a clone and an alien dating, that possibility is pretty viable, too.

But in the world of animated superheroes, it takes something particularly drastic to break up a couple, especially one which the show’s creators downright foisted upon us, whether we supported it or not.  It invariably boils down to some elaborate, plotty misunderstanding driving them apart, or one party doing something despicable, leading the other to turn away in disgust and/or horror.  The end result almost always involves the couple getting back together once their mutual hang-ups have been cleared away, usually after some life-endangering incident.

So for any of you Connegan (Megonner?) fans out there, take heart; this episode offers plenty of hints that the star-crossed lovers will follow the same formula as any other superhero couple.  Despite Miss Martian’s new boyfriend, we can see lingering feelings between the two of them, specifically in the tender way they tell each other to be careful during the mission on Rann.  When Alanna, Adam Stranger’s romantic interest on Rann, asks Superboy how long he and Megan were together, he replies wistfully, “All my life,” a surprisingly touching response that reminds you he hasn’t actually lived for very long, so his first love will take some getting over.

Still, it’s clear Miss Martian is handling the separation a lot more smoothly, and not just because she has an undersea beau to lip-lock with.  She has Beast Boy, her surrogate little brother, to look after now (a situation brought about by some rather grim, suspicious circumstances).  Besides that major distraction, she’s also clearly grown in confidence, replacing her cutesiness with a much more tolerable spunk, and getting far bolder with her telepathic abilities than she was five years ago, leading to a fairly dark scene near the end of the episode which indicates she may be the “party doing something despicable” in the equation I mention above.

The rest of the episode is basically a long, action-packed set-up for a dramatic announcement of an upcoming revelation.  We really don’t learn anything new on Rann about the Krolotean invasion that we didn’t learn on Earth last episode, but at least we have enough activity and interaction going on to make the whole thing worthwhile.  The real value here are all the pieces of character exposition that get sprinkled throughout the episode: Superboy’s inability to age, Beast Boy losing his mom, etc.

Conclusion: You don’t really move forward in this episode, but you do get to trace your steps back a little bit and get a bigger picture of where the show’s been going all along.

Grade: B

– Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: – Love the redesign of Adam Strange’s costume, by the way.  I know hoodies are overused these days to create a false sense of edginess, but admittedly he does look more hip.

– Also love that Strange quotes “Jabberwocky” in an attempt to sound like a crazy person on Rann’s subway.  Come to think of it, that would probably work on Earth, too.

– Did Superboy have X-ray vision five years ago?  ‘Cause if not, that’s new.