Conner Kent's pet Sphere has undergone a startling transformation, bringing it to the attention of the Forever People of New Genesis. Turns out Sphere originally belonged to them... and they want it back!
The Team is sitting around looking depressed and absentminded, still shaken up after their traumatic virtual training simulation, while Captain Marvel, Martian Manhunter, and Red Tornado observe them. Batman teleports in and confesses he expected that the Team had gotten over it by now, Manhunter notes trauma is not easy to get over as he knows Batman was traumatized himself. Black Canary is giving a counseling session to Superboy, who doesn't want to address the fact that he witnessed all his comrades getting killed. He storms off telling Canary to leave him alone.
In a park, a flying vehicle storms out of an interdimensional portal carrying five teens—the Forever People—speaking an alien language. Their leader uses his Motherbox to adapt to the native tongue, camouflage extraterrestrial energy signatures, and scan the planet. They determine that the "New Genesphere" is on Earth and set off to retrieve it.
Back on Mount Justice, Superboy mounts his motorcycle and prepares to leave, but the Sphere blocks his path. He tells it to step aside, but it starts making engine noises and transforms into an advanced motorcycle. Superboy and Wolf take off in it. Batman calls him to return to the Cave but Superboy left his communicator behind.
Artemis is undergoing her counseling session with Black Canary and claims that she is not experiencing the same trauma as her teammates, because she became comatose before the simulation went haywire. She reluctantly admits that it's not a sign of weakness to open up to her friends and Black Canary points out that despite that she is still keeping secrets from her teammates. Artemis distressingly asks her not to tell them, to which Canary agrees, but suggests she tells them herself, starting by admitting she is not Green Arrow's niece. Artemis dismisses this postulation, imagining how Wally would react. Black Canary notices that she is worried about Wally's reaction in particular, leaving Artemis stumped.
Superboy is flying the Sphere around and decides to test its full potential, when he is intercepted by the Forever People, who demand the return of the "New Genesphere" along with the rest of the technology he stole from New Genesis. To be clear, the group's strongman says that the Sphere belongs to them and they want it back. However, the Sphere informs the group's leader (via Motherbox) that Superboy didn't steal it, but instead saved it. Upon this discovery, the strongman welcomes Superboy as an ally.
Aqualad meets Black Canary for his session and claims that he is not suitable for leadership because during the simulation he behaved like a soldier, sacrificing himself. He decides to resign as team leader, but after realizing that none of his teammates are fit to take his place—Artemis is too raw and untrusting, Kid Flash is too rash and impulsive, Miss Martian is too eager to please, Superboy carries too much anger, and Robin is too young—he is compelled to withdraw his resignation.
The Forever People tell Superboy that they are New Gods, and introduce themselves: Serifan, Dreamer, Moonrider, their leader Vykin. The strongman says he is named after an animal that does not exist on Earth, so he takes the name "Wolf". Superboy points out that his pet is named Wolf, so the strongman takes the name Bear instead. Vykin explains that his Motherbox has tracked stolen Genesisian technology and they head off to its latest finding: a rescue drill beneath a construction site, next to Metropolis Federal Reserve. They realize the drill is being used to steal money and Serifan wants to take them head on, but Superboy suggests a more cautious course of action. Vykin agrees to follow his lead.
Three gang members are standing watch as the mother of one of them arrives to give him his jacket. Bewildered by the peculiar situation, the robber doesn't realize his two colleagues being subdued by Moonrider. Before he can figure out what's going on, the "mother" turns into Dreamer and Vykin knocks the baffled robber out. Then, they descend the tunnel and find a group of criminals—Intergang— lead by Whisper A'Daire and "Ugly" Mannheim, loading gold onto their trucks. Vykin steps in, against Superboy's suggestion, and demands the return of the stolen drill. Superboy declares that the gold must be restored as well, and a battle ensues. Mannheim attacks the heroes with high-tech weapons, firing a barrage of energy discs that subdue Vykin and ensnare Moonrider. Serifan neutralizes a few of the discs, but all of the villains are armed with similar tech, which Dreamer recognizes as coming from Apokolips, their rival world. While Bear charges at Intergang and gets sunk in quicksand, Serifan manages to free Vykin from the energy discs.
Meanwhile, back at the Cave, Black Canary is cynical of Wally's nonchalant attitude regarding the trauma of being killed in the virtual reality exercise. When Canary asks if he wants to address his extreme reaction to Artemis's death, Wally chokes on the popcorn he was chomping down. He tries to deflect her by changing the subject, and Canary declares that he is in denial.
In the underground tunnel, Vykin decides to take the fight outside so as to gain the upper hand. Intergang follows them but the Sphere wards them off. While the villains are occupied, Vykin announces that it's time and the Forever People raise their hands, shout "Tarru", and merge into Infinity-Man. The behemoth easily fends off Intergang's attacks and strips them of their weapons. "Ugly" Mannheim retreats into a portal, leaving Whisper behind.
After doing away with the drill, Infinity-Man reverts into the Forever People, and Dreamer explains that they merged to become part of the Source and greater than their individual selves. Vykin wonders how Intergang acquired both Genesisian and Apokoliptan technology. They turn to Whisper for information, and Dreamer uses her powers to reveal the identity of their supplier—Desaad. She explains to Superboy that the New Gods come from two twin homeworlds—New Genesis, home of the Gods of life, and Apokolips, home of the Gods of the anti-life. Desaad is Apokolips's god scientist and chief torturer.
At his counseling session, Robin pours out his soul to Black Canary. He confesses he had always wanted to be leader, but when he finally became one (in the simulation) he hated having to send his comrades to their deaths. He goes on to say he had expected to eventually become Batman, but now he no longer wants to because he doesn't have what it takes to sacrifice everything and everyone for the sake of the mission.
Vykin informs Superboy that Motherbox tracked more Apokoliptan technology to a hangar. Superboy can't detect any heat signatures, but still they tread carefully and go inside disguised as two Intergang members. Superboy determines that the hangar is deserted, and Dreamer lifts her illusion, unveiling their presence. However, Intergang was there all along, and Mannheim explains that their tech masks heat signatures and filters out illusions.
Another battle breaks out, but Vykin realizes that Intergang's artillery is impervious to his magnetic powers, so he decides to become Infinity-Man again. In the middle of their transformation, Desaad, who had been posing as one of the thugs, steps out of his disguise and hands a Fatherbox to Mannheim. He hurls it into Infinity-Man, taking control over him. Desaad orders Infinity-Man to slay Superboy and Wolf. Superboy is knocked outside next to Sphere, who retreats.
Back at the Cave, Miss Martian takes responsibility for turning the simulation into a nightmare, and as she talks, her skin color turns Caucasian. As Black Canary points out that she turned white, Miss Martian stands up in a jolt, only to realize that Canary meant Caucasian. After recomposing herself, Miss Martian sits down again and says she is fine with being her human alter ego, but cannot be trusted to use her other powers. Black Canary empathizes with her, but explains that going against her nature is not the solution. She suggests Miss Martian should train with her uncle until she gains control and regains her confidence.
Superboy and Wolf are overpowered by the Infinity-Man, and Desaad expresses his satisfaction with the ordeal. While the behemoth is hammering vigorously at Superboy, the Sphere returns and latches itself onto Infinity-Man, overriding Fatherbox, and gaining control of the giant. Superboy leaps onto the Sphere and takes control of Infinity-Man. Intergang opens fire at them but Superboy disposes of the crooks with ease. Mannheim turns to Desaad, who opens a portal and declares that "all will suffer", before throwing a grenade at them. The blast damages the Sphere, releasing Infinity-Man, who reverts to the Forever People. Vykin uses the Motherbox to repair the Sphere and announces they will take it back to New Genesis. Superboy insists he must keep it, because they bonded. Vykin agrees to let him have it.
At Mount Justice, Red Tornado and Captain Marvel examine the Sphere and Martian Manhunter asks Batman what he expects to find. He says that everything in Superboy's report warrants investigation. Meanwhile, Superboy had resumed his therapy session with Black Canary and explains that despite witnessing the death of everyone in the simulation, he felt at peace because he achieved what he has longed for the most—to know what it's like to be Superman. He is guilt-stricken for being happy while everyone else was dead or traumatized and wonders how he can get over that feeling. Black Canary tells him that admitting it is the first step.
The title means "not functioning in a normal, orderly, or healthy way" and it may refer to the state of the Team who is still shaken up (perhaps struggling with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) after the traumatizing events of the previous episode, where Miss Martian made a deadly simulation seem very real. Also, it may refer to the Sphere, which exhibits new abilities, and to Infinity-Man, which is momentarily overridden and acts against his will by the end of the episode.
Cast and characters
- The episode picks up after the events of "Failsafe", with both the Team and the Justice League in shock from the results.
- Wally still has the cast after he broke his arm against the Injustice League in "Revelation".
- Black Canary states that Artemis is not Green Arrow's niece which was a cover established in Young Justice #8 and exposed by Red Arrow (to Artemis only) in "Infiltrator".
- Superboy states that when he first opened his eyes in his Cadmus pod he wanted and feared that he would know what it feels like to be Superman as stated by him in "Fireworks".
- The Forever People state that they have to find the Sphere that was stolen from them, which happened in "Bereft".
- Also in "Bereft", L-4 alluded to more technology coming their way, which was featured prominently in this episode.
|New Genesisian||Bear: Hero Danjar!||We have arrived on Earth!|
|Serifan: Zon! Nos kemnos! Danjar tharan, thanka, tabore...||Yes! Just as I imagined it! Earth's beautiful, flora and fauna...|
- Main title clips:
- "Ugly" Mannheim sneers about being more successful than his father. In the comics, Mannheim took over Intergang from his father, "Boss Moxie" Mannheim.
- This episode is featured on Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets.
- The therapy sessions are nods to the stages of grief, Kid Flash and Artemis being denial, Superboy in anger, Robin in bargaining, and Aqualad and Miss Martian in depression. When the episode wraps up, Superboy is shown to be the final stage, which is acceptance.
- Desaad's line "Kill the boy, and his little dog too" is a reference to The Wizard of Oz when the Wicked Witch of the West threatens Dorothy.
- When the Forever People follow Superboy underground, Moonrider is beside Dreamer while Vykin is beside Serifan. However, in the next shot, Vykin and Moonrider have switched places.
- The hand that holds the scanner to examine Sphere is not Red Tornado's.
- Superboy claimed that he watched both Artemis and Kaldur die. However, he did not watch Aqualad die in front of him because he was already transported to the Cave by then.
- For complete answers to the questions in this section, click here.
- Why did Miss Martian freak out when Black Canary said she turned white? (Answer)
- What secrets was Artemis referring to when she was talking to Black Canary? (Answer #1, Answer #2)
- Who is Desaad's master? (Answer)
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