- A mysterious voice describes the beginning of the universe and the creation of the Lords of Order and Chaos. The Lords were charged with the protection of the sacred balance between order and chaos, lest an imbalance lead to the destruction of this universe, as happened to the one before it. The voice suggests there is no moral judgement in this, unless good is the balance itself, and evil the undoing of that balance.
Zatanna casts a spell, causing a group of Trogowogs to emerge from a manhole. Thirteen, Khalid Nassour and Mary Bromfield all use their magical abilities to trap one each into boxes; Traci using her bad luck magic to blast one with a burst fire hydrant, Khalid using his nature magic to bend a tree branch to hit one; and Mary absorbing power from ley lines and invoking the speed of Mercury to cause one to accelerate out of control. Traci's familiar Leroy spots more Trogs, and the trio each capture one more; Traci using urban magic to bend road markings, Khalid inflating one's belly, and Mary invoking the strength of Hercules to allow her to bend a lamp post to bring one down.
Traci congratulates the others, though Khalid has to correct the pronunciation of his name. Zatanna appears and notes that while they are becoming great Sentinels of Magic, they need to work on their observation skills. She levitates three more Trogs that they missed, before entrapping them and sending them all back beneath the earth and ending the glamour that had kept them all hidden from public view. She critiques her students' performance: noting that Traci needs to put more effort into her urban magic rather than relying on her bad luck powers; that Khalid needs to remember to fix the changes he makes with his magic, as she bends the tree back to its original shape; and that Mary needs to stop thinking like a superhero and get more imaginative than just using or granting superheroic abilities. The trio are disappointed, but Zatanna tells them not to let constructive criticism get them down and, after a thoughtful pause, calls them her best students. Traci notes they are her only students.
In the heavens, a Lord of Chaos floats down to Earth. It stops atop a Manhattan skyscraper and emits a wave of energy, causing a temporary power cut in the area. Zatanna and her students sense the wave, but have no idea what it is.
From his headquarters, Vandal Savage chairs a video conference of the Light. Zviad Baazovi reports on the success of the meta-human operation in Markovia. Since all the subjects are volunteers, there is no crime, and Helga Jace has acted as a real mother to all the metas she and Ultra-Humanite have created. Savage asks about Secretary-General Troia's plans to have United Nations inspectors check the operation, but before Zviad can fully answer, the wave reaches Klarion, who reacts in near panic and leaves. While Zviad laughs it off, Savage appears concerned.
- The voice narrates the story of Vandar Adg who, 12,000 years ago, established a village for his children, meta-humans. He planned it to be a utopia for his children and those he had taken in. Eventually, Vandar left to conquer more territory, then returned to find the village in ruins. Most of the population had been slaughtered, and atop a pile of corpses sat a laughing Klarion.
Back at the Premiere Building, Andie is cleaning out the spoiled food from the fridge. Blue Devil notes that it's Garfield's turn to clean the fridge, but Andie says he was so tired that she volunteered to do it for him. In his bedroom, Gar lies wide awake.
Back in Manhattan, Zatanna and her students are at a carousel. She tells them to climb aboard and casts a spell to make their seats fly. Mary notes that they could have taken the subway, but Zatanna doesn't see the fun in that. En route, Khalid asks Mary about Zatanna's earlier comments about her being a superhero. Mary explains that she was a hero once and part of the Team. With a little help from Traci, she explains that she has a third of the power of Shazam, but she was just a kid and not ready for such power, so she had to give it up.
As they come in for a landing, they are almost hit by a school bus. They finally do touch down, and Khalid wonders what a school bus is doing there at that time of night. Zatanna sends back the carousel seats and tells her students she has brought them to meet a friend, before taking them into the parlor of Madame Xanadu. Xanadu emerges to meet them and, before Zatanna can introduce them, names each of her students and welcomes them.
- The voice continues narrating the story of Vandar Adg, who attacks Klarion but is easily killed, only to spring to life once more. Vandar realized his foe was not mortal, not even a meta, but something more ancient and fundamental to the universe.
At the Fine Jewelry store in Manhattan, the Lord of Chaos approaches the display of the Star of Atlantis and hits it with a beam of energy, causing the huge, flawed crystal to grow and break apart, until it forms a golem. The Lord of Chaos touches the golem, and transforms into a young, blonde girl. She thanks the golem for becoming her anchor to the mortal plane, and gives it a name in return, Flaw. She has Flaw kneel and carves a crude face into its "head". A security guard calls out to her, inadvertently naming her Child. In thanks for the name, Child rewards the guard by having Flaw kill him. The splatter of blood prompts her to wonder what her adorable new human form might look like on the inside.
Back at the Premiere Building, Blue Devil stops Gar as he enters the elevator, wanting to check in in his capacity as den mother. Gar claims to be fine, but Devil notes that not only has he not been going on missions, he has been skipping his chores, which is unlike him. Gar assures him he is just tired and that he will get on top of the chores. Devil is unconvinced, but lets Gar go.
At Xanadu's parlor, Khalid hears music and wonders where it is coming from. Xanadu tells him it is from Preservation Hall across the street. Khalid is confused; Preservation Hall is in New Orleans. Xanadu affirms this and directs him to the window.
The students look out to see the bustling street that is unmistakably New Orleans. Zatanna explains that they entered through the Harlem door, one of many that all lead to the parlor in New Orleans. Mary thinks the parlor looks more like a tourist trap, and Xanadu admits it was once. Then she lights a candle and blows the smoke to Mary, who upon inhaling it begins robotically reciting Xanadu's story: she had once been a charlatan, unaware of her true powers, but an encounter with Kent Nelson and Abra Kadabra inspired her to become a true seer and medium, the greatest on Earth.
Xanadu says she knows why they are here; the mystic pulse. She had lost track of it, but she was able to send them to the last known location of its cause. Xanadu casts a spell, causing the parlor's doorway to glow. As Zatanna and her students go to leave, Xanadu reminds them she expects payment; favors don't pay the bills. Zatanna pays her, and before she leaves Xanadu warns her that whatever the pulse was, it was unlike anything she had felt in this lifetime. Zatanna and her students go through the portal, emerging in Fine Jewelry, and are shocked to see a grotesque display of the dissected corpse of the security guard.
- The voice continues Vandar Adg's story. Over three hundred days and nights, Klarion killed Vandar in three hundred different ways until, finally, he became intrigued with the immortal mortal. Klarion learned that mortals could be of interest to him, and Vandar learned of the Lords of Order and Chaos. Seeing potential value in such an entity, Vandar urged Klarion not to kill any more of his people. Klarion was dismissive at first, but Vandar asked him to meet him here in the village of Atlantis in one thousand years and he would give him a reason to listen to him. Klarion agreed and departed.
Back at Fine Jewelry, the team are still in shock. Khalid says the display reminds him of first year medical school. Zatanna agrees, something inhuman wanted to know what makes them tick. Suddenly, Klarion teleports in, and he and Zatanna blame each other for the guard. Zatanna summons an ankh to banish Klarion but he easily dismisses it; he will not be fooled again after being trapped in the Tower of Fate for 16 days last time. He fires an energy beam at the group, which Zatanna blocks with a magic shield. Zatanna has her protégés pool their energy into her, but it is not enough as Klarion increases the power, shattering the shield and blasting them to the floor. Klarion is ready to kill them all.
Meanwhile, Garfield goes to a pharmacy where he purchases some sleep aids.
At Fine Jewelry, Mary rises and draws power from Klarion, then summons the strength of Hercules and punches Klarion, sending him flying into the wall to melt into a puddle. He reconstitutes himself as Zatanna and the others recover their feet. Klarion blasts Mary, until Zatanna conjures portals to redirect the beam back onto Klarion. With Klarion distracted, Zatanna urges Khalid to attack Teekl, Klarion's anchor. Khalid's spell causes Teekl to pass out. Klarion begins to fade in and out of existence, until he attacks Khalid, telekinetically throwing him around the room. When he throws Khalid hard toward the outer wall, Traci casts a spell to part the wall, allowing Khalid a somewhat softer landing outside.
Child and Flaw teleport to a crossroads. Child can taste Klarion here, a taste of disappointment. Back at Fine Jewelry, Teekl recovers, as does Klarion, who then creates clones of himself, and they each go to strangle Zatanna and her students.
At Roanoke, Child conjures a summoning circle. As Zatanna, her students and even Leroy, now under Teekl's paw, struggle for breath, Child flicks Flaw's face, sending out a sound wave that makes the Klarions burst into simultaneous complaint. The clones merge back into one Klarion, who laments that he had wanted to kill the children but now had to go, before teleporting out. He arrives at the summoning circle.
Atop Khüiten Peak, Vandal Savage listens as the Phantom Stranger finishes narrating Vandar's—Vandal's—story; that the danger from the Lord of Chaos had been at least temporarily averted, and a bond forged between the immortal mortal and an elemental force of the cosmos. Savage asks why the Stranger tells him what he already knows. The Stranger explains that he seeks to remind Vandal of that which must not be forgotten. Turning away, Savage demands the Stranger for once abandon his enigmas and say what he really means, only to turn back and find himself alone.
End credits scene: Saturn Girl and Chameleon Boy watch an episode of Space Trek 3016 while eating Chicken Whizees on a public bench opposite The Luthor Grande Hotel in Metropolis. Tork can be heard making an inspirational speech to Der'Chow.
This title, like Zatanna's spells, is written backwards, translating into "Undo!". It can refer to Zatanna teaching her protégés to fix the damage they cause with their magic. Moreover, Phantom Stranger wonders if evil is the undoing of the sacred balance between opposing forces and, in the flashback, Vandar Adg's utopia was undone by Klarion.
Cast and characters
- Zviad Baazovi informs the Light that Ultra-Humanite and Helga Jace have been working together to activate the Meta-Gene of refugees in Markovia. It was established in "Unknown Factors" that Ultra-Humanite mentored Helga at some point in her career. They have been using Tar to accomplish this, which was the same procedure she used when she worked for the Bedlam Syndicate. Zviad also remarks how motherly she has been to the new metas, apparently oblivious of her personality disorder revealed in "Antisocial Pathologies".
- According to Vandal Savage, Troia is now the new United Nations Secretary General, following Lex Luthor's ousting in "Nevermore".
- Garfield is steeping into a depression. His declining mental health was established in "Volatile" and the loss of Superboy in "Involuntary" escalated it. The early signs were first hinted in "Artemis Through the Looking-Glass".
- Mary Bromfield chooses the tiger on the carousel and calls it "Mr. Tawny", a nod to the tiger with the same name met by Captain Marvel in "Alpha Male".
- Madame Xanadu, through her spell, explains that she was a charlatan whose power remained dormant, until an encounter with Kent Nelson and Abra Kadabra made her want to become a powerful psychic, an encounter that occurred in "Denial".
- Zatanna tries the same spell she used in "Early Warning" against Klarion to trap him to the Tower of Fate. This time he easily deflects it and reveals it took him 16 days to escape.
- Klarion tells Khalid Nassour that his type "always goes for the cat", referring to the previous occasions in which his opponents tried to harm him by attacking his anchor to the mortal plane, notably in "Denial", "Misplaced" and "Early Warning".
- Child is able to "taste" Klarion in Roanoke Island, where he cast his reality splitting spell in "Misplaced".
- Number 16:
- According to Greg Weisman, the word "Marvel" became off-limits as of season three. This is why Captain Marvel was renamed Shazam and why Mary Bromfield balked halfway through stating her previous moniker, Sergeant Marvel.
- Zatanna and her protégés almost crash into a school bus. This running gag has been recurring going since season one.
- This episode finally pays off Madame Xanadu's magic background set up in her debut episode, which aired eleven years before. Back then, Greg Weisman had teased "there's obviously more to her story than we've revealed so far".
- Saturn Girl and Chameleon Boy are sitting in the same bench where Jefferson Pierce and Helga Jace ate a hot dog in "Private Security".
|Zatanna||Sgowogort egreme rednu a Ruomalg!||Trogowogs emerge under a Glamour!|
|Sexob enibmoc.||Boxes combine.|
|Sgowogort, nruter ot eht Htrae!||Trogowogs, return to the Earth!|
|Ruomalg hsinav!||Glamour vanish!|
|Erotser erutan!||Restore nature!|
|Ylf, ym seitterp!||Fly, my pretties!|
|Yenom no eht elbat.||Money on the table.|
|Rehtaf, ediug ym yenruoj hguorht S'etaf Yloh Hkna!||Father, guide my journey through Fate's Holy Ankh!|
|Slatrop, tcerider rewop!||Portals, redirect power!|
- On the map of Louisiana erected in Madame Xanadu's store:
- Plaquemines Parish is missing.
- There are no borders marked between Ascension and East Baton Rouge Parishes, as well as between Iberia and Lower St. Martin Parishes.
- Mary Bromfield alludes to Mary Poppins, the magical nanny from P. L. Travers's book series, popularized by the 1964 Disney film.
- Klarion's line "You want my power? You can't handle my power!" echoes Tom Cruise and Jack Nicholson's famous scene from A Few Good Men in which the former says "I want the truth!" and the latter retorts "You can't handle the truth!".
- For complete answers to the questions in this section, click here.
- Why did Mary Bromfield feel that she "had to" give up her power? (Answer)
- Why is Klarion afraid of Child? (Answer)
- Why does Phantom Stranger want to remind Vandal Savage of his history with Klarion? (Answer)
"I Know Why the Caged Cat Sings"