Victor Stone reaches a crisis point. And he's not the only one...
As he walks through the streets of the city, Victor answers his phone and is annoyed when it turns out to be his father. Silas states he didn't want to spend the new year without him, but Victor lashes out over his past neglect and orders him not to contact him. After hanging up, Victor grimaces in pain and passes out in an alley.
Forager spots Victor lying on the ground and is shocked by what he sees. He takes an unconscious Victor back with him to the the Hub, waking Helga Jace, Brion and Tara. Jace then removes his hood, revealing that the Fatherbox tech is spreading, threatening to consume Victor's body until he's nothing but a walking, talking Fatherbox.
His friends quickly get him into the medbay. Jace assures him that his condition seems stable, but Victor begs to differ. Superboy turns up with Dreamer of the Forever People. She scans Victor with her Motherbox, which diagnoses that his only hope is plugging him into Metron's Mobius Chair.
Suddenly, Tara and Forager call out that Violet has vanished, prompting Jace to step outside. They show Artemis a farewell letter from Halo. Artemis remarks that she knew something's been bothering Violet but she wouldn't open up to her. Jace admits that she had talked to Violet and never considered her running away. Tara then explains that Halo told her and Brion about Gabrielle's role in their parents' assassination. Artemis argues that Violet should not feel responsible for Gabrielle's actions. She asks Jace to attend to Victor while she tries to find Violet. Forager and Tara decline to prepare for school, the former wanting to help Victor and the latter wanting to make amends with Violet.
Dreamer advises Victor to avoid any form of stress, lest he aggravates his condition. She loans her Motherbox to Superboy and opens a boom tube back to New Genesis, remarking that Bear physically assaulted Metron, thus the presence of the Forever People might not be helpful. After her departure, Superboy has Motherbox open another boom tube to Metron's location. Jace asks Black Lightning to be careful and gives him a kiss. Superboy, Black Lightning and Forager then step through the boom tube.
Emerging from the boom tube in the middle of a tunnel, the trio spot Metron and follow him. Upon exiting the tunnel, they find themselves standing on the Source Wall.
At Happy Harbor High School, Megan and Harper Row are in her office, facing each other in silence. When Megan spots a bruise on her lower neck, Harper defensively claims that it's from roughhousing with her brother Cullen, though Megan doesn't believe her. Harper tries to change the subject and asks what happened to Violet. Upon being told that her friend had run away and asked if she knew her whereabouts, Harper insists that she honestly knows nothing. She then remarks that it must be nice to have people worried about oneself.
At Conner and Megan's house, Artemis and Tara talk to Sphere, asking if she can help find Violet. Sphere transforms into the Super-Cycle, which they take as a yes.
Madia Daou is cooking in the kitchen while her nephew, Samad Daou, is reading the newspaper at the table. There is a knock at the door. Samad looks through the peephole and is surprised to see Violet. Madia embraces her, calling her "Gabrielle". Violet responds by calling her "mother".
At STAR Labs, Aquaman is standing by a Zeta-Beam with a tank of water next to him, containing the gilled girl. Aquaman asks her if she is sure that this is what she wants. The girl silently nods. Aquaman acknowledges her bravery before signaling to Eduardo Dorado Sr. to turn the Zeta-Tube on. Aquaman pushes the tank into the beam.
Aquaman and the girl arrive in the ocean. He frees her from the tank, before casting a translation spell, then addressing her. The girl is surprised at Aquaman apparently speaking Hindi, but he explains that they are both speaking Atlantean. Amazed that she can now be understood, she hugs him.
At the Hub, Victor is lying on a medical bed when he hears the Zeta-Tube announce the arrival of his father. Suddenly enraged, Victor rises but Dr. Jace tries to keep him down. Silas states he called in a favor but is shocked to see that the Fatherbox has spread over his son's body. As Victor blames his father for his condition, the Fatherbox begins to spread again.
At the Source Wall, Conner, Forager, and Jefferson watch as Metron leaves through a boom tube. Conner orders the Motherbox to follow Metron. The Motherbox creates another boom tube, and the three jump inside.
Back at the Hub, Victor is lying down again. Silas suggests to Helga that they put him into a medically induced coma. He also begs Victor to trust him. Helga brings over a sedative, and Silas suggests that he should be the one to do it. He injects Victor with the needle and Victor falls asleep. Helga's phone rings and she leaves the room.
At the Minosyss Ring, a group of Parademons take out Superman. Conner launches Forager at them as Jefferson strikes them with lightning. Superman and Conner embrace after the Parademons are down. Superman explains that when the Justice League was stopping an Apokoliptan raid, the Parademons attacked them long enough for the Furies escape with some minerals from a mine. He assures them that the League will get them next time. Suddenly, Metron appears, informing them that there will be no next time. He explains that the mineral stolen was the final element that Desaad and Granny Goodness required for their device. Jefferson is stunned at the news.
Out of nowhere, Conner asks Superman if he would be his best man at his wedding. While Metron studies the "one point five" Kryptonians, Forager approaches him and asks him to come back with them to help Victor. Metron declines, saying that that is not his function. Jefferson explains to him that Victor is being eaten by a Fatherbox. This arouses Metron's interest and he agrees to return with them. Satisfied, Conner asks the Motherbox to take them home. Another boom tube opens and the three, along with Metron, travel through.
Back at Happy Harbor High, Megan is still speaking with Harper. She explains to Harper that she saw her brother recently and noticed that he had a black eye. Harper, again, says that she and Cullen were roughhousing. She explains to Megan that she knows everything she says will be reported to the authorities, and if Megan does so, she and her brother will wind up in foster care and separated.
In Dhabar, Violet tells her mother that she is dying. Samad suggests doing whatever they can to raise enough money for healthcare, but Violet assures him that she has already been to the best doctor and nothing can be done. She explains that she only came to say goodbye.
In Poseidonis, Aquaman introduces the gilled girl to King Orin. He realizes that he doesn't know the girl's name and asks for it, but she doesn't want to reveal it. King Orin accepts her response and offers her a new life in Atlantis. The gilled girl asks King Orin what made him stop being Aquaman. King Orin explains that ruling Atlantis was more than enough responsibility, and that he had always intended for Kaldur'ahm to become the next Aquaman when he was ready. King Orin then congratulates Aquaman on his work in the Justice League, and the reputation of their new team, the Outsiders. He especially compliments the Outsiders on their recent confrontation with Professor Ivo. The gilled girl notices Aquaman flinch at the mention of Ivo's name.
Back at the Hub, Helga hangs up her phone and sees Brion outside on the balcony. She joins him and says that she knows that the news about Gabrielle and his parents is difficult. She tries to cheer him up by saying that his parents would be so proud of everything that he has accomplished: becoming a hero, finding and rescuing Tara, and the promising signs he's been showing as a great leader. She explains that his actions have reached Markovia and his people are beginning to remember their love for him. Brion smiles.
Inside, Forager, Superboy, and Jefferson arrive with Metron to find Silas watching over his unconscious son. Forager introduces Silas to them as Metron approaches Victor's bed. Jefferson assures Silas that Metron is here to save Victor. However, Metron corrects Jefferson by saying that he's not here to help Victor, but to watch him die. He explains that he has never seen a Fatherbox completely override an organic system, and that such a thing is worth studying. Jefferson quietly comments to Superboy that they don't actually need Metron, only his chair. Smiling, Superboy grabs Metron and pulls him out of the chair. Metron blows Superboy into the wall, and Jefferson attacks Metron with electricity, forcing him to the ground. Brion and Helga enter the room to see what the commotion is. Jefferson tells Brion to get Victor into Metron's chair.
Back in Poseidonis, Aquaman introduces the gilled girl to his parents, Calvin Durham and Sha'lain'a. The two welcome her and assure her that they can help her adapt to Atlantis. The gilled girl thanks them both and asks if she can speak to Aquaman alone. Once his parents have left, Aquaman asks if she is unhappy with the arrangement. The gilled girl explains that she believes that Aquaman is the one that is unhappy. She reveals that she knows he lied to King Orin, and that he thinks he is a bad man as a result. She tells him that she has known bad men, and bad men don't feel bad when they lie. She kisses Aquaman on the cheek before swimming off.
At Happy Harbor High, Megan talks to Harper about the gun that she and Violet were using. Harper explains that it was Violet's gun. Playing along, Megan asks why she would have the gun, hypothetically. Humoring her, Harper suggests that Violet may have wanted to get the gun out of the house so that the alcoholic who lives there wouldn't hurt anyone with it. Megan agrees that alcohol and guns don't mix well, but points out that Harper and Violet were caught using both. Harper gets up to leave, and Megan suggests changing the subject back to her brother. She reveals that she has seen several bruises on Harper, but never noticed any on Cullen until recently. Megan explains that she thinks it was because Harper wasn't home to protect Cullen from their father's recent episode, because she and Violet got arrested. She asks Harper whom her lies are really protecting—Cullen or her father. She also says that she understands that Harper is afraid of the consequences, but could the alternative be any worse than the life she has now? Taking her hand off of the doorknob, Harper turns back to Megan and admits that their dad hits them. Megan and Harper embrace.
Back in Dhabar, Samad is trying to guess what disease could possibly be killing Violet. She starts speaking in English, explaining that she just came to give them closure for their loss of Gabrielle. Both Samad and Madia demand answers. Violet decides to tell them everything.
At the Hub, Brion assists Silas and Helga as they place Victor into Metron's Chair. Jefferson still has Metron pinned under his electric powers. Conner asks Motherbox to order the Chair to save Victor. The Motherbox lights up and the Chair attaches itself to Victor, who begins to scream. Suddenly a beam of light shoots out of his mouth and into the Chair. Finally, the Chair releases him and Silas helps him stand. Forager suggests that the light was the Fatherbox soul returning to the Source. Jefferson releases Metron, who confirms that the Fatherbox has been purged. Mumbling about this being a missed opportunity for study, Metron sits back in his Chair. Jefferson admits to Metron that he is aware that he is not his favorite person at the moment, but he asks if the "Granny" the he mentioned earlier was the same as their Gretchen Goode. Metron responds, "No. And yes." A boom tube opens up and Metron leaves.
Victor sits back down in his bed. Silas confirms that he is now stable. With that, Silas turns to leave. Victor gets up and embraces his father.
In Dhabar, after Violet has finished explaining, Samad accuses her of being a demon. Madia calms him down by explaining that she understands that by returning to them in Gabrielle's body, Violet was trying to give them a gift. Samad is outraged that Madia is forgiving Violet. Madia acknowledges that Samad lost his brother and she lost her husband to Queen Bee's armies, and now they have lost Gabrielle too; but she wants to hold back the anger that she has left. She thanks Violet for bringing them closure. Madia kisses Violet on the forehead and says that she hopes Violet finds peace in her new family.
Artemis and Tara arrive, in the Bio-Ship, to pick up Violet. Tara and Violet embrace.
In Happy Harbor, Megan takes Harper and Cullen to the Child Protective Services.
In Poseidonis, the gilled girl is swimming happily with Aquaman's parents. Aquaman watches, from a distance, when Wyynde arrives. The two of them kiss.
At the Hub, Victor and Silas talk. Forager and Conner watch and smile at each other. Jefferson and Helga are sitting together on the couch when Artemis, Tara, and Violet arrive through a boom tube. Helga hugs Violet. Brion and Violet make eye contact.
Outside on the balcony, Tara is answering a phone call from Deathstroke. She explains to him that she has had nothing to report and that things have been quite dull. She promises to contact him as soon as she has something. Tara hangs up the phone and gazes upwards with a smile.
Numerous quiet conversations were had during the episode: Harper Row with Megan Morse, Violet with Gabrielle's mother and cousin, Superboy with Superman, Aquaman with Unnamed-Meta-Teen-A-Four-One, and Tara's inexplicable radio silence with regards to Deathstroke.
Cast and characters
- Victor airs his old grievances against his father, namely the time Silas did not show up for his football game in "Exceptional Human Beings" and Victor telling him to stay away in "Another Freak".
- When Fred carries Victor to the Hub for help, Vic assures everyone that he's not "murderous", referring to the times his built-in Fatherbox took control of him and went on a murderous rampage in "Another Freak", "Nightmare Monkeys" and "True Heroes".
- Victor blacks out for the entire day in which the previous episode took place. During this time, the Outsiders even wondered where he was.
- Fred and Tara find the note that Violet wrote in the previous episode.
- Tara tells Artemis that Violet told her and Brion that Gabrielle took a bribe to allow their parent's killers into the palace in "Princes All", which also happened in the previous episode.
- Harper Row asks Megan about Violet, whom she hasn't seen since "Early Warning".
- The unnamed water breathing meta-teen decides to move in to Atlantis, after spending all her time since "Early Warning" inside a water tank in STAR Labs.
- Helga Jace receives a phone call from her mysterious mentor that she first contacted in "Leverage".
- Metron announces that Granny Goodness and Desaad have hoarded all the required components for the device seen in "Influence". The cross-galaxy raids were also mentioned in that episode.
- Conner asks Superman to be his best man, causing the latter to learn about his engagement. Superboy has been engaged to Miss Martian since his proposal in "Princes All".
- Metron refers to Conner as "0.5 Kryptonian", alluding to his half-human/half-Kryptonian DNA, which was first established in "Agendas".
- Violet tells Madia and Samad Daou about her terminal illness, which she found out from Helga in "Early Warning".
- Orin claims he had always meant to pass on the mantle of Aquaman to Kaldur'ahm. This was first established in "What's the Story?".
- Orin commends Kaldur'ahm on the Outsiders' defeat of Professor Ivo, which was shown in "Elder Wisdom".
- Calvin Durham tells the young meta-human of his own life on the surface. Kaldur had previously explained his father's history as a henchman of Black Manta in "Cold Case".
- Megan asks Harper about the gun and alcohol she used in "Early Warning". She also mentions Harper's arrest.
- Violet tells Madia and Samad that Gabrielle was killed by meta-human traffickers and she got stuck in her body, all of which happened between "Princes All" and "Royal We".
- Number 16:
- End credits shot: Sphere inside the Hub, with Jeff and Helga fooling around off-screen.
- Samad Daou had a brief cameo in Violet's flashback in "Private Security".
- This episode ends with a bumper to the National Domestic Violence Hotline.
- The second shot of The Source Wall is the first establishing shot from an earlier scene, but flipped horizontally.
- What did Metron mean when he told Jefferson that Granny Goodness was and wasn't Gretchen Goode? (Answer #1, Answer #2)
- Why won't Unnamed-Meta-Teen-A-Four-One reveal her name?