A thief is fleeing a store after robbing it. Before he can get far, he is tripped up by an arrow, which releases knockout gas. Red Arrow arrives on the scene, and proceeds to collect the stolen money. The manager, having seen everything, offers him a reward. Red Arrow claims that it isn't necessary, but does take a stack of bills for himself. The manager thanks him, not knowing he has been cheated. Unknown to either of them, Green Arrow is watching from a distance. He contacts someone, telling them the situation is worse than expected.
At STAR Labs' Erdel Initiative, Adam Strange and Eduardo Dorado Sr. are making the final preparations for the Zeta-Shield. He contacts the Watchtower, telling the Justice League that the shield satellites are in place.
Captain Atom gives Strange the go-ahead. The satellites are activated, and the new Zeta-Shield completely covers the planet.
M'gann, La'gaan, Mal and Jaime are watching the shield go up. La'gaan thinks it's an historic event, and asks Lucas Carr, who is homeschooling Garfield, to assign his pupil a term paper on the shield. Garfield does not take the suggestion kindly. La'gaan goes on, explaining to M'gann how all interplanetary Zeta-Beam travel is now impossible without approval. Superboy is not fully impressed with the shield, as it does not block boom tubes or spaceships. Jaime asks, out loud, what a boom tube is, but he's not happy that his Scarab gives him a vague answer. Mal and Conner watch him argue with himself. Superboy inquires about Nightwing, but he's out on personal business. He grabs Jaime and drags him along, telling an inquisitive Mal that he is doing his own personal business.
Roy shoots his zipline, but his landing on the rooftop is far from perfect. He stumbles and falls, and lands at Green Arrow's feet. He refuses help, but then sees his mentor is not alone: Nightwing, Jim Harper, Black Canary and Wally West are also there.
Red Arrow brushes them off, but as he turns to leave, Green Arrow confronts him about the money he stole. Red Arrow justifies his theft by saying he deserved it. The owner offered him a reward anyway, and he won't miss the missing sum. Besides, he needs it to continue looking for Speedy, now that the others have given up the search.
In the Super-Cycle, Superboy, Blue Beetle and Wolf follow a white van at the capital's Southeast Freeway. Blue Beetle, upon his Scarab's insistence, asks about the mission. Superboy explains that because the bomb on Malina Island was alien, he suspects the involvement of Intergang, notorious alien tech traffickers. He was keeping tabs on known Intergang member Whisper A'Daire, and discovered she and Bruno Mannheim are on the move. They're in the white van, and are heading for the Hall of Justice.
Black Canary tries to help Roy. She knows he feels lost, but he claims he isn't the one lost. Dinah confronts him on his health, but Roy believes he is in his best shape of his life. She attacks him, and easily defeats him even though she was holding back. She reminds him of how he used to treat his body like a temple, but Roy believes that his body isn't a temple: it's merely a clone.
Bruno and Whisper arrive at the Hall of Justice and carry a briefcase toward the building. Blue Beetle tries to scan it but his Scarab says that it is "incompatible". When Superboy wonders who his teammate is talking to, Blue Beetle explains that the Scarab grafted to his spine gives him his powers, and comes with an artificial intelligence. Superboy has him scan the Hall, and Blue Beetle confirms that it's deserted.
Mannheim reaches the building and opens the case, revealing an Apokoliptan device. They move in, but Mannheim activates the device, sending out waves of energy that freezes Blue Beetle's armor. Inside, the husks of the Appellaxian warriors that the Justice League defeated on their first adventure reanimate and merge into one.
Outside, Superboy and Wolf confront Mannheim and Whisper. Before the heroes can do anything, the merged Appellaxian golem breaks through the wall. Mannheim commands it to attack Superboy, while Sphere creates a device to neutralize Mannheim's device. Blue Beetle recovers once the device is shut off, but when he attacks with a sonic cannon, the golem redirects the energy attack, stunning both he and Superboy. Wishing to escape before the League responds, Mannheim orders the golem pick him and Whisper up, and fly away with them.
Superboy and Blue Beetle follow Mannheim, and Superboy, a little exasperated at the freshman's lack of research, recounts about the Appellaxian invasion and how the crystal body was able to bounce back energy waves. Sphere tracks the Apokoliptan device's signal, and they track it towards the forest near Arlington.
Green Arrow offers Red Arrow the chance to fight crime with him like old times, but this angers Red Arrow. He believes that the real Roy Harper should be the one fighting crime instead of him. Jim interrupts by stating that that he understands how hard it was to accept that he was a clone, which is why he gave up his identity of Guardian. Roy accuses Jim of giving up on the search for the original Roy, and Jim replies by stating that they searched for Speedy, but they couldn't find him because the Light didn't keep him alive. Cadmus's policy was to delete the source material. He tells his "brother" to that he needs to be alive to honor the original Roy.
Meanwhile, Mannheim explains to Whisper that his device has tapped into the residual psychic energy of the golem's alien controllers, thereby reanimating it. He plans to use it as an enforcer to expand Intergang's reach. The Super-Cycle arrives, and jams the device's signal. The golem goes berserk, attacks Whisper and Mannheim, destroying the device. It then lunges at Sphere. It knocks the vehicle out of the sky and easily brushes aside the attacks of Superboy, Wolf, and Blue Beetle.
Once the heroes are unconscious, the golem spots a nearby nuclear power plant and walks towards it. The guards try to hold it off without success.
Superboy grabs Mannheim and Whisper, who warns him that thanks to his interference, no one is controlling the golem. Blue Beetle staples them to trees, and the heroes go after the golem to keep it away from the reactor. Their teamwork manages to bring it down, and Blue Beetle shoots large clamps to pin it down so Sphere can try to take control of it. The golem knocks them all aside and frees itself, and the Scarab suggests that it might be able to communicate with it.
Roy is whelmed by the attention and wonders why Wally was here because he thought he ditched the hero game. Wally says that even though he ditched the hero gig, he wouldn't ditch his friends. Roy was his friend, not Speedy. Nightwing says that Speedy was taken before any of them met. Red Arrow was the one they trained with, fought with, and were friends with. Red Arrow asks if they're all done and tells them if they seek to salvage someone's soul, they should do so for Aqualad after the things he heard. Red Arrow is not done with his search and tells everyone to leave him alone as he departs. The assembled group are left distraught by his choice.
Blue Beetle uses a sonic beam to try to establish communication with the golem. They discover that the creature is in pain from all the power of life. The golem wants to use the reactor to destroy itself and end the pain, and Superboy offers to help it. However, the Partner fires a sonic blast, disrupting the communication beam and shattering the golem. The guards thank Superboy for his help while Blue Beetle realizes that the creature was alive, and wonders who killed it. When they go back to get Mannheim and Whisper, they discover that the villains are alive but comatose.
Sportsmaster returns and reports to the Partner that he left Mannheim and Whisper neutralized as a warning to anyone who would interfere with the Light. He questions the Partner on the destruction of the golem as the Partner says that it was better to destroy the golem then let it fall into enemy hands, something Sportsmaster agrees with.
Wally West returns home to Artemis and their pit bull. He informs her of the failed intervention and then remembers his Vietnamese Literature paper is due in the morning, he asks—perhaps jokingly—if he can copy off of hers. She cheerfully refuses. They then celebrate Valentine's Day. They embrace, but the moment is bittersweet for Wally, who fears Roy will never get help.
Roy returns to his apartment, where he breaks down on the couch. Cheshire confronts him about his physique, but Red Arrow rebuffs her concerns, as she lost the "right" to criticize him when she left him to return to a life of crime. Cheshire disagrees, stating it was only a side benefit for her actual reason: his search for Speedy was wearing him down. It was detrimental to him, her, their relationship, and their daughter who she reveals to him. Roy is shocked to learn he's a father. Cheshire introduces him to Lian Nguyen-Harper, and gives her to Roy to hold. She explains she called in all her chips, and has found a lead on Speedy they could pursue together.
The main focus of the title "Salvage" is to rescue, in this case it applies to Red Arrow's soul. He turns this around and asks his 'rescuers' to save Aqualad's soul instead. Later, Cheshire also steps in to help him get his act together. The other application of the title pertains to an alternative definition for salvage, in which something useful or valuable is extracted from items thrown away. This refers to Bruno Mannheim's re-use of the Appellaxian husks to create the Golem to act as Intergang's enforcer. A third definition of salvage, used in the Philippines as slang for extrajudicial killing, could pertain to the Partner's summary execution of the Appelaxian Golem.
Cast and characters
- Adam Strange sets up the Zeta-Shield that Sardath was working on in "Earthlings".
- Red Arrow is still searching for the real Speedy, which he set out to do in "Auld Acquaintance". He also still hasn't come to terms with the fact that he's a clone, which he also found out about in the same episode.
- Superboy mentions the bomb that the Partner used to destroy Malina Island in "Alienated".
- He also mentions Intergang and their M.O. of smuggling alien technology via boom tubes, something he discovered in "Disordered".
- Jim Harper, the former Guardian, reveals that he is a clone, a fact hinted at in "Fireworks" and "Auld Acquaintance".
- Ugly activates the Appellaxians' husks seen in display in "Alienated".
- Sphere tries to override the Appellaxian Golem like she did to Infinity-Man in "Disordered".
- Red Arrow makes the same "whelmed" pun that Robin did in "Independence Day".
- He also alludes to Aqualad's switching sides, as revealed in "Alienated".
- As a Valentine's Day treat, Artemis serves Wally his favorite meal: "everything," which was established in "Coldhearted".
- Artemis and Wally are still together after the events in "Auld Acquaintance", and are now living together.
- Jim recalls Cadmus policy to "delete the source material", echoing Dr. Desmond's instructions in "Fireworks" during the start of Project Sidekick.
"Salvage" garnered an average of 2,037 million viewers.
- Both Wally and Artemis have taken a Vietnamese literature elective, a callback to Artemis's half-Vietnamese heritage.
- The design of Wally and Artemis's dog is based on Artemis actress Stephanie Lemelin's dog, Brucely.
- The number on Artemis's jersey was supposed to be 16, but according to Greg Weisman it was too late and too expensive to change.
- This episode is featured on Young Justice: Invasion – Destiny Calling: Season 2 Part 1.
- Superboy, Blue Beetle, Sphere and Wolf disappear for a single frame, when the Appellaxian Golem was freed from Mannheim's control.
- When Mannheim calls Superboy "Superbrat", his lips mouth "Superboy".
- When the guards of the Power Plant aim their guns at the Appellaxian Golem, the female guard's mouth doesn't move when she speaks.
- Blue Beetle compares the Scarab to Jiminy Cricket, the Walt Disney version of "The Talking Cricket" created by Carlo Collodi in his 1883 novel The Adventures of Pinocchio.
- For complete answers to the questions in this section, click here.
- Is Artemis still part of the Team? (Answer)
- How did Sportsmaster make Bruno Mannheim and Whisper A'Daire catatonic? (Answer)
- Why did the Light have Ted Kord killed? (Answer)
Partially answered questions
- How did Lucas Carr become associated with the Team?
- Why is Blue Beetle's Scarab incompatible with boom tubes and Apokoliptan tech?
- How did Jim Harper learn that he was a clone?
- What did Superboy mean when he said he could "relate" to the Appellaxian husk wanting to "end its pain"?
- (2012-04-27). SEASON TWO. The World's Finest. Retrieved 2012-04-27.
- Bryan (2013-02-05). Did #SaveYJandGLTAS Campaign Help "Young Justice" Score Season High Ratings?. Nick and More. Retrieved 2013-02-05.
- Lemelin, Stephanie (2012-07-02). My cartoon dog. Angel City Pit Bulls. Retrieved 2012-10-26.
- Weisman, Greg (2012-10-30). Question #16518. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-10-30.