- Nabu narrates the history of the Lords of Order's relationship with Earth. Rather than come to Earth themselves, they preferred to empower a human to act on their behalf. Arion was their first agent. The alliance between Varl'jat and Klarion, and the sinking of Atlantis, was viewed as a major escalation in their conflict. Combined with Arion's death, the Lords were forced to reassess, and so watched the architect of the chaos: Varl'jat, or, as he was later known, Marduk.
Zatanna's students survey the damage caused by Child as Zatanna recovers. She tells the Stranger to take Jason Blood and go on a recruiting tour; she already has one recruit in mind for herself. She summons an ankh portal and takes her students through it. They arrive in the sitting room of the Tower of Fate. The ankh spell has drained Zatanna, who wonders why the spell deposited them there instead of the usual stairway. When Khalid recognizes the portrait of his aunt Inza, her question is answered. Doctor Fate arrives with a bolt of lightning. He is angry and demands Zatanna and her students leave.
At the Premiere Building, Wonder Girl activates the Troub-alert, summoning the Outsiders to action. Stargirl and El Dorado follow her toward the Zeta-Tube, but Beast Boy sleeps through the alarm on the couch. Stargirl calls out to him, finally waking him. He denies sleeping through the Troub-alert, but declines to join the mission, to Stargirl's frustration.
- Nabu continues his story. 7,586 years after the fall of Atlantis, Marduk rules Babylonia, but not without challenges. Marduk was frustrated with his independently minded generals. Klarion arrived uninvited, offering a solution. Marduk's son Nabu argued against allowing Klarion free rein, but Marduk ignored him, and Klarion brought in a Starro-creature from deep space.
Back at the Tower of Fate, Zatanna refuses to leave. She begins to explain the situation with Child, but Fate stops her, saying he already knows and has no intention of intervening. Zatanna, despite Fate's doubts, knows what Fate is thinking; a Chaos Lord fighting another Chaos Lord sounds good. But she notes the devastation of Roanoke Island, and tells him the fight itself must be stopped now. Zatanna plans to have Fate confront Child and Klarion, allowing her Sentinels to strike from the Shadows. Fate does not believe they are up to the task, despite their protests, and so teleports them away to test them, before summoning viewing portals so he and Zatanna may observe their progress.
Thirteen finds herself in a dark space, and quickly realizes she is expected to prove herself. Behind her a puppet theater lights up. As she approaches it, a puppet of Blue Beetle appears, telling her she doesn't need to prove anything to him, her puppet boyfriend. He is soon joined by puppets of Zatanna and Beast Boy, her puppet mentor and puppet idol, respectively. Traci demands to know who is controlling them and to what purpose; they tell her they want to cheer her up. But Traci hears a voice, whispering darkly. Beetle tells her that the whispers are nothing, but the whispers respond; they are nothing, just like Traci. Traci realizes this is a test of her insecurities. Beetle tells her she has nothing to be insecure about, that all her friends think she is terrific. The whispers tell her they don't trust her to have their backs. Beetle tells her that her powers are cool. The whispers note she still hasn't mastered them. Beast Boy reminds her he asked her to join the Outsiders. The whispers say he was relieved when she said no. Zatanna talks about taking her on as a protégé. The whispers say she has then taken on Khalid and Mary to replace her. Traci shouts for the voice to stop, and storms behind the puppet theater to find who is behind it, only to find herself shrunk down on the theater stage. The puppets loom over her, and for the first time Traci sees the puppeteer and the source of the whispers; herself. The puppeteer calls Traci and fraud and tells her she is not ready for this fight, then has the Beetle puppet slap her to the ground.
- Nabu resumes the story of Marduk, who instantly found that Starro was not the solution to his problem; the creature out the army under its own control, not Marduk's. Nabu was killed by the army, as fated, his death intriguing the Lords of Order.
Fate and Zatanna look from Traci's ordeal to Khalid's. Khalid stands in a shallow pool being fed by two waterfalls. Looking down he sees his reflection, but wearing hospital scrubs, not his street clothes. The reflection asks what he is doing, he should be in hospital, helping people. Khalid rebuts that he is helping people, as a hero, a different method. His method is magic, notes his mother, who emerges from one of the waterfalls. Seh questions his Muslim faith, saying the practice of magic is incompatible with Islam, and that a good Muslim would obey his mother. Khalid objects, he uses magic as a tool to do good, which is what Islam teaches him to do, and that she is using religion to try to control him. Jane says she wants a better, safer life for him, but his father emerges from the other waterfall to interject. Muhammed says that Khalid must honor his heritage, even if it means giving up medical school. Khalid insists he is not giving up medicine, that he can do both. The argument continues, and with each interjection from Jane, Muhammed, Khalid and his reflection, the water level rises. Just before the water rises above their heads, the reflection tells Khalid that they are drowning in his doubts, that he is not ready for this fight. The water rises, and Khalid and his reflection begin to drown.
Back at the Premiere Building, Beast Boy sleeps on the couch as the Outsiders return from their mission against the Headmaster. Stargirl wakes him, though Gar insists he was awake. Stargirl objects, but Gar just walks off, saying that he can't make them happy; first he wasn't sleeping enough, now too much. Cassie and Ed share a concerned look.
At the Tower, Zatanna and Fate look from Khalid to Mary. Mary finds herself in a subway, when a younger version of herself demands she "say it". Mary insists they do not say that anymore, but hears the girl crying for help, and turns to see her with a foot stuck on the railtrack with a train incoming. Mary uses ley lines to summon the speed of Mercury, and races to pull the girl out of harm's way. The girl is angry, that wasn't the right way to save her. A pillar falls and the girl, now trapped, calls for help once more. Mary summons the strength of Hercules to lift the pillar, but once again the girl is unhappy. Mary says she promised not to say it again, so the girl decides she will: she calls out "Shazam!" and, in a flash of lightning, becomes Sergeant Marvel. Mary summons the stamina of Atlas just as Marvel begins to attack her. Between punches, Marvel berates her, calling her no hero and questioning her power. Sergeant hurls Mary away, telling her she is afraid to be herself and lacks the imagination to be something new; that without her, Mary is not ready for this fight. In the sitting room, Zatanna looks saddened.
- Nabu describes his fate. The Babylonians had considered him a god of wisdom. Willing to defy Marduk, he was already a champion of order. The Lords could think of no better candidate to be their operative on Earth, so they recruited Nabu's soul. Taking his oath of fealty to order, they fused his soul with his helmet, to create not just an agent of Order on Earth, but a Lord of Order. All that was required was a human host body capable of channeling his power. Though finding such hosts was not always easy, Nabu became Doctor Fate, and for centuries defended the Earth from chaos.
Traci continues to be berated by the puppeteer, who taunts her for her bad luck magic, which is as likely to curse friends as enemies, before striking her once more. Next her urban magic is questioned; what if the fight isn't in a city? Another hit sends Traci flying. The puppeteer tells her she is not ready, and knocks Traci to the ground once again. Leroy crawls onto Traci's shoulder, licks her and winks at her. Traci thanks him, and rises once more. Defiantly, Traci tells the puppeteer that she lives with her insecurities every day, but she is not a quitter. She didn't need to join the Outsiders, she was already on the Team. she is afraid, but brave enough to ask for help. She trains and works to make herself better. She doesn't let failure stop her, at least not for long. With each statement, the puppets fall apart, and the puppeteer finds herself small, resting in the palm of Traci's hand. Traci drops the puppeteer version of herself, and declares that she is ready, as a portal forms beneath her feet.
Khalid, his parents, and his reflection struggle in the water, until Khalid hears the Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, and the water recedes. Khalid finds peace with himself, and his reflection, which merges with him. Khalid tells his parents that he is a man of faith, science and mysticism. He will find his own way forward on a path built by those who came before him, as a doctor and a sorcerer. He calls magic a science of its own, a tool from God to serve good. He embraces his parents, until they vanish, and he declares himself ready. A portal forms beneath his feet.
Sergeant Marvel holds Mary against a wall by the throat. She tells her that she is beautiful, powerful and better than anyone; why doesn't Mary want it? She is interrupted by a tug on her sleeve, she turns to a young Billy Batson. Billy reminds her why she gave up the power; that she had given up her life as Mary to be Sergeant full time. Billy and Freddy had confronted her, and she had agreed that it wasn't right, and gave up the power, cold turkey. Marvel releases Mary, and tells her that she is nothing without her. Mary disagrees, she had to stop but that doesn't mean she can't be hero. she can still be sorceress without abandoning who she is. Mary absorbs Sergeant Marvel, and with a word of encouragement from Billy, declares that she is ready, and a portal forms beneath her.
Back at the sitting room, the students have returned and Zatanna praises them to Fate. Fate asks if they are ready to enter a battle that may easily kill them. They insist they are, but it matters little to Fate. He still has no intention of intervening in the fight.
Beast Boy sleeps in his room, his bed stand littered with over-the-counter and prescription pills, as his phone vibrates and falls off the side.
Nabu finishes his story, told inside the Helmet of fate to Zatara. Zatara asks why he tells him what he already knows. So that he may understand why they do not intervene, Fate explains; he wants the Chaos Lords to fight until there is a victor, weakened by the fight. Only then will he step in to restore order. Zatara wonders how Nabu could miss the point of his own story. He views Fate as a lone champion, but that was never true, nor the intent of Lords of Order. Doctor Fate requires two champions, Nabu and his host, that he needs his host's unique strength. Zatara notes that each of the children Nabu had tested found strength in different ways; mentors, family, and faith. Zatara says his own faith is how he has survived the years as Nabu's prisoner, and recites the Lord's Prayer. Zatara reminds Nabu that the victories he cites would not have been possible without help, from the Justice League and even the Lords of Order themselves. Nabu may view cooperation as chaos, but it is in the unity of the disparate that order rises out of chaos. Zatara urges Nabu to step back and accept help from those who seek to aid him, starting by listening to Zatanna.
In the sitting room, Zatanna finishes trying to convince Fate to help her, but before he can respond they are interrupted by a ringing doorbell. Fate creates a portal to view the Tower's door, where Klarion is desperately ringing the bell in search of help. Child and Flaw appear behind him. Child instructs Flaw to kill Klarion's anchor. Klarion boats that killing Teekl won't be so easy, and transform her into a giant, saber-toothed cat. Teekl charges at Flaw, but is easily caught. Flaw breaks Teekl's neck, killing her instantly. As a single tear falls down Klarion's cheek, Child notes that that was not so hard. Klarion's body fades and is consumed in magic flame, returning him to his diamond form which floats away into the heavens. In the sitting room, Fate, Zatanna and the Sentinels look on in stunned silence.
End credits scene: The school bus travels through various places and dimensions as its occupants alternate between screaming and gasping for breath. Among other things, they pass through Cyborg's Mobius tech infused blood vessel and fly by The Source Wall, some DNA strands and a green planet.
The episode follows the arc's backward titles scheme, this one translating into "Get Ready!". This could refer to Zatanna's clean-up spell, or the fact that Zatanna's Sentinels were challenged by Doctor Fate to test if they were ready for the fight.
Cast and characters
- As with the preceding episodes, this installment has the listener from the previous one recounting a story to someone else. But unlike with the other episodes, Doctor Fate intends to dissuade his receiver from taking action in the fight against Child.
- Zatanna says that using Fate's ankh always drains her strength. This could be seen in "Early Warning".
- This episode reveals the cause of Starro's invasion seen in the flashbacks of "Evolution".
- Puppet Beast Boy tells Thirteen he's her puppet idol. In "Illusion of Control" it was established that Traci was a big fan of Garfield.
- In this episode we find out why Mary Bromfield gave up her Sergeant alter ego, which had been briefly mentioned in "Odnu!".
- Beast Boy has stepped up from the sleeping capsules he bought in "Odnu!" to prescription drugs.
- Teekl takes the same saber-tooth form that she did in "Misplaced".
- Number 16: Mary Bromfield is standing on 16th Street platform in her test dimension.
- For the sake of authenticity, scenes depicting Khalid's Islamic faith received input from Sue Obeidi, a consultant from the Muslim Public Affairs Council.
- The designs of the Immortal Elders are a callback to their appearance in the opening of Filmation's live-action Shazam! TV series.
|Arabic||Khalid: ʾAllāhu ʾakbaru
ʾašhadu ʾal lā ʾilāha ʾillā -llāhu
ʾašhadu ʾal lā ʾilāha ʾillā -llāhu
ʾašhadu ʾanna Muḥammadan rasūlu -llāhi
ʾašhadu ʾanna Muḥammadan rasūlu -llāhi.
|Allah is greater|
Allah is greater
Allah is greater
Allah is greater
I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah
I bear witness that there is no deity but Allah
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah
I bear witness that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah.
|Khalid: As-salāmu ʿalaykum.||Peace be upon you.|
|Khalid's reflection: Wa ʿalaykumu s-salam.||May peace be upon you.|
|Italian||Zatara: Padre Nostro, che sei nei cieli,
Sia santificato il tuo nome.
Venga il tuo regno,
Sia fatta la tua volontá,
Come in cielo, così in terra.
Dacci oggi il nostro pane quotidiano,
E rimetti a noi i nostri debiti
Come noi li rimettiamo ai nostri debitori.
E non ci indurre in tentazione,
Ma liberaci dal male.
|Our Father, who art in heaven,|
Hallowed be thy name.
Thy kingdom come,
Thy will be done
on earth, as it is in heaven.
Give us this day our daily bread.
And forgive us our debts,
as we forgive our debtors.
And lead us not into temptation,
but deliver us from evil.
|Zatanna||Teg aremac ydaer!||Get camera ready!|
|Rehtaf, ediug ruo yenruoj hguorht S'etaf Yloh Hkna!||Father, guide our journey through Fate's Holy Ankh!|
- Khalid Nassour hears the Adhan, the Islamic call to prayer, which is made five times a day to summon Muslims to the mosque for obligatory prayer.
- Khalid is descended from Mayflower pilgrims on his mother's side. The Mayflower was an English ship that transported a group of settlers from England to the New World in 1620.
- Zatara recites the Lord's Prayer in English, echoed by a version in Italian. It is a core Christian prayer, believed to have been taught by Jesus.
- Who was calling Beast Boy? (Answer)
"Og Htrof Dna Reuqnoc!"