Young Justice: Phantoms latest episode, “Teg Ydaer!”, brought the focus back to our heroes side of things as Zatanna brought her Sentinels of Magic proteges to the Tower of Fate. In the process we got to learn much more about Traci 13, Mary Bromfield, and Khalid Nassour. This focus on characters that have largely been background characters up to this point just further highlighted the strengths and weaknesses of this current Zatanna story arc.
And since “Teg Ydaer!” started with it I will get the negative of this episode centering around the history of Doctor Fate. Doctor Fate’s connection to the long life of Vandal Savage just did not hit as intended. It felt incredibly repetitive to these slideshow scenes we got in the previous episode. I didn’t leave these flashback slideshow scenes with a better appreciation to Vandal Savage. He still that character that is just something that is beyond the line of chaos and order, which is why both sides seem to not fully trust him.
The repetitive nature of the Doctor Fate’s history also just made me wish that this time was instead dedicated to further developing Zatanna. Unlike Artemis, Miss Martian, and Superboy in the previous two arcs of Young Justice: Phantoms Zatanna has just done as much as us the viewers as she is just sitting or standing around waiting for the plot to progress. Its extremely disappointing that there was time dedicated to Zatanna’s own journey, especially how big of a deal it is for her to go to the Tower of Fate. There is so much there that could’ve been explored while her proteges were going through the test Doctor Fate gave them.
That said, I did like the big character point for Zatanna in “Teg Ydaer!” was that she showed confidence in her proteges, even when Traci 13, Mary Bromfield, and Khalid Nassour. When given the chance Zatanna is showing that she is confident in not only her abilities as a mentor but how far her own proteges have come in their training. Hopefully in the remaining episodes of this arc we see Zatanna step up more as a leader and shine as we get deeper in the magical world.
The confidence Zatanna showed in them was also a good way to transition into Traci 13, Mary Bromfield, and Khalid Nassour getting such a big spotlight. Actually having their trials not be one that tested their magic but how their respective backstories challenge them mentally as magicians was an excellent choice. This shows that Doctor Fate understood that any sort of doubt in the three Sentinels of Magic that Zatanna choose to teach would make them a hinderance rather than a strength. It is a different way of thinking of strength that I’m glad is explored as by the end it made Traci 13, Mary, and Khalid much stronger characters than if it was just a test of magic.
It also got into how while they are all proteges of Zatanna the three are very distinct characters. Each one is coming in with their own backstory. With Traci 13 we see more of regular heroes journey as she is one of the next generation heroes who has grown up idiolizing the previous generation. She chose to use her powers for good and wants to grow stronger by learning under Zatanna. Her overcoming any self-doubt she is good enough to live up to her seniors was a good arc to give her.
This was made even more distinct with how Khalid’s own test was more about his family history and ties to religion. The writers did a great job in explaining how Khalid’s decision to become a magician isn’t something he is doing as part of rebelling against his faith in religion. Rather he sees it as another avenue of exploring his own faith, even if his parents don’t believe it.
What made Khalid’s backstory even more intriguing was how it also ties back into Doctor Fate. We know from the comics that Khalid has for a period worn the Doctor Fate helmet. And here we learn that one thing that has help Zatara be able to handle wearing the Doctor Fate helmet for a decade was his own faith. Creating this tie of faith into the concept around what makes Doctor Fate a complex character. It also works well to tease Khalid possibly becoming the next one to hold the mantle since we know from previous episodes that Zatara’s body is aging.
As interesting as Traci 13 and Khalid’s journeys were it was Mary Bromfield’s that stole the show. Learning that Mary became consumed by the power of SHAZAM to the point she was Sergeant Marvel full-time for a period was a major moment. This is something that was teased in previous episodes and I’m glad that we got more details her as Mary’s Sergeant Marvel manifested itself. While we don’t know how they helped her it is interesting to learn that it took both Billy and Freddy to break Mary free from being completely controlled by the power of SHAZAM. This places Mary on another interesting path as she is still planning to use the power of SHAZAM to enhance her magic powers instead of fully transforming. I do wonder if this is all set up for having a big moment in this arc to transform into Mary Marvel or SHAZAM, since we don’t know what happened to Billy or Freddy.
The ending of “Teg Ydaer!” with the Child taking out Klarion was certainly unexpected. The shock from Klarion when the Child’s familiar killed Teekl was the same reaction Zatanna’s group and the viewer have. It comes out of nowhere and changes the game entirely. Now we don’t really know where things will go as the Child and her familiar assume the mantle of the Lord of Chaos that Klarion has had for such a long time.
While not tied to the magic war going on we continued to see how Beast Boy is going deeper into his bout with depression. The reaction to Beast Boy’s current state from Stargirl, El Dorado, and Wonder Girl is understandable since they are young characters who likely haven’t dealt with someone in their lives going through a mental health crisis. They are just not aware of all the signs or how to deal with it.
But while that is realistic I do wonder if we will see the older members of the Team or Justice League step in eventually. We know they have done so in the past when Black Canary provided the Team with therapy during the first season episode “Disorder” after the Team went through a traumatic experience. Hopefully Blue Devil seeing Beast Boy in this state in the previous episode will lead to Black Canary or someone providing help. Because we do see Beast Boy go down a darker path as he is starting to become reliant on sleeping pills that could lead to other things.
Overall, “Teg Ydaer!” was a much stronger episode than last week. The flashbacks detailing the history of Vandal Savage and his ties to Doctor Fate were still the weakest parts of the episode. That said, the storytelling when it came to the journeys of Traci 13, Mary Bromfield, and Khalid Nassour lifted this episode to be very intriguing. Adding that with the internal battle with Doctor Fate and Zatara along with the shocking ending makes me even more excited to find out what happens next in this arc.
EPISODE RATING: 7.5 Night Girls out of 10
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