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Recap: Justice League Unlimited S 2 E 4 Task Force X
Directed by Joaquim Dos Santos
Written by Dwayne Mc Duffie
(Teleplay by Darwyin Cooke)
This is the tale of how a Ragtag Bunch of Misfits
manage to do The Infiltration
by Dressing as the Enemy
impersonating some Mooks at that Evil Tower of Ominousness Kill Sat
, the Watchtower, headquarters of those Justice League wannabe Evil Overlords
At a Prison where a guard, the warden and a priest are with a heavily restrained prisoner, Floyd Lawton, aka Deadshot, walking to the chair. The prisoner seems to be taking his impending execution with humor. When they arrive, are surprised by a uniformed man sitting at the chair. When the warden ask him what does this mean, the man only gives him some papers, and the warden releases the prisoner in the man’s custody. Then Lawton ask him what happens if he doesn’t want to go with him. The man answers Lawton could take his turn at the chair.
When they are in a car leaving the prison, the man identifies himself as Colonel Flagg, who informs Lawton he is now a Boxed Crook
who has the mission to infiltrate the Watchtower. Lawton answers he always wanted to die for his country.
So begins Task Force X, an episode based on the comic "Suicide Squad
" written by John Ostrander, which shows us a total inversion of tropes like The Caper
, Mooks and the Token Good Teammate
, that also is full of Mythology Gags
This episode contains examples of:
- Abandoned Warehouse: Justified by Flagg, when Lawton observes that the Justice League Spy Satellites could hear them, Flagg answers that the guy who abandoned this warehouse had a very good security installation on it.
- Badass Normal: Everyone at the squad, even Clock King, who was capable enough to standstill the Batman. The Central Theme is how a crew of Badass Normals can defeat a bunch of superhumans. They need an Evil Plan.
- Beware the Superman: One of the Central Themes on this episode. Everyone of the Badass Normals is scared to death about going against superhumans. When Clock King is showing Captain Atom, Green Lantern and Martian Manhunter's intel at the Chekhov's Classroom, you can hear ominious music
- Big Brother Is Watching: Justified because Task Force X is a Black Ops from the American government, so they could have used spies or simply got access any footage reporters or civilians got about the super heroes for their Photo Montage.
- Boxed Crook: Lampshaded by Lawton.
''An expert with nothing to lose? This must be some nasty business.
- Bring My Brown Pants: Plastique makes two references to needing to change her shorts before the mission and during the mission.
- Casual Danger Dialog: No matter that he is walking to the chair, Floyd Lawton will make jokes about it.
- Dead Man Walking: How this episode begins.
- Dispense With The Pleasantries: After seeing Sans Souci doing The Tease to Lawton, Captain Boomerang and Clock King want to talk business:
Harkness: Enough of this talk, let's get talk of out the business at hand, will ya?.
Fugate: Agree, time is of the essence.
- Everyone Meets Everyone: This episode shows not only how Clock King, Plastique, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot and Colonel Flagg met, but also shows them studying Green Lantern, Captain Atom and The Martian Manhunter at their Chekhov's Classroom.
- Evil Plan: One of the most beautifully constructed. The plan is fueled by Pragmatic Villainy, because the squad is formed enterely by sociopaths and a Token Good Teammate. The plan must be followed Right on the Tick and it does not permit unnecesary killing. It works because it was planned by a Clock King who is The Sociopath himself. And the plan seems to be a classic Grand Theft Macguffin... but in reality is a Despair Gambit Cadmus is pulling on the League
- Explosive Leash: Colonel Flagg ask Lawton how it was his Last Meal.
- Exposition Diagram: Clock King shows the team one of the Watch Tower.
- Faux Affably Evil: All the squad except Clock King and Captain Boomerang. Including Colonel Flagg.
- Foreshadowing: At the first scene, after the priest asks Lawton if he wants the priest to pray for him, Lawton politely declines. This annoys the priest, and is the first clue that Lawton is Faux Affably Evil.
- Impossible Task: Invoked by Captain Boomerang when he asks how a bunch of Badass Normals can confront true superhumans at their own headquarters and steal something from them?
We may as well be stealing heaven's gate itself.
- The Infiltration: Our protagonists must get "inside" a bad-guy organization and pass as a bad guy to accomplish a goal. It's an inversion because this is a Villain Episode, but given we are seeing things from the villains' perspective, and the Justice League acts invoke Beware the Superman, this trope seems played straight.
- Meaningful Name, Steven Ulysses Perhero:
- Colonel Flagg. That could be one of those Prophetic Names, because we discover Flagg's father also was a soldier. Lampshaded by Lawton:
''Colonel... Flagg? You're kidding, right?
- Played straight with Temple Fugate, (a pun on Tempus Fugit, Times flies), the Clock King.
- Metaphorically True: When the team argues they are only Badass Normals fighting Smug Supers and they have no chance, Clock King declares they are going to infiltrate the Watchtower when its weakest supers are present. When Captain Boomerang ask him to define "weakest" Clock King plays a Photo Montage of Captain Atom, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter with ominious music. Nobody feels better about it.
- Mythology Gags:
- Task Force X is the official name for the nicknamed Suicide Squad at DC Comics. (Also, you cannot have that name on children's TV.)
- The Warden and the Guard of the prison are animated versions of Commissioner Gordon and Chief O'Hara from live action Batman.
- Clock King, Plastique, Captain Boomerang, Deadshot, and Colonel Flagg all were members of DC Comics Suicide Squad, even if not all of them worked together at the same time.
- Mr. Exposition: Clock King and Colonel Flagg takes turns at this.
- Oh, Crap: Plastique when being asked what will she do facing Superman, seeing Green Lantern use her elevator, and hearing Captain Atom chastise her unlady manners.
- Open the Iris: Plastique’s iris narrows every time she has a Oh, Crap moment.
- Oral Fixation: Lawton is showed chewing a toothpick.
- Photo Montage: Clock King shows the Task Force X team some videos with the heroic exploits of Captain Atom, Green Lantern, and Martian Manhunter with ominious music
- Secret Identity: Inverted because the members of the Suicide Squad are villains. However, all of them have secret identities. The point is that no one of them had a Red Right Hand, so they can do The Infiltration because without their costumes, They Look Just Like Everyone Else.
- Bette Sans Souci, AKA Plastique.
- Floyd Lawton, AKA Deadshot.
- Temple Fugate, AKA The Clock King.
- George Harkness, AKA Captain Boomerang.
- Spy Satellites: Lawton reminds Flagg that the Justice League Satellite could hear them.
- The Tease: After Colonel Flagg introduces Lawton to Sans Souci as the explosives expert:
Lawton: I know, I've seen the pictures.
Sans Souci, smiling: And that's all you're gonna to see, killer.
- You All Meet In An Abandoned Warehouse That Really Is A Cell: Lawton and Flagg meet the rest of the Suicide Squad at the Abandoned Warehouse. Lawton can believe he could do the job and leave. He is so wrong...