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Recap / Justice League Unlimited S 3 E 6 Dead Reckoning

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Deadman asks the Master of the Temple of Nanda Parbat for advice, as he has not passed on despite catching the man who killed him. The Master says the destiny of Deadman is to avenge the Master's death, not his own. Meanwhile, on Grodd's orders, a team from the Legion of Doom attacks the temple, to steal its Heart, containing the psychic remains of thousands of former monks. Deadman tries to stop them, but is helpless to prevent Devil Ray from killing the Master and is exorcised by Tala from Rampage. Tala takes the Heart of Nanda Parbat and transports the villains away.

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Deadman goes to the Watchtower and possesses Superman's body to tell them about the disaster. Batman vouches for Deadman, having met him before while helping to solve his murder; Batman is also one of the Master's former pupils.

While puzzling over what Grodd is planning to do, Deadman/Superman says he can feel the psychic presence of the Heart, but can't narrow it down further than Africa. Realizing that Grodd has returned to Gorilla City, Batman radios Solovar, who tells them that he was just going to call them and that the city is under attack at that moment.

Batman, Wonder Woman and the possessed Superman arrive outside the city. Deadman leaves Superman's body to slip through the protective shield and find someone to possess in order to shut it down. The Leaguers fight their way into the city. Deadman possesses Wonder Woman in order to attack Devil Ray but decides not to kill him.

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Inside, Grodd and Luthor places the Heart, which Grodd describes as an exotic power source, into the force field generator, creating a device powerful enough to send out a planet-wide energy field. Luthor assumes that Grodd plans to extend a mind-control signal over the Earth, but instead Grodd reveals that his master plan is to "re-write" human DNA and transform every person on Earth into apes.

The signal reaches out and transforms the Justice Leaguers, but Superman manages to destroy the generator and the Heart, turning themselves back into humans.

Devil Ray sneaks in and aims his weapon at Wonder Woman. Deadman takes over Batman's body, grabs a gun, and shoots Devil Ray, knocking him backward into an open panel and electrocuting him to death. When Batman regains control of his body, he is disgusted at having any part in killing someone with a gun. Deadman is then "recalled" by Rama Kushna, who says that he has upset the balance of life in the universe by killing Devil Ray. Deadman says Devil Ray committed a greater crime by slaughtering the monks at Nanda Parbat, but Rama Kushna takes him there, showing him how destroying the Soul has released the life energies stored within it and restored all the monks to life, including The Master. But The Master tells Deadman that he will be trapped on Earth until he atones for his sin.

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At the Legion of Doom's headquarters, Grodd insists that "their" master plan has suffered a temporary setback, no more; then Luthor stands and aims a gun at him, announcing that he's decided to take over leadership of the Legion a little earlier than he planned, since he's disgusted that Grodd's "master plan" (a) didn't work, and (b) was just plain ridiculous. Luthor incapacitates Grodd by shooting him with a non-lethal weapon and declares himself the new leader. The Legion are equally disgusted with Grodd, so no one objects. Tala, especially, is quick to transfer her affectionate attention to Luthor.

Tropes:

  • Arbitrary Skepticism: Deadman can't believe there's a Gorilla City; when Wonder Woman points out he's a ghost wondering about something as fantastic as Gorillas who can talk like humans and live in a city of their own, he grins and says, "Point."
  • Batman Grabs a Gun: Albeit while possessed by Deadman. Batman is nonetheless disgusted.
  • Bittersweet Ending: Grodd's plan is thwarted, and the souls of the temple monks restored; but Deadman is trapped in this plane until he can atone for the "sin" of killing Devil Ray.
  • Body Surf: Deadman constantly. It's the only way most others can hear him talk.
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: An interesting case where Devil Ray is right to be confused — he certainly didn't kill anyone Wonder Woman knows.
    Deadman (in Wonder Woman's body): You killed my teacher, my friend!
    Devil Ray: You'll have to be more specific, lady. I've killed a lot of people.
  • Call-Back:
    • Devil Ray's quip about Grodd never sending them to "any place nice" is probably a reference to his mission in Scandinavia in "To Another Shore".
    • We learn that Grodd released Tala from the mirror in which she was trapped in "The Balance".
    • According to Devil Ray, Giganta was arrested after the events of "To Another Shore", and remains in custody.
    • Mr. Terrific alludes to the time J'onn J'onzz pulled some information out of Giganta's mind before it shut down in "To Another Shore".
    • Batman states that this is Luthor's first sign of activity since he raided Blackhawk Island in "I Am Legion".
    • Wonder Woman wonders whether Grodd is building together a new Secret Society as he did in the Justice League episode "Secret Society".
    • Gorilla City is seen for the first (and last) time since "The Brave and the Bold".
    • When looking at photos trying to identify the sorcerer he saw at the temple, Deadman is shown a picture of Circe, who appeared in "This Little Piggy".
  • Call-Forward: A possessed Batman grabbing a gun here adds new context to a later moment.
  • Cardboard Prison: Despite being captured in "To Another Shore", Devil Ray reappears here. He also notes it's only a matter of time before Giganta escapes too.
  • Continuity Nod: Deadman says that Batman previously helped him solve his own murder; although this is Deadman's first appearance in a DCAU series, he appeared in issues of the comic books Batman: Gotham Adventures and The Adventures of Batman and Robin, part of the DCAU.
  • A Day in the Limelight: For Deadman.
  • Deadpan Snarker: Luthor throughout much of the episode. Deadman, as well.
  • Disappointed by the Motive: Lex, and indeed the entire Legion, are aghast at learning what all Grodd's big plans were building towards.
    Lex: I wasn't going to do this for another few weeks, but seriously...Turning all of humanity into apes? That was your "master plan"?!
  • Immortality Field: As the temple master puts it, "No one dies in Nanda Parbat."
  • Internal Reveal: The Justice League learns of the new Legion's existence in this episode.
  • Jerkass Gods: Rama Kushna is a rather cold deity.
  • Karmic Death: Inverted, the audience might consider Devil Ray's death just deserts, but Rama Kushna does not.
  • Killed Off for Real: Devil Ray.
  • Moral Myopia: Devil Ray, an unrepentant killer was about to kill Solvar, so Boston instinctively possesses Batman and grabs a gun to wound not kill. Unfortunately Devil Ray slips, falls into some wiring, and dies. Rama Kushna considers this to "unbalance the scales of karma" even if Devil Ray was pure scum and decrees Boston needs to be punished.
  • Obligatory Joke: After Batman, Superman, and Wonder Woman have stopped Grodd's plan to turn everyone into monkeys:
    Superman: Is everything okay?
    Wonder Woman: Well, I'm sort of missing Flash's obligatory joke about how Grodd made a monkey out of us.
    Superman: Just couldn't let it go unsaid.
    Wonder Woman: Obligatory!
  • The Reveal: Grodd's big plan was to turn the people of the world into gorillas. Luthor openly mocks this before shooting him.
  • Shout-Out: Deadman's quip, "when they beam down on that TV show, they never miss", is a clear reference to Star Trek, mainly the original series, in which the crew of USS Enterprise commonly uses transporters to visit other planets, the process being known to fans as "beaming down" (when the crew is sent to alien soil) or "up" (to send the crew back into the ship).
  • Unknown Rival: Deadman hates Devil Ray for killing his mentor. Devil Ray has no memory of doing so, and it's unlikely he would even if he knew it was Deadman talking.
  • Voices Are Mental: Averted. When Deadman possesses a given character, the original voice actor speaks, while using Deadman's general accent and mannerisms.
  • Wham Episode: At the end of the episode, Luthor takes over the Legion.

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