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Despite all of the potential in The Fix, this episode never really acts on any of it, leaving us with one of the weakest -- if not the weakest -- episode of the series so far. It spends nearly half an hour splashing around in the shallow end, having a little fun but never really diving into the deep end for the real fun. See what I did there? It’s a water metaphor for an episode dealing with Aqualad. I’m clever. Really.
Kaldur’ahm, catatonic as he is, is the focus of The Fix as Black Manta looks to both avenge and heal his son. This puts Artemis in a precarious situation. She’s still in deep cover with the villains as Tigress, but Kaldur’s condition leaves her on her own. Worse, his potential cure by Psimon risks blowing both their covers. This means it’s up to her alone to save Kaldur, protect Miss Martian and maintain their cover.
It’s an exciting setup for an episode. Unfortunately, the story doesn’t do much more than the bare minimum of going through the motions.
One of the big, suspenseful moments from the previous episode was the reveal that Psimon would be rebuilding Kaldur’s mind, thereby learning everything about him including his role as a double agent. This was kind of huge and led to some interesting questions about what might happen. What would Psimon do with the knowledge that Kaldur is a traitor? Would he turn Kaldur in? Or would he be more selective in the rebuilding process and turn Kaldur into a real villain? But in actuality, it turns out to be one of those cliffhangers that doesn’t really lead to much. I’ll admit that the way Artemis is able to quickly defuse that situation and turn it to her favor makes her look pretty damn resourceful and clever. But the fact remains that the situation is quickly defused, which is a disappointment.
This leads to Artemis and Miss Martian taking a trip into Kaldur’s fractured mind to repair the damage. There is some pretty nice imagery involved in this, and I have to give the show credit for including the detail that Kaldur would think in Atlantean and not English. But beyond that, there’s not much going on here. Kaldur’s a character who has been through a lot but hasn’t really been spotlighted quite so much. This should’ve been a great opportunity, since we’re actually digging deeper into his mental state. One of the big questions left over from the time jump the series took is what happened between Kaldur and Tula and how did she die. Artemis and Miss Martian are supposed to be piecing together his memories, but we don’t get to see any of them.
Mixed into all this, we do get to see Deathstroke in action. That, at least, is no disappointment. Action in this show rarely is, but this one in particular does a good job of portraying Deathstroke as the uncannily intelligent fighter he is supposed to be. Deathstroke isn’t supposed to be just a badass. He’s a badass whose brain works on overdrive, and there are signs of that in his fight against Lagoon Boy.
We also get some follow-up on the newly arrived Green Beetle, but it goes along with the less than stellar development with the rest of episode. It’s all so terribly straightforward and without any insight or interesting developments. Miss Martian telepathically vets him. They all decided to trust each other. He helps Blue Beetle control the scarab. No part of this episode goes through the motions more mechanically than this. But on this one, I’m going to give the show the benefit of the doubt. Green Beetle has to be more than he seems, because otherwise, this would be seriously bland. We aren’t actually made aware of what he shares with Miss Martian, which could mean they’re holding something back about him to reveal later. I really hope this is the case, because this is a letdown on the Green Beetle front so far.
Finally, this is the episode some of us have been waiting for in regard to others finding out the truth about Kaldur, most specifically Superboy. It’s actually a good scene for Superboy where he gets to show his loyalty to Nightwing in front of Lagoon Boy but then vent how angry he is about it as soon as they are in private. He really lets Nightwing have it. However, the rest doesn’t really live up to expectations. I’m not sure why Nightwing chose now to come clean with the truth. He kept quiet when faking Artemis’ death and when other members of the team were abducted but feels compelled to tell the truth when Miss Martian has been taken. Why? Just to calm down Lagoon Boy and Superboy? It isn’t like those two are in a position to do anything and blow Kaldur’s cover. So it comes off as kind of forced that Nightwing would reveal the truth after having already gone so far to keep the secret.
When it comes right down to it, The Fix comes off as half an episode. I’m surprised when the credits start to roll because nothing feels like it has paid off yet. I can understand if they want to save the good stuff with Kaldur’s memory reconstruction for another episode. But if that’s the case, it shouldn’t have really even been in this one. This one should have focused on Artemis’ maneuvering and Miss Martian’s abduction, giving that more room to develop and pay off into something that felt like a complete episode. This didn’t, and it’s a surprisingly weak episode for what is usually such a strong show.