Review: "Teg Ydaer!"

Retpahc eerht fo S'annataz cra si won nopu su!

The third installment to Zatanna's arc has dropped, and there's certainly a lot of interesting and thought-provoking elements in this episode. The past two episodes have taken us on a not-so whimsical ride throughout the world of magic in Earth-16. We’ve been introduced to brand new characters like Etrigan the Demon and the Phantom Stranger, and have had more focus on characters who’ve been mentioned in prior episodes and media such as Mary Bromfield and Doctor Fate. How will the third act to this invigorating story arc turn out? Let’s get into it!

The main focus of the “Teg Ydaer!” centers around Zatanna and her three protégés, Traci, Khalid, and Mary, still trying to find a way to stop both Klarion, Child, and Flaw from wrecking magical havoc in their world. They attempt to contact Doctor Fate to aid them at the Tower of Fate, but, surprising no one, Doctor Fate doesn’t want to help because he believes the Sentinels of Magic aren’t ready for this kind of fight. Of course, Traci, Khalid and Mary don’t take this sitting down and are eager to prove their worth. So, Doctor Fate decides to give each of Zatanna’s students a test to prove themselves against the powerful mystical enemies that they’ll be going up against soon.

First, Traci is given a task to complete with the only help available being her familiar, Leroy. The test goes after her inner insecurities and is given physical representation with her closest friends and allies. In regards to Khalid, the aspiring doctor is faced with fake versions of his parents, disapproving of his actions in relation to how he was raised. On the final side of the spectrum, Mary is forced to face herself as a little girl and in her prior superpowered form, Sergeant Marvel. Each prized pupil of Zatanna is faced with a challenge that could very well overpower them and prove that Doctor Fate was right about them not being ready.

Meanwhile, in terms of events that don’t relate to magical beings, Garfield is unfortunately still forlorn and in crestfallen despair over the loss of his surrogate older brother, Conner. A few Outsiders, Stargirl, Wonder Girl, and El Dorado, attempt to briefly help out their leader, but Garfield is so irritable that he brushes them off like a pesky bug. A little more backstory is also revealed for not only Vandal Savage, but also Doctor Fate and how he connects with the slimy, megalomaniacal warlord. The world-building and expansion on the origins of certain characters is most definitely intriguing, but let’s dive a bit deeper into what makes this episode amazing!

The first thing to note is each challenge that the Sentinels of Magic has to face, every one of them is unique and provides a horrifying contrast to each character and their internal struggles. You can really understand and sympathize with the struggles Traci has as she surprisingly lacks a lot of confidence in her abilities and her relationships with others like Zatanna, Jaime, and Garfield. Khalid’s inner turmoil is very identifiable as well as anyone with strict, religious family members can certainly understand what he’s going through. However, the mental skirmish Mary has during her test is something arguably everyone has to go through once in their lives as feeling like you’re not as good as what you used to be or could potentially become is both highly understandable and garners genuine pity from the audience.

While on that topic, the performances each actor gives in this episode, particularly those who voice the Sentinels of Magic, is borderline flawless. Experienced and highly talented voice-over artists like Greg Cipes, Lauren Tom, and Erika Ishii give spectacular performances as Garfield, Traci, and Mary respectively. You can really feel the heartache in their voices in scenes that require their characters to be put in situations of insecurity and despair. Meanwhile, Young Justice veterans such as Kevin Michael Richardson lends a wondrous performance as he has the difficult task of portraying a character that must be stoic, but get across a lot of story as Nabu. It’s hard to look over that Lacey Chabert is also shining as bright as a diamond in regards to her performance as Zatanna throughout this arc too, she really understands that the sorceress is now both a natural-born leader and a kindly mentor to her students.

In regards to the way the show has progressed in relation to the way religion is represented, there has certainly been a lot of evolution in that in this episode, which is no doubt a welcome addition courtesy of writer, Nida Chowdhry. The religious aspects of "Teg Ydaer!" was written beautifully, but there's no doubt that some of the fanbase will be torn about such a controversial topic being discussed at this length in the episode. However, one must keep in mind that seeing different perspectives, whether you agree with them or not, is always fascinating to learn about as you can find out a great deal of new, intriguing things from different voices.

Overall, when discussing what made “Teg Ydaer!” a certainly memorable episode, there’s a lot to go off of. Not counting the fantastic writing from Young Justice newcomer, Nida Chowdhry, the way Traci, Khalid, and Mary are written and how we can see the inner struggles they have is both phenomenal character development and world-building. Next to no actor in this episode had a less-than-stellar performance, each actor knew what they needed to bring to the table and knocked it out of the ballpark. While many will be questioning some of the more potentially contentious aspects of “Teg Ydaer!”, there’s also no doubt that there are many great prospects of the episode too as listed above. To conclude, the third chapter to Zatanna’s arc was able to deliver on creating one of the most unforgettable episodes of the series, and will hopefully lead into more enthralling stories going forward with this cast of characters.

Author: Connor T. DavenportEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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