Superman on Television

Legion of Super Heroes: Episode Reviews

Season 2 - Episode 10: "Trials"

Reviewed by: Jeffrey Bridges

1Rating - 1 (out of 5): I just found out this week that Legion of Super Heroes has officially been cancelled, and after the episode this review is for there are only three more episodes left.

But with episodes like this one and the one previous, I can't say I'm surprised. Or upset.

We have yet another episode rife with cliché dialogue, arbitrary characters, story contrivances and it was an all around waste of time.

To start with, I don't understand why an entire episode was given to Zyx losing his powers and needing to get them back. There are scores of actual Legion members who get little to no screen or story time, but we get a SECOND episode all about Zyx at the expense of learning more about Cosmic Boy or Saturn Girl or Bouncing Boy, et al? What's the point of that?

The entirety of Mordru was contrived and worthless. He just shows up, the audience has no idea who he is, and he explains via narrated flashback (gah!) how he was exiled and found the Lamentation Pentacle (Lamentation Pentacle?! Seriously? Do you keep it next to the Sobbing Sphere and the Complaining Cup?) and now he wants... revenge! Oh no!

The threat is hollow. We have no idea who he is, no reason to care or be worried that he's shown up. And we have little to no reason to care what he does to the people of Zarok, either. There's no emotional investment in the dilemma in any way.

If Mordru had shown up and been banished in the previous Zyx episode, for example, then this might actually mean something. Instead it's just another throwaway villain in another throwaway episode.

The episode was also full of inconsistencies again, with Superman acting like Legion leader and giving direct orders to Bouncing Boy (the actual leader), and Mordru capturing Zyx as he tries to escape and going on about how great and powerful he is and then Zyx is just suddenly... not captured any more.

What a way to make Mordru's threat level serious! He can't even keep hold of a powerless child.

I understand what they were going for with Kell not being able to use the magic and then figuring it out, but there was never any accomplishment in him doing so or any reason he couldn't. It if was supposed to be difficult for him to say... they should have made it something difficult to say!

Magica Obsistus. That was it. Kell couldn't say it. He produced such failed attempts as "magicus obsistus" and "magica obsistusus". It makes absolutely NO SENSE because any five year old could say those two words after hearing them once. There is no degree of difficulty in saying that, which had the unintended effect of making Kell-El look like his IQ was smaller than his shoe size.

Why did they just give up on the trials, I wonder? Not Zyx and Kell, but the writers. See, first there's a trial where observation and compassion get you through. Good. Then a riddle which, although a bit contrived, was at least passable. Then the FINAL trial, the one that should be the most difficult and most spectacular and which has led to tons of failed wizards encased in crystal is... a bunch of crystal fists trying to punch them.

Oh, the drama! The horror!

Oh, and did I mention Kell has no powers on the planet the trials are on? Yeah. And yet, he gets eaten and regurgitated, catches and holds up a falling tree, smashes giant crystal fists and holds up a huge, descending stone door.

Strength and invulnerability are still powers, Mr. Melching. But he's already on my list from the last episode, and this one is no better. Check out these great dialogue gems!

"I will have my revenge!"

"What have we here?"

"Now, learn what it means to suffer at the hands of Mordru the Merciless!" (cue evil laughter)

"Will that be enough?" "It'll have to be!"

"I strongly suggest you vacate the premises."

"We're not leaving here until we end you, magician!"

"You cannot do this to me! I am Mordru! Mooooordruuuuuuuu!"

This, to me, speaks of Super Friends, when instead it should be speaking of Justice League Unlimited, you feel me? The storytelling and dialogue are a quarter-century outdated, trite and just painful to sit through. I couldn't wait for the episode to be over, truthfully.

But let's not forget the best line of the episode... Mordru's spell. No matter what he wants to do, he only seems to chant one thing:


Mystical Sexorville?

This is Chas. A. Boogerjuice III, Esq.*, asking you to please shoot him.

* - That's MR. Boogerjuice to you!

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