Justice League Unlimited

Season 4 Episode 4

Task Force X

Aired Saturday 10:30 PM May 21, 2005 on Cartoon Network
out of 10
User Rating
226 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


Four incarcerated villains are released from prison by Cadmus to undertake an impossible mission: steal a powerful mystic artifact from the JLU Watchtower under the noses of the League.

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  • Villains united?

    The first in a series of new American episodes of JLU kicks off with a non-JLU episode. As advertised, this episode is told almost entirely from the "bad guys" viewpoint. The attempt is ruined slightly by showing us a few scenes from the heroes viewpoints to tell the full story, but generally it works.

    Essentially the secret conspiracy uses a military officer to assemble four convicted villains - who rely on their skills and weapons - to break into the JLU Watchtower and steal a mystical robot for future use against the League.

    All the villains are well portrayed - Deadshot and Plastique flirt when they're not getting vicious, Clock King is the master coordinater and anal-retentive timing guy, and Captain Boomerang is a jerk. For those familiar with the comics, the idea of a "Suicide Squad" might seem familiar. Rick Flagg, the fifth member of the team and its leader, is surprisingly vicious himself. And yet since they're the protagonists of the story, we're cheering them on in a way.

    Also nice work by all involved, particularly Michael Rosenbaum but also Donal Gibson, Mel's brother.

    We also get a look at a few more "crowd extras" - Vigilante, Shining Knight, and Atom-Smasher, who manage to hold their own briefly against superior numbers, in a very nicely choreographed group fight scene which is among the best we've seen since the League went unlimited.

    This story doesn't really advance the whole Cadmus storyline, although the Annihilator construct will play a major role in the next episode, "The Balance."

    This episode also neatly filled the foreshortened (and now customary) 30 minute slot. Just enough of everything to keep it moving - no unnecessary filler, and we get more of a glimpse behind the scenes at the Watchtower. No explanation for who is paying for all this, though.

    Overall, a highly entertaining episode and one that hopefully will give us the return of Task Force X down the road, with a few more members added to the team.moreless
  • The Cadmus arc ramps up...

    It's a nice change-of-pace episode that we see from the villains' point of view, and one where the seven "core" Justice Leaguers really do not play a part.

    I love Michael Rosenbaum's Kevin Spacey-like take on Deadshot (which he previously used in "The Enemy Below") and it was nice to hear the same voice for Clock King from the old Batman animated series. Adam Baldwin provides the right tone and strength as Flagg and I like how relatively few details were revealed about his character.

    Definitely marks a turning point in the show's Cadmus story arc, with the League taking its first real hit, and GL's realization that they can't trust anyone on the Watchtower.

    I dug the banter between Deadshot and Plastique, and it was nice to see some second tier heroes (Shining Knight, Atom Blaster and Vigilante) get a shot at some action. I liked Vigilante in "Hunter's Moon," and am glad we get to see more of him as the series progresses.

    Season 4 of "Unlimited" is quickly becoming my favorite out of the DC Animated Universe, and I cannot wait to watch how the Cadmus storyline resolves itself.moreless
  • This episode looks at the other side of crime-fighting.

    As a person who loves origanality, Task Force X is an episode onto itself. It introduces an entirely new set of main characters and doesn't even show many of the series main-stays. This is the kind of episode that you just don't see in over superhero type sows, and I have never seen it pulled off this well. The squad in this show comes right out of the comics, The Suicide Squad, and fits in perfectly with the canon of the JLU. The only problems with this show is how the Annihalator was used in the next episode of the series, and the aparent lack ofresistence by JLU members.moreless
  • A very clever spin on showing an "insider/outsider" view of the Justice League.

    What I really dug about this episode was that while it dealt with some characters that I wasn't too interested in - it still managed to drag me in by showing some of the less seen aspects of life in the Watchtower.

    Standing in an elevator with Green Lantern? That was a pretty sharp if you ask me. By walking around with a bunch of "regular" characters, you got a chance to see the more human side of the world's greatest superheroes.

    I don't know if the intention was to be rooting for the bad guys to succeed in the end, because I wasn't - but I was excited to see Temple Fugate again (haven't seen him since the old, OLD days of Batman.) If it was, then this episode did fall short here - but as far as presenting a new point of view for how things work in that crazy world - 100% mission accomplished.moreless
  • Now this is what the Justice League is supposed to be like.

    I shall summarize the entire plot. Bad guys get a chance to help their country or they go back to prison and their electric chairs. After accepting, they break into a place, steal a super weapon and take it back to the boss.

    Truly this is the plot summary. You must be asking yourself if I'm crazy to be giving such a high score to a ho-hum story. But as they say, the wow comes from the details.

    This show starts slow and quickly ramps up to fast paced. There is action galore with very little time to spare. The only time the pace changes it is so that it can speed up. There is a very brief epilogue scene at the end (as all good stories have) to explain the potential of this find for CADMUS.

    This is a rare episode where it takes place almost entirely from the "bad guy's" perspective. And even more rare, the Justice League losses outright in this battle. We also get another glimpse of J'onn's concerns with having regular humans on the Watchtower. Of course, this sets us up for the chance at some nice future clock and dagger episodes.

    Overall, a very entertaining episode. It didn't feel rushed for having only been a 30 minute episode, which is a first for me since Justice League Unlimited’s first few episodes. Wham bam, thank you ma'am.moreless
Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz

Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

Green Lantern/John Stewart

Juliet Landau

Juliet Landau


Guest Star

Donal Gibson

Donal Gibson

Captain Boomerang

Guest Star

Alan Rachins

Alan Rachins

Clock King

Guest Star

Juliet Landau

Juliet Landau

Tala (uncredited)

Recurring Role

CCH Pounder

CCH Pounder

Amanda Waller

Recurring Role

Chris Cox

Chris Cox

Captain Atom

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (12)

    • During the battle on the Watchtower, Shining Knight's sword is knocked from his hand, but when he pounds on the door after being locked in the room adjacent to the hallway, his sword is still in its sheath on his hip.

    • Trivia: J'onn J'onzz is called "Martian Manhunter" for the first time, by Clock King.

    • Trivia: When Task Force X breaks into the high-security storage room, you can see the original Luthor battlesuit, Grodd's helmet, pieces of Lex's giant robot, and assorted Thanagarian weapons in the background.

    • Trivia: Deadshot smuggles his weapon in Light Speed candy bar wrappers. That's the fictional candy bar that the Flash endorsed in "Eclipsed."

    • Executions always draw a big crowd, particular for "famous" prisoners. And Deadshot as a supervillain being executed would certainly seem to qualify. But the viewing gallery is totally empty.

    • The manacles on Deadshot are way too loose to be of any effective use - look at them after the warden says "Release the prisoner."

    • Belle Reve Penitentiary is located in Lousiana, but Deadshot is being lead to a gas chamber. Louisiana only uses the electric chair for electrocutions. Either that, or Belle Reve is located in Arizona, California, Maryland, Missouri, or Wyoming.

    • When Flagg punches in the security code the first time, he punches in "622" before he's interrupted. But when he goes back to finish the sequence, it says, "6-22."

    • There are 32 keys on the armory keypad (4 high, 8 wide). But since the code uses numbers, letters, and a dash character, there has to be at least 37 keys.

    • The Watchtower staff wear one of two different uniforms - one with short sleeves, one with long sleeves. The ones who wear long sleeves also also wear a black helmet-piece of some sort. Captain Boomerang wears the long-sleeved variant (to conceal his wrist bracer) but doesn't wear the head piece - someone should notice the discrepancy in the standard uniform.

    • Vigilante is shown to have only has one rope, slung over his left shoulder. But he ropes Flagg, Plastique, and Deadshot, and Captain Boomerang severs the lasso, and there's still a rope slung over his left shoulder. Where'd the other rope come from?

    • In the final fight, Flagg helps an injured Deadshot to the teleport pad then goes to help Captain Boomerang at the console. When the Annihilator hits the walls, they're still in the same relative positions. But after Plastique threatens Atom-Smasher, Captain Boomerang activates the console and Flagg and Deadshot have switched places.

  • QUOTES (18)

    • Priest: There's still time, Mr. Lawton. Are you sure you don't want me to pray for you?
      Deadshot: I'm sure. But if it comforts you, padre, by all means.

    • Rick Flagg: Before you do something stupid, tell me--how did you enjoy your last meal?
      Deadshot: Not bad. The asparagus was a little overcooked, but the lobster was perfect.
      Rick Flagg: It was laced with explosive nanites.
      Deadshot: Excuse me?
      Rick Flagg: That's right. Any escape attempt and, well, you're going to look kind of funny trying to run away with no head.

    • Deadshot: So what do I call you?
      Rick Flagg: The name's Flagg - Colonel Flagg.
      Deadshot: Colonel... Flagg? You're kidding, right?

    • Deadshot: This must be some nasty business.
      Rick Flagg: A little B&E, a little grand larceny. No big deal.

    • Deadshot: What's the target?
      Rick Flagg: Justice League headquarters.
      Deadshot: Always did want to die for my country.

    • Rick Flagg: And Betty Sans Sourci. Current alias--"Plastique." Explosives expert.
      Deadshot: Umm, I know. I've seen the pictures.
      Plastique: And that's all you're going to see, killer.

    • Deadshot: Tell me, Colonel - what's Waller got on you?
      Rick Flagg: Not a thing. Some of us don't have to be blackmailed into serving their country.

    • Captain Boomerang: Ah, so we'll make our way there, pretty as you please, then maybe a picnic lunch and the Justice League will give us a ride home. We may as well be storming Heaven's Gate itself.
      Clock King: Unlike Heaven, this tower has a duty schedule. One I've studied thoroughly. I've scheduled your visit for when they're at their weakest.
      Captain Boomerang: Define "weakest," please.

    • Rick Flagg: Last-minute change in the duty roster, Superman's got the drop on you--what do you do?
      Plastique: Before or after I change my shorts?

    • Deadshot: And (Flagg)? Going in unarmed?
      Captain Boomerang: This one don't need no weapons.

    • Technician #1: Why was he wearing Booster Gold's pants? So Jimmy says, "Because he left his long underwear at the cleaners." Even Big Blue laughed at that one.

    • Rick Flagg: We wait for the others. They have three minutes.
      Captain Boomerang: Are you out of your blinkin' head? We got to go! (Flagg glares at him) Did I say "leave"? Because I meant "wait."

    • Plastique: You are a very bad boy.
      Deadshot: Tell me you didn't love it.

    • Deadshot: I thought he was going to wet himself when you mentioned the Martian. He couldn't let us through fast enough.
      Plastique: That was nothing. I almost lost it when this bonehead set off the metal detector.
      Captain Boomerang: Seventy-five cents is seventy-five cents. I'm supposed to throw away money?
      Rick Flagg: Shut your mouths and get your mind on the job.

    • Deadshot: Most fun I've had since my last root canal.

    • Vigilante: I reckon you boys have a good explanation for what you're doing on A Deck?
      Shining Knight: 'Tis more likely that these varlets are the source of our woes.
      Rick Flagg: Can't slip anything past you.

    • J'onn: Ask yourselves-–is being in here with me what you truly desire?

    • J'onn: Don't you understand? We can't trust him.
      Green Lantern: J'onn...we can't trust anyone now.

  • NOTES (5)