Justice League Unlimited

Season 1 Episode 7

The Enemy Below (2)

4
Aired Saturday 10:30 PM Dec 10, 2001 on Cartoon Network
8.6
out of 10
User Rating
175 votes
1

EPISODE REVIEWS
By TV.com Users

Episode Summary

EDIT
Betrayed by his own subjects, Aquaman and the League fight to save Atlantis, the world, and Aquaman's own son against his half-brother Orm's coup.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Looking Back in Retrospect

    7.0
    Having rewatched the episode in late night repeats a few years after first viewing, I'd note that this is really the kind of episode which demonstrated why the series had to change after two years. It was impressive in its time, but really in hindsight it's same-old-same-old. League show up, have a pointless fight (battling the Atlantean Navy), gripe a little, have a long fight with Deadshot, part 2, another fight, a weak capture scene, they escape, another fight scene, they resolve the problem.



    Now, these are good fight scenes. And Aquaman gets a welcome shot of testerone. But really this was kinda the standard template they used over and over again for two bloody years. To some degree, this is the kind of episode that "Greatest Story Ever Told" mocks - big pointless fight while some schmuck in the background plays clean-up.



    This episode is padded. It's the kind of story that could have been told in 30 minutes, and it's hard to watch this and say, "Well, we should keep on doing two-part 60 minute-total episodes." The Deadshot thing is there just to show that Deadshot is cool - the audience already knows that Orm is a no-goodnik. We don't need a 10-minute fight/chase sequence to set up the revelation.



    And a lot of the first two years are like this. There's a few times when the build-up is worth the extra time - "Injustice for All" and "Legends" are good examples, to build up all the characters for the former and to maintain the suspense and the feeling of loss at the end for the latter. But they're few and far between.



    I think the 30-minute JLU episodes forced the writers to cut the garbage and compress things...and the characterization stands out more when you do that too.



    What else? Mera has very little personality. Orm is arguably the worst villain in the entire series. At least Imperium looked creepy. Orm has almost no personality, and no real fighting skills. He needs (underwater) land mines to take out the League - ooohh.



    Aquaman is really the standout here, and you have to wonder to some degree a few years later...where did it go? For a guy with all the responsibilities of rulership, he sure has a lot of time to show up in Season 4 crowd-shot cameos these days. It's not just contrast to the Superfriends non-entity, but actual decent writing that makes him a decent character and it's easy to see why him and Green Lantern butt heads - they're both basically military/command types.



    Overall, this is a fairly good episode but these days with the advances in storytelling that the team has perfect for JLU, it really doesn't stand out much or make much of an impression.moreless
Kevin Conroy

Kevin Conroy

Batman/Bruce Wayne

Susan Eisenberg

Susan Eisenberg

Wonder Woman/Diana

Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

Green Lantern/John Stewart

Carl Lumbly

Carl Lumbly

Martian Manhunter/J'onn J'onzz

George Newbern

George Newbern

Superman/Clark Kent/Kal-El

Phil LaMarr

Phil LaMarr

Atlantean Guard 1 (uncredited)

Guest Star

Richard Green

Richard Green

Orm

Guest Star

Kristin Bauer

Kristin Bauer

Mera

Guest Star

Scott Rummel

Scott Rummel

Aquaman

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (4)

    • Aquaman is talking with the League as he gets his hand replaced. Then in the next scene, he's at the Arctic Circle and the League fly up behind him. How'd he get from Atlantis to the Arctic when seconds count before the polar caps melted? Even at a couple of 100 miles an hour, it would take a while to get there. And where were the League while Aquaman was swimming along? In a crisis situation you'd think they'd give him a lift, but apparently they were just flying along waiting for him to (relatively slowly) arrive at the North Pole to tell them he doesn't want their help.

    • It doesn't make any sense for the Atlanteans to put a big ice-melting device in...a glacier. It looks like the glacier will melt and the reactor will plummet into the water long before most of the other ice does.

    • It makes sense in the comics because they've been explaining it for years. But to the casual (and not so casual) viewer, it is rather confusing why the water-breathing Atlanteans live in a big oxygen-filled dome.

    • When the Justice League and Aquaman arrive at the North Pole, General Brak says "Soldiers of Atlantis - Attack!" then Aquaman dives into the water. His missing hand is back and partially hidden by his body.

  • QUOTES (2)

    • Superman: His own hand. I can't believe it.
      Green Lantern: I told you he was a madman.
      Mera: Is it madness to sacrifice all for someone you love?

    • Batman: There's not much time. If we can't shut that down, the entire world is doomed.
      Green Lantern: I suppose this is a bad time to say, "I told you so."

  • NOTES (1)

  • ALLUSIONS (2)

    • Lying King
      This episode perhaps coincidentally has several strong visual and plot cues to the Disney movie The Lion King, with Orm as Scar, Aquaman as Mufasa (although he lives), and Aquababy as Simba. Note particularly Orm's backwards plunge to his death, paralleling Mufasa's above the wildebeast herd.

    • Based on the Comics
      As is often the case, the writers and producers combined a number of elements. In the comics Aquaman doesn't lose his hand trying to save his son. In fact, his son dies in the comics: not surprisingly, everyone involved opted out of showing a young baby being brutally murdered. Still, writer Kevin Hopps does a good job of playing up the "will they or won't they kill Aquaman's son" angle.

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