By: Peter David (writer)

The Story: Imagine hanging with your boo’s ex—that’s the awkwardness we have here.

The Review: I waxed poetic about David in my review of the last episode he wrote for this series, so there’s no need to fall over myself again here.  I just have to wonder, though: how does he really feel about this show that took on the name of one of his most reputable works, yet reflects his tone and concepts in virtually no other way?  How must it feel to adapt himself to characters and conceits that in some ways go against his sensibilities?

These are all rhetorical questions, of course, best left to private but ultimately fruitless musings.  The only thing that matters is how David works the material he’s given—which is pretty darn well, actually.  Watching this episode, it occurs to me that in many ways, David takes the YJers at hand treat them like the ones he knew.

Case in point: Kid Flash and Artemis.  If any of you followed the Young Justice comics back in the day, you might remember the bit of puppy love Impulse had for Arrowette at the time.  Though that particular romance never really panned out, David seems to revive it here through their TV-screen counterparts.  The show has labored to convince us that a Kid Flash-Artemis pairing would be a great idea, but only under David’s writing do sparks actually fly.  It’s a sweet moment when Wally tells Art she has nothing to prove, made even sweeter by his bashfulness and her pleased reaction.  If we get more of this, we can look forward to their courtship.

Unfortunately, the plot throws several obstacles in their path this episode.  Despite Wally’s reassurance, Artemis does let the presence of Red Arrow get to her, though not, perhaps, for the reasons everyone expects.  It’s not about the difference in their skill levels, or even of his long history with most the team.  Artemis set out on her own to rise above the criminals all around her (apparently including her mother—as the Huntress, of all things); to discover the acceptance from her heroic mentor and teammates is unearned and tenuous is a painful experience, indeed.

As for Red Arrow’s sudden membership, I like Green Arrow insisting he join at least for the sake of appearance before he officially enters the League.  Aquaman made an excellent point last episode about the injustice of admitting Roy, who never deigned to collaborate with anyone, not even his mentor, while the other sidekicks took the legit route to Leagueship their mentors prepared for them.  Still, if Red made it in and Aqualad, who’s been nothing but wise and effective (even taking Artemis’ critical misjudgments in stride), doesn’t, that’s bull—just saying.

Another very David-esque part of the episode is Zatanna tempting Miss Martian and Superboy to explore Red Tornado’s apartment to temper their boredom.  This sense of mischief has always been curiously missing from the show, so it’s nice to see them acting more like the youngsters they are and giving into impulse once in a while.  This time, however, they actually uncover some secrets of actual, emotional significance relating to their robot chaperone—which again, fits David very well as he wrote the definitive Tornado (in my mind) back in Young Justice.

Conclusion: Some solid humor, great character work, lively action, sincere emotional moments, and long-term plot developments—this episode has it all, and should definitely serve as the standard for future ones.

Grade: A

– Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: – I’m pretty sure only about ten people in the world got the “sai is just a sai” pun/“As Time Goes By” reference—but I love David for putting it in.  One of the few jokes on this show that actually made me laugh out loud, even just for its unexpectedness.

– Did I ever mention how much I’ve enjoyed this portrayal of Black Spider as a Spider-Man analogue?  The “I’m on deadline” and “No one likes a crusading reporter” lines are particularly apt and clever.