By: Greg Weisman (story)

The Story: The original Roy Harper proves he can take on Lex Luthor with only one hand.

The Review: I will never understand this show’s habit of going on hiatus mid-season.  Of course, this is the same show which aired its pilot months before the rest of the first season episodes, then took a summer-long break in between.  I’m sure there are some very good practical reasons why all this must be so, but it’s annoying anyway.  You would never put up with this on a lesser show.

However, Young Justice has the good fortune of being a very good show, so it can afford its logistical oddities from time to time.  We left off last time with some fairly gnarly plot twists, and this episode shows that the creators have given plenty of thought over the summer as to how to proceed.  More than any other cartoon I’ve heard seen on American television, this series does not mess around when it comes to exploring its stories from every possible angle.

The return of the original Roy Harper couldn’t possibly avoid tension within the Arrow family, but Weisman takes that conflict in a very reasonable, thus unexpected, direction.  Roy-Prime holds no resentment against his clone, who had no say in his creation and in any case went through some trouble to save the original’s life.  Instead, Roy-Prime turns his anger to more natural targets, though only one is deserved.

Which is why I find it surprising at the end when Luthor manages to turn Roy-Prime away from his course of vengeance.  But then, this is a very competent Luthor, one of the most credible versions of him I’ve seen in any medium.  Mark Rolston voices his unbothered, offhanded manner perfectly.  How fitting he gets some of the best lines in the show.  After surviving a missile attack beneath his office table, he comments, “And that, my dear, is why I spend top dollar for a customized desk.”

The series also has to deal with the aftermath of Artemis’ “death.”  Obviously, the anger and grief from her teammates gets big play, which tells you there’ll be hell to pay once the ruse gets revealed.  But the really interesting sentiments come from some unexpected individuals.  With Cheshire and Sportsmaster both pissed at Artemis’ killers (Sportsmaster for less than loving reasons: “The son of Black Manta cannot kill Sportsmaster’s daughter—not without running it by me first.”), the war between the heroes and the Light has gotten that much more complicated.

Besides the more pressing storylines, the show also takes the time to follow up on the long-term plot threads.  True, I never cared all that much about Superboy and Miss Martian’s relationship to begin with, but their break-up does offer some opportunities to figure out where they stand without each other.  Clearly, M’gann has blossomed during her time apart, while Connor still seems mired in the past.  This episode doesn’t exactly change all that, but it opens the door for Connor to explore what else life has to offer.  Incidentally, I find the chemistry between him and the vivacious and altogether human Wendy has a lot of possibilities.

Conclusion: More talk than action, but some pretty well-delivered talk and action for all that.  Still one of the most well-balanced and thoughtful cartoons on TV.

Grade: A-

– Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: – All the Young Justice women versus Captain Cold?  Overkill much?

– I don’t know why, but I was kind of surprised and charmed to see Ollie’s confessional scene take place in a chapel.

– And there you have it, folks—confirmation that the show did not just skip straight to Tim Drake after Dick.  Jason Tood was evidently once a YJer, but death did him part.