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Young Justice S02E10 – Review

By: Kevin Hopps (story)

The Story: This will teach Miss Martian to look before she leaps—into someone’s brain.

The Review: As I understand it, there’s some weirdness going on with the release of these episodes.  The official schedule set this episode to come out in January, but apparently, you can the jump on the television viewers if you have iTunes—or various “other sources,” as I do.  I won’t say more, just in case Cartoon Network’s intelligence community catches wind and breaks down my door, demanding turnover of my Young Justice episode.

They would have to pry it from my struggling fingers, too, because this was a highly enjoyable episode.  It puts on display every virtue this show has boasted from the beginning, and all the others it’s gained since its second season.  It also starts the show on the path towards the culmination of every major plotline it’s introduced in the last nine episodes.

Although “Invasion” is a prominent part of the show’s title now, the alien stuff had been put on the sidelines while the team shifted focus to tension within the group.  It’s easy to overlook how volatile the group dynamic actually is because the writers have done a great job keeping emotions relatively restrained and organic to the story, but the fact of the matter is the seeds of discord have all been sown, ready to burst into chaotic fruit as needed.

For example, Miss Martian’s psychic aggression at first didn’t seem like such a big deal since we’ve only seen her use it rarely and it’s been unclear how detrimental the effects of powers are on her targets.  Here, however, you take her mental ravaging lot more seriously since her victim is someone you still care quite a great deal about, and the unintended consequences could jeopardize the team and the world as a whole.  Her regret is real and obvious, but whether that translates to actual changes, enough to satisfy Superboy, remains to be seen.

You also see growing tension from other areas.  The pressure of keeping so many secrets is beginning to build on Nightwing, and it can only grow worse once those folks in the dark catch wind of his agenda and confront him—and this episode makes confrontation inevitable.  Impulse’s true motives are starting to come to light, and you discover Blue Beetle stands at the center of his past-changing plans.

At first, it looks as if the team has managed to pull through and score a major victory, despite the fairly bad odds.  Their success is well-deserved.  Each YJer, new and old, had something critical to do during the battle, even those that up to the end of the episode had been hostages.  The show has always been incredibly adept at choreographing their action sequences to make them lively, non-repetitive, and a great showcase for each character’s skillset, and this episode is a great sample of that.

Unfortunately, theirs is a conditional victory.  In a rather clever last-minute maneuver, the enemy pre-empts whatever move the team had been planning to take next.  The future of fighting off these foreign invaders will become a lot more complicated with public opinion standing in the way, swayed by the ever dastardly G. Godfrey.

Conclusion: In one fell swoop, this episode ties together nearly every major plotline it’s been developing since the second season began, resulting in a very substantial, though action-packed watch.

Grade: A

- Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: - Hey, the Reach are polite.  They never fail to respond to a favor with “Gratitude.”

- Is that a certain Virgil Hawkins I see, grabbing up a weapon to do his part, despite his civilian threads?

- Not to draw politics into this, but after exposure to so much U.S. presidential election nonsense, I must say that G. Godfrey’s slimey flip-flopping is more noticeable than ever—and the fact the public follows nonetheless seems even more believable.

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9 Responses

  1. Honestly I am amazed by the quality of this show. Each character is treated with respect and unique placement. I really think it is the animated equivalent of Game of Thrones as far as the quality of writing is concerned. Outstanding.

    Now only if they could keep the damn scheduling straight. Seriously, that first episode back and I couldn’t remember who the heck each person was outside their costumes…

    • It is really weird that a show this solid and popular would have such major scheduling problems. I really don’t know what Cartoon Network’s deal is (and it must be an issue on CN’s end because the creators of Young Justice expressed much displeasure at the sudden delay to January).

  2. Great episode, but it did have its flaws.

    Credit where it’ due: I did NOT see the Miss Martian thing coming. And her reaction is unbelievably REALISTIC; like a soldier that has caused friendly fire; she falls to shock; immediately questioning her own abilities and is incapacitated because of it. I half expected a public explosion of rage at Nightwing. And yes, his pressure is showing; you can tell he’s having trouble keeping it straight in his head when Robin and Batgirl question him on what happens if Kaldur recognizes them.

    I do dislike how easily the team accepted the idea of the Reach; when they see “Black Beetle” they don’t hesitate; they don’t wonder if he’s Jaime under mind control or even WTF is going on; they just jump into the fight. Then Batgirl says to Nightwing “Blue’s fighting Black” – Black what? How come nobody even says out loud “Hey, WTF did that second beetle come from?” And while we’re at it, how come nobody ever asks who Kaldur’s new lieutenant is? Far as the team sees, she’s a new player, and might have powers that could upset the whole plan.

    Also, this would have been the perfect time for Artemis and Kaldur to break cover; why didn’t they? They have the intel that they went looking for; why continue the charade? If they had tipped the scales, the battle would have gone a lot smoother than it did. Especially after, in light of what happened; wouldn’t it make sense to come back in and see if Megan can repair the damage she probably did?

    IMO, the Jaime/Impulse scenes were the high point of the episode. Now that their plots have taken centerstage; it’ll be interesting to see where it leads.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if part of the script did have reactions from the rest of the team over Black Beetle, but time constraints forced them to excise the scene.

  3. Apokolips has to be involved somehow Godfrey is a New God

    • Godfrey’s presence doesn’t mean that Apokolips “has to be involved”. Godfrey was used in the “Justice League” series with no link to Apokolips (though that was only one two-parter).

      That said… his continued presence on this show makes me wonder…

      • I think, considering the New Gods episode we had in S01E17 of the show, it’s safe to say that Apokolips will be involved somehow. After all, the Reach is only one of the Light’s allies.

  4. Great episode and great review. I’ll admit though, seeing those aliens as the “partner” of the Light was a tad anticlimactic for me. Didn’t the Light’s partner also use boom tube technology to transport that “ball”? I was thinking Apokolips (or even White Martians), but that’s over…

    The fallout of M’gann’s actions on Aqualad should be interesting.

    • Apokolips is pretty much the ultimate antagonist of any DC story, so I think the show probably wants to avoid using them until the last minute. After dealing with Darkseid and the other Apokoliptans, wouldn’t every enemy that followed seem kind of weak-sauce by comparison?

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