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.