By: Nicole Dubuc (story)

The Story: Once again, Young Justice proves that it is not their fate to have an HQ.

The Review: Well, it’s been a long, strange hiatus, but we made it.  I must say, it’s not easy being a Young Justice fan with this unpredictable air schedule they’ve got going, but I suppose we can live with it as long we get something worth waiting for.  While some of you may have started the year with last week’s episode, some of us managed to catch that episode last year, making this week’s showing our first real foray back into serious YJ business.

In retrospect, the tenth episode was probably the better one to start off with.  It showcased nearly every member of the group, tied together a number of important plotlines, and packed in a ton of action to boot.  It was in almost every way an ideal example of the show’s appeal.  That’s not to demean this episode in any way, but by comparison, it’s much more straightforward and reserved than the one preceding.

A good chunk involves wrapping up ends left loose from the team’s encounter with the Reach under the sea.  Black Canary merely confirms what we’ve long known about the aliens’ agenda on Earth: manipulating the potential of the human meta-gene for their own ends.  Jaime actually does surprise you with his decision to reveal some fairly big secrets, some of which are not his own, but the impact of this remains to be seen.

Another chunk of the episode involves the seething tension between the remaining League and the Reach, who manage to gain the favor of public opinion in a surprisingly short amount of time, helped by the nigh-hysterical commentary of G. Godfrey*.  Still, you got to give props to the noseless invaders for their utter smoothness.  Simultaneously revealing the League’s intergalactic criminal status and showing them up in full public view are two pretty slick moves, frustrating Captain Atom’s attempts to call their credibility into question.  It’s pretty clear that the public of Earth-16 will have to go through a painful “I told you so” moment down the line.

It’s pretty amazing how many continuity details you can forget in three months.  Like the destruction of YJ’s base or the increasingly obvious problems in Mal and Karen’s relationship or even Miss Martian’s traumatic psychic attack on Aqualad.  This episode neatly brings all these issues to the forefront, a reminder of the show’s excellent long-term plotting, and even more impressively weaves them into the thick of the action.

Personally, I don’t care too much about M’gann’s switch from aggression to timidity where her telepathic powers are concerned, but it may be the very thing to jumpstart the explosion waiting to happen when everyone discovers Nightwing’s subterfuge.  Honestly, I’m more impressed by Mal’s big role in this episode.  He probably would’ve been content playing second banana to Karen forever had she given him any attention whatsoever, but since that’s not happening, his confrontation with Despero feels distinctly like an attempt to reclaim some self-respect.  More on this, please.

Conclusion: After the big high of last episode, this one doesn’t have quite as much pizzazz, but it’s a worthy sample of the show nevertheless.

Grade: B+

– Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: * Whom I’m just itching to punch every time I see him.  Doesn’t he just remind you of some of the most hypocritical, showboating pundits in our own media?

– Oh, yeah, Billy Batson’s grown up some, now.  No wonder he seems a little less jolly and a lot more raring for action than before.  Nice detail, YJ writers.

– I appreciate that Black Lightning’s lightning is actually black in this show.  It lends some doubt as to whether his name is actually inherently racist.

– Let’s be honest here.  It’s L-Ron who really has all the power in the relationship; Despero’s just his trophy “master.”