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Young Justice S02E18 – Review

YOUNG JUSTICE S02E18

By: Peter David (story)

The Story: Jaime practice his pageant wave for a future run of Mr. Young Justice.

The Review: As we get closer and closer to the end—just two more weeks, if you can believe it—it seems only natural that we begin to think wistfully of all that might have been.  One thing strikes me in particular.  I think had the show’s writers known this season was going to be their last, they probably would have tweaked the episodes to focus more equitably on the entire cast, rather than just a handful.  I definitely think Blue Beetle could’ve survived less screen-time.

Given that the big invaders of this season turned out to be the Reach, it makes perfect sense that Blue Beetle would play a major role in the overarching plot.  But the writers sort of went overboard once they inserted this idea that the whole future depends on whether Jaime winds up on the dark side or not.  That’s the real reason why we’ve seen so much of him this season; I don’t think his hapless personality and Spanglish somehow made him a breakout character.

To be fair, Jaime’s mental squabbles with his Scarab have provided decent entertainment—which is good because we have gotten quite a lot of them and they often steer very close to being annoying.  This episode has Jaime engaging in a lot of internal face-slapping as his body gets turned into a walking promotion for the Reach.  In the end, Jaime and the Scarab have a mutual recognition of respect, a surprisingly warm moment for this very odd couple.

Still, now that we have the full Young Justice team back in business, all this fixation on Jaime just seems excessive.  Seeing Beast Boy, Wonder Girl, Batgirl, Bumblebee, and Robin in action reminds you just how little you’ve seen of these second-gen characters all season.  While each may have had a spotlight episode at some point, that feels very far away now, and it seems a rather sad fate that they’ll have no other chances to shine from now on.

At least they can always dependably get a few great battle moments in.  The show’s writers and animators have honed their action choreography to a masterful level by now, with every episode showing off how sophisticated and intricate they’ve become.  Animated fights rarely achieve the same intensity of live action, but YJ gets pretty darn close with their tasteful mixture of slo-mo and physics-defying movements.  Impulse backflipping off Blue Beetle in midair then running down the side of a building definitely gets you pumped, and it’s only one moment of many.

Plot-wise, the use of an ancient magical ritual to solve both Blue and Green Beetles’ Scarab problems is an appropriate use of magic as deus ex machina (although Zatanna’s fairly broad, repeated uses of backwards spells in this episode comes dangerously close to turning her into a one-stop problem solver).  I’m just not super-thrilled that the team delivers a whole slew of exposition in the last five minutes of the show about how they pulled this plan off, especially with all its attached revisionism.  Unfortunately, there really is now way around it with the series wrapping up so soon.

The moment Miss Martian shows up to meet Lagoon Boy, receiving his affection in the most lukewarm manner possible, you knew the end was near for them, and even he realizes it the moment she mentions they should have a “talk.”  David plays out the break-up in a very credible, non-soppy way, although Lagoon Boy’s desperation goes down easier than M’gann’s gentle but blunt assessment of him as her “rebound guy.”  I’ll be honest; I am not the biggest Miss Martian fan and this scene makes me like her even less, especially once she starts scoping for Superboy the moment she gets back to YJ HQ—even though she told La’gann it wasn’t about Connor.*

Conclusion: Too much talk to be a truly standout episode, but you do get some major plot developments and the usually stellar action.

Grade: B+

- Minhquan Nguyen

Some Musings: * This makes me hope even more that the show will buck convention and expectation and just let Connor move on with Wendy.  I mean, are there really that many Superboy-Miss Martian shippers out there?  Judging from Deviantart, I’m pretty sure there are more fans of the Superboy-Robin relationship.

 - From the shrewish snapping between them this episode, I’m guessing that the Reach Ambassador and Reach Scientist are going to get a divorce after this.  Earth was not the honeymoon destination they were hoping for.

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7 Responses

  1. Okay, a few things, in no particular order of importance, and randomness:

    You seriously didn’t see the M’gann/Lagon breakup coming? It was hinted at last episode. I do agree it would be interesting to see her coming back, and experiencing Connor’s rebound relationship.

    Zanna’s problem has always been that she can solve most any problem all by herself. It’s amazing that she wasn’t brought in before this to take care of the problem faster. Every team should have at least one lawful/good Homo-Magi member :)

    Any chance I get to see this version of Batgirl is cool. Remember when Bat-Mite was pitching for a CGI version of her? ;)

    Visually, I thought this was a great episode. If you still have it on your DVR, try watching it without the sound, and see if you still feel the same way about the ending.

    Still reeling from your phrase, ‘from now on.’ Not clear how you can know about what you haven’t seen yet. Unless you’re getting advance copies for review, in which case, where do I sign up for those??? ;)

    Stay sane, my friend.

    • Great review.

      The ton of exposition we got at the end weakened it a bit for me, but I loved this episode since it concludes Blue’s story with the Reach.

      Unfortunately, the Light looks like it’s going strong, so we can expect a cliffhanger ending, just like last season. Worse, this cliffhanger won’t reach a conclusion…

      • Maybe Greg Weisman and Co. can convince the folks at DC animated to release an OVA at some point. They’re guaranteed to get a good bit of sales from that one just from current YJ fans alone.

    • Sadly, I have not been graced with the honor of getting advance copies of TV episodes. Which is strange, because I consider WCBR the very height of journalistic integrity and sophistication–as if our WordPress design doesn’t already tell you that!

      I will make all possible attempts to stay sane, pal.

      • Good deal. Maybe I should use my contacts @DC in order to achieve coolness for this site….

        • Hey Matches,

          If you REALLY have contacts at DC, can you:

          a) find out if YJ and GL are officially cancelled or not? (it only says that they won’t be back in the fall. That could mean a hiatus.

          b) find out what Greg Weisman meant in his recent interview that YJ is not over?

          I’m sure we’d all appreciate it.

          • Clearly, the current Young Justice story is over, AND we know there’s another Batman in the works. I’ll see what I can find out about GL.

            If indeed he needs to come back ;)

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