Sunday, 1 April 2012

Young Justice - Episode 23 Review and Recap


The episode begins in Star City, where the League of Shadows member, Black Spider, is swinging across the city in a manner not that dissimilar to a certain blue and red costumed fellow over in Marvel. He stops off at an apartment building where a man is saying goodnight to his daughter, then yanks him backwards out of a window. Explaining that the man, evidently a reporter, was warned that could happen if he didn't stop his "crusading journalism" Black Spider drops him, making an extremely Spidey-ish quip while doing so. The reporter's fall is cushioned by the timely intervention of Artemis and Green Arrow though, who shot expanding foam arrows at the ground to prevent the splat. They then rain arrows at Black Spider while Mr Jones' daughter looks on in amazement. Oh, and I just got who she's meant to be. A fan of archers who is a blonde and has Jones as a surname? It's Arrowette!

Meanwhile, in Belle Reve, Sportsmaster is breaking into the prison for some reason. In Star City the fight between the Arrows and BS continues, with Spider becoming more and more like Spider-man with every word he utters. Artemis "takes the lead" after BS pretty much punches Ollie into the floor, managing to take down the bad guy and getting a compliment from Green Arrow in the process. Back in jail, Sportsmaster releases a shadowy criminal from "the penalty box", then cuts past the infirmary where the elderly T.O. Morrow is being mocked by Dr Ivo... because he's kind of a dick.

Artemis is extremely happy at how her evening out with Ollie is going, and they stop by a TARDIS... wha? Oh, it turns out that it's a Justice League teleporter, and that Artemis is getting weekly visits to assist Ollie with his crime fighting, something she's really really excited about doing. After she 'ports away, Ollie turns and finds Roy there. Red Arrow comments that he's there to see if Artemis is improving, and when a police report of a robbery comes over Ollie's radio, the pair decide to sort out it together "For old times' sake." And just before the opening titles start, it seems that Sportsmaster was collecting Dr Ivo up, and how the one taunting Morrow was actually a robot duplicate. *dramatic sting*

In Gotham, Artemis is talking about her heroing exploits with her mum, who says she's relieved that she's taken this path instead of the one that she, her father and her sister all took. They bring up the events of the tie-in comic, where Batman and Green Arrow talked to Artemis and her mum about her joining the team, and in the midst of the conversation it turns out that her mum's villaining name was Huntress. Huh. The woman formerly known as Huntress comments how s after what happened to Cheshire she had begged the two heroes to take Artemis under their wing, which turns out to be the wrong thing to have said, as Artemis now thinks that she was brought onto the team as a kind of pity case.

Cutting to New Orleans, it seems that Ivo and Sportsmaster are meeting up with the people who arranged the rescue from prison, Klarion, the Brain and Mallah. Though it turns out that Klarion wanted T.O. Morrow, not Ivo, and tells Sportsmaster to take him back to prison, to the Doctor's chargrin. Teekl tells Klarion about how Morrow is in a coma, while Ivo launches into a speech about how his rival's skills have been in a coma since the 1940s (aw). Sportsmaster convinces the scientist to stay though, and they await the arrival of his equipment.

Artemis is feeling insecure about her position on the team due to what her mother told her, but she bucks herself up by reminds herself that she's just spent for months on the Team, and at this point she must have nothing to prove to them. She goes back to Mount Justice, she arrives just in time for Ollie to announce that Roy has decided to join the Team (this is prior to being allowed to join the Justice League properly in a little under a year) which doesn't help Artemis' mood any.

Ollie gets on with the mission briefing, explaining that Batman and Robin are currently busy in Gotham at the moment so he'll be helping out. He tells them how Sportsmaster was spotted in New Orleans, and tells the Team to go and investigate what it is he's up to. Which is something that makes Artemis nervous, considering their relationship. She quickly volunteers to go on the mission, as Green Arrow initially stated that he wanted Aqualad, Kid Flash and Red Arrow to go, claiming that since Robin and M'gann aren't going then she's the person who has logged the most hours piloting the bio-ship.

On the ship flying to New Orleans, Wally tries, clumsily to explain that Artemis has made her own place at on the team at this point and that she doesn't have anything to prove. His first attempt at saying this though, got a heck of a deathglare from Artemis though, heh, but she does look a little better after his more successfuly try. Meanwhile, Aqualad is talking to Roy, who then drops the bombshell that the real reason he joined the Team was to find the mole, and all the signs pointed to it being Artemis.

Back in Mount Justice, M'Gann, Conner and Zatanna suddenly realise that having a night off is boring, and try to get Red Tornado to give them something to do, getting the answer that they'll just have to entertain themselves and flies up to his apartment in the ceiling. Zee points out that since RT doesn't change clothes, eat or sleep, finding out what exactly the android does in his flat might be a fun distraction...

In Louisiana, the Team are now tailling Sportsmaster, with Roy telling Artemis (who is flying their plane) to hold back as the supervillain has proven he can spot Martian invisibility tech when it's moving. Disregarding Roy's order for everyone to keep their distances, Artemis hops down to spy on her dad from a closer range, only to get jumped by Cheshire, her sister. Chesh points out that he beats that Artemis will run out of arrows before she runs out of sword, and that really if she wants to defeat her, A should start using the pointy arrows instead of the trick ones. Artemis points out at this point that considering their history, Cheshire working with Sportsmaster is... not a good decision, getting a crack to appear in her sister's shield of smug by getting the "Not my choice, not my call" response spat at her.

At this point, Roy shows up, shooting a netarrow at Chesh and tying her to a tree. She responds to this by joking that she and Roy are dating, getting a horrified reaction from Artemis. Sportsmaster overhears this through his earpiece though, and makes it scarce. He gets Ivo's equipment, thrown at him by what sounds like monkey robots, and he drives off on his boat. Cheshire mentions, as she begins fighting Artemis and Roy, that she's actually pretty found of the pair, and jokes that she'll try now to damage them too severely. She then laids on on Roy in front of Artemis, just to mess with her.

Roy yells for Artemis to shoot a tracer at Sportsmaster's boat, only she says that she can't make the shot. Then DOES make the shot, with a fancy arrow, and takes off after the villain on a jetski while A and Kid Flash fight Chesh. Sportsmaster loses Roy by throwing a bunch of grenades at him, and does the same to get rid of Aqualad. While this is going on, in a well done fight scene Artemis manages to get a tracer on Chesh's sword before she also does a vanishing trick. Only it turns out that she did no such thing, and just stuck one onto a passing frieghttrain. Eek. Kid Flash and Artemis share a moment though, which is nice.

The Team regroup, with Roy laying it on thick about how Artemis couldn't follow orders etc. which gets the response that she had seen Chesh sneaking up on him and couldn't radio it in because she thought that they might have hacked the frequency. She then tries to get Roy to follow "Cheshire's" signal she she apparently couldn't be trusted, only for Wally to fetch it back for her. She decides to follow along in the bioship, but the general feeling that the entire mission is just drifting at this point.

Meanwhile, in Mount Justice: Wacky hijinks! While Red Tornado is out, the left over members of the team try to break into his flat. Zatanna floats up to the room and opens the door with her magic, while Megan just flies, Conner itches his arm (hinting that he's using Luthor's patches from the last episode) and either jumps or flies there. Inside they find... a Christmas tree with some Jewish religious stuff under it, and a body under a sheet.

In New Orleans, the villainous, villainous plot is revealled! Combining the nanomachines from earlier in the episode, with the chunk of Starro that the Light stole from STAR Labs in Misplaced with a bit of Klarion's magic in the mix, they've created mindcontrolling nanobots! Crap. Artemis drops through a skylight, making it appear that she'd actually followed her sister after all. Cheshire points out that she'd found the tracker almost instantly, but that she kept it to give to Artemis, as it'd make a good match for the one that Roy stuck to her quiver. She then messes about with her iPad to show how their dad was going to kill Roy with a spear, but Artemis blasts him out of the way by shooting an exploding arrow at the door he was trying to unlock from the opposite side. This launches into a fight between Sportsmaster and Roy, while the sisters battle. They then snark at each other as Cheshire and Sportsmaster attack from from both sides.

The mystery sheet is pulled asside, to reveal that there is a human-ish robot on the table. After Zatanna asks if Red Tornado is building a "friend", the robot himself steps in, and explains that he was building an android to act as his human alter ego as opposed to just remaining a thorough robot the entire time. Red isn't that annoyed that the trio broke into his appartment, pleased that they think that his idea is a good one, but Zatanna uses her powers to give the android trousers, as they're important for human interaction. Which raises questions as to how anatomically correct the thing is...

Back at the main plot, the fight is continuing, with impacts actually beginning to get kind of savage, complete with Cheshire attempting to stab Artemis with a sai. Kid Flash shows up to save her though, explaining that they'd caught up with the other signal, and that it was stuck to a train, which Artemis explains as Cheshire's attempt to dump it, which Wally says he figures much have been the case. He then takes over the fight with Cheshire as Artemis attempts to capture Klarion, Ivo etc. by herself. This gets a sarcastic response from the villains, before they just teleport away with Klarion's magic.

The Team head back to Mount Justice, where Aqualad makes it very clear that the Team have actually fully lost this time, and not just in a partial win way like they sometimes do. Roy lays the blame entirely at Artemis' feet, which sadly isn't that inaccurate response to what happened. She then points out that it was her that found out that Sportsmaster was working for Ivo, Klarion and co, but Roy says that that information is useless as the guards checked at Belle Reve and that the real one was still in custody (he replaced his duplicate after the job was completed). Wally then continues his thread of not being a dick to Artemis by saying that he's fed up of Roy dumping on her constantly, to which Red Arrow responds by showing that he'd planted a tracer on her quiver to follow her to the bad guys' hideout. Wally then comes to the conclusion that the reason why Artemis went after the bad guys alone was because she wanted to prove herself by bringing down the supervillains alone, and Artemis, not being able to say the truth, doesn't deny that. Wally then calls her insecure and selfish, as her actions caused them to loose the bad guys. It's at this point that Roy just starts openly talking about how she's a traitor in front of everybody, though Aqualad says that she just made a mistake and if that's all you need to be a traitor than they'll all be guilty. The Team dissolves for the day, with Roy making veilled threats about how his investigation into her isn't over, "Not by a long shot". Ouch, archery pun.

Back in Gotham, Artemis is going back to her room, only to find that her dad is on her bed waiting for her. While A points an arrow at him, Sportsmaster immediately starts a speech to erode her confidence, telling her how the team where defeated (when?), how they don't need her on the team now that Red Arrow was assigned to it during the Justice League membership shake-up, and how her friend's lack of knowledge as to who her parents are means that they'll probably just decide to throw her out at this point. He goes on to say that he might be able to fight Cheshire, and she might be able to fight him, but she'll never be able to fight who she is, and sooner or later she'll have to go to the Dark Side, as that's where she belongs.

Fade to black.

The steady incease in the quality of the episode continues, with yet another very solid episode from the series. It also continues their trend of focusing upon a character at a time and playing on what makes them tick, and really it manages to enforce character development upon both Artemis and Wally at the same time, which was a nice trick.

Although I already know what the thing that the bad guys made will be used for due to someone with access to the Spanish dub releasing unhidden spoilers (bitter), seeing how it was constructed was certainly interesting to see. Cheshire, Klarion and Ivo where fun, though I was disappointed that the Brian didn't get a line though.

The fight scenes were good, but there were also a couple of small things that I thought were very well done, actingwise as well. For example, Artemis' voice actress did a really good job this episode, as did Cheshire's. And the little things like Artemis' glower during Wally's botched attempt to soothe her feelings and her reaction to the suggestion that Roy and Cheshire are dating were priceless, especially considering their relationship pre-DC reboot.

The improved friendship between Wally and Artemis was also nice to see, as was the enthusiasm with which she embraced her weekly superheroics with Green Arrow. The latter actually makes a level of sense, because her sessions with Ollie are probably the closest she's ever had to a conventional father/daughter relationship, considering the shear level of bile existing between her and her biological dad.

In all, a good episode, and interesting to see how each of the members of the Team seem to be setting themselves up for their own destruction through their own desire to keep things hidden. Although I can see how it'd work for Aqualad, presuming that, like in the comics, Black Manta is his dad as well and thus has a similar heritage "problem" as Artemis, I'm interested to see if they'll attempt a similar thing with Robin and Kid Flash. Though blackmailling the entire group would be more than a little bit silly, really.


  1. So was I the only one to crack up at the gratuitous Casablanca reference after Chesh slipped Roy some tongue? ("A kiss is still a kiss." "And a sai is just a sai." Cue groans...)

    Roy is *really* starting to get on my nerves. He's a dick, and not in a good way. I get the feeling he's planning on just revealing Artemis's secret as soon as he can. Hell, if it weren't for his comics history, I'd go ahead and make *him* be the mole, with Chesh having basically snared him with games of the heart...

  2. "Although I already know what the thing that the bad guys made will be used for due to someone with access to the Spanish dub releasing unhidden spoilers"

    Whereas I know because of comic book history!

    . . .

    What, it's not Starro?

    1. It is Starro, but it's Starro combined with magic and nanobots, to make mindcontrolling nanites.

      It's what the Light are planning to do with them is what I already know.

      On the bright side, they don't seem to be having any gap between season one of YJ and Invasion, which'll make the resulting cliffhanger easier to stand.

  3. Did anyone else think it was kind of creepy how Sportsmaster was sprawled out on Artemis's bed like that? Combined with her comment from "Bereft" that her dad would change her clothes while she was sleeping, I think someone needs to call Dateline's "To Catch a Predator." Yeesh.