Young Justice Re(af)Watch Episode 3 Welcome to Happy Harbor
Now that Netflix has uploaded season 2 of Young Justice it’s the best time to rewatch the series, especially as doing so might mean Netflix picking the show up for a third season. (Though if you live in the UK like me you have to watch it through Amazon Prime and just share around posts about it). This Re(af)Watch series is not quite a review, more of an opinion piece about each episode as I rewatch them. Covering all 46 episodes of the show, and hopefully any beyond that. Continuing on with episode 3, Welcome to Happy Harbor.
Episode synopsis: The Team meet and hang out in their new HQ, Mount Justice, and with their new teammate, Miss Martian. She’s Martian Manhunter’s niece, and a bit on the overly happy and cheerful side. While they’re stuck with nothing to do, because Batman hasn’t given them any missions yet, they go out on Miss Martian’s Bio-Ship. While out and about in Happy Harbor they fight a supervillain called Mister Twister, and think its a test by Red Tornado so they get their asses kicked. They regroup, Miss Martian proves herself, and then kills a man.
The cold open this time was Aqualad, Robin, and Kid Flash trying to talk Speedy into joining the Team, while Speedy fights Green Arrow villain Brick. They talk it up good, but he declines. Calling it just another way for the League to put them in their place. Speedy’s definitely getting angrier the more the show goes on, he’s got a lot of subdued anger compared to Superboy’s more violent and shouty anger. We also get one of the staples of the show, gadget wise, the ‘fast expanding and hardening foam’ that’s used to trap super strong enemies. It’s a cool bit of gadgetry that we’ll see pop-up from time to time on the show. Though when it covers their heads you’ve got to wonder how they breath when encased in it. That’s one of those ‘Superhero questions’ that doesn’t really have an answer, like ‘why doesn’t the Batmobile get stuck in traffic’ and ‘how can Peter Parker make and repair a $100,000 costume when he has no money’ because superheroes.
This episode is probably considered one of the worst episodes of the series, and that’s because it’s a more quiet episode. The episode has to introduce Miss Martian, Mount Justice, Red Tornado, the Bio-Ship, and does so with the Team being off duty just hanging out and getting to know each other. So it’s a more low-key episode than the opening two-parter, plus there’s no obvious ongoing plot happening only character pieces. Which I have seen many a fan class as ‘non-essential filler’ for a lot of other shows, and those fans do like dismissing episodes as ‘filler.’ Though the Mister Twister plot was set up for a Red Tornado story down the line, hell it even has implications for The Light plot.
But one of the main complaints for this episode are about Miss Martian, aka M’gann M’orzz, aka Megan. She’s one of the more divisive characters on the show, especially at the beginning when her backstory hasn’t been revealed yet. In this episode she’s very awkward, having just come to Earth and she’s still trying to get a handle on things. Much like Superboy last episode you can see the awkwardness fade away as she interacts with the others and at the end of the episode she’s definitely feeling more comfortable around them. Then there’s her catchphrase, “Hello Megan” which is something she says quite a bit over the course of the show. It’s something that does make sense with her backstory, which we only find out about towards the end of the season so the fans that hated it weren’t given a reason for it for a while. That plus Robin’s wordplay gave off a vibe that put off some people. I did laugh when I noticed the reactions the Team had when she first said “Hello Megan” they just looked at each other and shrugged, in a ‘that was weird, let’s just keep going and not mention it’ way. They accept it as just something she says, and even start saying it themselves at times later on in the series.
Then there’s Wally’s flirting with Megan. Constant flirting. That can make him a little tedious sometimes because he keeps trying to flirt and get her attention that it seems like most of the time he’s saying something really dumb to impress her. I think it’s mostly tedious because he’s a teenager and that’s a very teenage thing to do. What does help is that when things are serious he quits the flirting, and that everyone else seems to like ribbing him whenever he does it. It was fun seeing Robin literally rib him when he tried to walk next to Megan. I think it also helps that Megan seems rather oblivious to it, mostly because she’s new to real Earthling interactions and she doesn’t see Wally that way. I’d put it down to ‘awkward teenagers’ rather than Wally being a creeper, though he skirts that line a few times. Thankfully the word “friendzone” is never used, because I tend to cringe whenever I hear it. The creators said they stay away from contemporary slang that’d date the show horribly before it even came out. So we’re saved some that painfulness.
The Martian stuff we see here is quite cool. The first is the Bio-Ship, a shapeshifting organism the Martians use to fly around in and can do lots of neat things, like camouflage itself like Martians. They also gender than non-gendered ship with Wally calling it a “she” as to awkwardly cover him talking about Megan. And the ship will be called “she” throughout the series because of that. Probably to easily identify her as a living being to the audience, though the ship didn’t seem to have a gender before this as Megan kept referring to her as “it.” Gender binary is a complicated issue and one that’s hard enough to talk about when not about alien Bio-Ship’s. So I won’t get into it more.
The other neat bit of Martian stuff we find out is that Megan’s clothes are also a shapeshifting organism that she telepathically controls when she changes shape. Probably made out of a Martian plant and not actually sentient like the Bio-Ship. It seems Mars is full of shapeshifting life forms, it’s a cool little touch that makes the show world feel a little more lived in. We usually just get ‘shapeshifters just shift their clothes too’ and ignore it, like the Batmobile getting stuck in traffic, or there’s the ‘naked Mystique’ thing from the X-Men movies. But that’s a whole can of worms for another time.
There’s another Megan talking point I’ve been avoiding, her telepathy and its invasion of privacy. She uses it offhandedly because that’s how all Martians communicate and so she does so without thinking. The others are a little bit sensitive to it because of their recent adventures with the mind controlling G-Gnomes, especially Superboy. They tell her to stop it since it’s an invasion of privacy to them, and she apologises. Superboy gets angry at her, and while it is reasonable for him to be angry over this it’s Superboy so he’s over the top angry. The onus is on him to apologise to her and some fans have said she’s the one at fault and should be apologising to them. Except she did apologise for it, she clearly showed she was remorseful over her mistake and promised not to do it again. So yeah Superboy should be apologising over his angry outbursts, something he should get used to if he continues to have angry outbursts. And the Team obviously has an off-screen conversation of psychic consent because telepathic conversations are their main communication tool when out on a mission.
Mister Twister is the show’s first foray into making goofy old supervillains into menacing cool badguys. He’s the first villain the Teen Titans fought in the comics, the Titans then being Robin, Kid Flash, and Aqualad, so it’s a nice homage to that. I like the scarf around the mouth, that gave him some personality and made it work, as well as not make him seem like just another robot villain. We’re going to see more goofy supervillains revamped on this show, and it’s more impressive when you see some of the badass results we get later. I wouldn’t have minded seeing him again, though he is low down on the list of villains I’d have liked to see more of on the show. It’s a long list.
We also get introduced to supervillain scientist T. O. Morrow, with his amazingly silly and awesome name. He’ll be more important later but right now he’s in place of The Light coda for this episode. Explaining he’s not mad at the defeat because he’s a scientist and so he’s satisfied that their Red Tornado tracking system worked and that they learned something. He’s not crowing ‘just as planned’ but that they now know more than they did before, they have a general location of Red Tornado and also the meddling kids. Because, as we find out later, he is part of The Light and they can deduce the Team is based out of Mount Justice and likely Red Tornado too. Aqualad did mention the League left the mountain because it was compromised, so despite Robin’s “they know we know they know” rational for why they’re safe there we can see they’re not.
Robin’s word of the episode: “Turbed” as in the opposite of “disturbed”
New category here, as Wally has started getting souvenirs after missions. Superboy was apparently Wally’s souvenir from the last episode, but here’s when he properly started doing it.
Wally’s souvenir: An eye from the Mister Twister robot. Obviously not plugged into a power source so there’s no way it could be functional, like a lot of fans suggested.
Quote of the episode:
“What’ve you done to my team?” Wally
“Embarrassed them largely.” Mister Twister
Quote that takes on a new meaning after watching the series:
“Read his mind, find a weakness.” Aqualad
“I thought I wasn’t supposed to do that?” Miss Martian
“It’s OK with the badguys!” Robin