Young Justice Re(af)Watch Episode 6 Infiltrator
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 6 Infiltrator
Episode synopsis: Speedy’s back, but with a new costume and a new name, Red Arrow. He’s found out that the League of Shadows has forced a scientist to create a nanomachine plague that decimates anything it comes in contact with, called The Fog. But it’s main mission is to steal data, then destroy the original completely so no one but the Shadows have it. He brings this to the Team, but leaves once he sees their latest member, Artemis, Green Arrow’s new protégé. The Team bicker a bit over the new member, but they have bigger problems with guarding the scientist while she completes a virus to destroy The Fog. They stop the three assassins sent to kill her, and destroy The Fog before it hits its third target, a Wayne Tech building. Though Artemis lets one of them go, recognising Cheshire, and she may not be what she first seems.
The cold open for this is very reminiscent of a James Bond movie with Red Arrow rescuing Dr Sterling Roquette from the League of Shadows. It’s a really cool rescue sequence, including zip-lining away from ninjas, escaping on a speed boat while the beach explodes to cover their escape from Infinity Island. A very DC silver age name for an island. Now when this episode came out there was a question of why Red Arrow didn’t blow up the Infiltrators when he zip-lined away with the doctor. It’s the kind of question a lot of these types of stories face, why can’t Flash knock out the bad guys when he first meets them given how fast we’ve seen him go. Why can’t Raven stop every bad guy they met in Teen Titans. The answer typically comes down to ‘because then we wouldn’t have a plot,’ while that’s a little unsatisfying it’s a sad reality sometimes. This time however there’s a good reason for it, one that we won’t find out until the penultimate episode of the season. So no spoilers.
Roy’s not in the episode much, but he still manages to make an impression. He’s gone fully solo from Green Arrow, but still clearly respects him enough to rename himself after him, taking the Arrow title. He wants respect and to be treated like an equal to Ollie, rather than a sidekick. Things probably would’ve worked out differently this episode if Artemis wasn’t there, not to put the blame on her like Wally does. Roy just sees Ollie already getting a new partner right after he left, making it look like he was easily replaceable. Artemis was just the victim in the crossfire of Roy’s baggage and issues, and an easy target for Wally to blame rather than Roy. Though Roy being Roy, even without Artemis there, he could’ve easily just passed on joining the Team again since he doesn’t see that as being equal to joining the Justice League. Probably would be a step back from that since it seems like a separate part of the League at this moment in time rather than a way to advance into the League.
This is Artemis’ big introduction, finally. We’d seen her in the title sequence and now she’s shown up, in all her snarky magnificence. She’s pretty confident, outspoken, and delightfully sarcastic. You can tell there’s something we’re not seeing about her from the outset. The insistence that she’s Green Arrow’s niece, Robin’s disbelieving “another niece” comment, is meant to make us doubt she is who she says she is. Then there’s her talk with Cheshire at the end, they know each other, and it’s enough to make her doubt the Team would accept her. Her confidence falters and we see that she’s more than the brash girl we met at the beginning. She’s not all cockiness, confidence, and snark, she’s got worries and doubts she’s hiding. After she let’s Cheshire go we see the Team support her, letting her know it’s ok and that they’ve had their screw ups before. We see that maybe Cheshire was wrong. Though ironically letting her go could hurt her standing with the Team more than letting Cheshire spill all her secrets. We’ll talk more about her past in future episodes.
Then there’s Wally’s reaction to her. He’s pretty much being a dick and blaming her for Roy not being on the Team, even though her role in that was incidental. She’s firing back at him and not taking any of his crap, and the perpetual cycle is born because they’re both very stubborn. I’d say he really needed someone to tell him to stop being such an ass, but we see Robin try here and it didn’t do much. Robin’s his best friend so if he can’t talk him out of his stubbornness then I’m not sure anyone else on the Team could. Though I do think it helped a little bit. He seemed to lessen his harshness afterwards, but that stubbornness of his won’t let him let it go. We’ll see more of that stubbornness in the next episode.
Even though the psychic-link was introduced a few episodes ago this is where we see it shine. There’s lots of fun back and forth between the Team, and Dr Roquette steals it with her complaining. It’s always really funny whenever it pops up in an episode. Though for some reason I keep seeing fandom suggest, sometimes jokingly, that it was done to “save animation budget” by not animating their mouths. None of them seem to notice all the other animation going on. The creators put a lot of effort in to make sure it wasn’t just people standing still while they ‘talk’ without moving their mouths. There’s a lot of body language and movement happening during their psychic conversations that really add to the scenes and the characters. You could probably turn the sound off and still get the gist of what was going on, they put that extra effort into the animation. I have seen Anime where money saving efforts were used by not animating ‘lip flaps’ by either obscuring mouths or psychic conversations. Characters standing perfectly still as the camera angle shifted to another shot of them not moving. This show certainly did not look anything like that.
Revamped villains this time were Cheshire, Black Spider, Hook, and Professor Ojo. Just from looking at the originals they certainly needed the revamping, especially Ojo. I’ve only heard of Cheshire before this show and there’s a good reason for that. Professor Ojo, while not as badass as some of the others, definitely got an upgrade to be pretty dangerous. Well he would’ve been to anyone on the Team who wasn’t Superboy, but the professor didn’t have that sort of luck. And I’d be remiss to mention that Black Spider was redesigned to look a little like a certain other wall crawler over at Marvel.
The Light’s coda this week was more in-line with fandom’s thoughts on them, though not by much. They still got the data from their other targets, so that’s a win even though they didn’t get the WayneTech one. They’re not gloating about things going to plan, but they did achieve some of their objectives. Then they drop something that got fandom spouting theories for the next 19 episodes, The Light have an “operative on the inside.” The fans guesses on who this mole was included every main cast member and even the robotic eye souvenir from episode 3. Obviously this episode pushes you to consider Artemis given her being introduced in this episode and her letting Cheshire go. Who will it be? Find out in 19 episodes.
Robin’s word of the episode: “Outfultrated” from “the Infiltrators have been outfultrated” not one of his best.
Wally’s souvenir: Cheshire’s mask
Quote of the episode:
“I do not need attitude from the newbie who drove Red Arrow off the Team.” Wally.
“That is so not on me.” Artemis.
“Fate. Of the world. At stake!” Dr Sterling Roquette. Roquette’s just got some great one-liners here, she’s just so fed up with everything and the psychic-link makes it all come out.
Bonus one too good to leave out:
“I can hear you glaring.” Aqualad to Wally and Artemis over the psychic-link.
Quote that takes on a new meaning after watching the season:
“Like you know anything about the Shadows!” Wally to Artemis. It’s Artemis’ smirk that really makes this. It’s a ‘I know a hell of a lot more than you ever will’ smirk and it’s fantastic.
“Step into the light.” Artemis. Which is a funny little bit of foreshadowing.