Young Justice Re(af)Watch Episode 17 Disordered
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 17, Disordered.
Episode synopsis: The Team is still recovering from the events of the last episode, they’re getting therapy sessions from Black Canary to help them heal. Conner doesn’t take it very well and leaves. He then learns Sphere can turn into a flying motorcycle, so he and Wolf take off on it. They then run into the Forever People, aliens who are after their stolen technology, which includes Sphere. After things are sorted out between them Conner and the Forever People go looking for more stolen technology. They find it being used by Intergang to rob the Metropolis Federal Reserve, and they’re being assisted by ‘The Enemy’ of the Forever People. They eventually stop them and the Forever People leave, and allow Conner to keep Sphere as they see she’s in good hands.
This is another aftershock episode, with all of the therapy sessions to see how they all reacted to their traumatising experience. To juxtapose with that dour subject matter there’s the Forever People main plot, with all the Jack Kirby fun and craziness they deserve. If you don’t know Jack Kirby created a lot of amazing things in comics, Fantastic Four, X-Men, Black Panther, but he also made The Forth World, New Genesis, and Darkseid. They get a lot of play in DC animation and big DC comics stories, Darkseid especially. He’s more than likely going to be the big bad guy in the Justice League movie too. There’s so much awe-inspiring pieces of mythology from The Forth World, most of it still being used decades after they were created. Kirby’s legacy is large and it seems the cartoons love to pay homage to the man and his works.
While not as extensive an homage as the 90s DC Animated Universe did, in Young Justice we get a look at some characters overlooked by the DCAU and ones that fit in perfectly here, the Forever People. Young Gods with very fun and distinct personalities, seeming like an alien version of the Team. It’s a shame they only got one episode, though maybe they would’ve shown up in season 3, who knows. But even with the limited time the episode still managed to show off a lot of crazy Kirby technology, along with Infinity Man, the merged form of the Forever People. And we finally got another staple of the original Young Justice comic, the Super Cycle aka the transformed version of Sphere.
What’s fun throughout this episode is the confused reactions from Superboy over all of this crazy alien technology and general weirdness that comes with the New Gods. He just adopts a general ‘just go with it’ attitude and accepts the craziness. He seems to be playing it pretty smart here when facing the bad guys, not just wanting to rush in and angrily punch things. What fits in with his therapy session is that he seems pretty at home being a hero here, even taking charge of the Forever People. That is where he’s at peace. He revealed at the end of the episode that he’s always felt a need to be Superman, and he got that in the simulation. So even with his friends dying around him he felt at peace, and that fact is haunting him. He’s feeling horrible at not feeling bad for it. Though the fact that’s he’s feeling guilty is a good sign, and with help he can work through it. He’s obviously got some lingering parts of his programming about taking over for Superman still kicking around.
The therapy sessions where great little windows into the characters, some things we already knew, like Artemis hiding behind a tough exterior and keeping her secrets close to her chest, or Wally being in denial rather than facing his issues. Though there is still time spent on pointing out that these two have unresolved issues they are avoiding with each other. Kaldur is feeling the burden of command and the failure of his leadership, and even though he wants to get rid of that responsibility he can’t put it on someone else. It’s not an easy thing for Kaldur to take this horrible weight upon himself because he doesn’t want anyone else damaged by it like he was. M’gann is overwhelmed by guilt, so much so that she retreats to her “Megan” identity because for her it’s a ‘safe and uncomplicated’ identity. It’s something that she’s used to doing, and while we’ve seen her come out of her shell throughout the series, she’s going back into it here. She wants to never use her powers again because of the danger, but as Black Canary is couching her to practice and get better with her powers to prevent anything like this happening again she hits on one of M’gann’s character points. “Not being yourself is never the answer” which does aptly sum up M’gann’s character arc this season.
Then there’s Robin, with one of the more heartbreaking sessions. He feels horrible about ordering his friends to their deaths, finding out what that means and what it feels like. He’s been wanting to grow up to be Batman, but now he’s gotten a taste of the nasty side of that and he doesn’t like it. He’s learned he doesn’t want to do that again, and that he can’t. Though in a horrible twist of fate he’s going to have to face that again later on, even if he doesn’t want to be Batman anymore there’s other things he can’t escape. There’s a lot of tragedy in there when you rewatch this scene.
No Light coda this episode. Though we do see the same transportation system their partner used to bring Sphere to Earth, the Boom Tube. That plus the Forever People tracking their stolen technology, and it being used on Earth by Desaad, it’s kinda obvious that ‘The Enemy’ is The Light’s partner. Now wouldn’t it be really silly if fans kept saying the series ended on a “cliffhanger” when all it did was reveal who the obvious partner was. Thankfully there’s not fans talking about this “huge cliffhanger” that never really existed to this day, that’d be really annoying.
Wally’s souvenir: Denial, though I don’t think there’s enough shelf space big enough for his.
Quote of the episode:
“You’re in denial.” Black Canary.
“I’m comfortable with that.” Wally.
Quote that takes on a new meaning after watching the series:
“You turned white.” Black Canary.