Young Justice Re(af)Watch Episode 18 Secrets
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 18, Secrets.
Episode synopsis: It’s Halloween and M’gann has invited the Team and Zatanna to her high school Halloween party, though when Zatanna points out to Artemis that Conner and M’gann are dating she doesn’t feel like partying anymore. So the two of them go for a ‘girls night’ meaning they go to fight crime in Manhattan, unfortunately for them they get the attention of psychopath Harm. Harm has just gotten the mystical sword of Beowulf, by being pure of heart, and wants to test it out. They give Harm a good fight but are outmatched so they run, with the help of a mysterious girl who only says “secret” they make a good escape attempt but they end up captured by Harm. They get out and find out that Secret is Harm’s dead sister, who he killed to make himself pure. They stop him and promise to give Secret a proper burial. At the Halloween Marvin tries to pull a Halloween prank that Martians are invading, but M’gann, Wally, and Conner pull their own on him.
I do really love this episode, absolutely one of my favourites. It’s just such a great ghost story and tragedy rolled into a superhero story. Harm is certainly one sick villain, killing his own sister just to possess a magic sword. I do like the twist on the ‘pure of heart’ mythical ideal, since it doesn’t say pure good and one can be pure evil too. If you’ve got a magic sword with a scabbard made out of an arm, Grendel’s arm presumably, then chances are a pure good soul isn’t going to be wielding it. It’s a really creepy design, especially when it grabs Harm’s hand at the end. Well done to the designers for that.
Harm is played just creepy and dangerous enough that his constant talking in the third person and many Harm puns don’t become annoying or make him look silly rather than menacing. He was even de-personifying his targets by calling them “its” rather than “she” or “her” which detaches him from the act of killing a person and makes him seem crazier. I liked it, it really helped sell that he was mentally unhinged and a little bit more of a crazy killer than the usual villains seen on the show. He’s not on the level of someone like the Joker, but they’re used to fighting villains with clear motivations and goals, like Sportsmaster. Harm just wants to fight them and kill them, then do the same to their mentors. He seems to just be doing it because he wants to, because he likes it. He’s definitely the kind of uncontrollable villain that The Light would want stopped before he endangered their plans by killing someone important.
It was good to see Zatanna back again, and her and Artemis made a great pair. They played off each other well and while Zatanna was all for letting Artemis blow off some steam she was also trying to get her to open up a bit more. To help her with the problems she was going through. Artemis obviously had a crush on Conner since her first episode, it’s just she’s not been constantly flirting with him like all the other Team members do with their crushes. Maybe it’s also something else though. Maybe that crush was just her thinking she was finally getting a better, more normal life, and when that was taken away from her she got angry that her normalcy has been taken away. Harm more than likely reminded her of her own family life, older male family member being horrible to a young girl. Harm even saying he did love her, despite killing her. I’m sure she must have heard that while growing up, that her dad loved her and her sister despite the abusive things he was putting her through.
The Halloween party was pretty fun, and a nice way to keep the episode from being too serious and grim with the main plot. It was another look at the superhero culture with a lot of people dressed up as heroes. There was just so many around and I loved that there were variety to the costumes. You could see that they were clearly costumes, some store bought, some homemade, some had a lot of attention to detail and others had just a basic quick and dirty look to them. Props to Mal Duncan’s costume, which was a take on the 90s Superboy costume, leather jacket, shades, and all. Or as he put it “Superman done right” which is a very teenage mindset to these sorts of things. Props also to all the designers for the diversity in all the high school, not just for POC but for body diversity too, it was a small thing but one that was most appreciated. I also noticed a Harley Quinn costume in the background, now that’s obviously an easter egg and not any confirmation that there’s a Harley in this universe, or that she looks like that. If you want a proper in-universe explanation then just remember Harley originally got her costume by robbing a costume shop, so this kid just bought the same one she stole.
No Light coda this episode, though we get more on the mole hunt. Aqualad, Robin, Batman, Red Tornado, and Red Arrow discuss the possibility of a mole being on the Team. Kaldur thinks there is no mole and Sportsmaster was just trying to sow dissent in the Team. Roy pushes that while the others are above reproach, Artemis is hiding her parentage and M’gann only really met the Martian Manhunter months ago when she stowed away on his ship back to Earth. So they are hiding some secrets/ Batman brings up the idea that Superboy could have any number of hidden programming put into him, and could be a mole without knowing it. Red Tornado gets a sullen look at that point, given his own history. In the end no one is sure. Red Arrow is certainly pushing for this mole hunt, something is definitely driving him since he’s dismissing all ideas that say there isn’t a mole. Maybe he just doesn’t like Artemis, he’s not shown as trusting of her since the beginning. Maybe it’s something else that we’ll find out about in the future.
Little things I liked, Zatanna changing her boots for more practical footwear for running across rooftops. Zatanna and Artemis’ awesome motorcycle outfits. Robin draping his cape over the chair rather than sitting on it. M’gann turning into Marvin the Martian to scare Marvin, bonus points for using the Godzilla roar. Zatanna and Artemis turning Harm’s third person talk and word play back on him.
Quote of the episode:
“I’m not sharing my candy.” Captain Marvel.
Quote that takes on a new meaning after watching the series:
“We still know very little about what Cadmus programmed into their weapon. Conner could be the mole and not know it.” Batman. Implications here aren’t necessarily about Conner.
Here’s some of favourite background character costumes: