Young Justice Re(af)Watch Episode 19 Misplaced
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 19, Misplaced.
Episode synopsis: Klarion and a few other wizards perform a spell that makes all the adults in the world disappear. The Team try their best to help against this crisis while trying to figure out the source of it all. Meanwhile Billy Batson is trying to get to The Cave to help out, and along the way he has to risk transforming into Captain Marvel. Then he sees that there are two worlds, one for kids and one for adults. With Captain Marvel’s help the Team and Batman coordinate a plan to attack the source in both worlds. They succeed, but to do so Zatanna had to put on the Helmet of Fate, and in the aftermath Nabu won’t let Zatanna go. Her father sacrifices his life and replaces her as the new Dr Fate. Zatanna moves into The Cave and joins the Team. Elsewhere The Light has used this distraction to steal the creature sample they were after in Downtime.
Definitely my favourite episode of the whole show. There’s a great concept, a mystery, epic action, heroics, sacrifice, tragedy, and lots of great character moments. It’s an epic that’s such a big episode because of the cost it had on the heroes. The one big storytelling conceit is that actions have consequences and if those consequences aren’t there then the story suffers. This episode certainly felt like it was mirroring Revelation a bit, with the tracking the magical source back, using a video from that episode too, and of course the Dr Fate moment. But instead of a triumphant moment of the heroes winning the day this time there is no elation, only the loss of Zatara. They may have saved the world this time, but next time they won’t have the Helmet of Fate to fall back on. The Team will have a harder fight now with their plan B out of their hands.
The split worlds thing worked great. Seeing the Team try and handle the chaos and make sure all the kids are safe really helped give a sense of scope to this crisis. All these little children that couldn’t fend for themselves and needed to be taken care of, all the babies left on their own, and these guys can only do so much. They can establish as many relief centres as possible, tell everyone in the world to do so, but in the end the problem is still too big to handle on their own. Then there’s the flip side, where we see the adult world as it mirrors the other one. Except whereas the kids are trying to keep everyone safe and doing their best with what they’ve got, the adults are the ones panicking and causing chaos. For the kids the world has broken and they must try and survive for as long as they can, helping others as best as possible. But the adult world still has everything working, they don’t need to try and survive, they want answers and a solution. They don’t have that need to pull together and help one another, so they are more inclined to cause trouble.
Billy Batson was the star here, showing why he was chosen to be Captain Marvel and that even without his powers he’s still a hero. He’s quick to pick up on the situation and that if he turns into Captain Marvel he’ll disappear too. He wastes no time trying to go help, even if he’s locked out from the Zeta Tubes because they don’t recognise his Billy form. It’s a little funny seeing him try to be super serious and sneak around, like sneaking into the Zeta Tube when it was obvious no one was around to notice him, or him climbing the fence at the airfield even though there’s an open gate right next to him. When he had to transform into Captain Marvel he really did show he was more courageous as Billy than as Captain Marvel. It’s easy to be courageous when you’re invulnerable and superstrong, but when you’re just a 10 year old kid facing death, he showed true courage then.
We finally got to see the Riddler in full costume this episode. He’s back and working for The Light to steal from STAR Labs, something a lot simpler than breaking out of Belle Reve. He’s got a bit more of a casual look than his suit and tie costume, and better than his green onesie. I prefer the suit and tie look, but this one’s not bad. He’s a dork, but he’s also the smartest guy in the room, usually at least. When the room has the Brain in it then he’s got some competition. I assume this version doesn’t have a compulsion to leave clues behind, like other versions of the character do. He might have a complex about proving he’s the smartest person alive, and that drives him to leave clues to prove no one can catch him even if he helps them. But that doesn’t mean he can’t do a heist without leaving clues, the idea of pulling off a job without anyone even noticing would also be appealing to him.
The Light coda this episode was a ‘just as planned’ moment as we see they had gotten what they wanted, and no one even knew what they did. This was their ‘plan B’ from all the way back in Downtime, 11 episodes ago, and it certainly wasn’t a simple or easy task to pull off. It was good that we got to see it rather than it happen off screen, and that it wasn’t a simple thing either. They had to get a situation that not only distracted the League and the police, but also STAR Labs so they could steal it without anyone noticing. Riddler could just walk in there with a lab coat and the scientists are too busy trying to figure out what’s happened, and the building security is too busy with the mob outside.
It’s also another of their big damn distractions, they split the world in two just so they could steal a piece of alien sea life. That’s a pretty big distraction for a relatively small heist. Even the Brain calls it a “tad extreme” so that’s got to tell you something. They probably left Klarion to make the distraction without much oversight, so long as they got the job done. Having Klarion do it also serves as reason for the distraction, he’s a Lord of Chaos and doesn’t need a bigger reason to split the world in two other than ‘he’s bored and wants to have some fun’ so no one in the League is going to think otherwise about it. Though I’m sure The Light aren’t too pleased with Dr Fate coming back as a result of their plan. He is the only hero that can match Klarion in a fight, so they have lost one advantage. I’m sure they figured he’d be back eventually, but taking him off the table was their plan back in Denial. So they don’t really want him around. Now they have to factor their plans around him too.
Little things I liked, Roanoke crossroads being used to make people disappear. Klarion’s creepy form change where he looks a bit more demonic. Social media being how the kids are communicating, since that’s literally the only way for them to do so in this situation. Bonus points for it not being used in a ‘kids these days’ stupid moment. Artemis not knowing nursery rhymes, which is funny but then becomes really depressing to think about how this is a symptom of her never having a real childhood. The talk between Batman and the Team using Captain Marvel/Billy as a go between. It’s a really cool visual, but also must have been pretty hard for them to communicate like that.
Wally’s souvenir: A sippy cup from a rescued child.
Quote of the episode:
“Captain Marvel may have the courage of Achilles, but Billy Batson… has the courage of Billy Batson. Shazam!” Billy.
Quote that takes on a new meaning after watching the series:
“I wish he’d just give me a little space.” Zatanna. Though a bit more tragic considering we know she never gets her father back again.