Young Justice Re(af)Watch Episode 24 Performance
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 24, Performance.
Written by: Jon Weisman
Directed by: Michael Chang
Episode synopsis: The Team are sent on an undercover mission as a family of acrobats known as ‘The Daring Dangers’ at Haly’s Circus, former home of The Flying Graysons. Haly is suspected of robbing high tech labs along their train route across Europe, Robin’s there to prove his innocence. Everyone in the circus is getting a mysterious flu-bug, and when M’gann gets it they find the real culprit, the Parasite. He’s been stealing abilities from the circus troupe and using it to steal equipment to turn the Large Boson Collider into a black hole generator. He managed to steal M’gann’s and Conner’s powers, which are enhanced by his Shields, to get away. They manage to track him down and stop him, saving Geneva and Haly’s Circus. Also after he sees them in action Red Arrow admits that there can’t be a mole on the Team.
This was Robin’s episode, getting to see him interacting with parts of his past and pulling a mission without authorisation to go help an old friend. I think he honestly needed this after the rough time he’s been having, with Failsafe and Image showing that his fun carefree attitude has faded a bit. He’s maturing a bit and it seems he’s accepting the burden of command a bit more. He’s come far from that cocky kid at the start of the series. What he really needed was getting back to his roots a bit, and him accepting Haly’s offer of ‘one last show’ was a perfect cap to the episode.
This honestly could’ve been an old-school episode of Batman The Animated Series, with a few of the details changed. Change Parasite for Clayface, remove the Team and maybe add in Batgirl, and you’d be set. There’s just the really melancholy scene of Robin walking past the old posters and seeing one for The Flying Graysons that just hits those great old notes. His conversation with Wally was a nice look at their friendship and a good way to get across what he’s dealing with since he can’t really talk to the others about it. There’s no need for a flashback or anything other than the subtle reminders we got, the audience knows Dick Grayson’s backstory and doesn’t need to be explicitly told it again.
We also got to see Conner using his Shields on a mission and trying to hide it from the others. He’s certainly eager to slap one on and get his full Kryptonian powerset. It was nice to see things like the x-ray vision and stuff visualised on the show, since we don’t get a lot of that. Though he seems mostly just a bit ill-tempered from using them, like his early days from when he was just out of the pod, and not much to tip the Team off that something is wrong. Because of that unstable Kryptonian DNA his judgement is getting impaired, he nearly left M’gann in the burning building to follow Parasite, which at least got him to snap out of his rage. But his anger’s certainly starting to get a little out of control. The show is setting him up to blow up some time soon.
The Dangers were the fun part of the episode. They embody the cute little end credits naming that the series loves to do. The credits for every episode gives out the characters the actor was playing, and just that character, so if Wally isn’t in costume and on a mission he’s just listed as “Wally West” and not Kid Flash. M’gann at school is listed as “Megan Morse” and if she’s at home but not on a mission she’s “M’gann M’orzz” and so on. This episode had the Team undercover and so all of their credits are listed as ‘The Dangers’ rather than “Robin” “Superboy” “Red Arrow” etc. The episode plays this out as well, they keep their ‘Danger’ names when in those costumes and you do hear them hesitate a bit as they try not to use their real names. They are fully undercover and are trying not get found out, so even if they are alone or using communicators they still hide their real identities. It’s a small thing but it added to the overall atmosphere of the episode, it helped sell the undercover aspect more even though they didn’t really need to. Hell it’s also having faith that the audience can follow along with it at first given how little their real names are used.
The Red Arrow mole hunt continued as his suspicions of Artemis, Conner, and M’gann, lead him to join this mission. He’s not really keeping his feelings to himself as he does seem to be openly distrustful for all of them. It does also endanger the mission as he doesn’t want M’gann reading Haly’s mind in case she ‘can’t hide it’ and gets caught. So instead that causes Conner to go off on him for not trusting them, so now they don’t really trust Red Arrow either. This mole hunt is doing what Kaldur feared it would, sowing seeds of distrust rather than uncovering a hidden operative. Though at the end of it Red Arrow does say he’s changed his mind on them after fighting beside them and seeing how they didn’t betray the Team even though they had the chance. It honestly feels less sincere and more like he’s trying to give the mole a feeling of security. But some times you can’t really tell what he really means and if he’s putting on a false front.
The Parasite was our revamped villain, and he seemed a bit more vein-y in his design than previous ones. From what I’ve seen he does seem to go through redesigns in the comics quite a bit more than other villains. Some look more like a monstrous goo creature than a man, others were obviously trying to emulate his design from Superman The Animated Series. I think here the big difference was that he seemed more cunning and less like a dumb thug. He’s being subtle in stealing the circus acts skills and he did manage to put together the black hole machine without his flash drive. That’s a lot more intelligence than I’d normally associate with the character. Though I’m not quite sure what the plan from Intergang was all about. You open up a black hole and it’s going to do more than just suck in Geneva, it’s bye-bye planet Earth. Plus he was opening it up above him, not exactly giving himself a chance to escape with the equipment. According to Co-Creator Greg Weisman the plan was to test to see if it actually worked, which again seems like a bad idea given it’s a black hole.
No Light coda, no ‘just as planned’ moment. It can be assumed that Intergang and The Light were working together, even without any proof it seems like The Light would want to work with such a vast criminal network. Though I’d think the black hole plan was solely Intergang’s and not The Light’s. While I’m sure The Light would want to have the power to open up a black hole if needed, I’d also think they’d be smart enough to know that it’s a bad idea to test it anywhere near Earth. But it’s a superhero show and hard science don’t seem to mix with them that often, so who knows. Maybe they were wanting to use it as one of their ‘big damn distractions’ for the League.
Robin’s word of the episode: He’s back to the old favourite, whelmed. Just thought I’d mention it since I haven’t done one of these in a while.
Quote of the episode:
“Don’t blow our cover!” Robin, as he’s falling to his death.
“But saving your life’s okay?” Conner, saving him without blowing their cover.
Quote that takes on a new meaning after watching the series:
“There is no mole.” Red Arrow.