And now we’re on to December. This episode literally takes place on Christmas Eve. Also it’s cold in Chicago tonight and winter is coming. I could channel Info-Rorschach for more but instead we’ll dive in to the not even remotely summer binge of the third to last episode of the first season of Young Justice!
1. Danger! Danger! DAAAAANNNNNGGGGGEER!
The episode begins with Robin, Miss M, Superboy, Artemis, and Roy all undercover at Haly’s Circus in Europe trying to scope out a potential robber affiliated with the circus. It’s that moment we realize this is a Robin episode which is awesome because he has been largely absent the past few weeks. We get a cool King Faraday cameo. This episode has all the makings of fun as the “Dangers” take on crime in Europe on what we realize was not actually a mission dictated by Batman. Finally the Dick Grayson story we all want.
2. My ward is an addict
This episode also highlights Superboy’s continued addiction to power and his struggles with inferiority as Superboy at every moment he can starts using the “shields” that Luthor gave him to enhance his powers and make him more like Superman. It’s really a stark dichotomy between this and the past couple episodes as Superboy is full blown drug addicted. It’s a really sad state as he derails and moves into a place where he thinks he has to has this power to be meaningful. It’s also really telling when he wants to beat up the bad guy more than save his girlfriend. So much hormones.
3. “I left you behind because you know my backstory
Dick and Wally’s phone call is the emotional grounding this episode needs. Actually really all the Haly’s Circus stuff with Dick as we realize Dick’s emotional resonance with this circus and the fact that he dragged the team along on a personal mission. While purely using Dick’s backstory, this full encapsulates why Dick in this show is totally an amalgam of a bunch of different Robins. I doubt Dick Grayson would have spurned Wally from coming because of emotional investment. In fact I bet he’d have welcomed it. That came off as a very Jason or Damian thing to do. Still, the backstory, The Flying Graysons poster, all of it, is very emotionally affecting.
4. Purple Swamp Thing
So Parasite is Purple Swamp Thing and it really bothers me cause that’s all I can see and there’s absolutely no unseeing it. It’s not a bad design it just seems sort of odd and out of place. I guess that’s how Parasite feels in this whole episode as well. He’s not a very compelling villain, really just one of the only ones that’s big enough to warrant the team barging in to investigate. His motivation seems really unclear as well, as it’s claimed he’s working for Intergang, but that doesn’t really get a ton of exposition. It seems like an odd choice, and it doesn’t really add to the plot progression of the rest of the season which leads to…
5. What was it all for?
Why does this episode exist? We get some fun Robin moments. We realize Superboy is an addict. Roy finally believes there isn’t a mole on the team (finally he was getting annoying), but other than that it seems to serve no real purpose. Nick questioned last week in the comments on last week’s episode being the weakest episode of the back half off the season, and I would disagree. I think this episode is. If only because it doesn’t drive the last two episodes. It seems an odd place for a one-shot, but if it had to happen I’m glad it’s Robin-centric.
That’s all this week folks. Sound off in the comments and check back next week as we hit part 1 of the finale and finally get through this before the snow comes.