Slick’s Hits: Young Justice, Episode 10 – “Targets”
First off, apologies for this review being so late. Cartoon Network has so thoroughly screwed the pooch on this show that I did not even know this episode had aired until this week. Literally three months passed between when episode 9 and 10 aired. Top it off with this being one of the best episodes of the run and I am not a happy camper with the state of things at CN. Whether or not this is considered the “season finale” for Young Justice’s inaugural run, “Targets” is a glimpse into a wild future for the team if the show ever airs again.
Our episode opens in Taipei, Taiwan, where a failing peace summit between North and South Rhelasia awaits an independent arbitrator. The arbitrator turns out to be Lex Luthor and Red Arrow is on the scene to prevent Cheshire from assassinating him. After facilitating her capture, Roy attempts to interrogate Cheshire in her jail cell. She mostly ignores him, even while answering his questions. She seems much more interested in playfully flirting with him – which turns out to be her biding her time until Sportsmaster can explosively bust her out of her cell. Arrow gives chase to the pair which leads him to their employer, Ra’s al Ghul. Finally realizing that he is in a bit over his head (after getting the snot beaten out of him), Red Arrow calls for help.
Back at the peace talks, Luthor tries to calm the heads of North and South Rhelasia by engaging them in the lands’ native tea ceremony. This is disrupted when Cheshire, disguised as the tea geisha, tries to blow up the conference. What follows is one of the best scenes the show has had thus far and some of the best fight choreography in DC animation outside of a Batman cartoon. Red Arrow sets off the Hotel Sprinkler system, allowing his newly arrived partner Aqualad to show the assassin squad what an Atlantean warrior is truly capable of. One of Sportsmaster’s crew tries a last ditch attack on Luthor directly and is put down by his assistant Mercy, who exposes an in-arm cannon. Oddly enough, that one move by his assistant causes the Rhelasians to thank Lex for saving their lives instead of the two heroes and a peace treaty is signed. Red Arrow remarks that he can’t believe that he just did Luthor a favor and is corrected by Aqualad who states that they did it for peace. Arrow continues outside and thanks Aqualad for his help. He states that the team has his respect and that while he still intends to remain solo, he will be there if they need him. To keep with the style of past episodes where a connection to The Light is revealed, we see Lex Luthor and Ra’s al Ghul celebrating the inevitable reunification of Rhelasia as we now see that the entire assassination plot was a ruse that Red Arrow fell for all too easily.
During the Rhelasia event in Taiwan, two members of the team face a different challenge. M’gann and Connor have to start their first day of (normal) Earth schooling and things don’t go exactly as planned. Actually, for “Megan,” they go rather well, but Connor immediately gets on the bad side of the strongest kid in school (wait, what?) and generally makes a fool of himself everywhere else except for the classroom, where he excels. Megan has a much better day as she makes several friends and joins the school cheerleading team. One might look at the entire school portion as filler, but then you would be missing out on all the homage paid to earlier shows and comics and the possible potential for new members of the team or at least cameos.
As I said earlier, this episode is full of cameos and hints at what is to come when and if this show ever continues. In the main story, we have Red Arrow and Cheshire going at it for pretty much the whole show. In the comics, they fight quite often, but as the jail scene implies, they also get quite involved with one another. They had a child at one point and even after that they have a rather violent “romance.” We see that who or whatever the alien ball from “bereft” is, that they are now part of the team and seem to be good friends with Superboy. When Megan and Connor go to school, the skateboarding kid that bumps into Connor is Marvin from the old Superfriends cartoon. The girl Wendy who introduces herself to Megan is Marvin’s partner from the same show. Mal Duncan and Karen Beecher have both been members of the Teen Titans team and as the picture implies, they are an item (look up DC comics’ “Bumblebee and you will see her real name is Karen Beecher-Duncan). Their homeroom teacher is a real blast from the past. Lucas “Snapper” Carr used to hang around the Justice League back when they resided at Happy Harbor. All in all, a very good episode and IF Cartoon Network and Warner Brothers ever decide to show more, I will make sure to keep the reviews coming on a much better schedule.