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Stew’s Young Justice Retrospective: Season 1, Episodes 15 – 16

December 18, 2023 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Young Justice 1-16 Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

EVERYONE DIES! A Young Justice Retrospective, S1 E15-16

Episode 15

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Dr. TO Morrow has the Red Androids gathered together, and he has dissected Red Tornado to figure out where he maybe possibly had went wrong with him. We eventually get the backstory on the androids, as they were all created by Morrow way back in the day to destroy the Justice Society.

The first was the aquatic Red Torpedo, but he failed because he was too busy mulling over what it meant to be human when he knew he was an android in disguise.

The second was Firebrand, an android who did not know she was an android! This was also a failure as she sacrificed her life to save the JSA because she only knew life as a hero.

The third was Red Tornado, who was openly an android, but he just became a hero and overrode Morrow’s programming.

With all these failures in tow, Morrow is working on something new… Is it a BLUE android? Something else entirely? Stay tuned!

Uh, wait, though. I have a question. Who was Mr. Twister from episode three? He isn’t mentioned at all unless I missed it…

Anyway, at Mount Justice, we see Wally sustained a broken arm fighting the Injustice League, and Capt Marvel is serving him pop and nachos. The rest of the team is sparring for practice. Zatara shows up and brings his daughter, Zatana. This is a young girl iteration of Zatana; no sexy fishnets! Sorry, fellas! Robin immediately gets the hots for her, though; when did he become Wally?

Young Justice is concerned about Red Tornado and why he did what he did; The League says they will worry about getting Red back, and it’s not YJ’s business. Kinda feels like it is since he, you know, ATTACKED THEM.

Under the pretense of giving Zatana tour of the mountain, the team leaves to find out more on Red, and the plucky Zatana says if they were to, oh say, kidnap her, she would have to go help them. This immediately endears her to the rest of the team.

Aboard the ship, Robin reports that the League has been following all of Batman’s ideas, but they can’t find Morrow. Since good ideas aren’t working, they need a BAD idea. Everyone looks to Wally.

Cut to Belle Reve, and Young Justice confronting Dr. Ivo on Morrow’s whereabouts since the two are rivals; Ivo would always want to know what Morrow was up to. He doesn’t want to work with them, but Zatanna makes him spill it. Hugo Strange doesn’t love that! So after YJ leaves, he makes Ivo call Morrow and fess up.

No offense, but that was actually a very good idea from Wally. How did Batman not think of that? They have a Zatara and everything.

That leads us to Morrow’s unstoppable plan: Uh, another red android. But this one isn’t based on subterfuge at all! He’s just going to be flat-out evil! So evil that he hates Morrow and all of humanity! He rips Morrow’s arms off, and it turns out Morrow was an android, too.

Aboard Megan’s ship, Superboy wants to destroy the traitorous Red Tornado, but Aqualad gives him the whole “Well, sure, but if he’s just created to be a weapon and being controlled, he deserves a chance to prove he is more than that”. So Superboy STFUs and sits down since that hit so close to his front door.

God I hate this version of Conner. What a character assassination they did to my boy on this show. Megan Fitzmartin would be proud.

Red Volcano (the new android I realize now I forgot to name above) has a plan to cause Yellowstone to erupt and destroy humanity, whereupon he will repopulate the world with monochromatic androids.

I feel like one yellow or green android wouldn’t hurt anything, you know? But apparently despite hating his creator, Volcano is stuck with his taste in robots.

Volcano, alerted by Ivo, send Tornado after Young Justice, and he pretty easily mops the floor with his former charges until Volcano reveals he knew it was all a clever ruse on Tornado’s part. He attacks the team, leading to a big fight…

…that we mostly don’t see, as Tornado goes off to Torpedo and Firebrand and talks to them about turning on Volcano. He tunes into their original heroic programming to appeal to them! And while that is happening, Volcano starts the eruption process!

Tornado, Torpedo, and Firebrand join the fight, and they bury Volcano in lava (argh, dramatic irony!) to defeat him. It seems the end for all of them, but Conner saves Tornado.

Working together, the team and their mentor stop the eruption, whereupon Tornado explains himself: he had to fake turning on them to see where Morrow was holed up. He never actually betrayed the team, and the kids seem happy to have him back.

At the end, Tornado visits the REAL Dr. TO Morrow… a very old and sick man in intensive care.

Episode 16

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Pretty big opening this episode, as there is a massive alien ship invading Earth. The League stops it in space to question its motives, and it answers by opening fire, killing many of the League’s heavy hitters, such as Martian Manhunter, Hal Jordan, John Stewart, and SUPERMAN! Zatara calls in to Young Justice to make sure they are aware what is happening. He tells them they may be Earth’s heroes soon enough.

We get a montage of the ship and others like it wiping out the league. Flash, Zatara, Captain Atom, Green Arrow, Red Arrow, and Wonder Woman all fall, and the massive mothership lands on Smallville, crushing the farm town!

No time for mourning for Young Justice, though! They see sensors indicating ships all over the planet… including one lone ship on the fringe of the Arctic; it’s investigating the Fortress Of Solitude.

From there, it’s time to sell more toys on the same show that previously delineated when being naked is or is not fun: Young Justice shows up to the Fortress in their heretofore-unseen snow gear! Supplies are limited, kids! Get to a KB Toys while they still exist for a year or so when this episode came out!

They attack the one mini-ship probing there. As Superboy is disarming it, it takes aim at him, but Wolf sacrifices her(?)self to save him!

They attach the ship’s gun to Megan’s vessel so they can finally fight back against the rest of the aliens with their own weapon… but as they do so and the weapon is integrating, two more ships arrive to stop them! Artemis dies while distracting them, devasting Megan and Wally!

Wally is both distraught and enraged at Artemis’ death, promising to kill every single alien he sees (minus the good ones like Superboy and Miss Martian). Kaldur decides the team needs to go to the Hall Of Justice to alert humanity there are still some heroes left so don’t give up hope.

The army at the Hall Of Justice confuses Superboy for Superman, and when he refutes them, they just say “Well you have the S and you’re doing the job, so…”. Megan finds J’onn alive, buried in rubble! He suspiciously has no idea how he got there, but he has a feeling he had something to tell them.

Wally deduces that the alien rays are actually teleporting people, NOT disintegrating them, because the beams have traces of Zeta Waves, just like the League teleporters. Boy, I sure hope this isn’t a plot point that is brought up and then goes nowhere, because that would be SO DISAPPOINTING.

In the Hall of Justice, the kids and what’s left of the army fight off some ships, and J’onn agrees to send them to Mount Justice through the Hall’s teleporter. As he gets everyone out, Aqualad sacrifices himself and takes a shot to save J’onn himself.

After Robin plans an attack on the mothership to get all the heroes out, Superboy assaults the outside of it since the ship would view him as the biggest threat. He puts up a hell of a fight while J’onn, M’Gann, Robin, and Kid Flash all enter the ship, but eventually… yeah, they get him. Another one bites the dust.

At that J’onn finally remembers… the heroes ARE dead, not teleported. Wally hates this idea! But Robin confirms it because his devices aren’t picking up any traces of any of their friends inside the mothership.

Robin plants bombs on the mothership core to blow it up, and he yells for J’onn and Megan to get out of Dodge. They do, but Wally and Dick don’t; the ship explodes with them in it.

Outside, Megan and her uncle see the mothership survived, and J’onn recalls he remembers when he was found by YJ and what he needed to get to them for. Then he straight-up murders Megan!…

…which *SIGH* shocks her into waking up. This whole damn thing was a dream, and it had been such a powerful episode, man. I was hoping for a time travel fix or that the teleporting story ended up being right after all, but… nope. It’s a dream. It couldn’t even be a two-parter so we could hang on what we thought was happening! Dream, dream, dream.

More accurately, it was a psychic training exercise; the kids’ own Kobayashi Maru, where no matter what they did, they would lose and Earth would fall. But when Artemis died, Megan’s mind took it too literally and held everyone inside captive so that J’onn couldn’t rouse them. When he went inside, Megan overpowered him and made him part of the story. It wasn’t until the others all died that he could fight off the psychic influence and force her awake.

J’onn notes that Megan is the most powerful telepath on Earth, far exceeding his own power, and we end the episode on her crying…

I mean… it WAS a great episode. But the dream ending… SUCH a letdown, man.

article topics :

Young Justice, Rob Stewart