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Stew’s Young Justice Retrospective: Season 1, Episodes 9 – 10

November 27, 2023 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Young Justice 1-09 Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Lex Peace, More War: A Young Justice Retrospective, S1 E9-10

Episode 9

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

This episode, Young Justice has already been defeated as we kick things off with Megan waking up in the sands of Bialya. She is clearly confused and speaking Martian in her head until she realizes she is on Earth. She sees Superboy–though she does not recognize him, just his S-shield–and tries to talk to him, but he rips off his shirt, attacks her, then leaps off into the desert.

What a Chad.

We move onto an equally confused Robin, who is shocked when his tech tells him it is September. He still thinks it should be March. Man, that one-on-one game with Bruce sure took a lot out of our young hero; he’s repressed the last several months! He sees an on-coming truck full of soldiers and hides from them before finding Superboy’s torn shirt.

What kind of Chad leaves a torn shirt lying around?

Next up we have Kid Flash and Artemis. They also don’t know each other, and Wally calls her beautiful. Artemis is suspicious of everything here, and she notes this is probably a test by her father. Before Wally can ask more on this, the hut next to them explodes! There is an army complete with tanks coming after them, and Wally speeds them both away.

Back to M’Gann! She has a few mental flashes of the team, but not enough to really put together what happened to her or them. She tries to call out to them telepathically, but it doesn’t work. She’s out of range.

Wally and Artemis come across the feral Superboy, and he strikes out at them. He is quickly distracted by the tanks, though, and he goes absolutely bonkers on them, ripping them apart.

Total Chad move, shredding army tanks.

Wally and Artemis get targeted by some fighter planes, but Megan comes in and blows them up, and DAMN do our heroes just straight up kill a lot of their threats this show. Remember in episode 3 when they thought Megan murdered a dude and lost their minds? Roy, Megan, and Kaldur have all killed chumps since then!

Superboy is roped up by some soldiers, and our Villain Of The Week–Psimon, who my autocorrect HATES, so I’m going to call him Psi-mon–puts Superboy to sleep.

Robin follows his GPS to a crate in the desert, and he gets a flash of memory of Batman telling them to stay off the comms. Soldiers pop out to blow him away, but he handles them pretty easily even before Kid Flash, Artemis, and Miss Martian show up to help him. Robin doesn’t know Artemis or Megan, but is happy to see Wally.

Miss Martian explains they are a team, and she goes into their minds to piece together all the flashes of the memories they have. Wally and Artemis are holding hands when she does this, so “waking up” appropriately disgusts each of them. BUT LINDA, SHOW. BUT LINDA. Sigh.

They remember Batman sending them to check out Bialya. They then find Kaldur’s GPS hit… but it’s not moving! Fish boy is having a hard time in the desert; who’d have guessed?

They find Aqualad passed out in the desert and in pretty bad shape. Megan gets a flash of Superboy being tortured by the Bialyan military, and goes “Screw this fish, I have to go save the hot guy who negs me!”. She breaks into the tent where he is being tortured, but Psi-mon–not “Piston”, autocorrect, god damn it–whammies her again to make her forget.

This time she fights back, though, and the two start brawling on the mental plane. Very Dr. Fate fight-ish again. Laser blasts and shit.

Back with the others, Wally asks Artemis what she meant about her dad testing her, and she rolls high on Bluff and dodges the question.

Back at the actual climax, Superboy wakes up, and Megan restores his memory. He whomps all of the soldiers in the physical realm before entering the psi-plane to help Megan as Detroit Piston is overwhelming her (not “whelming” her, though; right, Robin?). Together, they beat Psi-mon.

So Megan’s psi-talent of X + Superboy’s psi-talent of… erm… 0(?) > Psi-Mon’s talent of Y, I guess.

Superboy and Megan almost kiss again, but a big orb thing rolls up to them. It seems to have a personality. Superboy wants to keep it.

We end the episode with a Light epilogue. We see that the orb came through a Boom Tube! The Light knows they can get more such devices now…

Episode 10

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

We are spending a LOT of time globe-trotting these days, as this episode is entirely in Taipei and about the countries of North and South Rhelasia-stand-in’s for Korea if you are really bad at blatant allegory. The two countries are about to engage in very stressed peace talks, and Roy is undercover to ensure they go smoothly.

He spots Cheshire in the crowd, and she tries to assassinate the limo of the arbitrator of the peace talks, but Roy stops her. The limo opens, revealing the arbitrator: Lex Luthor!

Cheshire gets taken away by the police, but Lex convinces them to let Red Arrow go since he saved his life (and this makes NO SENSE later in the episode when we discover this is all a ruse of Lex’; who was going to save his life if Arrow wasn’t there? Actually, nevermind. It would have been Mercy; they DO explain this). Luthor says he is on the side of angels here, but Roy is skeptical. Because… LEX LUTHOR.

Back home, Megan and Superboy have been accepted into a nearby school? Megan turns herself into a white girl, and why she gotta be white (though: FORESHADOWING because I’ve read Teen Titans and know about her origins)?

Tornado and J’onn refuse to let Superboy wear his T-shirt to school because of secret identities. They suggest the name Conner Kent for him–Megan just likes the name Conner, and J’onn and Tornado are just bad at secrets (though Megan thinks it is in honor of Kent Nelson, so their stupidity works out).

Roy questions Cheshire in her prison cell, and the chemistry is ON between them! But before it can get too hot in hurr, the League Of Shadows, fronted by SportsMaster, blow a hole in her wall and free her.

Ra’s al Ghul meets with Sportsy and Cheshire, and he wants to stop the peace meeting!

Back to school Conner is irrationally angry that so many other kids have shirts with superhero logos on them. Like, calm down, dude. They don’t all look like YOU, a person on TV wearing one specific shirt, so it was still a good call. This show seriously turned Superboy into a moron meathead with a bad attitude. Megan, meanwhile, gets invited to cheerleader tryout by a few other girls.

Roy, who barely escapes from the League of Shadows after he tracks them down, meets up with Lex and lets him know that Ra’s Al Ghul wants to disrupt the peace talks so he can continue manipulating the war efforts. Roy intends to continue watching Lex’ back, and he says he has a surprise in store for Ra’s forces.

Finally in an actual class, Conner has an almost encyclopedic knowledge of the Rhelasia situation, but he doesn’t get war. He thinks it’s a stupid human thing. My dude, you blew up an android’s head a few episodes back; don’t act like you don’t understand conflict.

After class, Megan tells Conner about the history between green and white martians; she makes the white martians seem sympathetic as the victims. MORESHADOWING!

Back at the peacetalks, Aqualad catches Cheshire coming in for another strike at Luthor and the Rhelasian leaders. He attacks her, but she activates a bomb. He keeps everyone safe behind a wall of Water-Bending, though. SportsMaster and more assassins show up, and Lex seems perfectly calm about all of this.

It’s the subplot you’ve been dying for, as we move on to see Megan at cheerleader tryouts. After her performance, some of the cheerleaders dump water on her head, and a furious Superboy might have MDK’ed them all if he hadn’t tripped and fallen off of the bleachers instead. The cheerleaders tell Megan the water is initiation and she is in! She is psyched! Superboy offers to carry her books home, which Megan thinks he means something, but he cooly says it’s so they don’t get wet.

SPEAKING OF GETTING WET: Roy sets off the sprinklers to power up Kaldur at the peace talk (you thought that was going to get dirty, didn’t you?). When the last LoS assassin breaks through the two young heroes, they get gunned down by Mercy and her arm cannon thing. The League of Shadows… is vanquished!

The peace treaty between the Rhelasia’s is signed, and SportsMaster lets Aqualad and Red Arrow in on the fact that there is a mole in Young Justice. Aqualad wants to keep it quiet for now, and Roy says that YJ has earned his respect.

What would an episode by without a Light epilogue, though? So we have Luthor and Ra’s revealing they are working together, and BOTH wanted peace for Rhelasia. They hint at being part of The Light.

Ten episodes in! The Light is clearly the big plot of the season, and they are seemingly made up of all the relevant JL villains, like Luthor and Ra’s.

It’s wildly frustrating that virtually every episode has an epilogue that undoes what the kids achieve, though. Like… they won, but did they WIN? The Light is always like “This is fine; we got what we wanted anyway”. So what is YJ even accomplishing at this point?

I guess we will see.

Until next time… take care!

article topics :

Young Justice, Rob Stewart