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Stew’s Young Justice Retrospective: Season 2, Episodes 9 – 10

April 15, 2024 | Posted by Rob Stewart
Young Justice 2-09 Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

A Bigger, Blacker Beetle: A Young Justice Retrospective, S2 E9-10

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Episode 9

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

Episode 9 kicks off with Aqualad and the imprisoned Lagoon Boy arguing. Black Manta comes in and declares he has a mission from The Light for Aqualad to further prove his allegiance to them. His team consists of The Terror Twins (Hey, I remember them from season one!), Icicle Junior (who is still skeeving on Tuppance of the twins), and Artemis, now disguised as “Tigress”.

Away from their flight to their mission, we see Impulse show up at Jaime Reyes’ doorstep to hang out, causing Jaime to freak out about secret identities, a concept that Bart doesn’t understand. He turns into the Beetle, and the two zip off.

Then we get a very short scene of Bumblebee and her boyfriend going off to hang out together at The Atom’s lab. Truly gripping stuff this episode!

ANOTHER very short scene next, and this episode has the attention span of Bart Allen. Lagoon Boy wakes up in his imprisonment long enough to see two shadowy alien figures talking about him. One wants to simply dispose of him; the other thinks studying his physiology could be useful.

Back to Bart and Jaime, with the two showing off their powers to each other, and it’s good (?) to see that Jaime is over his friend being abducted and MIA. Anyway, they are attacked by Aqualad’s forces! The heroes escape back to Mount Justice. But even that was a part of Aqualad’s plan, as Impulse stole a piece of tech that disabled the security of their headquarters.

As Aqualad sneaks into Mount Justice, Lagoon Boy is set up next to the other kidnapped kids, but then we switch over to Bumblebee and Mal and SLOW DOWN, EPISODE. At least show me one scene for, like, a whole minute before you shift gears!

Despite BARELY knowing these characters if you haven’t read the old Teen Titans books in which they appeared, we are getting a sense that ‘Bee is outgrowing Mal. When he hears that Bee and Atom are about to run a two hour test, he slinks away into the night.

The rest of Aqualad’s goons sneak into Mount Justice. Wolf lets Tigress collar him because he recognizes her scent. Tuppance (still lovin’ that name) clobbers Beast Boy. Tommy Terror and Icicle collar Superboy, but Aqualad stops them from killing him.

Impulse takes out Icicle, who is consistently portrayed as a sucker, but is then collared by the Terror Twins. Nightwing gets collared by Tigress, and that leaves Blue Beetle as the last man standing. His “Kill ‘em all” scarab wants him to, well, kill them all, but Jaime is hesitant. Aqualad plants a bomb with a dead-man switch and gets Beetle to surrender.

The baddies make off with Impulse, Beetle, and Beast Boy, but Aqualad says their partners have no interest in Nightwing (who is just a normal human with no powers, but don’t they have a bunch of normal human kids they abducted?) and Superboy (who is Kryptonian).

There is a brief segment of Beetle overriding his collar and fighting back, but Kaldur and Tigress pretty easily take care of and recapture him. Then Aqualad sets off the bomb in Mount Justice! Big kaboom!

Mal arrives on the scene, calls in for help, then sees that Super-Cycle has saved Conner, Dick, and Wolf.

Kid Flash teleports into the Hall Of Justice to give a recuperating Dick crap for letting everything go down the way it did, but Nightwing defends it all by saying Kaldur passed him a flash drive with tracking software on it so they can recover everyone. Wally doesn’t buy that it was worth it. He thinks Aqualad might actually be a traitor and is tricking Dick.

And then the episode ends with Kaldur being inducted into The Light.

Episode 10

Image Credit: Warner Bros. Animation

We start off with Jaime, and… wait, wasn’t he just kidnapped? But this is just a flashback to how he got the Scarab from Kord Industries. He wakes up imprisoned, with the containment pod having neutralized the Beetle’s offensive capabilities. He sees there is a bigger, blacker Beetle working with the aliens who have taken him!

Aqualad is talking to the Ambassador of The Reach, the aliens working with the new Beetle character. The Reach are working on normal humans to see if they have Metagene potential, and they are, well, just torturing the hell out of Impulse and Beast Boy to see how their Metagenes react to “stress”. The female Reach scientist seems taken with Kaldur’s cleverness.

In Star city, another batch of kidnapped kids are being podded up by Tigress when Robin, Batgirl, and Bumblebee sneak into the cage to get themselves abducted, as well. This is also very confusing, as I thought for sure Batgirl was Megan in disguise until…

As the kids are being taken away in one of Manta’s ships, Megan’s bio-ship follows along in stealth mode, with Megan (see? Not Batgirl), Nightwing, and Wonder Girl on board.

Back into the past now, with Jaime having a dream about skateboarding with Ty (his previously kidnapped buddy from home). He wakes up to being monitored by the Black Beetle and The Reach. They plan on removing the scarab from him… which will kill him!

Megan sneaks on board the ship and frees Beast Boy and Bart. Babs and Tim break out of their pods, as well. At some point Superboy got aboard the bad guys’ ship and was disguised as a Manta trooper? Okay, I guess. Don’t bother showing me how this stuff happened or anything. I’ll just ride with it. He helps Bumblebee and the abducted kids get to Megan’s ship.

Black Beetle interjects himself to stop the heroes and one other of the abducted kid who is black and has dreads and is wearing blue and yellow and OH MY GOODNESS, ARE WE GOING TO GET STATIC SHOCK?! Not that this show doesn’t already have too many characters, but still! Static Shock maybe! Yeah! The Beetle locks them in with him and laughs off their threats.

Bart finds Jaime being tortured by the female Reach scientist and frees his newfound buddy. Bart tells Jaime that in the future, Blue Beetle is a megaevil villain, and one of the reasons Bart came back was to stop that from happening.

At the same time, the peril of not getting everyone on the same page for your sneaky sneaky plan is shown when Megan comes across Kaldur and mindblasts him all to fuck and back. She sees in his mind that everything he’s doing is a sham and he has Artemis alive with him, so this messes with her for what she had just done to him.

Back to the big fight, and Black Beetle is whipping all of the heroes’ asses. After absolutely pummeling poor Cassie, he is faced with Bart, Jaime, Batgirl, and Beast Boy. Jaime grants the scarab complete control to fight Black Beetle.

While Jaime fights Black Beetle, the rest of the team escapes to the surface to avoid drowning after a hole gets burnt through the hull of the bad guys’ ship. Lagoon Boy ends up saving Blue, though.

On the “triumphant” cruise home, Megan is still stunned over what she did to Aqualad, and Superboy gives her some malicious side-eye because he knows what she is capable of.

At the Justice League watchtower, we see The Reach has approached the U.N. and announced their presence as peaceful aliens wanting to work with humanity. G. Gordon Godfrey LOVES this and literally says “This is how aliens SHOULD come to Earth: knocking on the front door. Not sneaking in the back…”. Oh, politics. If this episode aired today, folks would LOSE THEIR MINDS over the inept Godfrey saying that line. It also shows Godfrey is way more Fox News than he is Jonah Jameson.

And with that, those two episodes are over.

Until next time… take care!

article topics :

Young Justice, Rob Stewart