(Please Note: The following article is an opinion review from our writer Stephen Doria. While we fully support our writers views, it does not represent the views of everyone at the site)
With the second season of Young Justice now in full swing, things just keep finding a way to heat up. The Invasion seems to have been subsided, however our hero’s still cannot find a moment to relax. Even with a GIGANTIC cast of heroes, the story still finds a way to give them all a bit of relevance and have the plot flow through their turmoil and the trouble’s presented externally too.
The episode starts with the cloned Speedy stopping a robbery, only to take some of the money the thief stole for himself. But I will come back to that later.
We now move to the new Zeta shield surrounding the Earth to help stop an invasion from coming onto our planet again without permissions. But when you watch the shield surround the Earth you are truly not left with a sense of relief, but I watch with a sense of concern. That shield is not only keeping hostile forces off of Earth, but it is also keeping friendly ones as well. And you can call me paranoid, but a bubble surrounding me feels more like a prison than a city wall.
Cut forward, Speedy is cornered by his former mentor and his old friends Nightwing, Wally West, etc. They ask him about the money, he looks like a heroin addict that has been without a fix too long. He tells them that he needs the money to find the real Roy Harper because he feels that everyone else has given up. I can understand his feelings on this quest, if i was an unknown clone, my sense of purpose in this world would be thrown into question the day that I found out that I was the knock off.
They really push to make you feel like Speedy has completely lost his place, it is 5 years on since he found out that he was a clone, but you can’t help but feel they are forcing the viewer. However, that is the gripe of an adult watching a “children’s show.” (Quotations because it is truly not a children’s show.)
After this, we move to Superboy and the Blue Bettle’s quest to stop Intergang. However, to not spoil the episode, I am not going to focus on this at all. Just know that it is your comic type formula.
We are going to move back to the Speedy issue at hand. His comrades seem to attack him out of love, rather than to guide him. This could be years of Superhero villain fighting, but you always wish that your heroes did have that touch of humanity in them.
That’s where my issue comes in, could Speedy ever be justified for taking a bit of cash from the thief he stopped? In his own defense, he did say the store owner would have no money if it was not for him…
None of our true heroes seem to have any way of relating to Speedy’s issue, which I am sure is deliberate, but it only seems to push the character further and further away from their help.
This leads to his feelings of isolation, compounded with the idea that everyone else has given up on the original Speedy, because they believe he is dead, it is a pure recipe for a morally grey crime fighting standard. Personally, it makes me wonder why it has taken so long for this to be highlighted in such a way in superhero animation. Usually the morally grey character is some sideshow in which the hero will eventually put behind bars, but, in this case, the grey is the hero.
Now, the money that Speedy took is taken away from him, but he is given a pass on the actions he intended. I guess we can call that pass “what the world owed him,” and I assume he only gets one. Or two. But the bigger picture here, and the one that I feel Young Justice again will not capitalize on, is that Speedy can be that grey without being the mercenary. He can be that gap never filled. But, I am sure that they will actually go the route of finding the dead Speedy before this season is out. Whether dead Speedy can stay on the straight and narrow is a tale to be told another day.
Overall, this episode does very well at what it should. It has people sitting down and wondering what is really going on in the show. I do not know why they chose to keep certain character’s blacked out when they have been shown before, especially when the episode is a play on his name, but that may just be misdirection. The episode is a great continuation to what Young Justice does well, which is an amazing storyline, deep characters, and clever animation style. This show is even starting to rank up among TAS.