EPISODE REVIEW: Young Justice: "Agendas" (Episode 22)

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Young Justice Episode 22 “Agendas”

SUMMARY
Superboy receives a message from Lex Luthor imploring the young hero to return to Project Cadmus to investigate the possibility of another super clone. After a thorough inspection of the facilities that reunites Conner with Guardian and his genome brothers, Superboy discovers Project Match: his twin.

After freeing him, Match attacks and defeats Conner. Later, after receiving patches that Luthor names “shields” that amplify his powers, Conner defeats Match at the expense of revealing the secret city of liberated genomes freed by Dubbilex. Along the way we learn that the shields work because they temporarily suppress Conner’s human DNA, DNA belonging to Lex Luthor. While Match was created first as a purely Kryptonian clone, Conner was created later using DNA from Superman and Lex Luthor. In anger Superboy goes to attack Luthor but is shut down by the code words “red sun”. Confused and concerned, he returns back to the Team.

Meanwhile the League meets in the Watchtower to discuss a plethora of issues centered on the adding or dismissing of members to their ranks. Superman, Batman and Wonder Woman – finally given voice by a perfect Maggie Q – lead the discussions ranging from whether sidekicks should be considered and just what the criteria of eligibility are. Their final decisions are left unrevealed.

OBSERVATIONS

Young Justice continues its run a strong character focused episodes. Superboy has already had an episode to shine without the rest of the Team, but here is the first time we see deeper into his beliefs and values. He’s recently become more comfortable with who he is but he still harbors frustration over his unique background and parentage.

Until this episode it wasn’t specifically stated that Superboy is a partial clone of Lex Luthor so that piece of his puzzle was a fairly important reveal. In this portrayal Conner’s relationship with Superman is strained at best but more accurately non-existent. The allure of a suave Luthor as a father figure who not only acknowledges him but also has pride in him is sure to be a strong temptation for him. The entertainment I anticipate from watching their dynamic grow, the clash with Superman and the added twist of Luthor possibly being able to control Conner via ingrained trigger words is mouthwatering to say the least.

The immense comic history this show has managed to jam into its short run so far is ridiculous. Where Batman: The Brave and the Bold glorified the silver age of DC, YJ has taken the celebration of the Modern Age upon itself. Dubbilex and Match in one episode are ridiculous and both were done insanely well. Guardian’s return was much appreciated and Cadmus’ return promises to be a fresh and rich vein of territory to cover.

Unlike in last week’s episode where the concurrent storyline struggled, the League’s meeting was entertaining, mysterious and did much to add realism to the entire show’s universe. They raised questions fan have undoubtedly pondered themselves. The writers deserve kudos for listening to and anticipating the response of the viewers.

There’s quite a bit left to discuss here but overall I thoroughly enjoyed the entire episode from acting, plot, design and dialogue. YJ has really hit its stride and the only negative to take away is that with only 4 episodes left I’ll be left sorely wanting the start of season 2.

COOL MOMENTS

• Match being involved in any way, but the moment that he brands himself with the S-shield via heat vision and a mirror was classic. An ode to both Bizarro (essentially who Match becomes to Conner in the comics) and Superboy Prime, it was a great moment for fans who caught it as well as dynamic and memorable to those experiencing the universe for the first time.

• Luthor shutting down Conner with the words “red sun”. An allusion to Rao, the red sun of Krypton which renders the Kryptonian equal to normal humans. A one shot story of Superman titled “Red Son” was released as a what if concerning a baby Kal-El landing in communist Russia instead of Kansas and being raised as a government tool instead of a hero of peace, justice, the American way, etc.
o Since the words were spoken it leads me to wonder if it was “son” or “sun”. Could connotations of both be used? Can Conner be both shut down and controlled?

• The Watchtower’s design was original and familiar. The plant life and birds was an excellent touch.

• The dialogue of the Leagues meeting was expertly written and performed and Maggie Q did Wonder Woman proud. After the stellar voice acting of the DCAU it’s hard not to get attached to former portrayals but I was able to grasps onto her portrayal immediately. Familiar and new, Q carried the proper fierceness and royal poise necessary for the Amazon princess. She’d be an interesting choice to play a live action version as well

• John Stewart and Hal Jordon vehemently shutting down the suggestion of Guy Gardner being inducted. As a GL fan that. Was. HILARIOUS!

• All of Captain Marvel’s moments during the discussion.

• The relationship between Diana and Batman. Great dynamic. Batman knowing about Billy’s age and his response to Diana’s comment about Robin was classic. Bruce Greenwood is making Batman his own. Although Kevin Conroy will always be MY Batman, the legacy is in good hands here.

• The shield patches reminds me slightly of the slappers used in Batman Beyond. Although the slappers were based off of venom, I wonder if the shields will possibly be addictive as well.

OTHER COMMENTS

• I applaud the writers for the further inclusion of Milestone heroes Icon and Rocket. Icon does have a similar history to Superman and it was great that the dialogue alluded to that.

• The difficulty the League had in designating who is eligible for membership was engrossing and I can’t wait to see the outcome of their decision. However, the gravitas of the discussion between Batman, WW and Superman seemed a little dramatic compared to the actual subjects of their meeting. Where their things discussed not shown yet? Or were the Big 3 just being divas?

• How will Guardian’s family ties to Red Arrow and his status as a government hero affect later run ins with the Team, the League or his nephew?

Will conservatives like this episode?

I don’t see why not.

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