Tonight, the team gains a leader, and finds more pieces to the puzzle. The only problem is, I don't think that they know there IS a puzzle yet.
Read on, as usual, I spill the spoilers…
In Santa Prisca, a trial by combat is being held in a prison. Bane is given his venom and another punkish looking guy is given some sort of serum. The punkish guy transforms into a really huge monster and totals Bane in just a few minutes. He stands victorious over Bane while cries of "Hail Kobra" echo into the night.
Batman has sent Young Justice on a recon mission to determine why the flow of Venom has stopped from Santa Prisca. It is strictly stealthy, or at least it was until Kid Flash, in his new stealthy togs, runs across Bane accidentally.
The team takes on Bane's squad. Without Venom, Bane and his goons are disposed of quickly. They also grab one of the Kobra cultists and quickly figure out that Kobra has started hoarding venom. The kids quickly fall to arguing among themselves about who the leader of the team is. Bane leads them through a secret passage into the prison-"The enemy of my enemy…"…
Kid Flash and Robin discover that Kobra is combining Venom with the Blockbuster formula from the pilot. It creates superstrong permanent monsters. Kobra is preparing to sell 'Kobra Venom' to Sportsmaster (yeah, talk about loser villains) who is buying for some yet unknown organization. Bane, never one for subtlety, creates a fray and then forces the team to jump into it. After they escape, they figure out that Aqualad is the most logical leader.
Bane tries to play both sides against the middle, but is quickly put down (literally) by Miss Martian and Superboy. Aqualad puts together a good plan to stop the outbound shipment, and under his leadership, Young Justice succeeds.
Only to go home and begin to get a chewing out by Batman… until he lets up, unexpectedly and tells them that they've done a good job and chosen a good leader.
Sportsmaster stands before The Light with the only ampule of Kobra Venom he could save. The Light has determined that Young Justice is a threat.
Again, the team is trying to put itself together, but it's doing a better job of it. Using M'Gann as a telepathic conduit (although it's very X-Men), is cleverly done and her flirting with Superboy while Kid Flash flirts with her is played well.
"No capes, no tights, no offense."- I laughed out loud at Superboy's quip, a callback to the primary rules of Smallville. The writing on the show is sharp- the characters are all well drawn. As noted in the episode, Robin IS the best choice for leader once he gains the skills- and it's apparent that although he is the most competent and has the most experience, he's not ready to lead.
The show draws a nice distinction between ability and competence. These are able heros, but they aren't ready for prime time, and Young Justice displays both qualities without making the kids look stupid. Able inexperience is very difficult to show- this show does it well.
Bane is finally played the way he should be. Smart, a planner. He's not very Venom'd up this time through which makes him much more Superboy's punching bag than he probably should be- but this characterization is much more in line with what I'd like to see Nolan do with the character in the next Batman flick.
We have some unanswered questions:
Who is The Light?
Who fused the Venom with the Blockbuster Formula?
How much of the big picture is being orchestrated by The Light and how much are independent operators?
Will Conservatives like this Episode?
Good characterization and heroism and teamwork--- absolutely!