EPISODE REVIEW: Young Justice: "Homefront" (Episode 12)

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RECAP

Artemis wakes up in her bedroom and looks at an Alice in Wonderland poster above an empty bed. A flashback reveals that she had an older sister that ran out on the family. Apparently the sister had a falling out with their father and as Artemis’ mother is still in prison at this point she has decided to leave and strike out on her own. Ignoring Artemis’ pleads for them to “keep the family together”, her sister walks out but not before encouraging Artemis to get out as well.

Artemis is jarred back to the present as her mother reminds her to get up for school. She starts her first day at Gotham Academy (on a scholarship presented by Bruce Wayne in “Downtime”). At school she is greeted by her guide and Bette and during their introduction we also get a few moments with Dick Grayson and his friend Barbara. Later that night as Artemis is using a JL transporter disguised as a telephone booth Robin (in costume) surprises her and teasingly asks why she’s not in Star City with her “uncle” Green Arrow. After some amusing word play between the two they transport into the cave.

Immediately upon their arrival the two are attacked by unseen forces. They retreat through the cave and finally find out what has attacked them: two red androids that control fire and water. They look suspiciously like Red Tornado who, conveniently is absent from the cave. Through a flashback we see that Superboy and Miss Martian have been making out a lot and that the rest of the Team still doesn’t know about their relationship. Aqualad voices his concern about the potential of a mole to Red Tornado who tells him that Batman would want the Team to govern themselves. Aqualad then attempts, lamely, to investigate himself and we see the video feed drop as the team is ambushed by the androids.

Artemis panics and Robin, still in control due to his experience, sternly calms her and deduces a plan to shut the machines down with a makeshift EMP. However, while attempting to start it the androids appear to drown him. Ultimately, it is up to Artemis to save herself and the others from being killed. Red Tornado appears shortly after the incident and knocks the Team out by creating a massive vacuum. When the group is awoken by the League, the androids have disappeared and they are faced with the realization that Red Tornado may be the mole.

OBSERVATIONS

Wow! This episode was epic for quite a few reasons. For one, we finally get screen time with Team members not named Conner or Megan. The way this episode picks up on a lot of previously established developments was excellent and something I expect the show to continue to do well. In one episode we learn that the love birds haven’t gone public with their relationship, Aqualad hasn’t taken the threat of a traitor lightly, and quite a bit personality wise about Artemis and Robin.

The two “normal” kids on the team shine properly in their episode. Cheshire being revealed as Artemis’ sister wasn’t a true surprise, as from their introductions we knew they had a relationship, and in one the show affiliated comics the poster is viewable in the background. What is surprising to me is that they appeared to be close with a good relationship. I expected that they may not have in fact known each other very well and may have been half siblings or separated. The fact that they lived together for so long along with one or two parents makes this dynamic even more interesting. It also makes Cheshire a bit younger than I assumed she was which is fine.

Artemis seems genuinely affected by the splitting of her family which explains why she so highly values being part of the Team. While this devotion to the Team as a family came out of nowhere it worked because of the prologue and I’m sure it was also thrown in to showcase her loyalty (as in she’s not the mole).

The interaction between Robin and Artemis though is how we learn the most about each character so far. We already know that Robin has problems working smoothly with others. But we also find out that his experience has prepared him to deal with any challenge in a composed manner. Contrastingly starkly with Artemis who, being new to hero work nearly lost composure completely. Robin having to calm her and save them both, along with Artemis’ lack of confidence when comparing herself to her other teammates is the kind of great touch that this show has become adept at integrating. It only makes sense that a normal person would feel incompetent on a superhero team if they had no super powers and a more experienced member would definitely be expected to behave as such. Robin shows here in this episode why he will one day be a great leader and that moment may come sooner than later as I have a feeling that Aqualad not sharing information about the mole will come back to bite him.

I enjoyed this episode more than last weeks due to it featuring my favorite characters and the full team. It sets up the storylines for the rest of the season nicely and I’m excited to see how everything plays out.

COOL MOMENTS

• Character Intros:
o Barbara Gordon who becomes Batgirl and has a romance with Dick Grayson. Not expecting much from her in this series as she was never really a part of a team like this and the creators have said that Dick won’t have a love interest for a while but still great to see her
o Bette: the student liaison at Artemis’ school is probably Bette Kane, the original Bat-girl of the Silver age and sidekick to Bat-woman who I believe has been reintroduced to the continuity (pre-reboot). Super cool nod!

• Robin: Dick was hilarious in this episode. The taking pictures, the teasing all makes him interesting. Lots don’t like his personality is this show but they are forgetting that 1, he’s 13. 2, he’s Dick Grayson. He’s supposed to be playful. He’s the happy Robin. Most are comparing him to the more serious Tim Drake, the angry Jason Todd and the sadistic Damien. Dick’s character has also been wise cracking and jovial. He outgrew Robin because he thought of it as a thrill (Batman’s words not mine). Even in BTAS (holy relic of animated superhero shows) Dick was a wisecracker. Although rebellious as he would be at that age, he retained a playful personality.

• Kudos to the writers for not wasting time in the attack. Having them teleport straight into the attack created the perfect since of urgency.

• It was great to see the rest of the Cave the Team stays in as Artemis and Robin ran through it. I love stuff like that and would love to see them interact around the base a bit every once in a while, a la Teen Titans.

• The conversations between Robin and Artemis were funny, but wth does Darg mean?

OTHER COMMENTS

• Still weird/funny to see M’gann and Conner making out all day. What do they do with all that time alone in the cave? Hmmm…. It’s obvious the writers are saving their relationship being open to the team for something as Robin’s video footage conveniently opened after Flash had interrupted.

• I know Artemis was the choice to throw the audience off as to who the traitor is and Tornado seems to be the mole now. But that spark as he touched the other android may have been a reprogramming or something since a similar storyline happened in the comics. Notice that he also didn’t kill the team he just knocked them unconscious.

• Superman checking on Artemis and ignoring Conner again. They’ve done a good job making Big Blue a jerk and it’s so much more compelling not to have him be so perfect.

• We know everyone in Artemis’ family now except the dad. I’m 90% sure it’s Sportsmaster. Any thoughts?

• Aqualad honestly thought that batman wouldn’t want to know about a traitor? He should have been able to figure out who he could trust. Batman, Robin, Kid Flash pretty much good for. If they were moles they probably would’ve been weeded out already. However the new Martian girl and the scientific experiment are the first people he goes to?

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS
I see no reason for them not to.

As always feel free to start some discussion in the comments!

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