Young Justice "Complications" Review: The Ties That Bind

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Feb 16, 2013

Young Justice S02E16: "Complications"

After grousing about the need to maintain his rep in the past (and continuing to do so this week), Sportsmaster finally made his move against Black Manta, with Cheshire tagging along to get her revenge on Kaldur. This is something that has been floating around the season for a bit, so it was nice to finally pay off this particular thread as we head into the homestretch of the series.

Given all the various cogs in the subterfuge aboard Manta’s submarine, there was a lot of, “We need to disable this thing before we can do that thing so that we can finally do this one other thing, and we need to do all of it while maintaining our covers.” As a result, "Complications" was pretty busy trying to handle all of those necessary elements, and to its credit, managed to integrate its action sequences around achieving those ends, from M’gann shooting the camera that Deathstroke was using to observe Kaldur’s cabin to Artemis locating the power inhibitor’s deactivation switch.

Of course, once the power inhibitor was removed, things became easier as M’gann was able to explain the whole plot to Sportsmaster and Cheshire, thus eliminating their grievances against Black Manta and Kaldur. Except for the fact that Sportsmaster knowing the plan shouldn't've made that much of a difference, since Sportsmaster is all about maintaining his rep, and his rep is a very public thing, so letting Black Manta off the hook will still make him look like something of a chump. Instead, he’s going to wait for Artemis and Kaldur to take down Manta, and the Light, from the inside? Right.

And that’s the big failing with having to knock out those cameras and get rid of those collars and maintain appearances: The character beats driving both Sportsmaster and Cheshire were lost in that shuffle. Probably the bit that I liked the most was Cheshire and Artemis having a brief exchange about why Cheshire would even want vengeance for the death of her sister. She can play it off as being annoyed that Artemis wasn’t available to babysit Lian, but the two do care for one another, albeit in ways that come off as a little dysfunctional, and it was nice to see that element bleed through all the action. Even nicer of Cheshire to explain to their mother that Artemis is alive and well.

While all this was going on, Dick got around to investigating what'd happened to his missing team members. The story Blue Beetle told involved a boom tube and Mongul getting the better of everyone, and ended with them being held captive somewhere. It appeared, however, that the Reach are truly horrible at cleaning up crime scenes and crafting consistent stories for their agents. A ruined airlock is one thing, and given the evidence of a boom tube, it wouldn’t be outside the realm of possibility that someone attempted to space whatever or whoever came out of the tube. But to leave Tim’s birdarang on the scene, complete with little scarab microbes, was just careless.

It could've been rationalized away that Tim just didn’t aim correctly (Batman would be furious) or that Blue Beetle somehow got in the way, but then the Reach held a press conference and touted Blue Beetle as the hero of Earth, and they overplayed their hand. Jaime appeared not only poised and press-ready—something he is very much not—but he also thanked the Reach for the scarab. Every single one of the heroes who's still on Earth, from Dick to Black Canary to the Atom, knows that the last thing Jaime wants is that scarab on his back. You’d think that given Green Beetle’s access to Jaime’s mind, the Reach would've had a more consistent presentation lined up. In any case, Dick’s onto the whole scheme now, and he has to prioritize: His teammates, or dealing with the Beetles and the Reach?

Notes & Quotes

DC Nation Short: It was Level 5 of the "Amethyst" shorts, and probably the weakest since the very first installment. She had to sing a spell to the cursed Frog Prince. While it felt a little like a Zelda-esque boss battle, what with the musical aspect and all, it wasn't all that engaging. But Dark Opal emerged at the very end, signaling perhaps that the final showdown will happen next week.

– “So it would appear, Mr. Fakes A Mental Condition.”

– Deathstroke’s line about wanting to take a seat at the Light’s table was a nice one, but it’s too bad we’re probably not going to see that happen.

What'd you think of this week's episode?

  • Comments (34)
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  • TomWayne Feb 20, 2013

    Noel, any word on which Ep number will be the end? I know that Teen Titans Go! is due in April (likely replacing GLTAS, even though the stylistic replacement for GLTAS is Beware the Batman), but then again its Ep numbers are a few ahead of YJ.

  • roweantarts Feb 21, 2013

    Young Justice Invasion is only a 20 ep series, GLTAS is 26. It's been confirmed before that both will complete their respective runs.

  • Loralee_jk Feb 18, 2013

    Sportsmaster loves his daughter in his own way

  • KarlSchantz Feb 17, 2013

    I love this show. This is better than most of the adult dramas on TV these days. I love that they pack so much into a 30 minute slot. Please don't take it away!!!

  • whowhat Feb 17, 2013

    We have two months to save younng justice!

    Give it more views!

    a post from someone who rang one of the higher-ups at CN and was told that "if the fans want to turn things around for YJ, we have two months to do so and we need THOUSANDS of more viewers".

    "Runaways" scored 2.123 million viewers..

  • whowhat Feb 17, 2013

    We have two months to save younng justice!

    Give it more views!

    a post from someone who rang one of the higher-ups at CN and was told that "if the fans want to turn things around for YJ, we have two months to do so and we need THOUSANDS of more viewers".

    "Runaways" scored 2.123 million viewers.

  • whowhat Feb 17, 2013

    Lets make sure they dont cancel it and then we can comment about it.

  • joshmaverikcs Feb 17, 2013

    I'm hoping for a buddy cop type of episode with Nightwing and Miss Martian tracking down the rest of the team. But with barely any episodes left, I guess it's unlikely.

  • RaizenYusuke Feb 17, 2013

    Honestly I thought Sportsmaster's rep thing was just an excuse to avenge Artemis and save face. Why the hell would Sportsmaster's rep been in danger if he let his hero daughter get killed by another villain? Him killing Blackmanta and Aqualad would just look like he avenged Artemis, which would make him look soft to other villains, so his rep takes a hit either way. Sportsmaster to me is lik Jade of this series and this episode IMO showed that. He has no problem beating up his kid and screwing either them over for his own benfit, but he doesn't have it in him to actually kill one and damn sure doesn't want another villain to do it.

    He argued with Jade that Miss M just tricked them and Artemis as still dead. He didn't argue it made no difference, because he had to protect his rep then, revealing to us this was more personal than saving his rep. Even his helping his "baby girl," by destroying the control room felt like he was genuinally trying to help Artemis out of some affection he has for her than his rep. I had no problem with that plot.

    As for the Reach not cleaning up house, they may have ordered Blue to hunt down original Roy and he spent too much time searching for him that he couldn't clean up house. It could explain why Roy wasn't found by Dick.

  • kanniballl Feb 18, 2013

    It wasn't the fact that she was killed alone... but the fact that A) it was approved by the light B) without checking with him first and C) without "The Light" letting him respond / retaliate.

    So, every which way... he was a chump. He wasn't "important" enough to give it a second thought, wasn't "important" enough to ask for permission or let him know, and wasn't "important" enough to allow him to go after one of their members. So... that one act made his "rep" look pretty bad in the crime world.

    Of course, deep down he might have actually cared about his daughter.

  • Dougo13 Feb 17, 2013

    Did the people of Earth not see the Reach fleet that they were not supposed to have get destroyed by War World in the last episode? Why would they trust them? What, no Earth based cameras recorded the fleet leaving the Marianas Trench and go up into orbit? Heck, cameras here with our real tech recorded the meteor in Russia and the asteroid passing by so this would be no stretch.

    And...are they ever going to explain if G. Gordon Godfrey is actually Glorious Godfrey from Apokolips as in the the comics? And that is another thing that has bothered me...where is Darkseid? Doesn't he consider Earth a planet he is trying to get under his domain? Sometimes the show can be aggravating...

    This episode also explains something for me from Arrow...namely Death Stroke's missing right eye.

    And I guess for an automated system, there was no monitoring camera(s) for Nightwing to examine so he could find out what really happened on board? Sometimes this show can be infuriating.

    Was some nice action sequences though.

    Pity if the show is cancelled. CN not the channel it used to be. Losing way too much creativity and replacing it with lameo stuff a la Syfy channel. Sign of the times I guess...

  • kanniballl Feb 17, 2013

    Difference being... In Russia you had surveillance cameras and cellphones and ATM cameras. You can't really just "see" stuff coming our from the middle of the ocean. Radar perhaps, but at least in the comics per reboot, ReachTech was invisible to all but video (so no radar or thermals)

  • TylerA46 Feb 17, 2013

    YJ - Incompetent every week.

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