Young Justice "Fix" Review: In Lieu of a Big Battle, a Look Inside Everyone's Head (and/or Scarab) Space

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Jan 26, 2013

Young Justice S02E13: "Fix"

Not the big villain showdown I was hoping for after Sportsmaster and Cheshire failed to get the reparations they sought from the Light last week, but there’s still an opportunity for that later, so not all is lost. What we did get with "Fix" were characters attempting to come to grips with either who they are or what they have (or could) become, and the ways in which they’re attempting to deal with that.

First there’s Artemis, who's now completely on her own since Kaludr’s psyche was devastated. Being a double agent is hard enough, but it's harder still when there’s no support system in place to help keep the agent in order. While Artemis is tough, like much of the rest of the team, she’s prone to doubts about her abilities, and those doubts have often rooted in anxieties about her past and her heritage. Now that she’s undercover as Tigress, those doubts have to do with the future she surrendered to do this mission.

It's nice to see the strain and conflict this decision is causing her. She was happy in in her non-hero life with Wally, but even she acknowledges that she couldn’t sign up fast enough for this mission. Domesticity may have its pleasures, but it lacks the thrills of a hero’s life. With the former, you get to decide what’s for dinner; with the latter, you must devise a multi-step plan to remove a villainous psychic from the equation, kidnap another, non-villainous psychic, and then hope you can stop everyone from getting killed. Unlike many double-agent narratives, Artemis’s conflict isn’t about becoming her cover—it’s about not getting sucked back into a life of adventuring and fighting.

M’gann has had similar conflicts in her past, lying about what she is—a white Martian—and constructing her first sense of self on a TV sitcom character. The Green Beetle, B'arzz O'oomm, even gently called her out on this as the two formed a mind link to confirm his story about his scarab and intentions on Earth. M’gann has always struggled with who she is, and now her anxieties about ruining Kaldur’s mind are hinting at the darkness within her, the darkness tied to the chaotic and violent White Martian self that she denies and has worked to repress.

Until recently, anyway. I won’t harp on the ways in which the time skip that started this has short-circuited character development, but M’gann’s reckless use of her mental abilities has been a journey that started in media res, as it were, and we’re only seeing the impacts of it from the time of the invasion and up to this point. I’m glad the show is delivering on this arc for M’gann since it forces her to come to grips with who she is, again, but it also only serves to remind me that it’s essentially only half a character arc.

Finally, Jaime faces the threat of becoming the harbinger of the Reach-induced apocalypse seen in Bart’s timeline, and he’s doing whatever he can to stop that from happening. Unlike Artemis and M’gann, Jaime’s conflict is only internal because the scarab is inside of him. It’s really a much more external conflict as he copes with this symbiotic invader that may spell doom for the entire planet. It's the least compelling of the three stories, but that’s only because I don’t find the connection with Jaime to be as strong as I do with M’gann or Artemis. Again, that's due to time-skip nonsense and a lack of character-building relationships with viewers. However, I admit that it’s very much a 'your mileage may vary' issue, so while Jaime’s arc is playing out fine from a storytelling standpoint, I’m not just not very involved in it, emotionally.

B'arzz, as I guessed last week, provided a way to perhaps at least delay Jaime’s transformation by fiddling with Jaime’s insides to prevent the scarab from communicating with him. B'arzz used his Martian transformation abilities to properly contain and control his scarab, or so he says. Given this show’s propensity for twists, it’s entirely possible he’s a Reach agent, and just a very good one at that. I guess we’ll find out sooner or later if his aid actually helped Jaime, or just spurred on the end of the world.


NOTES & QUOTES


DC Nation Short: "DC Nation’s Farm League." Yes, it’s your favorite DC heroes and villains reimagined as various animals! There’s Supermanatee! Lex Liger! Wonder Wombat! Duckseid! Shazham! (Okay, so the last one made me chuckle. Sue me.) It was about as funny as you would expect, which is to say not very funny at all.

– Last week, Lex and Vandal were crowing that the team didn’t gain access to the Reach's bottled beverage plant. This week, we got a full-blown ad, complete with a G. Gordon Godfrey cameo, and an analysis of the beverage. If you were going to roll it out in less than a week, Lex, not much reason to be all happy they didn’t find the pacification beverage too soon.

– I liked the journey into Kaldur’s psyche, particularly the ruined Atlantean theme and faceless Kaldur. Faceless characters, unless they’re the Question, are always creepy.

– La’gaan and Conner are in on the plot now, and I appreciated Conner telling Dick what I’ve been saying for weeks now.

– "How did it all go so wrong so fast?" Well, secret-keeping normally plays a big part. I mean, look at what secret-keeping has done to Rosewood, Pennsylvania. That town’s a wreck.

– "You’ll take Deathstroke."

– B'arzz’s horrific but well-intentioned smile cracked me up. Nicely animated sight gag.

– Speaking of B’arzz, kudos to commenter @JediKnightJace for catching the John Carter reference last week with B'arzz O'oomm. It’s a nice play on Barsoom, the name for Mars among the Martians natives in that series of novels. That flew right by me.


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

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  • noelrk Jan 28, 2013

    Crossposting this to the animation round-up as well:

    Deadline is reporting about Cartoon Network's upfronts road show (as opposed to a formal presentation at one location that channels and networks typically do), and it includes a list of their new and returning shows.

    As you might've guessed, Young Justice and Green Lantern: TAS do not appear in the list of returning series they're presenting to "clients and promotional partners." This isn't a very good sign.

    Beware the Batman is slated for a summer premiere and is mentioned specifically as part of the DC Nation block. The new Teen Titans Go! (continuing in the tradition of the DC Nation Shorts, it'll be comedic in nature) will premiere in April.

  • iheartfrosty Jan 28, 2013

    And my heart sank...

    As much as I'm looking forward to TTG!, I'm going to miss the serialized nature of YJ and GL.

  • noelrk Jan 28, 2013

    I'm looking forward to TTG! as well (and Beware the Batman, if only for seeing obscure villains brought to TV), but, yeah.

    I'm actually a bit more sad about GL as it's been on a real creative upswing in this second half of the season. YJ has been exactly what it is, and I've just internalized that. (Seriously: It used to make me really frustrated.)

  • noelrk Jan 28, 2013

    And GL:TAS has been confirmed as cancelled by its showrunner Ginacarlo Volpe via Twitter. Seems likely Young Justice is finished as well.

  • RaizenYusuke Jan 27, 2013

    I could connect to Blue. Really he is the only new character to get major focus and a character arc. Robin and Wonder Girl are little more than glorified background characters. The series seems to be ready to add more heroes to the cast in the future. They should slowdown on hero overdrive so we can connect with some of the newer members more.

    I mean Lagoon Boy seems to just be there as a shallow love interest and to be hated. He has added nothing to the story except angry jealous guy. If he was taking out the story wouldn't suffer at all. It is like what Superboy would be if he didn't character development

  • zeddyp Jan 28, 2013

    blue's annoying...why does every spanish character in TV shows have to utter lame spanish catch phrases like "essay"

  • noelrk Jan 27, 2013

    My opinion with all the new characters, particularly in the middle of this season, when any number of them were being attacked or abducted, was that they've mostly been there pawns to up the narrative stakes without having to sacrifice the core group that we actually know and care about. It's cheap and frustrating while still giving the show a dark-ish tone.

  • iheartfrosty Jan 27, 2013

    So, I grew up in Philly and had never heard of Rosewood...so I googled it...*sighs*

  • noelrk Jan 27, 2013

    Mwhahahahahahahahaha.

  • ryanmck Jan 27, 2013

    It would totally nuts if the Green Beetle was NOT a double agent for the Reach, for the simple fact that everyone (and I'm talking characters and viewers here) instantly jumped to that conclusion. Normally him revealing he was really working for the Reach would be the curveball and everyone would be going "saw it coming", but if everything he said ended up being genuine; that would be a huge curveball that no one sees coming.

  • dama82 Jan 27, 2013

    never saw this show but the guy in the 1st picture seems to have a rather serious sunburn, he's all brown and sh*t like a roasted Peking duck.

  • noelrk Jan 27, 2013

    Um. He's black.

  • dama82 Jan 27, 2013

    oh.. i figured he was the blonde doctor guy in the 4th picture.

  • noelrk Jan 27, 2013

    Nope. Two totally different characters.

  • JT_Kirk Jan 26, 2013

    I felt like this episde worked pretty well, it felt closely taken from a comic book style of storytelling which is risky because it doesn't generally pay off as well in the long run for shows like this as it requires a lot of serialized viewer understanding (or a ridiculous number of flashbacks for emotional and storyline threads), but here it worked with plenty of personal moments and dramatic moments and action moments.

    My big issue with it was the Green Beetle just being too much of a boon to the heroes and being too giving, that it stinks of a twist. Offering up memories for M'gann was a further sign of trouble, and just once on this show it'd be nice to not be M. Night Shymalaned.

    Jaime's story arc has come on so quickly that it's frustrating to not have more time with the character to see why he's so desperate to change the future NOW NOW NOW at any possible risk. But I still connect with it - although just standing out in the open being manipulated by Green Beetle was a bit flat.

    Ha, I also didn't catch the Barsoom reference, that's a good eye indeed.

    The lack of Sportsmaster's follow-up didn't bother me at all so long as it comes at some point.

    ---

    The Farm League short was double unfunny, and it just didn't seem like a fully-gelled idea. Oddly, I also found "Shazham" the singularly funny one, perhaps it's because it's hard to take Captain Marvel too seriously to begin with.

  • RaizenYusuke Jan 27, 2013

    The Green Beetle plot going to be a twist though? Right now everything is setup to make it look like he is a double agent for the Reach. If he is a sleeper agent who has no idea the Reach are controlling him it is similar to the Red Arrow/Mole plot last season. At the same time Green Beetle appearing is too convenient. I have a feeling no matter what the writers do the twist is going to fall flat.

  • JT_Kirk Jan 27, 2013

    That's an interesting idea, have him believe his scarab isn't in control when it really is. That said, I don't think I could buy it working because that'd mean The Reach were aware of the need for a sleeper agent, that they wouldn't have faith in their Earth scarab or their plans to kill Jaime and reboot the scarab, and if that were the case why not just send their Green Beetle who is in charge of a dead, empty planet to Earth in the first place?

  • noelrk Jan 27, 2013

    See, and now you've given me an idea: Green Beetle is really the Earth-16 Ma'alefa'ak.

  • JT_Kirk Jan 27, 2013

    You just blew my mind, that's brilliant.

  • noelrk Jan 27, 2013

    I have occasional moments of brilliance.

  • JT_Kirk Jan 26, 2013

    Noel, correction needed: "First there's Artemis, who's now completely on her since Kaludr's psyche was devastated" you need to add the word "own".

  • noelrk Jan 27, 2013

    Fixed, thank you.

  • DeangeloHill1 Jan 26, 2013

    tremendous episode i loved every second of it i just hate when they exclude characters at times death stroke who made his debut the week before brong it even more this week taking down lagoon boy was crazy and i hope artemis can tell night wing to save miss martian after she finishes piecing the mind of kaldurum back into place and i was happy to see tula inside of the episode because when season 2 began she was already dead

  • LizHarris2 Jan 26, 2013

    I knew this undercover thing would come back to bite Kaldur and Artemis since they had been laying the groundwork for how Miss Martian was abusing her powers. That being said, this is still playing out very well. Two issues though. Connor is a hypocrite because he railed on Nightwing for keeping secrets, but he didn't tell Nightwing or the league what 'gann was doing even though he had the chance. If they knew, they might have reigned her in before she shattered Aqualad's mind. I also think that M'gann needs to rethink her choice in boyfriends. Connor may have settled down some, but he and Lgann have some major anger management issues. They both fly off the handle way too soon. Hehehe.

  • kanniballl Jan 26, 2013

    B'arzz is interesting... he could either be on-the-level or he could be a very good agent. When the guy in a suit admits the suit has absorbed shape-shifting and mental abilities as part of the "symbiosis" how can you KNOW for sure that you're not just talking to the suit that's NOW camoflagued as the alien. Or that the memories he GAVE you were genuine

    His arrival is too convenient. After Jaime escaped while being afraid of his armor, AND after M'gan used her Mental attacks to near lethality... a Psychic guy in reach armor appears. Who better than to play on her shame of violent psy attacks (and "offering" to "share" memories) and sabotage Jaime's armor.

    Plus, it seems that Lex was non-plussed about the team finding out about the additives. Is it possible that he WANTS them to think they know what's in there... when it's really something else? In which case B'arzz just pointed them in the wrong direction.

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