Young Justice "The Hunt" Review: Playing the Game

By Noel Kirkpatrick

Feb 23, 2013

Young Justice S02E17: "The Hunt"

With only three episodes left, Young Justice is tying up its loose ends for the season... as long as leaving Mongul and Black Beetle to tear up Warworld count as tying up loose ends. More seriously, “The Hunt” hopefully arranged the pieces for the final showdowns between the team and the Reach, with the Light doing whatever it is the Light is doing.

Making sense of the Light’s motivations may be a bit of a fool’s errand since I doubt their true intentions are going to become very clear by the end of the series. Vandal Savage said way back in Season 1 that the purpose of the Light was to do as much as they could to speed up humanity’s evolution, with a desire for Earth to be a major player in the cosmos. They walk along a knife’s edge of too many interlocking plans—their own work, their likely deals with Apokolips given their boom tube tech, and their “alliance” with the Reach—to make the whole thing seem believable, let alone feasible.

Though I suppose that’s why little bits of misdirection—like sending Virgil and his comrades to Warworld to free the captured heroes as a distraction so that Deathstroke could get in to nab the crystal key of Warworld—make it seem like the Light knows what it’s doing from a narrative standpoint, even if its agenda remains decidedly scattered-seeming. And perhaps that’s the point. If the Light’s goals remain unclear, they can basically do anything the narrative needs them to do as long as there’s been just enough setup to make it work.

What happens when you put the emphasis on this type of twisty plot-heavy storytelling is that the more personal aspects may get lost in the shuffle. So when Dick kicked Arsenal off the team, and Virgil and his friends decided not to join up and they then left Lex’s side to strike out on their own, all I could really do was shrug. I don’t care that any of that happened because the show hasn’t provided an opportunity for me to care. They’re all cogs in the plot, not characters.

And even an attempt to insert an emotional beat—Dick and M’gann’s “guilt off”—felt lessened because their guilt has become more of a justification to keep things buried and the twisty plot developments to occur. M’gann’s abuse of her powers hasn’t led to character development and instead just gave Green Beetle room to operate. Dick’s guilt over his mistakes hasn’t changed him or how anyone really looks at him as a leader, and it just allowed a bunch of the season’s gears to turn properly. There’s no actual emotional fallout from any of this because, well, everyone’s too busy running around on the game board.

At least there was some plot fallout for the Reach this week. Even though they presented Warworld as a gift to humanity (woo-hoo?) and did some more positive press for Blue Beetle, the Ambassador was caught in one of the mainstream media’s “Gotcha!” journalism traps, this time sprung by none other than G. Gordon Godfrey himself. The Ambassador lacked a rebuttal when presented with a clip of him saying that the Reach doesn’t have a fleet anywhere and then the evidence of a Reach fleet attacking Warworld. I have to imagine that it’s so the Justice League will be allowed to come back and be greeted with open arms by the public, but who knows.


Notes & Quotes


DC Nation Short: Oddly, it wasn’t the conclusion the Amethyst shorts. It was another installment of the DC Nation Farm League, this time with a Batman riff, featuring Croaker, Batmongoose, and Moo-Face. It was a bit funnier than the last group, particularly since it had Diedrich Bader voicing Batmongoose, and I liked the jab at the stereotypical Batman narration as Batmongoose was told not to “run around rooftops, narrating yourself” when he went out to go get snacks.

– “Oh, now you’re just being petty.”

– Stepping on that Wonder Woman doll made me sad.

– I love the idea that Lex just kept the video chat window open the entire time that his team was gone. Can you imagine if Virgil and the others hadn’t come back? He’d just be waiting and waiting and waiting.

– “Hmm. Deathstroke’s more of a bishop, actually.”


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

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  • TomWayne Feb 26, 2013

    Arsenal is off the team, Red Arrow should come back to the team, and Green Arrow has no comment, as he and Plastic Man (seriously?) are guarding the key chamber. Meanwhile, the selfsame key that was swiped by Blue and given to the Reach was returned to the Warworld for safekeeping by the Reach, even though no onw was supposed to know they had it? And Lex knew this because....?

    Did I miss an ep somewhere?

    Nobody's noticed that Wally has done nothing since Impulse showed up, even though his wife is supposedly dead, while Cheshire was on the hunt for Kaldur up until last week.

    i'm actually glad to not put up with Lagoon Boy recently, but again, that part just kind of went where?

    Yes, I know it's animation, but season-long stories have been done before without so many plot holes. That's been my fear about this season from Ep 1. So many characters were thrown into the mix that there couldn't possibly be enough time to develop things the way they had during season one. Sad part is, they won't get the chance to clean it up with a third season. Instead, there's only three eps left to resolve all the action-based loose ends, which means that these areas will either be swept under the rug or dealt with in some cliched manner that doesn't do justice (pun intended) to the characters or the story's potential.

    Sorry to come across as negative--I just hate to see potential wasted, especially when it comes to characters that are so well-liked.

  • kanniballl Feb 28, 2013

    Green Arrow and Plastic Man are guarding the chamber (think lock or ignition). Blue stole the key from the air lock before the JL could move it to earth.

    The Reach are in cahoots with the Light... though both sides are playing each other. Acquiring the Key was probably the Light's plan all along and thus kept an eye on it. Heck, the Reach might have even filled The Light in on the situation.

    Since War World is only slightly smaller than the moon and multiple levels akin to the Death Star... it kind of makes sense to hide out there in some random big chamber. There are only some many members of the JL left and they want to guard the chamber / lock / ignition. So no fear of them finding the room or hearing their battles from miles and miles away.

    So the Reach get to study the War World's tech, figure out The Key, and prep for a short sprint to the chamber to place the key in place and have a big honking space-cannon in their arsenal. And while they were at it, hide their "food" on the War World since they lost so much of their fleet and figured the Earthers would probably scrutinize them stronger now.

    Meanwhile, Lex wants the Key for the light. So he had Deathstroke steal it while the kids caused a diversion.

  • TomWayne Mar 01, 2013

    Right I knew that the Reach had gotten the key from Blue, and that Oliver and Plastic Man were guarding the chamber. My point was: why did the Reach store the key on Warworld instead of their own ship (especially with the League around), and how would Lex have known that they had it and where it was being secretly kept? It makes no sense for the Reach to store something that secret anywhere else but their ship, and it makes even less sense for them to have entrusted that info to the Light, given that their ultimate plan is to take over humanity themselves, not share power with the Light,
    (And to entrust Plastic Man with 50% of the security of the chamber that powers a weapon capable of obliterating the earth seems a weak move on the League's part. Even Billy/Captain Marvel is more responsible. I realize this was an attempt at humor on the writers' part, but it just didn't fit there.)

  • kanniballl Feb 28, 2013

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  • kanniballl Feb 28, 2013

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  • CrazyAsian1080 Feb 25, 2013

    If Young Justice had another season this would have been an excellent episode that laid the foundation for a major move from The Light. But since there isn't it's good to know GGG is pretty much O'Reilly and will assassinate anyone on TV. Plus I thought GGG worked for Darkseid so it would make sense he would turn on the Reach.

    Also, you have to remember, not very many people actually know about the deep cover mission. Sure M'gann does, but she is dealing with her own guilt and busy with trying to find their captured friends. Superboy is captured, Aqualad and Art are still on their deep cover mission, and Wally isn't around. That's pretty much the list of people that really know the whole story. Plus, I would rather have this, "we all made mistakes now we have to move on and get the job done" mentality than having 2. 3. 4 episodes of Nightwing wrapped in self doubt and second guessing everything. I mean it was a good plan, and if you want to keep a secret the less people that know about the less likely others will find out (especially with people like Simon around). Now, Im not exactly sure why they didn't let Superboy and M'gann in on the secret at some point after people see them being actually all sad about Art's "death" to prevent exactly what happened, but that's how the cookie crumbles.

  • prowly Feb 25, 2013

    So do all of the kids in that reality know how to skateboard or is it just really convenient that El Dorado, Apache Chief, and Samurai are all capable of getting around on skateboards. I guess Static Shock sort of does too, but his is more of a hover board?

    How did Dick know about Arsenal's past transgression? The only one I can remember is the mission he was on with Jaime, Tim, and Bart, and all Tim said was that Arsenal was a bit rough around the edges.

  • CrazyAsian1080 Feb 25, 2013

    Plus Roy went crazy and tried to kill Lex. I assume he's been on other missions in between and I don't see him as much of a team player.

  • prowly Feb 25, 2013

    No, Roy's not a team player. That was never a point of contention. My point was that Dick's decision seemed to really come out of nowhere in order to conveniently get Roy off the team for whatever is coming up next.

    When Roy went after Lex, that was a personal mission that no one was privy to other than Ollie and Otheroy. Also, it did not endanger anyone other than himself, so it's not like Dick could legitimately use that against him. And let's be fair--if someone cut off your arm, and then kept you locked up for 8 years (you can assume cryogenic stasis, if you like), I'm pretty sure you wouldn't just turn the other cheek. So I think it might be a little unfair to say that he "went crazy." That's not to say that he's fit to be on the team though. He's definitely a bit unhinged and should be getting some counseling. Where the heck is Black Canary anyway?

    I don't think we can assume that any missions of actual significance have taken place unless we've actually seen them. I mean, we were shown the girls all going after Captain Cold after he sort of crashed their outing, and that "mission" didn't really serve any purpose.

  • kanniballl Feb 25, 2013

    I can sympathize with someone having PTSD or whatever mental issues after something as tragic.

    But the guy tried to SPACE his team instead of letting himself get capture. He was willing to suffocate his entire team... let that sink in. No plan, no yelling "everyone grab onto something," no coordination. Just a "you're not taking me alive" moment.

    Outside of Beetle and MAYBE Conner... everyone in that room needed air to breath (and BB was the bad guy). So he was willing to kill his team for a personal matter. I'd kick him too. Heck, I'd probably ask one of the heavy-hitters to capture and detain him for flippin' therapy.

  • prowly Feb 26, 2013

    I guess my comment got eaten when you deleted your other response...

    Look, Roy getting kicked off the team isn't in question. In his current state, he's definitely a danger to himself and the team. The point is that Dick's decision seemingly came out of nowhere because Tim chose to keep Roy's mission shenanigans from him.

    Also, despite Bumblebee's protests, I find it hard to believe that the team went on a space mission without some sort of bat-device that allows them to survive in space--like that apparatus that Roy slapped on as he ran away. Plus, she thinks a bit too highly of herself if she believes she and Robin would have been able to take Blue on by themselves when he took the rest of the team down in under 10 seconds. But I digress.

    Roy definitely messed up, but as the Super Friends pointed out, he was instrumental in getting the team rescued. If he hadn't stepped in, they would have been captured, and that would have left Dick and Megan versus Black Beetle. Think that would have turned out well?

    And since I mentioned Megan... why isn't *she* off the team? Sure, she's back to being a good guy now, but she was enjoying those mental flays she had been dishing out for the past EIGHT YEARS. And recall that her answer to Superboy confronting her before the timeskip was not to reflect upon what she had done, but to try to erase his memory. Granted, Dick doesn't know about that, but he definitely knows about the psychic fileting she gave Aqualad. Moment of panic versus sadistic streak. Which makes a worse hero?

    Basically, Dick's motives were weak, and he might as well have said "You're off the team because... REASONS!" or "PLOT DEVICE!"

  • kanniballl Feb 25, 2013

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  • WindUpRobot Feb 24, 2013

    It's an action show, now, dude. Time to get off your character soapbox and embrace the action.

  • prowly Feb 25, 2013

    Based on that argument, we might as well have a bunch of nameless, faceless figures running around and fighting each other. It's an action show, right? No need for any character development.

  • Mantis82 Feb 24, 2013

    Deathstroke is really cool, but in ties with young justice they should have made red hood the new enforcer or deathstroke and red hood, wouldve been a good side story

  • roweantarts Feb 24, 2013

    Red Hood wouldn't be as good a story if Batman was off-world

  • Mantis82 Feb 25, 2013

    Didn't have to be resolved, just show his existence and the impact it would have on nightwing and robin, still think it would have been a good side story for Nightwing and robin

  • EdOJr4 Feb 25, 2013

    Actually, it would have been a really good way to tie in with Under the Red Hood without going further into the story. Leave a hint that it's Jason for the viewers who haven't seen the movie, then they have something to watch post Young Justice.

  • roweantarts Feb 24, 2013

    I loved the G Gordon Godfrey bit, it made me smile. But I have a feeling if the public turn against the Reach, plan B is full on assault

    I suspect GGG has at least affiliations with the Light (maybe more), backing the Reach while it was convenient to them, and turning against them as the Light begins to.

    As for the cogs things. When the characters in the series are based on characters from other mediums. I'd argue that a good story trumps shed-loads of character moments. And I have no doubt that in the remaining 3 episodes, things will come to a head with both the Light and the Reach. I always suspected the Light wanted War-World, perhaps as a weapon against other planets (advancing human evolution by stealing other beings' technologies)

    As for Miss Martian/Nightwing's guilt-off, when all comes pass this'll likely crop up again, the status quo of the team will likely be changed by the final battles.

  • roweantarts Feb 24, 2013

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  • ryanmck Feb 24, 2013

    The light has Father Boxes, and G. Gordon in the past in comics has worked for Darkseid so him being with the Light can definitely be true.

    I never like when G. Gordon was bashing the League cause he just seemed to be doing that cause everyone loved them, but now he seems to genuinely want to know everything to properly help the people of Earth. (also Tim Curry voicing him is freaking awesome)

  • CrazyAsian1080 Feb 25, 2013

    It's one of those things. It seems the masses all love the Justice League and it's not like they have shown the world proof that people like Lex is EVIL... But for some reason every always seems to forgive him.

  • bmoshier Feb 24, 2013

    Sigh, so DC as a TV force is all most over and Marvel continues. If DC can't keep its TV series on the air and Marvel can, well, the writing is on the wall and the owners of DC will end up cutting their loss. Of course, one advantage will be DC comics will become more and more valuable given everything someone or something produces goes up in prices after its death. Well, there had to be a silver lining somewhere, right?!

    I hope series making up DC Nation really aren't dead nor do I want to see DC dead. Personally, i grew up with DC and knew very little of Marvel till after I graduated from college. Yeah, I know hard to believe, but its true . . .

  • noelrk Feb 24, 2013

    Marvel, as a TV presence, will benefit from the fact that Disney is much better at managing its properties and keeping its various channels and executives on the same page (mostly...Poor Tron (which I haven't watched yet, but JTKirks comments about it make it seem ill-treated))) compared to the complete disconnect that seems to exist within in the Time-Warner ranks regarding corporate synergy.

    DC Nation isn't dead-dead since Beware the Batman and Teen Titans Go! will replace YJ and GL:TAS in the summer and in April, respectively.

  • bmoshier Mar 03, 2013

    Do you know if YJ and GL - TAS will get a proper ending?

  • noelrk Mar 03, 2013

    Not sure what you mean by proper. Both will get to air all the episodes that were produced. Whether or not those episodes will tie up everything will be up in the air.

  • bmoshier Mar 03, 2013

    Yeah, proper ending means to me a conclusion to the story arc and hopefully without a cliffhanger (never good for a series end, at least for the viewers).

  • Gislef Feb 24, 2013

    Kind of lost on this one. The League are guarding the key chamber, but then the Reach soldiers are running around and enter the chamber. (Why did they have free access to Warworld, and why didn't the League notice?). Then Deathstroke enters the chamber. Why didn't the League notice that if they're the ones guarding the chamber? Kind of confusing. It was basically just one long running battle.

  • kanniballl Feb 24, 2013

    The league was highly guarding the chamber. The League took the key out of the chamber so it wouldn't activate again. Then Blue Beetle took the key and the Reach hid it in another part of War World in hopes of eventually kicking out the league and powering the War Worldmback up.
    But DeathStroke stole the key from the Reach. So now Lex and The Light are one step closer to (I guess) owning a fully functional war world

  • Gislef Feb 24, 2013

    Still seems weird that the League didn't notice all the shooting going on. Or why The Reach would hide it on Warworld.

    But I suppose if they're only going to put Plastic Man and Green Arrow out to guard an entire moon-sized weapons platform...

  • kanniballl Feb 24, 2013

    Well we are talking about a moon sized object with sections that have multiple levels. I know I can't hear gun shots in Newark and that's only 20 miles away.

    The Reach wanting to camp out on war world makes sense. Thus is a big prize for them. They it as we'll explore and learn as much as they can before they take it over and try powering it up. And being as big as the moon there's lots of room to hide though how they GOT there without being noticed is a puzzler.

    It's not all logical perfection but its not as bad as some make it sound

  • noelrk Feb 24, 2013

    Clearly what we need is a map of Warworld. Someone get on that.

  • kanniballl Feb 24, 2013

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  • kanniballl Feb 24, 2013

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  • JamesJones27 Feb 23, 2013

    Jeez Nightwing is a jerk. You'd think after a guy's been on ice for 8 years and had his arm amputated he would show a little more compassion or something.

  • kanniballl Feb 24, 2013

    The dude pretty much just tried to kill his own team out of his own fear of getting captured again. Spacing them would have meant death since just about all of them need to breathe.
    So, as much as I can feel empathy for someone going through PTSD and what not... Almost killing your team as a result is definitely a firable offense.

  • nimrod Feb 24, 2013

    Ya. Arsenal really never took time to cope with his situation, and is not ready to be on a team. He's a one man wrecking crew and fun to watch though.

  • JT_Kirk Feb 23, 2013

    I think it's obvious what The Light are doing: they want Warworld! WARWORLD! Ok, I'm so officially over Warworld.

    While you're right that the characters here were merely cogs, I actually felt enough from them - especially Arsenal - to feel invested in them. Which made Dick's calling Arsenal out just before leaving so clumsy, in hindsight it was obviously done to put Arsenal on team Super Friends, but in the moment it felt utterly sloppy and halted the finale in its tracks.

    Speaking of the Super Friends, having them ride around on skateboards and be all EXTREME! felt like a Sunny Delight commercial, or a Reach Cola commercial.

    Overall, this episode worked ok for me due mainly to Arsenal feeling real, having little moments to give himself character like that panel he was hiding behind and berating retracting into the ground (which I see you noted as well).

    It actually made me excited to see Deathstroke in action here, like "oh, that's what a team whose got it together does, they send in their best guy to take care of business!"

    --

    Animal Man was a repeat? I may have seen it, am not sure, but it seemed funnier than the first Animal Man set I saw so if it's the same one then I guess it's just too frantic to get on the first pass.

    Farm League sucks in general, they spend way too much time explaining the conceit and then relying on lame puns to carry the gag, but this time they went the opposite way and pulled a Batman: Brave & Bold riff complete with Bader, so that stuff was funny and Wonder Wombat figuring out what she eats was funny as well. Overall though, they'd have been better off just making a 3-minute Batman Brave & Bold short.

  • Gislef Feb 24, 2013

    Yep, Animal Man was a repeat. Of course, all the AM shorts are basically the same repetitive structure. The only one this one was funny, IMO, is because of the sheer overkill of Darkseid. Animal Man could actually take on Black Manta or Captain Cold. Watching him ignore Darkseid because... well, Darkseid would Omega-Beam him into oblivion kind of parodies the whole concept.

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