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Young Justice "Complications" Review: The Ties That Bind

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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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.
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Young Justice Invasion is only a 20 ep series, GLTAS is 26. It's been confirmed before that both will complete their respective runs.
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Sportsmaster loves his daughter in his own way
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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!!!
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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..
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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.
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Lets make sure they dont cancel it and then we can comment about it.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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...
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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)
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YJ - Incompetent every week.
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Im so confused why Cartoon Network would cancel this show. Shows like this, JLU, Avatar show that even cartoons can have layers and isn't just about the moral of the week.
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Ive been wondering what did Deathstroke get long white hair or w/e that is sticking out the back of his mask/helmet?
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I agree with JT_Kirk that the Reach didn't have the time to completely stage the crime scene. Also Noel, do we know for certain that thr Reach are aware of the relationship between Green/Blue Beetle?

The team is unaware of the real help Green has given him, so how would the Reach know?
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Considering that Black Beetle was hanging out with Green Beetle when we got the reveal about Green Beetle reconfiguring things so that he scarab was controlling of Jaime in "Runaways?" Yeah, it's pretty clear that they're in on it.
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The "they're" being the Reach.
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THIS SHOW IS THE BEST!
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This episode was so good at moving its characters around to the right places at the right times to get everything it was trying to do done that I almost felt like it was rote, like "of course this is how it was supposed to go down!" Then again, it didn't occur to me your point that Sportsmaster still had a reputation to maintain in that situation, so maybe this episode was written a little too simply, but it didn't snag for me. Cheshire's mom is totally gonna nark though, I was surprised she didn't end up on the second screen on the conference call at the end of the episode.

I didn't get the sense that the Reach screwed up the crimescene staging, as our heroes arrived very quickly on Warworld (WARWORLD!) after the battle, the Reach didn't really have time if I remember correctly. I was annoyed however that Nightwing didn't make any noise over his discovery.

You make a good point about the Reach overplaying their hand with Jaime at the press conference, but what really nagged at me about that scene was that Dick was watching it recorded earlier, how did nobody else on the team see the live press conference and tell him about it right as it happened?

Deathstroke bummed me out here because he was so much better realized than the Deathstroke on Arrow. I even liked Arrow's Slade Wilson this week, but he wasn't the real McCoy the way this one was.

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VIBE!

I got the same feeling from the Amethyst short, not really a compelling story that had to be told in any way, it was just a thing that happened.

Also caught up on the last DVR'ed episode of Tron Uprising, excellent stuff, too bad it's likely to be the series finale because it was just so strong. It did suggest how the show will eventually bridge itself to Tron Legacy though, so at least it had some sense of closure even if it was a roundabout fashion.
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I'd make quibbles with you about the timeline, but the last timestamp we get in "War" is May 26 22:40 (at least according to the YJ wiki) and the Warworld timestamp in "Complications" is May 27 06:04, so knowing how much time occurred between the Reach launching its fleet and the team getting sonic'd isn't clear. DAMN YOU, SHOW. Normally you can be counted on for this sort of thing.

Nightwing not making any noise -- yet -- seemed perfectly in line with Batman detective training, and with his general "play everything way too close to the vest" approach. Of course, that hasn't worked out well so far.
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Which makes my theory that the Reach created the cover story specifically so Blue Beetle could be sent home without a fight, and that they saw no point in hiding the evidence given that they were planning to boost Blue's profile with the Reach ambassador (and hence expose him as a team traitor) anyway, more sound.
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Hmm, I didn't realize that much time had passed, I should try to pay attention to the timestamps better I guess. Still, that was the beginning of the final act, a lot more time could have passed between that timestamp and the end of the episode.

Had Nightwing not taken so many lumps for playing it too close to the vest in this overarching storyline already, I'd agree wholeheartedly, but like you said, that has bit him in the Nightass quite a bit.
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Nobody else on the team? Which is Nightwing, who was probably still on War-world when it was recorded, Arsenal who's location is currently unknown, Miss Martian, in the process of escaping/recently escaped Manta's vessel, and Lagoon boy, in a hospital bed. (I can assume the league are busy with other matters)

Nightwing probably didn't blow the whistle because of the possibility things were accidental. Nightwing's a good enough detective to not rush to judgement.
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Justice League team members are still there: Black Canary, Captains Atom and Marvel, Doc McFate and his daughter Zatanna, "and the rest", as TV would say. Also, I would think Lagoon Boy being in the hospital would be able to watch TV and make a phone call; and Wally West is a former member might be watching tv as well.
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It's also possible then that the press conference wasn't broadcast live.
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I really hope another channel buys young justice and continues it because this show is just too good to go away after only two seasons.
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I think The heroes already know something is up since They know that Jaime knows that the Reach are trying to take over the planet. The fact that Jaime is cool with wearing the armor is kind of secondary. Even though they (incorrectly) thought the Martian helped him take 100% control by then
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GREAT ep as always. I can not believe Cartoon Network cancelled Young Justice - this is their best show! There are only 4 episode of Young Justice left EVER so enjoy um while ya can.
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I have a feeling the Reach were deliberately sloppy cleaning up the scene, stalling for just long enough to enhance BB's public profile with that cover-story. They knew Nightwing would find out either way.

Aqualad and Artemis are safe in cover for now, but how long before Psimon wakes up from his coma? He knows Artemis is Tigress, and from that it's not hard to deduce that Aqualad's a double-agent. Their time is short now

Sportsmaster's rep may be down in the short term, but his daughter taking down the light from the inside, that would make his rep forever.

Interesting that Deathstroke wants to take a seat at the Light, wonder whose seat he's gonna take.
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Agreed. Once it is known that Artemis actually lived and helped TAKE DOWN this massive cabal of villains... his "rep" will be solid indeed.

Sure, "The Light" kind of spit in his face... but in the end they got back 10-fold.
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I just realized that both Roys are missing
One of them escaped when Blue Beetle attacked the rest of the team and we haven’t seen him since and the other wasn’t available to babysit his child while Jade was on her revenge mission. Where the hell are they?! They’re probably hiding together.
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So I guess they all know Blue isn't working for The Team anymore! Smooth move Blue!
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Oh man! Such a good episode!!! So basically at this point, the only people NOT to tell anyone and keep it cool is Wally?
I guess Artemis & Kaldur HAD to tell Sports & Jade b/c they were going to ruin their plan. But Nghtwing & Conner didn't! Nightwing told for NO reason! Wally LIED to Artemis's MOM for this plan!
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