Young Justice "Summit" Review: Best Laid Plans

Young Justice S02E19: "Summit"

Anyone else feel like "Summit" was the conclusion of a big mystery plot where the detective lays everything out there and then dramatically identifies the killer (or in this case, explains the whole plot through a holographic message)? It’s not a perfect analogy by any means, but the arc certainly had that vibe for me as the episode brought together the Reach and the Light for a little finger-pointing and the revelation of all of the plans.

Except, of course, for whatever exactly the Light had in mind.

The episode was a narrative necessity, as the series needed to show how the Light was betraying the Reach, and it needed to resolve the Kaldur-and-Artemis-as-double-agents plot before the finale. That's the problem with these sorts of plots that rely on double-dealing, secret-keeping, and backstabbing: Eventually you have to knock down all those dominoes, and sometimes the process just isn't as exciting as you think it might be. Perhaps that lack of thrill is just a result of us having plenty of time to guess and map out the course of things for ourselves. 

Some of the ways the episode went about accomplishing its to-do list were good, though. I liked that Ra’s was the one who recognized Artemis’s charm (it would’ve been him or Klarion) and that that’s what set the whole thing off. The charm that made the back half of the scheme work was the one that allowed them to undo it as well, which gave the whole thing a nice symmetry. And then it functioned as a recorder of all the events, so they can use it to clear the Justice League’s name on Rimbor and reveal the Reach as conquerors on Earth! That is one handy necklace, but I have to wonder how the team intended to play the Light and the Reach against each other without that moment. Or were they counting on someone to recognize it?

One aspect of the episode that I wish had had more space was Kaldur and Black Manta. This was a major showdown for them as heroes and villains, but also as father and son, and I would’ve liked for it to have had a bigger impact. This isn’t "Summit"’s fault, as the emotional moment had to rely largely on Manta’s actions during Kaldur’s psychic coma more than anything else. It made me long for a less-crowded show that would’ve given us more time to see how Kaldur had coped with the trials and tribulations of being a double agent. What we did get was adequate enough, as it was clear that Kaldur felt pity—if not some responsibility—for his father, but the moments lacked oomph.

I made an observation about possible tensions between the Black Beetle and the Ambassador last week, so I’m going to take full credit for Black Beetle’s decision to strip the Ambassador of command for all his failures during the Reach’s campaign on Earth as being consistent with those tensions. It may’ve been my favorite moment of the episode, actually, since it allowed Black Beetle to finally become the Big Bad he's always been capable of being, and I doubly loved how he just left the Ambassador scarab-stapled to the cave wall.

And now there’s only one episode left. The Reach have to leave Earth but Black Beetle’s going to try and destroy it first, while the Light have absconded with Warworld. Not sure what the finale’s going to look like, but I certainly hope it’s interesting and sort of crazy.



Notes & Quotes

DC Nation Short: All right. This was the final installment of the Amethyst shorts. She returned to the village at the start of the shorts, restored Prince Topaz to his rightful appearance (he looked better as a skeleton), and then went back to her own world. Overall, I enjoyed the series’ humor and art style, even if all the installments didn’t completely land for me. I did find it interesting that it ended with Amethyst deciding to go outside to play. Enough video-gaming and TV, kids!

– “No agreement exists that makes a slave of Black Manta.” “No agreement exists that guarantees the life of Manta.”

– “Hey there, Vandy. You missed me?”

– “No more faking anyone’s death for at least a year.”

– It was odd seeing Kaldur back in his red shirt after seeing him armored up all season.

– I had a nice chuckle that Vandal had the decency to return the defeated Justice League members to the Watchtower, and in the most unceremonious way possible.

– Speaking of odd, take a gander at the little icon on Black Beetle’s chest there. Looks a bit like Brainiac’s symbol, doesn’t it? It just has a line connecting the top two circles. A nice little Easter egg, maybe?


What'd you think of "Summit"?

Comments (39)
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"Perhaps that lack of thrill is just a result of us having plenty of time to guess and map out the course of things for ourselves." .....Lack of thrill? the episode was plenty thrilling.. finally an episode that you get to see the originals do most of the fighting instead of a bunch of little latino punk kids fighting and cramming one Spanish word in per sentence
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I personally loved this episode. I was clinging to the edge of my seat excited to see what would happen next. I think people are WAY over-thinking the whole charm necklace thing. It wouldn't have mattered if Ra's hadn't noticed it because Kaldur would have still been able to make his big reveal. Artemis being revealed and then shot was just to build up tension as an audience member.
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I hope the final episode doesn't end with a cliffhanger (since the idiots in charge of renewing/canceling shows on Cartoon Network apparently are as clueless as FOX's people).
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I have to admit that, hackneyed stuff aside (which we predicted would be necessary to wrap the show a few eps earlier than most), this one did have a few priceless moments. M'gann posing as Deathstroke was a good one (especially given all the screen time Slade's gotten over on Arrow), and I just never tire of Babs, Dick, and Tim showing that you don't need powers to throw down with the baddest of the bad. These three btw are the ones I was referring to whose stories never got the Justice they deserved this season, in the midst of too many extras.

Btw, was Bane really Ubu in this one (like in the Legacy storyline in Detective Comics 700ff), or was it just coincidence that they were on Santa Prisca yet no mention of him ever occurred?


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Each member of the Light brought their top enforcers. Vandal brought Deathstroke and Klarion (a member of the Light himself, but brought as an enforcer), The Brain brought Monsieur Mallah, Black Manta bought Tigress and Kaldur, Ra's bought Ubu. Bane was not present here as wasn't exactly one of their top enforcers, it's possible that his capture back in Usual Suspects was permanent for him
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Best episode yet! I am so sad that the show was cancelled. I hope they make some DVD movies to continue the story line.
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I personally did not like the reveal in this episode? So Ra's simply sees Artemis wearing the charm necklace? What if he never saw it, would everything have happened as it did? Was the team hoping Ra's figure out Artemis? Sure the team was prepared, but it just doesn't make sense that their plan had to rely Artemis' cover being blown. Also why didn't she hide the necklace under her costume? That wouldn't be a useful disguise charm necklace if you always have to show it.

I did like Artemis and Ra's master/student relationship. Artemis was still concerned for him after getting stabbed. As much as I know the last episode is going to be rushed, I don't mind. They rushed Justice League Unlimited's series finale so I'm used to it.
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Trust me, as a female, I absolutely know how to get a male to look down a couple inches. All she did was puff out her chest, then to pretend he wasn't looking he looked @ her necklace, noticed it was a charm & took it. Also she touched it a couple times to grab attention to it.
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That's true, between body language and tapping it constantly it purposely brought attention to it.

Add to that, her referencing Ras like someone who had once worked / trained under him and him not knowing this person probably helped him put 2+2 together.

Though it was still a risk, if they ever encountered each other elsewhere (such as a random meeting on Manta's boat) and if he saw it he might have blown the whole op weeks/months ago.
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Yeh the logic is wacky. On one hand, Santana is linked strongly with the bat family so it's not beyond the realm that Nightwing KNEW Ras would recognize it. But then there's the risk of the two of them accidentally running into each other.

I guess they could have had a contingency so that I'd Artemis didn't notice Ras's body language that it got cut off during the fight
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Can't believe they canceled this. A-holes.

This show is at least, equally good as Justice League.
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Did Amethyst to outside? Cos I thought she went back into the closet. I like her going outside more so I'll go with that.
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One of the best episodes to date, gonna miss this show. Also, nice touch with Amethyst and the unicorn doll.
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No more faking anyone else's death for atleast a year
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I just loved this episode for the Spitfire. ;)
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"I could kiss you..Or kill you! This is your fault"
"You can decide later. When we're alone. "
Artemis is one Sassy Girl
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When Wally Caught Artemis & then let her down & they stood back to back, oh God!!! LOVED IT
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OMG! THIS EPISODE!!! IT WAS SO GOOD!!! SOO SOO GOOD! I LOVE SPITFIRE!!!
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Too much to comment, but I have to admit I had to check that image of black beetle again and wow, it does look like the brainiac symbol. Wouldn't that be something if ol' brainiac made a return? Lol. I do agree that aqua lad looked better with the armor than the red shirt. Or at least keep some of the armor. Lol, I am glad vandal dumped the 3 members over on the watchtower, he easily could've just kept them as hostages or worse.
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Loved this episode, seeing the team finally take control of the situation was awesome. But yet again Superboy got one punched like a bitch, they even said in this episode he would probably be the most trouble but then Black Beetle yet again kicked his ass. They expect us to believe he's the strongest on the team yet they keep just getting him out of the way and it's gotten more than a little irritating. They seem to not know what to do with him or regret including a character that strong because they never utilize him properly.
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What do you mean? We also know the Light's plan. It was to build up a large force and tech in order to become the leaders of the galaxy. They wanted complete domination!
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I think the reason this felt like a detective show in that way is because those detective shows of old didn't do enough legwork to get the audience from A to B to C, so they'd just wrap it up with "the answer" and assume the audience would trust that the hero knew what he was doing. Here, we had layers upon layers upon layers of machinations on every side (except The Reach) without seeing quite enough legwork of how they got Deathstroke replaced, or how they knew to infiltrate The Light's Snake Eyes lookalike academy. In a way, it was a fun and mostly satisfying way of doing it, but ends up asking a lot of the audience to follow from leap to leap - this probably would have been a better episode in 2 parts, having Kaldur and Artemis' deaths as the cliffhanger midpoint. But on the other hand, by having the limitation of requiring all this wrap-up in a single episode, at least it stripped away superfluous elements so that we got action, deception, a few character moments, and satisfaction without any bloat.

I did notice the animation felt rushed, stuff like Cobra Commander bloodstains on Artemis and Kaldur disappearing and reappearing from shot to shot, and the cave door slamming shut only to see in the next shot a totally open cave doorway. Perhaps they thought they were going to have more time to tell this story, or some of the layers of the onion were meant to be peeled away next season like the Warworld theft, I dunno.

Anyway, I mostly enjoyed this episode with all its twists and turns and action and reuniting of friends and unveiling of schemes, and all served up with a side of answers.

I didn't enjoy the Plastic Man DC Nation Short, it felt light on something to do.

As for Amethyst, it was ok but left me cold as it didn't really have any drama, it was merely a button on the end of the storyline.

"No more faking anyone's death for at least a year" was my big laugh for this episode.

I'm going to miss these characters and this expression of DC, it assumes the audience is smart, the heroes are smart, and the villains are smart, but not always at the same time and about the same things. I think DC Warner Bros is insane for throwing it out in favor of Beware the Batman which looks all style over substance and another stab at Teen Titans.
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"I've had my fill of your interference, do not expect to survive"
I loved this episode, but it doesn't seem the light had that big a defeat, they're intention of the summit was to get Black Beetle off of War World so they can take control of it, and they succeeded. I'm not sure how much further they could've got before having to reveal their treachery anyway, and the loss of Black Manta is barely gonna be felt. He's spent most of his time on the Light draining resources from the Light to cure his son.
I think it's tragically clear Apokolips isn't going to make it onto this show, pity really, ah well, certainly a plot for fan-fic writers (such as myself) to complete, and for Weisman to hope he can do himself, as he hopes he can come back to it.
The Brainiac symbol may just be a fluke, Brainiac has appeared in this show's tie in comic
Kinda wish the show had more time to explore the long term ramifications of Kaldur coming back and leading the team again. I for one think it was a bit too soon to hand back the torch.
Good to hear that the League can finally clear their names, and since a couple of them were in the trailer, it's likely we'll see them in the finale (actually, there are quite a few League clips in the trailer that haven't shown up yet, so we'll probably see plenty of the League in the finale)
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It might be a blessing. I don't know about everyone else, but I would have been annoyed to see the Light play Darksied as easily as they did the Reach. This episode did save the Light for me. They were getting stale, since they easily manipulated both the Reach and the heroes. Seeing Savage actually admit Kauldur hindered his plans was rewarding.

I was miffed the Light can defeat Captain Marvel, Black Canary, and Black Lightning so quickly to take War World.
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Darkseid is the embodiment of manipulation, it'd be interesting to see both sides pull each other's strings. As for the Light defeating those 3 members so quickly, Savage is immortal, I'm not even sure their attacks would hurt him, even if they could, none of them would be a match for Klarion.
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I don't think Savage even with Klarion could defeat them all so quickly though. They have managed to put up good fights against the Lord of Chaos before.

Darksied pulling the strings would be interesting, but I'm not confident the writers can pull it off. Their Light has played the Reach, Mongul, galaxies, and become a bit of big power in the universe, so easily that I'm afraid they'll get over on Darksied just as easily, which is a insult to the character.
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Captain Marvel and Black Lightning have never had to fight Klarion before. As for Black Canary, she did her scream, and he put on some ear-muffs before the 6 leaguers came back, hardly a full-on fight.
It would be an insult to the character is Darkseid is just played. But with the possibility that G Gordon is Glorious Godfrey, and with Intergang, it's possible their game has already begun.
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Don't forget besides Manta, they took down The Brain, Mala, and Deathstroke, plus Ra's got stabbed so he'll be out of it for a bit.
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If they had defeated all of The Light, who would they fight, why would they stay together? The Light need to be able to take a big blow like this and stay on their feet to seem like a credible long-term threat, I think.

I agree on the Brainiac symbol being a fluke, I suspect they simply messed up the art or left out a filter over it.

Kaldur's plan came off flawlessly, he deserves to be recognized as a great puppetmaster, but you are right in that some teammembers should be shown to have a hard time accepting him back after feeling him a villain for so long.

As for Apokolips, I have no interest in going there, wouldn't seem very grounded to have our young heroes dealing with a threat of that magnitude.
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The Light not facing much of a defeat wasn't a complaint, I agree with what you said.

Had there been more series, Apokolips would've had to have had a bigger role at some point, they aren't providing the Light with tech for no personal gain. I do understand what you mean about it being grounded, but there must be some way of pulling it off, maybe by using the League, and perhaps the return of the Forever People
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their intention*
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I thought they explained what the Light had in mind. Have the reach harvest the meta-gene so the human race would evolve and the Light would assume control of the milky way galaxy, then eliminate the reach with war world, and make the human race a primary species in the universe
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Hello Wally! He was always my fave character, but i don't know why they brought him back at all if that was all he was going to do. But i loved that moment between him and Impulse. Speaking of speedsters, the Flash is still on planet, so why haven't they shown him at all. I didn't see him when the justice league was taking on the war world either, but I might be wrong.

I like the way they extracted Kaldur and Artemis, but I would have liked to have seen the reveal for the team and what went into having them infiltrate the Light's show of force.
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Great Episode the team keeps it up with these great plans i really wanted to see superman and the others trapped on Rimbor become free but i know everything is good now that the team has evidence that the justice league is innocent and will return back to the show next week in the finale was happy when i seen night wing beat the League of shadows henchmen this is with out a doubt the best show on TV and i hope it comes back for a season 3 where it can rival once again Legends of Kora that is set to air it's second season later on this year and although young justice was good it also has a better chance of getting revived than Green Lantern animated series
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I liked this episode. Of course I would like the series to continue. There was some foreshadowing that was coinciding with the comics like Impulse taking over for Kid Flash. There were a lot of heroes just jumping out of nowhere. Deathstroke one of the most deadly supervillains known was taken and replaced so easily? Also maybe Black Beetle should have had everyone remove their mask since about 60% of the people there were Young Justice. But all and all a good episode.
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In fairness it beats seeing the Light claim another victory or give the heroes the win. Deathstroke had to be taken down off-screen to give YJ team a legitment win they earned and actually outsmart Savage for a change I'm ok with it.

I was impressed the team let Ra's be stab on screen, even if they didn't show the blade implae him.
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I completely agree about the Deathstroke realization. I mean he is supposed to be one of the biggest assassin's in DC Universe and he is a rook of The Light, so one would think he is monitored all the time.

I also wondered where the heck Green Beetle was during that fight, and why if you could activate war world with the League's watchtower seemingly unsuspecting of an attack you wouldn't take that out and instead dump the heroes there.
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Why would Savage want to destroy the watchtower (he didn't want to 5 years ago)? It isn't Earth he's planning to conquer with War World, and the League may well be useful to him, he dumps the heroes back on the watchtower for that exact reason.

Deathstroke's good, one of the best, but he's not flawless, pity he didn't get more screen time, I mean that scene where Sportsmaster quitted could've been done earlier
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DeathStroke get's no credit for being great. They pretty much made him a chump in Teen Titans and here. Very disapointing
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