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Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Young Justice: "The Fix"

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After a series of intense, action-packed episodes, Young Justice takes a bit of a breather with “The Fix,” which has its fair share of fights, but is mostly people talking about their problems. This latter half of the season has become The M’Gann and Jaime Show, and while those two certainly have a lot of drama in their lives, it’s beginning to seem like the rest of this show’s huge cast has been pushed into the background. One character that rises to prominence this week is Artemis/Tigress, who is having a major identity crisis as she continues her double agent role within the Light. Voiceover narration at the start of the episode reveals that Artemis is having doubts about taking on this mission and wishes that she had stayed in retirement with Wally rather than jumping back into the fray when Nightwing called. It’s nice to get some insight into Artemis’ conflicted thoughts, and this episode proves why Young Justice needs her working on the side of the bad guys.

When Tigress is called to Kaldur’s room and told about Manta’s plan to use Psimon to dig through Kaldur’s mind to awaken him, she realizes how damaging this could be to the mission and poisons Psimon. She blames his catatonic state on a telepathic virus planted by M’Gann, effectively convincing Manta to steer clear of psychics in his efforts to revive his son. Tigress suggests they bring M’Gann in to heal Kaldur, and Manta teams her with Deathstroke and his grey ponytail to abduct the martian. Artemis is playing this all by ear, but she’s doing a great job thinking on the fly and showing why she was chosen for this mission in the first place.

B’Aars O’Oohm the Green Beetle has a very cool visual, but this episode reveals that he’s mostly a plot device to help characters talk about their problems and move forward with their lives. He starts with M’Gaan, who has been asked to verify his allegiance by reading his mind. The aliens have a telepathic conversation discussing M’Gann’s White Martian background and how difficult it must have been for her to integrate into Earth society, and their mental link allows B’Aars to learn about M’Gaan losing control of her powers. He offers his memories rather than having her dig through his mind and risk hurting him, and while it may seem like an act of kindness, that gives him the opportunity to pick and choose what M’Gaan sees. I’m beginning to suspect that the team’s kind-hearted Martian ally has some ulterior motives, especially after he toys with Jaime’s Scarab at the end of the episode and silences the weapon. It’s possible that he’s actually trying to help, but there’s way of knowing if his modifications to the Scarab are good or bad.

After the interrogation, La’Gaan asks for some alone time with his girlfriend so that they can talk about the rocky state of their relationship. The personal drama is always welcome on this show, and just as La’Gaan confronts M’Gaan about her weird behavior and what exactly is going on between her and Connor, Tigress and Deathstroke show up to ruin their heart-to-heart. What follows is a gorgeous action sequences where we get to see just dangerous Deathstroke is, smoothly navigating the terrain to take out La’Gaan while Tigress and M’Gaan duke it out. Artemis uses her telepathic link to let M’Gaan know that they need her help to wake up Kaldur and to make this abduction as convincing as possible, which gives M’Gaan license to use her mind to throw cars at her old teammate. It’s impressive how much M’Gann has grown on this show, and she’s gone from a naïve schoolgirl to an ass-kicking woman, although she still has her moments of weakness.

M’Gann is taken to Manta’s base and outfitted with a collar that Deathstroke will detonate if she tries anything stupid. She’s afraid to go back into Kaldur’s mind, but Artemis volunteers to join her so that Kaldur will have a friend presence in his head. It’s a good thing, too, because M’Gann is immediately attacked by Kaldur’s mental defense mechanism in the form of his dead lover Tula, who fights M’Gaan while Artemis goes looking for her friend. When she finds Kaldur, he’s a broken, faceless mess, succumbing to loneliness and doubt when he needs to be strong to survive. Artemis is able to snap him out of it by reminding him of his friends and repeating the Atlantean word for “together,” and while the scene is on the cheesy side, it shows how both of these characters have changed since joining the team. Artemis was a double agent who has become an intensely loyal friend while Kaldur has had his steadfast resolve broken down as he faces challenges that he doesn’t know how to overcome. That character development is at the heart of this show, and helps give low-key episode like “The Fix” added emotional weight.

Stray observations:

  • This week’s DC Nation shorts: Drool over the finale of “Batman Of Shanghai,” which features some incredibly dynamic animation, particularly when Batman transforms into a swarm of bats. I need more shorts done in this style, please. We’re also introduced to a new hilarious short, “DC’s Farm Team,” starring Supermanatee, The Flish, Lex Liger, Wonder Wombat, Shazham, and Duckseid with cameos by a baboon Aquaman, egg-Robin, and a snail Ambush Bug. It’s basically DC characters as Looney Tunes, and it’s amazing.
  • For some really great M’Gaan/La’Gaan material, check out last month’s Young Justice #23, which has a tender scene where they bond over having to hide their true selves.
  • Green Beetle’s attempt at smiling is both delightful and creepy.
  • “Reach for a Reach.”