WARNING: MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD!!!!!!!!! (YOU DO NOT WANT THIS EPISODE SPOILED)
Hold up, let me back up.
The latest episode of Young Justice sees the Earth at the mercy of an alien invasion from an unidentified race. The episode shows its going to be a wild ride within the first 30 seconds when both Green Lanterns, Hal Jordan and John Stewart, are killed right away. After that hero after hero falls via disintegration beam until the Young Justice heroes are the only heroes who remain who can defend the Earth. Yet even they aren’t free from casualties.
If you’re reading this then you know the ending. The situation isn’t real. It’s a training sequences Batman and Martian Manhunter designed to put the team through an un-winnable situation. Similar to the Kobayashi Maru of Star Trek. The point of the exercise was to present the heroes with a hostile situation that only gets worse and worse with no winning option available and see how they reacted to the scenario. The team knew this all a simulation when they entered the exercise. But that was all hijacked when one of the team members Artemis is “killed” and Ms. Martian’s unconscious mind overcomes everything and makes it all seem real.
I’ve read on several forums that a few viewers felt cheated by the twist ending saying that it was a big middle finger to them.
I say just the opposite. The twist ending was exactly what the episode called for.
I’ve loved Young Justice from the beginning, blogging about it every now then when I remembered, but I always felt that something was missing on the emotional scale. The characters and story lines were always so subdued as if they were holding something back. Character development is on the more subtler side and there was never a major emotional moment.
Well this episode changed all that.
After Artemis’s “death” nothing is held back. Kid Flash stating with an unseen intensity and rage, “They’re dead! Every single alien! If it’s the last thing I do!” M’gann’ sadness and Aqualad’s and Robin’s focus in the face of such despair. Later on Aqualad shows his worthiness as leader by sacrificing himself to save his friends. Robin later comments on it, showing his more calculating side, that such an act while heroic, cost them their leader and that it was a mistake.
The “all a simulation” ending just showed that while the events that took place were not real, the emotions that the team was. The ending proved that there are a lot more to the team than we thought we knew and just begs the question “if a real situation occurred, would the team react the same way?”
This episode did everything right, the emotion, the story, the twist, the music, the action was all spot on. I hope future episode keep up this trend.