Young Justice 2.09 “Darkest” Recap – What The Heck Just Happened?

Young Justice: Invasion 2.09 "Darkest"Things just got real on Young Justice… Or rather “real-er.

Today’s episode focused on Kaldur (who claimed he was too old for the Aqualad name) as he and a team of young super villains raided Mount Justice and gave the Young Justice team a beating they will never forget. However, like any good Young Justice story, nothing was as it seemed in this episode.

Kaldur Sees ‘The Light’

At the start of the episode in an underwater hideout, a captured La’goon berated Kaldur for being a traitor against the Team and Atlantean Society. Black Manta entered the picture to send Kaldur on a new mission and mentioned that La’goon needed to be prepped for transport to The Light’s “partner.” Before La’goon is taken away, he called Kaldur Black Manta’s “errand boy.” This prompted Kaldur to ask La’goon while he knows his role in the grand scheme of things, does La’goon know his own position. He then injected a sedative into his former comrade. Before Kaldur left for his mission, Black Manta told him that while he trusts his son, The Light will need a little more to persuade them to trust Kaldur as well. The former Aqualad vowed that he would do whatever was necessary to achieve The Light’s trust. Is it safe to say that “uh-oh” is an understated response to that piece of dialogue?

On the way to their mission, Kaldur sat in the command chair while his team – which consisted of Icicle Jr., The Terror Twins, and a new ninja named Tigress – openly discussed their distrust in Kaldur, since he battled them in the past. When Icicle Jr. and the Terror Twins turned their skepticism towards Tigress, she quickly shut them down by warning that any talk against Black Manta and Kaldur (who hand-picked Tigress for the mission) would be foolish if they valued their lives. I’m paraphrasing, but that was pretty much the gist of the message Tigress was relaying.

Meanwhile, Impulse paid a visit to Jamie Reyes to see if he wanted to hang out. After initial reluctance, Jamie transformed into his Blue Beetle outfit and joined Impulse in a little fun. As the two were blasting rocks and making images of themselves with the rubble (Impulse, of course), Kaldur and gang attacked Impulse and Blue Beetle out of nowhere. When Impulse notices Kaldur holding a device, he snatches it from Kaldur before the ‘turncoat’ could react and bolts from the fight with Blue Beetle.

What the two heroes didn’t know was Kaldur’s plan was for them to take the device after all, because once it passes Mount Justice’s threshold, it would fry the place’s security system, leaving the Team powerless. Nightwing chastised Impulse and Blue Beetle for being so careless, but it was too late. Young Justice: Invasion 2.09 "Darkest"Kaldur and his minions descended upon Mount Justice, taking Beast Boy, Impulse, and Blue Beetle hostage with the help of some collars that subjugated the wearer by rendering them powerless if they are a superhuman. Kaldur also warned Nightwing and Connor to not follow him or the bomb he placed in Mount Justice will go off, destroying everything in a 5 mile radius. Kaldur also sucker punched Nightwing in the gut before leaving.

While transporting their prisoners, Blue Beetle’s Scarab got frustrated by Jamie not engaging in action and took over Jamie’s suit to break free. In the midst of fighting everyone, Blue Beetle knocked Kaldur to the ground, which caused Kaldur to drop the detonator to the bomb in Mount Justice. Before he could react in horror, Blue Beetle noticed that Kaldur was bluffing since the detonator didn’t send Mount Justice to high hell. But Tigress shot Blue Beetle with a dart, which brought the young superhero to his knees.

On the plane back, Icicle Jr. and the Terror Twins were annoyed about not taking out Nightwing and Superboy when they had the chance and felt that Kaldur still cared for his former teammates. Seeing how this could damage his reputation, role as a leader, and was the perfect opportunity to “prove” himself, Kaldur ordered for Tigress to detonate the bomb. Tigress, who quickly turned into Artemis (who Kaldur could only see), asked Kaldur was he sure and her old friend told her, “Do it.” Tigress/Artemis detonated the bomb and the Mount Justice we’ve come to know and love exploded before our very eyes. Holy. Hell.

Fresh from a lackluster date with Karen Beecher, Mal Duncan was the first to the scene and found Sphere holding Nightwing, Superboy, and Wolf in the ocean. Later at the Hall of Justice, Wally West showed up and demanded answers from Nightwing, who spilled the beans on the latest con in Young Justice history.

Apparently, Kaldur was helping the Team to obtain tracking software to help find Lagoon Boy/La’goon. The ‘sedative’ that was shot into La’goon was a tracking device and the attack on Mount Justice, including Kaldur’s sucker punch to Nightwing’s gut, was all part of a ruse to help the team rescue La’goon. Um… what?

An irate Wally brought up the (very valid) point of how a) having three Team members kidnapped, b) having Artemis in the line of danger, and c) Mount Justice’s destruction all sounded a tad bit draconian to only deliver intel on a jump drive. Nightwing argued that Kaldur had to make everything look legit to gain access into The Light and find out who is “the Partner” behind the invasion. Wally didn’t buy anything Nightwing was selling and surmised that while Kaldur might be working against the Light, he could also be working as a triple agent with an agenda of his own. He also revealed that the death of Tula, Aqualaad/Kaldur’s lover, and finding out about Black Manta being his father, might have sent their “old friend” Kaldur over the edge.

Young Justice: Invasion 2.09 "Darkest"Back at Black Manta’s hideout, Kaldur is introduced to, and successfully inducted into, The Light. The last scene we see is The Light finally introducing Kaldur to The Partner… who we don’t see. Dammit!!!

More Questions & Observations

– The Grotto Room seemed to hold more answers to what’s to come later in the season like some of you suggested in the comments section from last week’s episode. First we saw what had to be Jason Todd’s Robin’s image, which was suggested that we might see Red Hood soon. This week, Tula’s image served as a means to “why” Kaldur went ‘rogue’ in the first place. Could Ted Kord’s Blue Beetle hold an answer to another question we either haven’t asked or are asking at the moment?

– The writers totally got me on the Tigress/Artemis connection, although I felt Tigress was actually Cheshire at first since their outfits resembled each other a bit. Maybe my subconscious had it all figured out, but that was a well-played move on the part of the Young Justice writers. Bravo.

– What was up with that convo La’goon heard while he was being transported? Was one of the guys talking Ra’s Al Ghul and the other The Partner?

– Kaldur’s actions did scream overkill if it was all in the name of passing intel to Nightwing. What happened to a drop off location? Yes, I understand that Kaldur had to go above and beyond the call of duty to secure his induction into The Light, but can he even come back from “beyond” at this point? Mount Justice wasn’t the only notable asset destroyed in this episode. Friendships, loyalties, and history was destroyed as well.

– Impulse and Blue Beetle are easily the new Robin and Kid Flash when it comes to their friendship. The two play off each other so well and it’s nice to see that remains in this battle weary version of Young Justice.

What do you guys think about today’s Young Justice?

Photos Credit: DC Comics, Young Justice Brazil

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