EPISODE REVIEW: Young Justice: Downtime (Season 1, Episode 8)

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Tonight, the team action is at a minimum, but that doesn't mean things aren't happening. Aqualad (both of 'em…. really) make some decisions and kick some butt.

Spoilers Ahoy!

Recap

Clayface has just taken out YJ in a training exercise and Batman has to intervene. Batman reads Aqualad the riot act. His head's not in the game. It's apparently a girl….
Aqualad heads for Atlantis and reacquaints himself with his friends- Garth and Tula. Queen Mera invites Kaldur for dinner, and he, in turn, invites Tula to accompany him. Meaningful looks pass between Garth and Tula, but she agrees less than enthusiastically.

Meanwhile, back at the Cave of Young Justice, Superboy and M'Gann share a moment that is just like the refrigerator scene in 9 1/2 Weeks, without the sexy music, the food play, but with a huge mess, telekinesis and a brief romantic moment between Superboy and Miss Martian. Okay, it's not like 9 1/2 Weeks at all.

Also, violating rules of simultaneity, Black Manta is plotting an attack and Orm and Dr. Vulko have found a big frozen critter.

At dinner we learn that Aquaman and Mera are expecting. Aquaman gets called away on a League emergency, leaving Kaldur in Atlantis. He has decided that he wants to stay in Atlantis with Tula- but as we had figured out ten minutes ago, She and Garth are swimming together…

Then stuff starts blowing up. Black Manta has attacked! Aqualad springs into action along with the other Atlanteans, using a mix of sorcery and weaponry. Tula is a brilliant fighter, but puts herself between Garth and a blaster, to bad effect.

Manta is breaking into the science center and is breaking out the large… frozen…starfish shaped critter … oh, no.

Garth and Kaldur start to foil Manta's plans to steal Starro(???), and in the process, blow the critter to bitsy bits. Manta gets away….

Kaldur now realizes that he should be Aqualad, and commits himself to the role, 100%.

Manta reports to the Light- one of who looks suspiciously like Ocean Master (Aquaman's brother Orm, who so far seems on the good side…). All is going according to their nefarious plans….

Observations

Cool episode! We got to see quite a bit of Atlantean society, and meet Garth (who on Earth 1 became Aqualad). Although it was pretty much a foregone conclusion that Kaldur would stay in the role of Aqualad, at least there was a character arc involved.

The tiny vignettes featuring Dick and Bruce playing basketball, the Flashes celebrating Jay Garrick's birthday and Artemis getting a scholarship and arguing with her mom were all very well done.

The characterization in this show improves by leaps and bounds. And even though this episode is titled "Downtime", it still had a good chunk of action.

Will Conservatives Like This Episode?

Yes. Family, loyalty, duty- honoring what has gone before while still forward looking? What's not to like?

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