Saturday, March 17, 2012

Young Justice - "Coldhearted"

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Episode Eighteen: "Coldhearted" - Airdate 3/10/12

It's Young Justice Saturday!

by Andy Luckett

Hi everyone, Andy Luckett here again with a review of the Young Justice episode "Coldhearted", the twentieth episode of Season One. We begin at the home of Wally West, also known as Kid Flash (and nephew to Barry Allen, The Flash). Wally awakes to realize that it's his 16th birthday, and it's snowing outside! He rushes downstairs to greet a breakfast of epic proportions, and to enjoy an on-air birthday wish from his aunt, reporter Iris West-Allen. Yep, everything's going pretty well for Wally:
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Next up, Wally Zeta-ports to Happy Harbor for the team's surprise party which he already knows about. Wally tries to pretend he was unaware but Robin isn't buying it. As Wally tries hard to get a birthday kiss from Miss Martian, Artemis looks on in dissatisfaction. Wally is able to score a forehead kiss, but quickly becomes embarrassed once Artemis tells him that MM and Superboy are together. Just then, Batman summons the team to change into their "polar stealth" gear and assemble in the briefing room. It seems that the snow in Happy Harbor and Central City isn't simply local storms but rather part of a massive winter event covering the entire United States.
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The storm is being generated by a series of massive ice fortress machines in the upper atmosphere, controlled by an unknown enemy. Batman quickly assigns the team their missions, most of which involve the YJers fighting alongside their mentors in the Justice League to disable the machines. Wally is excited about getting to work with the League, but Batman informs him that he needs Wally to take on a different job: delivering a heart from Boston to Seattle in time to save a 10-year old girl in need of a transplant. Wally is disappointed to be missing the main action, but agrees to help save the girl.
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Using a GPS device strapped to his wrist, Wally first travels to a Boston hospital to pick up the heart, then begins to travel his planned route to Seattle. He has four hours to reach the West Coast before the heart is no longer a viable transplant. As he makes his way, Wally repeatedly runs into small problems involving traffic jams and wrecks that slow him down, but only slightly. Meanwhile, Young Justice works with the League to disable the snow machines, which are armed with cannons.
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As he passes through South Dakota, Wally hits a major snag. Vandal Savage is waiting for him, and is beating some local cops in order to get his attention. His plan works, and Wally stops to fight with him for a few minutes before remembering his main objective. As he nears Seattle, Wally pushes himself. He arrives at the hospital with almost twenty minutes left over, and is met at the door by a doctor.
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Sadly, the doctor tells him that the patient died just twelve minutes earlier. Wally, to his horror, realizes that he spent fifteen minutes fighting Vandal Savage, and goes to sit in the hospital lobby to think about his actions. As he does so, a team of doctors run up to him, asking for the heart. Wally quickly realizes that he has been duped, and has given the heart to an enemy. He chases the phony "doctor" to the elevator, but misses him and speeds down to the parking garage to head him off.
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After running afoul of a few armed gunmen, Wally is able to recover the heart, but as he goes to return it upstairs, a wave of sickness hits him and he staggers to the floor. Count Vertigo appears behind him, and Wally soon realizes the scheme: the girl in need of the heart is Vertigo's niece, and if she dies, Vertigo ascends to the throne of Vlatava. Wally uses his last bit of energy to take out Vertigo and get the heart back to the real doctors before collapsing from exhaustion.
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Wally re-awakens inside the hospital, being treated for his exhaustion. Count Vertigo, now calling himself King Vertigo, is at his bedside. He tells Wally that despite all his effort, Vertigo's niece Perdita died on the operating table, thus fulfilling his plans. Vertigo's smugness quickly dissipates, however, as Wally pulls back a curtain to reveal Perdita, very much alive. Wally has recorded their entire conversation, in which Vertigo admitted to his plans for killing his niece. Since this crime is against the crown of Vlatava and thus violates Vertigo's pesky diplomatic immunity, he is now under arrest for high treason and on the next shipment to Belle Reve Penitentiary. Perdita offers Vertigo's sword to Wally as a souvenir of his mission, and smiles at his efforts.
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Vertigo's plan is defeated, Perdita is still on the throne, all of the snow machines have been destroyed (they, along with Vandal Savage's distraction of Wally, were all parts of Vertigo's diversionary tactics) and Batman is on the trail of the ice villains he believes are the suspects for the snow fortresses. Back in Happy Harbor, Robin tells Wally what a good job he did saving an entire country, but Wally looks at it a bit differently. Rather than take Count Vertigo's sword as a memento of the mission, he took the cooler used to transport the heart. This, he says, will remind him that the best birthday gift he received was the smile from Perdita and the knowledge that she will live because of his efforts.
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I enjoyed this episode. It was a decent take on the "hero misses out on something they want but discovers a greater reward" storyline. Mainly it helped to show a different side to Wally West in which he uses his head a bit more and isn't always so impulsive. While he does make the mistake of stopping to fight Vandal Savage when he should've kept going, he also is able to pull the fake-out on Count Vertigo and find a way around his diplomatic immunity.
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However, while this is Wally's story, it also means that the rest of the team suffers in comparison. Aqualad in particular has no lines in this episode and only has one decent scene fighting with Aquaman to take out a snow fortress. To me, that was the most exciting part; seeing the young heroes and their mentors all using their powers against a common foe.
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I know I voice this complaint too much probably, but I just think one of the advantages to having a team show is to be able to have those big group action scenes with all the members contributing. Not say that Young Justice doesn't ever do that, just that I think it can only help to do it more often.

3 comments:

Kaldur Fanboy said...

I really hope they allow Aquaman to shine in this series (I LOVE Kaldur...ALOT) but it seems to me that everytime Aqualad and Aquaman team up Kaldur takes center stage, i.e. Kaldur defeating the bad guys while Aquaman just gets flipped over. I mean it made sense in beginning, Kaldur had to dispose of the notion that the Aquafamily was "lame", and IMO he's done a great job, but now it's time to let them both shine as equals.

Anyway, I love Aqualad and hope that they use him more in this series. He and Aquaman need all the PR they can get right now.

Orin's dad said...

I enjoyed this episode, even if the Wally piece was mostly a re-do of the Flash #1 from the late 80's. Like the others, I do wish there was more teamwork and more Aqualad, but still, this is s cool show.
I really miss Batman:TBATB, though...

Joseph Brian Scott said...

I really like YJ; glad it's back.