Mind Games

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Young Justice Season 1, Episode 9


SUMMARY: Awakening in the desert with no memory of the past six months, the team must regroup to take on the psychic menace of Psimon.

Margaret: Everyone loves a good amnesia episode. It reveals character dynamics and brings things to light that wouldn’t otherwise have happened because they don’t remember what they’re supposed to keep secret. Usually, it happens later on in a series once everyone is established, but I like how they handle it in this episode.

Syd: Well, they didn’t erase that much of their memories – just enough that Artemis didn’t remember to avoid Wally.

Margaret: And to reduce Superboy into a mindless ball of anger. I like that it basically broke them down to how they were before they were on a team together, which also shows how much they’ve grown having known each other.

Syd: We open with Miss Martian awakening in a desert in the made up Middle Eastern country of Bialya and thinking in Martian, until she realizes that she’s on Earth. Then she gets attacked by Superboy. As Superboy jumps away, the theme song starts.

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Margaret: It’s interesting that Superboy doesn’t attack Miss Martian until she confuses him for Superman. They show each character having some parts of themselves that were not able to be forgotten, and despite Superboy’s memory being gone, he still maintains that dislike of Superman.

Syd: Dislike is too strong – maybe resentment or frustration. After the theme song, we catch up with Robin, who is somewhere else in the same desert. He has no memory of where he is nor how he got there, only that Batman told him to maintain radio silence, preventing him from contacting anyone. That’s kind of weird as the one thing he remembers, especially when he doesn’t remember how long ago Batman said that or if it pertained to his current mission.

Margaret: Of course, Wally and Artemis wake up in the same place, though they don’t remember each other. While Artemis knows who Kid Flash is from the news, he has no idea who she is, asking her if she has a Green Arrow fetish because of her outfit. Artemis is first shocked to find out what she’s wearing and then muses that her father must have wiped their memories and sent her to kill Wally. Apparently he’s someone that likes tests.

Syd: We still don’t know who her father is, but we are given a little bit of information. Her father is the one who taught Artemis archery and he is the sort of person that she suspects would dress a teenage girl in a skintight outfit and send her to kill a stranger. It sounds like he has diverse interests.

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Margaret: Superboy – filled with mindless rage – attacks Wally and Artemis, ripping off his shirt. In every episode, he gets a shirtless moment. Either he’s fighting someone shirtless or his shirt gets torn. I’m starting to think he’s the Kirk of this series.

Syd: Yes, I think Nolan North demands that Superboy regularly appear shirtless. The ego on that guy.

Margaret: Megan uses her mind powers and the memory of Superboy attacking her to try and figure out what she’s doing in the desert. She remembers baking cookies and Superboy, Wally, Artemis and Robin eating some. No sign of Kaldur, yet. Poor Kaldur. You would think, as their leader, he would make a more lasting impression on people. However, having remembered the others, she goes off in search of them.

Syd: Megan meets up with Artemis and Wally. There is a really cute scene where they have to get reacquainted, the highlights of which are Wally mistaking Megan for J’onn and Artemis being disgusted that Kid Flash is named “Wally.”

Margaret: I really liked Kid Flash mistaking Megan for J’onn. It was both an understandable mental leap and also showed that Kid Flash doesn’t assume J’onn will always be male. It’s a bit of open mindedness that he hasn’t shown much of in the past episodes.

Syd: Wally, Artemis, and Megan find Robin as he’s fighting Bialyan soldiers. One of the soldiers says that their Queen wants him alive, but it is never explained why. I guess it doesn’t matter.

Margaret: Megan brings everyone into her mind and tells them that in order to repair their memories, she’ll need to meld them all together to get the different pieces. Artemis, understandably, is very uncomfortable with that idea, but eventually relents by saying that she can look at the past six months, but only at what she needs.

Syd: This creeps me out a bit. It reminds me of a plotline from the Teen Titans comics where Donna Troy was destroyed, but then recreated from Wonder Woman and Wally West’s memories of her, and then she worried that she might not be the same person that she was, but just what Wally perceived her to be. The same way, I can’t be sure I can trust that whatever Megan is doing will completely and accurately restore their memories of the previous six months. All they have are fragments and they’re from various people’s viewpoints.

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Margaret: Exactly! Also, Artemis expressly tells Megan that she can only look into parts of her memory that are relevant to the mission, meaning that her personal memories of the past six months are simply gone.

Syd: Artemis’ main concern, though, is not about never getting her memories back, but of others seeing what memories she does have. Wally then holds her hand to reassure her and it gives her the courage to help. It is the sweetest moment we have seen from Wally so far, and I think we should really call attention to the times when Wally is not the worst.

Margaret: Yes, I did like that moment. In fact, I definitely liked Wally more without the last six months of his memory. From everyone’s collective memories, they find they were sent there by Batman to look into a power surge in the desert. It takes a distressing amount of time before they finally remember Kaldur. He’s their leader! Did he not give a briefing before they left? Was no one listening to it? This episode just makes me feel bad for him as it makes it seem as if he has yet to leave a lasting impression on them.

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Syd: I can chalk it up to them having other things on their mind, but really, they should have immediately realized that their leader was missing. I don’t know why the episode waited so long to bring him up.

Margaret: After capturing Superboy, the bad guys start electrocuting him in order to get a large ball to spin. Are they attempting to figure out alternate forms of energy? Does it need to be Superboy being electrocuted for it to spin? It also brings up the question that if they needed Superboy to power the ball, it’s a pretty big coincidence that he just happens to be there and delivers himself as a lab rat.

Syd: Maybe as a superpowered alien, his body generates a great deal of energy. That’s just a guess. This isn’t really explained.

Margaret: In the meantime, the team has found Kaldur, passed out behind a rock outcropping. He’s been in the sun awhile and needs medical attention. Megan can telepathically hear Superboy’s cries of pain and insists that she has to help him. The others want to bring Kaldur back to the bioship, but she flies off to rescue Superboy, unable to wait to rescue him from torture.

Syd: While trying to get Kaldur to safety, Wally questions why Artemis had thought her father wanted her to kill him. Artemis tries to play it off like she was just remembering some movie where a ninja’s ninja father wanted her to kill her ninja boyfriend, but Wally immediately recognizes that means she thinks of him as her ninja boyfriend. She doesn’t really have a satisfactory answer to that. He’s totally her ninja boyfriend.

Margaret: It’s also both predictable and interesting that as soon as they get their memories back, Wally and Artemis return to sniping at each other and not being supportive. They had that sweet moment right before they regained their memories and now they’re back to bickering.

Syd: Ninja love is a temperamental thing. They’ll work it out.

Margaret: Going invisible, Megan finds the tent where they’re keeping Superboy and stealths in. She attacks the guards who are shocking him and then is stopped by Psimon. He was the one that erased their memories when she attempted to stealth in invisibly the last time. He tries to erase her memories again, but now that she knows it is coming, she fights back.

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Syd: It was weird hearing Psimon’s name spoken out loud in this episode. When I first saw him in Crisis on Infinite Earths (where nothing about him was explained), I thought his name was “Psi-man,” but said with a Jamaican accent. Until I saw this episode, it didn’t even occur to me that his name is a play on “Simon” and now I feel kind of dumb.

Margaret: Funnily enough, I had the opposite reaction and thought his name was just Simon. I thought it was a pretty mundane name for someone who has a glass caged brain. It makes more sense now that I realize it’s Psi for psionic powers.

Syd: Psimon’s brain is visible and encased in glass, which is full on gross. It’s not as gross as Blockbuster’s skin tearing, because at least his brain is contained and not just exposed, but it’s still gross.

Margaret: So, it seems as if Superboy is able to command the large ball, even without his memories. He’s able to make it break free from its cage, smash the scientists and free him from his bonds. While fighting Psimon, he brushes up against the invisible Megan, dragging him into the mind battle. Megan uses the opportunity to restore Superboy’s memories in a sweet moment of remembering all they’ve done together. He encourages her to kick Psimon’s butt and then breaks out to take care of all the guards. The large ball helps out, and a surprised Superboy thanks it.

Syd: When Superboy holds hands with Megan, he enters her mindspace. I’m not really sure how the science behind this works, but, as we’ve previously discussed, this show isn’t super into science anyway. What’s important is that their minds are united and they have joined forces to beat Psimon. Evil telepathy is no match for the Power of Love.

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Margaret: As Superboy and Megan fly back toward the bioship, the large ball follows along with them. I get that they can’t leave it there and also that it helped out in the fight, but it’s a strange large ball that has imprinted on Superboy. Shouldn’t they be more wary of it or curious about it? What is it? Why is it there? Is it at all sentient? You would think they would want to investigate it a bit more instead of seemingly going, “Oh cool, a new pet.”

Syd: Oh come on! It’s so cute! It’s a little ball of circuitry and cuddles!

Margaret: It is! That is exactly why I don’t trust it!

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Margaret: This episode is an A for me. I like the Megan/Superboy interactions as well as having scenes with Wally that I liked. Any episode that shows me a Wally that I don’t actively dislike certainly did its job.

Syd: I’m just at a B. There were a lot of good moments, but not as much substance or cohesion as I would have liked.

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