Young Justice: Outsiders: Private Security

YJ

Dick teams up with Clan Harper

Last episode ended a nasty mission in Markovia, with assorted origins, bad guys being overthrown, and hints at vast conspiracies. Now the heroes have made it out, so everything’s good, right? Well, not entirely. This a largely light-hearted episode featuring a few core characters, a callback to something from season one, and a very unusual family, even by superhero standards. They definitely go for some laughs in “Private Security.”

The first three scenes show where the Markovain refugees ended up: Halo with Artemis and Will, Brion with Superboy and Megan, and Dr. Jace with Black Lightning (very amusing given the live action show). What they have in common is that all three are at loose ends, and everyone seems to be wondering where Dick is. The man himself eventually turns up at Bowhunter Security, a company run by Will Harper AKA Red Arrow. Things get a bit confusing here, so it’s time for a detour to Harper family history, both in the comics and on this show.

In the comics, Roy Harper is one of the characters with the least-known background. His father was more rumor than man, with a sentence or two description being all we ever really got, and nothing at all about his mother. On Earth 2, it was eventually revealed that Roy Harper, the Speedy of the Golden Age, was related to Jim Harper, the Guardian. Now, in Young Justice world, I don’t think there ever was a Golden Age, but there have been all sorts of other complications. Trying to make this as simple as I can: Roy Harper was the original Speedy, partner to Green Arrow and early member of what became Young Justice (although they’re never called that on the show). He was kidnapped by the criminal group known as the Light, cloned, and frozen in suspended animation. The clone was programmed to betray the League, eventually got over the programming and quit, now goes by Will or Red Arrow, and runs Bowhunter Security. The original Roy has gone on to the name Arsenal. Because that wasn’t confusing enough, Jim Harper, another clone and occasionally Guardian, is also running around. Apparently, there’s something about the Roy Harper DNA that lends itself to cloning. Clear? Yeah, I’m not sure I get it either.

Anyway. Dick wants Will to help him go after some metahuman traffickers in Star City, but Will needs some help with a special job for his company, and most of his staff are sick. After some teasing and banter, all the Harpers plus Dick agree to do the job: safeguarding Goode goggles, a special VR device we’ve seen everywhere, and I’m sure will be a major plot point down the road. Amusingly, the company logo looks a lot like the original Warner Brothers logo. More Goode goggles turn up in the park where Artemis and Halo have a conversation about Halo’s mysterious past, or essentially complete lack of it. In a nod to a major subplot from season one that apparently still hasn’t been resolved, Artemis and Halo are there to lend emotional support for the hour-long annual visit between Zatanna and her father, Zatara, unwilling host to Nabu/Dr. Fate in this world.

While Will and Dick talk about Halo’s living arrangements and sleeping habits (with what seems like a nod to Ghostbusters in the banter), Jace and Jefferson/Black Lightning talk about Markovian foods vs. American, have more flashbacks, and compare notes on feelings of responsibility. In the background at Bowhunter’s job, minor Green Arrow foe Brick is plotting a robbery, so you know things are going to get interesting over there. The robbery attempt becomes a truck chase with a lot of great humor moments, and a gang having no idea they are facing four essentially undercover superheroes. Brion isn’t enjoying being at Superboy and Megan’s house, and clearly needs something to do. We do see what Superboy is up to now in his off hours.

Halo fights off some flashbacks as she talks to Artemis, and Will and Dick get in some great banter in the ongoing chase/fight against Brick. The two veteran heroes almost treat Brick as a distraction as they talk out Dick’s motivations and recent responsibilities. Halo also gets a lesson in friendship as Zatanna’s visit comes to an end. Dick and Clan Harper finish off Brick and come to some decisions about family. Their raid on the metahuman traffickers happens offscreen and, really, wasn’t the important part of the episode.

 

What I liked: This was quality writing with good humor that didn’t depend on cheap laughs and a lot of good characterization. I like how they’re developing the confusing but heroic Harper heroes. Dick got a good talking to that he needed. It was both interesting and sad to see the Zatara story continuing. I like this more mature, calmer Superboy. Brick was great comic relief and utterly befuddled by the “rent-a-cops.”

 

What I didn’t: Really, not much. The cast is so big at this point you can’t work in even close to everyone, but I’d really like an idea as to what Batman’s team is up to. Since they used to date, it would have been nice for Dick to be there for Zatanna, but he’s kind of busy this episode.

 

This show is really impressing me, and might be the best hero show running. I’m giving this a rare 5 out of 5. It was a great “day in the life” episode.

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