Young Justice: Nightmare Monkeys

Things get weird in Gar’s head.

With such a huge cast, it’s difficult to get any focus time on particular characters in Young Justice. Despite that, we get a lot of attention on Gar Logan, Beast Boy (although I’ll always prefer his Changeling codename) in this episode. We see a recounting of his tragic past, which is even more tragic on Young Justice (impressive, considering he’s still somewhere in his teens). There are also a few developments with some of the regular cast, as we learn the meaning of “Nightmare Monkeys.”

The episode opens with Gar on the set of his Space Trek tv show. After he gets an impressive action sequence, we see him with a few supporting characters, including Granny Goodness in her Earthly guise and Steve Dayton, his step-father and formerly the superhero Mento. Gar and Steve clearly aren’t close, but we go get to see that Gar is nice to the stunt guys as he leaves for a date. Back in Happy Harbor, the team who has been the focus of most of the season come together to discuss the kids’ first day at school, Victor’s origin, and assorted strange developments. They do a great job of tying small bits of several past episodes in with this one scene.

In Beverly Hills, at a Luthor Hotel (nice touch), Gar meets up with his date, Perdita (I have no idea who this is supposed to be), and tries out some of the Goode Goggles. As all the foreshadowing has been indicating, they are more than they seem and none of it’s good. Or Goode. Things go badly in Happy Harbor as discussion turns to confrontation, which isn’t a good step with multiple young superhumans involved. Gar has some strange encounters with people from his past, as different parts of his life collide. Megan and Conner have a private conversation about private time, or lack thereof.

Things get worse at the hotel as Gar gets drawn deeper into the strange VR he’s in. He has to relive some painful memories, and ends up in a weird parody of the Teen Titans Go! cartoon, complete with special guest voices. The potential for comedy drains away as Gar has to relive some of the worst moments of his life. Perdita gets worried as Gar is less and less responsive to the real world. We also learn some about where he’s been between seasons, since he sort of vanished as a major character. Perdita calls for some special help, and the cavalry arrives in the form of Miss Martian and Superboy, who know what to do and get the well-meaning but not adequately equipped medics out of the way.

Throughout the weird things he’s been seeing, Gar has had an occasionally appearing companion, who was played for laughs. As it turns out, there’s more going on then a simple visual gag, and Gar finds out that some of the story of his life isn’t what he thought. It’s a big departure from his established origin either on this show or in the comics, and I kind of like it. Finally, he gets reunited with Megan, recovers, and the show ends with a series of kisses, including one we get to see that’s probably a first kiss.

What I liked: Gar has long been a character I really like. It was nice to see him get so much screen time and not get used as a joke. They told his complicated story well. The developments with Dick’s team were nicely done and worked in well. I’m really hoping Vic and Gar meet and get something like the great friendship they have in the comics.

What I didn’t: Really, not much. I can’t think of much I’d change. Maybe we’ll get Raven and Starfire down the road and get a New Teen Titans reunion.

I’m giving this a 4.5 out of 5. I can’t think of anything they did badly, as I say above, but it didn’t quite have enough major wow to draw the rare 5 from me.