DC’s popular Young Justice TV series has been through a lot as of recent. After being cancelled following the season 2 finale, fans demanded for years that the series be brought back. Thankfully, everyone’s demands were met as the original cast and creative team were brought back for a third season on the DC Universe streaming service.
At the moment, season 3 has received very positive reception and fans are anxiously waiting for the back half of the season to release. Considering the following the show has built, it is no wonder that the show would perform so well, especially in regards to the demand to bring it back. In the mix of such good quality storytelling, very few elements of Young Justice have actually disappointed. However, some episodes have definitely been better than others. In anticipation of season 3’s return, here is our list of the 5 best and 5 worst episodes of Young Justice so far.
10 The Hunt S2E17 (Worst)
As one of the more action packed episodes of the season, "The Hunt" succeeds in moving the plot forward, just in very infuriating ways. The biggest fault of the episode is in Arsenal. Ever since the team recovered the original Roy Harper, he had become a loose canon, often endangering the team in order to help himself.
Thankfully, this episode sees Nightwing dismiss Arsenal from the team. However, the damage had still been done, regardless of being a successful mission. The Runaways also play a major role in this episode, though it is disheartening to see them be manipulated by Lex Luthor. Though this episode builds necessary tension, it is still frustrating to see some of these characters make the decisions they have.
9 Runaways S2E14 (Best)
"Runaways" focuses on the team of missing kids as they come to escape the facility they’re trapped in. Upon activating their powers, the team breaks out and Blue Beetle gets sent into the mix. Most of the appeal of this episode comes from nostalgia as Virgil Hawkins is once again seen as Static Shock. Seeing this fan favorite character again definitely helped the show earn favor with it’s older audience.
However, aside from Static, the show really develops Jaime as a character as he builds his relationship with this team of Runaways. The creators took advantage of the opportunity to explore some of the newer cast members in this episode and really succeeded in getting audiences to care about them. Considering the excellent balance of action and character development, it is easy to see how "Runaways" is one of the series’ better episodes.
8 Rescue Op S3E6 (Worst)
"Rescue Op," like with "The Hunt," moves the plot forward in frustrating ways. On the plus side, Forager is introduced into the group and his dynamic allows for some really great moments. However, Brion is back to his usual impatience and complaining that has gotten old at this point.
Though he apologizes at the end of the episode, it is obviously not the end of his attitude problem. The rest of the episode consists mostly of plot building and, while not bad, makes for a slower episode in general. Aside from Forager, "Rescue Op" does little but leave its audience wanting more.
7 Independence Day S1E1 (Best)
Of course, one of the best episodes of the series has to be the show’s pilot. Independence day introduces the audience to the main character’s, sets the story in motion, and establishes the tone going forward. On a very particular Independence day, Robin, Kid Flash, Aqualad, and Speedy are all invited into the Hall of Justice with the hopes of actually joining their mentors as members. When that turns out to not be the case, the team (minus Speedy) begins to discover dark secrets on what was supposed to be a very simple assignment.
The episode also reveals an incredibly wide variety of supporting cast and captures the perfect mix of the original Teen Titans and Justice League: Unlimited cartoons. The show’s creative team also showed off excellent pacing by limiting the original group to three members and slowly adding more, rather than introducing everyone all at once. Overall, "Independence Day" was an incredibly strong start to an incredibly strong series.
6 Secrets S1E18 (Worst)
"Secrets" unfortunately doesn’t do much in terms of advancing the show’s plot. The episode sees the group split off into three different groups. Superboy, Miss Martian, and Kid Flash go to the school’s Halloween party, Robin and Aqualad meet with the Justice League to discuss a possible mole within the team, and Artemis and Zatanna spend the night on patrol in the city.
The episode itself isn’t really bad, but rather an unnecessary filler episode. Very little character development gets done, the team doesn’t get any closer to discovering the mole, and the villain of the episode is never seen or heard from again. Though this episode does a good job developing Artemis and Zatanna, little else is done for the other characters and overall story.
5 Bereft S1E9 (Best)
The episode opens with the team lost and divided in the Bialyan desert with no memory of each other or the last 6 months. As the episode continues, the team must reunify and piece together exactly what happened to them in order to complete the mission.
"Bereft" does a phenomenal job of showing how well the team works together. Despite not knowing each other, each member was able to do everything they could to successfully pull off a mission that had gone south. This episode also introduces us to Psimon, one of the series’ recurring villains. However, the episode truly shines in showcasing why the team needs each other while also focusing on individual character traits that make each character so intriguing.
4 Happy New Year S2E1 (Worst)
The season 2 premiere of Young Justice left a lot to be desired. While audiences were supposed to be confused, casual watchers especially could become very lost. Following an 8 year time jump from the end of the first season, aliens are suddenly involved, new characters are all over the place, and old characters have made dramatic transitions.
While the episode certainly ropes audiences in and leaves them wanting more, the season premiere is very jarring and throws a lot at viewers all at once. Suddenly, people are expected to care about a new cast, and the open plot points from season 1 seem to have been long forgotten. Tough season 2 eventually revealed everything as time went on, the premiere could have easily provided a bit more info in regards to the character’s past, present, and future.
3 Homefront S1E12 (Best)
"Homefront" sees most of the team taken out of commission following an attack by Red Tornado and his siblings. After most of the team is captured, it is up to Robin and Artemis, the two members without powers, to rescue their teammates. With communications down, the two must work together to survive long enough to find a way to take down the threat.
The episode really shows the value that both Robin and Artemis bring to the team, despite having no superhuman abilities of their own. Furthermore, this episode really sees the relationship between Superboy and Miss Martian begin to blossom. Also, the show spins the team’s mole problem in a very unique way, as they came to believe that it was Red Tornado following his programming. Overall, the episode does a lot to strengthen its characters while also moving the plot forward in a clever way.
2 Before the Dawn S2E10 (Worst)
Like with "Secrets," "Before the Dawn" feels a lot like a filler episode. The Reach begins to strengthen their presence, Batgirl and Robin rescue the missing kids, and Blue Beetle squares off against Black Beetle. Really, the only plot and character progression in the episode is between Miss Martian and Aqualad as she learns that he isn’t actually a traitor.
While, again, not a bad episode, it just feels like very little gets accomplished in comparison to other episodes of the show. Though the moment between Miss Martian and Aqualad is a big one, it is not enough to make up for the rest of the episode’s slow nature.
1 Auld Acquaintance S1E26 (Best)
The finale to the first season packed a lot into a short time frame. After the Justice League becomes mind controlled, it is up to the Young Justice team to take them down in order to save the world. Most plot points are resolved rather nicely and enough is left open to leave audiences wanting more.
Aside from the situation itself, it was incredibly fun to watch the two teams battle each other. "Auld Acquaintance" really showcases the value of the Young Justice team in the larger scale of the universe. It also shows just how far the group has come since the start of the season. Furthermore, the twists with Roy were surprising and some smaller characters even reappeared to assist the team. As far as payoffs go, "Auld Acquaintances" really delivers.