Young Justice - "Secrets" Recap
Well, that was creepy.
It’s Halloween and most of the team plus Zatanna gathers at the cave to head to a party in Happy Harbor. However, Artemis is deflated when a comment from Zatanna makes her belatedly realize that Miss Martian and Superboy are a couple. Zatanna tries to cheer her up by suggesting a “girl’s night out” fighting crime – while Kid Flash remains blissfully ignorant as the only team member tagging along on their date. Meanwhile, a villain calling himself “Harm” breaks into a museum to steal the mystical Sword of Beowulf, a weapon whose power can only be used by the pure of heart. Unfortunately, Harm promptly demonstrates that the rule doesn’t mandate pure goodness. Afterward he spends his own night out on the town, and after noticing Artemis and Zatanna he decides the pair would make for good targets.
The party at Happy Harbor High School is an amusing diversion, but the adventure had by Artemis and Zatanna is what dominates “Secrets” and makes it a riveting watch. Harm is a relentless foe that’s a better fighter than Artemis at his best, and the sword’s powers are a formidable counter to Zatanna’s magic. Above all, he’s flat out crazy and an intimidating figure. He’s ruthless killer that enjoys what he does, he refers to himself in the third person constantly, and he refers to his targets as “it” as if they were objects. The battle with him takes the form of a chase for most of the episode, with the girls being aided time and again by “Secret” – a girl clothed in white that comes and goes at will and can only seem to say that one word. A secret she definitely has, one that’s connected to Harm and how he became the psychopath he is. It’s harrowing stuff that renders “Secrets” a more than worthy Halloween episode, and I’m honestly rather surprised and impressed that this show got away with material like this.
Zatanna had another strong outing here and did her best to get Artemis to finally open up, to her credit. Unfortunately, here again we see Artemis’ reticence to trust others just as we did in “Disordered” last week. Rather than talk through what’s bothering her, she’d rather focus on beating up thugs and venting frustration that way. Near the end she says with a straight face that she doesn’t have any secrets, resisting the overt message offered here that few secrets stay buried forever. Ironically, we see through another scene that her fears are without cause; Robin already knows who she is and lets it slip to Aqualad that she isn’t Green Arrow’s niece. Robin trusts her regardless and Aqualad goes on to express trust in every member of his team.
Speaking of which, the scene where Robin and Aqualad confer with Batman and other heroes about the possibility of a mole on the team is an intriguing development. We see here that the good guys are still assuming the Injustice League was their greatest foe, and a strong case is made that no one on the team is a traitor. However Batman does raise the troubling fact that they don’t know everything about how Superboy might have been programmed by Cadmus, and we learn that Miss Martian was a stowaway and is simply one of Martian Manhunter’s many, many relatives. Still, for all we know about her potential and the unsubtle suggestions about white martians, in “Secrets” we have this student’s Halloween prank about a fake “martian invasion”. For a brief few moments the teen heroes at the party take it a bit seriously, but Miss Martian isn’t even slightly unsettled. She doesn’t come across as someone harboring a dangerous secret.
For that matter, all we can conclude about the topic of the supposed mole is this: yes, it doesn’t seem likely that there is a traitor. But if there really is one or the mole is oblivious, our heroes won’t be seeing a future devastating betrayal or sabotage coming. I don’t believe for a moment that “Secrets” has ended the subject for good, not when there are more secrets to be revealed yet regarding some of our lead characters and the agenda of The Light.