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GUIDES - EPISODE REVIEWS - "ALPHA MALE"

Alpha Male
Original Airdate - October 7th, 2011
Already exhausted and rattled after a home turf invasion of The Cave, The Team learns that Aqualad – their friend and leader – withheld vital information that put them all at risk. When Batman sends the Team and new “den-mother” Captain Marvel to India to investigate bizarre reports of armed animals attacking human beings, can Aqualad pull his fractured Team together?

Written by Thomas Puglsey
Directed by Jay Olivia
Review by GregX
Media by Warner Bros. Animation


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Review:
If I didn't know for a fact that Greg Weisman wasn't on drugs, I'd ask him to share whatever he's smoking. It should be impossible. How do you take something as corny and frankly stupid as a French brain in a jar whose' best friend is a gorilla in a French beret and make that intimidating. "Young Justice" managed to succeed at that.

The teaser is great, and the inciting incident is brilliant. Mayor Hill of Gotham City is in the jungle when a gorilla steps out of the trees with a mini-gun and shoots them all up. I'll admit to being amazed Mayor Hill is even still alive after that. But I did enjoy his cameo. I have no idea if he was in the comics, but I know he was in "Batman the Animated Series."

This episode is about the fallout between The Team and Aqualad after the latter keeps to himself that there is a mole on the team. I thought Superboy's reaction was well handled, and while I have seen a lot of complaints about how The Team reacted to this, I think they all ring true. What many people seem to forget is that these are teenagers. They are not the professionals that Batman and the Justice League are. Not yet anyway. This entire team was founded upon these teenagers being pissed off that the League was keeping secrets and not trusting them. Of course they'd be pissed off at Aqualad. But, by the end of the episode, after speaking to Captain Marvel, Aqualad takes charge and the team seems to get over it. But I am sure this will continue to have long term consequences.

This brings me to something else. A while back, I saw someone say and I'm paraphrasing from memory "Teen Titans reminded me of what was fun about being a teenager, Young Justice reminds me of what sucked about being a teenager." What? Why should the less fun parts about being a teenager not get depicted in a show about teenagers. My memories of being a teenager are not exactly happy ones. God forbid fictional teenagers get written like real ones, instead of a fantasy version of teenagers. Yes, I know this is a fantasy world, but that doesn't mean everything should be run through and sanitized to a point where the less fun stuff is glossed over and ignored. These aren't adults waiting for a growth spurt, and yet a lot of the complaints I see are from people who think they should be written that way. I think the problem here is that many fans are looking to their favorite shows or books for wish fulfillment rather then drama. People want to escape to a fictional world where they can vicariously live out there fantasies via their favourite hero. But there is no drama, and that's not real. This actually ties back to what I said two weeks ago about Superboy and Miss Martian's romance... of course it's not real. These are two hormonal teenagers who have a lot of growing up to do.

Finally, Captain Marvel was easily the highlight of the episode. I loved his child-like enthusiasm, and even though I knew about his secret identity, I still thought the epilogue of the episode was played perfectly. Fun stuff. I hope to see more of him as The Team's new den mother.

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