Review: Young Justice's Second Arc Gets Off to a Strong Start with "Tale of Two Sisters"

With such a powerful first arc and a shocking cliffhanger under its belt, Young Justice boldly moves past Mars and settles us back on Earth-16 for the second arc of the season. Going off the promotional poster, this arc will feature several fan-favorite players, such as Artemis Crock, Jade Nguyen, Cassandra Cain, Cassandra Savage, Lady Shiva, and newcomer, Onyx. While “Tale of Two Sisters” doesn’t feature all of them just yet, it definitely provides an intriguing start to their journeys throughout this arc. 

“Tale of Two Sisters” picks up a day after “Involuntary”’s heartbreaking ending, with a short stills-montage to catch the audience up as to what Artemis has been up to. She’s a professor now at her school, an excellent aunt, and, interestingly, even dating again! Just when we’re left with a happy feeling that she’s happy and moving on, Young Justice is quick to remind us that happy-endings are few and far between. With Dick and Kaldur’s arrival at the Star City home, Artemis quickly deduces that something is gravely wrong and learns of Conner’s death. 

What follows is a really nice conversation between Will and Artemis, reminding the audience that it’s okay to express sadness and grieve over the loss of a loved one. This conversation spurs Artemis to think about her sister, Jade, combined with a flashback to when they were training as children. The resulting memory leads Artemis to have a conversation with her mother, Paula, as she laments not taking the time to help Jade. Paula, however, seems to think Jade is beyond help, which is heartbreaking to hear. It’s nice to see that at least Artemis is still somewhat in Jade’s corner. 

Meanwhile, Jade is on a separate mission of her own. She arrives on Infinity Island, the current home of Sensei, Talia Al Ghul, baby Damian, and the ‘red hooded ninja’. We don’t see yet what she’s up to, but it’s clear that nothing good will come from it. Back with Artemis, she leaves her home to go to the library and is followed by a masked stranger. Luckily, she is apprehended by Arsenal and Arrowette, the tag team we never knew how badly we needed to see in action together, and is brought to Artemis for questioning. On infinity island, Jade is caught by Sensei and attempts to attack him. This does not go well for her. We’re not sure if it’s because she’s lost her touch, her heart isn’t in it, or if she’s throwing the fight for a reason yet to be seen, but it’s hard to watch her get smoked in a fight like that. 

Artemis, Roy and Cissie question the stranger, now known as Onyx. She claims she is an escaped Shadow and tries to warn them about an impending attack by Cassandra Savage. Of course, then Cassandra Savage pops up, heavily scarred and missing an arm, and claims the opposite. With both former Shadows a suspect, more help is needed. Back on Infinity Island, Jade confirms that she is there to kill Sensei in order to end the contract that has been set on her life from back when she saved Red Arrow from the Shadows. Talia appears, and butts heads with Jade over their views on motherhood. She claims that Jade is a coward for leaving Lian, while Jade considers Talia selfish for exposing Damian to their lifestyle. No conclusion is reached, because Jade is called on her emergency line, and she makes a mad dash out of there. 

In Star City, Artemis and Will each drive a separate car with a former Shadow in each. They’re taking them to Ollie’s vault, figuring it’s no great loss if it’s compromised. Before they get there, however, the group is attacked by a mass of Shadows. We get our first real fight of the season, and it’s wholly entertaining to watch the entire crew take everyone down— even if it comes at a heavy cost, the loss of Will’s favorite clipboard. 

The episode wraps up with no result being reached after a thorough questioning of both Onyx and Cassandra. Members of the team are called in to debate what to do with them, and though Orphan thinks they shouldn’t trust either one of them, Artemis insists they protect them in the chance that one of them might be telling the truth. Another flashback comes, immediately following the aftermath of Jade leaving Artemis as children. With Jade gone, no one is there to take the brunt of their father’s training, leaving Artemis wide open for his attention. Meanwhile Jade, only 13 and on a bus to who knows where, scares off a potential harasser and somberly stares out the bus window. The flashback ends, and Jade is in front of Will’s house in Star City. She’s clearly hesitant, feeling the weight of her decision to show up again resting heavy on her shoulders, but since it’s an emergency, she enters anyway. Paula is surprised to see her, especially because she never called her. Turns out, the summon came from Artemis, and the two sisters are left glaring at each other as the episode ends. 

This episode was heavy with plot and new developments for the several characters it featured. Each storyline was very powerful, but sometimes it felt like each was battling for screentime and left us feeling a bit of whiplash. This is just a minor qualm, however, and is likely something to get used to, considering the previous four episodes didn’t have as much of the back-and-forth. For the most part, the writing is solid, witty, and at times, heartbreaking. “Tale of Two Sisters” is set up at the perfect introduction to Artemis’ arc, and leaves us with several questions and much anticipation for where things will go from here. 

Where "Tale of Two Sisters" truly excels, however, is its characterization. Just like the previous arc, the focus on a specific set of characters allows the audience to truly zone in on those the episode features, and it leaves so much room for a variety of character interactions that we hadn’t seen before. In our opinion, Jade is this episode’s breakout star, with it being the first time on the show where her plight has been shown directly from her perspective. While the episode does highlight both Jade and Artemis equally, it is Jade’s character that gains the most from the additional screen time and flourishes under insight that was sorely desired by fans who wanted to see more of her. In addition, other character highlights include the budding brotherly relationship between Will and Roy, the comradery between Roy and Cissie, and the quiet bickering between Onyx and Cassandra Savage. If this pattern of improved character interaction continues, we’re positive that we’re in for a hell of a season. 

Other notable positives in this episode include the music by Dynamic Music Partners. We’re not really surprised though, they knock it completely out of the park with every season, and the music in this episode is no exception. Our favorite music moment is the calm, yet bittersweet tune Artemis listens to in the car as she cries, feeling all the more relatable. Sometimes we just need a good car cry. 

As far as where we anticipate the show will go from here, we can only guess (and likely incorrectly). With Jade now in Will’s home, a confrontation (or, a conversation, to put it kindly) seems inevitable, but whether it will end in hope or heartbreak is left to be seen. Things seem to be teasing a redemption arc for Jade, but we won’t get our hopes up just yet. With Onyx and Cassandra, we don’t really trust either of them, so time will tell whether or not the two can be trusted. Interestingly enough, no Legionnaires have appeared yet (that we know of), so we wonder what kind of role (if any) they will play in this arc. It’s entirely plausible that they have their hands full with saving Conner (catch us on the conspiracy train…), but it’s something we’ll have to wait and see to find out.

Overall, “Tale of Two Sisters” is a powerful start to Artemis’ arc that gave us a closer look at several characters that we’d been wanting to see more of, including Arrowette, Cassandra Savage, and Cheshire. The plot is compelling and draws us in, and with the former arc’s conclusion still lingering in our heads, we’re very excited to see where Young Justice will go next. 

What did you think of “Tale of Two Sisters”? Did you love finally seeing Artemis and Jade fighting in the training flashback? Are you as worried about another possible death like us? Are you still mourning the loss of Will’s favorite clipboard? Let us know in the comments, our forums, or on our Twitter!

Ariel Horn
Author: Ariel HornWebsite: https://youngjustice.tvEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Lead Writer
About the Author
Ariel is's lead writer. She has been obsessed with the show since its early days, and looks forward to cover this exciting new season with everyone. May hope burn bright!

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