Why Quiet Conversations Matters

Happy Whelmed Wednesday, everyone! I know the effects of the hiatus are starting to set in, so I’m coming back with an opinion piece! It’s definitely been a while. Today, I wanted to go back and take a deeper dive into ‘Quiet Conversations’, and why this episode matters so much in the grand scheme of things. If you need to refresh yourself on the contents of this episode, check out my recap here!

‘Quiet Conversations’ easily places into my top tier episodes from Season 3. In fact, if I wasn’t so biased towards loving the Harpers and Bowhunter Security, I’d probably rank it my favorite episode from the season. Each plot introduced in this episode was delicately crafted, intermingling smaller threads with powerful emotions. While the storytelling in Young Justice is always on point, the emotional scenes are usually supplementary, intermingled with the main plot and the action. ‘Quiet Conversations’, on the other hand, lets the emotions behind the different plotlines take center stage, driving the action and leaving many important messages in its wake. . 

Let’s start with Victor Stone. 

In the first half of the season, Vic’s story started off strong. We were introduced to his character in ‘Exceptional Human Beings’, and followed his crisis through ‘True Heroes’. After this episode, however, Vic’s arc took a bit of a backseat to the introduction and development of the Outsiders. ‘Quiet Conversations’ pushes Vic away from brooding on his cellphone and returns him to the tension-filled spotlight, leaving viewers unsure of whether his humanity will survive the episode. On the forefront, we see how Conner, Jefferson, and Forager immediately jumped to his rescue by searching for metron. On a deeper level, there’s a little more to uncover. 

Victor’s tech was triggered by a personal, internal stress, sucking away more of his organic nature and transforming him into an Apokoliptian machine. Could this be a metaphor for our own struggles? Too often, when faced with a problem, many people refuse to confront it and instead tuck it away until one day, it explodes with violent fervor. Like Vic, It is only when we start to accept the help of others that we finally get on a path to healing. For too many episodes, Vic chose to handle his problems alone and isolate himself from the company and assistance of others. To see him lean on others for support and encouragement feels right, and as a viewer, it helps me see how much his character has grown.

His friends weren’t the only ones to help him, however. Since introduced to his character, we’ve been made privy to his and Silas’ strained relationship. Though Vic distanced himself from many people this season, he completely alienated himself from his father, blaming him for his current condition. However, for the first time this season, Silas’ concern for Vic overrides his son’s wishes, and he takes the initiative to go help him. By seeing his father’s care for him, Vic comes to realize that there may be hope for their relationship, and lets down his defenses to finally accept his aide. This simple action speaks volumes, telling the audience that perhaps not all strained relationships, familial or otherwise, are completely lost to the world. 

Speaking of familial relationships, let’s talk about Violet. 

In the previous episode, it was strongly implied that Violet was planning on running away. ‘Quiet Conversations’ brings that implication into fruition, and her absence is discovered in little time. However, Violet’s location came as quite a surprise. While I had little idea as to where she would go, I would not have easily guessed that she would have gone to give Gabrielle’s parents closure over their daughter’s disappearance. 

Throughout the season, Violet struggled with discovering her new identity in relation to Gabrielle’s and the unfortunate choices Gabrielle made. These choices harped on Violet’s conscious, keeping secrets while internally struggling and lying to the friends she had made. Again, like Vic’s dilemma, these are all easily relatable scenarios, where the audience can find their own problems reflected in these characters. Upon interacting with Gabrielle’s family, Violet is unable to keep up the facade of being Gabrielle, as she is not her. Learning from her previous interactions this season, she comes out with the truth and accepts Samad’s bitterness as a consequence. However, not all is negative. 

Gabrielle’s mother, Madia Daou, recognizes the struggle that Violet has gone through and thanks her for giving her the closure she needed over her daughter. Instead of preaching anger, like her nephew, she instead decides to practice acceptance, tired of the bitterness that has come as a result of Queen Bee’s armies. She kisses Violet’s forehead and wishes her peace among her new family. This scene hit me like a punch to the gut, and I had a hard time holding back tears at Madia’s strength and her message to Violet. Acceptance and forgiveness seem to be a theme in this episode, a message that is often sorely needed in society. Not only that, but this interaction also held the importance of a found family, rather than a biological one. In today’s world, many people find themselves among their found families, friends or otherwise, in contrast to their biological one. While there are many examples in media about the importance of a biological family, it’s very touching to see an example of strength in a person’s chosen family. 

Moving on to another emotionally compelling scene (with another character voiced by the wonderful Zehra Fazal), Harper Row’s counseling session. 

After ‘Early Warning’, I wasn’t sure what to make of Harper’s character, nor could I imagine what the show had in store for her in the remainder of the season. What delivered was one of the most realistic, delicately composed interactions seen on Young Justice. Prior to this episode, Harper’s traits could easily be brushed off as those of any run-of-the-mill television delinquent. In ‘Early Warning’, she was edgy, with a callous disregard of right and wrong. However, we soon learn that this in fact a mask, concealing her pain as a domestic-abuse victim. 

On other young-adult focused shows, a domestic abuse storyline threatens to come off as ‘campy’, cheesy, or otherwise not handled well. ‘Quiet Conversations’ tackles the issue quietly, focusing on Harper’s feelings and the consequences of the abuse without any unneeded drama. For those who have suffered domestic abuse, they may see themselves in Harper, who is both terrifyingly strong and incredibly vulnerable. She remains stubborn, lying about the severity of the abuse until Megan points out that her lies won’t help her (or her brother) in the long run. When Harper finally realizes that there is an out, scary as it may be, she breaks, reaching out to Megan for support and allowing her to take her and her brother to Child Protective Services. 

Harper’s issues this episode are clear, not hidden by Apokoliptian tech or any other forces at play (like Vic and Violet). Her storyline is relatable, and unfortunately, one that many people will be able to relate to. It is because of this clarity that viewers may be able to see an alternative, a way out of their situation and into a better one. At the end of the episode, a phone number for the domestic abuse hotline is on display, offering real help to the viewers who need it. With this plotline, ‘Quiet Conversations’ extends beyond the metaphorical and into the real world, giving support to its viewers and sending them the message that their problems are real, and that they matter.

To end this analysis on a happier note, I’ll move right along to Atlantis. 

The storyline in Atlantis is the calmest of the four, focused mainly on rehabilitation and a quiet happiness. Though much of this plot focuses on Dolphin (as she is named in a later episode), it also gives us a closer look at Kaldur. As an audience, we’d grown so used to seeing Kaldur as a stoic, trained soldier, one who continues to take on more responsibilities instead of focusing on himself. ‘Quiet Conversations’ gives viewers a closer look into the more intimate aspects of Kaldur’s character and how he’s grown, in addition to introducing them to his parents and partner, Wyynde. 

Kaldur and Wyynde’s kiss is the second same-sex kiss this season. However, this one holds more significance, as Kaldur was a founding member of the team and a main character during all three seasons. While LGBTQ+ representation is on the rise in animated media, oftentimes this representation is given to smaller characters. It is both incredibly refreshing and cathartic to see Kaldur happy with Wyynde, confirming suspicions that many viewers had on Kaldur’s sexuality. Their relationship is a soft and tender one and is given more screen time in the next episode. Many viewers rejoiced in seeing a positive, happy relationship depicted on-screen, and hope that this will open doors for future representation on Young Justice.

While this storyline takes on a softer tone, its messages about rehabilitation and acceptance speak volumes to its audience. Through a different environment, Dolphin is able to move past her trauma and find her own path to happiness. Kaldur’s interactions with his family and Wyynde show that change is possible and previous mistakes don’t determine a person’s future. Like the other three storylines, the final message is one of hope. 

‘Quiet Conversations’ may not be the most exciting episode of Young Justice, but it is the most powerful. Each storyline leaves a lasting impact on the viewers, not only delivering powerful punches of raw emotion, but also instilling a sense of hope and positivity for change. Episodes like ‘Quiet Conversations’ leave its viewers thinking, opening doors for discussion and further learning. And that, dear readers, is an excellent start to any conversation, quiet or not.

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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