Young Justice Phantoms: "Involuntary" Review

Once again, we’re back with another incredibly exhilarating and surprisingly shocking episode of Young Justice: Phantoms! In the fourth episode to this already captivating season, M'gann, Conner, and Garfield still remain on Mars with M'gann’s family, trying to adhere to Martian wedding rituals while also dealing with a variety of other disrupting factors. However, answers finally come to the light as shocking truths are revealed to our trio of superheroes. Not only that, but it leads to a culmination that’s sure to leave most fans of the show intrigued and wondering what will happen next. 

When we last saw our favorite heroes, they were busy prepping for Conner and M’gann’s wedding while also learning about the different ways of religious orthodoxy in Martian culture. The episode begins with the departure of Bio-Ship to live out the rest of her days peacefully.  Her offspring, tentatively called “Baby”, will take her place. The saddening goodbye leads to the mystery of who killed Prince J’emm’s father, as that’s still a major bump in the road of a happy ceremony. It’s up to M’gann, Conner, and Garfield to unleash their inner Sherlock Holmes and find out the mysteries behind this malevolent murder. 

Meanwhile, M’gann attempts to make amends with her brother, who’s content with being known as Ma'alefa'ak. This leads to no avail as the search continues with a variety of suspects being interrogated. However, the suspect was under the noses of our heroes and it's certainly a shocking reveal that many wouldn’t see coming from a mile away. Not only is the reveal of the killer a major surprise, but the ending concludes on a distressing cliffhanger that acts as a heart-wrenching tear-jerker to boot.

One of the major things that stood out in this episode was the element of mystery in the plot. While it’s been a notable factor in prior episodes, “Involuntary” really makes the viewer wonder what’s going on in the case of the murder of the prior Martian ruler. M’gann, Conner, and Garfield make for effective detectives as the audience must place themselves in the situation they’re in and figure out the missing pages to this mind-boggling mystery. The cessation of the puzzle is definitely satisfactory too, and without giving away too much information, the culprit isn’t as malicious as one may think.

Mystery is very key to what makes this episode fantastic, but another component to what made “Involuntary” a quite enjoyable episode was the tone and the intervals of changes it had from time-to-time. There’s an underlying sense of dread throughout “Involuntary”, as each clue that brought our leads to the conclusion of this enigma makes the heart race and the mind ponder as well. Moments of dark, rudimentary apprehensiveness are balanced out with a fair share of heartache. To think that so many of these events could’ve been solved in another way is certainly tragic, it’s even lampooned by one of the characters.

However, what many will still be talking about regarding this episode is sure to be the alarming and downright shocking ending. Without giving too much away, certain characters are placed in scenarios that may not seem terribly harmful initially. However, with the circumstances they’re in, it’s even more deadly and difficult with what’s at stake and what else is in the equation. The conclusion of this harrowing ending leads to scenes that are carried by performances capturing the sorrow, panic, and incredulousness of what happens. The end-credits scene is also a real punch to the gut with one of the characters reacting to the supposed fate of another lead. It’s clear that this season won’t be holding anything back regarding painful moments, and we hesitantly look forward to seeing more.  

Overall, when discussing “Involuntary”, there is certainly a lot to unpack and work with in regards to such a well-written episode. The mystery elements are never forced and feel genuine with what the characters are trying to unravel and solve like genuine sleuths. The tone is appropriately unnervingly and never feels out of place when it needs to change for differing scenes. The ending as well is sure to leave a lasting impression as no one could expect the outcome of some of these situations. It’d be an understatement to say that this episode knocked everything it needed to do out of the ballpark.

As for what’s to come, while there’s more than enough to do a whole season surrounding M’gann, Conner, and Garfield on Mars, we think that the focus will be moving to a different set of characters. Mars has been a wholly enjoyable storyline, and we’re very excited to see what the writers and artists have to bring to the table involving the rest of the cast. 

What did you think of “Involuntary”? Did you guess correctly regarding who killed the prince’s father? Did the ending shock you to the core? Let us know in the comments, our forums, or on our Twitter!

Author: Connor T. DavenportEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
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