As cunning, intelligent and brilliant Batman is, there comes a price. His sanity. The Batman is obsessed with his work, obsessed with being a hero, obsessed with getting the job done, by any means necessary. Dick Grayson still values himself over his hero persona. As everyone always says, Bruce Wayne is the mask, to hide the Batman, but Dick Grayson, is still Dick Grayson. He still wants to smile, to laugh, to have an actual life outside of being Robin/Nightwing. Dick understands that to be Batman is to lose his innocence, and that means sacrificing his friends, for the mission. When he did it in ‘Failsafe’ the repercussions of that was guilt. Being a hero is one thing, but being THE Batman, is a different world.
tell us about your first experience watching Failsafe
Story time. Failsafe first aired on Friday November 4, 2011.
I was a 15-year-old sophomore in high school and quite depressed. I’ve
mentioned a few times before that Young Justice is one of the reasonswhy didn’t
seriously consider committing suicide at that point in my life. My parents
noticed my depressed mood and insisted that I attend every single home football
game at my school in order to socialize more. I didn’t mind doing this too much
even though episodes aired during the game because I could always watch the
reruns, but on that particular day it was raining and I used that as an excuse
not to go to the game. I remember my dad being mad about that. Anyway, I stayed
home and watched the episode and let me tell you, I was not prepared for that
Characters started dying not even 2 minutes in, and at first
I didn’t even realize that they had died. I sort of thought they died but then
seeing the lack of reaction from the team, especially
Robin’s lack of reaction to Batman’s “death”, I figured there was no way that
they were really dead. Then when all of the League was dead the team acted so
nonchalant, I knew something was going on and it wasn’t all that it seemed to be. Then Artemis died and everyone freaked out so I thought, “whoa what
if all the other characters really are
dead what the hell???” It was crazy.
How could Greg kill off the entire League and main
characters?? Did the show get canceled and this is how they’re going to end
it?/ By killing everyone?!? That’s dark, yo.
Then Manhunter turned
out to be alive and I had hope that the other League members were too. And then
they thought the beams didn’t actually kill anyone but were teleporting them
through Zeta tubes and I had further hope. Of course that turned out to not be
true. I began to think that surely one of the characters was having a nightmare
or hallucination or something, there’s no way this is actually happening, this
has to be going on in someone’s mind. I was beyond fucked up by that point.
There was no hope that the others were alive when Manhunter said
the beam was a disintegration beam and not a Zeta beam. When the scene cut to M’gann opening her eyes I was like, “I fucking knew it was someone dreaming! See, no one
is really dead!” I wasn’t expecting it to be a training simulation though.
It fucked me up so much. I was already hooked on the show by
that point but Failsafe sealed the deal on it being my absolute favorite. No
other show I had ever seen before then, and I might even say now too, has played
with my mind and made me think so much about things as this show and this
particular episode. I remember just staring wide-eyed and mouth hanging
open during the whole thing and even hours after it ended. I thought about
Failsafe for weeks, feeling like I
was in some kind of trance of mind fuckery. It was so bizarre. So unexpected. So
I still have trouble completely putting it into words. It changed me as a person.
Alright, but first, let me explain that I’m pretty sure a big issue with Young Justice is us. The show has the task of living up to the expectations set by the JLU and by Teen Titans, as well as living up to the gritty realism that wasn’t expected when those cartoons were around.
And that’s why everything has happened too fast to be memorable. I mean, Supermartian makes sense, but it doesn’t make sense timewise. Superboy just stopped being an experiment, usually you don’t run right off to supermatch.com after that. Unlike other DCAU series, this show got the right to use a lot of characters. But that turned more into a lot of big badies really quick and easy, meaning they’ve got little to build up to, and they’ll never be able to keep up the tension.
So the episode
-The first five minutes in I knew this was a dream. It’s done all the time. It even has a TVtropes page. It was a predictable and stupid ploy. They wanted it only to be proving their point about being serious and using death, without suffering the consequences of killing off a character, or properly building up to a moment. Now they have a big challenge to live up to after this dream episode.
-Seeing the League actually be badasses was refreshing. Because this show has a habit of turning notable DC characters into chumps (Bane broke the goddamn Batman’s back and he’s just…nothing?). They also bring back some cameo characters, have a new one with Iris which was just fantastic, and show the possiblity of others becoming heroes. They used their cast the best in this episode.
-Winter camouflage is great.
-Clevelry setting up the deaths so that we thought they weren’t because of teleportation. Still knew it was a dream. The illusion is beyond ruined by our favorite covert ops superheroes showing their faces to the world. Wendy and Marvin might just notice that Superboy…is Conner with a different shirt. So yeah the diversion tactic sucked but was thoughtful.
-Artemis dying. Aside from early on tension, it also made it so that the rest of the episode didn’t have to work around the fact that however likable she is, she’s not very competent.
(someone want to bring up Homefront to rebuke that? Because I’ll just point out she grabbed an arrow rather than the helmet of Dr. Fate. And that the episode lacks continuity as to what hey arrows look like._
-Robin and Wally were grade A here. Wally being grieving covered up that they typically make him kind of an asshole. And Robin not playing the planning second fiddle was nice. We often see Kaldur figure out things that it feels like it’s Robin’s purpose to figure out (the collars), and we often see him being a petty, dumb kid even though other episodes portray him as knowing what he’s doing the best.
Holy shit for a minute at the end I felt like I was reading a hythe fic
Their death was nice. They…it portrayed the part of them we care about. They knew it was coming and they were just calm and accepting of it and did their jobs. They were heroes for a moment. It also showed their friendship and that’s always nice because they feel like they’ve got a closeness between them they can’t have with the others.
They managed to make every moment she cried also a moment of strength. The beginning of this episode reinforced my love for her tenfold.
Um…hold up, she’s what? Do not make her extremely powerful.
First off, this show was supposed to be about unknown underdogs. Greg Wiesman, you recall The Spectacular Spiderman? You made Spiderman not very powerful but someone we fully felt could do the job. He was the best but not in a way where he was the most powerful.
I’ve addressed why they shouldn’t have given her telekinesis despite it being there so that we don’t have three superstrong main characters. But her being a really powerful telepath makes it so much worse. You’re turning someone who felt wonderful into a Mary Sue. Don’t do that.
Back to the underdog thing, there are a lot of other characters that never prove their purpose and strength so seeing M'gann being all powerful all the time just bothers me. Divided We Stand anyone? It was an episode of the JLU. Even though the saving graces came from Flash in the end, and he gave a super display of power, we still saw everyone be a bamf as some point in time in that episode. Superman just being, well, Superman, Wonder Woman and her ‘You don’t need super vision for that, can’t you feel the heat?’ Hawkgirl and GL just had their little 'We’re great’ fighting moments, Batman and his 'I can take an alternate version of myself out in a single move,’ J'onn and his 'LOL NO BRAINIAC, THE CLUB CAN’T EVEN HANDLE ME RIGHT NOW, GUN RIP THIS TENTACLE OUT AND BE A BADASS.’
Let me elaborate. You know why Robin in this and Teen Titans is more Tim than the other Robins? It’s because he’s logical. He can plan anything out and that’s his use. We rarely see it. Kaldur has badass powers he doesn’t use in favor of punching shit. Superboy comicbookwise becomes like a force of nature at times. Artemis is…still incompetent but a nice show of her being badass could fix that. Wally is superfast. Even Smallville greater understood how useful that could be.
There’s emotional meaning all the time here and I dig it, but again it means little because it came so fast and it happens in every episode.
I get why this happens, I do, but the love/hate line is overused and why sue it if you can’t use it like, well
I know that Failsafe was one of the saddest episodes in Young Justice and that it traumatized the team to the point where they all needed therapy, but I really love that episode for a pretty good reason. Throughout the show, we have repeatedly seen Artemis being ostracized from the team. She was the last of the original six to join and Wally pestered her constantly. It always seemed like she was more distant from the rest of the tightly-packed team. But when she was the first to die in the failsafe exercise, it broke the whole team to the point where they couldn’t control the simulation. For the first time in the show, we finally see how much she means to the entire team, especially Wally, the one who was the meanest (despite the obvious crush they had on each other). It made me really happy to see that everyone actually loved Artemis and valued her on the team even though she was the outsider compared to the others. That and Wally’s reaction are the reasons I loved that episode so much.