REVIEW: ‘Young Justice: Phantoms,’ Episode 13 — “Kaerb Ym Treah!”

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Young Justice Episode 13 - But Why Tho

Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 13 concludes its latest story arc in a surprisingly emotional faction, while also teasing where the series might go in its second half. “Kaerb Ym Treah!” finds  Zatanna Zatara (Lacey Chabert) and the Sentinels of Magic, along with Doctor Fate (Kevin Michael Richardson) and Klarion the Witch Boy (Thom Adcox), working on a plan to stop the Child (Erika Ishii) from destroying the world. In the process, Zatanna learns a shocking secret. Meanwhile, Beast Boy (Greg Cipes) is surprised when his girlfriend Princess Perdita (Hynden Walch) comes to visit and discovers the depths of his depression, and the Phantom Stranger (D.B. Woodside) and Vandal Savage (David Kaye) attempt to convince the Lords of Chaos & Order that balance must be maintained.

Balance has been a key theme throughout this story arc, and writer/co-showrunner Greg Weisman brings it home in this episode. Though Doctor Fate and Klarion are essentially mortal enemies, they have to work together to stop the Child from destroying the world. Zatanna finally finds the solution to Doctor Fate’s host situation, allowing the magical hero to continue his legacy while also giving her father Giovanni (Nolan North) the life he sacrificed to protect her. And Savage, of all people, points out how the Child’s activities will disrupt the balance that both Order & Chaos have worked to establish. What I love about Weisman as a writer is that he’ll take a turn that you never saw coming-but makes perfect sense. It’s why Gargoyles and Spectacular Spider-Man remain beloved by fans years after their debut, and what makes Young Justice a unique entry in DC’s pantheon of animated shows.

Another emotional moment comes when Perdita confronts Beast Boy over leaving his spot on Space Trek 3016 and neglecting his duties with the Outsiders, along with his overuse of sleeping pills. I mentioned in my review of “Og Htrof Dna Reuqnoc!” that the series has slowly been showing how Beast Boy’s depression is eating him alive, and “Kaerb Ym Treah!” shows how he needs help but continues to refuse it. This stabbed me deep in the heart because I could relate; I was in a similar situation and if it weren’t for friends drilling it into my head that I needed help I don’t know where I’d be. Hopefully, the second half of Phantoms has Beast Boy finally getting the help he needs.

Rounding out the more emotional moments is Ishii, who once again delivers a great performance as both Mary Bromfield and the Child. Mary proves to be a valuable asset in fighting the Child-but crosses the line in doing so, and Zatanna has a frank discussion with her about it. “Teg Ydear!” revealed that she grew dependent upon the power of Shazam, which drove a rift between herself and her adoptive family; in drawing upon different forms of magic, she may have done the same with her magical allies. A post-credits scene hints that this dependence on power may lead to Mary walking down a dark path, which I expect to be explored further in Phantoms‘ second half.

Keeping in line with the theme of balance, the show delivers some great action sequences courtesy of Christopher Berkley. The highlight is the final battle between Doctor Fate, Klarion, the Child, and the Sentinels of Magic; as each of Zatanna’s students gets to display their strengths and take down the Child’s familiar Flaw. It also continues to push the envelope in terms of brutality, as the Child is literally pulled apart in layers of flesh and blood and Klarion is impaled by a tree trunk. Even though they aren’t human, it still nearly made me gag watching it-especially when Klarion’s familiar Teekl crawls inside the hole in his stomach.

Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 13 closes out the first half of the season with the perfect mix of magic, action, and heartbreak. I’m looking forward to where Phantoms goes in its second half next year.

Young Justice: Phantoms will air all-new episodes on HBO Max in 2022.


'Young Justice: Phantoms,' Episode 13 — "Kaerb Ym Treah!"
  • 9/10
    Rating - 9/10
9/10

TL;DR

Young Justice: Phantoms Episode 13 closes out the first half of the season with the perfect mix of magic, action, and heartbreak. I’m looking forward to where Phantoms goes in its second half next year.

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