Hello, Young Justice fans! Right now, as you read this, San Diego Comic-Con will be in full swing, and I’m looking forward to being whelmed by the DC Universe panel on Saturday night. Showrunners Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti will be there, and I can’t wait to hear all of the Young Justice teases they’ll be dropping. In the meantime, let’s talk about a revelation I had during the latest episode, “Early Warning.”
I have a confession to make—I’ve been in denial. For months, I’ve been trying to convince myself that there was more to Tara’s story than met the eye. The midseason finale, “True Heroes,” saw Brion and his teammates rescue his sister from the underground fight club that had kept her prisoner for months. After weeks of seeing him stress over his sister’s fate, it was nice to see that Brion finally got a happy ending…until Tara sent a text message to Deathstroke.
I shouldn’t have been surprised. Terra betraying her teammates to Deathstroke has been her consistent character journey throughout all mediums ever since she first appeared in Marv Wolfman and George Perez’s New Teen Titans run. Since then she’s betrayed her friends in the 2003 Teen Titans cartoon, the 2017 Teen Titans: The Judas Contract animated movie and now it looks like history is about to repeat itself again.
Remember when I said I was in denial? I thought there might be a twist to what we saw in “True Heroes.” We witnessed Terra sending a text, and we saw Deathstroke receive one, but maybe he was talking to someone else. I bought into the theory that Terra was doing something else on her phone, and told myself that the show was playing with our expectations. Young Justice has always been good with twists, so maybe this was another one.
In short, I overlooked Terra’s history and ignored the evidence in front of my eyes.
And then the evidence got even more damning. In the episode “Influence,” Terra records the Team and we see Deathstroke receiving communications again. That was hard to ignore, but I still remained in denial because we hadn’t actually seen them together. I told myself that there was still a chance this was all one big “gotcha.”
This week’s new episode, “Early Warning,” destroyed what was left of my denial. While training with Artemis, Terra flashes back to her time with Deathstroke. After seeing the two of them together, I could no longer pretend there was any other explanation. The Team has a traitor in their ranks, and it’s Terra.
Why was I so eager to look the other way? I think that Young Justice has done a lot to make me care about Brion, and his devotion to his sister is admirable. Any betrayal by Terra would crush Brion, and by extension us. I didn’t want it to be true, but sadly it is. In the DC Universe, some things are a given. Krypton will always explode (sorry, Seg-El), Thomas and Martha Wayne will always die, and Terra will always betray her friends.
Or will she? Maybe, I’m still in denial, but hear me out, okay? Terra may be working with Deathstroke, but that doesn’t mean the story will end the same way. “The Judas Contract” has been retold before, and it’s possible the Young Justice writing team might decide to take it in a different direction. Terra and Deathstroke might be in cahoots now, but when the other shoe drops, perhaps Slade is the one who will be betrayed.
Yeah, I know it’s probably not very likely, but I have at least some evidence backing me up. In the episode “First Impression,” Tara helped comfort Lian during a thunderstorm, and it seemed like the moment got to her. How can anyone be so evil that they would betray Lian after a moment like that? Terra also showed some remorse after snapping at Artemis during their training session this episode. Maybe it was part of her act, since she did do something similar in the comics, but it’s possible the Team is influencing her heart.
I’ll take this one step further and present a secondary theory: Terra has already betrayed Deathstroke. Maybe she told the Team about his plan shortly after they rescued her. It’s possible she’s just playing along and feeding him minimal intel while they plan their next move. Go back and rewatch the season 1 episode “Unusual Suspects” where the Team made a similar play. All their cards might not be on the table yet, and it’ll be interesting to see what hands are dealt. While I’m not sure if this theory is correct, I do think Terra betraying Slade is a big possibility whether our heroes are aware or not.
Terra has turned on her allies in every adaptation of “The Judas Contract,” but maybe Young Justice will finally break that curse. What do you think readers? Am I still in denial, or does Terra have a chance? Feel free to tweet at me with your thoughts.
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Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and DCUniverse.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.