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"Auld Acquaintance" is the 26th and final episode of the first season of Young Justice, and the 26th of the overall series. It aired on April 21, 2012.


The Team finally learns the identity of the traitor in their midst, forcing a battle against an enemy more dangerous than any they've ever faced before![1]


Red Arrow is hunted down by unseen pursuers.

Washington, D.C.
December 31, 00:16 EST

In a subway tunnel under the National Mall, Red Arrow is pursued by Flash, Green Arrow and Aquaman. He is clearly outmatched: his former mentor knocks him down with an explosive arrow, Flash punches him at super speed, and he breaks his bow when attacking Aquaman with it. A passing train distracts his assailants long enough for him to escape via a small drainage pipe.

Mount Justice
December 31, 07:16 EST

Batman explains the mystery of the mole to the Team.

The Team arrives at the Cave, proud of their work in Santa Prisca but still questioning who the mole is. Batman reveals that Red Arrow was the mole. Aqualad, Robin and Kid Flash are appropriately shocked and in denial of Roy's betrayal, but Red Tornado reveals that the Roy Harper they knew for the past three years was just another Project Cadmus clone. Batman explains.

The Roy they knew had replaced the original Speedy three years ago, shortly after he became Green Arrow's sidekick. The clone was programmed with a fervent drive to join the Justice League, which explained his intense anger at being denied in Independence Day. Wishing to eventually gain the approval of the Justice League, he refused to join the Team and struck out on his own. Unaware all along that he was a clone and a traitor, Red Arrow's secondary programming activated upon his induction. He betrayed the League to Vandal Savage by attempting to infect them with mind-controlling bio-nanotech chips.

Batman says that he had figured out that Red Arrow was a clone and had planned ahead, subduing Savage but that Roy had escaped. Robin asks where the real Roy Harper is, to which Batman says he doesn't know, but was most likely dead. Aqualad is determined to find the Red Arrow, but Batman says Roy is now a League member and therefore, his apprehension is a League matter. Batman leaves the Team with Red Tornado.

Aqualad is still keen to find Red Arrow, at which point Red Tornado completely shuts down. The Team notices that something is not right: Zatanna says she sensed a strange mystic energy within the Cave, and she thinks that is what caused Tornado's shutdown. She also sensed the same energy emanating from Batman. Robin realizes that Batman called the Team "kids", something he would never do. Kid Flash finds one of the modified bio-tech chips from the briefcase they acquired in the Smokey Mountains, in Tornado's hand.

The Team tries to transfer Red Tornado's conscience to get some answers.

Aqualad directs Robin, Kid Flash, Zatanna and Rocket to see if they can get Red Tornado back online, while he and the rest of the Team leave to look for Red Arrow.

Robin thinks Tornado's shutdown was a hardware, and not a software issue, but has no idea on how to reactivate the android. Zatanna suggests moving his consciousness to the "John Smith" android Tornado built. The Team hooks him up so that they can transfer his programming to the new android. Black Canary arrives during the download, indignant at their actions. The android then wakes up, yelling at the Team to run. Canary attacks them with her Canary Cry.

After attacking the Team, Black Canary is trapped and subdued.

Robin attacks her, but is easily repelled. She opens her mouth to scream but finds Robin's attack was a ruse to plant a gas pellet on her. It detonates, and Rocket traps her inside a force bubble with the gas, knocking Canary out. The Team, with John Smith and a bound and gagged Black Canary in tow, escape the Cave in the Super-Cycle, before Icon, Doctor Fate and Captain Marvel have a chance to catch them. John Smith instructs them to stay off the radio and let Sphere track Superboy's signal.

At this point, Red Arrow is leery to trust anyone, even his best friend.

Meanwhile, in Washington D.C., Aqualad has found Red Arrow, in one of the many equipment caches he installed in major cities when he went solo. Aqualad is not looking to capture him; he just wants answers. Red Arrow demands that Kaldur prove he is not under the Light's control by asking him who broke his heart. Kaldur answers it was Tula, who left him for his best friend in Atlantis, and now his best friend on the surface world is aiming an arrow at his chest. The answer convinces Red Arrow, and he joins them aboard the Bio-Ship, confirming to them he was the mole all along.

He was a sleeper agent, programmed by Cadmus to infiltrate the League. Sportsmaster was his handler, who used the key phrase "Broken Arrow" to bring him to a hypnotic state. While in that state, he could retrieve secrets from Arrow, or install further instructions in Arrow's subconscious. Red Arrow would carry out these instructions, completely unaware of what he was doing. Part of these instructions might be to cast suspicion on Superboy, Miss Martian, and Artemis as mole suspects.

Aqualad wonders how Batman deduced this and prevented him from betraying the League to Savage. Roy says that Batman never did.

Meanwhile, in the Super-Cycle, Red Tornado reveals that the League is under the complete control of Vandal Savage and the Light.

The bio-tech chips, called Starro-tech by Savage, were implanted by Red Arrow. The alien organisms, infused with nano-technology and magic, shut down the independent control of the individual and allowed Savage to reprogram the mind to suit his needs. Even robotic brains like Red Tornado, mystically-protected minds such as Doctor Fate, and a variety of aliens were not immune. However, the chip needed 0.16 nanoseconds to completely subvert the host, and that delay allowed Red Tornado to create a failsafe sub-routine. If he tried to infect another person, as what happened earlier when he attempted to contaminate Aqualad, the sub-program would completely disconnect his power cells, shutting him down. The reason that in the body of John Smith Tornado was not affected was because the Starro-tech was body specific.

At this point, the Super-Cycle has found the Bio-Ship. Megan decloaked the ship to allow the Super-Cycle to enter, and both teams started to compare notes. They are unaware that the bound-and-gagged Black Canary has regained consciousness.

The Watchtower
December 31, 23:16 EST

Vandal Savage tries to enthrall the eluded Leaguers.

Red Tornado, Black Canary, and Red Arrow teleport aboard the Watchtower. Black Canary tells Savage that she was captured but escaped and used the Starro-techs on the two heroes with her as well as the Team. She informs her master that they are waiting for him on Earth. However, Klarion is monitoring all pieces of Starro-tech and realizes that she's lying; the three are not under mind control. Hal Jordan restrains them and they are infected by Starro-tech once more while Savage reveals the reason behind his plan.

Savage brings the big guns: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, John Stewart, Hawkwoman and Martian Manhunter.

What Savage doesn't know is that Red Tornado shut down the Watchtower security systems when he came aboard, and the Team has infiltrated the satellite. Using cure-tech, they take out Plastic Man, Atom, Captain Atom and Hawkman. Klarion picks up the shutdown Starros on his monitoring system and realizes that Black Canary and the others still weren't under Starro control despite having put new chips back into them. The three heroes take out Hal Jordan but Klarion recalls six Leaguers from an away mission to battle them: Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, John Stewart, Hawkwoman and Martian Manhunter. They make short work of the heroes, breaking Red Arrow's bow and ripping Red Tornado's limbs off. Realizing the Team has found a cure to negate the effects of Starro-tech, Vandal Savage gives orders to dispose of the Team.

Zatanna's desperate attempt to free her father from Fate backfires.

Icon, Doctor Fate and Captain Marvel return to Watchtower, but the Team ambushes them. Icon and Fate are easily tagged with cure-tech, but Captain Marvel is too fast. Zatanna casts a spell to make him speak his magic word and transform back into Billy Batson. Billy wasn't exposed to the mind control, and stays with Zatanna as she tries to take the Helmet of Fate off her father's head. Zatanna is clearly anguished that though she is able to save Fate from Savage, she wasn't able to save her father from Fate.

Meanwhile, Artemis and Kid Flash are in the cargo hold and struggling to battle Green Arrow, Aquaman and Flash simultaneously. Aqualad rushes to their aid and opens the airlock. He and his teammates hold on while the pressure out-rush begins to suck out the three adult heroes. Once Aqualad closes the outer door, the three adults are thrown into the door and knocked unconscious. Kid Flash quickly applies the cure-tech to the three Leaguers.

Robin's trump guarantees their victory.

The rest of the Team battle the remaining League members on the observation decks. Robin, Wolf, Sphere, and Rocket manage to contain Hawkwoman, John Stewart and Wonder Woman. Batman goes after Robin while Miss Martian fights her uncle and Superboy battles Superman. Miss Martian takes on her true form and telepathically induces Martian Manhunter's weakness to fire, and tags him with Cure-tech. Robin and Superboy join forces and first take out Batman. Superboy then holds Superman long enough for Robin to use a piece of Kryptonite that he stole from the Batcave to weaken both Kryptonians and tag Superman with cure-tech.

Savage watches the battle on the monitor and tells Klarion they have to leave. Klarion wants to stay and fight but Savage warns that they might destroy the satellite, or kill several League members, and the Light can't have that, since Klarion might lose control and "bring the chaos in." Klarion teleports them both away just in time and Red Tornado congratulates the young heroes on their victory.

Happy New Year!

The computer pops up a view screen indicating the date and time, and greeted the League with a cheery "Happy New Year". As strains of "Auld lang syne" play, Kid Flash takes Artemis in a bridal carry, and kisses her, saying that he should've done it "a long time ago" and Artemis agrees. Superboy and Miss Martian follow suit passionately. Zatanna steals a kiss from Robin, and Rocket gives Aqualad a peck on the cheek. A bemused Red Tornado declares his inability to understand human customs.

Superboy and Superman reconcile.

After everyone has recovered, Superboy and Miss Martian are looking at Earth through the viewports when Superman comes in, prompting Miss Martian to leave. He compliments Superboy for the first time and asks Superboy about his real name. When the boy tells him, Superman responds by revealing his own secret identity, Clark Kent, and says he's proud that they're "family".

Red Arrow meets with key members of the Team and the League, distraught over what he has learned about himself. He vows to find the real Roy Harper, and Batman tells him that Guardian is already searching Cadmus for the body. They are unaware, however, that the Light has raided Cadmus, subdued Guardian and the staff, and are carting Match and the original Roy Harper out of the facility.

Six Leaguers were missing for 16 unaccounted hours.

As Green Arrow and Black Canary take care of Red Arrow, Batman and Robin discuss another problem: during the time that Savage controlled the League, all members of the League were accounted for, for most of the time except for six of its members—Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and Hawkwoman—who were gone for sixteen hours with no record of where they went or what they were doing for Savage.


"Auld acquaintance" is part of the opening line of Auld Lang Syne, a song traditionally sung in celebration of the New Year in the English speaking world. This episode takes place on December 31 and the song starts playing with the stroke of midnight. Literally speaking, the title means "old acquaintance" which could refer to Red Arrow, who turns out not to be an "old acquaintance" like everyone thought he was.

Cast and characters

Voice actor Character
Lacey Chabert Zatanna
Crispin Freeman Red Arrow
Kittie Rocket
Stephanie Lemelin Artemis
Jesse McCartney Robin
Danica McKellar Miss Martian
Nolan North Superboy
Khary Payton Aqualad
Jason Spisak Kid Flash
Thom Adcox Klarion
Jeff Bennett Red Tornado
John Smith  
Nick Chinlund Sportsmaster[nb 1]
Oded Fehr Ra's al Ghul
Miguel Ferrer Vandal Savage
Bruce Greenwood Batman
Vanessa Marshall Black Canary
Stephanie Lemelin Computer
Billy Batson
Captain Marvel
Martian Manhunter
Plastic Man
Wonder Woman
Non-speaking roles
Amanda Spence
Amazo (flashback)
Black Adam (flashback)
Captain Atom
Cheshire (flashback)
Count Vertigo (flashback)
Doctor Fate
Dr. Desmond (flashback)
Garfield Logan (flashback)
Garth (flashback)
A G-Gnome (flashback)
Green Arrow
Hal Jordan
Hugo Strange (flashback)
John Stewart
Joker (flashback)
Lex Luthor
Mammoth (flashback)
Monsieur Mallah
Psimon (flashback)
Queen Bee
Roy Harper  
Tula (flashback)
Full credits
1 Character debut
1 Speaking debut
0 Episode debut



  • Main title clips:
    • Batman pulling up a picture of Red Arrow (01:59)
    • The Team looking incredulous (01:45)
    • Aqualad kicking a door open (mirrored) (06:14)
    • Superboy looking angry (17:22)
    • Red Arrow taking aim (00:21)
    • Artemis dodging an explosion (15:16)
  • Number 16:
    • All three timestamps indicate 16 minutes.
    • The Starro-tech takes 0.16 nanoseconds to be fully assimilated by its host.
    • The six Leaguers were unaccounted for during 16 hours.
  • This episode aired in Brazil on March 19.[2]
  • This episode is featured on Young Justice: Dangerous Secrets.
  • The full body shot of Vandal Savage seen on the Justice League Computer screen matches the character's official artwork, also seen in his promotional playing card released at the San Diego 2011 Comic-Con.[1]
  • Robin realizes Batman is not "himself" by picking up on an atypical idiosyncrasy, specifically Batman's referring to the Team as "kids". This is reminiscent of how in The Spectacular Spider-Man, another Greg Weisman production, Harry Osborn makes a very similar realization about his father in the last episode of the series, "Final Curtain".
  • When discussing Starro-tech, Robin refers to "four flavors of alien" in the Justice League. Only two types of alien have been revealed on the show: Kryptonian and Martian. The third is Thanagarian, namely Hawkman and Hawkwoman,[3] and the fourth type of alien is Icon,[4] who is Terminian in the comics.
  • The Joker was originally considered to appear controlling the League. He was left out of the episode, primarily for budgetary reasons, and his role folded into Klarion's, who was required for his magical abilities.[5]
  • The group of Leaguers unaccounted for 16 hours—Superman, Batman, Wonder Woman, Martian Manhunter, Green Lantern and Hawkwoman—corresponds to six of the seven core members of the League in the Justice League animated series, though Hawkwoman/Shayera Thal replaces Hawkgirl/Shayera Hol. Considering what we later find out in season two about their actions, the group could also be a nod to the Justice Lords, also from the aforementioned series.
  • The iconic quote of Vandal Savage to the league was a paraphrase of General Wade Eiling's own statement towards Alec Rois, The Ghost; a former confidante of his turned power hungry quantum based meta-human from Captain Atom Vol 2 #50. As the two were countermanding one another over who will run the planet, Eiling contested it should be about who runs the galaxy after witnessing the rise of meta-humans, aliens and Superman in wake of the Invasion! event.
  • While the key phrase "Broken Arrow" is ostensibly a mocking reference to Harper's mentor Green Arrow, the phrase is part of the U.S. military parlance, referring to a combat unit in danger of being overrun. A broken arrow incident is a situation that involves the accidental detonation or loss of a nuclear weapon, but does not invoke the risk of nuclear war.

Backwards spells

Speaker Spell Translation
Etativel taht ssorg gniht.[6] Levitate that gross thing.
Trulb tuo "Mazahs"![6] Blurt out "Shazam"!
Temleh, esaeler ym rehtaf![6] Helmet, release my father!


  • When the Team is walking into the Mission Room, Robin disappears before he has walked fully out of shot.
  • When Vandal tells Klarion to call back all League-away missions, Black Canary does not have her black arm sleeves, but they reappear when she uses her Canary Cry on Vandal, Klarion and Green Lantern.
  • When Vandal tells Klarion to recall all League away missions, Klarion's console shows thirteen leaguers still under his thrall. There are in fact twelve: Superman, Wonder Woman, Batman, John Stewart, Martian Manhunter, Hawkwoman, Icon, Doctor Fate, Captain Marvel, Green Arrow, Flash, and Aquaman.
  • When Miss Martian and Zatanna run off after "curing" the Atom, Zatanna's tights are missing.

Cultural references

  • John Smith's half-exposed robotic face is reminiscent of Arnold Schwarzenegger's character in the first two Terminator movies. Greg Weisman has also adopted this look for his Gargoyles' character Coyote.
  • Red Tornado comments that human customs still eluded him after watching the Team kiss each other. The New Year's kiss is an American custom, in which people who fail to kiss someone at the stroke of midnight will ensure themselves a full year of loneliness.


For complete answers to the questions in this section, click here.

Answered questions

Partially answered questions

  • Why were those six specific members chosen for that mission? (Partial answer)


  • Rocket: So Tornado built this android... to party?
  • Zatanna: Not how he'd put it, but yeah, more or less.
  • Black Canary: What are you doing to Red?!
  • Kid Flash: It's not how it looks.
  • Black Canary: It looks like you're downloading his consciousness into a new body.
  • Kid Flash: Okay, it's pretty much exactly how it looks.
  • Vandal Savage: Fifty thousand years of life and nothing ever troubled me as much as the founding of the Justice League. Dedicated to maintaining society's calcified status quo, the League would protect mankind from disaster, crime, tragedy of any kind. Have you never heard of the survival of the fittest? In essence, you heroes sought to protect humanity from it's own glorious evolution.


  1. Archive sounds from "Targets" only.


  1. Harvey, James (2012-03-27). "Young Justice," "Green Lantern: The Animated Series" Episode Schedule For April 2012. World's Finest Online. Retrieved 2012-03-27.
  2. Guia de episódios - 1ª Temporada. Retrieved 2012-03-17.
  3. Weisman, Greg (2011-11-10). Question #13632. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2011-11-11.
  4. Weisman, Greg (2012-09-10). Question #15695. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-10-01.
  5. Weisman, Greg (2014-01-06). Question #19367. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2014-01-09.
  6. 6.0 6.1 6.2 Weisman, Greg (2012-08-29). Question #15518. Ask Greg. Retrieved 2012-08-29.

External links