Episodes 10 to 13 Review
Young Justice: Outsiders
Episodes 10, 11, 12, and 13 drives the overarching plot of this season's first half to its resolution but as a big victory is savored, an invisible danger looms over the young heroes that threatens to unravel everything that's been accomplished. The final scene of episode 13 will make it crystal clear what we can expect to see when Young Justice: Outsiders continues streaming in June.
Episode 10 "Extraordinary Human Beings" opens with Batman taking a very small team of Katana and Metamorpho on a dark op to Santa Prisca (and if you're ancient, a Guns N' Roses nod). And yes, they got the time zone right on the timestamp. The objective is achieved but the team's exit hits a snag (obviously right?) and they're forced to fight their way off the island. The episode also formally introduces the audience to Victor Stone, a celebrated student-athlete at Henry Heywood High School, and his mostly absent father Silas Stone, introduced last week, who has just been assigned a Father Box to study by the Justice League. Heywood High's latest football victory leads to a meeting with a college scout but Victor knows his father missed the game yet again. To make matters worse, Silas doesn't take the League's warning to tread carefully to heart. Nightwing continues training his new team at Owings Mills and they show more improvement but Geo-Force gets irate when he learns he's not involved in the Santa Prisca mission.
Victor's story begins with a victory and he seems to be on track to get everything that he ever wanted, a football scholarship to college, but his exceptional life is threatened by an evil he's completely unaware of. A lot like our heroes. After her debut in "Princes All", Katana gets a nice focus to shine and the mission definitely presents a showcase of her skills and confirms something about her arsenal. Metamorpho is introduced in this episode. While it's not clear if he's ex-Justice League or was recruited later on, Metamorpho also shines in the limited focus he's given. Even with that, it's a relief to see his characterization is on point from the start to the finish. Expect to chuckle a lot. The mission itself also provides some answers to some of the lingering questions from past episodes, gives a few surprises, and has an entertaining 3 on 3 battle that ends on a bang. There is also a short scene at the Harper home to set up a story point but expect to also feel a gut punch in regard to something else that happens. And, yes, a couple minor new characters also debut in this episode - one in particular who should be very familiar to DC fans.
Episode 11 "Another Freak" continues Victor's origin story. Three days later, Victor's patience with his father erupts but the outburst only leads to tragedy. Some of the other staff responds, and yes they're all DC characters, and Silas has to make the touch choice, save his son with alien tech or let him die. Things begin on a better note in Happy Harbor as it's Violet Harper and Forager's first day at Happy Harbor High. Forager is even given a human name and if it's not seared into your brain by the end of the episode, you weren't really paying much attention. Violet and Forager are introduced to their class and they meet a certain blue-haired girl that takes an immediate interest in their freakiness. Meanwhile, Brion's finally had enough with patience and takes out his frustrations on Dick Grayson.
Two of the storylines converge in an organic and sensible way. One freak meets a newly made freak. As a result, Violet learns she's capable of two more abilities and they're BIG. As the roller coaster ride takes a huge dive for Victor, he makes an unexpected choice that brings him into the world of Young Justice. As for the new characters that pop in this episode. Good luck. Some are reasonably easy to recognize if you've kept up with the current comics, but some are deep dives - one from Super Friends comics and one from Firestorm comics. However they pick what characters to use on this show, it's mind boggling.
Episode 12 "Nightmare Monkeys" is a... trippy episode. While on the surface, it's a Beast Boy-centric episode that catches you up on what's been going on with Garfield since season two - the way it's presented isn't linear by any standard. Perdita's Goode Goggles turn on him and he's forced to face his past and present lives. Similar to Nightwing, it becomes progressively obvious that Garfield, too, was also in denial - sparked by the death of Wally West - and comes to a strong realization by the end of the episode. Garfield's mind trip takes a gut wrenching turn and he meets the many ghosts of his past. Then things get even weirder with this season's oddball song and an unexpected hat tip. In Happy Harbor, all of Nightwing's team gathers at the Carr residence to go over what happened with Violet Harper and Victor Stone. They soon come to a stunning conclusion about what Violet really is. The episode ends with Garfield giving Miss Martian some very important intel that ties into the ongoing arc and a "Oh, snap!" or "Saw that coming" depending on who you are. Oh and if those paramedics, that yep are DC characters, looked familiar to you - take another look at the ending of the Outsiders tie-in comic.
Episode 13 "True Heroes" opens on Halloween night but the festivities are broken up when Nightwing, Tigress, and Superboy arrive with a mission take infiltrate and take down a meta auction in Greater Bialya while the Justice League and the Team strike similar depots across the world (kinda like when they organized strikes against the Kroloteans except we don't see these other meta depots...). On the way to the auction, Nightwing briefs everyone and a lot of the loose strings this season are presented as one big knot. The episode also marks the return of this series' young villains and their team gets an actual name. Plus, if you're versed in DC's Suicide Squad lore - you'll recognize the name. Another villain debuts and boy, from all places, a Starman comic. And another from one of DC's imprints, one of my favorites. The mission ends on a high note with a seemingly big blow dealt to the metatrafficking epidemic and a reunion in the making from the season premiere but in true Young Justice fashion, it's a hollow victory. As Nightwing contemplates the future of his recruits, things take a dive and the last scene begins the next ongoing arc for the second half of the season. Some of you have expected it all along, some of you may groan, but overall, the first half of the season told a tight and complete character driven story that came to its natural conclusion yet organically keeps the ball rolling. We know what to expect when the season continues in June in five months. Get ready to feel the aster.
Rating: 4.5 out of 5