Episodes 17 Review
Young Justice: Outsiders
"First Impression" -- Episode 17 -- is one of those special episodes that comes along and gives us a plot thread coming full circle that's been planted in the back of fans' minds since the very start of the series. And while it ties into the series' greater story arc, it's still mainly a self contained story with a threat of the week. It's like Christmas morning. It will crash the mode. It's a game changer. It will wipe any lingering doubt from the opening of the second half of the season last week.
The episode ominously begins with a pan down, deep down, into the Atlantic Ocean to a Reach ship coming online. Yes, you're watching an episode of Young Justice from season three. Cut to the title sequence. Yes, I think this is one of the shortest cold opens yet. The episode then opens on Beast Boy being given the floor during a meeting of the Team on the Watchtower with Aquaman present. Beast Boy pitches his plan for the Team. Despite the passion of his speech, Aquaman and the senior echelon of the Team are resistant to the deal. But in an interesting callback, Beast Boy is steadfast that his plan is happening with or without their support. A public version of the Team to restore hope and fight the good fight again while the Justice League continues to get squeezed under the thumb of Lex Luthor and the United Nations. Half of the membership goes with Beast Boy, the other remain with Miss Martian on the covert part of the Team. Beast Boy presents everyone with the headquarters of his Team and it's pretty crash. In addition to them, it will also be the home of Victor Stone, Halo, Terra, and Forager. No more Bio RV. And total irony on display, Miss Martian objects to them living without any adult supervision and she gets called on it in humorous fashion. Then a certain someone steps up to supervise them who seems like the most ideal person but... we'll see.
Jump ahead 3 days, and Beast Boy's team gets their trial by fire when the Reach seemingly attack a small American town populated with characters with ties to a certain legion from the comics. Luckily, the teenagers in this town have up to date cell phones and record the skirmish live for the world to see. The episode then criss crosses across the USA with different sets of characters watching the debut of Beast Boy's team. And yes, in true YJ fashion, been on the lookout for a few "Huh, wait, wha?" cameos without much elaboration. But back to the action, it a straight forward solution of letting Blue Beetle neutralize the threat. But like Edgar Allan Poe once said, "Believe half of what you see and nothing of what you hear." The culprits turn out to be... well, let's just save that for when you watch the episode and I will say if you didn't pick up on the certain nods before hand, the final reveal will be an amusing hat tip to another property of Warner Bros. Animation that did its own hat tip to Young Justice a few years back. Then reality sets in and Luthor's bureaucracy comes into action and it shows how insubstantial it is and how right Beast Boy's plan is. The conflict reaches its end and the team gets its name. And, no, it's probably not what you think. Not Teen Titans. Really. And as the episode started with one covert team meeting, it will end with a different covert team meeting and filling in the gaps of what went down.
"First Impression" is an exhilarating episode start to finish. It's a big straight up Team episode a lot of the fans have been clamoring for since the season started, it's a big game changer for the structure of the Team, it's a step up for Beast Boy - a second gen member becoming a leader, it's a new headache for the Light -- I mean, suffice to say, it checks off a lot of boxes. It's what I wanted to see the Team become for years. While it was a near perfect episode, one nitpick I would say is the one sub-plot that arises. In the context of the main story, it makes sense why it comes up but being ignorant of the remaining episodes, I wondered why now other than to remind us, this is happening, so I was on the fence about it hurting the pacing or not. I'll also say points to whoever on the crew is thinking of these silly names for social media platforms in Earth-16. 1K Wordsworth? Eyespasm? Flitter? Cute. And in like most episodes, brace yourself for 1 or 2 obscure DC characters to show up. Overall, a good first impression is a hard thing to beat.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5