Episodes 19 Review
Young Justice: Outsiders
"Elder Wisdom" -- Episode 19 -- continues the Outsiders' arc and now the bad guys go on the offensive against them but things don't go as planned. And even Lex Luthor, egg on face, has to listen to some elder wisdom from an ally who's more of a frenemy at this point. But the more horrible truth is Luthor wasn't the only one secretly manipulating the Outsiders to further their own agenda. Suffice to say, this is a stuffed episode on paper with whole bunch of arcs coming up for the Outsiders, Terra, Brion and Violet, Lex Luthor, and the Anti-Light, but the structure and pacing was on point that you should hardly notice. Should.
The episode opens in the African country of Bwunda on December 31. Yes, another chunk of time has passed. What a shocker this episode crossed into the new year and we're in Team Year Nine with seven episodes remaining. But back to Bwunda. If you kept up with the tie-in comics, during Team Year Zero, the Team went there and encountered Gorilla City, where the Brain and Ultra-Humanite was conducting experiments on gorillas and featured several famous DC characters like Solovar and Grodd. But in this episode, General M'barra, an obscure one from a mid-90s Birds of Prey comic, invited Lex Luthor to host a United Nations climate conference in Bwunda. Boy they didn't really hide Lex Luthor mirroring Donald Trump like in the beginning when he repeats he has hotels in many cities or later when he does the "Sad." Things like a turn when the ambassadors, Luthor, and M'barra are under siege by the Bwundian Independence Front who claims M'barra is a tyrant. Troia is attacked in her hotel room but Halo and Terra were hiding in plain sight while Miss Martian posed as a maid outside and engages a telepath from the BIF. Halo suddenly lunges at the attacked with no force field and has her throat slashed. Terra and Troia fight back, forcing the attacker to flee while Halo heals. Luthor calls in the Flash, who gets the credit for stopping BIF. Flash has no interest in Luthor's dog and pony show and leaves.
It was fun to see a joint mission between the Team and the Outsiders even though it was totally a trap. I loved all the little attentions to detail like having Beast Boy talk in what I assume is Bwundian and French when he reveals himself from the planter or Kid Flash's reaction to "BIF" or Terra keeping pebbles in her suit just in case. I didn't really care for Kid Flash falling for an exploding arrow or being the butt of the running joke. But it served its purpose later in the episode. And the debut of Eduardo Dorado Jr. as El Dorado! Totally right of Miss Martian to bench Halo. I'm on the fence if she should have looked in her memories given what happened at the end of the episode but we'll see and plus, Miss Martian seems to be keeping to her vow never to go that extreme again. Granted it may come off as piecemeal to some but Troia got a decent focus in this episode in my book and I love whatever we can get. Talking to Wonder Woman, telling her Cassie misses her, alluding to Hippolyta, referring to Wonder Woman as sister, hating on Lex Luthor, and clocking Lady Shiva. Garth even got into the action. Sort of. They really love darting those Atlanteans on the show. It took me back to Cheshire vs. Aqualad in season one.
On the flight back, Beast Boy suspects a set up orchestrated by Luthor and the Light to slam the Justice League and Outsiders. The telepath liberated by Miss Martian, Lia Briggs (better known as Looker in the comics -- yep), confirms it was a set up. Two BIF soldiers on a private jet turn out to be Cassandra Savage and Lady Shiva -- yes, it was a charade. Savage is curious about the plan and Luthor enlightens her it was to defame the Outsiders but she's worried about Briggs. Luthor points out knowing and proving are two different things.
Luthor's idea for a hero registry was an unexpected callback to the end of the Justice Society of America in the 1950s when most refused to reveal their secret identities and register. This registry idea truly felt like what Luthor's endgame for getting his claws on the United Nations. The killing blow of bureaucracy to take down the Justice League and their proteges. But it was a total fail. As much as G. Gordon Godfrey is awful, I always love it when he turns on an ally like he did to the Reach Ambassador last season but here when he does it to Luthor. Also the jabs. Like in the open when he refers to the UN conference as a boondoggle. A jerk he may be but he's kind of right. Godfrey's yawn was still so good. I hate the guy, but he was on point this episode. But the Bwunda trap did show Luthor basically can call in the League at his whim almost given he has permission from a head of state which isn't a big deal since they all seem to be in his pocket. Despite Luthor's setback, he still wields a lot of power in the United Nations and is still a big threat. We've seen what he tried to do with the Runaways in season 2, what he'll come up with after Godfrey's pep talk will probably be just as bad. I'm tempted to start a Google search on how to oust a UN Secretary General.
It was also unexpected to see the show to focus on the aspect of the members who are minors clashing with parent/guardians over being on a team. But for the most part, I thought it was soundly done. Yes, they've always been targets, covert team or public team, and those kidnapped meta-teens need rescuing and guidance. Bad things are going down and someone has to take down the Light and everything they're causing. Wonder Girl, El Dorado, and Kid Flash hit all the right beats and made solid sense all around. The Outsiders aren't a bunch of teenage slackers eating pizza all day. Another unexpected and smart move was the reveal of Eduardo Dorado Sr. hacking the zeta tube system, lot of that going around this season. Wonder what designations he gave himself and Helena. Jay Garrick, though, already had an A-designation from last season. Eduardo Sr.'s "whom" correction has to totally be a Greg Weisman does it in real life thing. It was a nice bonus to see some elements from the Young Justice: Legacy video game make it to the show, namely Helena Sandsmark and the Spider Bots. I wonder if they'll get to Tiamat's creators this season, hmm. The one critique I have about the Hub scenes was Victor Stone being MIA. Wonder Girl and Beast Boy commenting about never seeing him was groan worthy at best. Hope he starts getting relevant again soon. Even Forager has slipped off the radar and the ray of sunshine with him.
As for the other part of the Hub drama, Dr. Jace's laying down a truth bomb about first love on Brion at the most convenient time seems rather suspect. All in all, that was pretty much how I thought Brion and Tara would react to learning about Gabrielle's part in the assassination. I wonder what the consequences of Terra's text will be since it was that intel that essentially led to Luthor being played as a fool on live television by Godfrey. How will this mole sub-plot change, if any? Now, if Brion and Violet's relationship isn't feeling like an anti-thesis of season 1 Miss Martian and Superboy, it should by now. Instead of angst followed by understanding, all the wrong things are happening. Brion stomping off is understandable, but Violet doing the most teenage thing seems to be pointing to - quitting the Team and/or running away. She did get drunk, shoot a gun, make out with a girl, and get arrested. So running away isn't in the realm of impossible.
This season has had a couple surprise comic book references already but this episode takes the cake really. Batman poses as a man named Matthew Malone who owns a Match Electronics Store. Matthew Malone. Matches. Matches Malone. I even did a double take when I heard that Irish word "mookers," which from what I could tell is basically slang 'friends and family' -- but I was bummed we didn't see the battle in Radley Factory fight in real time, just stills being narrated over. Miss Martian may have went a bit overboard as Moira bashing the Ivobot's head in with a steel pipe like that. Yeesh.
That was skin crawling when at the end Batman said the same thing Luthor did when he spoke to Cassandra about proof. Lastly. THANK YOU, Wonder Woman, for being the voice of reason!
Rating: 4.7 out of 5