Episodes 20 Review
Young Justice: Outsiders
"Quiet Conversations" -- Episode 20 -- puts the Outsiders on hold to revisit our new young teen heroes, weave several lingering sub-plots to its final stretch, pepper in micro-reveals throughout, and takes us to school about Jack Kirby's Fourth World, ending on a bona fide feeling of optimism as the season nears its close.
The episode opens on a slight step back to just after New Years Day starts to show us what happened to Victor Stone last week. Suffice to say he's still brooding. Things take a turn for the worse when Victor loses his temper because Silas called his phone, and Father Box makes an advance. Fade to 28+ hours later and Forager locates him. Those who were skeptical the Father Box was done for thanks to Violet were right to be, Victor's body has become a little more cybernetic. What I was definitely all on-board for was more Fourth World. I admit I was a little surprised Dreamer determined only Metron's Mobius Chair could save Victor. I guess a trip to Supertown to commune with Highfather was out of the question... Anyway, I said I loved more Fourth World and Dreamer drops some knowledge that three of Metron's inventions were the Mother Boxes, the Father Boxes, and the Boom Tubes. Come to think of it, I don't think any animation project has ever given Himon a co-credit. Though Metron being a cold and calculating scientist to the extreme makes sense and he's willing to let some Earthling die so he could study a rare event. Vic's reaction to the constant Boom Tubes was priceless. Things get worse before they get better. Dr. Irons helps out Silas and makes him A-42 then he zetas to the Hub. Cue Victor to flip out and transform further. Count on that sci-fi horror element to rear its ugly head again as Victor painfully transforms. The medically induced coma seemed like the right move since Silas and Helga were clearly in over their heads.
I totally loved the reveal that Forager, Jefferson Pierce, and Connor Kent boomed to the Source Wall. In Gog's nose! One of the Old Gods of the Third World! Jefferson's reaction was on the money. heh . Loved how they randomly ran into Superman at the Minosyss Ring for the episode's sneaky sub-plot crossover #1, with the Justice League goodwill tour. Minosyss., what a choice. In the comics, it was one of those ancient planets orbited by an asteroid field with a rare element. That old chestnut. What was this ore. you ask? One that is immune to the Sun-Eater and is used to imprison them. The Controllers took the planet for their own ends for awhile then there was this thing with the Titans from Greek Myth. And it also happens to be a natural place to warp to other dimensions from because of its proximity to the Nexus Zone. But who knows if that's even element. Back to the episode. I loved the melee scene. Superboy using Forager as a dodge ball and who then gets in some pinball worthy hits. And Jefferson totally did a Kamehameha right after! Though very troubling the Furies procured the last element needed for that device we saw in the Orphanage a few episodes ago.
Metron rains on Superman's parade and figures he would notice Superboy was half-Kryptonian. He shuts down their request but just as quickly does a complete 180, agreeing to go with them as soon as they fill him in on what's going on. Scientists. Hilarious. But turns out Metron went with them just to satisfy his scientific curiosity, not to cure Victor. Smart thinking on Jefferson's part to interpret Dreamer's words which quickly and hilariously led to Connor tossing Metron. "To me you are 0.5 of nothing." What a burn. Black Lightning's black lightning sure is turning mighty useful against the tougher blokes on this show, magic or alien in origin. The pay off about Bear was worth it, heh heh. And Victor has just scaled a big gap, no Father Box and now he's all Mobius tech. Can't be much longer before Cyborg enters the picture, one would think. Metron's cryptic answer about Granny was very troubling. "No. And yes." The heck is that supposed to mean? Is Granny able to possess Gretchen Goode's body or something?
And sure of course, the mystery of who Jace's mentor continues unanswered. But it's a name Silas Stone would have recognized had she not covered her phone? Hmm. But she busted out some great pep talk for the non-talking Brion. Though the cynic in you wonders is it because she's a good person or continues to be secretly manipulating him. Still, it's a welcome relief to learn Markovian opinion of Brion is on the rebound in the wake of the Outsiders' successes.
Sub-plot #2 follows up on Harper Row's arrest a few episodes ago. All the secrets and lies aside, Happy Harbor High students had to go back to school the day after New Year's. Bummer. But things got real. Megan Morse expertly handles the issue of domestic abuse and convinces Harper Row to do the right thing. With Harper and her brother Cullen off to CPS, I wonder if that's all we'll see of them this season or if there's more to come.
Sub-plot #3 continues Violet Harper's final scene from last week. She visits Gabrielle's family in Qurac. Perhaps out of guilt for keeping Gabrielle's role in the deaths of King Viktor and Queen Ilona a secret, she tries to give the Daou family answers. I liked it was Tara Markov who volunteered to help Artemis find Violet. Brion would have been too obvious and normative. It was a little unexpected she kept going and told them the truth about what happened next. And Gabrielle's mother totally got the intent. It was heart warming to see Tara jump off Super-Cycle to hug Violet.
Sub-plot #4 takes us to Taos and focuses on Aquaman and the aquatic meta-teen from "Early Warning." It's quite unique in that this meta-teen's name is not revealed. Down to her Authorized Guest designation and her name in the end credits, "Unnamed Meta Teen A-41" (Yeah, 41. So now there's 20 unknown A designations plus the two pre-existing ones that were never revealed yet, 8 and 9). Anyway, anyway. Okay, relocating to Atlantis. Logical. But man, they've really made this girl so intriguing. This girl who isn't on the main cast and who has only made her second appearance on this series. I don't think Dolphin was Hindi in the comics. Lorena Marquez definitely wasn't. But once King Orin told her she could choose a new name -- it's gonna be Dolphin, isn't it? A callback to the form Beast Boy took when he saved her life.
It was nice to see things are much better between Orin and Kaldur versus what we saw go down in season 2 and the Legacy video game. Kaldur's parents, Sha'lain'a and Calvin Durham, make the jump from the tie-comics and make their first appearance on the show! Just love how they're integrating material from the comic! Considering my speculation about Lorena Marquez, fitting Calvin turns out to be from San Diego where Lorena hangs in the comics -- though Sub Diego, which Calvin becomes mayor of in the comics. Funny both Kaldur's mentor and stepfather are voiced by Phil LaMarr. Almost like they planned that on purpose. Fascinating how his meta-teen is perceptive yet comes from a troubled life so much so that she won't say what her name is. But I appreciated there was an immediate carry over from last week in not just Violet but also Aquaman who is on a guilt trip because of what Wonder Woman said at the last Anti-Light gathering. It's funny how a minor character helps Aquaman back in a big way. But the next unexpected reveal of the episode is confirmation Kaldur is bisexual and is in a relationship with a fellow Atlantean.
Phew. You get all that? And after that, there's one more reveal just in time for the episode's ending. It seems Tara turned on Slade and lies, telling him the day was dull and nothing happened. She hangs up and looks out into the city, happy and content. And isn't that what we're feeling after the grand announcement Young Justice was renewed for a fourth season? However surprisingly uplifting a note this episode ends on, it's a brief respite, for there's still a lot of bad out there waiting for our heroes.
Rating: 4.8 out of 5