Episodes 14 to 16 Review
Young Justice: Outsiders

Episodes 14, 15, and 16 opens the second half of the season with a discovery in space but it quickly becomes clear there are a lot of pieces moving around the chess board in preparation for the story barreling towards the season finale.

Episode 14 "Influence" opens the second half of the season with a big bang. If you've been clamoring for a Justice League centric episode. This is it. And what they discover... imagine a dial being turned a little to the right. That about sums up the answer audiences will get to a question they should have been asking since the season premiere. Or it becomes a lot more clear how some of the elements of this season intersect. It's a lot of food for thought as those credits roll. But I get ahead of myself. If the first scene doesn't stun you, check your pulse. Three Justice Leaguers have their speaking debut in the series. And they're talking to a new character plucked from a previous animated series you never would have guessed. But it's not a stern and seriousness, as one of those Leaguers I mentioned talking for the first time? Get ready for some goofiness. Then if that's not enough, the League stumbles upon a revelation and interesting reinterpretation of a certain Apokoliptian locale then fight a villain team making their debut.

Oh yeah, and there's a bunch of stuff happening on Earth. The saga of Nightwing's squad seems to reach its end as they're left with a choice and a surprisingly rousing speech from Nightwing, Tigress, and... Superboy. Yes. Superboy. Then there's the debut of the Meta Teen youth center in Taos laced with political commentary from our infamous pundit. The great easter egg of the episode, for me, goes to the girl Beast Boy saves. Paired with the form he takes and her, it's an awesome nod to a somewhat famous duo from the comics. Personally, she's one of the last characters I've been waiting to see get their due in animation. So maybe we'll see them in season six. Hopefully. The episode is a somewhat frustrating in the sense that you just want see what's going on in space with the League that you're tuning out of Earth scenes which are definitely serving to set up a lot of the story points for the rest of the season. So you may need to rewatch this one once or twice.

Episode 15 "Leverage" stars the new members of the Team heading out a simple recon mission and in classic Young Justice fashion, goes off the rails the Suicide Squad shows up and another team, yes another one, tries to defend their home turf from both of them. Outsiders opened with the story of metahuman trafficking in one of the lesser European countries but "Leverage" sheds some light on what one of bigger countries is up to, and the implications of what the rest of world could also be doing is just as intriguing and worrisome. The Team increasing its ranks couldn't have come at a better time but you can't help wondering when the space faring Justice Leaguers will return home (well, I mean we all know it's probably going to be the season finale, right?) Beast Boy's arc also continues as frustration with secrecy mounts from both sides of his life. It's never a good idea to corner a wild animal, so it will interesting to see what the end point of Beast Boy's story will be. Call me crazy, but does it feel like they positioning Beast Boy to quit the Team and form the Teen Titans? Suffice to say, this episode has a lot of new character debuts and mentions, even more connections to the Suicide Squad and Outsiders comics this season seems to be mining like crazy, and a heartwarming nod to a DC creative.

Episode 16 "Illusion of Control" focuses on members of the Team celebrating Thanksgiving in various cities but it becomes very apparent that they can't even let their guard for a day. Eduardo's mini-arc about trying to help the meta teens, named Wendy Jones, continues when he sets up a mini-carnival filled with food booths and rides in Taos but one of the celebrity guests is kidnapped by a familiar foe. However, there's always a twist and it turns out the real target is a lot bigger. Also a meta that appeared in episode gets a name in the end credits, confirming she's a name character from DC Comics. Her abilities compared to Static, makes the joke at end a bit more amusing. In Happy Harbor, others gather at Snapper Carr's home and Forager takes it upon himself to snap Vic out of his funk. Vic isn't feeling it first and prefers to brood out in the cold. By the end, it appears Vic has finally made his choice after vanishing into the background at start of Part 2. Dr. Jace also pops up and on the downside, while her mystery is hit upon again - don't expect any answers or clues. Another set of characters gather at the Harper household, and yes, the "will they or won't they" sub plot is churned even more. Everything seems merry at first but if you ever had drama at a family gathering, the Star City one will be very familiar. But expect a powerful moment from one of main cast's mothers when she learns the truth about what's going on. Her speech is packed with raw emotion and heart ache. And it only serves to signal the ever increasing danger and stakes surrounding our, perhaps overconfident, young heroes.

Rating: 4.0 out of 5