Welcome to your weekly Young Justice: Outsiders recap. You excited to talk about this week’s offerings? Because I’ve dying to, y’all. Let’s cut to the chase. We got a lot of ground to cover.
Episode 7: Evolution
Meet the Savages
Fade into Cassandra Savage giving the complete history of Vandal Savage and human evolution, starting way back in prehistoric time with a meteor crashing down. In the present, an invading armada approaches and Vandal, villainous as he may be, is going to protect Earth.
A radio announcer name drops Vic Stone as the Outsiders enjoy their day on the beach. Prince Brion is catching up on Markovian affairs while Halo and Forager enjoy the scenery. Enter Nightwing with the team’s new costumes, form fitting and ready for action.
Cassandra continues to catch up on her father’s life, this chapter focusing on Vandal’s fight with a bear. Switch to Vandal catching Lex Luthor on the imminent alien invasion, and the two discuss that they may have fractured the Justice League a little too well. Vandal needs to handle this personally a.k.a. manning the War World.
Pause for a brief interlude featuring Dr. Jace getting ready to meet with Jefferson, and then we’re back with the training montages. Nightwing and Forager. Artemis and Halo. Superboy and Prince Brion.
At the Kuiper Belt, Vandal activates the War World and begins the assault against the armada. Cue the observation about Vandal’s eerie relationship with life and death, as all of the armaments are fired with all the expected explosions. However, the armada is revealed to be fighting on two fronts.
The Outsiders discuss their childhoods and their insights into superheroics, competitive evolution, and ecological equilibrium with human and metahuman, Bug and New Gods. Nightwing gives a straight explanation of the rise of humanity over Neanderthals, as we get footage of Vandal Savage… well being savage, and the appearance of the first metahuman.
Savage knows he’s outnumbered and enlists Darkseid and the Apokolips fleet to handle the other front. We get a flashback to Vandal’s first encounter with Darkseid, back when he went by Genghis Khan. Now Vandal lost that fight, but impressed the big bad. The two formed a truce until they conquered the entire universe.
Dr. Jace and Jefferson enjoy a quiet dinner on a rooftop: Glasses of red wine, concerns about the kids, suggestive touches of hands.
Back at Happy Harbor, Nightwing waxes a little too poetic when the rest of the team needs to pick codenames. Halo and Forager pretty much already have theirs on lock, but it takes Prince Brion two takes before settling on Geo-Force. They transition over to team maneuvers.
A Greater Purpose
The space battle continues on both fronts. The favorite son of Darkseid enters the fray and helps even the odds, but it’s when Vandal observes the weird starfish on the pilots that he realizes that Starro is puppeteering the assault. Vandal cedes control of the War World to Cassandra as Vandal travels to take out Starro personally.
Meanwhile, Jefferson and Jace drunkenly stumble to Jace’s hotel room, where Jefferson is politely invited inside.
As the final skirmish wages on, we see Vandal’s first encounter with the Starro army and the formation of the Light. (Vandal may be villainous, but he loves his family and Earth.) Two stories of Savage v. Starro unfold in narration and visual, and the Savages emerge victorious.
The veterans give the rookies props for their progress, but in their excitement, Halo activates a new green aura which creates holograms and the training starts over.
Vandal and Cassandra take stock of the damages, and Vandal continues to live up to his namesake with every action.
Episode 8: Triptych
Nightwing informs Oracle about how Mist, Livewire, and Shade pulled off a caper at Star Labs, managing to steal some tech in Detroit, under the direction of Cheshire. It’s entirely without incident, as Cheshire gets shot by security before Shade can create an exit.
Jefferson and Dr. Jace have some awkward pillow talk about superheroics that’s promptly interrupted by Dick Grayson, who needs some help tracking down a lead. The Outsiders (sans Superboy who is mending metaphorical fences with Ms. Martian) gather and Nightwing informs the team they have a lead on the League of Shadows, although said lead comes from Artemis’ sister, so there are a few red flags. The mission is what the mission is.
Cheshire gets patched up by a Dr. Moon, but the Outsiders stop the flight and manage to get a handle on Cheshire’s team with some difficulty — after Halo unlocks a new super move in the form of a blinding white aura.
Artemis boards the plane and has a heart-to-heart with her sister about the state of the League of Shadows and Cheshire’s rocky relationship with her daughter. Artemis gets the location of the League, although the Outsiders are still in the dark about who the Light’s new enforcer is.
Batman Inc. Status Report
Elsewhere, Robin recounts how he lead a small tactical squad of Spoiler, Arrowette, and the greatest of all Batfamily sidekicks ever, Orphan a.k.a. Cassandra “Zero Fucks to Give” Cain as they tail the Mad Hatter. After some detective work, Robin identifies some clay backwash in some water bottles, but Orphan’s seven steps ahead and makes her introduction to the Young Justice universe by bisecting a man with a sword LIKE A BOSS. The Batman Inc. division proves their worth, and manages to trick Clayface into leading the team to the Mad Hatter’s warehouse, where he’s injecting some nanotech into some poor sap who gets subjugated to mind control.
Mad Hatter becomes concerned when Clayfaces returns, but is immediately thankful when the team makes their entrance. Spoiler is tasked with tailing Hatter, as Arrowette and Orphan run interference on Clayface. Robin does what Robin does best. Hatter activates a self-destruct button and we are blessed to see an animated Orphan in full splendor in 2019, and I’m telling you it’s a good year.
The warehouse explodes with minimal causalities, as sirens wail in the distance.
Justice League Mission Summary
Aquaman and Ms. Martian wait for an intergalactic call, and right on cue Wonder Woman tunes in. Aquaman explains how a simple metahuman prisoner transport went awry due to Sportsmaster’s interference. The Flash and Captain Marvel manage to minimize damage, but Sportmaster has a few tricks and a partner, Kadabra. However, after he breaks out the two metahumans he and Brick are quickly apprehended by Rocket and Aquaman. Sportsmaster escorts the second meta away, and Flash and Captain Marvel can’t catch up before they vanish.
All Together Now
In the last reveal, it turns out that all of the teams are working together to stop the Branchwater Metahuman Trafficking Ring, sponsored by Stagg Industries. The stories get woven together as we see how Branchwater utilizes a “Acquisition, Coercion, and Utilization” methodology. They use nanotech on known metahumans to carry out various tasks, in this case: steal some old Reach tech. However, thanks to the concerted efforts of everyone, the heroes can call it a win: bad people in jail, unknowing participants allowed a chance to go down a different path, a “metahuman failsafe” device returned to a Dr. Stone.
Wonder Woman though is concerned by the fact that seven people are coordinating six different teams covertly in order to use the Light’s tactics against them. Multiple heroes working without knowledge of what the other teams are working on in the name of plausible deniability. Wonder Woman notes how the opposite of the Light is the dark, and this arrangement is going to cause all sorts of tensions.
But as we continue to see, all that matters is the mission. No matter the costs.
Episode 9: Home Fires
A Sinister Spark
Somewhere in Greater Bialya, the Light discuss that there are two situations that need resolution. They have contracted out one to a mysterious new employee and the other to Lobo, who gets directed to Earth. Murder’s a foot in the last episode of this week.
Iris West watches Cat Grant report on the opening of a new Metahuman Youth Center. Aquaman announces that the Justice League and Star Labs have worked together to make the Center a reality under Director Doctor Eduardo Dorado. Scientists, heroes, youth counselors are willing to put time and effort to help out those impacted by metahuman trafficking. The door bell catches the attention of the West twins, and Wally helps his Grandma (although she wishes he’d stop calling her that). Queen Mera arrives with her son, as a mysterious figure monitors from across the street.
In Happy Harbor, Connor watches the G. Gordon Godfrey segment on Galaxy Broadcasting System a.k.a. the YJ equivalent of alt-right media. Godfrey is interviewing Gretchen Goode a.k.a. Granny Goodness a.k.a. the creator of Goode Goggles and I don’t know about you, but all of the alarms in my head are going off. Godfrey goes critical, and Granny Goodness name drops Bruce Wayne, which doesn’t impress Godfrey much.
Ms. Martian gives Connor crap for watching “non-stop hatred.” Lucas Carr, a.k.a. the new Principle of Happy Harbor High, offers to carpool with her to get to work. Brion watches a pre-recorded livestream of his brother who is dealing with a metahuman and a refugee crisis.
Back at the West Residence, Will Harper and Lynn Stewart catch up, and Will ties his tongue trying to explain his relationships with his ex-wife, Cheshire, and current roommate, Artemis. Rocket greets Bumblebee for the play date, and the man across the street continues his watch.
In a quarry, the Outsiders meet up with Dr. Jace and Jefferson. Forager attempts to display his understanding of human greetings while Dr. Jace struggles to reconnect with Violet and Brion, but their amends are interrupted by a sniper shot. Halo and Forager kick into high gear and attempt to pass the test, currently moderated by Nightwing. Brion fails due to being a little short on the draw, whereas Halo and Forager are given props for reflexive action, evaluation, and adaptability.
Red Tornado joins the parents’ club as the only other dad in attendance and entertains the children with two miniature tornadoes. The man across the street notes that only two more need to show up and he unboxes a glowing armament.
Prince Brion is angry with Nightwing’s teaching methodology and his promise to find Terra. Nightwing reminds Brion of the Infinity Island incident and that Brion needs to work on his responses to surprised attack.
Turns out Lobo is here for Forager. The Outsiders quickly ready to enter the fray and a brawl starts. Lobo manages to be a genuine threat to the team, able to handle the vets and the newbies without breaking too much of a sweat. Halo tries to get Forager away, but Lobo fires a hookshot and kills Halo. Again. And again, killing Halo in increasingly brutal ways is exceedingly unsettling, a weird narrative decision, and all around my least favorite thing that Young Justice: Outsiders is doing this season. Now, Halo’s got her violet aura, but we still see her impaled with a lot of blood. Nevertheless, the team continues their skirmish, with Brion and Jefferson managing to subdue Lobo for a moment.
The last guest of the Superheroes Parents’ Club is revealed to be Lois Lane and a baby Jon Kent. Man I’m already 100% sold on whenever the next time jump gives us an animated Super Sons, but until then we get to see all of the superhero families and loved ones just happy and smiling and in great spirits.
Of course, man across the street is ready to strike, revealing himself to be Ocean Master. But from the shadows appears none other than Lady Shiva. It turns out the Light have considered Ocean Master’s massacre, but only as a nuclear option. And the Light doesn’t want things to go nuclear. Lady Shiva reminds us why she’s a badass and summarily executes Orm with a single stroke of the sword, cleaning up without anyone being the wiser.
Back at the quarry, Lobo is still putting up one hell of a fight. When Forager tries to assist, Halo tag teams with her green aura holograms and Lobo goes on the offensive. Halo retaliates with a yellow aura slice, which cuts Lobo’s pinky clean off but leaves him otherwise undeterred. Forager tries to distract Lobo, but in return he lands what looks to be a fatal combination of blows. He leaves as quickly as he came, but as the circumstances would have it Forager is still alive, having scarified his outer exoshell as a decoy. Everyone’s happy, Artemis welcomes Forager to the “Faking Their Own Death” club, and the Hive grows closer.
In the last scene, Lady Shiva a.k.a. the Light’s New Enforcer, reports back on Orm’s situation. The current members of the Light are revealed, their intel is laid on the table, and their gambits are still in motion aided by none other than Granny Goodness.
Chills y’all. Chills.
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