Weirdest Thanksgiving special ever.
Young Justice: Outsiders returns after the first half of season 3 ended in January 2019 And yet despite the 7-month long hiatus, the show itself somehow still finds time to juggle its large plethora of DC characters sprinkled with more DC fanservice, plot-twists, drama and intrigue than ever before. So for the first 3 episodes of Season 3’s 2nd half, we begin with…
Throughout this episode we see what’s been happening within the core adult members of the Justice League with the standout easily being Guy Gardner (Troy Baker) who stole the show despite what little screentime he had, but his comedic scenes helped bring levity and balance out the scenes where the League members have prioritized handling off-world matters due to some bad PR Lex Luthor has placed on them (whom in this universe has a strong political influence as a U.N. Secretary-General). But it’s briefly mentioned that Aquaman (Kaldur) and Troia are currently ambassadors on Earth handling League affairs in an effort to preserve the League’s good image. While this is going on, Nightwing, Tigress, and Superboy have a heart-to-heart with the new members about whether or not they want to partake in covert op missions. Vic (Cyborg) isn’t on board, but Geo-Force, Halo, Forager, and Terra all volunteer. And if anyone remembers Season 3’s midseason finale it officially confirmed a plot-twist even I saw coming a mile away given the roots of Terra’s comic book history.
Throughout this episode, we see a number of influences surrounding this universe which put everyone on opposing political odds against the league. It also doesn’t help that Batman along with a few other detective-based heroes split off into their own in response to Lex’s PR meddling beyond the small mention of Commissioner Gordon turning off the Bat signal. While the new covert-op team is fully assembled, the Adult League members pick up on a lead encountering some trouble of their own in the form of Darkseid’s minions, but barely manage to survive the encounter leading to the next episode…
Before the new Covert-Op Team’s first mission even begins, we learn that Beast Boy is kept under the proverbial Thumb of Granny Goodness who’s forced him to stick to his acting career with a strict contract that consequently puts Beast Boy on edge, but regardless, they set out to Russia to investigate another Meta-Human treatment center to ensure it’s legitimacy only to encounter Three members of Amanda Waller’s Task Force X (aka Suicide Squad), with Black Manta as Leader, but in the process discover that the Russian base while no-longer related to their mission is more than just a treatment center but manage to apprehend Manta and the other two members.
Given Black Manta’s prior knowledge with Tigress and the events of Season 2, Waller uses some “leverage” of her own and agrees to keep quiet about the Justice League’s covert-ops team if Kaldur keeps quiet about Task Force X which itself is a grey area in all this. At the end of “Leverage,” we also learn that Halo sees visions and memories which show that the body of the woman she’s inhabiting “Gabrielle” may have played a role involving the political assassination of Markovia’s royal King & Queen, but is apprehensive to tell anyone at all.
“Illusion of Control”
This episode has all the heroes celebrate Thanksgiving but the older members of the Young Justice team, In particular, Girl Thirteen, Blue Beetle, Kid Flash (Bart Allen), Beast Boy, Eduardo, and Static Shock take on Count Vertigo when he invades the Metahuman rehab center’s harvest festival and kidnapped Princess Perdita. The teens are confused as to why Count Vertigo even showed up, but it turns out the twist itself even threw me off-guard leading to a fun action sequence. In the end, prompted by Beast Boy’s fame, they reveal to the press that they’re working to make the world a safer place.
The other characters, meanwhile, have more a subdued Thanksgiving. Tigress’ mother is less than thrilled that she’s back to the hero lifestyle again. Victor Stone (Cyborg) struggles with his own personal desires with Forager keeping him company. Everyone’s tossing each other longing glances. However, the episode’s end is where it gets interesting as Halo finally confides in Helga Jace about the memories of Gabrielle and her possible role in the Death of the Markovian King & Queen to Dr. Jace but the twist-ending itself raises more questions than answers when she makes a phone call immediately afterward but to whom??
For the first three episodes, each title seems to uphold to the meaning and theme they all seem to be going for, but that’s kinda the gist I got from these episodes in different ways. If there’s anyone I felt bad for the most, I think It’d be Beast Boy, Halo and Artemis as we the audience know who Granny Goodness is, and It’s blatantly obvious how she’s abusing Beast Boy through legal binding. Halo’s personal struggles with who she is as a person due to being an alien soul trapped in a servant woman’s body. We’ll have to see what happens next with these new twists & turns within the plot since we the audience is now unsure who is worth trusting or not. It’s also Clear that Dr. Jace has ulterior motives on her own, and finally given that Artemis is struggling with feelings of her own in regards to wanting to be with Will Harper due to her sister Cheshire being a coward who left her own child behind and the fact that her boyfriend Wally West (The first Kid-Flash) is has been dead for two years during the events of Season 2’s finale.
This is a much more mature and well-written series that isn’t just about heroes going on adventures or villains being assholes for the sake of it. There are implications of morality and politics. Everything has its purpose and every action has a reaction. It’s all very realistic, logical and complex and what’s what I love about this series.
I just hope it keeps this momentum going as the 2nd half further progresses.