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Young Justice: Outsiders Episodes 10 – 13 Review – ‘Exceptional Human Beings/Another Freak/Nightmare Monkeys/True Heroes’

January 25, 2019 | Posted by Jeremy Thomas
Young Justice: Outsiders - Exceptional Human Beings
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Young Justice: Outsiders Episodes 10 – 13 Review – ‘Exceptional Human Beings/Another Freak/Nightmare Monkeys/True Heroes’  

[Warning: spoilers abound for those who have not seen Friday’s episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders.]

It’s too soon for Young Justice: Outsiders to have a midseason finale. Not that the show hasn’t had enough story thus far; quite the contrary. If anything, the show might be accused of having a bit too much story thus far. But it seems like the show just got back on the air. DC Universe is working on a particular timeframe, meaning that three episodes a week was necessary so they could continue on. And I’m sure that most fans haven’t been upset with that much Young Justice a week. What I’m saying here is, DC knows what they’re doing, and it’s working.

Still, though, we did seem to reach this point in a pretty short amount of time. There is good news here, though. Working on its binge-oriented format, Outsiders has been able to take its time with developing its characters. That’s something that was, on occasion, missing in the otherwise excellent season two. In the past few weeks, we’ve gotten to know Violet, Brion and Forager well enough that they feel worthy of the focus put on them. This allows showrunners Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman to raise the stakes as we jump into a finale that, while short on Apokolips action, knows how to conclude its first part and set up an intriguing second of the season.

Young Justice: Outsiders Cyborg

Part of that set up involves the arrival of Victor Stone, aka Cyborg. To be honest, I had some concerns about Young Justice: Outsiders bringing in yet another character. Young Justice is filled to the brim with characters, to say the least. And while Vietti and Weissman do a good job juggling them, it gets unwieldy from time to time. That said, Victor will clearly be an important part of the season. And the show effectively tells his origin in a way that brings him right into the team while revealing more about Violet’s powers.

Retelling the origin of DC’s most iconic characters can be tricky. Most people with even a passing DC familiarity know how Victor Stone becomes Cyborg. And yet it feels right to see it done here, in part because it has its own twist. Victor’s father resurrects him via the Father Box in a more direct fashion than the New 52 version. (That story saw Silas use nanites and robotics, while the Father Box energies just happened to incorporate in).

Switching this around results in some big implications for the story. The show has been teasing a big Apokolips/Darkseid story throughout the season. And yet, the big guy has only made one appearance so far, in episode seven. It can’t be a coincidence that the show makes Victor’s Apokoliptian power source more overt. Like much of Young Justice, it’s an effective remix of comic book canon. It should also have big implications for the second half of the season, especially considering how instrumental Cyborg was in turning back Darkseid in the comics.

Young Justice: Outsiders Halo

In a more immediate development, Victor’s story allows the narrative to reveal the origin of Violet’s powers. We learn that Halo was reanimated with the “soul” of the Mother Box used to create metahumans in Markovia. As such, she has an important role in bringing Victor back under his own agency.

That’s important not only for Victor, but for Violet herself. The mystery of Halo’s powers has been a question mark hanging over the season. Brion’s geological powers are easily enough explained via lineage. And Forager is, as he’s fond of saying, Forager. Outsiders didn’t explain how Gabrielle became Halo as clearly until now. This was an essential step for making Violet more than just an extremely polite foreign plot device. We know she isn’t Gabrielle anymore. She is a person with an identity all her own…one literally of her own making.

This connection also leads to an important confrontation for Violet. Young Justice has always had a strong dedication to making sure its characters grow and advance. Violet is forced to do that when the Father Box takes Victor over once more. It’s a tension-filled sequence, pitting Violet against Cyborg with no one to call on for help. Standing up to him represents an important step for both characters. For the first time, Violet feels like something more than an extraordinary girl who is just going along with everyone else. She feels like the hero that the Team — and the show — needs her to be.

Young Justice: Outsiders Brion Jefferson Artemis

The rest of the story basically focuses on bringing Tara Markov into the Outsiders. It does take it a while to get there, but we get some interesting things in the meantime. Brion finally manages to grow up a little bit, as he tries to move past the goings-on in Markovia. He also shows signs of the hero he can be during the climactic raid on the Bialyan trafficking facility, going back to rescue the other metahumans even after Tara is freed. This is all vastly-needed. Forager is a constant delight, and while Violet needed character development, she was enjoyable. I’ve touched on this before, but Brion was basically another angry young guy. There’s nothing inherently wrong with that, but we’ve seen it before. Moving past it sooner rather that later was important, and we seemed to get that here.

The more interesting part by far was Garfield’s part, simply because it was so strange. I imagine some people are going to hate this. The trip into Garfield’s mind is, like many mindscape episodes, weird and off-putting. Weisman does some wacky things here, most notably the inspired Doom Patrol Go! sequence. But it all works at getting down to the core of Beast Boy and giving him some importance in the story. The TV cameos have been fun, but it’s good to see Gar as a real person here, and his reunion with M’Gann in his mind was a nice moment.

Gar’s trip gives the team the pieces they need to go after and rescue Tara. Of course, many DC fans would realize that Tara’s rescue was a bit too easy, especially considering her iconic status as a mole for Deathstroke in the Teen Titans. Sure enough, that’s what happens here. This adds another wrinkle to the game and gives The Light an important role to play going forward. Much like Cyborg, Tara (or Terra, if you prefer) would seem to have a big role to play when the show returns. It’s a development that I’m looking forward to seeing play out once the show returns in June.

Young Justice: Outsiders Team Gar

Some Final Thoughts:

• Apologies for missing last week, folks. It’s been a hectic start to 2019 here at 411mania for a few reasons, and something had to give.

• I have to say, Cyborg’s injuries were decpited more gruesomely than I expected. I know Outsiders is leaning to a more mature fanbase than most of the animated shows, but that was pushing the envelope. Not that I’m complaining.

• Superboy and Junior’s friendly banter while they were beating the hell out of each other was pretty great. It’s neat to see how much Connor has grown up since season one. And it’s a light touch that DC shows often noticeably lack.

• Shout-out to the producers for throwing in a Wilhelm scream during the filming of Gar’s sci-fi show. It put a smile on this cinephile’s face.

• For real though, Doom Patrol Go is the animated series I never knew I needed until now. Get on that, Warner Bros. Animation.

• That’s it for Young Justice: Outsiders for now, folks. We should be back with Doom Patrol coverage on February 15th.

The final score: review Very Good
The 411
Young Justice: Outsiders closes the first half of its season in solid fashion, wrapping up its immediate storylines and setting the stage for the second half. Terra is in place, Cyborg has been brought into the storyline and our newer heroes have graduated from trainee status. I'm expecting big things from this show when it returns in June...which, with the show being as good as it is, seems agonizingly far away right now.