The last few weeks have been rough for Young Justice: Outsiders. The problems with the recent episodes have all been simple but quickly had a snowball effect that covered the good parts of the “First Impression” and “Early Warning” episodes. Now with episode 19, “Elder Wisdom,” Young Justice: Outsiders finally tackles those problems. And just like the problems of these recent episodes, the solution presented in “Elder Wisdom” was simple and extremely effective.
When it came to both the “First Impression” and “Early Warning” had was time management. Things either happened to fast or were never properly executed due to time constraints. Those episodes clearly had to clearly get from point A to point B quickly when it came to developing the Outsiders team for the second half of this season for Young Justice. That’s not to say everything was bad about those episodes as the rise of Beast Boy has been great to follow in the second half of Young Justice: Outsiders.
Now after watching “Elder Wisdom” it is clear the last two episodes were the sacrifice that Young Justice: Outsiders needed to have in order to properly move into the second half of the season. With this episode things moved at a pace that never seemed to quick or slow. Everything was timed properly to set-up the various plotlines everyone in this episode go through. And at no point did it feel like one storyline was being sacrificed in time for one of the others taking place.
The opening of “Elder Wisdom” is a great example of that. The show’s writers do not spend time explaining why Donna Troy, who has taken on the Troia identity, and Tempest are acting as ambassadors for the Amazons and Atlanteans, respectively. Instead they use the conversation between Wonder Woman and Troia where they talked as equals to explain this, letting the viewer frame what their relationship is through the dialogue. Adding Troia’s remark about Wonder Girl missing her mentor gave depth to their short scene together. It was all simple but effective way to add history to the Young Justice’s DC Universe without going through a long.
Quickly building the connection between Wonder Woman and Troia immediately created a sense of concern when terrorist were able to take Troia and Tempest out through a surprise attack. The sense of urgency was felt with the Outsiders appearance to stop the terrorist group. That urgency made how they were able to quickly work as a team to save the day the best moment the Outsiders have had.
At the same time, the battle did show that the Outsiders are still learning on the job. We saw that with how both Halo and Kid Flash suffered injuries from the fight. Lex Luthor using those injuries as to why he called in the Justice League to save the day was a smart way to turn the attention on the rookie status of the Outsiders. For the first time in a while we got to see the Outsiders feeling the threat Lex and the Light posses.
Splitting the rest of the episode around this mission by the Outsiders was well-done. It specifically pointed back to why the Justice League created The Team seven years ago. They wanted to ensure that the younger generation could develop without having the target those in the Justice League have on their chest. The Outsiders public approach to being superheroes goes against that safety net The Team had.
Bringing in Kid Flash, Wonder Girl and El Dorado’s parents and guardians to confront the Outsiders about this was a great choice. It not only furthered the ramifications of the Outsiders being public facing but also showed the growing overconfidence of the team. Beast Boy’s speech to Jay Garrick specifically showed that the team’s fame is getting to them. If they continue to look at the trending nature of the Outsiders then they are only opening themselves up for the Light to strike hard.
The appearance of Jay Garrick, Eduardo Dorado Sr. and Helena Sandsmark was a great way to give Kid Flash, El Dorado and Wonder Girl much needed character development. Jay bringing up the death of Jason Todd, Wally West and other younger heroes that show up as honorary holograms was well done. This immediately made the viewer understand the reasonable concern Jay, Eduardo and Helena all had now that the Outsiders painted a target on their kids back. It was a personal challenge to Kid Flash, El Dorado and Wonder Girl to show their commitment to being superheroes.
They accomplished just that as they reminded their parents and guardians the importance of using their powers to be superheroes. If they are to live up to their potential it was only a matter of time that the safety net of the Team would be removed. Having the Outsiders together helped them all grow to live up to that potential while still having others to have their backs. Showing this by having brief flashes of the other Outsiders in action further strengthen the convincing position Kid Flash, El Dorado and Wonder Girl took.
This all properly paid off with Jay getting back in his Flash costume and, along with Barry Allen, publicly showing his support for Kid Flash and the Outsiders. This was another strong confidence builder for the Outsiders. Now that they are being fully supported by the Justice League and JSA it’ll be interesting where the Outsiders go as the Light will likely directly target the team.
Speaking of the Light, Lex’s reintroduction to the show was mostly well handled. Even when things didn’t go his way the writers did a good job in giving Lex dialogue that showed him trying to be as calm as possible. At the same time we did see some chink in the armor as the Lights partnership with Darkseid is shown to starting to be on shaky ground. This particular plot point would’ve been stronger if the Light was a bigger presence this season. Though now after “Elder Wisdom” the set-up is their for Lex and the Light to reclaim the ground they’ve gained on the superheroes the last two seasons.
Through all that it was refreshing that finally we had someone speak up to Batman and the superhero illuminati organization they’ve created. Having Wonder Woman as that person was the perfect choice. She is someone with the same level of respect as Batman and has established herself as a strong voice of reason. So in having her speak up on the tactics her Batman and the others are using to help make the Outsiders a success speaks volumes in how far things are going in the war with the Light. Hopefully we see this developed more as characters like Nightwing, Oracle and Miss Martian think hard what Wonder Woman said to the group.
The final major plotline in “Elder Wisdom” around Halo was once again well handled. Halo’s character arc has been a bit all over the place since being introduced. But while the character development has not been perfect it all worked with Halo’s decision to reveal to Geo Force and Terra the truth about Gabrielle Daou. This was a big character moment that put Halo, Geo Force and Terra’s story on the road to their respective endgames. We already get hints of where their respective character arcs will go with Terra contacting Deathstroke and Halo writing a mysterious letter at the end of the episode. Both character decisions could immediately impact the future of the Outsiders.
All in all, “Elder Wisdom” was exactly the episode that Young Justice: Outsiders needed to recover its momentum. The episode set up strong storylines to further follow-up on for the Outsiders, Light and Justice League’s secret organization. In the process Wonder Girl, Kid Flash, Halo, El Dorado, Geo Force and Terra all got great character development that their arcs forward.
Episode Rating: 8 Night Girls out of 10
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