Last week’s episode began to address the major problems facing the Young Justice: Outsiders season. Now with episode 20, “Quiet Conversations,” Young Justice: Outsiders is getting back to basics of what made the first season such a standout. In the process “Quiet Conversations” turned out to have a lot of great character moments that push the show forward. Though due to the slow pace of previous episodes there was a lot of moments in this episode that were rushed. That kept this episode from being considered one of the shows overall best episodes.
The thing that stuck out most throughout “Quiet Conversations” were the facial reactions of every character that appeared onscreen. There was a lot of storytelling done through the animation of various characters way of emoting that stuck out. It was all very impressive as it added layers to the storytelling being done in each scene. Given how character focus this episode was, having those visuals of various character reactions was a great thing for this episode.
This was best shown in Aquaman’s segment of this episode. Young Justice: Outsiders has not been kind in how it has portrayed Kaldur’ahm as Aquaman. With how things ended up working out in the Invasion season with their plan Kaldur has definitely gained confidence in having plans that involve heroes working from the shadows. That has been shown with how he, along with Batman, has led the efforts in fast-tracking the Outsiders popularity with the public. The way it has done has painted Kaldur in a bad light.
That is until “Quiet Conversations” finally placed a spotlight on Kaldur’s life. By bringing him back home to Poseidonis we got to see him interact with his own people, including his parents. Being back in that life that he has been a bit removed from due to his Justice League exploits as Aquaman clearly made this a homecoming for him. In dropping his guard we got to see a vulnerable Kaldur appear throughout his interaction with his mentor and parents, much like those he had in the first season.
Placing Dolphin in this scene as she became part of the Atlantean people was a great choice. She is an outsider who would not be afraid to call Kaldur out on his bullshit. Having her understand that Kaldur is hiding something through noticing his facial reactions made Dolphin a character that instantly becomes a fan favorite. Through her Kaldur is able to realize that he is not fully comfortable with the choices he has made in working from the shadows. It was all a good way to develop two characters, in Kaldur and Dolphin, at the same time.
Giving Kaldur a romantic relationship, as the show confirmed Kaldur is in a relationship with Wyynde, was great to see. The show staff treated it as a normal interaction between Kaldur and Wyynde, which is how it should be when portraying LGBTQ characters. We’ve seen this on other cartoons like Legend of Korra, Adventure Time and Voltron. Giving Kaldur this relationship with Wyynde also adds to what the fallout of his actions may be as they could trickle down to affect his personal relationships.
The only thing I wish the show staff would’ve done with introducing this relationship is giving Wyynde a different character design. His character design is almost identical to Tempest, who we saw in the first season of Young Justice. Making a small change like the color choice of Wyynde’s costume would’ve helped in not making the mistake that Kaldur was dating Tempest instead.
Continuing the character focused approach of “Quiet Conversations,” it was great to see the Halo’s note from the previous episode be addressed right away. This was something that could’ve easily taken Halo off the board for an episode or two. But by showing what Halo’s intentions were by going back to visit Gabrielle Daou’s family this storyline did not lose momentum. It showed how far Halo has come that she would go visit Gabrielle’s family to finally deal with how she isn’t their daughter anymore. The staff did well in keeping up who Halo is when she explained to Gabrielle’s confused parents that she is a different person now. By the end there was clear growth for Halo that will make her a stronger character moving forward.
Though not everything was perfect with Halo’s story. It was odd that Halo was just accepted back to the team without question. There were a lot of questions around Halo’s actions and current state of her powers. The ending for her character arc felt extremely rushed as the show staff clearly ran out of time to fully resolve everything around Halo’s character.
This in particular hurt the final moments of this episode with Terra telling Deathstroke everything was fine. After how Terra felt betrayed and immediately gave an update to Deathstroke after what she learned it came across as out-of-character that she would suddenly be all smiley after Halo returned. As Judas Contract plot line continues I hope we get more character development for Terra, like we saw in her budding mentorship under Artemis. Because what we got here came across as very rushed.
From Halo’s arc we also got some resolution for Harper Row’s character. Her re-introduction and connection to Halo came across as unearned when it happened. Young Justice: Outsiders has not done as good of a job developing its supporting cast. That is at least something that this episode fixes with Harper developing into a fully realized character.
That was not an easy task since Harper’s arc revolved around abuse and suicide. These are topics that need to be treated with care. To the show’s staff credit they did a good job carefully addressing what is going on in Harper’s life. Her story wrapped up well enough that she can now either continue to develop her as a supporting character this season or be brought back as a major character in season 4 in her Bluebird identity.
Additionally, Harper’s story showed how far Miss Martian has come in understanding others as well. In between the various time jumps Miss Martian has grown as a person. She isn’t an awkward teen unable to understand how to connect with others. Now she is an adult who knows how to emotionally connect with someone without having to use her powers. It’s a great evolution for her character. Now I hope they use that to address her involvement with the superhero illuminati group.
The final major character arc we got in “Quiet Conversations” was for Cyborg. It was refreshing that the show finally tackled Cyborg’s character. It was getting incredibly old seeing Cyborg in the background moping around, not wanting to talk to others. It made him come across as a very boring character. Now that the show has finally gotten Cyborg to deal with the major change in his life he can become a more fully realized character. Which adds another strong character to an already strong cast as the story continues to develop.
On the downside of Cyborg’s story was how rushed the Apokolips part of his story. Having Superboy, Superman and others just suddenly get involved after being sidelined for so long just did not work as intended. They have been off the table for so long and the Apokolips stuff has not been dealt with as well as it should be that this did not feel earned. Which is a shame because having Cyborg and other interact with a character like Metron and using the Mobius Chair should mean a lot. But the lack of development in this part of the show’s overall story hurts the payoff we get when Metron talks about Granny Goodness.
Overall there was a lot to like in terms of where characters ended up by the end of “Quiet Conversations.” There was a lot of ground covered for Aquaman, Halo, Cyborg and Harper Row’s character arcs. With that done Young Justice: Outsiders can push forward with their adaption of the Judas Contract and what the Light and Apokolips plans are, an area this show has struggled developing. Hopefully now with only a handful of episodes left things come together well for Young Justice: Outsiders to end on a high.
Episode Rating: 7 Night Girls out of 10
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