Young Justice: Outsiders 23rd episode, “Terminus,” carried the momentum created by the last few episodes. Now that everyone has been made aware of Darkseid and Granny Goodness search for the Anti-Life Equation there is a sense of urgency injected into every character on the show. That is heightened by the fact that Darkseid was able to quickly capture Halo in the last episode, forcing an unlikely alliance to form between the Justice League, Team and The Light.
Easily the thing that stood out most while watching the “Terminus” episode of Young Justice: Outsiders was how quickly the 23 minutes went by. There is never a moment for our main characters to rest. Even when we get a chance to breathe with the Black Lightning scenes the episode doesn’t stay there too long. It is all about what the Team does on Darkseid’s Anti-Life Equation asteroid. By the time the ending credits rolled it was a surprise how much time had passed.
Placing the focus back on the original cast of Nightwing, Aquaman, Artemis, Superboy and Miss Martian really helped this episode shine. From the inception of this show we have seen these five characters, along with Wally West and Zatanna, grow from up-and-coming superheroes to superheroes that others look to for mentoring and leadership. At the core of all this growth has been the dynamic they have all shared together.
We see how easily these five slipped right back into work into an efficient team on the field. If it weren’t for Granny Goodness control of Halo and the Anti-Life Equation this would’ve been a wrap for the original Team’s mission success. It speaks to how far they have all come as a team that they were able to do this.
What made the focus on Nightwing, Aquaman, Artemis, Superboy and Miss Martian was how they all tackled the recent drama around the greater Team and Batman’s secret society. Superboy in particular stood out the most when it came to dealing with the ramifications of Black Lightning’s revelation. For the first time this season he stepped up to be the voice of reason as he had serious conversations with Miss Martian and Nightwing. Miss Martian’s shocked expression over what Superboy said showed how his words were cutting deep. It also showed that while Miss Martian has become better at understanding others and maturing into a leader she is still naive when it comes to the bigger decisions she has to make.
Similarly, Superboy calling Nightwing out on his hesitation to accept his fate as a leader was an excellent call back to the first season. During that season we saw Dick Grayson go from being all about leading the Team to coming to terms with Kaldur being the better choice. But that was then. Now he is no longer Robin nor can he hide behind Batman or Kaldur’s leadership. Having Superboy bring this up creates intrigue around if Nightwing finally accepts his full leadership qualities when Young Justice: Outsiders wraps up.
On that note it was interesting to see that the staff continued with Nightwing dealing with the effects of being in Granny Goodness torture chamber. This sub-plot turned out to be highly important as it framed the true ramifications of Darkseid using the Anti-Life Equation. Because while meta-humans are shown to not suffer aftereffects as badly that can’t be said for those without powers. We saw that with how Nightwing, Hal Jordan, Guy Gardner and John Stewart all reacted negatively to having the Anti-Life Equation used on them while the rest of the Justice League and Team were simply mind controlled.
The one thing that was off about this part of the story is the fact that we saw Nightwing and the other non-meta-humans fall under the control of the Anti-Life Equation at the end of “Terminus.” This seems to contradict what was established about Darkseid’s plans by Granny Goodness. That said, where things go from the Justice League and the Team falling under Darkseid’s influence will be interesting to see.
Along with establishing those plans, the fever dream that the aftereffects it caused Nightwing to imagine Wally back and everyone back in their first season form. It was a fun reminder of what the Team was at first. Once Nightwing broke out of it the fun turned into a very serious dramatic scene as everyone experienced the fever dream thanks to their mental link. It brought back how much impact Wally’s death had on all of them. Artemis embracing Nightwing was a great show of growth on her part as it would’ve been reasonable for her to be the most hurt by this. Instead she recognized the pain that still existed in her friends heart and showed support in dealing with things together.
While the major focus was on the two strikes against Darkseid’s secret base there were several sub-plots that ran in the background. The biggest one that most related to the big mission of this episode was the fact that Vandal Savage helped the Team by giving them a Mother Box. We all know that Savage would not do this if he did not have an ulterior motive. Between Terra being a traitor and now them helping the Team it’s clear The Light have come up with a bigger plan for everything. What that is exactly will likely be one of the driving forces for the remaining three episodes.
On a more surprising note, it was odd to see Geo Force acting in such a rational manner throughout “Terminus.” Given Halo’s situation it was expected for him to go rogue at some point in the mission. That never happened and did show that he is finally growing emotionally after everything he has experienced. It was honestly a refreshing portrayal for a character that has been, at many points in this season, the most annoying parts of an episode.
The other major running sub-plot for this episode was with Black Lightning silently reflecting on Batman’s secret society discovery and his girlfriend, Helga Jace, betrayal. With how much time we have spent with Black Lightning this season it is still hard to connect with him. Even when we see him spending time with Static Shock and his family, the interactions don’t feel genuine. This all comes down to the fact that we haven’t really seen his mentor-protege with Static or family dynamic explored at all on this show. Like most of the weakest parts of this show, that has all been developed on screen. That all brings up the fact that Young Justice: Outsiders has been trying to juggle way too many main characters this season.
On a more positive note, it will be interesting to see how the Outsiders, Batman’s team and the remaining Justice League members handled what happened to everyone. There are still many heroes in play to combat Darkseid. But with how bleak things look all the remaining heroes have an uphill battle to climb in the last three episodes. That battle may actually turn out for the best as it will actually give them all real big hero moments rather than manufactured ones.
All-in-all, “Terminus” was a tightly crafted episode. The brisk pace allowed several running sub-plots to run its course. With the original team of Nightwing, Aquaman, Artemis, Miss Martian and Superboy leading the charge the storytelling was on point. Now with how things ended with Darkseid getting two major victories over the Justice League and the Team we should be in store for a great final charge with the remaining three episodes all premiering next week.
Episode Rating: 9 Night Girls out of 10
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