Young Justice: Outsiders season 3, episode 8 recap: Triptych


 Episode eight of Young Justice: Outsiders gives us a new and confusing look at the inner workings of the Justice League and the meta-human trafficking ring.

In episode eight of Young Justice: Outsiders, members of the Justice League report on a pattern of villains freeing meta-humans across the country. Dick Grayson/ Nightwing tells Barbara Gordon/ Oracle about a heist in Detroit where Livewire, Mist, and Shade stole a Reach device. They were working with Cheshire, who got shot in the shoulder during the op before the four of them were able to escape.

As Cheshire recuperated, Artemis Crock/ Tigress and the rest of the Outsiders arrived to interrogate her. The Outsiders believed Cheshire had a lead on the League of Shadows, who were confirmed to have captured Brion Markov/ Geo-Force’s sister in episode six of the show.

But when the Outsiders confronted Cheshire at her hanger bay, her team ambushed them. Livewire was no match for Black Lightning, but Mist almost strangled Nightwing before he was able to freeze her with a portable injector. Forager, Halo, and Geo-Force battled Shade, but he was able to phase Brion into the Shadowland. Outraged, Halo unleashed a powerful white light, defeating the villain and saving her friend. Of all the Outsiders, Halo has the most impressive abilities and shows potential to evolve further. Now, if only the showrunners would stop trying to incapacitate her at the start of every fight, we’d get to see how incredible she is!

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Tigress got Cheshire to talk – while she doesn’t know who’s running the League of Shadows, she does know that they are operating out of Santa Prisca. Perhaps that’s all the intel viewers need to figure out who the new Demon’s Head is.

After Nightwing’s report, Tim Drake/ Robin tells Bruce Wayne/ Batman that he and his ‘squad’ – Stephanie Brown/ Spoiler, Cassandra Cain/ Orphan, Cissie King-Jones/ Arrowette – have been keeping an eye on Jervis Tetch/ The Mad Hatter since his release from Arkham Asylum. So, it wasn’t Bruce under Ra’s Al Ghul’s thrall in episode six of Young Justice: Outsiders! It must have been Jason Todd, aka, Red Hood. The suit did look similar.

Back to Robin – the squad realized that Tetch was actually Clayface, but were they working together or was Tetch controlling Clayface? They followed the villains to a warehouse where Tetch was experimenting with using mind-controlling nano injections on an unsuspecting meta. Who is this person? Unfortunately, Tetch blew up the warehouse before the squad could capture either Tetch or Clayface. So they think. Clayface comes away unscathed, in the end, and Robin finds the device Tetch was using to control the metas. By turning it off, Robin freed Clayface.

Batman and Red Robin in Young Justice: Outsiders (Credit: DC Universe)

Kaldur’ahm/ Aquaman and M’gann M’orzz/ Miss Martian contact Diana Prince/ Wonder Woman to tell her about an ambush by Sportsmaster and Abra Kadabra on an armed truck carrying two prisoners. One was Brick, who was arrested after being defeated by Bowhunter Security; the other meta is unknown and escaped with Sportsmaster.

Batman is pleased that the League has been able to cripple the meta-human trafficking activities of Branchwater Industries, a shell company run by Stagg Industries’ owner Simon Stagg. Stagg is using meta-humans for corporate espionage, but unlike Bedlam who were trying to create new metas, Stagg is using three methods to get metas to work for him.

  • Acquisition – Sportsmaster is employed to capture prisoners on their way to Belle Rev prisons.
  • Coercion – Mad Hatter uses nanotech to control and command metas like Clayface.
  • Utilization – Cheshire ran missions for Stagg using the coerced metas to acquire resources for Stagg.

Thanks to the work of the Justice League, or at least this particular faction of the League, the metas are no longer being coerced and the criminal elements have been safely locked away. Miss Martian and Conner Kent/ Superboy were also able to arrest Stagg for stealing the Reach device. The device was a meta-human fail-safe, acquired by Stagg to stave off his paranoia about the scary meta-world that he himself was helping to build.

Young Justice: Outsiders episode 8 (Credit: DC Universe)

Nightwing reveals that Shade is currently the only meta on the loose. It also turns out that the meta we had seen being ‘rescued’ by Sportsmaster, and later experimented on by Mad Hatter, were all Shade. They have really messed him up and now he’s with Cheshire. The Justice League know that she won’t let Shade get away easily. Though the team believes he’s safe from Stagg’s ministrations, we see that Cheshire has sent Shade, wearing Tetch’s hat, to Stagg’s cell.

Wonder Woman is unconvinced by this ‘win’. The subterfuge is not worth it. This group of seven are leading six of their own teams, each unaware that they are working towards the same goal. The same can be said about this episode. Young Justice: Outsiders has been a great return to the show, but the first two episodes of this week have been poor examples of the dedication and determination of the cast and crew. ‘Triptych’ feels like a complete mess, living up to the meaning of its title, but never feeling like a cohesive whole. This episode feels like one gimmick after another, with the Shade reveal being devoid of pathos for the sake of a twist.

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Young Justice has played around with secrets among the superheroes before, especially in season two, but there appears to be no direction now. Perhaps the ensemble cast of characters is just too big for the showrunners to handle.