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Young Justice: Outsiders episode 19: “Elder Wisdom” review

“Solidarity, you know?”

The Outsiders must battle against a misinformation campaign orchestrated by Lex Luthor. This episode proves, now more than ever, that “We Are All Outsiders.” Let’s take a look at the latest wrinkles in the silent war between the League and the Light. As always, beware of spoilers.

This week on Young Justice!

Lex Luthor has found a way to twist the public perception of superheroes to his own ends. After an attempt on the lives of Troia and Garth, Lex calls in the Flash to save the day, inadvertently making the Outsiders look like a bunch of amateurs. This was actually a brilliant subversion of expectations, as Lex’s schtick in the past has been to try to prove the worth of humans over those with superpowers. Flash’s willingness to smile to the camera and simultaneously tell Luthor he’s not playing this game is a really clever read of Barry’s character, as well. He wants people to trust that he’ll save the day, but he won’t be Lex’s puppet.

After nearly being at the center of an international incident, the parents and guardians of the young heroes are understandably concerned, leading to the strongest moments of the episode. The idea of the kids having to show their parents that they do occasionally know best felt very reminiscent of the team’s journey in the first season, which was something I very much appreciated as a longtime fan of the show.

It’s been a while since we’ve seen Jay Garrick involved as more than a background character, so having him here to lend some historical context to the world of the series was much-appreciated. One of the show’s biggest strengths has been its embrace of legacy characters, a strength that continues here as Jay wistfully reminds the Outsiders of the young heroes they’ve lost over the years. Impulse really shines here, with Bart dropping his usual hyperactivity and leveling with Jay in one of the sweetest moments of this season.

DC Universe

Another respectable aspect of this episode is how it moved forward Violet’s storyline, with her telling Brion about her infidelity and her host body’s part in the death of his parents. Unlike some of the other plot threads through this show, it was somewhat refreshing to see Violet be honest with Brion, no matter how difficult it was. While Brion’s reaction was a little more lost and subdued than we’ve seen from him in some time, it’s commendable that the show’s writers had Violet come clean with him and his sister, considering Violet still has a few more secrets that she’s keeping from her friends.

Voice actress Zehra Fazal is incredible in these moments, imbuing Violet with a confused and conflicted tone. Violet is still a newborn in some ways and she’s had to learn to deal with so many new emotions well before she was ready. All of that comes through in Fazal’s cautious and vulnerable performance.

“Elder Wisdom” continues the brilliant development of the classic Legends storyline into a more modern take on the concept, with fears of misinformation and fake news invading all aspects of the superhero world. It’s hard to know who to trust at this point, as even lies told with the best intentions can lead to mistrust and fear.

DC Universe

With the League becoming more fractured and Lex Luthor more emboldened than ever, it seems that we are beginning to see the Light’s final plans being set in motion. Join me next week for some “Quiet Conversations.”

Outside Observations:

  • It appears that the Keene Act (or some form of it) existed in this version of the DC Universe. I’d love to hear more about that and how Jay and the others stood against it.
  • The ticker on Godfrey’s show hilariously boils down everything to the smallest soundbites, presumably for his uneducated audience. I got a genuine laugh out of “LUTHOR: ‘OUTSIDERS SAD.'”
  • I enjoyed this episode’s fun twist on Matches Malone almost as much as Batman clearly enjoyed getting to bust out his Irish accent.
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