REVIEW: ‘Young Justice: Outsiders’ Season 3, Episode 21 – “Unknown Factors”

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Previously on Young Justice: Outsiders, Victor was being overtaken by a Father Box. This lead Jeffery, Connor Kent (Nolan North), and Forager to find Morbius and ask for his help. However, the New God was far from helpful. Fortunately, the team was able to overtake him to get Victor to sit in his chair, reversing the damage the Father Box had done. Meanwhile, Violet (Zehra Fazal) returned to Gabrielle’s family to attempt to give them closure and to let them know she is dying. Now, in “Unknown Factors,” the team realizes the connection Granny Goodness (Deborah Strang) has with the New Gods as Dick Grayson and Jefferson attempt to go after her.

Granny Goode, aka Granny Goodness, in addition to being a mysterious villain for the team, runs Goode World Studios. After discovering the connection between the Good World Studios VR goggles and meta-teen trafficking, Garfield Logan (Greg Cipes) called for the team to investigate her. However, Gar’s hands are mostly tied as he is still in a contract with her studio. But, while at her new movie premiere, Nightwing, aka Dick Grayson (Jesse McCartney) and Black Lighting, with help from Oracle, attempt to break into her house to investigate. Since the team still has Dreamer’s Mother Box, Dick is able to ping Apokoliptic technology. But even with Oracle and Mother Box’s help, things get a lot more complicated.

Seeing Dick back in action in “Unknown Factors” is amazing. He has been absent from the show since its return. A complaint I have had about Young Justice: Outsiders is the way it has all but forgotten the original characters that made the first and second season so good. Additionally, one of my favorite parts about Young Justice: Outsiders has been the small doses we get of Oracle. Hearing her on the coms and poking fun with Dick in this episode is something I wish we had more of in the previous episodes.

In addition to seeing Dick again, “Unknown Factors” gives us more insight into Kaldur’ahm (Khary Payton) and Wyynde’s relationship. It was revealed last episode that Kaldur is bisexual. However, his moments with his boyfriend are interrupted when Oracle pings him to let him know that Nightwing and Black Lightning are missing following their recon mission going haywire.

As Kaldur prepares to investigate the disappearance of Nightwing and Black Lightning, Victor moves into the HQ in Hollywood and is slowly repairing his relationship with his father. Previously, Victor and his Dad were on rocky terms, to say the least. Victor is finally officially joining the Outsiders as the team continues to take missions.

The recon mission with Nightwing and Black Lightning, and then Kaldur’ahm and Wyynde, is exactly what I want from Young Justice: Outsiders. A lot of the missions the team had been taking did not have high stakes, so it made a very adult animated series feel like a cartoon for children. Young Justice: Outsiders has struggled with a tonal disconnect and an inability to balance adult themes with kitschy and campy dialogue. Luckily, that is not evident in “Unknown Factors.” The focus on Barbara, Nightwing, and Kaldur makes a lot more sense than continuing to introduce new characters or even focusing on characters from last season that didn’t get attention. While I am all for new characters in the spotlight, it won’t have much weight if the show continues to write a narrative around them that assumes viewers know or care who they are. So far in this season, we have yet to really see Blue Beetle, Spoiler, Robin, or even Jason Todd again, who we last saw with Ra’s Al Ghul at the end of the season three hiatus.

Overall, Young Justice: Outsiders is becoming the show I hoped for when the third season was announced. My hope is the creators continue to focus on older and more established characters. With only five episodes left in the season, it will be interesting to see how the plot gets wrapped up.

Young Justice: Outsiders is streaming now on The DC Universe with new episodes dropping every Tuesday

Young Justice: Outsiders' Season 3, Episode 21 - "Unknown Factors"
  • 7/10
    Young Justice: Outsiders' Season 3, Episode 21 - "Unknown Factors" - 7/10
7/10

TL;DR

Overall, Young Justice: Outsiders is becoming the show I hoped for when the third season was announced. My hope is the creators continue to focus on older and more established characters. With only five episodes left in the season, it will be interesting to see how the plot gets wrapped up.