Young Justice: Outsiders episodes 4-6 review: The multiplicity of loss


Young Justice: Outsiders’ most recent episodes continue to expand the animated found family. Though it focuses on the togetherness of the Outsiders family, these three episodes are also deeply defined by loss.

The heroes on Young Justice have all lost a lot — family members, found-family members, their homes, and part of their identities alike. As episode 4, “Private Security,” opens this week’s episodic trilogy with the revelation that Dick Grayson still isn’t coping with Wally West’s death (at least not in a healthy manner), this week’s episodic trilogy paints a theme of loss and how the heroes cope with that loss.

Toward the end of episode 4 alone, Will Harper points out that Dick is just looking for a Wally substitution to fill the void in his life, but we already know that isn’t a sufficient way to grieve, especially when Dick has a team to lead, teenagers to take care of, and a meta-teen trafficking organization to dismantle. The conversation between Will and Dick, in episode 4, illustrates how Nightwing has been attempting to project his perpetual grief onto productive ventures, like sleuthing the meta-human traffickers. Because he’s still preoccupied with his unhealthy coping mechanisms, he hasn’t had the opportunity to realize his priorities regarding the intergalactic trafficking ordeal (at least, not until Will points out that he needs to constantly change and reevaluate his objectives).

As Dick implicitly recognizes that he needs to focus of the teens, Halo and Brion who are also in turmoil from their own losses, episode 5, “Away Mission,” refocuses on Brion’s grief. The heroes’ constant fight against their loss and their subsequent coping mechanism all resemble each other; however, Brion and Conner’s experiences with experimentation closely correlate one another.

Throughout episode 4 and 5, Young Justice: Outsiders parallels Brion’s current situation and latent rage from being experimented on to Conner’s experience from Cadmus. However, Brion still isn’t exactly amiable to Conner’s advice, or really anyone’s advice. After all, he is still mourning both the literal loss of her parents and the symbolic loss the rest of his family and the support of his country after he was banished from Markovia.

Still from Young Justice: Outsiders episode 5. Photo Credit: Warner Bros. TV

Since Conner and Brion’s experience overlap both with their lingering anger when they were respectively taken control of and their adversity to any form of companionship, Conner and Brion’s currently combative relationship likely foreshadows the mentor relationship Conner will likely hold in his life. Like the Young Justice: Outsiders premiere set up the themes of life and death, which precluded this week’s episodes theme of loss and acceptance, Brion and Conner’s interactions in these three episodes likely foreshadow a mentor relationship between the two.

At the forefront, episodes 4-6 are about loss and coping with that divergent experience. However, tolerance and acceptance are equally intertwined in these episodes. We see acceptance clearly from the team, as they welcome Forager into their family unit and continue to help Halo and Brion find themselves and fix their mistakes (respectively).

M’gann is the highlight in the episodes’ accepting undertones. Watching her project an extra set of arms so that she could hold all four of Forager’s hands, just to comfort him directly after he was exiled from his home by his Hive was a small, but substantial gesture to welcome Forager to the Outsiders family.

This scene strengthens the found family’s unity. Despite the insurmountable loss in each characters’ lives, whether it’s the loss of their home, identity, loved ones, or all three, they’re finding ways to come together.

Still from Young Justice: Outsiders episode 4. Image via Warner Bros. TV.

After finding out that her real name is Gabrielle Daou, Halo redefines herself with a new name: Violet, an identity that’s devoid from the racism and xenophobia she faced on Markovia as a refugee from Qurac and other relevant trauma. Halo’s reformed identity reiterates how she wants others to perceive her. Part of that perception encompasses that she wants others to see her strength, both mentally and physically because she is strong. Behind Halo’s desire to rebrand herself, her chance in name and identity also amplify other changes in episodes 4-6, which could set up the theme for the rest of the season.

Apart from the loss and acceptance, episode 4-6 are also about the changes in the team and the threats against the team. The most apparent change is the plot twist in episode 5 where viewers find that Orion is actually an imposter, like the New God Bear explained. Instead, the pseudo-Orion was actually M’Comm M’orzz, M’gann’s brother. Though we did physically see the New God Orion (even if it wasn’t actually him), this could imply that not every plot point in the coming episodes are as apparent as they seem.

Read. Young Justice: Outsiders episode titles could reveal a new villain. light

Despite what may or may not be real in the rest of the season (or even the episodes we’ve already watched), seeing the Orion imposter might have been an intentional hint. With the theories that the Outsiders episode titles predict a new Apokoliptian villain, M’Comm fake form as Orion could suggest that the real Orion’s father and fellow New God, Darkseid, could be on his way in the series.