Welcome back fellow Outsiders. If you made it here, that means you survived the horrific events of the latest episode, “Antisocial Pathologies.” Let’s make this column a space for us to react, reflect and regroup to the betrayals, revelations and developments we all experienced this week.
To be honest, I’ve often worried that this column was getting too paranoid or negative. I was constantly hypothesizing worse case scenarios, like Helga Jace lying about Violet’s disease, Beast Boy’s Outsiders being torn apart by Batman’s lies and the Light taking advantage of it all. In some ways this column has almost been a fandom war room. I’ve wondered if these scenarios were just due to my overactive fanboy imagination, but then this episode hit.
Have you ever been in a situation where you’ve told yourself things can’t possibly be as bad as they seem? In this case, things turned out to be even worse! Most of my predictions came true, and the Outsiders are in so much trouble, I wish I had been wrong. Don’t get me wrong—this was a great episode that I enjoyed immensely, but when you care about these characters this much, it’s hard to see things go so badly for them.
Batman’s secret cabal has been outed, Black Lightning was betrayed in love and in crimefighting, Terra is one step closer to the dark side, Halo is in Granny’s clutches and Darkseid has unlocked the Anti-Life Equation. Oh, and were those two different Grannys we saw in the last scene? What the heck was that all about? I can’t believe we went through so much in less than half an hour! I have to wonder…where did we go wrong?
If you’ve been reading my past columns, you might have a sense about what I feel the biggest missteps were. Beast Boy and the Outsiders were doing a good job, and had even made the Light begin to change its strategy. Unfortunately, Beast Boy wasn’t told about the secret Bat-team and wasn’t able to act in coordination with them. They manipulated him, and it resulted in some success, but if the Light has taught us anything (yes, you can even learn from super-villains), it’s that it’s critical for everyone to be on the same page. Without coordination, things fall apart, and that’s just what we saw happen this week.
At first, I was worried that the infighting and emotional turmoil would lead to the heroes becoming distracted and unfocused, but then I realized it was already happening. The good guys were so busy fighting amongst themselves that Helga was able to take the Markov siblings and Halo to Granny. This happened right under their nose. If everyone can’t get their act together soon, the Light will continue to capitalize on the chaos and achieve victory.
I love Batman, we all do, but the man isn’t perfect. The idea of taking a play out of the Light’s playbook has horribly backfired and the team has been manipulated by multiple moles. I feel bad for a lot of people, but I’m especially sad for poor Jefferson Pierce. Imagine finding out that all your friends have been lying and manipulating you for most of the year, then learning that your girlfriend was only using you to stay close to the Markov siblings. Black Lightning was very angry this week, but I can’t exactly blame him.
But enough about where things went wrong. We can’t change the past, and the best thing to do is figure out the right way to go forward. Taking a page from the Light isn’t necessarily a bad idea, they just took the wrong one. So now it’s time to learn from their mistakes and get all the teams, from the Justice League to the Outsiders (heck, even Infinity Inc), on the same page. The Light has been winning because they’ve overcome their own rivalries and work together seamlessly. Batman is going to have to admit he was wrong, Black Lightning is going to have to forgive everyone and Miss Martian is going to have to accept that her “little brother” Beast Boy doesn’t need her to manipulate events for him.
Thanks to Halo, Darkseid now has one of the most destructive and insidious forces in existence at his disposal, but all hope isn’t lost. Remember, these are the world’s most powerful heroes. They can totally handle this, they just need to get their act together.
What do you all think? Where did Batman’s grand plan go wrong, and how can the pieces be put back together again? Tweet your thoughts at me, because I’ll be on the edge of my seat until next Tuesday.
Young Justice: Outsiders airs exclusively on DC Universe. Subscribe now and catch new episodes every Tuesday!
Joshua Lapin-Bertone writes about TV, movies and comics for DCComics.com and DCUniverse.com, is a regular contributor to the Couch Club and writes our monthly Batman column, "Gotham Gazette." Follow him on Twitter at @TBUJosh.