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'We are all Outsiders.'


Young Justice: Outsiders episode 18: “Early Warning” review

‘We are all Outsiders.’

The Outsiders go global as they respond to a supernatural crisis in Cuba! Meanwhile, Violet begins to lose herself in more ways than one. I’m here to talk about the highs and lows of “Early Warning,” but beware of spoilers.

This week on Young Justice!

The weakest parts of this episode are the ones that rely on heavy exposition to set a scene. Previous episodes have used multiple talking heads and news broadcasts to accomplish this and, while it can get to be a bit repetitive, it’s generally an interesting way to refresh the audience’s memory.

Here, though, we have multiple scenes of characters like Violet and Klarion reciting their backstories and motivations out loud in ways that feel somewhat clunky. Dialogue is usually a strong point of this series, so these moments really stuck out in an awkward way.

'We are all Outsiders.'
DC Universe

On the positive side of things, the show has finally given a bit more of a story purpose to one of my biggest pet peeves with the season: the many, many deaths of Violet. It’s been upsetting to see the show constantly try to find new ways of maiming or killing Violet, just because she has the ability to heal. However, if the latest development in Violet’s story is to be believed, then there’s going to be more of a payoff to her many resurrections. I still don’t entirely trust Dr. Jace, so we’ll see how much of this is true. Still, it’s at least a step toward making Violet’s deaths into a story element, rather than just an icky excuse for more violence on the show.

Speaking of Violet: in one of the more curious subplots of the episode, we see Violet spending more time with Harper Row … with some unexpected results. I was at first a little taken back by the idea of seeing Harper as a bit of a homewrecker, but we get a little more backstory for her later in the episode. It seems that Harper has a bit more in common with her comic book counterpart than I had expected, meaning she’s definitely going through some stuff.

One of the best things about Harper in the comics is how she takes her pain and uses it as fuel to do what’s right, so I’m hoping we’ll get a chance to see that as her character is explored further. Her actions in this episode may be a bit divisive for longtime fans (and I do count myself as a huge Bluebird fan), but this show’s track record with character growth shows that there’s so much more to this than what is on the surface.

As for the more action-oriented bits of this week’s episode, we dive into some straight-up body horror territory, with Klarion fusing multiple metahuman teenagers into a blobby “flesh monster” straight out of a David Cronenberg or Larry Cohen flick. It’s really cool to see the Outsiders trying to think their way around hurting these kids, rather than the brute force tactics we’ve seen in previous episodes. It also gives Zatanna an excuse to join the action, leading to some fun mystical moments and a really funny sequence during the episode’s end credits.

Though there were some expositional moments that felt slightly off, “Early Warning” was a mostly solid episode that furthered the characters’ stories in more personal ways, rather than the earth-shattering battles of previous episodes.

'We are all Outsiders.'
DC Universe

Outside Observations:

  • After randomly showing her in the hospital last week, I’m genuinely puzzled by the decision to kill off Joan Garrick and have her funeral occur off-screen, with characters acting as though it was an important event for them and that it helped them make big decisions. Will this funeral be shown in a future episode? Is this building to something?
  • Again, the flesh monster was a major trip. Am I the only one who got A Nightmare On Elm Street 4 vibes from the kids’ faces trying to push through?

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