Young Justice season 3, episode 16 review: Illusion of Control

The Young Justice team may have just seen a split from the ranks. Beast Boy seems poised to be a hero out in the open, not in the shadows. Spoilers ahead.

The latest episode of Young Justice: Outsiders has arrived on the DC Universe streaming service. If you’re curious about what happened in the previous episode, check out our review. Let’s dive right into “Illusion of Control.”

Inspiration

This episode really plays well off of its two predecessors. In episode 14 (“Influence”), it’s clear that the Justice League continues to be hampered by the media spin by Lex Luthor and company. Luthor has sold the world on the fact that the Justice League must be watched and regulated – all so he can continue his own evil plots without interference.

In episode 15 (“Leverage”), the Suicide Squad is officially introduced into the Young Justice universe. But Task Force X is not exposed for their evil deeds because Amanda Waller threatens to shine the spotlight on the covert team that arrested them.

So what we have is heroes having to sneak around in the shadows, and villains taking advantage of the situation. It is a really clever way to handcuff the good guys and give the bad guys a distinct advantage.

In this episode, “Illusion of Control,” Beast Boy/Gar talks about how being covert prevents the heroes from being able to inspire hope. There is a specific reference to the “illusion of control” for a metahuman named Windfall that has voluntarily put on an inhibitor collar to stop her powers.

In much the same way, the Justice League has placed a collar on themselves, and have really let things get out of control with the metahuman trafficking. Even the Young Justice covert team is constantly having their effectiveness as heroes come into question.

No control

The covert team looks to be doing well with its missions, and there is some truth to that. But in many ways, Darkseid’s plan has been executed pretty flawlessly thus far. And while the good guys win some minor battles, clearly the villains have had their way this season.

The Justice League and the team are playing right into the hands of their enemies by being ineffective. Beast Boy ends the story by being out front with the media about saving the meta-youth center during the episode. This exposure is against the rules because Gar is on the covert team, and he is supposed to avoid any such attention.

It’s unclear what will come of this choice, but Beast Boy is trying to take the fight back and show the people of the world that the superheroes are not the problem. Gar wants the world to know that metahumans will make the world a better place. It will be interesting to watch how this plays out for the rest of this season.

And from here

Tara has been shown sending messages to Deathstroke, which is a version of the popular Teen Titans storyline — “The Judas Contract.” Whether the final ten episodes will get into that betrayal or save it for another season will be interesting to watch.

Dr. Helga Jace seems to have some secrets of her own. Halo/Violet shares with Dr. Jace that she has recalled a memory of her former self (Gabrielle), and that she was involved with the assassination of Brion and Tara’s parents. Helga promises to keep this secret, but then immediately makes a mysterious phone call to someone and asks for help.

Plus, this season all comes down to stopping Darkseid’s plan. Darkseid looks way ahead of the Justice League thus far. But a comeback for the good guys is probably in store. Still, with this show, the evil is never really vanquished. The heroes put out one fire, and another one pops up nearby.

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Thankfully, DC will be spreading out the rest of the season’s episodes through the end of August – which is sure to delight fans of the show, including myself. New episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders will be released every Tuesday on the DC Universe streaming service.