Young Justice season 3, episode 22 review: Antisocial Pathologies

Photo Credit: Young Justice: Outsiders/DC Universe Image Acquired from Warner Bros. Television Press Site
Photo Credit: Young Justice: Outsiders/DC Universe Image Acquired from Warner Bros. Television Press Site /

Secrets were revealed in this week’s episode of Young Justice: Outsiders. And Darkseid finally has the key to his plan. Spoilers ahead.

The previous episode of Young Justice: Outsiders was the first to have a tag after the credits. Gretchen Goode said she found the anti-life equation, and this week’s episode (entitled “Antisocial Pathologies”) explained exactly what Gretchen meant.

Halo’s role

In the previous episode, Gretchen took interest in the language that Violet/Halo spoke when rescuing her friends from Gretchen’s home. Violet’s integration with the Mother Box has made her the key to answering the Anti-Life Equation that Darkseid seeks.

The Anti-Life Equation plays much like a movie MacGuffin in many respects. Yeah, the equation works as a plot device. But it has never been about the equation itself, more just that Darkseid believes it is the key to victory — that it can help him to take control of the universe.

The explanation of how Halo is key is actually quite interesting. Basically, because Violet was combined with the Mother Box tech, the Mother Box isn’t bound to the previous limitations that were put in by its creator (Metron). So when Gretchen puts Halo into the pit, her Mother Box abilities automatically kicked in like a reflex.

So Violet’s organic body combined with the Mother Box – and then combined with the ghost dimension of the pit – allow for Gretchen to see the possibility of anti-life. At this point, the equation itself has not been cracked, but Gretchen and Darkseid can now use Halo to solve the equation.

In terms of Young Justice: Outsiders as a show, it was nice to see some kind of explanation of the Anti-Life Equation. It is still a bunch of sci-fi nonsense, but it works. And it elevates Halo to the ultimate key for both sides in this forthcoming battle between Darkseid and the Justice League. In the meantime, the Justice League has problems of its own.

Batman’s mission

Jefferson Pierce/Black Lightning finally realizes that Batman’s resignation from the Justice League was just part of a larger plan to take down the Light and Darkseid. Batman is willing to get down in the dirt with the villains and be just as underhanded as they are.

The problem is that Batman’s plan involves deceiving fellow League members, and even members of Young Justice/the Outsiders. Batman always looks at things as a means to an end and, in many ways, it looks like he doesn’t trust everyone to follow along.

Barbara Gordon/Oracle even admonishes Bruce Wayne/Batman for using subordinates (or former sidekicks) for his mission – like herself (the former Batgirl), M’gann/Miss Martian, Tim Drake/Robin, Dick Grayson/Nightwing (the first Robin), and Kaldur’ahm/Aquaman (the former Aqualad). Bruce tries to bring up that Diana/Wonder Woman is involved, but Oracle points out that Diana is told after the facts about their missions.

Batman’s actions might have repercussions. The heroes might be able to pull it together for the showdown at the end of the season. But Batman’s deceptions (even with good intentions) could have an impact on the already confirmed fourth season of Young Justice.

It seems like Garfield Logan/Beast Boy is dealing with the fact that the Outsiders missions had been manipulated by the Bat-team. But for Jefferson, he is really upset about the whole thing. Yet Jefferson finds out another deception beyond the Batman.

Jace’s children

Dr. Helga Jace has been working with the Light’s Ultra Humanite to get Brion/Geo-Force and Tara/Terra away from the Young Justice team. Helga ends up admitting in Gretchen’s pit that when she transformed Brion and Tara into metahumans, she felt that they became her children.

Dr. Jace also admits to her manipulation of Jefferson as her lover and that she wanted to keep Violet/Halo away from Brion by any means possible – even making up a lie that Halo is dying to separate her from Brion. Helga clearly has a warped sense of the world.

More from DC Universe

Still, Dr. Jace isn’t in on the entire plot. Tara’s escape is helped by a device that Deathstroke gave to her at the beginning of the episode. Tara tells the team that she escaped by a malfunctioning control chip and is back on board with helping Deathstroke to defeat the Justice League.

With Tara, Young Justice has done a nice job with “The Judas Contract” storyline, but still making it their own. Tara’s feelings for Deathstroke seem less sexual than they are in that story (but I could be wrong), but she certainly is grateful to him for rescuing her from her Uncle Bedlam.

What is best about this version of betrayal is that Tara sees all the infighting of the heroes. The root of this problem could be traced to Batman, but this entire season of Young Justice has been about the frustrations and ineffectiveness of the heroes. Batman tries to be more effective through manipulation but, to an outsider (like Tara), it just looks dishonest.

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With just four episodes left this season, the final confrontation between the Justice League and Darkseid is certainly coming. New episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders premiere every Tuesday on the DC Universe streaming service.