The betrayals come fast and furious, and with them, a reckoning...
Vandal Savage is meeting with the other members of the Light, through monitors, from his headquarters. Gretchen Goode is finishing explaining how Nightwing, Black Lightning, and the Motherbox slipped through her hands. Ultra-Humanite assures Gretchen that she need not worry about Halo, as he already has plans to capture her. Gretchen retorts that Ultra-Humanite is not the only one who has interest in Halo. Ultra-Humanite argues that securing Halo is his operation and, per Light-tradition, that gives him first rights to her. Gretchen turns to Savage. Savage's silence confirms Ultra-Humanite's statement. Gretchen capitulates and wonders about the Markovs.
Tara Markov is quietly walking the streets when someone ambushes her. She has an immediate flashback to the moment when Henchy kidnapped her. Using her combat skills, Tara breaks free of the person's grip. She turns around to see Deathstroke, who immediately interrogates her for not reporting everything to him about Halo and Victor Stone. He accuses her of going soft. Thinking back to her training, Tara defends herself by saying that Halo and Victor are still processing matters. Deathstroke doesn't believe her and reminds her of the pain that she endured. He assures her that he has always been straight with her and places something in her hand, telling her to take it just in case.
At the Hub, Dick Grayson is lying on a medical bed, suffering side effects from the X-Pit. Bruce Wayne is standing over him while Barbara Gordon, Alfred Pennyworth, and Tim Drake are beside him. Helga Jace is running a scan and informs them that Dick's temperature is spiking.
Jefferson Pierce is by the doorway. Kaldur'ahm, Megan Morse, and Conner Kent are behind him. Jefferson explains to them that he doesn't know how he, himself, recovered from the X-Pit so easily while Dick is still suffering. Bruce approaches them, asking them to bring ice for Dick's temperature.
Brion Markov is watching Courtney Whitmore interview a new group of superheroes called Infinity, Inc. on his phone and accuses them poaching the Outsiders' turf. He is sitting with Garfield Logan, Forager, Victor, and Violet at a pancake house. Garfield suggests that he take the Infinity, Inc. as a compliment, saying that the Outsiders inspired them. Brion notices that Violet looks depressed. Asking what's wrong, she explains that she feels useless that her powers can't help Dick. Brion admits that they all feel useless. Garfield quickly changes the subject to Gretchen Goode. He points out that she is the reason for Dick's condition and can't bare the thought of sitting here, eating pancakes, while she is out there planning her next move.
At the Hub, Dick is now covered in ice bags. Helga informs them that his temperature is down, for the moment. Bruce suggests that she get some rest. Jefferson offers her coffee. The Outsiders arrive just as Barbara, Bruce, Tim exit the medical room. Barbara explains that Alfred is watching over Dick for the moment. Bruce asks for a word with Aquaman and Megan. Barbara and Tim join them in the kitchen.
Helga mentions how sad it is that serious moments like this bring everyone together. Jefferson thinks back to when Batman retired from the Justice League; Dick recruiting him for the Team; the moment when he turned down Batman's offer to join his team; and when he and Dick were rescued by the Bat-drone and Gretchen Goode's house. Suddenly, everything clicks together for him. Jeff approaches the group as they exit the kitchen and exclaims that they are all working together. As Jeff rambles on about the things the Batman's team have done in secret, the more unanswered questions, he realizes, fall into place.
Everyone is dead silent as they listen to Jeff's accusations. Tara listens in from the top floor. Suddenly, Helga comes up from behind Tara and places a control chip on her neck. Helga orders her to be silent and follow her.
In Mongolia, Vandal Savage is looking over his monitors when a boom tube opens. Knowing what's coming next, Savage grunts as he walks through.
Darkseid is waiting for Savage on the other side.
Back at the Hub, Helga is leading Violet to a car, outside the building. Violet asks what this is all about. Helga asks her to get in the car. Once inside, Violet notices that Tara and Brion are in the backseat. Helga explains to Violet that her mentor has found a cure for her condition and that Brion and Tara are both here to support her. Violet is relieved that her secret is out. Everybody buckles in as Helga drives off. Tara reminisces about her bō staff training with Deathstroke, in which he reminds her that he was the one who rescued her from her abductors, unlike her family or country. Tara attacks him with her powers and, despite going off protocol, he commends her from doing what is necessary to survive. She hugs him and Deathstroke tells her how proud he is of her. Back in car, Tara smiles.
Inside the Hub, Victor and Forager watch as Jeff continues yelling at Bruce and Kaldur'ahm from the kitchen; they see Conner and Megan having a mental argument from the upper floor; and over by the hallway, Garfield is lashing out at Barbara and Tim. Gar states that he believes both Superman and Wonder Woman wouldn't approve of their actions. Barbara admits that Wonder Woman is, secretly, part of their team too. Gar asks Tim if he told Cassie. Tim's silence is enough to answer Gar's question. Gar then asks them if they orchestrated the Reach battle in Brooklyn, Maine. Barbara assures him that that was a real threat but they just teed it up a bit for the Outsiders. Gar argues that they didn't need that support and they proved that in Dublin. Barbara sheepishly admits that Dublin was staged and that both Bruce and Megan acted as the troubled father and daughter. Gar is furious and explodes on everyone accusing them of corrupting the Outsider's purpose. Barbara admits that they may have gone too far with their methods, but argues that the Outsiders have been doing the same thing. Fighting the light in public while they fought from the shadows. Gar asks about Condiment King and Barbara admits that that was completely Gar's achievement.
Jeff, Kal, and Bruce come out of the kitchen. Kal is trying to apologize to Jeff for making him feel the way that he does. Bruce states that he is not going to apologize for putting the mission first. Jeff asks what the point of the mission is if they lose themselves for it. Suddenly, there is a voice behind them. Jeff turns to see Alfred carrying Dick. Dick suggests that the person that Jeff is really mad at is him.
Helga escorts Violet into a laboratory with a special chair for her to sit in. She assures Violet that her mentor will be along shortly. Violet sits and notices that Helga is grabbing a needle and a bag of morphine. Suddenly, she remembers something. But before she can react, Ultra-Humanite enters the room with Gretchen Goode. Violet rises, ready to fight. Gretchen readily commands Overlord to create a cerebral-leash which is placed over Violet's eyes.
Helga claims that she has fulfilled her end of the bargain and now wants to depart with Brion and Tara. Ultra-Humanite acknowledges that she will get what she is owed when they are good and ready. Helga argues that they had an agreement. Gretchen steps in to say that there has been a change of plans. She asks Helga if she is curious to know what they are going to do with Violet. Surprisingly, Helga is. Satisfied, Gretchen commands Overlord to bring them into the X-Pit.
Gretchen explains that she uses the Pit for discipline and correcting for Darkseid's soldiers and prepare their brains for reprogramming. She shoves Violet outside of their protective cube. Violet begins to scream in pain and, as Gretchen expects, her healing aura automatically kicks in. Gretchen commands Overlord to scan Violet and confirm her suspicions. After the scan Gretchen is convinced that Violet is the key to the Anti-Life Equation.
Back at the Hub, Bruce is getting some air out on the balcony. He hears Barbara's wheelchair approach. He tells her that he doesn't see why Jeff can't understand that they were trying to protect the League. Barbara suggests that maybe they don't need protecting. Maybe they were wrong and keeping the others in the dark was the wrong thing to do.
In the X-Pit, Helga asks about the "Anti-Life Equation". Gretchen explains that it is a formula of life without free will. But in order to work, the formula must be tested. Before Helga can react, Gretchen shoves her out of their protective cube. Helga begins to scream with pain. Violet uses her healing aura to reduce the pain. Gretchen takes it as another sign that Violet's organics are the connection to Anti-Life.
For her final test, Gretchen asks Helga if she has any secrets that she would like to share. Helga tries to resist but eventually confesses that she only wanted to protect Brion and Tara because they are her "creations". She explains that Baron Bedlam had first abducted Tara and brought her to Helga's lab. She had Tara tarred and the girl that resurfaced was not the Markov's daughter Helga's very own meta-human. But when Baron Bedlam stole her new "daughter", Helga vowed revenge. She manipulated Brion into getting himself tested for the Meta-Gene and eventually turning meta-active, thus also making him her "son". Helga also confesses that Gabrielle Daou was also a specimen. She admitted that Gabrielle didn't have the Meta-Gene so Helga tried to kill her with an overdose of morphine. When Helga found out that Gabrielle had survived and seemingly gained meta-abilities, she believed that her original results were false and that Gabrielle had been born again... as her "daughter", Violet.
Once Brion and Violet were rescued by the Team, Helga was afraid of losing them as she had lost Tara. So she seduced Jefferson Pierce in order to stay close to her "children" and hopefully find Tara as well. But once she learned about the Motherbox inside Violet, she began to suspect that Violet might not actually be her creation. To make sure, she analyzed a sample of Violet's hair and discovered that she was not actually meta-human, only a corpse possessed by a machine. Helga could not bear such a creature dating her "son", Brion. So in order to separate them, she lied to Violet by saying that she was dying in order to cause a rift between her and Brion. But she knew the ruse couldn't go on forever, so she contact Ultra-Humanite and offered Violet in exchange for an exit for herself—along with Brion and Tara—set them up in a place where they could be together and create more meta-humans for their family.
Satisfied with the results, Gretchen orders Overlord to take them out of the Pit. Once out, Helga and Violet both fall to the floor, panting. Gretchen mocks Helga by saying that she knew that her words would make her children despise her forever but she just kept right on talking. Both Brion and Tara are glaring at Helga, seething. Helga admits to Gretchen that she hates her, but she would do anything that she commands. Gretchen is pleased with the power of the Anti-Life Equation. She tells Ultra-Humanite that the Light can keep their Starro-tech and control chips, but she will be bringing Violet to Darkseid.
Suddenly, Tara jumps into action. She removes the control chip from Brion's neck. She reveals another chip, attached to her palm. The very thing that Deathstroke gave her earlier. With Brion free from his mind-control he releases his rage by surrounding Gretchen, Ultra-Humanite, Helga, and Violet in a circle of magma. Tara uses her power to lift the platform. Gretchen calmly orders Violet to protect them. Violet, unwillingly, opens a boom tube that transports both herself and Gretchen away. Using a Fatherbox, Ultra-Humanite creates a boom tube that transports both himself and Helga away. Brion and Tara stand in the room alone.
The next morning, back at the Hub, Jeff has just finished lashing out at Dick. He prepares to leave and starts looking for Helga. Gar explains that she left with Violet and the Markov's last night. Jeff doesn't blame Helga for taking them away. At that moment, Brion and Tara return. Jeff doesn't like the looks on either of their faces.
In Mongolia, the Light is in another council, minus Gretchen. Deathstroke finishes explaining that he gave Tara the antidote chip so that she could convincingly escape on their own, once Helga had captured them. Ultra-Humanite admits that the Light was never going to honor their agreement with Helga, but reveals that she still doesn't know that indicating that she may still be of some use. He also explains to Vandal Savage that he now sees why Darkseid persuaded him to give Violet to Gretchen. Now that he has the "Key to the Anti-Life Equation" the galactic balance of power will shift irrevocably. Hearing this news, Savage becomes enraged and crushes his tablet in his bare hands.
Back at the Hub, Brion and Tara have just finished explaining to Jeff what they had just experience. Jeff is in denial over Helga's betrayal. Feeling like he has been backstabbed by everyone, Jeff leaves.
Gretchen hands Violet over to Granny Goodness.
At the Hub, Tara walks outside. She talks with Deathstroke on her phone, informing him of the Team's recent betrayals to each other and asks him what he wants her to do.
Cast and characters
|Troy Baker||Brion Markov|
|Greg Cipes||Garfield Logan|
|Zehra Fazal||Violet Harper|
|Bruce Greenwood||Bruce Wayne|
|Grey Griffin||Helga Jace|
|Jesse McCartney||Dick Grayson|
|Khary Payton||Jefferson Pierce|
|Alyson Stoner||Barbara Gordon|
|Deborah Strang||Gretchen Goode|
|Tara Strong||Tara Markov|
|Artemis Crock (flashback)|
|Baron Bedlam (flashback)|
|Gabrielle Daou (flashback)|
|Red Tornado (flashback)|
- Picking up five hours from where "Unknown Factors" left off, this episode makes several references to that episode:
- Gretchen Goode briefs the Light on Dick, Jeff and Motherbox being rescued from her house.
- Dick is reeling from being thrown in the X-Pit.
- Infinity Incorporated makes its first appearance after being mentioned by Brion.
- Garfield mentions Gretchen almost killing Jeff and Motherbox with Apokoliptan tech.
- Jeff's epiphany contains several flashbacks and references to previous episodes:
- Batman resigning from the Justice League and later Jeff telling Batman he didn't want to be part of "Batman Incorporated" in "Princes All".
- Jeff asking Dick since when they were working for the League in "True Heroes".
- Dick taking Jeff to Gretchen's house and being saved by Aquaman and a Bat-drone in "Unknown Factors".
- The worldwide joint operation busting meta-traffickers, which started with Markovia in "Princes All".
- The staged Reach War Bugs attack in Brooklyn to make the Outsiders look good in the public eye in "First Impression".
- Helga Jace takes Violet supposedly to fix her genetic illness, which was first mentioned in "Early Warning".
- Garfield's head-to-head with Barbara also makes references to several other episodes:
- Artemis faking her death in "Depths".
- Tim and Cassie's topsy-turvy relationship since Robin quit the Team, without giving Cassie a heads up in "Princes All".
- The War Bugs attack in "First Impression".
- The Outsiders' mission in Dublin to rescue "Moira Malone" in "Elder Wisdom".
- The apprehension of the Condiment King in "Unknown Factors".
- Helga's coerced confession contains multiple allusions and flashbacks to previous episodes:
- Tara is revealed to be the "daughter" whom Helga claimed in "True Heroes" to be taken from her.
- Part of Helga's manipulation of Brion was seen in "Princes All".
- Brion's entrapment in a Tar pod occurred in "Royal We".
- The scene of Brion covered in lava is from "Eminent Threat", when he went after Baron Bedlam.
- Gabrielle's abduction happened in "Princes All".
- Helga and Jeff together in bed in "Triptych".
- Tara, Brion and Violet reunited in "True Heroes".
- Helga realizing Violet's true nature in "Nightmare Monkeys".
- Helga picking out a strand of Violet's hair in "Leverage".
- Helga telling Violet that she was dying and not to tell anyone in "Early Warning".
- Helga's first contact with her mentor in "Illusion of Control".
- Gretchen alludes to the Starro-tech from "Usual Suspects" and "Auld Acquaintance".
- Number 16: Gretchen Goode delivers Halo to Granny Goodness at 16:16 UTC.
- End credits shot: Violet's empty secretary with a framed picture of herself, Brion, Victor and Forager on Halloween night hanging on the wall.
- This is the only episode of the season without the lullaby rendition of "Young Justice End" playing over the end credits.
- Why is Dick more susceptible to the X-Pit than Jeff? (Answer)
- Why does the Light want Brion to be where they want him? (Answer)
- Why are Granny Goodness and Gretchen Goode seen as separate individuals? (Answer)
- What plans did the Ultra-Humanite have for Halo?
- Why did Vandal Savage snap when Ultra-Humanite mentioned the Anti-Life Equation?