Project Rutabaga threatens to create an international crisis.
At the Hub, Beast Boy informs Geo-Force that Miss Martian says that she has found a meta-human laboratory in Santiago de Cuba. The two of them plan to travel through the Zeta-Tube to Happy Harbor to pick up Wonder Girl and Static before heading over.
As they both leave, Helga Jace is on the second floor knocking on the doors of Forager, Violet, and Tara to get them ready for school. The three of them come out of their rooms, exhausted. Helga claims that she doesn't know why they insist on going to Happy Harbor High School on the east coast instead of the west. Violet insists that they have friends at Happy Harbor.
Helga pulls Violet aside to speak with her in private. She explains to Violet that her ramifications were causing her some concern, so she tested a strand of Violet's hair from her hairbrush to study her DNA. Based on her results, she reveals that Violet is dying. Panicked, Violet activates her violet aura. She can't understand how she could be dying when she has the ability to heal. Helga explains that Violet's cells are not regenerating as they should be and every time that she heals herself, she is quickening the process. At her current rate, Helga believes that Violet only has a few months left. She tries to reassure Violet that the situation is not hopeless. She informs Violet that she is conversing with her mentor and believes that they will find a solution soon. She leaves the choice up to Violet on whether or not she wants to let the others know. Especially Brion. Violet decides to wait.
Zatanna is arguing with Miss Martian and Aquaman about sending the Outsiders on this particular mission, alone. Aquaman explains that the mission is too public for the Justice League to get involved. Zatanna reminds Aquaman whom the Outsiders are going up against. If Doctor Fate won't assist, then she must. Zatanna promises to stay under the radar as she leaves through the Zeta-Tube.
A huge red cloud is hovering over a lone building out in the middle of nowhere. Inside, Klarion is laying on the hood of an abandoned car with Teekl. They are arguing about the peculiar name of this operation for the Light and Klarion settles on Project Rutabaga. He rises and faces a young meta-human girl. He uses his power to activate the girl's Meta-Gene. The girls hair turns white and she suddenly has gills in her neck. The girl gasps for air. Klarion is disappointed but proceeds to cast a branding iron out of thin air and burns a marking onto the girl's forehead. Casting another spell he forces the girl's body to merge with the flesh monster composed of other meta-humans. The creature suddenly gains gills.
Outside, the Bio-Ship arrives at the building. The Outsiders send out a small beetle drone to sneak into the building and spy on Klarion. They watch as a mysterious creature swallows up the cam. Static complains that this mission is a "perfect" time for Bart Allen and Jaime Reyes to take a day off. Beast Boy reminds him that they are attending the funeral of Joan Garrick. Static is suddenly ashamed. He's brought back to reality when he notices a Cuban Police truck is approaching the site. Beast Boy orders Geo-Force to distract the Cubans, while the rest of them go in and take care of Klarion.
Wonder Girl drops Geo-Force off in front of the building before going to help Beast Boy and Static. Geo-Force then creates a river of lava, cutting off the building from the Cuban police. The truck comes to a halt. Ramon Bracuda, Maria Garcia, and several officer exit the vehicle.
Static rips a hole in the building as he enters with Beast Boy and Wonder Girl. Klarion calls upon his creature to attack. Forms of teenagers trying to escape the gigantic flesh monster protrude from its skin. The monster attacks. Beast Boy orders Wonder Girl and Static to take care of the monster without hurting it while he goes after Klarion.
Beast Boy turns into a mouse and lures Teekl away. As Teekl pounces, Beast Boy immediately turns into an elephant, knocking the cat into a nearby wall. Klarion begins to lose his connection with the mortal plane.
Outside, Bracuda sees the flesh monster and has an officer bring him a grenade launcher. Before he can fire, Geo-Force melts the gun. Bracuda fires his sidearm at him as Geo-Force brings up a rock wall to protect himself.
Wonder Girl uses her lasso to bring the flesh monster down. The creature grabs her. Suddenly, Zatanna descends from the sky. Beast Boy questions that he thought that the Justice League had no jurisdiction in Cuba. Zatanna admits that technically she is "not here", using a spell to hide herself from everyone except the Outsiders. Klarion comes out of the shadows stating that he can see Zatanna as well. Zatanna orders the Outsiders to distract Klarion while she deals with the flesh monster.
Beast Boy, still an elephant, charges at Klarion. Klarion hits him with a disintegrating spell. Beast Boy is gone. Furious, Static uses his electrical powers to toss two metal barrels at Klarion. Klarion dodges them easily before blasting Static away, knocking him out. Klarion praises his own power when he suddenly comes under attack by Beast Boy, now in the shape of a hornet.
Wonder Girl ties the flesh monster up in her lasso as Zatanna chants a spell. Still getting stung by Beast Boy, Klarion snaps his fingers, forcing Wonder Girl to merge with the creature. The flesh monster becomes larger and more powerful. The creature goes on a rampage. Zatanna concentrates harder on her spell. Finally, she is able to return the monster back into the meta-human victims that once formed it.
One kid, Luis Garcia, begs for help. Zatanna kneels down next to him, admitting that she can't turn off his Meta-Gene, but she can free his soul. Casting another spell, Zatanna erases Klarion's marking from each of the meta-humans' foreheads.
Klarion continues to get stung by Beasty Boy. Zatanna orders him to get clear as she casts another spell, sending both Klarion and herself away from the area.
Zatanna falls to her knees, weakened after using so much power. Klarion scoffs, saying that she is nothing but a common stage magician while he is a Lord of Chaos. As he pondering what type of spell to torture Zatanna with, Teekl warns Klarion to look around him. Taking Teekl's advice, Klarion looks at his surroundings, suddenly realizing that Zatanna had transported the three of them into the Tower of Fate. Panicked about the possibility of Doctor Fate finding them, Klarion uses a transportation spell to send Teekl and himself away from the area. Zatanna manages a smile.
Klarion and Teekl find themselves in another part of the Tower. Klarion tries the transportation spell again, only to find themselves in yet another part of the Tower. Klarion tries the spell again.
Back in Santiage de Cuba, Beast Boy contacts Geo-Force to let him know that the mission is complete. Geo-Force cools the ground so that the Cuban police may cross.
While the Outsiders help the meta-human victims, Beast Boy notices the girl, that Klarion last tortured, is gasping for air and has gills. Panicked, he turns into a gorilla and carries the girl out to the water, and tosses her in. He turns into a dolphin to make sure that she's okay. The girl smiles as she recovers. Satisfied, Beast Boy calls on the Bio-Ship for assistance. She arrives, opening a special compartment for Beast Boy to place the girl inside of.
Back in Hollywood, Tara and Forager return to the Hub after school to find Tigress waiting for them. Tigress asks where Violet is. Tara explains that she "blew them off" to hang out with her friend, Harper Row. Tigress thinks it's weird for Violet to ditch their training session but is happy that she is socializing with others.
Harper and Violet are down at the beach shooting off a gun while drinking. Harper passes the bottle to Violet who takes a huge drink. Harper tells her to slow down. Violet's cell phone vibrates with a text message from Brion. She ignores it. Suddenly, Harper leans in a kisses Violet on the mouth. Violet argues that she has a boyfriend. Harper replies that she does too, right before the two of them, willingly, kiss again.
Harper takes one last drink from the bottle before tossing it aside and handing the gun to Violet telling her to try it. Violet aims at two empty bottle standing on the rocks. She fires the gun hitting both of them, perfectly. Harper cheers. Suddenly, the two are caught by a police officer. She orders them to drop the gun. Violet hesitates. Harper tells Violet to do as the cop says. Finally, Violet drops the gun into the sand. Harper breathes a sigh of relief.
Back in Santiago de Cuba, Ramon Bracuda and Maria Garcia enter the building to find the Outsiders with the meta-humans. Luis Garcia recognizes his mother and runs into her arms. Maria thanks the Outsiders for saving the children and asks what will be done with the other metas. Beast Boy explains that the ones that live in Cuba can stay, if they want, while the ones from foreign countries will be given the option to either go home or be sent to the Meta-Human Youth Center in New Mexico.
Bracuda accuses the Outsiders of being members of the Justice League and that they should not even be in the country. Beast Boy explains that they are just trying to protect kids like them. Luis responds by saying "We are all Outsiders!". The rest of the meta-humans join in. One police officer records that chant on his phone. Maria Garcia begs Bracuda to let the Outsiders go free for saving her son and the rest of the children. Bracuda ignores her and call in reinforcements with his phone. Maria turns to the Outsiders and tells them to go while they still can.
Back at the Hub, Tigress and Terra are in the middle of combat training. Terra attacks but Tigress knocks her down. Terra thinks back to all the times when she trained with Deathstroke. Tigress offers her a hand, but Terra gets up on her own. Tigress tries to explain to her what she did wrong. Terra, impatient, states that she already knows the tactics. Tigress finds that suspicious. Realizing her mistake, Terra tries to recover by apologizing. Tigress explains that she understands that it must've been hard for her to be forced to train during her kidnapping. Terra tries to act innocent but Tigress explains that she saw the way that Terra fought Holocaust that day that the Team rescued her. Nobody could fight like that without training. Tigress explains that her father was like that with her, as well. But she isn't like that. The two smile as they get ready to train again.
At the Happy Harbor Police Department, Megan is talking with Bethany Lee after she picks up Violet. Megan asks what is going to happen with Harper Row. Bethany explains that they called and left a message with her father but suspects he is out, drunk, somewhere. They will keep Harper in a cell until he comes to get her.
Megan and Violet get into her car. Megan asks Violet what happened and why. Violet doesn't answer. Admitting defeat, Megan starts the car.
The Bio-Ship arrives at the Youth Center. Aquaman is waiting outside with Eduardo Dorado Sr., Eduardo Jr., Bart, and Jaime. The Outsiders land and approach the group. Geo-Force checks his phone again to see if Violet texted back. Nothing. Static suggests that her phone might be dead.
Bio-Ship lowers a ramp and allows the new meta-human refugees off. Aquaman congratulates Beast Boy, who informs him that their is one more and she is a special case. The Bio-Ship shows Aquaman the hold where the girl with gills is drifting in a special container of water. Aquaman says that they will make alternate arrangements for her since the Center isn't built for water-breathers.
Static and Geo-Force approach Eduardo Jr., Bart, and Jaime. Static comments that they all missed a weird day. Wonder Girl glares at him. Static corrects himself explaining that he knows that they had a good excuse. Bart places a hand on Static's shoulder in understanding. The two embrace.Eduardo Jr. suddenly speaks up, saying that he wants to be on the team. Everyone is surprised at this. Eduardo explains that the people at the Center need to see someone with the Outsiders that they know, personally. Beast Boy is convinced and asks for a vote. The Outsiders agree, unanimously. Wendy Jones approaches Eduardo Jr. saying that she overheard and is super excited that he is joining the Outsiders. She tells everyone to check their phones as Courtney Whitmore is covering the Outsiders mission in Cuba, explaining that the team is now more popular than ever. Even more than the Justice League. The group all stare at each other, flabbergasted about that last comment.
An early warning usually refers to a system that alerts people that something bad is likely to happen. In a figurative sense, it can refer to both Violet and Harper whose self-destructive behavior in this episode alerts Megan to some possible underlying issues.
Cast and characters
This episode received an unprecedented negative response from fans, particularly due to the portrayal of Violet Harper as a Muslim and the context of the first same-sex kiss on the show. Fans condemned the fact that both Violet and Harper Row, who profess to have boyfriends, kiss each other while drinking alcohol and firing a gun. In their view, the context of the kissing equates LGBTQ relationships with the same self-destructive behavior of underage drinking and playing with guns, while also perpetuates the stereotype that bi+ people are cheaters. Moreover, some fans also took umbrage at Violet declaring not to be a Muslim while wearing a hijab, and decried it as cultural exploitation and appropriation.
In response to this criticism, Greg Weisman stated:
|“|| [Halo's journey is] neither a one episode journey nor a one season journey. I would personally appreciate if people withheld judgement until more of Halo's journey has played out. [...] And I get that the main reason that waiting for journey's end is frustrating is because Halo is being forced to REPRESENT on a lot of levels, because the series doesn't have enough other characters (or any other characters) to share said representation. That's a flaw in the series, but one we're on an ongoing quest to organically rectify.|
— Greg Weisman, regarding Halo's journey
|“|| I understand that Halo seemed to be the only prominent Muslim character on the series, and her stating coldly that she wasn't a Muslim was, is and continues to be a blow. But we had to respect the character. Halo can't be a Muslim SIMPLY because Gabrielle was. It's way more complicated than that. In fact, based on our research, she literally can't be a Muslim until she personally commits to it. It's the First Pillar, as I understand it. So she has to make a choice at some point. She hasn't yet. Which may, at least in part, explain why she hasn't yet stopped wearing the hijab. She's still on the journey.|
— Greg Weisman talking about Muslim representation
|“|| I honestly had no idea that there was a stereotype that bisexuals are always unfaithful. I'd never heard that. Again, maybe that's the bubble I live in, but it was honestly news to me. We weren't trying to play into that stereotype at all. PEOPLE in general are - for all sorts of reasons - unfaithful. And in this case, Harper and Violet were those people. (Though I'll point out that Kaldur is also bisexual and isn't unfaithful. So here we had some representation to balance things, but it was revealed in the wrong order.) Had I known that stereotype existed I would have thought twice about that scene. But I might have done it anyway, because I believe it was right for both characters, though it may have been wrong for the show as a whole. Those are things that Brandon and I weigh literally every day.|
— Greg Weisman, concerning the bi+ people stereotype
- Courtney Whitmore recaps the Outsiders' recent missions in Taos ("Illusion of Control") and Brooklyn ("First Impression"). The third mention, Chicago, happened inbetween episodes.
- Violet asks Helga Jace if Brion found out Gabrielle Daou (indirectly) killed his parents, a discovery that Violet made in "Leverage" and confided in Helga in "Illusion of Control".
- Helga Jace confesses to Violet that she tested a strand of her hair in "Illusion of Control".
- Joan Garrick has passed away. She was shown in a hospital bed, with her husband at her side, in "First Impression".
- Project Rutabaga was name dropped by Vandal Savage and Lex Luthor in "Evolution".
- The letter "K" that Klarion brands onto the meta-teen's forehead was previously seen on a girl held captive in the Orphanage in "Influence".
- Number 16: The Outsiders arrive at the Meta-Human Youth Center at 16:51 MST.
- End credits shot: An outside shot of the Tower of Fate with Klarion and Teekl inside still trying to escape.
- Klarion's exclamation "Now, that's a Rutabaga!" hearkens back to "True Colors", in which an off-screen character shouted the same line while touring a LexCorp Farm.
|Latin||Klarion: Oportet ministros manus lavare antequam latrinum relinquent!||Servants must wash their hands before leaving the bathroom!|
|Zatanna||Rehtag eht citsym rewop...||Gather the mystic power...|
|Erotser siht erutaerc ot eht strap fo sti mus!||Restore this creature to the parts of its sum!|
|Eerf rieht sluos morf Noiralk!||Free their souls from Klarion!|
|Rehtaf, ediug ym yenruoj hguorht S'etaf Yloh Hkna!||Father, guide my journey through Fate's Holy Ankh!|
- Courtney Whitmore shows media of an Outsiders mission in Chicago, but the building in the image reads "First Bank of Metropolis".
- The Military Police offroad (an UAZ-469 lookalike) has "Militar Policia" emblazoned on the right front door, but in Spanish adjectives are placed after the nouns they describe, so it should read "Policía Militar".
- The way Harper is resting her right hand on her hip while holding the gun is physically impossible.
- Beast Boy's catchphrase "Outsiders, Away!" echoes the battle cry "Titans, Go!" used by Robin in Teen Titans.
- Static is amused by Beast Boy turning into a green hornet, possibly alluding to the fictional masked crime-fighter of the same name.
- For complete answers to the questions in this section, click here.
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