"Home Fires" is the ninth episode of the third season of Young Justice, and the 55th of the overall series. It debuted on January 18, 2019 on DC Universe, along with the seventh and eighth episodes, "Evolution" and "Triptych".
Queen Bee meets with Vandal Savage and other individuals. She says there are two situations and, while she believes her newest hire can handle the first, she asks Savage if his acquaintance is up to the second task. He says he is certain.
Iris West-Allen watches a GBS broadcast in Taos, where Aquaman announces that the Justice League is working with STAR Labs to open the first Meta-Human Youth Center for children and teens who have been victims of meta-human trafficking. He introduces the director, Eduardo Dorado Sr., who talks about the center's purpose. The doorbell rings and Iris's twins speed off, but Bart Allen catches them. Iris answers the door and Mera and her son Artur have arrived. Meanwhile, an unidentified individual peers through the blinds in the house across the street.
Conner Kent and Forager are watching G. Gordon Godfrey's show while Brion Markov stares at his cell phone. Godfrey's guest is Gretchen Goode, more popularly known as "Granny Goodness," the founder of Goode World Studios. Godfrey brings up the success of the studio's Goode Goggles but criticizes her for how the goggles affect children's minds. Goode says she's proud of the product and that her studio is about sparking people's imaginations. She changes the subject, saying that her company is working with Bruce Wayne to support victims of meta-human trafficking. Godfrey retorts that meta-humans are destroying humanity's way of life and wonders why Wayne declined to appear on the show.
Megan Morse walks into the room and Conner shuts off the TV. She wonders why Conner would watch Godfrey's show and Conner says, among other things, that they need to know what others are saying about heroes. Lucas Carr enters the room and offers to carpool with Megan to Happy Harbor High School. They depart as Brion watches a press conference featuring his brother Gregor, who announces that Quraci refugees may stay in Markovia but declines to answer a question about whether meta-humans will be allowed.
Lynn Stewart-Pierce and her daughters, and Will Harper and Lian, are at Iris's house and the two adults converse about family matters. Meanwhile, Raquel Ervin, who has her son Amistad, answers the doorbell and greets Karen Beecher, who is pregnant. The mysterious individual across the street says four more are still to arrive.
Superboy, Forager and Geo-Force arrive in the Super-Cycle and find Tigress and Halo waiting for them for training. Helga Jace and Jefferson Pierce have also arrived and pleasantries are exchanged. Helga apologizes to Brion and he recognizes that she's not to blame. When she asks what is being done to locate Tara Markov, Brion grumbles that Nightwing has told him to be patient.
Somebody fires at Geo-Force and Halo unleashes her red aura to protect him. Helga wonders what's happening and Jefferson says the others can solve the problem. Forager recognizes that they are being tested, so he, Halo and Geo-Force respond to the attack. It turns out to be Nightwing, who used rubber bullets in the attack, and tells Halo and Forager they did well in their response but that Geo-Force failed.
Back at Owings Mills, Geo-Force complains about the training and wonders why they haven't gone to Santa Prisca to locate his sister. Nightwing says they don't want to repeat what happened on Infinity Island. They are then ambushed by Lobo, who says he is here to kill Forager. He gives them the chance to leave though they refuse.
The heroes engage in battle but have difficulty taking him down. Nightwing tells Halo to fly Forager away, but Lobo fires a weapon that impales her, though she is able to heal herself. When Nightwing demands to know who sent Lobo, he refuses to tell. Geo-Force and Jefferson Pierce work together to subdue Lobo.
At Iris's house, Lois Lane arrives with her son Jonathan. Across the street, the occupant reveals himself to be Ocean-Master and he prepares to attack. However, Lady Shiva is also there, impressed with what Ocean Master learned and says his skills are "worthy of the shadows." Ocean-Master tells her to watch as he kills everyone with one blast from Neptune's Trident and deal a blow to the superheroes.
Shiva observes that is what the Light considered their "nuclear option," but because of the consequences, the Light has vowed not to use that option lightly. Ocean-Master dismisses her, complaining about spending six years in an Atlantean prison and says he will not be denied his revenge. Shiva says the Light assumed that would be the case, then kills Ocean Master and clears the house of evidence.
At Owings Mills, Geo-Force uses his powers to cause Lobo to sink into the ground, but Lobo escapes. The heroes continue to do battle, with Halo using her yellow aura powers to slice Lobo's pinky. He is nailed from behind by who appears to be Forager, but Lobo catches him and crushes him. Believing his work to be done, Lobo departs, but the real Forager comes out of hiding. He reveals that he shed his exo-shell and sent it after Lobo to fool him. He thanks everyone for risking their lives to save him and says they are all part of his hive.
Shiva briefs the Light on the success of her mission and Queen Bee praises and welcomes her as the new enforcer of group. Queen Bee further observes that, while Lobo may have not killed Forager, the real purpose of his appearance was to confirm if Nightwing had in fact put together his own team of heroes. The other members of the Light, besides Lex Luthor and Klarion, are Ultra-Humanite, Deathstroke, and Gretchen Goode, who reassures her friends that a plan is in place to deal with the "naughty children".
"Keeping the home fires burning" refers to someone caring for a home or other central location while others are away. This could be a variant of that idea, with two situations on Earth that the Light wants addressed: Nightwing's team of operatives, and Ocean-Master targeting multiple superheroes and their family members. In each case, it has somebody else tend to these "home fires," though not with the intent to "keep them burning."
Cast and characters
- Iris West-Allen's twins make their debut. They were announced in "Bloodlines", when Impulse revealed Iris's pregnancy.
- Artur also makes his first appearance. Mera's pregnancy was revealed in "Downtime" and his birth was announced in Red Arrow's journal #2.
- Lynn tells Will that she knew Jefferson wouldn't be able to stay away from the hero life for too long. She told that to Jeff himself in "Princes All".
- Amistad Ervin was first mentioned, shortly after his birth, in "Players, Chapter One: Wheelbarrow, Shoe, Thimble".
- Jefferson says that Helga has "thanked" him for bringing her closer to Brion and Violet, alluding to their sexual trysts, which started in the previous episode.
- Helga encounters Brion and Violet in person for the first time since parting ways (off-screen) after "Eminent Threat". She also apologizes for tarring him in "Royal We" and explains that it was the only way to stop his uncle and his syndicate.
- Red Tornado has embraced the persona of John Smith, since he started working on the android in "Insecurity".
- Nightwing mentions the Infinity Island debacle, which happened in "Rescue Op".
- Nightwing asks Lobo if he was hired by Mantis or Ma'alefa'ak, both of which have vowed to take revenge on Forager in "Away Mission".
- Ocean-Master reveals to have spent six years in an Atlantean prison. In "Alienated" he was said to be disgraced, but the details of the originating incident were never explained.
- Tigress invites Forager into the "fake your own death club". Her death was faked in "Depths".
- Vandal Savage refers to Count Vertigo's testimony of Superboy and Black Lightning's involvement in the dismantlement of the Bedlam Syndicate in "Emimnet Threat". He also says that Ra's al Ghul sent a communique reporting the incursion in Infinity Island by Nightwing's team, which took place in "Rescue Op".
- Savage alludes to the past meddling with and foiling of their plans by young heroes, which occurred throughout the first two seasons, culminating in "Summit", when the Team broke the alliance between the Light and the Reach apart.
- Number 16: Nightwing's team performs Maneuver 16 against Lobo.
- End credits shot: Lobo's severed little finger on the grounds of Owings Mills.
- Artur is reading a comic book of Blue Falcon and Dynomutt, Dog Wonder.
- Why did Helga call Violet and Brion her children? (Answer)
- What plan does Gretchen Goode have in place to deal with Nightwing's team? (Answer)
- Watch this episode on DC Universe (USA only)
- Buy this episode in HD on iTunes
- Buy this episode in HD on Amazon.com
"Exceptional Human Beings"