"Influence" is the 14th episode of the third season of Young Justice, and the 60th of the overall series. It debuted on July 2, 2019 on DC Universe, along with the 15th and 16th episodes, "Leverage" and "Illusion of Control".
Superman, Wonder Woman, Guy Gardner, Hawkman, and Hawkwoman arrive at a Thanagarian Nth Metal refinery that has been completely destroyed. They are accompanied by Thangarian commander Hro Talak. Superman says that he can't hear any survivors and that the dead seem to all be Thanagarian. No sign of Parademons. Talak scoffs saying that there is no evidence that this was an attack from Apokolips. He informs them that his scanners have only detected Earthling bio-signs. Hawkman argues that Earth meta-humans are being used as weapons for Apokolips. Talak criticizes the work that the Justice League is doing to handle this particular problem and dismisses the group. Guy carries the crew into space. As they ascend, Guy informs them that while they were talking with Talak, he did some scanning of his own and found an ion trail left behind from the attackers' ship.
Brion Markov, Violet Harper, Forager, Victor Stone, and Tara Markov are all relaxing on the beach eating breakfast burritos as Dick Grayson, Artemis Crock, and Conner Kent look on. Dick feels that this is the best time to mention that the group has a major choice to make. The three of them feel that the group is now ready to work with the Justice League but admit that the heroic responsibilities are not for everyone and that if any of them wanted to walk away, there would be no shame.
But at that moment, Victor's phone plays a live video from Aquaman speaking from Taos warning the world of the dangers that have recently surfaced about the Goode Goggles, saying that they secretly test the users for the Meta-Gene and making it easier for meta-humans to be abducted and enslaved. He also announces that the Justice League have taken action to shut down these trafficking centers and that all of the rescued meta-humans have been relocated to the Meta-Human Youth Center in Taos, New Mexico. Finally, Aquaman asks the world governments to investigate Goode World Studios. The video cuts to Lex Luthor who argues against Aquaman's speech, stating that the big league meta-human traffickers are still out there getting better at hiding their work. He also argues that League's sloppiness in handling the situation has only injured their relationships with the world governments even more.
The video then cuts to G. Gordon Godfrey, sitting down with Gretchen Goode. In response to the League's accusations against her Goggles, Goode states that Jaqqar Marlo, the late director of Goode R & D, clearly betrayed her trust, claiming that he sabotaged her goggles behind her back. As a result, Goode announces that all of her faulty devices will be recalled immediately. She also assures the public that her company will continue to fund the Meta-Human Youth Center for all of the rescued meta-humans.
Garfield Logan is at a local café watching Gretchen's interview with Godfrey. Disgusted by her words, Gar shuts the video off and walks out. He hears a girl scream as a man steals her purse. Gar turns into a gorilla and frightens the man as he pins him to the ground. The girl screams again, this time in excitement, as she recognizes Gar and asks for a selfie with him.
Gretchen is in her office with Gar and shows him one of the photos that the fangirl posted on her social media page. She praises Gar's actions. Unable to play along with Gretchen's pretense anymore, Gar lashes out at her. Gretchen warns Gar to watch his tone with her. Gar challenges her to bring it.
While drifting through space, Guy Gardner is driving Wonder Woman and Hawkman crazy with his antics. Suddenly, Superman spots an asteroid base up ahead.
Miss Martian congratulates Geo-Force, Halo, Forager, and Terra for joining the Team. Miss Martian is happy about having another alien on the team, while Tigress shares that sentiment for having another girl in the fold. This prompts Halo to announce that she is not sure whether she is a girl or a boy, as those terms are defined by Earth languages. Geo-Force argues that her soul emanated from a Motherbox, but Halo explains that the name "Motherbox" is merely an approximate English translation to the New Genesian word for what she was and concludes by stating, "What I am now is just me", and asks if that is ok. Geo-Force retorts, "Beyond ok". Miss Martian says that she is truly happy that Halo is discovering who she is inside, and proceeds to inform the room that Tigress and Superboy are also officially rejoining the Team. In that moment, Gar arrives and announces that he wants to be back on the Team as well. Miss Martian warmly welcomes him back, but warns him she can't send him on every stealth mission due to his celebrity.
Suddenly a live video is brought up showing Troia and Catherine Cobert making speeches against Luthor and how his authority is stalling the reconstruction of the Hall of Justice and all kinds of League work. The video cuts to Godfrey speaking with Luthor, who states that the League's accusations against him are getting exhausting. He says that he believes that the world needs accountability and transparency. Which is why the U.N. Has a satellite keeping watch on the Watchtower. He admits that even his own company, LexCorp, now run by his sister Lena, has oversight. Godfrey states that Miss Luthor has also just recently announced that LexCorp will pledge funds to the Meta-Human Youth Center.
Big Barda watches as Superman's team approaches. Granny Goodness activates her Fatherbox in order to hear what the League is saying and overhears them talking about following an ion trail. Goodness asks Barda why she left an ion trail instead of following protocol and using a boom tube. Barda smiles, saying the she wanted to set a trap for them. Goodness uses her staff to electrocute her, explaining that Darkseid's will comes first, so she, herself, will decide when the right time will be to reveal themselves. Desaad smiles as he watches Barda suffer, enjoying the sight of torture, but Granny clarifies that she is merely disciplining Barda out of love. She promises that he will see true torture soon enough, as she watches the League slowly approach.
Brion is sitting in Bio-Ship with Forager and Victor, talking about how wonderful the Watchtower was. He suggests that Victor come along next time but Victor refuses, saying that he is not the superhero type and wants to focus on getting his old body back and as a side note would like to have his own room so that he doesn't have to hear Violet constantly texting Brion. Just at that moment, Violet texts Brion: "What are you doing?". Stunned, Brion and Forager look at Victor, asking how he knew? Victor quickly deflects by saying that she is always texting Brion. Brion is satisfied with the answer, but Victor rubs head with a disconcerted look as his exits the Bio-Ship.
Brion texts Violet back: "Missing you ;)", making her giggle. Suddenly there is a crash from the kitchen. Artemis calls out for Violet saying that Lian just spilt her juice. Violet rushes in to help. Artemis calls out for Tara, telling her that it's time for Brucely' walk, but Tara was already walking out the door with him.
Will Harper is sitting in the living room with Jefferson Pierce and Helga Jace. Helga compliments Will that he and Artemis have a home full of love and they have all done so much for the children. She confesses that she wish she could do more for them and believes that, with a full laboratory, she can help Victor with his condition.
Outside, Tara listens in on their conversation, using her phone as a recorder.
Deathstroke listens to the recording that Tara sent him and smiles.
Back at the Orphanage, Granny orders Barda to fire on the ship. Guy uses his power ring to shield the League's ship from the blasts. Hawkman fires back with the ship's missiles and the Orphanage raises it's own shields. Hawkman fires a special missile, covered with Nth Metal, which is able to break through the shield easily. He speaks into his communicator informing Superman that the missile is approaching the Orphanage, just as Superman, Wonder Woman, and Hawkwoman land on the Orphanage's hub. Superman waits for the missile's impact before punching a hole in the ship himself. Granny discovers the intruders and orders Barda to summon the Furies.
While sneaking through the corridors, Superman, Wonder Woman, and Hawkwoman discover all of the meta-human children who were abducted. All of them. Hawkwoman also discovers a strange machine in the room. Suddenly, the Furies attack. In the midst of the battle, everyone ends up in the middle of the mysterious machine. Granny and Desaad arrive through a boom tube with Granny arguing that she is aware that the machine isn't ready, but if the League destroy it, she asks Desaad if he would like to explain that to Darkseid. Desaad silently capitulates. Satisfied, Granny turns the machine on creating an energy bubble that causes everyone inside, including the Furies, to suffer in pain. Barda stares up at Granny in surprise. But Granny and Desaad are too busy enjoying the screams.
Superman shouts for everyone to get out as he grabs a hold of Barda. Once they're out, Barda turns to Superman in surprise for saving her. Superman fires his heat vision at Granny, causing the machine to stop. Superman calls out to Wonder Woman and Hawkwoman as he flies towards Granny, who uses her Fatherbox to open a boom tube which sends all three of them out into space.
Superman, Wonder Woman, and Hawkwoman gasp for air out in the vacuum of space. Suddenly, Guy arrives and casts a sphere around them with his Lantern ring. The League watches as the Orphanage escapes through another boom tube.
While watching Gretchen's interview videos again, Gar stumbles across the selfie that the fangirl took with him. He notices that the photo has 16 million Likes. He closes his laptop lid and broods.
Cast and characters
- Guy Gardner takes offense to be called a sidekick, a sentiment espoused by the members of the Team (especially Red Arrow) throughout season one. He even uses the same phrasing, "Don't call us sidekicks".
- Hro Talak mentions the Justice League's attack on Rimbor that took place in "Auld Acquaintance" and was uncovered in "Alienated".
- Dick refers to the meta-teens that Brion, Violet, Tara and Forager saved in "True Heroes".
- Artemis mentions her and Wally's retiring of the hero life (after the events of Young Justice: Legacy) and the life they made for themselves, as seen in "Salvage". Then Dick talks about Wally's return to the hero life and his subsequent sacrifice in "Endgame". He also alludes to the destruction of Mount Justice in "Darkest".
- Halo exclaims that "Today is the day", a recurring phrase in "Independence Day".
- Aquaman holds a press conference to reveal the world their discovery about the Goode Goggles from "Nightmare Monkeys". In turn, Gretchen blames it on Jaqqar Marlo and mentions his murder in "Rescue Op".
- The 1K Wordsworth is seen for the first time on this episode, after being first mentioned in "Torch Songs, Part 1".
- Troia alludes to the destruction of the Hall of Justice by Despero in "Cornered".
- Victor mentions going all "Fatherbox", referring to the times his built-in Fatherbox took control of him and went on a murderous rampage in "Another Freak", "Nightmare Monkeys" and "True Heroes".
- Superman asks Wonder Woman if she found eight meta-teens abducted from Markovia in "Eminent Threat".
- Superboy refers to Miss Martian as his fiancée, having previously proposed to her in "Princes All".
- Number 16:
- End credits shot: Wolf sleeping on top of the Bio-Ship in recreational vehicle mode, parked outside Conner and Megan's house.
- Hro Talak suggests they send a fleet of Hawkmen to quarantine Earth, possibly nodding to the three-parter episode of Justice League, "Starcrossed", in which the Thanagarians, led by his namesake, invaded and enforced Martial Law on Earth.
- Superman notes his surprise by saying "Great Scott", an interjection frequently used by Superman in the Silver Age of comics.
- One of the pictures used by G. Gordon Godfrey to illustrate the population's distrust of the Justice League is a screenshot from "Misplaced", where the crowd gathers in front of STAR Labs, led by Lawrence Crock.
- The social media accounts highlighted by G. Gordon Godfrey are "Lsnart_CC" (who makes an ice pun) and "CNDMNTKNG" (who makes a relish pun). These are references to Captain Cold (Leonard Snart) and the Condiment King (Buddy Standler/Mitchell Mayo), two gimmicky villains.
- The girl whose purse is retrieved by Garfield in Gorilla form, whom she then takes a selfie with, is called Angel O'Day. This is a reference to Angel and the Ape, a comic book from the late 1960s featuring Angel O'Day, a private investigator who runs a detective agency with her ape partner, Sam Simeon.
- Guy sings about Oa, the headquarters of the Green Lantern Corps, and Mogo, a sentient planet and fellow Green Lantern.
- Lex Luthor's line "[...] who watches the watchman"? is a paraphrase of the Latin phrase "Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?" by the Roman poet Juvenal in his collection of satirical poems, Satires. Its literal translation is "Who will guard the guards themselves?", though it is known by variant translations, such as "Who watches the watchers?" and "Who'll watch the watchmen?".
- What is the purpose of the machine within the Orphanage? (Answer)
- How does Victor know Brion keeps getting text messages from Violet? (Answer)
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