"The Prize" is a canonical AudioPlay of Young Justice tagged to belong to "Season 3.9", thus placing its events long after the final episode of season three and right before the upcoming season four. It was enacted by cast members Denise Boutte, Crispin Freeman, Stephanie Lemelin, Danica McKellar, Nolan North, Khary Payton and Jason Spisak, and series producers Brandon Vietti and Greg Weisman, during the "Young Justice Cast & Producer Panel" at the DC FanDome event on September 12, 2020.
Conner Kent (Nolan North) and Megan Morse (Danica McKellar) bid farewell to their friends as they head off for a new adventure on their own, signaling the end of their time on the Team. What's more, Arsenal (Crispin Freeman) joins the Team once again, after an invitation from Artemis Crock (Stephanie Lemelin).
Lucas Carr begins narrating the story.
Megan and Conner inquire about either Forager or Lucas needing help with the food for their farewell party, but Forager refuses. Lucas then asks about the guest list, which is comprised of the Team Year Zero Crew only, minus a few stragglers otherwise occupied. Forager is happy to be Amistad and Lian's larvae-sitter for the day, to Conner's puzzlement.
Artemis, Will and Lian arrive, the latter slightly in a mood, prompting Forager to wish Violet were here to help him put the child in better spirits. Will is thankful for the party, as it gave him an excuse to foist a boring mission on Roy, Jim and a new guy for Bowhunter Security.
While Conner and he laugh about it, Lucas, narrating, warns against future events that might not be as funny. Forager then takes over the narration, as Lucas's burgers are burning.
Roy complains about the boringness of the mission - guarding a shipment of WayneTech hardware-, arguing that Will gave them that particular gig on purpose, despite the fact that both he and Jim own twenty-five percent of Bowhunter Security each. To which his first clone retorts that Will own half of the firm. Harlan Matthews, the new guy, laments about not having enough money to get a cat. Jim rebuffs him, reminding him he's lucky to get a new start, but Harlan is well aware of that, and was just grousing.
On the roof across the way, Brick, Black Manta, Captain Boomerang, Tuppence Terror and Monsieur Mallah prepare to attack. Brick is mad about having to face Bowhunter Security, while Captain Boomerang and Tuppence seem pretty confident their mission for Amanda Waller will be a breeze. Mallah and Black Manta, on the other end, remain cautious.
After Kaldur'ahm arrives, Lucas Carr, having saved his burning burgers, wants to take back the narration of the story. But Forager reminds him he forgot about vegetarian alternatives for Raquel and her son, who just turned up. In a panic, Lucas goes to take care of it while the New Genesian resumes the story.
The guests talk about the trip Conner and Megan are about to go on. Leaving soon, they'll be joined by J'onn and Garfield, and obviously, Bio-Ship. Artemis, Kaldur'ahm and Will Harper tease Conner about the trip, recognizing it's been a long time coming. Raquel is happy about them.
Forager narrates that while the guests are happy at the party, things are about to go south in Star City.
Indeed, a boomerang explodes in the warehouse where Roy, Jim and Harlan are stationed, knocking them off their feet. Tuppence and Brick attack, followed by Mallah and a gatling gun. Roy returns fire, leaving Jim to take care of Brick, while Harlan asks them whether he should cut loose. Overconfident, Roy believes the only real threat is Mallah and his cleverness, when Black Manta enters, hitting Roy with his eye beams. Captain Boomerang surrounds Harlan with three boomerangs which, upon activation, completely dry off the new guy, who shouts in pain. Distracted by Harlan's demise, Jim and Roy are easily knocked out by Brick and Tuppence, while the rest of the criminals leave with the dust that used to be Harlan's body.
Back in Happy Harbor, Lucas notices that Lian and Amistad ruined his potato salad and his fruit punch by overflowing the latter with the former. Mad at Forager who was supposed to be watching them, the New Genesian explains he let them as it seemed to be a good educational experience. It may be so, but Lucas still has to replace the items before people get hungry, leaving once more the narration to Forager.
Noticing Will's beer-belly, Amistad announces he might be pregnant, to Raquel's embarrassment. The genomorph takes it well, saying that despite being the fruit of advanced science, he still doesn't know of to get rid of his new curves. When Artemis teases him about it, he reminds her jokingly that she lives under his roof rent-free. They both agree to blame Cadmus for it.
He then receives a call from Roy, who explains what went down at the warehouse.
On the Manta-Flyer, Mallah puts the dust in a pod, while Captain Boomerang complains about not being unable to understand the primate, badgered by Brick and Tuppence. The dust is mixed with water, which then becomes Clayface.
At Happy Harbor, Will has to explain how the former criminal became his employee to the rest of the guests. Megan, having participated in Clayface's rehabilitation, explains that after the mud-man was freed from Mad Hatter's control, he wanted to turn a new leaf and start again in a life devoid of crime. She concurred with the people taking care of him that he was sincere and really wanted a new start, which Raquel deduces meant getting him out of Gotham and into a new job at Bowhunter Security. Will notes that Clayface has been a model employee, another proof that Hagen really wants to succeed in his new life.
Raquel notes that the people behind Clayface's abduction make quite an eclectic group. Kaldur'ahm reveals that they belong to the Task Force X, Amanda Waller's Suicide Squad, a group of meta-criminals used and controlled by the woman to do her bidding. He suspects she wants to add the shapeshifter to her ranks.
Clayface tries to get out of his pod, to no avail. He begs the others to get him out, wanting to get back to his new life, but the others can't, explaining they're under Waller's orders. Hagen reminds them he already was under Simon Stagg and Mad Hatter's control, and the meta-felons declare that The Wall is way worse than those two criminals. Despite hating her, they still have to work for her.
Raquel has trouble understanding how Waller can release unrepentant meta-criminals into the world, and Kaldur'ahm can't help her, as he has not been able to get explanations from the former warden. Megan wants to go and help Hagen right away, which seems easy as they know where his captors are heading. Unfortunately, Waller being sponsored by the US Government in secret, and knowing about secrets of the Team that could possibly hinder future missions, make it quite difficult to get into Belle Reve Penitentiary to get Hagen back. Conner doesn't care about it, believing Clayface's freedom is more important than keeping secrets. But it doesn't change the fact that the Team agreed to a pact of mutual non-aggression with Waller, and that they can't go on a covert mission without prior approval from the Justice League, which, as Artemis notes, could take too long to obtain, if they obtain it.
Will proposes that they become temporary workers for Bowhunter Security for a dollar each, as his firm didn't agree to any pact with Waller, which could give them justification enough to go after Clayface. It's thin, but it could work. After Forager agrees to take care of Lian and Amistad in their absence, the whole team agrees to the mission.
Lucas finally comes back with more napkins, more punch and more potato salad to see that all of his guests have vanished. Distraught, he turns to Forager who explains that they have gone "with an offer of gainful employment", to Lucas's puzzlement. Forager offers to explain what happened.
Megan pilots a camouflaged Bio-Ship to the Manta-Flyer's location. When looking at Kaldur'ahm for orders, he reminds her the whole operation is a Bowhunter Security mission, making Will the leader. The latter orders the Manta-Flyer to be shot, making it crash in the bayou.
Inside the Manta-Flyer, the Task Force X brace for impact. Captain Boomerang wants to leave everything and save his own skin, but Tuppence Terror reminds him it meant facing Waller later on. While he disconnects wires, Tuppence and Brick retrieve Clayface's pod, and get him out of the sinking vessel. Being four miles away from Belle Reve, with no help from their commander, they have to carry Clayface across miles of swamp buck, with an enemy watching.
Conner chooses that moment to declare the felons surrounded, to Brick's ire - having warned his partners about them - and Boomerang bafflement - seeing how mere rent-a-cops went to such lengths to get one of their own back. Black Manta reveals that there is more that meet the eye, as among those "rent-a-cops" he finds his son, who tries to end this without conflict. Black Manta disagrees.
On Will's orders, his new employees start fighting.
Clayface's pod is dropped into the swamp, prompting Megan to go after him. Conner confronts Brick, while Raquel traps Tuppence inside a force-field bubble. The latter tries to hit it to get out, to Raquel's hilarity, as each punch reinforces the bubble. Artemis tries to convince Monsieur Mallah that the fight is useless, given both teams records when it comes to their confrontations. Will uses his bow and arrows to fight Captain Boomerang, who mocks his choice of weapons, believing boomerangs to be much cooler, as per Batman's arsenal. So Will switches to his favorite clipboard - eliciting even more mockery - throwing it at Boomerang. He misses on purpose, distracting Boomerang enough to throw him an uppercut and knocking him out cold.
Kaldur'ahm has to face his father, the former not understanding how Waller can have so much power over the great Black Manta, the latter hating what his son had become, believing him to have no dignity. Kaldur'ahm declares wearing his on the inside, asking his father where he kept is, getting him angry.
Narrating, Forager skips the fight, getting straight to the end, when Kaldur'ahm knocks Black Manta out, leaving Brick alone still standing. The criminal surrenders, and Megan surges from the swamp, Clayface's pod in tow. Will calls warden Economos to retrieve his escapees, implying the reputation of the prison might be a tad exaggerated...
With everyone back at the party, and everything in place, Lucas wants to take over the story, once again. Forager warns him of more people to come, which forces Lucas to go get more food, lest he lose his reputation as a good host.
Roy and Jim turn up, and Clayface thanks everyone for having helped getting him back. Kaldur'ahm offers a position with the Justice League, but Harlan refuses, preferring his job at Bowhunter Security.
Will inquires about the WayneTech hardware surveillance, given that the ones supposedly on the job have joined the party. Jim and Roy don't believe the mission is worth it, as the cargo has already been hit - even if the crooks wanted Clayface - and it was too boring anyways. Artemis suggests that Roy rejoins the the Team if he doesn't like boring jobs, but he reminds her that Nightwing kicked him off the Team years ago. It doesn't matter to the archer who is in charge of the new team and is aware of the emotional growth Arsenal has been through. Roy accepts readily.
Raquel raises a toast to Megan and Conner, about to embark on their new adventure. Megan thanks everyone for their love and support for the past ten years, Conner noting that their friendship is the real prize.
Forager concludes the story with :
"The prize" is used many times during the episode to refer to Task Force X's target: Clayface. In the end, Conner concludes that the real prize is his teammates' friendship, and the support he was given all these years.
Cast and characters
- Conner makes a mistake about the number of people in the Team Year Zero at first, recalling Wally West's death in "Endgame".
- In "Terminus", Miss Martian mentions Zatanna trains Thirteen.
- The whole Harper family works at Bowhunter Security since "Private Security". Brick fought them and lost in that episode. He was already using "rent-a-cops" to refer to them.
- Tuppence Terror has been the unwilling target of Icicle Jr.'s advances in "Darkest" (and Miss Martian as her in "Terrors").
- Amistad asks whether Will Harper has "a baby in there", which he also asked Karen Beecher in "Home Fires".
- Clayface mentions his experiences with Mad Hatter and Simon Stagg from "Triptych".
- Kaldur'ahm discovers Amanda Waller's Task Force X in "Leverage".
- Flagg was already mentioned as Task Force X's exfiltration agent in "Leverage".
- Miss Martian resigns from the Team leader position in "Nevermore".
- Nightwing fired Roy Harper from the team in "The Hunt", after his actions endangered the Team in "War".
- Number 16: Two timestamps have 16 in them.
- Lucas Carr and Forager, while taking part in the story, are also narrating.
- Forager concludes the story with "Never the end...", which was already used in the comics "Players, Chapter Six: Rolling Doubles" and "Torch Songs, Part 2". It's the same caption used in the last . Both issues were written by Greg Weisman.
- The episode was originally created to give new material to the fans, as no footage of season 4 was available at the moment. The convention planners liked the idea of an audioplay as Greg Weisman had a lot of experience in making them in conventions.
- Nolan North replaces Dee Bradley Baker as Monsieur Mallah during the episode.
- One goal of the episode is to make sure that fans knew that Conner and M'gann lived in an appartment rented by Lucas Carr above his own house, as it was never really explained during season 3.
- Forager wishing Violet to be there to "help get Lian Nguyen-Harper to speak" is an allusion to the fact both characters are voiced by the same actress, Zehra Fazal.
- Lucas Carr narrates that Conner and Will "laughed about sticking their fellow genomorphs (Roy and Jim) with the dull job". But Roy isn't a genomorph; he's the original.
- Forager does not use pronouns when talking, yet he notes in his narration that Brick and Tuppence "held Clayface's pod over their heads."
- Clayface's line about being pulled back into the life of crime paraphrases Al Pacino's famous quote "Just when I thought I was out, they pull me back in!" from The Godfather Part III.
- Weisman, Greg (2020-09-11). Tweet. Twitter. Retrieved 2020-09-13.
- Weisman, Greg (2021-02-22). Discussion : Greg Weisman, Brandon Vietti : The Return : Part 2. Whelmed : the Young Justice files. Retrieved 2021-03-11.
- Young Justice - Cast Audio Play Performance and Panel [dead link] at DC Fandome
- Watch the episode on YouTube