"True Heroes" is the 13th episode of the third season of Young Justice, and the 59th of the overall series. It debuted on January 25, 2019 on DC Universe, along with the 10th, 11th and 12th episodes, "Exceptional Human Beings", "Another Freak" and "Nightmare Monkeys".
Brion Markov, Violet Harper, Fred Bugg and Victor Stone are set to attend the Halloween dance at Happy Harbor High School, though Victor seems hesitant to go. However, Dick Grayson arrives with Artemis Crock and Conner Kent, telling them they have a solid lead on Tara Markov's whereabouts. Brion and Violet are both ready to go on the mission, but Dick tells Violet she needs to stay with Victor in case something happens to him. Helga Jace tells Jefferson Pierce that he should go with the others and she will keep an eye on Violet and Victor. The heroes board the Bio-Ship and depart.
Forager pilots the Bio-Ship to Greater Bialya as Nightwing explains to everyone what he knows. He explains that the VR Goggles manufactured by Goode World Studios were designed to test for the Meta-Gene. Subjects who tested positive received subliminal messages that brainwashed them and sent them to a nearby depot where meta-humans were captured. Nightwing explains that the Justice Leage and The Team are sending squads to take down all depots simultaneously. Black Lightning questions why they are working for the League and Nightwing says that Garfield Logan gave M'gann M'orzz the intel first, then she took it to the League. However, she made sure his squad got the Bialya location because of the connection to Tara Markov.
When Brion asks about the connection between Tara and Bialya, Nightwing says another source (Batman, though Nightwing doesn't disclose this) investigating the League of Shadows overheard that Tara had been turned over to someone named Granny. He believes that, given Gretchen Goode's connection to the goggles, that Granny refers to her nickname, Granny Goodness. Nightwing adds that Jaqqar Marlo, believed to be killed with a Shadows member with earth powers, worked for Goode R&D on the goggles and ran a shell company that purchased an abandoned mall in Bialya. The mall isa meta-human depot and the list of meta-humans held there included a 15-year-old female with earth powers, who Brion realizes is his sister.
Back at Happy Harbor, Violet is worried for Brion's safety and Helga tries to calm her down. Helga explains that she had a daughter and brushing her hair would calm her. She tells Violet her daughter was taken from her, but wants to focus on helping Violet, who allows her to brush her hair. Helga asks Victor to leave the room, who goes to the kitchen to get a glass of water and says they can pretend he's not here. As Helga talks to Violet about what she's going through, Victor says he can't pretend he's not there and Helga tells him he can behave like an adult. The Fatherbox component in Victor's tech then starts to take control of him.
The Bio-Ship arrives at the abandoned mall, Forager having put the ship in camouflage mode. Superboy mentions that M'gann took Sphere to transport a group to take down a depot in Utah, where their presence was less likely to cause an international incident.
Nightwing sends a bug to investigate the mall and adjusts his spy tech to allow the others to see what he sees. Most of the people wear white masks, but Nightwing is more concerned about Onslaught, or the meta-humans who work for Queen Bee: Psimon, Devastation, Icicle Jr., Shimmer, Mammoth and the Terror Twins.
Mister Bliss arrives on the scene and introduces the first meta-humans up for bid: Holocaust and Tara Markov, who is called Terra. Nightwing realizes the depot is a fight club for meta-human teens, who are enslaved by control chips. Brion is ready to intervene, but Nightwing and Superboy warn him that Psimon can detect strong emotions, so Brion will need to stay calm. Brion agrees and Nightwing starts discussing a plan.
Back at Happy Harbor, Wolf wakes up and growls, realizing that the Fatherbox is controlling Victor. Wolf attacks but Victor takes him out. He fires a beam at Helga and Violet, who try to avoid it, but the impact knocks them into the wall and Helga is out cold. Violet tries to cleanse him, but can't, and Victor says that the Motherbox can't handle human emotions and thus Violet's powers won't work. He then attacks Violet.
The heroes, disguised as masked patrons, sneak into the fight club and find Onslaught and Terra engaged in a fight. Before Psimon can scan the area to locate anyone suspicious, Black Lightning sends a spark along the metal guardrail, which zaps Psimon when he touches the rail and knocks him out. Onslaught defeats Terra, Mister Bliss asks if anyone will bid for her services and a masked Artemis does so. Meanwhile, Devastation tends to Psimon and alerts the rest of Onslaught to be on high alert.
The heroes slip out with Terra, who is relieved to be reunited with her brother. The limousine the heroes ride in transforms into the Bio-Ship, camouflages and departs.
Victor corners Violet in the bathroom, but gets control for a moment and tells her to run. She hesitates and Fatherbox takes control of Victor again. Violet realizes that she may not understand her new emotions, but understands about helping others in need and must help Victor. She says those emotions might get in the way, but believes they may be a source of strength. Violet accesses her power to cleanse the Fatherbox.
Brion removes the control chip from Terra. She tells him she knows about what happened to her parents. Brion is about to introduce her to the others, but finds them dressed in stealth gear. Nightwing says they need to go rescue the rest of the teens and shut the depot down. He tells the others to stay on the Bio-Ship and says Forager should keep it nearby in camouflage mode, then be ready to lay down cover fire when it's time to extract them.
Black Lightning shorts out the power to the depot, but there's an emergency generator that powers the cell in which the meta-humans are held captive. Nightwing radios Forager to create a distraction and Forager fires the Bio-Ship upon the depot. Devastation radios the rest of Onslaught, sending Mammonth, Shimmer and Icicle Jr. to investigate the explosion and the Terror Twins to remain guarding the metas.
Outside the depot, Superboy takes down Bialyan guards and Icicle Jr. recognizes him. The two exchange banter, though Icicle Jr. can't help but congratulate Superboy on his engagement to M'gann. Superboy takes him down as Mammoth and Shimmer arrive on the scene. Forager again fires the Bio-Ship to distract them.
Nightwing and Artemis slip past the Twins to shut down the cell, but the Twins spot them before they can escape with the teens. Black Lightning intervenes and takes them down for a moment, but Devastation attacks him. Back outside, Superboy battles Mammoth and Shimmer, with Forager aiding him by firing the Bio-Ship.
Tara and Brion witness the action and Tara feels guilty about the things she was made to do while she was enslaved. Brion said nobody holds her responsible and Tara says she doesn't want the other teens to be forced to do similar things and they need to help.
The heroes are having trouble taking down Onslaught, when Geo-Force and Terra arrive, allowing Nightwing and Artemis to escape with the teens. Geo-Force and Terra use their powers to hold off the Twins and they escape. Outside, Superboy has taken down Shimmer and he and Forager work together to take out Mammoth. Everyone escapes to the Bio-Ship, save for Black Lightning, whose lightning powers eventually knock Devastation out, allowing him to board. The rescued teens thank the heroes for their help.
The heroes return to Megan and Conner's home and Conner reveals that all League and Team raids were successful and those rescued are safe at the Taos meta-human center. Victor Stone tells the others that Violet has permanently cleansed him of Fatherbox's influence. Tara says she forgives Helga for what happened and Brion introduces his sister to his girlfriend, Violet. The adults go inside to straighten up the living room, with Helga taking interest in the brush she used on Violet. Dick says that, while he's not sure what to do with Victory yet, that Geo-Force, Terra, Halo and Forager might have a place on The Team.
Tara, who is staying at Will Harper's house, wakes up and takes her phone to send a text message.
Deathstroke receives a message on his phone that says "I'm in."
Cast and characters
|Troy Baker||Brion Markov/Geo-Force|
|Zehra Fazal||Violet Harper|
|Grey Griffin||Helga Jace|
|Yuri Lowenthal||Icicle Jr.|
|Stephanie Lemelin||Artemis Crock|
|Jesse McCartney||Dick Grayson|
|Nolan North||Conner Kent|
|Khary Payton||Jefferson Pierce|
|Zeno Robinson||Victor Stone/Fatherbox|
|Jason Spisak||Fred Bugg/Forager|
|Tara Strong||Tara Markov|
|Cassandra Savage (flashback)|
|Lady Shiva (flashback)|
|G. Gordon Godfrey (flashback)|
|Garfield Logan (flashback)|
|Jaqqar Marlo (flashback)|
- Forager's exo-shell has completely regenerated from his encounter with Lobo in "Home Fires".
- Dick instructs Violet to stay behind so that she can administer a "Halo-cleanse" to Victor, who is possessed by a Father Box and has gone on a murderous rampage in "Another Freak" and "Nightmare Monkeys". On both occasions, Violet healed him back to normal, albeit temporarily. They are still looking for a permanent solution.
- Dick's debrief of Brion features flashbacks with footage from previous episodes:
- Jefferson spurns the idea of working for the Justice League, from which he quit in "Princes All".
- Devastation is in a relationship with Psimon. She was shown to be smitten with him in "Beneath".
- The force-field pylons seen at the fight club are similar to the ones used to entrap the Team in "Usual Suspects".
- Brion snaps at Dick when the latter is about to tell him to be patient, a recurring advice which has escalated into a skirmish between the two in "Another Freak".
- Brion tells his sister about their parents' death, which happened in "Princes All".
- Icicle Jr. mentions his past meeting with Superboy and Miss Martian in "Terrors".
- Superboy tells Icicle Jr. that he and Miss Martian are engaged. He proposed to her in "Princes All".
- Nightwing's team finally finds Tara Markov, a quest which started in "Away Mission".
- Forager declares to have a special relationship with the Bio-Ship, which started out in "Away Mission".
- Black Lightning is happy to let his powers loose on Devastation. This refers to the trauma he endured after unintentionally killing a kid in "Princes All" and since then he has been afraid of using his powers.
- Tara is aware that her uncle coerced Helga to activate her Meta-Gene, which is something Helga had claimed in "Private Security".
- Number 16:
- End credits shot: Wolf sleeping inside the Bio-Ship shaped like a recreational vehicle.
- The masks worn by the auctioneers bear a striking resemblance to those used by the Court of Owls.
- The map of Greater Bialya is the same map that previously appeared erroneously in "Beneath".
- After Helga Jace picks up the brush, her hair is gray.
- When the power goes out, Mister Bliss urges spectators to return to their seats. The venue has no seats; guests view the arena from the walkways and landings.
- Mister Bliss' welcome in three languages to the audience is taken from the opening song of Cabaret, "Willkommen". His appearance – a tuxedo and grease paint face – is similar to the way the Kit Kat Club's Emcee is traditionally dressed.
- What happened to Helga Jace's daughter?
- Is Helga Jace planning to do something with the hair brush she used on Violet?
- Why is Tara Markov apparently in cahoots with Deathstroke and what is their plan?
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