Warning: SPOILERS ahead for Young Justice season 3's finale.
Young Justice: Outsiders ending episodes proved a perfect capstone for a fantastic season 3. Fans of the cult animated series fought tooth and nail to see it renewed for a third season after it was canceled after two years on Cartoon Network. The wait for the series' return was long, but it did not disappoint in the end.
Season 3 of Young Justice opened with an embittered Justice League seemingly breaking up, with Batman leading a number of heroes to form their own independent team (which Black Lightning sarcastically dubbed Batman Inc.) that would be able to act independently of the bureaucracy demanded by the United Nations. This increased regulation was the work of UN Secretary-General Lex Luthor, who was using his position to keep the Justice League tied up in red tape and unable to combat the growing problem of teenage metahumans trafficking. Naturally, the supervillains running the Light were profiting handsomely off of this black market, with brainwashed teens being shipped off-planet to act as soldiers and test-subjects for the New Gods of Apokolips.
Independent of Batman and his plan to divide and conquer while secretly managing the seemingly splintered Justice League from behind the scenes, a new team of teen superheroes that could operate outside the system and inspire their peers to heroism was formed by Beast Boy and became known as the Outsiders. The forces of good largely won out by the season's end, but their victory came at a high cost and not everyone emerged unscathed. The final episode also suggested that even as the battle between Good and Evil on Earth continued, a larger conflict with consequences reaching into the depths of space and far into the future will unfold in Young Justice season 4.
Victor Stone Becomes Cyborg & Joins The Outsiders
For the better part of Young Justice: Outsiders, former star athlete Victor Stone was content to stay on the sidelines, hoping to find a cure for the New Gods' technology that had taken over his body after his father used it to save him from a fatal accident. However, episode 24, "Into The Breach," saw Victor fully embrace his new superpowers to help his friends among the Outsiders. Indeed, Victor came to take an active role and became the MVP of the rescue mission.
It was Victor's powers that allowed the Outsiders to locate Granny Goodness' new base on Earth, scanning hundreds of Goode World Studios sites until he found one that contained New Gods technology. It was Victor who hacked Granny's computerized follower Overlord, freeing himself and his friends from the Ghost Dimension. It was Victor who opened a Boom Tube into Granny's space base, the Orphanage, and followed after Granny's avatar, Gretchen Goode, as the technology that allowed Granny to be in two places at once failed. Finally, it was Victor who freed Halo from Granny's influence, allowing her to undo the damage she had done while mind-controlled, freeing the Justice League and her friends from the power of the Anti-Life Equation.
Once everyone was safely returned to Earth, Victor was humble about all he had accomplished, insisting it was a team effort all the way. Both the openly-operating Outsiders and the covert Team offered him a place among their ranks, though Superboy was quick to remind him that he didn't have to become a superhero just because he had helped save the day once. In the end, Victor joined the Outsiders, saying that he had never been afraid of the spotlight as a football star and he wasn't going to hide himself anymore. To that end, he chose the codename Cyborg and decided to put his celebrity to good use as a publicly-recognized superhero.
Forager Decides To Stay On Earth & Reveals Himself As An Alien
The alien bug-man Forager faced the same choice as Cyborg following the events of Young Justice: Outsiders episode 24 but for different reasons. Mantis, the leader of Forager's hive, was discovered to be in league with Granny Goodness and was arrested by the Green Lantern Corps. Since Forager had been exiled because of false charges of treason that Mantis had leveled against him after Forager had plead for peace with the good New Gods, Forager now had the chance to return home to New Genesis. Yet as much as Forager missed his home and longed to stop hiding behind the magic charm that made him appear to be a human teenager named Fred Bugg, he had come to value his work as a superhero on Earth and did not want to abandon the friends who gave him a new home.
Superboy offered Forager a third option, taking him to the small town of Geranium City, in episode 25, "Overwhelmed." The small town was shielded from prying eyes by a telepathic illusion generated by the community's leader, Dubbilex, and served as a haven for creatures like the Genomorphs who had been created by Lex Luthor and Project Cadmus, but, unlike Superboy, could not pass for human. After touring the community, Forager became inspired and agreed to stay in Geranium City when he was not helping people as a member of the Outsiders. He also decided to abandon his Fred Bugg persona and to live life openly as an alien on Earth, revealing his true form to his classmates at Happy Harbor High School in the final scenes of Young Justice season 3.
Metron Recognizes Halo and Cyborg As His Grandchildren
As they were babysitting Lian Harper in the Outsiders' base in episode 25, Halo and Cyborg were abducted by the New God Metron. The three were suddenly floating in deep space, and while Lian found the experience thrilling, Halo and Cyborg were horrified to find they could only speak in the pings and drones of the Motherbox and Fatherbox that fueled their respective powers. Metron was quick to assure the two heroes that they, and their charge, were quite safe, even as he addressed Halo as "grandaughter" and Cyborg as "grandson."
Metron explained that while he was originally unimpressed with Cyborg upon their first encounter in episode 20, "Quiet Conversations," he had come to watch him and Halo from a distance after realizing their full potential as organic beings fused with the sentient machines that he viewed as his computerized children. Given that Halo was born as a result of a Motherbox soul inhabiting a human body and Cyborg's body was rebuilt by a Fatherbox later reprogrammed by his Mobius tech, Metron had come to regard the two heroes as his grandchildren and looked upon them with no small amount of pride given their accomplishments. He further noted that the two of them were destined to "become extremely important players in the coming galactic conflict." Metron then returned them to Earth, saying that he would enjoy watching their continued evolution, assuming that Darkseid did not kill them, as they were both potentially major obstacles to his plans.
Terra Is Exposed As A Spy, But Sides With The Heroes
After the Light freed Baron Bedlam from prison and helped him to facilitate a coup of the government of Markovia in Young Justice: Outsiders episode 25, the Outsiders and the Team joined forces to reclaim the country (the United Nations refused to let the Justice League get involved). This played into the plans of Lex Luthor and Deathstroke, who had been using Terra to spy on their enemies for months. Their goal was to have Terra "accidentally" kill Beast Boy on a live video feed, seemingly proving Luthor's claims that metahuman vigilantes are a menace to society while killing the charismatic leader of the Outsiders' social revolution. This would allow Luthor to pass global legislation that would require mandatory registration of all metahumans and outlaw those superheroes who did not agree to reveal their secret identities to the public.
Before Terra had a chance to fulfill her orders, she was stopped by Tigress, who revealed that they had known that Terra was an agent of Deathstroke and the League of Shadows since before they rescued her in episode 13, "True Heroes." Tigress explained that Batman discovered that Terra had been set up as a double-agent while spying on Deathstroke during the events of episode 10, "Exceptional Human Beings." Torn between her brainwashing at Deathstroke's hands and the kindness and trust that the heroes showed her, even knowing what she was, Terra ultimately defied Deathstroke's orders and joined the heroes against him and the Light. By the end of the Young Justice season 3 finale, Terra had stood trial for her crimes at The Hague and been granted probation, working to make amends for her past as a member of the Outsiders.
Geo-Force Kills His Uncle & Claims Throne of Markovia…
The news that his beloved sister was a spy proved to be the straw that brakes the camel's back for the hot-tempered Geo-Force. Barely holding himself back when he first confronted his uncle, Baron Bedlam, the revelations that Terra was a willing agent of the League of Shadows and that his friends knew this but did not tell him pushed Geo-Force over the edge. When Bedlam taunted the hero and said that the conflict between them would never end so long as he drew breath, Geo-Force coldly replied, "Uncle, I believe you," before plunging his hand into the villain's mouth and creating a flow of lava that instantly suffocated him.
The sudden act of violence stunned Geo-Force's allies but enraptured the crowd of Markovian citizens who had stormed the Royal Palace under the direction of their ambassador to the United Nations, Zviad Baazovi. The ambassador was quick to lead the people in cheering Geo-Force's actions, declaring them the act of a just king executing a traitor rather than a cold-blooded act of murder. Baazovi also persuaded Geo-Force that he should assume the throne in the place of his usurped older brother because only he had the strength to see Markovia restored to its former glory. Geo-Force accepts this, but is stunned when Terra refused to accept his pardon in exchange for acknowledging his claim to the throne and Halo's likewise refused to become his queen.
… But He’s A Puppet Ruler, Working For The Light.
By the end of episode 26, "Nevermore," Geo-Force has assumed the throne of Markovia and accepted Dr. Helga Jace back into his employ as an adviser. While he was reluctant to allow her back into the country at first, Geo-Force was persuaded that Dr. Jace deserved a second chance by Ambassador Baazovi. The closing scenes of the episode reveal that Ambassador Baazovi is a psychic metahuman with remarkable powers of persuasion, which he can use to "nudge people toward their own worst impulses." It is also revealed that Ambassador Baazovi has taken Granny Goodness' place among the leadership of the Light.
Despite Luthor’s Legal Woes, The Light Endures
Despite the Light's plan to kill Beast Boy failing, Lex Luthor was still largely pleased with the outcome of events in Markovia. Luthor felt that having Geo-Force kill a man on live TV and declare himself king of a small nation is just as useful for making the Outsiders look bad. It also enabled Luthor to make his case about the dangers posed by superheroes while presenting his metahuman registration act to the United Nations.
Thankfully, Luthor suffered a vicious one-two punch of legal challenges before he got the chance to make his case. Black Lightning and Cyborg appeared before the United Nations with documents proving Luthor had illegally continued to run his company while serving as the UN Secretary-General and had ties to the metahuman trafficking organizations overseen by the Light. This was followed by Superboy publicly accusing Luthor of illegally creating new life forms that were genetically engineered to be weapons of mass destruction and revealing himself as a clone made from the DNA of Superman and Lex Luthor. These twin revelations were enough to trigger an immediate vote of no confidence on the floor of the United Nations, forcing Luthor to resign in disgrace.
While this left Lex forced to lawyer-up in the face of multiple criminal charges and killed his squeaky-clean image with the public, the scandal had little effect on the business of The Light. A meeting of their leadership at the end Young Justice season 3 revealed that their operations are expanding, with Markovia now under their control. Vandal Savage also confirmed that he and Darkseid have reaffirmed their partnership after some initial saber-rattling over their "mutual sense of betrayal" in the wake of Granny Goodness turning on the Light to secure the Anti-Life Equation on Darkseid's behalf. Savage warned his allies, however, that Darkseid will continue to search for the Equation and that they must prepare for an inevitable conflict should he uncover it again.
Black Lightning Is Leading A Reunited Justice League
The recent events in Markovia also prompt a change in the leadership of the Justice League. After revealing that they had been involved in a plan to publicly break the team into separate groups while still coordinating their activities in secret, Miss Martian, Aquaman and Wonder Woman step down from their command posts. When it comes time to elect a new chairperson, it is unanimously decided that the job should go to the one person everyone trusts to keep them honest in the future - Black Lightning. Jefferson Pierce reluctantly accepts the job, but only on the condition that Batman, Nightwing and the rest of what he called Batman Inc. officially rejoin the Justice League. It is a condition they gladly accept.
Miss Martian and Superboy Are Still Getting Married
With Superboy having revealed himself and the rest of the Genomorphs to the world, Miss Martian attempted to return his engagement ring, saying they can't be together if Superboy can't truly trust her or forgive her for having lied to him in the past. The two had argued extensively after Superboy learned about the secret leadership task force behind all the superhero teams. However, Superboy refused to take the ring back, saying he was afraid Miss Martian couldn't trust or forgive him after he reopened their old wounds and that he still wants to spend the rest of his life with her if she'll have him. Her answer is delivered with a kiss, which he quickly returns. The wedding of Superboy and Miss Martian will surely come in Young Justice season 4.
Here Comes The Legion of Superheroes
The final scene of Young Justice season 3 is a wordless montage where the founding members of the Team and their families join together for a private party at Bibbo's Diner in Metropolis. A blonde waitress moves between the tables, eventually coming to where Superboy and Miss Martian are sharing a booth and enjoying some pie and coffee. As the waitress - likely Saturn Girl - refills Miss Martian's mug, a close-up on her hand to reveal that she is wearing the distinctive ring of the Legion of Superheroes.
Given the difficulties involved in time traveling in the DC Universe, it rarely means anything good when the Legion of Superheroes shows up in the 21st century. Considering that the writers of Young Justice: Outsiders are fond of adapting relatively obscure event comics, one possibility is that season 4 could adapt The Final Night, where the time-lost Legion helped prevent a monster called The Sun Eater from devouring Earth's sun and destroying their future. Another possibility is that the new season will adapt The Great Darkness Saga - a classic story believed by many to be the greatest Legion of Superheroes miniseries ever, which saw the Legion and their allies fighting Darkseid.