“Over and Out” picks up where “Zenith and Abyss” left off, with Lor-Zod introducing himself to his parents. Green Lantern Forager breaks through the Kaizer-Thrall’s ray just enough to attack the Zods and M’comm, but they push her back. Zod sends one of his warriors back into the Zone to collect the others and then heads to Earth with Ursa, Lor, and Conner. They arrive at the Fortress of Solitude and claim it as their own as M’comm reopens the portal to the Zone. Lor attacks Conner, but Dru orders him to stand down, telling him how he turned Conner and gained his loyalty. Back on Trombus, M’gann reveals that Conner has regressed to his Cadmus programming. They climb aboard Bioship and head towards Earth as the heroes in the Zone try to keep the prisoners inside. Dick rushes out of the portal and tries to stop the Zods, but Lor brings the statues of Lara and Jor-El down on him. Ursa is chosen by the Eye of Ekron to be the Emerald Empress, a super-powered being from the 31st century. Lor enters the Boom Tube and encounters Aquaman, Rocket, Zatanna, and Artemis. The Tube collapses, Lor exits back to the Fortress, and the heroes escape except for Rocket. The Eye senses Bioship approaching, and Ursa attacks, splitting it in half and tossing the heroes to the ground. The Zods bring Superman to his knees with Kryptonite, and Lor again begs his father to kill Conner. However, Dru instead orders Conner to kill Superman in front of the world.
Wow, a lot happens in “Over and Out.” Episodes like this make me wish the creative team could slow down and let the audience take everything in. I feel ridiculous saying that about a 26-episode season comprised of character-driven story arcs, but here we are. It feels like every single frame of this show is stuffed with important information. I like that about Young Justice to a degree, but I find myself pausing the show a lot to make sure I’m getting everything. Phantoms even packs meaningful content that impacts future episodes into the end credits! I would say maybe this story could have covered two seasons of Young Justice, but I have my suspicions as to why that isn’t the case. Warner Bros. or HBO or whoever is in charge has historically been slow to renew this show; heck, it was officially canceled after 2012’s season 2 and revived in 2019. But in a perfect world, all these decisions would be up to Greg Weisman and Brandon Vietti, and Phantoms could have been two seasons. That way, Garfield could have had his own dedicated story arc instead of featuring in M’gann and Conner’s arc, then becoming a background character who briefly appears throughout the season. Likewise, Dick could have been more of a star of his arc. There’s so much going on here that I don’t feel like we’re learning much about him or getting to know him as an adult. At least Rocket’s experiences on New Genesis were supposed to mirror her struggles with her special needs child; how do Boom Tubes and a brainwashed Conner connect to Nightwing’s own problems?
Speaking of Nightwing, is he dead? Lor says so after sensing he doesn’t have a pulse, much to the delight of his now super-powered parents. I can’t believe they would take out the hero of this arc right before the finale. This fight was so fast it took me a moment to realize what had even happened; it makes sense, seeing as how Nightwing is a regular human up against Kryptonians – of course, he stands little chance. This is also the rare show that kills enough characters to keep the stakes high; I don’t think anybody wants to say goodbye to Nightwing. And what about Raquel? She doesn’t escape the Boom Tube, but unlike Dick, we don’t see her body. His head bleeding out on the Fortress floor is more convincing than her total absence; I imagine we’ll be seeing her again. I also doubt the writers would kill her off right after she made such progress with her son. I can only assume Orion will get his Mother Box back from the Kaizer-Thrall at some point once the heroes have neutralized the threat posed by M’comm and the Zods. I also wonder if Danny is still in there? It was never explained if he was “killed” when M’çomm zapped the Kaizer-Thrall. It’s interesting that General Zod was initially interested in allying with Superman rather than fighting him; it makes sense in context, but this is not what I expected. All the talk of the House of Zod and how the House of El brought it down had me convinced it would be an immediate, all-out war when the Zods reached Earth. I’m curious to see how they’ll wrap up Conner’s story in a satisfying way next week while giving Dick’s story arc a proper ending. They might end this season with Conner only beginning to heal his mind and body with M’gann’s help; in fact, I’m expecting as much.
Overall, “Over and Out” is a pretty good Young Justice outing. The stakes and drama are at an all-time high, as the Zods have essentially won, Superboy is moments away from killing his brother, and Nightwing is presumed dead in the Fortress of Solitude. I wish they could have touched upon the story in Markovia in “Over and Out,” and I want to know more about how Garfield is doing. Such are the limitations of writing a show that can’t depend on the next season to carry on story threads. But the action and dialogue are good, the actors bring it as always, and I can’t wait to see what’s in store for next week’s finale.