WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for "Influence," Episode 14 of Young Justice: Outsiders, streaming now on DC Universe.
Lex Luthor is one of the DC Universe's most ruthless villains, in any medium. That holds true on Young Justice: Outsiders, where he has manipulated a global takeover by the Reach as part of the Light. His machinations led to him becoming the United Nations Secretary General in the world of the animated series. Now that he has more influence on policy-making, Lex has stymied the Justice League so much that he's driven Batman to form his own breakaway covert squad.
However, in Episode 14, "Influence," we discover Lex isn't finished with the League. Instead, he has more sinister plans for the Watchtower and another key player.
While the Justice League criticizes him for slowing down the reconstruction of the Hall of Justice, Lex tells them the red tape is out of his hands. On Gordon Godfrey's propaganda TV show, Lex continues to try to win public favor and subtly turn people against the League. He admits he has relinquished control of LexCorp, but it's being run by Lena Luthor, his equally nefarious sister. Their first act is to destabilize the metahuman outreach centers for struggling teens in rehabilitation.
Because the Luthors have made massive donations to these centers, they can keep tabs on the kids, as well as the governments that have those initiatives in place. That could set the stage for Lex to use these superhumans as leverage against Vandal Savage and Darkseid once again. In the process, he gets to rub it in the League's face as he's simply mopping up his own mess. The public relations campaign seems to be working, and Lex clearly knows these metas are assets he can't let go of, similar to his plan with Speedy and Superboy years earlier. Because he's already cloned, experimented and helped to traffic metas like these, there's no telling what other plans he could have, as Lena is turning the public face of the company to good.
Things get progressively worse as Lex makes it clear the U.N. has set up secret monitoring stations, similar to Brother Eye from the comics, and a satellite to surveil the Watchtower. The League's orbital base was infiltrated in the past by Vandal Savage and nearly weaponized, and Lex doesn't want that to happen again, as he tells the people of Earth.
In reality, he's merely keeping tabs on his enemies and, with so much technology at his disposal, he's already hinting to Godfrey he might be capable of taking over the Watchtower if the planet determines that it's a threat. Essentially, Lex is looking to create a pretense for commandeering the Watchtower, saying the League are watchmen who need to be watched themselves.
Ultimately, Lex wants to destroy the League's image, and his political maneuvering is going to be key to his plans. The U.N. already sides with him on most decisions, as its representatives are under the impression that Lex knows what to do to prevent another Reach invasion. However, Lex is really pulling strings for his own ends, positioning everything so that all of the pieces are place to benefit him.
Working in tandem with Lena, Lex is shifting those pieces one by one, and we can see them working on more CADMUS projects behind the scenes. Considering that Lex already has the League under watch and is keeping them from making an official base on Earth again, the Luthors could be ready to put the planet's heroes in checkmate sooner than later.
New episodes of Young Justice: Outsiders premiere Tuesdays throughout the summer on DC Universe.