Titans really is Dick’s show. Dick, like Batman, is a detective. In this episode, Dick is trying to track down Deathstroke, but it’s also a journey for Dick to resolve the demons of his past. The rot is insidious and destroys everything. This episode is about facing demons and the rot that grows when they are ignored. Sadly, I’m personally familiar with this. This episode is so realistic with the depiction of pain, loss, and redemption- you might need therapy afterwards.
The title “Bruce Wayne” is a misnomer in the title because it’s actually the psychic break of Dick seeing his mentor Bruce Wayne (Iain Glen) mock him. This is pretty awesome. Iain Glen approaches role with no boundaries. He inserts himself as the greatest foil to mock Dick at every turn, which is nice because Dick is so rigid, seeing this side of his psyche makes him 3-Dimensional. The true test of a leader isn’t just accomplishing the mission; it’s have the team accomplish it together, utilizing all of their strength because that creates a pattern of victory. If you think I’m not correct, how many bands stay together after they get really famous?
Bruce is rebuking Dick’s leadership especially with Jason that he led all of these kids into Deathstoke’s hands- “right into their bloodfeud”. We’re learning the depth of Dick’s culpability in creating the feud is unknown even to the other original Titans members. It’d be hypocritical of me to claim that I’ve never taken revenge or wanted it, BUT it ALWAYS leaves collateral damage and we learn more about this feud the collateral damage was EPIC.
The show is great about keeping the subplots going without distracting the A-Story. Eve is trying to find Conner; she frees Crypto to do it. Conner is sick from the kryptonite bullets etc etc and gets all better. Rose is trying to (AND SUCCESSFULLY) seducing Jason and they have CHEMISTRY!!!! We see just how deep Rose’s infiltration has worked. Jason is seeing things. Alcohol is being left for Hawk, orange soda is left for Wondergirl (it’s a thing), photos appearing for Dawn, records are appearing, crosses are all over Raven’s room, and Colonel Mustard is in the parlor with a candle stick. JUST MAYHEM!
I love the detective parts of the story. Dick works the case to find Deathstroke by going to ex-girlfriends and known associates. It’s fun because ACTUALLY how cops investigations. I’ve personally done many investigations and they are always fun! Bonus, you get to see Bruce Wayne dance in burlesque….it’s better than it sounds.
Rose drives a deeper wedge by revealing Dick’s secret to Jason by using her brother Jericho the boy Deathstroke was stalking to get to her dad. Now, if Jason were less infatuated, he might realize that he’s being played by Rose.
Sidenote: Wow! The acting talent of both Chelsea Zhang and Curran Walters is palpable. They play off each other perfectly. It’s Emmy-worthy performances. The cast as whole is like a supergroup. Without even a near-second, this greatest show on tv in 20 years.
We learn that they think Doctor Light killed Jericho. Not so. Dick has blood on his hands- they will drip drip drip the details until the suspense is ratcheted like a suspension wire on the Golden Gate.
Just when Dick realizes that the enemy is in the house, we see just how bad Jason blames himself. He climbs up to the top of the Tower to end his life. It’s almost too believable. It hurts to watch. Right when we think it’s about to end with Jason’s death, we learn brutally as Dick metaphorically undresses himself, revealing that he killed Deathstroke’s son. He is the poison and the rot at the center of the team.
This episode is so great that it should be in a masterclass for acting, writing, and directing. It is so riveting and Breton Thwaites confession is so believable – it hurts.