Man sought to create robots in his image; unfortunately, he succeeded.
Abe is a self-aware robot/serial killer. Yes, we’re being replaced in the factories and now the degenerate psychos will never be able to keep up. Abe spends his time with his captive and explains to her why he is going to torture her to death. He explains that he was programmed to love, but the family who adopted him feared him and so he tortured and murdered them. Now, he stalks pretty brunettes to kill and makes them listen to his creepy excuses before he kills them.
This was very very creepy and ALTER is really excellent at promoting the short as a great vehicle for a horror story. This story taps into something deeper than just an evil robot; that’s really a sub-genre. No, the robot is who we are. He’s a construct to take away the excuses and rationalizations for committing evil. This inhuman form with an inhuman voice lays bare the real reason people commit horrible acts- they enjoy it. It is completely clear that is the point when we see him stalking his next victim. He’s excited and thrilled because evil enjoys being evil.
Abe is so human that he has managed to convince himself of his lies. I always wondered if pathological liars ever started to believe their own press? He blames every one else for his murders and cruelty because if he admitted honestly that it was his fault; then, he’d have to admit that he did it for enjoyment. I think he knows his rhetoric is as rehearsed and false as every other predator’s excuses. Unfortunately for us, this story seems more and more inevitable.
What is family? “Lazarus” (Dir. Boris Majsovski- 1st Time directing) and written by Bryan Hill (Ash vs Evil Dead) attempts to answer this and it’s more fluid than we might be comfortable with. We all have our “Significant Others”: those whom we count on for identity and love. We lose them, we have nothing. “Lazarus” forces us to look at this truth as a shifting entity driven by pride, ambition, and revenge.
Jason Todd (Curran Walters) is the best anti-hero television has seen in a decade. This episode is the full origin story of a rebirth of Jason to Red Hood and the shift of family from Jason Todd as the adoptive son of Bruce Wayne to Red Hood whose father is Jonathan Crane.
We begin at the last episode, seeing that Jonathan Crane is manipulating Jason/Red Hood as part of his plan of revenge against Batman and Gotham herself. What brought Jason to be Red Hood and abandon all the family that he ever knew and valued? Jason lost the faith of the one man whom he needed: Bruce Wayne. As we found out later, Bruce was already in the process of replacing Jason because Jason had succumbed to fear. After Deathstroke defenestrated him, Jason was hesitant and afraid. This was most evident when Jason tried to intimidate one of Joker’s henchmen who’d been recruiting kids for his Joker gang and Jason got a thorough beat down.
Jason knew that Bruce had lost faith in him as Robin. Bruce benched Jason unless he could go to a therapist to help him deal with his fear. Well, it didn’t work the way Jason wanted it. Bruce declared to Jason that he thought of him as a son, but fired him from being Robin. In that instant, Jason gained family, but Robin lost it. For these heroes, their truest selves are when they wear the cape, losing Robin was Jason’s Total Loss.
Bruce’s firing, sends Jason to Dr Jonathan Crane AKA Scarecrow because he wanted a chemical cure for his fear. Jason trades all knowledge of Batman and the promise of freeing Crane from Arkham in exchange for a formula that would free him of all fear. Jason rents out a lab and Breaks Bad! The formula works….too well. It caused him to face the Joker alone and get killed.
Apparently, death can take holiday because Crane knows a mini-Lazarus pit and tosses Dead Jason into it, bringing him back to life fully the son of Jonathan Crane. Jonathan, unlike Bruce and Dick, who failed him spectacularly – delivers. He gives him the anti-fear super juice and sends him out to run amuck in Gotham. Like the photo below, Jason has a new father at his back. Some critics have assailed Lazarus as humanizing Jason; No, the fact that we can empathize with Jason’s grudge and his subsequent choices is OUR Rorschach test and reflects our own humanity and self-image.
This is what makes the show so great. It’s not just action or source material. They bring you into the dark world where heroes exist and like Watchmen, it’s not such a great place. The heroes are flawed and, in reality, the most honest cape was Red Hood; well, until he killed Hank. I still miss him and I think I know why. He’s the most like myself. Oh well, maybe I’m like Jason Todd and could use some couch time for 150/hour with a 15 buck co-pay?
“Blackfire” is a bridge episode for Titans. After every major plot point in the series, the writers take a breath and go off for a smaller story. Typically, these bridge stories are filled with comic relief and are a lot of fun. This episode was fun, but it’s really hard to stay focused; come on, I’m human and Anna Diop kicking ass in a hyper-short leather mini-skirt corset is DISTRACTING!
The previous episode was truly heart-wrenching. My favorite character and actor was killed off. Hank- we shall always miss you, Bro. However, the hunt for the Red Hood continues and Curran Walters really knows how to lean into the Joker 2.0 Supervillian. The fight scenes between Red Hood and Nightwing are awesome. There’s even lightning bolt sticks!
The theme of the episode is finding family, leather. Starfire is getting ESP images from her sister and is psychically led to find Blackfire in a underground government prison. Side note: I think we have seen the news recently that our government has to travel agency skills of a meth addict; so, keeping an alien with fire/leather prisoner is unlikely. Starfire breaks Blackfire out and Gar is along for the ride. That covers it.
Meanwhile….Dick has a plan to lure Red Hood to him. He kidnaps Dr Crane and takes him to a cabin Bruce trained Jason and Dick when they were at Robin boot camp. It’s also where Dick decapitated a wolf as a youth for Robin training. Lot of history in that cabin of weirdness.
Red Hood is lured to the cabin, BUT Red Hood gets away, Dick gets shot, Barbara is going to arrest Dick likely, and Hank is still Dead…WHY?! *Shakes Fist*
This was a pretty good episode, but it really needed some comic relief. Gar is usually good at bringing that, but I think the writers were reeling from killing off Hank.
Why am I writing a deeper analysis of Titans S3 Ep1-3? This season is so deliberately crafted and true to the source material that it deserves it. Also, it’s important to recognize Alan Ritchson’s brilliant performance in the series and how it came to a close.
This season is all in Gotham. It keeps the story fresh with a new home base and it allows for new characters to enter the mythology: The Joker, Scarecrow, and Babs. What is more emblematic of Gotham than Batman? Batman is a double-edged sword because, while he adds a lot to any story, he’s so iconic and imbued into our culture that he can eclipse the Titans and the primary protagonists.
How do you eliminate Batman and keep Gotham for the Titans? You have Bruce do the most anti-canon but logical thing: Bruce Kills the Damn Joker and retires! Titans is more akin to Watchmen than Arrow. What is the World like with Superheroes and Supervillians? In real life, cops or a person with any superpowers would’ve killed the Joker right off because of course they would. The Joker is a terrorist and even by the Geneva convention, terrorists can be shot and killed on sight. Really. I know this. Really.
So Batman kills the Joker and gives Gotham to Dick and says, “Be a better Batman”. This brings realism to the show and keeps Batman in the outer background away from the action perhaps permanently, allowing the story to remain a Titans’ story.
This show is so accurate in terms of how Soldiers (which is basically what they are) really act. When the jobs over, they play video games, joke around, bust each others balls, drink too much, and are always trying to get laid. The most accurate representation of this persona was done by Alan Ritchson, especially when talking with Dick.
Alan plays the Soldier in and out of recovery from alcoholism and drugs is 100% accurate. It makes it so much harder to say good bye to his character because he’s one of a handful of superior actors who can be so multi-dimensional, believable, and deliver in every performance. I’m not going to write who I’d rather have seen written off, but he would’ve been my LAST choice. The writers just went full-on Game of Thrones, killing off an A-1 talent. I hope that he’s cast immediately a variety of roles.
I want to be clear that performances of all the actors in show is the best I’ve seen in 20-years. They all deserve Emmy and Genies. However, there are standouts among the standouts. Brenton Thwaites and Curran Walters bring a dynamism to their roles that you just don’t see on television, every performance is a For Your Consideration. Nightwing (Brenton Thwaites) evolving into the Batman-like character with the antagonist Joker-like figure Red Hood (Curran Walters) and the history repeating itself in Gotham. Much like the opening song they used, Meet me in the Woods by Lord Huron- everything is darker and different and it foreshadowed the evolution of light versus darkness: Dick v Red Hood. I write Red Hood because Jason died and Red Hood is all that remains.
I knew that the opening scene would be Jason Todd getting murdered by the Joker, BUT I did not expect to see Batman murder the Joker. What I did expect and what got delivered was Brenton Thwaites and Curran Walters embody this epic battle so completely that it pulled me completely in. The writers use the source material cleverly and the dialogue is fantastic, but these Men breathe life into these characters. I was convinced this is what Gotham would be like with these Superheroes. It must be a lot of fun for Curran to get to play such a clever villain.
Sidenote: I do miss Esai Morales playing Deathstroke that was a masterclass in acting, but I guess that his story had to end. The writers are not afraid of killing off your favorites. I wish they would be more afraid of it.
Whether you are late to the party and have yet to see this show and you got spoiled today, missing this show is like never seeing Apocalypse Now or The Godfather. You will not see this level of storytelling again for twenty-years, if ever.
“Hank & Dove” – We open with the empty grave. The question: Bruce, what did you do with Jason? I’m guessing either the Lazarus pit or a Bruce Campbell Necronomicon crossover.
The Titans know that they have to stop Jason. Hank cuts through all the bullshit- He’s gotta be put down. The hope is that Donna Troy could come back too, but wait he’s all nuts now. Why do that to Donna?
Jason calls Hank and it’s intense. It looks like a setup, but Curran Walters plays it so well- I can’t tell. Hank goes to see Jason. I hope that Hank doesn’t die. Jason sends at a dirty pool. Hank all over town and gets him to strip. He gets captured – of course and he’s very naked.
When Hank gets back, he has a bomb on his chest from Jason. Jason demands that the Titans heist a truck and get him gold bars to keep Hank alive. I love the comment from Hank – “Did he have a white cat in his lap?” Hank throws so many one-liners; it’s great watching him laugh at the face of death. Hank and Dawn have a make out session. It’s sweet.
Dick is holding the hardline on no robbing an armored truck, BUT Dawn doesn’t care. She robs the Hell out of that truck. The ticking clock is great in this episode.
Dawn V Dick V Jason- FIGHT! Jason set up Dawn to kill Jason and save Hank. Shoot Jason, Hank lives. She shoots, but the gun was the detonator; so, Dawn ended up killing Hank. This is painful for me. Alan Ritchson was just brilliant in this show. I hope that Berlanti finds a way to give him a show.
“Red Hood” opens in Gotham City….Oh My…It’s just like the Comic!!!! It’s come to life!!!! Gangsters are called to a meeting, but no one knows who called them. One thug gets shot in the head. Another pulled by a Batcable. He demands they open a bag. Red Hood enters.
In one moment, he takes over all of Gotham’s crime because the bag’s contents are the heads of all rival mobsters lieutenants. He is Gotham’s crime boss. Chills. Damn, Curran Walters really brings it.
Hank has become a cop in DC on a bicycle with a mustache. Dawn is fighting crime/dating a ….realtor?! What?! Dawn, I get that you’re on the rebound, but you gotta aim higher. It must be a confidence thing, but really- we’ll do some trust falls or whatever, but aim higher. Really. Dick is still in Gotham and the news is that the Joker is killed by Batman. Alan Ritchson’s performance is everything you’d want. He’s clearly back on the wagon, but he knows that he destroyed is relationship with Dawn. He plays recovering good man for real.
Dick goes to the precinct and Babs is stunned that Dick is considering becoming Batman and following in his father’s footsteps. Rightfully, Dick calls Babs AKA Commissioner Gordon out on that bullshit. Their exchange is so natural that you forget that they are acting. This show is a masterpiece.
Dick calls in the Titans to Gotham. Immediately, the Red Hood begins terrorizing, forcing people to detonate IEDs. He gives people drugs that cause them….not gonna spoil this.
The cops are using Scarecrow as a profiler, setting up a great dramatic scene with Dick and Scarecrow. Starfire has another vision and is speaking…..Russian? Meanwhile in San Francisco, Starfire is contacting her Shrink/Boyfriend. I don’t approve. He’s crossed the line from lover to doctor. NOT OKAY! He’s the worst! I get it -Starfire is clock stopping gorgeous, but dude pull it together.
Dick V Scarecrow- BrainFIGHT! He’s demanding grass for anxiety aaaand gets it. Scarecrow (Vincent Kartheiser) really can play the snarky clever asshole well. It adds a New York element to the show is nice. Snarky clever sardonic folk just make my heart go pitter pat. The Red Hood has left Chess Clue?! This is next-level deep.
I’m enjoying the Hank/Dawn subplot. They’re trying to find the next victim. Bank robbery is happening and they’re all wearing Red Hoods. Gotham is just terrible. Red Hood has captured their children as the extortion to commit crimes. But this time, they weren’t the parents; So, the capes are fired.
After it all went to Hell, I love watching Dick and Hank talk it out. It’s so natural. They talk like Soldiers off duty. The real thing.
Cops are being lured into a trap, but the Titans are here. Doin their thing.
Seamlessly, Dick v Red Hood FIGHT!
Jason reveals himself and it’s AWESOME! He is the big Bad!
I do fanboy on this show a lot, BUT it is that good. Everyone delivers so well. It’s so natural. This is comics coming alive. The writers, directors, and actors excellent! It’s like a Supergroup from the 70s like Cream, Bad Company, or Derek & the Dominoes. We’re watching TV history get made.
It’s here! The new season of Titans!!!! “Barbara Gordon” opens with Jason Todd who has tracked down the Joker. Uh oh. He calls it in to Bruce, but Bruce tells him to stand down. This is painful. Oh No! He decides to go on his own.
Jason arrives at the Joker’s location. It’s an abandoned amusement park and guards have been killed by Smilex Gas. The Joker beats Jason to death with a crowbar.
The next scene feeds right into Nightwing kicking ass with electrified clubs. Awesome! Gar kicks ass and eats someone. Conner smash! Starfire is in full-force. The bad guy is easily dispatched.
We’re back at Gotham City and we’re focusing a lot on a delivery guy. Oh no, Door Dash is getting weaponized now?
We learn that Robin is Dead and Dick goes home to Bruce. We are comforted by Lord Huron – Meet me in the woods.
Dick goes into Jason’s room. We get a clue- Jason was studying chemistry. Earlier, Jason took an inhaler of super-juice.
We get to go inside the batcave again!! Awesome! Much better batcave than Season 1! Great job art department!
Bruce immediately moved on and buried him. Bruce is one cold-blooded bastard.
Back at Titans Tower, Starfire just craps on Jason and his foolhardiness. Does anyone have anything but a surgical steel heart in this show besides Dick? Now, Gar is talking to himself and thirsting over Raven.
Dick meets up with Barbara. She’s in a wheelchair and maybe moonlighting as Oracle? The episode is turning into a detective story. I love it. Dick convinces Babs to talk to Bruce.
Bruce, Dick, and Babs get together and talk war stories. Then, she lays into Bruce. Cruel. She says Bruce is as crazy the Fucking Joker. They just go back and forth so he can keep being Batman like an alcoholic to Vodka. She blames Bruce for her father’s death, Dick’s vigilantism, Jason’s death, Quickster, New Coke, canceling #manifest, and underwear that hasn’t gone tagless.
Dick continues his investigation on what Jason was up to before his death. Maybe we’ll find out the secret of the ooz…I mean inhaler.
Dick finds Jason’s abandoned lab and some of the super-juice. Dick beats the piss out of someone aaaaaand it’s awesome. Dick goes back to the cave and analyzes the super-juice. Dick learns that Bruce is already looking for a new Robin, including Kerry Kelly.
Dick digs into Bruce as well saying he’s as bad as the Joker and Bruce offers him his old job as Robin. Bruce admits that he can’t do it alone. Dick is stunned and turns it down. For the first time, Bruce is human.
Starfire just teleported and had a vision. WTF?! Bruce returns that he killed the Joker with the crowbar Joker used to kill Jason. He gives the city to Dick and turns over Batman to him. Bruce broke his rule and now Batman is dead, Bruce is all that remains, but the Bat could be reborn by Dick Grayson. This episode just grabs you. Everyone is in a different place by the end. Soon, we will see the birth of the Red Hood.
The performances by Iain Glen and Brenton Thwaites were just so visceral and real. This should be a For Your Consideration episode!
Yep, you guessed it! This is a FUN episode. After huge plot points, this show really likes to bring some comic relief. “Faux-Hawk” is no exception. It’s got perfume ad sets, tigers eating people, cage matches, and Wondergirl tying up a dude that is totally not burned into my brain.
“Faux-Hawk” opens with Jericho getting stabbed by dear old Deathstroke, but right as death was coming- Jericho possessed his Dad, but not like anyone else. Deathstroke is able to keep Jericho in his mind and hang out with him in a….perfume ad? I guess- Deathstroke for Men.
Yes, Jericho is trapped in his Dad’s head, but I gotta say Deathstroke has a point. They both agree that Dick and the Titans lied and manipulated him, creating a direct line to his own death. Jericho, sure, your Dad is a supervillain assassin, BUT he’s SOOOOOOO Cool!!!! Come on, Bro! He even tried to make his Dad walk in front of a truck. Boo!
Back in San Francisco, Gar is getting some coffee. Uh Oh, he’s hearing music. He’s gonna start eating people aaaaand that barista is lunch. Oh well, that’s one way to get out of San Francisco.
Walter of Evil Cadmus, lets Dawn and Wondergirl into his home and Wondergirl uses the sexy rope of truth on him. My favorite line: Walter says – I deserve nice things. HA, buddy Minka Kelly and Conor Leslie just pushed their way into your home. Nice things?! Dude, more like you won lotto twice, found the holy grail, and got the last unicorn as a pet. They find out they control Gar and Superboy now. Ok…totally not something I’d like. If this happens to Cadmus employees on the regular, I’ll forego Dental and 401k. Cadmus, call me.
Now for off-the-wagon Hawk is a steel cage fighter! This is fun!
He’s all on blow and winning and taking beatings. He’s got a groupie and is too hurt to perform… aaaaand he’s asleep.
Starfire is having performance issues. Uh-oh, what will we call her, if she can’t make fire. She’s got serious guilt for not going back to Tamarin to take the throne.
Jason and Rose are doing their thing, but then he sees a text. Gar is in trouble. Jason want to blow it off, but Rose has gone good and wants to confess. People are just spilling their guts left and right. 3 years ago. She’s hit by a car and she starts re-building herself. She confronts her mom- what’s up with my healing ability?
She tracks down her Daddy Deathstroke. Ok, this family reunion has serious comic relief. He puts his pistol on the counter like he’s putting away keys and she shoots herself in the hand and it heals. Great exchange: Dad, I’m freak. Eh, Circus always needs us. Beats cubical work.
Everything you expect to be dark, goes to humor and it’s so fun! Later, she goes to prom ….. but it’s her dad who picks her up. Unlike the whiner Jericho, she’s tough and full of snark- She’s her father’s son. Ladies who can throw out clever one-liners and snark are a true treasure. To you Rose, I know you’re into …. murder, but I got my own hobbies too; more cooking and math related – we could make it work. 😉
Gotta say, really like Deathstroke. He’s trying to reconnect with his daughter – it’s through murder, but still. He’s been supporting her mom and the stepdad. It’s sweet. Her date shows up and starts honking. Fuck that guy.
Daddy got her Cape uniform. It’s bring your daughter to murder day. Awww. He’s got a bad rap. Team Deathstroke all the way. Swordfights! Deathstroke tells Rose that she had a brother that a highly trained gang of psychopaths murdered her brother. Deathstroke – you magnificent bastard! She asks for socks and underwear and he gives her a bankcard with 1,000,000USD. Ok, he’s a superdad. Jericho- thumbs down. Good showing not telling BTW!
He’s bringing her in to destroy them from the inside. That’s great. She busted out Doctor Light, infiltrated. I have so much fun with my daughters. Team Deathstroke! All the way!
Poor Rose, just spilling her guts to Jason and he’s not taking it well. The truth shatters Jason’s heart and it’s a great performance. Rose is all the Titans need us and Jason says- NO. I’m done with everyone. This is the beginning of the birth of Red Hood. Nightwing was born from relief, pain, and redemption. Red Hood is the product of betrayal, rage, and self-pity.
The final battle is coming!!! They’re all in San Francisco. Dick has been taskered by Jericho’s mom to extricate Jericho from Deathstroke’s head.
Then, more awesome. Hawk and Dove are cage fighting! Titans is the greatest thing to happen to tv since color.
Dick goes to Stu’s shop. Oh Stu, he’s just the creator of all the bat uniforms. There’s a SECRET LAB!!!
The episode ends with a guy who stole Hawk’s uniform. Comedy ensues and it’s pretty funny… Until it turns out he sold the suit to get blow. He gets home and the drugs are waiting for him.
“E.L._.O.” begins with Gar getting brain surgery. Ew. They’re actually playing with the brain. Yuck! He’s talking and they’re squishing and triggering his anger and tiger changing.
Dick is in solitary for assisting in an escape. He’s delirious and sick. Good news, Ghost Bruce Wayne is mocking Dick again. I love it! Iain Glen is such a badass. He’s trying to lead Dick to understand there’s something going on that he’s missing.
Raven is being called in her dreams to help Dick at a taco place I think or a diner. I love tacos and diners. I’m think I’m hungry and a real cheap date. She’s staying in a crackhouse, but she has a cellphone. Where does she charge it?
This is coming clear as a Heroine story. They are doin it for themselves. Starfire is hanging in Vegas playing video games, drinking, and puking, but on the mend. Dawn is tossing everything ?but a photo post-hank. Yep, she left.
This mission story is still going?! UGHHH. Raven’s mission friend does tarot. *eyeroll* If you’re gonna mess with nonsense from the Dark Ages, why not become an alchemist or apothecary? At least then, you might make gold or treat a rash. Then, Raven is drawn to the Elko Diner.
Starfire is getting lucky. He blew it. Just kept talking and talking, but she did open up to a bit of exposition. Get on the road to Elko already; we know you’re going too.
Dick is recovering and Bruce is trying to make him understand Jericho and admonishing him- Pity party is over! LOVE IT!
Rose and Jason are squatting in some rich person’s home and busting up drug rings. She’s connecting to him and she wants to see the real Jason Todd and he will, but my guess is that her share won’t be so great.
This next scene is pretty cool. Raven, Dawn, Wondergirl, and Starfire all end up in the same Elko diner. Aaaaaand, it’s Bruce! The real Bruce. Bruce is so awesome. He’s bringing them back together. Then, he just leaves! Awesome! Dawn and Wondergirl are like screw Dick Grayson. Raven and Starfire decide to help Dick.
Dick is freezing is in cell and he sees….a RAVEN. He gets the idea for Nightwing….I hope!!!
We learn about Jason Todd. He squatted at a theater and watched thespians do their craft. Rose gets a little closer and then clams up. Damn, the leather jackets in this show are totally badass. They could bring it back.
I thought Jason was soulless. He’s not. He’s just broken and sad.
We are back with Dick in prison. He’s fighting his Ghost Bruce. Slowly, we are seeing Nightwing be born. So cool!!!! He realizes that Jericho IS ALIVE!! He’s hanging out in Slade’s mind. With that realization, Dick can forgive himself and let Nightwing be born!
Rose calls her Dad that she’s done with him and his games. Going against Deathstroke….interesting choice.
Fun, Raven and Starfire bust Dick out of Prison, but…..he’s already gone leaving a note scrawled on the wall: Jericho is alive. AWESOME!!!
Meanwhile at Titans Tower, Gar is home, but he’s being controlled by Cadmus. He’s imagining that he’s home, but They are controlling him. When he hears classical music, he become a tiger and eats an evil scientist.
This episode was a lot of fun; it had been kinda dreary and now it’s got it’s MOJO back!!!
“Fallen” begins with “Inmate: Dick Grayson” Assault on Federal Officer. Plea: Guilty. 7 Years. No Probation. Ouch.
I don’t like his odds in Gen Pop, but who knows? Everyone is trying to call him, but he’s out of touch. Gar let Superboy loose. Wondergirl lost Raven. Dawn lost Hank. This is a downer! Raven is at a mission/halfway house. Crypto is running a meth lab.
The guard at the prison has set Dick up for death. That sucks. His cellmates are Gangbangers gone good. I guess, kinda cliche, but hey why not.
I’m not a fan of the Raven subplot at the mission; so, I’m not covering it. The only thing that I haven’t liked.
Mercy Graves comes in and captures Gar, Krypto, and manipulates Superboy. She convinces him to go back to Evil HQ. Gar is being brainwashed.
Dick is deciding whether or not to help the reformed gangbangers. He does and gets caught. This episode had a lot of potential, but it fell a little flat until the end. Wondergirl returns to the tower. It’s as broken as the Titans. Not every episode can be great.