The holidays are over and I know A LOT about Electricity, Magnetism, and Titans. The episode opens with a brutal scene of a woman killing two cops. I almost had to look away. It is NOT for the faint of heart. What got to me was the cold psychopathy of it. The reason for this little Kill-spree is poorly developed. It quickly cuts to Wayne Manor and Blackfire is now a quasi-Titan and she still prevents me from totally concentrating. She and Superboy have REAL chemistry. So… pretty sure that’s happening very soon. Kyptonians get all the luck!
Lady Vic really more of a B-Storyline. We see how Barbara Gordon and Dick became an item. Boy knows girl, boy and girl both dress flamboyantly, and boy and girl knock over a museum for an old trinket, which of course leads to Knocking Boots. There’s a lid for every pot, but museum heist leading to intercourse doesn’t seem like a direct route to me, but what do I know- I study hours of Math …. for fun. Through flashbacks, we learn that Babs and Dick went on heists for fun, but ended up killing Lady Vic’s husband, brother… or something.
I guess that I have to note that there is a plotline of when will Blackfire and Superboy hook up? However, this plot-line is just so predictable that it’s not great. The show needs Hawk back. He added a terrific wisecracking element and Gar and Superboy just don’t quite make up for his loss.
Jason Todd is still Red Hooding with Dr Crane. Lady Vic works for him too, but just as a side-hustle.
This episode was more disjointed than a knee replacement, but I guess you have to watch it to prepare for the next episodes.
“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!!!
“Conner” (Dir Alex Kalymnios) is not a flashback as much as a flash-lateral. The previous episode had Jason Todd, a principle, falling to his death. Then, this episode dives right into a muscular naked guy with a dog. Yep, he’s Superboy and the Dog- Krypto and yes, if you talk to the dog he’ll go on and on about The Blockchain. It can be worse than if people do CrossFit and are vegan.
“Conner” introduces Superboy (Joshua Orpin). We get to relax and see some tragic comedy with him and Dr Eve Watson (Genevieve Angelson) play off one another for about an hour. We learn that Eve created Superboy- see what they did there?! Also, that he has the emotional maturity of child, strength of Superman, much of the knowledge and memories of Lex Luthor and Superman because is cloned from both of their DNA strands. As you do.
He ends up saving Jason Todd because why not? Joshua Orpin played well as Superboy and he is a new principal; so, we needed an origin story. I think it could’ve had some more action scenes. Orpin is very good at those and I’m looking forward to seeing him in more of the series. However, he did get hit by some kryptonite bullets; so, it might be short-lived.
Jason Todd has been captured, but why? Why is there a feud between Deathstroke and the Titans? What happened? Why didn’t Dick tell the new recruits any of the details before joining up?
“Aqualad” (Dir. Glen Winter – Dir. of Smallville and Arrow) opens FIVE YEARS AGO with Deathstroke doing a ritual before a mission, not with a sacrifice, but a ritual nonetheless. For him, he showers and trims his facial hair perfectly. Why? Because that’s his ritual. Next, in a series of shots, he is sniping target after target. Lawyer, prisoners who turned State’s evidence, a Judge- everyone connected to his mission.
Esai Morales plays this perfectly calm and that’s how these Men actually are. The ones who I knew who did this sort of work were matter of fact Salt of the Earth types. His character doesn’t say a lot of words because why should he?
We get a hint as to what drives him. We see that he is outside of home with a teenager and mom. The teenager is mute and you wonder why are they targets? They aren’t because if they were, they’d be dust. Obviously, it is his son. Deathstroke had a son and Rose had a brother.
We learn about the unrequited romance between Aqualad and Wondergirl. They’ve wanted each other since they were 12 years old. He wants her, but she has a destiny to return to Themyscira and shoot arrows or something. Side question: what’s the point of Themyscira? Primitive weapons, feta everywhere, and lamb after lamb – doesn’t it get old? So they go there and train, buy why? Is it just The Olympics everyday? The pizza is the worst! Move on.
He wants her to stay and she secretly plans to leave before his fish charms get to her.
Since Doctor Light has been bothering everyone, we get his backstory. He was a physicist turned evil blah blah blah lightning hands. They need to stop Doctor Light because he’s getting a super weapon. All the while, Deathstroke is getting closer to his target.
The night of battle occurs and they wreck Doctor Light. Post battle, Aqualad and Wondergirl consummate, but she leaves without a word that very night!!!! Aqualad pursues and is accidentally killed by Deathstroke.
Dick uses the Bat-surveillance to determine the shooter is Deathstroke, which sets in motion their plan. They decide to get Dick to know the boy that was surveilled by Deathstroke.
This episode serves as half of the bridge. We know why the Titans hate Deathstroke, but not why he hates them. What makes these flashback episodes fun is that they keep their focus. We learn their side of the revenge, but Deathstroke’s revenge is a totally different story and can’t be rushed.
The following episode “Deathstroke” doesn’t reveal his motive, BUT it does show his magnificent bastardness! Esai is so Stone Cold! We can see Curran Walters really embody Jason Todd.
The entire episode is about how Deathstroke is setting up the pieces for maximum revenge against Dick Grayson. Rose is constantly pitting them against one another with perfect psy-ops. Deathstroke furthers that rift by offering a trade of Rose for Jason. Why? Because he wants the team to be constantly conflicted. This is from his military training: Infiltrate, Alienate, Isolate, and Destroy. Rose infiltrated, she is working to alienate them from one another, once isolated- attack.
Dick tries to offer himself in return for Jason. This is NOT going to work for Deathstroke. He wants Dick to suffer. The dead no pain; it is the survivor that lives with remorse and pain. Deathstroke wants Dick to be helpless as sees everyone he cares about die.
Deathstroke goes full Bond villain by having Jason on a scaffolding that will blow up and cause him to fall with Dick watching into a pit of alligators and maybe a shark. Why? Because THAT’S DRAMA!!!! He does get Jason to fall and have Dick helplessly watch. Then, CUT TO BLACK?! WHAT?!
This episode is great not just because the performances are great, but because it makes you desperate to know WHY is Deathstroke going to all this trouble? Thank you again and sorry for the wait.
What makes you you? Better yet, what’s the meaning of life? Lucky for you, I know the answer to both of these questions. You are your experiences. That’s it. The meaning of life is choice. You are a sum of your experiences and choices. Life is a series of choices from the lowliest earth worm going into soil or the sun to a person deciding to risk their life to save themselves or their own skin. Sorry, the meaning of life isn’t more exciting, but that’s it just the same. Choice after choice after choice is what life is and what makes you you are the results of those choices. You may now go about your business.
Ghosts of War was written and directed by Eric Bress for Netflix. I am very grateful to Eric Bress because without him we wouldn’t have Final Destination 2 or The Final Destination and that is a sad life indeed. FD2 is Super Awesome: there’s people sliced in half and trees that take your head off and death itself is really into Rube Goldberg machinations of killing you. Death is kinda bored and goes a little nutty.
Ghosts of War was a lot of fun. The ending was hard to watch, but not because it was poorly done; it was just pretty realistic. Also, GOW has Billy Zane that alone should make you watch it. I also liked that the film had both Brenton Thwaites and Alan Ritchson of Titans (See it on HBO Max), which is Breaking Bad levels of awesome! Yeah, I said it.
GOW centers around a WWII era platoon assigned to protect a house in France. When they arrive, they realize that the house quite haunted. Bress solves the why not leave the haunted house question by putting them into a loop, wherein, no matter where they travel, they are back at the haunted house.
There are some good scares and not just jump scares. It has the gross stuff that you loved in Final Destination 2, which must be a Bress signature. There’s at least three people who are immolated in this movie. If you miss the gore of Supernatural, this movie is for you!
Brenton and Alan both have some real stand out performances and make me want to re-watch Titans again because of it. Brenton and Alan play frustration, fear, and rage better than anyone I’ve ever seen.
On a personal level, I’m always watching how well people play Soldiers. This movie is VERY realistic. The characters talk like us, think like us, handle stress like us, and move like we really do. I could understand why and what they were doing at all times. It was amazingly accurate. I was very impressed and would recommend the movie just for its realistic portrayal of Soldiers. This movie accurately showed how Soldiers would react to a supernatural enemy. This doesn’t just happen. It was clear to me that the actors and director took care to do this correctly. It is appreciated.
The ending was a good twist and there were clever subtle clues along the way to lead you to solving the mystery. I would highly recommend this movie and hope to see Brenton and Alan work with this director again.
Charge Over You, an independent Australian film from 2010, tells the story of Sarah Goodall (Danya Cox).
Having spent almost her entire adolescence dreaming of becoming a doctor so that she could find a cure for the illness that was killing her mother, Sarah finds herself struggling after her mother dies. Whereas she was once an honors student and seemed destined for greatness, she’s now haunted by a feeling that everything is pointless. Her grades are slipping. Her mentor is disappointed in her. Her friends are all turning into bad influences. Her father wants to marry some bimbo that Sarah doesn’t even know. Sarah is even starting to wonder if she even wants to become a doctor.
It’s a dark time and, even worse, Sarah makes the mistake of playing with a Ouija board! Well, technically, it was some of her friends who were playing with the Ouija board but Sarah was in the room at the time. Sarah may say that she doesn’t believe in the power of the Ouija board but does the board believe in her? That’s the question.
Suddenly, Sarah has a boyfriend! She’s not sure how she met Dane (James E. Lee). All she knows is that he’s suddenly in her life and that he has a habit of showing up whenever she’s feeling at her weakest. When she steps into her dorm room, he’s there waiting for her. When she tries to talk to other people, she’ll sometimes see him materialize behind them. Dane is cold and cruel and doesn’t even pretend to be sympathetic when she tells him about the death of her mother. Instead, Dane demands that she spend all of her time with him. Even though Sarah doesn’t even like Dane, she finds it impossible to resist him.
Of course, Dane isn’t the only man who has suddenly materialized into Sarah’s life. There’s also Mike, who appears to be a nice guy and who obviously likes Sarah. (He’s visibly hurt when Sarah tells him that she already has a mysterious boyfriend who materialized out of nowhere.) And then there’s Sam, who seems like he’s kind of dorky but who is constantly warning Sarah about guys like Dane. Sam even warns Sarah about agreeing to have dinner with her father. The dinner, of course, turns out to be a disaster and Sarah’s father reveals himself to be a disappointing human being. Why, it’s almost as if Sam can see the future…..
Charge Over You is a strange film. It starts out as a typical college horror film and then, suddenly, it swerves into overly religious territory as Sarah learns that she has both demons and angels competing for her soul. And yet, it’s an undeniably entertaining little film. Danya Cox gives a strong and sympathetic performance as Sarah and James E. Lee is magnetically evil as Dane. Director Regardt Steenekamp does an excellent job of creating an ominous atmosphere and some the scenes where Dane materializes out of nowhere are genuinely creepy. For a low-budget indie film that was reportedly filmed in just 12 days, Charge Over You is a surprisingly well-made and effective film.
It’s on Prime, so check it out during your lockdown and remember …. leave the Ouija boards in the closet!
Welcome back! This has been a hard year for me in terms of reviewing season two and three shows-
Sabrina 2- garbage
Stranger Things 3- Just so very sad.
And then there was Titans. I was prepared for a sophomore slump like I had seen all year with my favorite shows and ….. it NEVER happened. Season 2 Episode 1 was like a new pilot of my most beloved show. It had family murder, a quasi Lucifer, and an introduction of Death Stroke, Bruce Wayne, a new Titans Headquarters, and a cure for male pattern baldness!
The episode picked up where it left off with Dick turned into an evil minion and the rest of the gang trying to help. Hawk and Dove go to Jason Todd and they all descend upon the EVIL Farmhouse …. and are invited in or are they? Trigon (Seamus Dever) is up to his old tricks of temptation, manipulation, and pagination – he’s really into orderly manuscripts; it can’t be all about world destruction.
The Titans fall one by one. Jason Todd is manipulated to kill his “older brother” Dick, Starfire is tricked into killing Rachel, Hank gets Dawn hooked on smack… yes smack…horse…the dragon…the boy…the beast…H…or dope. You even see the needle enter her arm and shoot it up. I’m not sure whether this show or Breaking Bad is darker? Maybe I need to watch something lighter like Disneyland being hit by a meteor or all the unicorns dying to Adiago For Strings. But, man oh man it is enthralling!!! I know that DCU is yet another subscription service, BUT it is worth every single penny to me! *Views expressed do not represent this blog, but are always correct. *
Once everyone is turned and Gar is nearly beaten to death by the now Evil Titans, Raven’s heart breaks allowing Trigon to fulfill his prophecy and start some earth destroying. He reaches into his daughter’s chest, crushes her beating heart, turns it into a ruby, and puts the stone on her forehead….and I thought my childhood Thanksgivings were awkward…HIYOOO! Then, Trigon goes full-on Lucifer, which almost made this a Horrorthon post.
Gar wakes and breaks Raven free of the curse and she kills/banishes her father. EPIC… JUST EPIC! Anywho, once the dust settles, we get introduced to our new villain Death Stroke (who apparently hates Jason Todd; I don’t know why because he really grows on you) and Bruce Wayne. This was a really good portrayal of an older aging Bruce- from father to Dick’s peer. The episode ends with the Titans in San Francisco in their familiar HQ to the fans of the animated series.
This show succeeded in so many ways. It’s deliciously 99% Cacao Dark. It has great action, great dialogue, heart wrenching failure and redemption. The performances, as always, were superb across the board. I will say that Jason Todd (Curran Walters) should get a spinoff of the Red Hood. He would be an amazing Anti-Hero and a clever take on a Batman like hero without ANY rules. Ahem Greg….Ahem! See you in a week!
The asylum episode really didn’t have a lot going on. Rachel’s mother is in an asylum and they rescue her. Rachel thought her mom was dead. Nope, just held hostage at the Evil Well-funded Psyche unit? Sidenote: this psyche unit looks better funded than anything we have goin on in Seattle and we have a terrible homelessness problem.
Maybe, The Evil Group could franchise or just run our city for a couple of years? The Evil Group catches Dick and mind messes with him and he burns his Robin suit. That’s about it. Nothing great. Basically, it was a filler episode.
Donna Troy on the other hand is a fun episode. Donna Troy was Wonder Woman’s sidekick and we dig deeper into that history. It’s a lot more fun and goes deep into the inevitable PTSD heroes would have after years of violence.
The show opens back in Toronto…I mean Chicago. Rachel and her mom have bonded overnight. Really?! You haven’t seen her in…your whole life AND thought she was dead and you’re besties?! Word?
Dick’s “quit” … well kinda. He can’t figure out what to do with himself. So, he and Starfire break up and he heads to…..Vancouver..I guess. Anywho, Donna Troi AKA Wonder Girl AKA Darkstar AKA My Canadian Girlfriend…I swear! She hasn’t quit, but she is a photographer. I really didn’t know that was a photographer was a thing anymore. I figured that it was de-professionalized like journalism by the internet and the iPhone.
Meanwhile, Starfire and the rest of the group are traveling to Rachel’s mom’s farmhouse in the middle of nowhere. They get on a train and are nearly captured by the feds.
Dick is at Wonder Girl’s photography artshow and everything is normal. Just kidding, she’s made a Faustian deal to get hard edged photos of warlords for a fee. As you do. She goes to meet some evil guys for a photo shoot, but Dick follows her and he sees the evil dudes and beats the crap out of them. Donna is also quite the linguist and translates the pictures of an ancient language on Dick’s phone that will explain Rachel and her origin. FUN!!!
She gets through to him that Dick not done with being a hero, but he is done with Robin. Soon, he’ll be …. Nightwing!!!! Can’t wait!!! Dick and Troi do some research on the texts and decide to head to the farmhouse. Somehow they know the address and start heading on down.
Dick and Troi are still enroute and don’t think to give Rachel a ring. At the farmhouse, Rachel does a mindmeld on Starfire. BAD IDEA! She uncovers Starfire’s mission and identity to her. Unfortunately for Rachel, Starfire’s mission is to kill Rachel and stop her from bringing about the gotterdammerung. Starfire wakes and starts choking Rachel!!! SO EXCITING!!!
This episode was a true Detective Comics story. It had a eerie feel to it and I understand why- Carol Banker (Director) and Jason Hatem (Writer) are veterans of The X-Files and Supernatural. These shows are often grisly whodunnits and this episode fit that mold.
The direction and character development and dialogue are so confluent that it has an unsettling realism. You watch Dick go through a metamorphosis of grief and brutality into something new- something he doesn’t even know yet. The dialogue is quick and sharp slowly revealing the differences between Jason and Dick, building the tension between Dick’s uncertainty and Jason’s brutality. The last shot of the detective story pulls back with Dick alone, staring at what Jason has wrought. There are crippled police everywhere. The cost of Dick saving his friend is the unleashing of this hurricane of cruelty wearing the costume that he once proudly wore.
This episode picks up right after the last one. It’s uncertain why Jason Todd was there to help Dick. It turns out that Dick and Jason are both Lo-Jacked with tracking devices because of Batman. Batman discovered that someone is hunting down all of the members of the circus that Dick grew up with- essentially his family other than Bruce. This person is the son of the man who killed Dick’s parents. We learn that five years ago Dick got the revenge upon his parents’ killer. Although Dick didn’t do the fatal blow, he purposefully stood back so the killer would die at another’s hands.
This whodunnit also serves as a Mid-Point Crisis and realization for Dick’s story arc. He doesn’t want to be Robin, but he carries the suit across the country. Jason Todd is the new Robin, but Jason, unlike Dick, is pure Robin. Batman had a code of non-killing and certainly forbade beating up people because you could. Jason Todd does not follow that; in fact, he likes to brutalize people for sport. Jason Todd is rage and violence distilled to its darkest conclusion. This is in line with the comics where Jason becomes the Red Hood and straight up murders criminals.
As they work together in the episode to track down the killer, Dick realizes that he’s not Robin anymore, but he’s not on the sidelines either. The Melting Man essentially kills Dick Grayson’s Robin persona because by forcing Dick to work along side Jason to stop him, it causes Dick to realize that he’s no one’s sidekick and that he isn’t a pure psychopath either.
Dick sees Jason’s thrill in beating up cops and crippling them. Dick tries to explain to Jason that this embrace of darkness costs your soul, but Dick realizes soon that you can’t lose something that you never had. Jason Todd is like the Joker – in Christopher Nolan’s words- The Joker is an absolute. The Joker and Jason Todd are the Id of humanity- both absolutes; there is no reasoning with them. They want and do and they do -without feeling.
Dick is likely to evolve into Nightwing, but more importantly we see in this show very careful layering and texture added over time for every character. It really brings out the goose-flesh to see these people struggle with being heroes. It’s so human and painful and more clear when you see a Jason Todd who relishes embracing darkness and violence.
The Robins do save the day, but Dick is left changed permanently. Like the funeral scene the story opened with, Dick Grayson’s Robin is dead. Dick is unaware as to what he will become, but we know it will be born among the Titans. Without question, this is the BEST show on television.
Hello again! It’s been exactly one month since the last Titans installment. I was busy reviewing the steaming piece of trash that is Stranger Things 3. Now, I’m back and I have to start banking reviews for October!!! Horrorthor is just around the corner as is Titans Season 2 due out in September!!!
This episode was all about bringing the team together and learning how to fight as one. Now, I know this doesn’t sound terribly exciting, BUT this episode was actually one of my favorites.
The biggest reason is that I love this episode is because of the Director Meera Menon. She really knows how to direct a fight scene- a virtuoso! Like horror, a great action story can be filmed terribly, making you wish you’d done an extra load of laundry or it can draw you in and make you feel like part of the action. Meera is the latter. I haven’t seen action sequences directed this well since Blade I. I was bummed to find out that she didn’t direct any additional Titans episodes. If Greg Berlanti is reading my reviews- AND HE SHOULD- Meera is a real talent and will elevate any and all of your properties! Get her now while she’s affordable!
The episode has the gang on the run. They hole up in a motel and try to assess their individual abilities. This leads to a fun quasi-montage. It also leads to the final consummation of the sexual tension between Dick Grayson and Starfire. They really play the tension well. These two have CHEMISTRY!
The Nuclear Family has got a brand new Dad and they are in hot pursuit of the Titans, which leads to one of the best fight sequences that I have ever seen….REALLY. Just awesome! Meera- get in touch with Dwayne Johnson!
After the fight, Dick figures out where the evil headquarters are located using his detective skills. This sends him to Toronto…I mean evil Headquarters. Dick confronts King Evil Pants and gets beaten A LOT by his henchmen….Until Jason Todd shows up and saves him. This introduces the most psychopathic anti-hero since The Comedian. The next episode review will about a WHODUNNIT!