Titans S2 Ep9, “Atonement” Review by Case Wright


“Atonement” begins with Dick’s confession. We learn that he told the old Titans that Jericho was already dead when he got to the Church that he died trying to save Dick from Deathstroke. He lied to everyone. Hank, the most direct, decks Dick and everyone leaves…..except Gar. I guess technically Conner too, but he’s unconscious.

This episode is all about admitting fault. No one is clean. This is Rock Bottom.

Then, we learn that Blackfire has sent her “Royal Goon Squad” to kill Starfire and her bodyguard. That must be the most awkward Thanksgiving ever. Blackfire wears the crown now and she killed many many people. Starfire’s hesitancy to wear the crown cost lives.

Dick abandons the Tower, leaving Gar holding the bag. WHAT?! You did this. You don’t get to run off. Oh well. Gar sees his mission as getting the Titans back together. Sure. Why not? He even reads to the unconscious Conner. By Day 3, he’s flagging. Conner wakes up and is a bit confused, naked.

Hank and Dawn are back in Wyoming and living in a new cabin. Then, Dawn takes Hank, a recovering alcoholic, to a bar. Ok. Not my first choice. Then, they are confronted by the sister of the boy Doctor Light killed. His death is on their heads.

Dick goes to Jericho’s mom to apologize. She does not let him off the hook at all. She directs him to look for forgiveness in the other room. Guess who’s there? Deathstroke. She’s cold blooded!!!! He’s moved back in like a Supervillain parent trap? Deathstroke sentences Dick Grayson to live alone and that if he re-assembles the Titans – they all die.

Then, the comic relief: Gar takes Conner into the city and he takes up Park Goat Yoga. Nah, he thinks cops are bad and attacks them and even the dog gets in on it. Oops.

Hank and Dawn split up. Blackfire has possessed the bodyguard, forcing Starfire to kill him. Then, we see Blackfire. And she is…is EVERYONE on that planet gorgeous? Can I go there?

Dick decides to go to Greenland, but changes his mind and gets himself arrested. Hank goes to a bar and orders a diet coke …. then some drugs. Alan Ritchson really plays the broken addict role well.

This episode worked like a 2nd Act spin around; everyone is at their nadir. Lost. Broken. Such a great show!

Titans S2 Ep7 “Bruce Wayne” Review By Case Wright (Dir. Akiva Goldsman -He’s basically done everything, he might be directing your life right now)


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.

Titans S2 Ep 6 “Conner” Review by Case Wright


“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.

Titans, S2 Ep 4 & 5, “Aqualad” “Deathstroke” Review by Case Wright


Titans is a flashback HEAVY show. In fact, it goes along with my theory of the meaning of life, which you get to know here: https://unobtainium13.com/2021/04/03/ghosts-of-war/

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.

Titans, S2 Ep 2&3, “Rose” “Ghosts” Review by Case Wright


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Halloween is over and now it’s time for all good persons to rally together and watch Titans! This season is following a tried and true method of bringing the gang back together, but they are emotionally apart and will hopefully return together.  This season’s Big Bad is Deathstroke (Esai Morales) and it’s AWESOME!

“Rose” is about well Rose who is in peril.  She’s missing an eye and is getting chased by the police.  Dick intervenes and takes her in for some reason, but it turns out Rose is Deathstroke’s daughter…Dun Dun Dun!!!! She also has a lot of snark, which the show needs more of.  It also has Jason Todd as a budding superhero looking for acceptance by Dick Grayson as he tries to fit into the Titans.  I’m glad that Curran Walters is a series regular, BUT I feel like his talent and his character is being wasted; he should be on his own show and have him evolve into the anti-hero- Red Hood.

Where’s the rest of our heroes? Hank and Dawn are out in Wyoming trying to go straight by running a horse riding camp for addicts.  Apparently, their need to fight crime was feeding Hank’s addiction.  But, is Dawn hanging up the cape and spandex???? NOPE! She’s out beating meth cookers within an inch of their lives! Yes, she’s returned to badassery.  Their utopia crashes down when their car explodes.  Why did the car go boom?  Deathstroke sprung Doctor Light from prison. He can manipulate energy and blow things up.

This episode dovetails perfectly into Ghosts- Episode 3.  The old Titans- Donna, Hank, and Dawn are back at the HQ and learn that Doctor Light is on the loose, Deathstroke is after them, Dick is harboring Deathstroke’s daughter, and the sushi he fed them came from a gas station.  Basically, everything is terrible and Dick is so busy trying to be a Dad that he forgot that he had to also be an angry badass.  Who is Doctor Light?  He’s a Mad Max looking supervillain who according to the comics is a serial sex offender and murderer.

The old gang tries to find Doctor Light and excludes any of the New Titans from the fight. Why? Because Dick’s trying to protect them and do things differently from Batman, but he didn’t bother to tell the New Titans that the last time they tangled with Deathstroke, it was a disaster. They hint at the disaster that they keep teasing at, forcing us to guess how terrible it was.

There is a secondary story of Starfire being pulled back home to be a Queen.  Honestly, I hate this subplot.  She brings so much to the show and this subplot feels like a sidelining to me.

While Dick is trying to be a TV Dad, Jason is determined to prove himself.  He and Beast Boy go after Doctor Light and they find him, but IT’S A TRAP!!!! Jason gives a good fight, but is captured by Deathstroke!!!! OH NO!

These episodes fit together well and act as a great vehicle to ramp up the tension and suspense.  The cast is really bringing it again this season and Esai Morales was born to play this role.  He encapsulates the quiet rage and evil brilliantly!

Titans S2Ep1, “Trigon”, Review by Case Wright (Dir. Carol Banker)


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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!

“Titans” S1 Ep 10 & 11; “Koriand’r” & “Dick Grayson” Review by Case Wright *Spoilers*


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Do you know the exact moment when you sold your soul?  Or when your soul is forfeit are you so far gone that you don’t notice?

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Dick Grayson started as the damaged hero and ended with nothing.  He’s a tragic hero whose pride destroyed him.  He became seduced to believe that his pain allowed him to decide life and death, causing him to commit the paragon of sins: Patricide.  As you look at the 11 episode arc, you see Dick losing his identity as Robin, and in doing so, he loses his moral compass and his soul.

I reviewed these last two episodes together because they flow as one episode.  It could’ve been titled The Last Temptation of Dick Grayson.  Unfortunately, he made the wrong the decision and we see his soul die. Not only was the story brilliantly written, but these two episodes had a creepy factor that was palpable.  In fact, the story began and ended in a haunted house.

In the previous episode, Starfire starts choking Rachel.  Dick and Donna burst in and Starfire stops, but the damage has been done and Rachel’s mom insists that Starfire leave.  Starfire does and Dick and Donna follow.  Rachel’s mom has successfully separated the group.  We learn that Starfire is an Alien and needs to stop Rachel from unleashing her father Trigon who is basically the Devil.

Rachel has been trying to keep from using her powers because she can’t control them and they seem inherently evil because … well … they are.  Rachel’s mom as it turns out is still all about Trigon AKA Satan and she really wants her some Satan.  In order to do it, she needs to get Rachel to use her evil mojo and pull her dad out of a mirror.  Rachel’s mom accomplishes this by infecting Gar through a haunted mirror.  Rachel’s mom tricks Rachel into pulling her dad out of Hell because only he can save Gar.  Well, she does and Gar is healed by Trigon, but evil is now unleashed upon us.  How did this work?  Rachel was manipulated and seduced.  She knew that her father was likely pretty pretty bad, but she was willing risk us all to help her friend, making the act selfish, but disguised as altruistic.

Dick Grayson enters and he is in his idealized reality, but not all is well.  First of all, he’s in Southern California, which is almost a hell dimension all on its own.  Dawn is his wife and he’s got another baby on the way AND they both have left the hero business behind to pursue a life of….well let’s just assume real estate? They probably have some really cool pictures of themselves on local benches.  In fact, Minka Kelly should really be on ALL advertisements at all times.   

Jason Todd arrives in a wheel chair and informs Dick that Batman has run a muck, killing the villains instead of beating them to near death, which is …. better?   Dick returns to Gotham and is continually manipulated by Satan that Bruce can’t be stopped without killing him.  Dick fights his way through the mansion and upon seeing that Starfire was killed by Batman, he gives into his wrath and commits patricide.  By giving into this final act of evil, Dick becomes Trigon’s minion.  Dick even gets evil eyes, but I didn’t not to use a screen cap of that because it might spoil visually.

These episodes and the season as whole take a deep dive into PTSD and human weakness.  Dick was filled with bitterness and pain and when he burned his Robin suit he also burned the last vestige of his hero identity.  When he kills Bruce, he wasn’t in costume; he was just angry Dick Grayson who wanted to get back at his Dad.  Dick answers the question for us posed at the beginning:  we don’t know when our soul is forfeit because we left all our scruples behind getting to that point, therefore, we become a husk of a human being capable of anything.

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Titans, S1 Ep6, Jason Todd, Review By Case Wright, Dir (Carol Banker)


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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.

 

Titans S1 Ep 5, Together, Dir (Meera Menon)


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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!

Super cool!

Titans, S1E3, Origins, Dir. Kevin Rodney Sullivan, No review ep 4


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This episode – Origins – digs deeper into Dick and how he evolved into Robin and how Dick, Koriand’r, and Rachel evolved into the Titans.  I don’t mention Beast Boy because he joins in the next episode and he is kinda lame.  Speaking of Beast Boy, I won’t review Episode 4- Doom Patrol.  It’s a backdoor pilot for the eponymous show that was reviewed on this site – check it out here.

The episode opens with my only critique for the season.  Rachel is captured, but doesn’t use her Goth powers to kill everyone.  Why not?  This was not explained.  It seems that somehow her powers were neutered, but I’m not sure how.  She ends up being driven around by the world’s creepiest suburban family.  This quick cuts to Koriand’r searching for Rachel and kicking serious ass kinda unnecessarily.  I mean these were cops and she just breaks one guy’s arm when he begs for mercy.  OUCH!  Koriand’r catches up to the “Nuclear Family” and sets the dad on fire and rescues Rachel.  Koriand’r sets more people on fire than the Romans did! Not too long after, she practically tears apart a wife beater at a diner!  WOW!   Koriand’r takes Rachel to a convent where she discovered Rachel spent the first few years of her life.  All the while, Dick is on the hunt for them both!

The B- Story is Dick Grayson’s youth and how he became Robin.  I wasn’t sure how I thought of this device, but it re-centered the story around Dick to keep the narrative clear: This show is Dick’s Story.  Young Dick Grayson is adopted by Bruce Wayne who doesn’t speak, but lurks around the house staring at Dick.  HMMMM.  Anywho, Dick starts breaking out of Wayne Manor using his acrobat and car stealing techniques.  He’s caught and brought into his social worker who is certain that she knows the way forward: reason with the boy.  Unfortunately, she doesn’t get it.  Dick isn’t running away; he’s hunting his parents’ killer to kill them.  This causes Bruce to take an interest in Dick and recruit him into becoming Robin.

If you look at Dick as someone with deep-seeded PTSD, (which is exactly what’s going on) Bruce and Dick’s actions are very logical. They have repressed rage and, unlike many of us, the means and ability to exact revenge on people who mirror the cause of their trauma.  Most of us just end up in therapy, but I admit that I envy these guys.  Yes, it’s easier on your family to go to the VA and work through your justified rage, but wouldn’t it also be fun to wear some sort of leather and beat the ever loving snot out of a bunch of wife beaters, drug dealers, and child molesters?! It’s be a lot more fun than therapy and far fewer group sessions where you get slightly better than mediocre ham sandwiches.

Dick, being a pretty good detective, catches up to them and Rachel loses it full-on Carrie style.  Dick Koriand’r and Rachel back to the convent and has a heart to heart with Rachel. He said something that stuck with me.  Rachel was going on about how no one can really help and Dick admits, Yes.  He thought Bruce could solve his problems by having him beat the snot out of people, but no one else can be responsible for your pain.  You have to channel it yourself into something constructive, but it never goes away because it did happen to you.

It turns out that the sisters decide to lock up Rachel in the basement for her own good while Dick and Koriad’r step out for a few.  This seems like an odd choice for the sisters.  It’s obvious that Rachel is still there and why would they think that Dick and Koriand’r would be okay with her being locked away in a basement?!  Kinda weird.  Other than a few flaws, the episode lays the framework for an expanding family.  I really do enjoy watching this group evolve into the Titans and they are really good at showing the subtle sparks that Koriand’r and Dick have for one another.  Once again, I’m impressed with how accurately and directly they deal with PTSD and how that would affect all superheroes.

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