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.