Previously on Titans, Dick and Kory left the Doom Patrol with Rachel, Teagan Croft, and Gar, Ryan Potter, in tow. The gang now together sets out to prepare for the fight still to be had with the Nuclear Family as they continue to unravel the mysteries of Rachel and her connection to the strange prophecy.
This episode is one of the strongest of the series so far. It focuses on the relationships between the team as they are finally united together. This is also the first time viewers getting a better explanation of everyone, especially Kory’s, Anna Diop, powerset. Brenton Thwaites’ Dick Grayson continues to be the stand out character of the series for me and his protective nature over Rachel is endearing. As always, spoilers below the picture
The episode starts with Dick having traded in his Porshe for a mini-van so the gang can comfortably fit together. He and Kory argue over having to sleep in a dingy hotel room which leads him to remind everyone that nice hotels draw attention and they are still being hunted. After securing their rooms and the motel owner awkwardly flirting with Dick. This scene was odd and I am not sure what it meant to convey. No important information was given other than the fact this women, who has at least a decade on Dick, really wanted to sleep with him.
While the team gets pizza while Dick forces them to realize the danger of their situation and examine as if it is a mission. Dick calls the group of them “an alliance” despite everyone’s hesitation to accept the severity of the situation as Dick is describing it. Kory continues to question everything Dick says. Additionally, Gar is forced to get up to speed on the group he just joined and the Nuclear family chasing them. Dick comments that the team needs to be able to work as efficiently together as their enemy and suggests they train.
The show cuts to the group in an abandoned barn with Dick helming the training session. Each member of the team “shows” what they can do starting with Kory. She admits that she is still trying to figure out the entirety of her abilities, saying that her power comes from the sun – which is in line with Starfire’s comic book origins. The orange-tinge the show gives Kory when she uses her powers is one of my favorite aspects of the CGI.
Following this is Gar, who feels the need to stretch prior to transforming. The scene is pretty comical with him admitting he would prefer to take off his clothes since he doesn’t want to ruin his favorite jacket. Dick’s reaction to seeing Gar as a tiger is also pretty hilarious. Gar adds some much needed comic relief to the show. Ryan Potter does well showing the character’s optimism. That being said, some of Gar’s CGI is wonky but a lot of its flaws are smartly hidden by the shows darker color palette. However, it isn’t so bad that I felt like I had to turn off the television.
When it’s Rachel’s she is reluctant because she doesn’t want to hurt anyone. The moment when Dick tells her it’s her turn feels intimate despite the rest of the group being in the room. His brotherly nature towards her continues to be the strongest point of the show. With his reassurance, Rachel unleashes her demon-like form and the smoke like tendrils from the previous episode return. Unable to control it, Kory shoots them with fire as she collapses.
Attempting to release the tension now in the room, Gar asks Dick “what is your thing?” Dick flippantly responds, “I can keep you alive,” clearly showing reluctance at potentially revealing his secret identity. The entire session with the group showing their power set has to be one of my top moments in the series so far. Their chemistry together is finally working. As I said in a previous recap the show shines when it focuses on relationships between its main characters and this scene did that well.
The show returns to the nefarious man who initially sent the Nuclear family after Raven. Here he is spearheading experiments within Agnews Asylum involving hallucinogens that is killing people. He becomes upset at a fellow doctor on the project about the patients unsuccessfully completely the transformation needed. He later says, “I want Dad to meet his new family,” clearly referring to the Nuclear Family and the father Kory killed a few episodes ago.
After the title card, the show cuts to the same patient just featured joining the Nuclear Family. The family now together again, with a new dad, focuses on hunting down Rachel starting with the Porshe Dick recently sold.
Back at the hotel, Gar and Rachel talk about the training session. Gar describes what it feels like to transform into a tiger calling it “electricity” and like “being plugged into something.” The two exchange a nice little moment while Kory and Dick look on. Dick mentions how happy he is to see Rachel look like a normal kid again. He admits he feels bad for training Rachel and Gar since they are both kids.
With Kory digging further into Dick’s vague statements about his past, he clearly has some mixed feelings about his upbringing as Robin. This scene is the first time I actually see the chemistry between the two characters. While I still do not love Kory’s outfit, it is the same as the first episode or her new characterization, I can at least appreciate Diop’s acting.
The show cuts to each team member in their respective rooms except for Kory who is in the nearby liquor store. After buying tequila she knocks on Dick’s door saying, “they need to talk,” and accuses him of hiding something. The sexual tension could be cut with a knife. The two end up sleeping together. While I am not against this hookup, it does seem premature. In previous episodes, Kory was very cold towards Dick and the two clearly didn’t trust each other. However, despite this, the actors do have far more chemistry now than in previous episodes.
After the scene, once Kory leaves, the motel owner also knocks on his door carrying a bottle of wine. Dick turns down her advances. Her involvement in this episode is strange and ruined the really romantic moment that just previously occurred. She has no point in the story and does not further the plot and is immediately killed by the Nuclear Family who has come back to this episode with a new Dad that was created at the asylum.
After killing the motel owner, the Nuclear Family attacks Dick. While he is fending them off, Kory is ambushed by the daughter and son while knocking on Rachel’s door. She yells to Gar to get Rachel out as he runs down the hall toward the action. The scene cuts between Dick and Kory’s separate fights. The fight scenes in this series are filmed similar to a Jason Bourne movies. They have very shaky cameras and drastic jump cuts with a few select moments of slow-motion.
Dick ends up being pushed out a window and landing on a car. He is still holding the case with his Robin gear that he had been using as a shield during the fight. The show cuts back to Kory having a tough go at taking down the two teens. She runs outside to meet up with Rachel and Gar with the two teens now joined by their parents hot on her trail. Kory struggles to get enough energy to burn the family since it is now night. The group is saved by Dick, now fully equipped as Robin. Rachel and Gar quickly deduce Robin’s civilian identity. Now with Dick fighting all four, Gar, Rachel, and Kory join the fight. This is a huge step for Rachel since previously she has been terrified to use her powers.
The family wisely decides to surrender and the scene cuts to everyone back in the motel but with the family tied up. Dick interrogates them, now out of costume. The Nuclear Family admits their purpose is to “deliver” Rachel to their employer. In the next room over, Rachel questions the daughter and son who mention Rachel should just come with them because it would be better for everyone. Before Kory can perform more “enhanced interrogation tactics,” Dick mentions he thinks they are brainwashed.
Dick leaves the parents with Kory and checks their car and finds a GPS including an address in Chicago that has been frequently visted. While outside, Rachel finds him and brings up his secret identity. Dick says he wanted to leave Robin behind and admits when he puts on the mask he becomes someone he can’t control. Gar and Kory join the two as Dick updates them on his plan to find this mysterious employer. Kory stays with Gar and Rachel as Dick leaves to track down his new lead in Chicago.
In the final minutes of the show, Dick has driven to Chicago at the penthouse where the strange man who has been sending the Nuclear Family after Rachel lives. Once noticed on the security cameras, from his penthouse the Doctor triggers explosive devices in the heads of the Nuclear Family still tied up at the motel. Once upstairs, Dick confronts the man known as Dr. Adamson, played by Reed Birney. Adamson tells Dick that now he has been exposed, the organization is sending people to kill them. Dick asks if the organization is related to Rachel’s father. Adamson offers no answers and instead begins counting down to when the team meant to kill the two arrives. Dick attempts to take out the SWAT team but is unsuccessful. He is saved by the new Robin, Jason Todd.
This episode was a lot better than the previous ones, outside of maybe Doom Patrol. Seeing the team finally together was fantastic and their quirky relationships remain the core of the show. Dick continues to be my favorite character of the show but with each passing episode, I begin to like Kory’s character more and more, though not as much as I would have hoped. Gar and Rachel have fantastic chemistry and I hope their platonic relationship continues.
Seeing Dick and Kory act on their sexual tension will more than likely make fans of Dick and Kory happy. I still feel the relationship is premature and I would have liked to see more development from the characters first. However, I appreciate the job both actors did.
I do still think the show is too dark both in tone and color palette but overall, this show is getting better and I am excited to see more of the relationships between these characters blossom. However, I am a little disappointed the characters are splitting up again, but I hope it will not be for long.
Episode 5 is available on DC Universe and the next episode drops Friday, November 16.