Titans- Ep. 6- “Jason Todd”: A Review

Posted: 11/18/2018 in Uncategorized

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Well damn….Titans takes a side trip in a more personal episode for Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) and the results are dazzling. Enter Jason Todd (Curran Walters). This could have played as a filler ep, a distraction, but instead we get a deeper delve into the backstory of Robin and the Batman mythos while simultaneously keeping on track with the Dr. Adamson (Reed Birney) mysterious order main plot. My review follows below.

Rather than featuring the follow up to Grayson and Jason’s throw down with Dr. Adamson’s people; the opening scene featuring Grayson dragging the good doctor’s unconscious body while Jason and him interacted was far more effective. The meeting of the Robins was arguably one of the best aspects of this season so far. We learn the reason for the fracture between Robin/Grayson and Batman. Jason is an admirer, an acolyte of the Dark Knight, while Grayson is disenfranchised and holds Batman responsible for his current dark nature. The two working together allowed for the notion that neither incarnation of Robin is fully whole. Todd plays as a wisecracking, smartass version with an abundance of confidence. The two challenging one another played remarkably well. Honestly, a series based on the two – considering their eventual and unavoidable character evolutions into Nightwing and Red Hood respectively –  should the series continue its adherence to the source material- would make for excellent viewing. The whole road trip arc simply slayed.

Instead,  we get a fuller view of Grayson’s motivations into becoming Robin. The moments with the Haley’s circus group had due gravitas and struck proper emotional beats. Lester Speight’s Clayton Williams (circus strong man) had some superior moments with Grayson both as a grieving boy then later as an adult. This ep brought the former Robin full circle while paying due homage to the Tony Zucco (Richard Zieppieri) murder story line. The writers creating a macabre next gen villain with Joker-esque flourishes via the “Melting Man” (Kyle Mac) delivered perfectly. The show runners frequent and unapologetic intersection with horror genre fare makes the series stand out. It also hearkens to the villain to come.

The reconnecting with the as yet unnamed ‘Titans’ group at the Wayne tech provided safe house allowed for a bit of levity, including Ryan Potter’s Gar Logan’s fan boy delight at meeting two Robins. The slight interplay between Todd and the group was brief but promising. The banter between Kory (Anna Diop) and Grayson improved with this run, feeling more organic and less forced than last week’s ‘intimate’ segment.

What made this episode stand out however, were the reveals involving the Robins. The first paints Batman in a negative or at the very least overly controlling light. The second is that Jason Todd has an inherent streak of violence that far surpasses Dick Grayson’s. This informs what may occur much further down the line. Grayson fears Batman has allowed a taint to his nature via pushing him to become a masked weapon. The bridge moment with Grayson’s Robin  had slight parallels to the “Batman Begins” segment with Ra’s Al Ghul. In this case, however, Robin’s role is more of an enabler or active participant than the latter case.

What made this ep superior and allowed for some formidable fight scenes in the process,  is Jason Todd’s Robin’s take down of numerous police officers in the aftermath of the Melting Man battle. While his fighting presented some superb choreography, it also presented the notion that Todd is more than a little lost and that the Dark Knight should keep a firmer watch. Robin/Grayson’s observation afterward, including his call to Kory, pushes forth that he may be on the precipice of his next character evolution.

Titans continues to resonate with its dark toned, hard edged and intensely watchable run thus far. Hurtling toward this season’s big bad, it remains assuredly outstanding and well, well worth your time.

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