Titans – Ep. 11- “Dick Grayson”- A Review

Posted: 12/26/2018 in Uncategorized

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If this image causes you to utter WTF…you are not alone. Unfortunately this opening segment informs what is to come more than I would like as the mystery aspect of Dick Grayson returning to Gotham could have stood as spectacular on its own. Nonetheless, Titans season 1 is capped off with a very large bang and  an end credit segmentthat stands to raise a show that is already exceedingly good to an even greater height. My review follows below.

Dick’s idyllic life is visited and via a flash forward sequence, we learn he has made all the right moves, now in a loving relationship as a father and father to be. Moments of domestic bliss played very well as both Brenton Thwaites’ Grayson and Minka Kelly’s  Dawn Granger/Dove have strong on screen chemistry. The moments between them feel earned. The follow up with Gar (Ryan Potter) and Rachel (Teagan Croft) now on their own and doing well feels equally right. We know however that this is “Titans” and a very, very dark show. As such, dark reality will need to intrude.

The meeting between Jason Todd/Robin (Curran Walters) and Grayson delivered. Having learned the harsh lesson Dick attempted to push in an earlier episode, the Jason Todd who appears now is humbled and imploring. The reveal that Batman has become unhinged after the Joker’s latest murderous run is at the core of Jason’s visit.  Jason referring to Dick as the “real Robin” and the “one Batman listens to” is a stark contrast from the arrogant swaggering youth who visited with Dick before. The liberal references to both Batman family, rogues and allies kicked up the sequence several notches. This series unlike its predecessors seem less afraid to acknowledge its expansive universe. This in my opinion makes the show stronger.

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Upon  Jason’s reveal, Dick’s trip to Gotham to reach Bruce Wayne/ Batman is a foregone conclusion. The arrival yielded exceedingly bleak, grim fare including a cabbie’s suggesting Grayson stay in Boston, 6 hours away, when he asks where he might find a good hotel in town. The ep played like a descent into madness with supernatural overtones. Moments upon his arrival, Grayson reaches out to his old mentor to attempt to talk him down. From the hotel room to the crime scenes and eventual “assault on Arkham”, this ep played as untethered, unbalanced and anxiety inducing- all desired effects. Grayson’s initial intercession in a domestic squabble is later revisited with a harsher approach from him and the feeling of escalation continues to resonate.

Dick’s reconnecting with Kory (Anna Diop) allowed for her reintroduction in a new role. Her appearance pushes forth the question as to why her Starfire look had to be so ostentatious with bright pink hair. Her current look could easily have been modified so as to pay tribute to the character she plays in an easily understated fashion. Diop’s performance however remains solid.  In any case, Kory’s reconnection with Dick indicates the depth of her importance to him on a personal level.

The appearance of a lead police officer (Seamus Dever) who requests Grayson’s personal assistance and insight to take Batman down reminds the viewer of the actual con that is being played out. Batman’s behavior with the Joker initially presented a strong image that many might deem as overdue. The later follow through in a hospital however is next level. Batman’s course correction at Arkham with due representations of his enemies in his wake was superior. The continual referral to Batman’s code mirroring Grayson/Robin’s own to a degree is tested. After Batman’s action against Kory, Grayson makes a decision that cannot possibly play well. A final sequence yields a taste of Trigon’s (Dever) end game. Rachel’s reaction offers a trace of hope for salvation but as the season ends, we must await another year to learn what next will pass.

The end credit scene offering another presence allows for access to a DC classic and potential upending of the current Titan team dynamic. Titans, in a brief 11 episode run gets so much more done than most current series do in 20 plus runs. Titans is assuredly outstanding and well worth your time.

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