This season of Titans has mostly been one bore after another, but lo and behold, the latest episode, “Deathstroke” was not only good… I actually enjoyed it! I… I’m so happy that I enjoyed this!
Picking up where the episode “Jason Todd” left off — in case you can’t remember, Jason Todd who is easily the worst character on the show, was kidnapped and then we had a flashback episode and no one watching cared that his fate was left in the air for two weeks — Jason Todd’s Robin is in the clutches of both Doctor Light and Deathstroke who hopes to use him as bait to make the Titans give up his daughter.
What makes this episode work is that, aside from the “Aqualad” episode last week, this is the first time we’ve see the Titans… at least the new Titans… act like a team this entire season. You get a sense that they are a family and that bad decisions and secrets end up hurting them and, given that they’ve been keeping ridiculous secrets and making stupid decisions all season, it was so cathartic to see other characters on the show call them out for it.
What’s more, this the first time that I’ve seen Dick Grayson as a leader… someone who is not just called a leader because he knows the guy who’s paying the bills, but someone who actually cares about his team, who would go to bat for them, and who would sacrifice everything for them. It’s a side of him we haven’t see much of and, honestly, there’s no excuse for that.
While I have complained endlessly about Titans being artificially edgy, even that annoying trait seems to be quelled in this episode. Yes, Jason Todd talks a lot of smack, but given that he is a hostage, that’s to be expected. I actually liked him as a defiant little butthead in this situation.
The highlight of the episode was Dick and Kory going head to head with Deathstroke. The fight was exciting and well choreographed, there was a ticking clock that made it all that much more tense, and the staging was very clever and, at times, brutal. There was that very awkward moment towards the end when Dick ran to save Jason from falling and Kory just sits there like a big stupid dumb idiot instead of helping, but that’s just one thing in a series that is usually a whole string of big, stupid, dumb things.
Yes, the ending cliffhanger was weak as far as writing goes as, honestly, I don’t think I could care less what happens to Jason Todd and, given the name of the next episode, it’s not hard to guess what’s going to happen, but I’ve got to hand it to Brenten Thwaites… the dude really nailed the reaction and, when he failed, you could see it on his face. This is the Dick Grayson I want to see… the leader, the father figure, the mentor.
Now can we please put them in costumes? This is a superhero show, after all.