After a few weeks of brooding the Titans have finally decided to deal with their problems head on by taking on Deathstroke. Last week provided us with context and this week’s payoff is definitely worth it. While the delay may have slowed the pacing of the show a little bit it did manage to give some insight and motivation to the otherwise silent Deathstroke.
This episode shows why Titans is such a great series. When it allows its multi-faceted characters to clash with each other in dynamic ways it is easily one of the most exciting shows on television. The hour is spent setting up problems which, no matter how much you reason them, cannot be easily solved by the end of the hour.
Rachel, for instance, is finding that her powers have grown and she may not be able to control them. Now she is wrestling with her humanity and isn’t quite sure if she’s meant for good or evil. Gar, who is still feeling guilty for Jason’s abduction, takes it out on Rachel setting off a chain of events that has the potential to tear down the whole operation.
Meanwhile, Jason has been captured by Doctor Light and Deathstroke and is slowly being tortured. There was a moment or two where it seemed like the producers might be taking this in a Red Hood direction with Jason but it seems they are saving that for a better time. Needless to say this Jason has it in him. He is ruthless, arrogant and if not for being blindfolded and deafened would probably have unraveled the entire plan himself.
While all this is going on the old Titans are dealing with the guilt of not having dispatched Deathstroke years earlier and they feel Jason’s abduction is on them. That might not be true but it does create an interesting hitch in the way the team operates.
Giving away too much would rob the episode of what makes it fun to watch. Needless to say the hour doesn’t end cleanly and there end up being more problems than answers. That is the joy of a show like Titans that is so deeply rooted in its comic book mythology. There are literally thousands of comics that tie into the world building of a show like Titans and the series isn’t afraid to pull from all of them to make it a much more layered experience.