The Titans Seek Forgiveness in “Atonement”

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As a rule characters are the most fun to watch when they don’t have any kind of support system. Titans takes away that safety net by having Dick tell the team about how he used Jericho Slade to get to Deathstroke. So much so that everyone moves out of the tower, everyone except Gar and Connor. WARNING: SPOILERS AHEAD!

To be fair, Connor is still unconscious from his kryptonite bullet wound so he doesn’t have much say in the matter. Dick tells Gar that keeping Connor safe is his number one priority and if anything happens he can always call Bruce Wayne, he can fix anything. And just like that, the tower is empty.

There hasn’t been that much attention on Gar this season and this episode more than makes up for it. You get to see his playful personality really shine and it’s a welcome breath of fresh air after the way the last episode ended. But there’s a lot to unpack this episode so we better get started.

Feeling abandoned by her new family Rachel’s fight or flight instincts kick in and she bails on Donna in the car, totally disappearing. Meanwhile, Kory is dealing with family trouble after learning that her evil sister Blackfire has stolen the crown on her home world.  Back in the country Hank and Dawn try and move on but find everyone in their small town blame them for the death of someone they were trying to protect and its tearing them apart.

While all this is going on Dick seeks atonement for his sins. He goes to visit Jericho’s mom but not only doesn’t he find any kind of forgiveness he finds Slade Wilson waiting for him. Instead of killing him Slade gives him a punishment far worse than death: loneliness. He casts Dick out telling him that now that everyone knows his family will never be whole again either and that’s the best revenge.

Dick is on another path which, if you read the comics, is one that he should have been on much sooner. But as the audience it’s great to see him on his journey out of the shadow of Batman becoming his own hero in his own way.

Gar on the other hand is left without any help and is struggling. Connor finally wakes up and has no idea what’s going on. Connor is basically a newborn baby and has no idea how to approach the world. He’s aware of his powers but doesn’t know how to use them. Gar tries to help him the best he can but can only do so much.

The dynamic between Gar and Connor works so well that it easily saves the show in its muddled parts. Despite a more mature approach to Beast Boy, Gar is still the most immature of the group. That’s not a bad thing at all and it’s a major step up from some previous incarnations like in Teen Titans Go! If anything he needs far more attention from the Titans crew so he can really let loose.

There’s a shift going on within Titans as the story now moves away from Deathstroke and on to its new Big Bad. While Lex Luthor is the voice behind Mercy Graves it’s doubtful the show will bring him in as a villain. If anything it might keep the spotlight on Graves until next season.  It’s been mentioned before but Titans has a bit of taking minor characters and turning them into badasses. Let’s face it, Hawk and Dove were punchlines until the show fleshed them out last season and did anyone expect Krypto to be so cool? It’s kind of nice seeing fringe characters get their due.

There’s still a few more episodes to go this season and honestly anything could happen. The stakes have been raised but with the team split there’s not a lot that can be done.