The relationship between Dick Grayson and Bruce Wayne has never really been clear cut. True, Dick is his ward, but as Batman he’s far more than a father figure. It makes sense that being raised by Bruce, Dick would get not just his own baggage but all of Bruce’s too. That certainly seems to be the case in the latest episode of Titans.
This is another one of those epilogue episodes but unlike the others this season it seriously delivers. Jason has just been thrown off a building by Deathstroke and is going through a case of serious trauma and Dick wants to close the book on Deathstroke forever. But it looks like he’s got some company in tracking him down.
The appearance of Bruce Wayne as a figment of Dick’s imagination is a unique take on the character. Not just because it’s an approach that hasn’t really been used but it gives us a deeper look, possibly our deepest, into the personality of Bruce Wayne.
In the past he’s been shown as reserved and emotionless but Iain Glen plays him fast and loose. This is probably the first time we’ve ever seen an unrestrained Bruce Wayne and it’s absolutely amazing. Granted, all of this is seen through Dick’s psyche, so it’s an unreliable version of Bruce. But it’s Bruce nonetheless. There’s a brief sequence in a burlesque club where he shows up on stage and does a classy version of Adam West’s Batusi and not only does he make it cool but it totally fits the character.
More than that, it serves the story and allows it to move forward. Deep in the shadows Deathstroke has been slowly breaking apart the Titans and turning them against one another with a focus on Jason. Always the problem child he is starting to see himself as poison. It’s a legitimate argument given how Jason has been represented in the past .But Titans is all about breaking the mold. Without giving too much away Jason attempts to do something drastic and the only way to stop him from doing it is for Dick to let go of something he’s been holding on to for years, which also gets rid of imaginary Bruce.
It’s a case of brilliant storytelling where multiple threads collide to create one cohesive plot that brings everything together. Up until now the Titans have all had fairly separate plot lines but now everyone is in the house again (including Connor, who is unconscious and recovering from Kryptonite bullet wounds). This allows for the events of the episode to ripple through the team. It’s masterful writing.