DC’s Titans Episode 6 premiered this week on the DC Universe online service, promising some interesting storytelling. After last week’s reveal of Jason Todd (Curran Walters), the “new Robin,” the show had much to explain and live up to in Episode 6 and the show did that, for the most part. The actual non-Dick Grayson Titans, Kory (Anna Diop), Rachel (Teagan Croft), and Gar (Ryan Potter), took a back seat as the show took a long hard look at the Robins and what it means to be Batman’s sidekick.
DC’s Titans Episode 6, titled “Jason Todd,” put much of its focus on Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), and his coming to grips that Bruce Wayne/Batman has replaced him with a hothead kid, Jason Todd (Walters). The episode opens in the past at the funeral of the Graysons, with young Dick (Tomaso Sanelli) coming to grips with a chapter of his life closing. He begs his friend, Clayton (Lester Speight), also known as Atlas, The Strongman, to take him in, but Clayton implores Dick to go live with Bruce Wayne.
Back in present day Chicago, Dick and Jason are taking Dr. Adamson (Reed Birney), who survived the commando attack, back to the rest of the team for questioning. Dick questions Jason about how he came about to be the new Robin, and the origin story matches the comics. Dick also learns that Bruce put a tracker in his arm, which doesn’t settle well with the ex-member of the Dynamic Duo. Jason suggests they take Dr. Adamson to a Batman “safehouse” in Chicago, that conspicuously resembles a tower, which is a nice touch and could be some foreshadowing. Dick is locked out, but Jason can get in, further adding salt to Dick’s wounds.
These DC’s Titans Episode 6 scenes give Dick and Jason time to talk, and the audience learns much about how Bruce raised Dick, and yet hasn’t done the same with Jason, which is some more foreshadowing to the future of Jason. This is a unrefined kid with a temper and Dick sees it.
Dick removes his tracker and calls Kory (Diop) to check in. He learns the Nuclear Family are all dead — and he does blame Kory. He asks that she grab the team and come to Chicago. He then tries to send Jason away, but Jason has some intel that changes everything: a packet of photos that show members of the Haley circus all dead, their faces scarred from acid burns. The only person not included is Clayton Williams, so Dick and Jason research and find out that Williams now lives in Milwaukee, so Dick decides to rush off to find his old friend, as the Titans show up. Jason meets the team and Dick tells Kory his plans, and fills her in on some of his backstory.
In Milwaukee, Clayton works a security detail at a night club, so Dick and Jason track him down and Dick has a reunion while Jason tries to pick a fight with a bar patron. An explosion outside causes momentary chaos and Dick and Jason investigate while Clayton is kidnapped by the mysterious “Melting Man.”
Dick is called to a warehouse and he goes in to save Clayton. Here in DC’s Titans Episode 6, the audience learns more of Robin’s history and the Zucco-Maroni connection to the Haley Circus crime. Tony Zucco (Richard Zeppieri) sabotaged the trapeze ropes to teach Haley a lesson for not paying for protection, and he did so for the Maroni crime family. Robin confronts Maroni during a prisoner transfer and beats him senseless. The Melting Man (Kyle Mac) is actually Tony Zucco’s son, and he blames Dick/Robin for his father’s death — which actually came at the hands of the Maronis when Zucco tried to testify against them.
Old Robin confronts Melting Man to save Clayton, and then New Robin shows up to help take out the villain. When the cops arrive, New Robin beats the crap out of them, which appalls Old Robin. Dick learns that Jason is a hot head and is slightly dangerous, and he knows that Batman would not approve of Jason beating on cops. Jason tells Dick that he needs to stay out of it, as he’s no longer Robin and Dick agrees. This is the seed for name/character change, perhaps?
Dick sends Jason off for good, and gets Clayton home safe. He tells Clayton that he’s no longer Robin. He then calls Kory to check in and asks if Adamson is awake yet. He tells her he’s coming home, and Kory asks how many Robins she should expect. “None,” Dick answers, setting the stage for a rebranding.
Kory goes in to check on their captive, and Adamson is awake and says he will only speak to Rachel and the episode ends.
DC’s Titans Episode 6 spends an inordinate amount of time with Dick and Jason, and this is basically more of Dick’s origin, which makes the episode title odd. Jason Todd was a small part of the episode, and the only takeaway here is that Jason is a punk, in and out of the suit, and Walters plays it well, even if he’s sort of annoying. This is the Jason Todd that we all voted to be killed in the ’80s at the hands of the Joker. Also, for a show called Titans, there wasn’t much Titans in this one.
The script by Richard Hatem and Jeffrey David Thomas did a decent job telling Dick’s backstory and for capturing Jason Todd, and it was nice to have an actual villain to defeat, but the episode could have easily been called “The Two Robins” and made perfect sense.
Director Carol Banker did a great job with he fight scene with Jason/Robin and the cops, and there’s one scene of young Dick in the Batcave and we see a Batman: The Animated Series-styled Batmobile parked there — and even a Batman ’66-style Batmobile in the background, both excellent touches and it made me slightly excited. In fact, that’s my one of my two takeaways from DC’s Titans Episode 6. Cool, established Batmobiles and that Jason Todd is a dick.
Hopefully, DC’s Titans gets back on track next week, so we can see the team be a team and not Dick be Dick. There’s been enough of that in Season 1, and I know I’m ready for some Titans action, or at worst, the fun weirdness that Episode 4 gave us. Join us next week for our recap/review of DC’s Titans Episode 7.
DC’s Titans is available exclusively through the DC Universe online service and on Netflix in international markets. All images ©DC Comics/Warner Bros. Video courtesy of TV Promos.