Titans returns with a new episode which wasn’t what I, and perhaps other viewers, were expecting given the title of the episode. This episode, titled ‘Bruce Wayne’, focuses more on the psyche of characters such as Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) and Jason Todd (Curran Walters), the two Robins, and whilst it does feature the man himself, Bruce Wayne (Iain Glen), heavily in the episode, it’s not in the way you might think, in this very heartfelt episode.
After his recent near-death experience, Jason Todd struggles to deal with his emotions, becoming a ticking time bomb, ready to explode. He isolates himself in his room back at Titans Tower, and stares blankly out of the window, as the echoes of the fall replay in his mind. The characteristics of the Jason Todd we’ve seen up to now are still there, but the recent events have pushed them aside and caused him to feel almost numb… almost.
We get to see his lighter side again in this episode, as Rose Wilson (Chelsea Zhang) decides that Jason is one of the only Titans she can talk to and relate to, which brings their relationship closer than anticipated as Rose and Jason wind up sharing a dance together, as well as a cheeky kiss. However, this moment is short lived as Rose soon discovers a secret and blames Jason for pulling some sort of sick prank, despite Jason assuring her he has no idea, but emotions run high, and not just for these two.
The rest of the Titans each discover similar tricks placed in each of their rooms, or somewhere that they would surely see it, with each item holding different sentimental value to the individual Titans member. Hank finds a bottle of bourbon, which reminds him of his addiction, Dawn finds a photo of a friend who was killed by Doctor Light, Donna finds a bottle of Orange Soda that Garth (Aqualad) used to get for her, and Rachel finds that someone has drawn crosses all over her bedroom. These pranks are all blamed on Jason, who decides that he’s sick of everyone blaming him for stuff he didn’t do.
Whilst all this is happening, Dick Grayson is on a mission to find Deathstroke again, accompanied by none other than Bruce Wayne, who aims to help Dick get back onto the right path and become the leader that the Titans need him to be, by opening up and being more honest with his team. The journey he takes whilst trying to find Slade Wilson is a thought provoking but also a rather humorous one, as we get to see Iain Glen’s portrayal of Bruce Wayne, in an almost absurd way, due to him being a figment of Dick’s conscience. Dick’s relationship with Bruce is tough, but clearly strong as he eventually begins to talk to his conscience and realises that this Bruce Wayne is right (assuming as an audience member that this conscience form of Wayne, is a reference to the lessons that he taught Dick growing up as well as Dick’s own mind realising what has to be done). Thwaite’s portrayal of Dick Grayson grows stronger with every episode, and we are beginning to see his character evolve into his second alter ego, known as Nightwing, which fans have been aching to see for some time now, since he burned the Robin suit, back in Season One.
Iain Glen has done an incredible job of bringing Bruce Wayne to life, even as a figment of imagination. His portrayal wasn’t just a serious old man with morals and codes, as we got to see a fun side to Bruce which also included him dancing the infamous Batusi from the 1966 Batman Series, starring Adam West. This little throwback wasn’t entirely out of place either, the writers of the show, along with Iain Glen himself, managed to make it work which added some laughter to this otherwise serious and emotional episode. I would have liked to see Bruce in reality, being a major role in Dick’s and Jason’s life, but the conscience form of him worked as well, and any scene he was in, he stole the limelight.
After being shot with kryptonite laced bullets in the last episode, Conner remains pretty much comatosed in this episode, as Koriand’r (Anna Diop) and Dawn (Minka Kelly), take care of him, soon realising that he’s not human as his impenetrable skin leaves the IV drip’s needle bent and broken. As Kory is speaking to him, asking him not to die, Conner wakes up spouting words in a foreign language, which luckily Kory now knows, is Kryptonian, a “dead language” as she calls it, referencing the destruction of Krypton and its people.
Doctor Eve Watson (Genevieve Angelson) returns in this episode also, helping Krypto out of his imprisonment, which gives us a chance to see some more of his super-dog powers, as he uses his heat vision to break his suppressor collar, and then with Eve holding on tight, we get to see him fly for just a brief moment as they break out of Cadmus labs, on their way to see Conner.
This episode had such a great plot to it, with fantastic twists and turns that had the viewer waiting anxiously to see what happens next, sometimes leaving us with a sigh of relief, other times leaving us more anxious than we were before. However, I do wish that we got to see more of Krypto and Conner, not just lying in a bed, after their introduction in the last episode seemed to be building to something, but this episode seems to have kept them out of the way, focusing on the Robins of the show and of course Bruce, but with only six episodes left in the season, I’m hoping they don’t rush too much of the build-up. I have faith in the writers however, and I’m sure the later episodes will be just as great as this one.
Directed by: Akiva Goldsman
Writers: Bryan Edward Hill
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Iain Glen, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Conor Leslie, Curran Walters, Chelsea Zhang, Joshua Orpin,