REVIEW: Titans – Season 2: Episode 5 – Deathstroke
After last weeks trip to the past, we now return to present-day in Titans season two, episode 5, with both teams of former Titans and new Titans. This episode continues the story from episode 3, where we were left with a terrifying scene involving the disappearance of Jason Todd (Curran Walters) and the appearance of the menacing Deathstroke (Esai Morales).
Episode five, titled ‘Deathstroke’ sees Gar confront the team about what he and Jason were up to, which led to Jason’s disappearance. The team becomes increasingly worried as they discover that Jason has been taken by none other than the former Titans’ arch-nemesis Slade Wilson, which can only mean trouble for the team and more importantly for Jason Todd, who continues to portray a confident, cocky, wise-cracking facade, despite knowing full well how much trouble he’s in.
The cast has remained strong in their portrayals of this show, but Esai Morales takes the spotlight, truly standing out as an incredible portrayal of one of DC’s most dangerous villains. Morales feels like he’s leapt straight from the pages of the comics, into a live-action portrayal for the ages. Everything from his voice to his actions, brings the character of Deathstroke to life in a terrifying way, so much so that his mere presence in a room keeps the audience on the edge of their seat. We are treated to Deathstroke’s skills as a combatant, during a fight with Dick and Kory, which proves that he is a highly skilled marksman in more ways than one, but more than that, it shows the audience Slade’s capabilities in close quarters, leaving us to imagine just how dangerous he must be in a fight with an open space. His skills in both hand to hand & in what we nowadays call gun-fu, give us an idea of just how dangerous this character is.
The writers of this show are also responsible for this character being as great as he is, of course, with their dialogue and directions leading to a very source accurate portrayal on-screen, along with the previous episodes giving us some of Deathstroke’s history with the former Titans, which allows the audience to truly feel the characters power over the other characters. Whenever Deathstroke is confronted by a member of the Titans, no matter how strong or brave they are, you can feel their fear of Deathstroke taking hold of them.
More so, the costume department help bring this character his incredibly villainous appearance, with the costume also being torn from the pages, given a darker tone to fit the show and instead of one eyehole in the mask, we are given a technological scope over his blind eye, not too dissimilar to that of the other DC villain with a killer aim known as Deadshot. We have yet to discover the proper use of this eye replacement, but it seems to help him with his kill shots so as fans of the villain, we can’t really complain.
Koriand’r (Anna Diop) returns to the team in this episode, in order to help Rachel (Teagan Croft) overcome her inner demons (literally), but she soon discovers that Dick Grayson also needs her help even if he won’t ask for it. Diop’s character and portrayal have grown stronger over the course of the previous episodes, as she is starting to become a much stronger and affirmative role in the team, who has learned from past mistakes, that there’s always something Dick Grayson is hiding, and so she seems to make her new mission to keep an eye on him as well as keeping her eye on Rachel, who continues to struggle with her control over her power, which we see a little more of in this episode. The team of new Titans appears to be tearing itself apart, as Gar (Ryan Potter) and Rachel find themselves in a quarrel with one another over secrets and lies, as well as the previously mentioned uncontrollable darkness within Rachel that causes harm to anyone near her.
Chelsea Zhang cannot be ignored in this episode. As Rose Wilson she continues to vex the other members of the team and shows off her own skills in combat whilst trying to escape the Titans Tower, but after a confrontation with Rachel and the darkness inside of Rachel, there seems to be more to Rose Wilson than meets the eye (pun intended), as she seems to have a healing factor of her own. Which begs the question; What else is Rose Wilson hiding?
The final fight sequence between Dick, Kory and Slade is a delight to watch, as we see Batman’s training passed down to Dick shine through, only to be overpowered by Slades own skills, which tells us that Slade could most certainly be a match for even The Dark Knight, which would be a great scene to see in the series. Kory’s powers are strong but even then she is also dismissed by Slade, proving that he is truly the most dangerous villain they have faced.
Overall this episode has become one of my favourites so far, with Deathstroke completely taking the spotlight and making it his own. If there was ever a Deathstroke series or even a film, this is the version we need. The cast grow stronger every episode and so does the CGI especially regarding Rachel’s powers, as this episode sees her weird darkness take the shape of something akin to wings, so perhaps we are getting closer to Rachel Roth becoming Raven.
The next episode of Titans cannot come soon enough, with a cliffhanger that leaves us begging for more, and an appearance in the next episode of a character that has been teased since the finale of Titans Season One, this series seems to only get better with each passing episode.
Directed by: Nick Gomez
Written by: Bianca Sams
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Curran Walters, Conor Leslie, Chelsea Zhang, Minka Kelly, Alan Ritchson, Esai Morales, Michael Mosley