DC Universe’s Titans season 1, episode 6 recap: Jason Todd


Dick Grayson has been rescued by the new Robin, Jason Todd. Despite his best efforts to shake him off, Todd is sticking around in the latest episode of Titans. So, is Robin 2.0 a hero, or is he something else?

The sixth Titans episode begins with a flashback. 15 years ago, young Dick Grayson (Tomaso Sanelli) attends the funeral of his parents with a handful of his Haly’s Circus colleagues. One of them, Clayton Williams (Lester Speight), consoles the boy as Dick talks about his parents’ murder. Clayton doesn’t engage with him on the topic, instead waxing eloquent about Bruce Wayne fostering Dick and how this is the best decision he can make. Dick would rather stay with Clayton, but the older man doesn’t agree. Clayton has no idea how portentous his next words are.

"‘Trust me, kiddo,’ Clayton says, ‘living with Bruce Wayne is going to change your life, forever.’"

At the end of episode 5 of the Titans, Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) confronted Dr. Adamson (Reed Birney) about The Organisation’s interest in Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft). Before he could get any clear answers, a SWAT team attacked and Dick almost didn’t make it out alive. Thankfully, Jason Todd (Curran Walters), Robin 2.0, was around to save him.

The two of them bundle Adamson’s incapacitated body into Dick’s mini-van, while Jason fangirls over his predecessor. Jason cannot contain his excitement over the two Robins being together – his enthusiasm pays off as Dick reluctantly fist-bumps him.

On their way to one of Bruce’s safe-houses, Dick asks Jason how long he and Bruce have been ‘together’. ‘About a year,’ Jason explains. ‘Wow, he didn’t waste any time,’ Dick retorts. It almost sounds like Dick is talking about an ex-flame, but no, it’s just Batman. Dick’s Robin has been missing over a year, as was mentioned in the pilot episode.

So, how did Jason and Bruce meet? Jason was out boosting tires and tried to steel the hubcaps off the Batmobile. Talk about comic book accurate! Batman saw potential and took him in. This statement does not sit well with Dick at all.

Titans — Ep. 106 — Photo Credit: Christos Kalohoridis / 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Jason continues to (unintentionally?) needle Dick by talking about his cool new suit which has a tunic made of zylon fibres, making him practically invincible. ‘No offense, bro, but you gotta admit, the old version was a little outdated,’ Jason tells Dick about the Robin suit. I can’t see any overt difference in the outfits, so I’m guessing Jason’s talking about the material, not the design.

This is only the start of how badly this entire interaction is about to go. Turns out, Jason found Dick via a tracker in Dick’s arm, which Dick knew nothing about. At the safe house, Dick is denied access, but Jason gets in without a hitch. And then, Jason reveals that Batman lets him drive the Batmobile. Ouch!

You can see the simmering anger in Dick throughout these scenes. At the safehouse, Dick finally asks the question he’s been dying to. Why does Jason want to be Robin? ‘This is the dopest gig ever!’ We can’t argue with that, Jason. This is a huge part of the original comic book lore, as well. Jason did love being Robin before he became the anti-hero Red Hood. And even as Red Hood, he sometimes acknowledges that love.

I like the Titans writers’ inclusion as to why Batman has a Robin – their bright threads draw fire and then Batman swoops in and seals the deal. This is a great way to update the antiquated source material.

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Bruce’s safehouse is absolutely stunning, but I’m not sure the floor-to-ceiling glass windows make it all that ‘safe’. The place has numerous replica paintings showing off Bruce’s eclectic tastes. I spot a Mondrian and a Rothko. Jason’s eye is caught by Santi di Tito’s Niccolò Machiavelli. He knows little about him, but Dick recites Machiavelli’s famous (and disturbing) quote about man and vengeance. A quote he obviously learnt from Bruce’s teachings, but who does it apply to in Titans? The Caped Crusader, his protégé, or the replacement?

Dick tries to extract the tracker from his arm and thankfully, a phone call from Kory Anders/ Starfire (Anna Diop) is exactly what he needs to distract him from the painful procedure. He gives her an update from his end and Kory tells him about the Nuclear Family being dead. Before he can accuse her of doing the deed, Kory explains that she found them that way. Dick asks her to come to the safe house.

Jason is probably underage, but he’s happily drinking a beer. Though Dick tries to send him on his way, Jason’s actually here with a mission. Photographs of Haly’s Circus members, murdered using hydrosulfuric acid, were sent to the Gotham PD addressed to Robin. The only possible suspect is dead – so it can’t be Tony Zucco, who used the same acid on Dick’s parents’ trapeze ropes, thereby killing them.

Jason refuses to go to the cops because they’re either ‘useless or dirty’. So, now the two Robins are on a mission. Dick finds Clayton’s address and decides to go find him. But first, it’s introduction time. Starfire arrives with Rachel and Gar (Ryan Potter). Dick tries to keep Jason away from his new friends, but the kids are keen to get to know each other. It takes harried-strict-mom Starfire to get Gar and Rachel to sit quietly while she deals with absentee-dad Dick.

Titans — Ep. 106 — Photo Credit: Christos Kalohoridis / 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I love the way the writers are building Kory and Dick’s relationship – the two of them come across as friends and confidants. They definitely grew closer during the previous Titans episode, and it continues here. Kory relentlessly teases Dick and he easily confides in her that he’s struggling to get used to the idea of being replaced. She decides to hold down the fort while he goes off to investigate the deaths of his former family.

Clayton, once known as Atlas the Strongman, is now a bouncer at a nightclub. Not sure why the episode creators decided to make the entire revelation so melancholy. Dick waves his badge at the entrance and gets in, but Jason is stopped at the door. When Dick finds Clayton, the two of them are ecstatic to be together again.

. Clayton is proud of Dick, but he attributes Dick’s happiness to not being poor – which is how Dick would have ended up had he lived with Clayton.

Jason sneaks in through a back door and starts a fight in the club which Dick has to break it up. Just then, a car blows up outside. Dick and Jason help people out of the club, but Clayton is kidnapped by the Melting Man responsible for the other Haly’s Circus deaths.

We head back to another flashback. Two years ago, Tony Zucco has finally been apprehended, but to Dick’s horror, the cops are cutting him a deal to get more intel on the man Zucco works for – the notorious mobster Maroni. Dick lays into the cop for letting his parents’ killer go free instead of imprisoning him until his death. Unknown to Dick, Zucco’s son Nick (Kyle Mac) hears everything. This will come back to haunt Dick soon enough.

Later that night, Robin intercepts the transport that Zucco is in. He attacks Zucco, who pleads for his life. ‘I want my parents back!’ Robin shouts. But since Zucco can’t comply, Robin unleashes his rage till Maroni’s people arrive and start shooting. Robin gets out of the line of fire, but Zucco is injured. He begs Robin to help him, but the Boy Wonder allows Zucco to perish at the assassins’ hands. This entire scene is so cinematic, I feel like director Carol Banker should be given the reign of more superhero gigs in the future.

I’m not sure why the score sounds exactly like that of The Dark Knight? Titans has a very distinctive sound, so leaning heavily on Christopher Nolan’s trilogy seems disingenuous to everything the showrunners are trying to do with the series.

While Dick’s actions with Zucco hark back to the theme of vengeance, it is very unlike his comic book persona. Had the writers not included the blatant ‘No’, and instead allowed him to stand by and witness Zucco’s death, it would still have been more in-character.

In the present, Dick tells Jason that he killed the father of the man responsible for capturing Clayton, which Jason thinks is ‘awesome’. Worried that Jason is becoming inured to violence, Dick tries to talk the boy out of being Robin, and Bruce’s weapon, before leaving to find Clayton on his own.

Titans — Ep. 106 — Photo Credit: Christos Kalohoridis / 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Robin finds Clayton tied up in a chemical factory. Nick, half his face shrouded in a mask, explains why he hates the superhero. After Zucco’s death, the protection deal for his family was off, allowing Maroni’s people to come after them. They tried to ‘melt’ Nick, but only half his face was struck by the acid.

Because his family was taken away, he wants to do the same to Robin, who he connected to Dick when he overheard Dick’s meltdown in a police station. Before Nick can do any real damage though, Jason arrives. Nick takes him out, but then Dick comes to the rescue.

They hear police sirens and Jason tells Dick he’ll ‘take care of it’. Instead of just distracting the cops, Jason beats the crap out of them. The real showdown in this episode comes between the two Robins. Jason wreaks vengeance on the cops because they used to ‘kick his *** all the time’. Now, he kicks back. Dick is horrified by this revelation, but Jason is not perturbed. He knows who he is, unlike Dick who claims he doesn’t want to be Robin anymore but can’t let go of his Robin suit.

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Jason’s comments obviously hit a nerve. When Dick calls Kory to say he’s heading back, she asks ‘how many Robins should I expect?’ and he replies ‘None’. I’m a little gutted by this because Thwaites carries off the Robin suit really well and Banker’s direction made the Robin scenes in this Titans episode pretty epic. However, all this points to one thing – Robin may be gone, but Nightwing will certainly emerge at the end of this first season of Titans.

What did you think of “Jason Todd”? Be sure to tell us in the comments below!