DC Universe’s Titans season 1, episode 7 recap: Asylum


The Titans infiltrate The Organization’s secret facility in an attempt to find Rachel’s birth mother.

Unfortunately, they head straight into a trap that will test the boundaries of their strength.

Dr. Adamson (Reed Birney) was handcuffed in Bruce Wayne’s safe-house by Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) in the previous episode of Titans.

He refuses to talk to anyone but Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft). Desperate for answers, Rachel pleads with Dick to let her speak to him in episode 7; Dick is reluctant but finally gives in.

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When Rachel confronts Adamson, he convinces her that she is not evil. He proves this point by slicing his own throat, begging for Rachel to save him. As soon as Rachel touches his wound, it heals and Adamson is alive again.

"‘You are not death, Rachel; quite the opposite. You were not placed on this Earth to destroy, but to heal.’"

Rachel had similarly healed a deer in Episode 4 of Titans but hadn’t stuck around to see her own handy work. Dick and Kory Anders (Anna Diop) interrogate Adamson some more and find out that Rachel’s birth mother, Angela, tried to keep Rachel from her father, but did not succeed.

Now, she’s locked up in the Asylum we had seen in an earlier episode when the new Nuclear Dad was created.

Rachel wants to rescue her mother, but Dick rightly believes they should do some recon first before heading into what could be a trap. Dick is so right. Even Kory agrees with him and so does Gar (Ryan Potter).

Upset, Rachel walks away and Gar follows, telling her that he will help find Angela. He only agreed with Dick and Kory because when you “agree with people, they leave you alone.”

Seems like Gar has had to adopt a herd-mentality from living with Dr. Caulder, who we had met in the “Doom Patrol” episode. As we surmised, Caulder was as controlling as he came across in his brief interaction with Gar in that episode.

Gar has swiped Kory’s phone, and the kids Uber it to the facility. But, their clandestine mission has hardly got off the ground before they are both tazed and captured.

Dick and Kory find the kids missing from the safe-house and sneak into the Asylum through decommissioned tunnels, but they head straight into an ambush. Kory can’t unleash her firepower because of the gas lines, so she and Dick have to surrender.

Now, each Titan is in captivity and “undergoing evaluation,” as Adamson puts it. Seeing how prepared the Asylum Doctor (Rachael Crawford) was for the Titans makes me think this was definitely a trap.

Dick is strapped to a chair and injected with a serum that makes him hallucinate. In his visions, he’s dressed as Robin and comes face-to-face with his younger self (Tomaso Sanelli). Young Dick accuses his older self of corrupting them and their mission, for misusing and abusing the Robin symbol while blaming others like Bruce and Tony Zucco.

His accusations are punctuated with bashing older Dick with an Escrima stick. Basically, Dick is beaten senseless by himself until he mentally breaks.

Robin in Titans — Ep. 107 — Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer / 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Kory is contained in a darkened bunker till she runs out of power; these people know what they’re doing. Once depleted, we see her on an operating table, a bunch of physicians cut into her, amazed at how fast she heals. To test her limits, they try to amputate her finger.

Gar suffers even more. Chained up and helpless in a giant cage, the unseen doctors attack him with cattle prods hoping to coax him to shape-shift. He holds his own but the entire sequence is distressing to watch. In essence, the doctors de-humanize Gar, which is troubling since he’s just a child.

Rachel sees all this on a screen in Adamson’s office. Everything The Organization has done is to make sure Rachel and her father can be together again. To stop the Titans’ suffering, Rachel just needs to call her father, then she can heal her friends like she healed Adamson. This is a big mistake on Adamson’s part.

All this while, everyone in the show, including the showrunners, have treated Rachel like a helpless child. She has slowly learned to control her power and Adamson’s gloating now triggers her soul-self.

“But I don’t want you to be healed anymore. I take it back,” Rachel’s soul-self declares while re-opening Adamson’s wound and killing him. Since the rest of the Titans are out of commission, Rachel has to do all the hard work. She locates her mother’s cell and steals Adamson’s keycard.

Angela (Rachel Nichols) is a traumatized woman, but Rachel is able to convince her of who she is by showing her the Raven birthmark she has on her back.

I still find it strange that Rachel decided to rescue her birth mother — a woman she didn’t even know existed till a few days ago — over saving the lives of her friends who she knows are in grave danger. Well, she’s only 14, I guess.

Rachel’s first stop is Gar; he’s alone in the cage now and evidently naked. He looks broken but still manages to giggle when he realizes they’ve succeeded in their mission of finding Angela. Just then, one of the doctors who’d tortured him arrives and Gar loses it.

Gar had mentioned in earlier episodes how he was “grossed out” at the thought of biting people as Ti-Gar, but now he can’t control himself. The doctor is pretty much shredded and Gar is traumatized by what he’s done.

Rachel is unperturbed — I put this down to her feeling like these villains deserved it or that she really wants to get Dick and Kory and get out of here.

Gar in Titans — Ep. 107 — Photo Credit: Brooke Palmer / 2018 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.

They find Dick unresponsive in a padded room and Rachel snaps him out of it with a speech similar to the one he gave her in episode 4 — it boils down to him promising never to leave her. This snaps him out of his daze and they rescue Kory just before she loses her finger.

She does not look happy! The Titans working together is such a thrill to watch. The camaraderie formed between the four of them feels seamless and I wish the showrunners had brought them together sooner.

The Titans try to exit through the tunnels, but a horde of security guards block their way. Since pretty much everyone on the team needs an opportunity to vent their aggression after what they have been put through, Dick takes care of them as brutally as he can.

A marked difference between this attack and the ones from the pilot and the second episode is that Dick isn’t sadistic. Having said that, the look of incredulity on Angela’s face pretty much asks the question, “who are these people my daughter’s hanging out with?.”

It’s a great moment of unintentional hilarity.

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Before leaving, Dick asks Kory to set fire to the Asylum. “It all has to end,” Dick says. Kory vents her rage into blowing the building to hell. What about the other patients and workers? I guess we’ll never know.

While the building burns, so does Dick’s Robin suit. One chapter closed; let the next one begin.