DC Universe’s Titans season 2, episode 7 recap: Bruce Wayne

Titans Ep. 207 -- "Bruce Wayne" -- Photo Credit: Ken Woroner / ©2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved.
Titans Ep. 207 -- "Bruce Wayne" -- Photo Credit: Ken Woroner / ©2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Superboy has been shot and Jason is suffering PTSD. But the nightmares in Titans Tower are beginning to intrude into real life.

Jason Todd is reeling from his near-death experience, and so is Dick. In fact, in this episode of Titans, Dick is having a proper psychotic break as he keeps envisioning his father figure and mentor, Bruce Wayne, tormenting him. ‘Bruce’ is eking out every single fear of Dick’s and throwing it back in his face – starting with Dick’s supposed jealousy of Robin 2.0, Jason.

Saving Superboy

Dawn Granger and Kory Anders have, for some reason, been put in charge of mending Conner/ Superboy. Just because they’re women doesn’t mean they’re automatically nurses; but as this episode proves, for every step that Titans has taken forward, this episode takes many more backward.

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They find out soon enough that it’s impossible to help Superboy. His skin is impenetrable and there’s a toxin running through him. Said toxin is Kryptonite, but the Titans don’t know that.

Having reached a dead-end, Dawn urges Dick to call Bruce as he is the only one who would have access to tech that can help Superboy. In Conner’s lucid moments he keeps calling for Eve, his creator. Eve, of course, gets fired by Mercy Graves for running off with Conner, but she’s not willing to give up so easily. She frees Krypto from Cadmus so that he can lead her to Conner.

Eve arrives at Titans Tower and explains to Kory that the only way to save Conner is by unleashing the power of the sun on him. Well, thankfully, Kory literally blasts rays of sunlight from her hands, so voila! Superboy is saved.

Nightmares at Titans Tower

Jason walks into Titans Tower
Titans Ep. 207 — “Bruce Wayne” — Photo Credit: Ken Woroner / ©2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Jason can’t stop reliving the fall. His reverie is interrupted by Rose, who understands how Deathstroke has affected Jason. She joins him in his room and begins dancing. When Rose invites Jason to dance with her, they share a kiss, but Jason pulls away. This whole thing is super-awkward, not least because the characters are barely teenagers, but also because they have no chemistry or comic book history of being together. The kiss reeked of homosocialism, especially since Jason and Conner had a burgeoning friendship that fans were excited about, but that will now amount to nothing. This so-called romance is nothing but a plot device to create conflict.

Rose finds a vinyl record among Jason’s collection with her brother, Jericho’s handwriting. When she learns that the collection belongs to Dick, Rose realizes that the original Titans may have been the reason Deathstroke killed his son.

Meanwhile, someone is messing with all the Titans. Hank, a recovering alcoholic, finds a bottle hidden among his clothes. Donna Troy finds a bottle of pop that was the last gift she received from her late boyfriend, Garth/ Aqualad. Dawn spots an image of the boy killed by Dr. Light, and Rachel Roth’s room is covered in crucifixes.

The team think Jason is acting out, but he didn’t do it. Jason hates the team so much that he even wishes to be back with Deathstroke rather than remain in the Tower. It boggles the mind that everyone has decided Jason is the culprit when, a) Rose is the wild card here and everyone knows it, b) the whole team we’re risking their lives and crying over Jason being kidnapped only hours earlier. This episode is so disjointed from what’s come before.

Dick’s Secret

Dick enters Titans Tower with a gun
Titans Ep. 207 — “Bruce Wayne” — Photo Credit: Ken Woroner / ©2019 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved. /

Dick is so wound up about Slade Wilson/ Deathstroke being back, he can’t think straight. He’s intent on finding him and making him pay for what he’s put the new Titans team through already. Bruce sent Jason to Dick to help the boy, to save him from himself – instead, Jason almost died. Jason is already convinced it’s his own fault, but Dick believes it’s his.

Dick gets a lead on Slade’s handler, Wintergreen, and tracks the lead down to a burlesque bar. The entire scene is completely out of sync with the rest of Titans, and it’s especially frustrating that there is no racial or body diversity in the burlesque dancers. The whole point of the scene, apparently, is to have Iain Glen’s Bruce emulate some of Adam West’s classic Batman dance moves. Glen is amazing in this scene, but, as hilarious as that is, I think Titans has proved itself to be far more mature than a gratuitous scene with scantily-clad women in it.

Dick finds Wintergreen in a hotel but isn’t able to get any information out of him. Dick needn’t have bothered. Deathstroke calls to give him an address to rendezvous at. While Dick waits for Deathstroke to show up, ‘Bruce’ confronts him about his real fears – Dick isn’t afraid of Deathstroke, he’s afraid of what Deathstroke knows. There’s a secret Dick is hiding from his team and he wants to stop Deathstroke from revealing it to them.

This scene is the one bright spark in the episode – it’s evocatively performed by Brenton Thwaites and you feel the connection between father and son here.

Dick finds photographs of all his team in the Tower. Someone’s been watching them and Dick is the only one who can save them.

Dick arrives at the Tower while they’re all ganging up on Jason. Hank is rattled by Dick brandishing a gun and claiming that Deathstroke is in the Tower, but before they know it, Jason disappears. Dick finds him standing on the rooftop, waiting to jump. Jason is certain he’s bad news, and that he’s poisoning the team. But Dick tries to talk him down by revealing a secret. It’s the secret that’s been making Dick hallucinate; the reason why he’s been desperate to sacrifice himself. Dick killed Deathstroke’s son. And now Deathstroke wants him to suffer.

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This episode was the poorest of the season so far. It harked back to what was wrong with the first season of the show – tonally confused and out of touch with the characters and audience. It’s almost like the writer and director of this episode felt that the show was being too safe and decided to push the boundaries the only way male creators can – gratuitous sexualization. Was the male gaze necessary in the overlong burlesque scene?

Was it necessary to have two nude extras in Wintergreen’s hotel? The creators wouldn’t have shot male characters in such a position, nor did they bother to diversify the women in these scenes. ‘Bruce Wayne’ was less a character study and more a bunch of plot points to reach its conclusion. Season two has been splendid so far, and I really hope this is a rare dip and that the episodes pick up after this.