Dick revealed that he was the one who killed Jericho. In episode eight of Titans season two, we find out all about this tragic event.
San Francisco, 2014. Jericho is tormented by nightmares of darkness and brutality. But he can’t seem to intervene. His screams of despair go unheard by all around him. Thankfully, in reality, Jericho has made some new friends – the Titans, of course. They talk records and music, and Dawn is able to translate his sign language (because, apparently, Bruce taught Dick a thousand useless things, but communicating in sign wasn’t on the list for some reason). Jericho is delighted to tell his ‘friends’ about his life, including the story of his father. What he doesn’t know is that the Titans are only interested in him because he is Deathstroke’s son.
Slade Wilson was part of a special ops team when he was captured by HIVE and experimented on. He survived and killed his way out of the facility. While eating an apple, no less, because Esai Morales’ Slade is the epitome of a cool dude. Not that Jericho knows any of this. He believes his father was a war hero. Perhaps he was because Slade was able to create a loving family with his wife Adeline, and his son, Jericho. We don’t know how long ago Jericho’s flashback takes place, but at the time, Jericho had a voice.
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Slade had a comfortable home life until he retired from the military. After that, he went into ‘business’ with Wintergreen and was hardly ever home. He claimed to be selling insurance, but viewers know that Slade’s dealings with Wintergreen involved becoming him Deathstroke, a veritable killing machine. When a particular op turned south, some masked goons broke into the Wilson home and threatened Slade. Though Slade dispatched them easily, he wasn’t fast enough to stop one of them from slitting Jericho’s throat. This explains why, in Jericho’s nightmares, he can be seen screaming but the sound is stunted. He literally has no voice to speak with anymore.
You’d think Slade would guiltily stick around to support his family, right? Of course not. Jericho woke up in the hospital to find his father had disappeared. Even the Titans look crushed by Jericho’s revelations.
Even More Revelations
The Titans track down Wintergreen, but he’s one step ahead of them. Wintergreen has been tracking them, and he knows Jericho’s fallen in with the team. He urges Deathstroke to complete ‘the job’, but Deathstroke doesn’t want Jericho involved. So, what was the job anyway?
In episode four of Titans season two, Aqualad took a bullet from Deathstroke and was killed. In this episode, we finally find out who that bullet was meant for. Deathstroke was aiming for the Themysciran ambassador Jillian (Ann Magnuson). She reveals this information to Donna with strict instructions for the team to back away from Deathstroke and leave Jillian to handle it.
That plan lasts a hot minute because Dick witnesses Jericho using his, heretofore, unknown meta powers. As comic book readers will know, Jericho can inhabit other hosts and command them to do his bidding. Jericho got these powers from the experiments done on his father. Both his parents are aware of it too.
Jericho uses the power at his favorite record store when a customer is particularly unruly and Dick decides to take Jericho under his wing to ensure that the young meta-human is never tempted to use his power for evil. When Dick tells Dawn this, she insists that the Titans come clean with Jericho.
Jericho and the Titans
Dick doesn’t hold back on the truth, but it makes Jericho even more eager to join the team and make amends for what his father has done. Jericho is hurt that he didn’t know his father at all and that his mother allowed him to believe that Slade was a hero. Jericho moves out of his mother’s place to live in the Tower.
Distraught, Adeline calls Slade and demands he fixes this problem. He left them to start from scratch, and now she wants her son back. Usually, in scenes like this, the gruff assassin has all the power, but Adeline is so astutely stoic throughout the interaction. She is completely in control of the situation and knows that Slade has to do what she says. This dynamic was surprising to see.
Wintergreen convinces Jericho to meet Slade on his own, insinuating that the Titans are lying to him. Jericho isn’t that stupid so he runs the plan by Dick. Dick agrees, only after an argument with Dawn. Dick is being too much like Batman and this is putting a strain on their relationship.
While Jericho goes to the church that viewers saw in the previous episode, Donna gets a message from Jillian to come and meet her. Except, it’s not Jillian. The Themyscirans have been killed by Deathstroke. After a valiant fight by Donna, Deathstroke cautions her to stay away from his son. Before losing consciousness, Donna activates her emergency beacon.
The Titans find Donna and Dick tells Dawn and Hank to take her back to the Tower. At the church, Slade Wilson reveals himself to be Deathstroke to his son. He insists that almost losing Jericho to the Titans has made him realize how much he has failed the boy. It seems like Slade is getting through to Jericho and the two of them are patching things up.
Just then, Dick arrives and scuppers their plans. Jericho is upset, because Dick promised to stay away, but Deathstroke is unphased. He believes Dick and his ‘pretty suit’ doesn’t mean he’s any different from Deathstroke. The two fight, and Dick is able to hold his own because of his plethora of Bat-gadgets. I particularly love how he uses the smoke bomb, it’s an underutilized tool from the utility belt. But, if an Amazon can fall to Deathstroke, so can a Robin. Deathstroke beats Dick to a pulp, leaving him lying helpless on the floor. As Slade gets ready to stab Dick with a sword, Jericho jumps in his way and takes the brunt of it. Dick collapses as Jericho appears to die.
And that is how the original Titans ended. Unable to take their losses and the hand Dick played in Jericho’s death, the team broke up and the Tower was shuttered. No wonder Hank hates Dick’s guts in the present and Dawn and Dick’s relationship is non-existent.
After the poor showing that was ‘Bruce Wayne’, this spotlight episode on Jericho was far superior. One wonders if it’s because it was written by a woman. Kate McCarthy captured the pathos, the heart and the action of a comic book television show. But, the absolute star of the show was Chella Man. He is such a delight to watch and it is disappointing that we will not be seeing his character back again. Or, will we?