Titans season 2, episode 7 review: 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. /

The seventh episode of Titans season 2, entitled “Bruce Wayne,” might be the very best of the series thus far. Spoilers ahead.

Psychic break

The entire premise of this episode of Titans is that Dick Grayson (the original Robin) thinks that Bruce Wayne (Batman) is talking to him, as he tries to hunt down Slade Wilson (Deathstroke). Bruce isn’t actually there but just a projection of Dick’s own subconscious. And everything happening – even in terms of this mental breakdown – is about helping Grayson through his current crisis.

Most of what Bruce says to Dick is somewhat inflammatory. One of the most interesting moments is when Dawn (Dove) asks Dick to call Bruce to try to figure out what poison was still hurting Conner (Superboy). Only Batman would have the knowledge of such poisons since he would be the one cataloging them over all these years. The line is classic in that Bruce would in-fact have a database of every poison, as that is a big part of being the world’s greatest detective: an accumulation of knowledge.

But when Dawn asks about contacting Batman, Bruce (or at least Dick’s vision of Bruce) says that Dick has been chosen as the leader of the Titans merely because he has the means of contacting Batman. This brings to the forefront that Dick feels inadequacy from his years as Batman’s sidekick, leaving the question: can Dick overcome this inferiority and become his own man?

Shadow of the Bat

This is the best part of the worldbuilding in this show. Grayson thinks everyone around him only sees him as a conduit to Batman. It’s an important part of the story because Dick wants to eventually become his own hero – in this case, a new mantle as Nightwing (which we have not seen just yet).

There’s a lot of depth and complexity to Dick Grayson on this show. In the final moments of the episode, Dick tells Jason Todd (the current Robin) the secret he has been carrying around with him. It is this secret that actually causes the Bruce Wayne apparitions throughout the episode.

Bruce (or Grayson’s conscience in reality) tells Dick that everything boils down to him telling the truth. In some ways, this may be what Dick has gotten from Batman above all else. While Batman can be manipulative and cunning at times (as seen in his many iterations over the years), he is also one of the greatest heroes and probably honest to a fault – maybe too honest at times. So it makes sense that Bruce would want Dick to tell the truth.

So at the end of the episode, Dick reveals to Jason that he (not Deathstroke) is responsible for killing Wilson’s son, Jericho. This seems like Dick is being literal (he actually killed him). But it could be interpreted that Deathstroke killed Jericho because of Dick, hence he feels the weight of the blame. I’m leaning towards the former over the latter, but we shall see.

Either way, the importance of this episode is that Dick Grayson is far from perfect. The entire Titans young hero experiment wasn’t all fun and games. Being a hero isn’t always simple. People get hurt along the way. Decisions are made that one wishes they could take back. And in this case, maybe the original Robin crossed a line that even Batman would avoid.

Todd’s survival

The creators of Titans had a little fun with a fake fan poll for whether or not Todd would survive his fall from episode five. This mirrors the real vote in 1988, as comic book readers decided to let Jason die at the hands of the Joker in the “A Death in the Family” arc from the Batman comics.

Todd is an all-out jerk from the first time he is seen in this Titans incarnation. But this last episode has shown a side of Jason that’s actually likable.

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Clearly, part of Todd’s softening is the trauma of falling from a building. But there’s also the gratitude towards Conner that seems to overwhelm him. No quips or jerky dialogue – just a real heartfelt “thank you” for saving his life. It could be really interesting to see Jason and Conner become close friends on this show.

There is so much more to explore with Jason Todd because his time in comics as the second Robin was cut off so quickly. Certainly, Jason achieved more stories since he returned as the Red Hood (something this show could do as well down the line). But for now, there are opportunities to get to know this character more fully as Robin.

Maybe the people around Jason don’t fail him in this iteration of the character. Perhaps Dick comes through and is able to mentor him properly. Maybe a friendship with Conner does the trick. Hopefully, Jason’s screen time makes him harder to kill for the people writing this show. And if it ultimately happens, maybe there will be even more reasons to root for his comeback in one form or another.

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This season is just over halfway through its 13-episode run. Catch the final six episodes of season 2 of Titans – debuting every Friday – on the DC Universe streaming service.