Titans season 4 midseason finale postmortem: Joseph Morgan on the rise of Brother Blood

Titans season 4 star Joseph Morgan breaks down Sebastian’s transformation into Brother Blood and teases what’s to come in part 2! 

The first half of Titans season 4 has officially come to an end in what might have been this season’s finest hour yet.

In the midseason finale, the Titans race to find a way to save Sebastian before he fulfills the prophecy and reaches a point of no return. Unfortunately, despite every effort the Titans try to make, Mother Mayhem convinces Sebastian to drink from the Well after taking him down a stroll through memory lane to revisit moments in his life that contextualize the moments that go into his decision.

The result is the first of what we’re sure will be more showdowns to come between the Titans and Mother Mayhem and Sebastian, or should we say Brother Blood. This first battle definitely did not end in the Titans’ favor with the character’s fates unclear after Sebastian used his newfound abilities to make the Titans disappear before our eyes before he submerged himself in the pool of blood to finalize his transformation.

What’s to come for this season’s Big Bad now that he’s fully embraced the darkness within himself to transform into Brother Blood, and how will his rise to power alter the course of his character’s arc in the second half of Titans season 4? Bam Smack Pow saw down with star Joseph Morgan to discuss our burning questions following the shocking Titans season 4 midseason finale!

INTERVIEW: Joseph Morgan star of Titans season 4

BAM SMACK POW | Sebastian starts the season off in such a different place from where he ends things in the midseason finale. Before we get into episode 6 and what’s to come, I’d love to know how you approached crafting this amazingly complicated and brilliant character. 

I kept a character journal. So, I start off with what I know about the character and what’s on the page, and try and find some images that connect me to the role. I work with music as well like trying to find songs that emotionally put me in a place where I feel like the character is coming from. Then as the work progresses, I’ll look at specific scenes and try and figure out Sebastian’s point of view on the scene and more specifically, his point of view on other characters, and how he feels exactly about those. And then sometimes I try and write little excerpts in character to try and find his voice and really, how he’s feeling.

It’s also about finding the right costumes, I’m really big on taking a lot of time to do the fittings and work with the costume designers. I’m not just talking about you know, the Super Suits down the line, but I’m talking about his whole look from the beginning. We really worked on that and I Zoomed with Nola [Chaters], the costume designer there who does all the regular costumes, not the super suits, and we talked a lot about Sebastian.

I’m quite big on props and everything. Like I feel like everything, every part of the production deserves extreme attention to detail because it all tells a story. So even things like in the beginning, on my first day, I got in the costume and I felt like his shoes were really clean. And I think this guy he doesn’t drive, he’s walking all over the city and his shoes need to be dirty and scuffed up just to reflect that. I was really happy I did that because we did a kind of shot on his shoe and his shoelace is undone and he realizes he’s got to tie it and I thought oh, this is good because even the way his shoe tells a story. I feel like all it’s all important and it all goes towards painting the picture.

Once I get into the scenes, I think it’s all about what you’re trying to do in the scene and how you’re trying to affect the other people as opposed to thinking, I’m really sad in the scene, or I’m really angry, it’s more about what I want to get from this character or what I want to do. So it stays active.

Titans season 4. Image courtesy HBO Max

BAM SMACK POW | Across the first half of the season, we see Sebastian wrestling with these two sides of himself including in Episode 6 before ultimately going through with his transformation. Is this something we’ll continue to see even as he transforms fully into his Brother Blood persona? 

Yeah, you know, if I’ve done my job right, then what I hope we’re going to see is that there will be conflict throughout but he’s leaning more towards that darker side of himself. And the cracks that we see will be his humanity and the struggle he has with that. But his ego is taking over more so he’s going in the other direction.

If you think of it like a kind of scale of his humanity and his kindness and his sweetness, and on the other side is his full kind of egoic power-driven confidence and his darkest side that will do these terrible things. It goes from one to the other, but at either end of the scale, there are cracks showing the other end of the scale. That was the goal.

BAM SMACK POW | There’s a moment at the beginning of the episode where Sebastian is fighting the transformation because he doesn’t want to hurt his friends. Now that he’s transformed into Brother Blood, what can you tease about how his dynamic with the Titans will shift? 

There’s still going to be a conflict there for him. Especially as far as Rachel’s concerned, and his feelings for her and feeling like he kind of belongs. But there’s also a feeling that they gave up on him. His whole life he’s been disappointed. He’s wanted affirmation and affection. He had that from his mom, who then died and left him alone. He was convinced when he heard it from Julie, his girlfriend, that it was going to turn bad, that the same thing was going to happen. So he stopped it there and it was a self-fulfilling prophecy then for him.

Then it happened again with the Titans. They were torn because there was this actual prophecy that he was going to do these terrible things. And in his mind, he starts to feel like they didn’t come through for him and that he was abandoned, you know? Everybody who’s offering him kindness and affirmation ends up letting him down. So when he’s offered power, he jumps at it. He thinks this is actually something that means something.

BAM SMACK POW | Sebastian shared a particularly unique bond with Rachel with the pair connecting over their shared trauma, if you will, and they feel like two sides of the same coin. How might the bond they began to form come into play now that Sebastian has transitioned into Brother Blood? 

It does [continue to grow], and that was something that Tegan [Croft] and I really pushed for, and fought for. In every interaction that our characters have throughout the whole season, we were very conscious that this bond had been established near the beginning and we wanted to double down on that and build on that throughout the season. That was really important to us. So yeah, it develops as a relationship would throughout the season, and we were really adamant that, as every good story and journey, it should have a satisfying conclusion. Just their relationship, I mean, their journey that they’ve been through together. We pushed for that, and I’m confident that we got it.

BAM SMACK POW | Speaking of the Titans, we got a taste of Sebastian’s abilities in the closing moments of episode 6. First, can you offer up any hints regarding what he’s done with the Titans and what other new abilities we’re going to get to explore ahead? 

It’s interesting because he’s discovering his abilities as it goes along. That’s not his sole power, what we’ve seen in episode six, there is a lot more to discover. It starts getting more and more crazy, what he can do and it’s quite interesting. It was exciting for me to play the journey of kind of discovering these powers and these different things as they come about. It picks up the pace and it picks up intensity as the season drives toward the end.

BAM SMACK POW | The first part of this season has been Sebastian’s journey of accepting his destiny, now that he has, what’s next? 

He’s changed by what he’s taken on, by having this power now, and by connecting himself to the church of blood in that way and to the power. He’s going to struggle with that initially with these new abilities that he’s got, and also this side of himself. It’s almost like by connecting himself to that power, that egoic and rageful side of himself manifests itself more in him. And so we’re gonna see more of the explosive side of Sebastian.

As he grows more confident, and his ego grows and his power grows, we’re going to see more of that rage and him struggling with that rage, as it rockets toward the end. Then we’re also going to see how, because of those changes, how that affects every single relationship that we’ve built up through the first half of the season.

Titans season 4. Photograph by Courtesy of HBO Max

BAM SMACK POW | Before we wrap, I have to ask about your upcoming suit reveal. We’ve seen photos of the Brother Blood costume which is truly stunning. I know you were very involved with its creation, but what was it like putting the finished suit on for the first time and how, if at all, did it influence your performance? 

Oh, it’s great. It was a huge process. I was doing fittings every month for seven months or something. It came from being a picture to becoming a kind of cosplay version to becoming the real thing. And it was incredible. To put it on, it’s very heavy because it’s tight and there’s a lot of armor. It’s quite similar to a suit of armor, so it pushes your shoulders forward, so you have to push your shoulders back to where it and so there was a real physicality. Also, because it’s so tight, and there are all these pieces on it, every move is like fighting underwater. It takes a tremendous amount of energy.

There’s also a stillness that you find in it, and I wanted that for Sebastian anyway, because he’s quite kind of nervous and introverted at the beginning and that manifests itself in little ways and gestures. I wanted him to have a more commanding presence towards the end and so the suit really helped with that. And it’s great.

It’s hard to kind of sit down in the suit or to do anything really with the gloves other than fight Titans, that’s what it’s made for. A lot of the time I would just stand in the room waiting for them to call me to set and so made a practice then of starting to just stand in the shadows and see how long I could stand there before someone noticed that I was just standing. I tell you I got a few screams I got a few like, “Oh my god!” You just stand perfectly still in the shadows and wait for someone to notice you. So had some fun with that.

Titans will return with the second part of season 4 in 2023.