Titans streams new episodes on Friday’s via the DC Universe platform. The second season will debut internationally on Netflix later in 2019.
With tensions running high at Titans Tower, Kory tries to learn more about Conner, while Dick sets out alone to track down Deathstroke – with a familiar voice haunting him.
Following another cliffhanger ending last week (reviewed here) Titans had a fair amount to prove going in to its latest episode, “Bruce Wayne”. I mean that not to say the series has reached a low but instead that it has reached a creative sweet spot and made itself comfortable there.
But instead of repeating the setup, danger, resolution, lethal cliffhanger formula this episode throws the rule book out of the window.
I was surprised how comedic “Bruce Wayne” was able to become, mainly and shockingly through Iain Glenn’s performance. Comic book writer Bryan Edward Hill (Angel) takes on writing duties for this episode and definitely takes some creative liberties with the Bruce Wayne (Glenn) character.
There will be those in the audience who do not enjoy seeing the character twisted in this manner. Even though there are in-episode contextual reasons for it.
Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) spends much of the episode on a knife-edge. We’ve seen him hit some genuine low points across the season-and-a-half we’ve witnessed thus far. But this is the first time I’ve spent an episode concerned for his mental health.
Those ghosts we’ve been discussing this season seem to be haunting him to disturbing levels and the episode slavishly hits us over the head with the notion that there’s something he needs to get off his chest.
Narratively speaking, the weight on Dick’s shoulders is the episode’s weakest point. We’ve already seen from the episode “Aqualad” that Dick did something father foreboding to Deathstroke’s son Jericho (Chella Man – who returns next week). The admission during the episode’s climax that he – believes – he killed Jericho is nothing too exciting.
However, the journey to get there is excellent.
My anticipation for this episode revolved around seeing Bruce and Dick spend more time together. The idea of exploring more of the dynamic following Dick moving on was really intriguing. Sadly there was none of that here in the traditional sense.
Instead this comedic version of Bruce spends his scenes taunting Dick, carefully pushing him in the right direction via a series of taunts and jibes. There’s a lot of loaded dialogue but what’s most clever is that even when Bruce is being his most acerbic he’s still mentoring Dick and helping him uncover more about what is going on.
The undisputed highlight of the episode is there scene where Dick and dream-Bruce go to the burlesque club. Bruce takes to the stage to join the dancers and performs a nearly full Batusi routine in honour of Adam West. It’s possibly the greatest moment in the entire of Titans to date and I could watch it over and over.
But ultimately there’s a reason to all of these sequences and it comes to a head on the roof of Titans Tower as Dick talks Jason (Curran Walters) down off the ledge.
The two share the single most heartfelt moment of Titans to date. Both characters lay bare their issues and shed a tear for moments passed. It’s an emotionally charged sequences which allows Thwaites and Curran the chance to do some much more straightforward dramatic acting.
It also affords Titans it’s least lethal cliffhanger of the season which is a nice development.
There’s a lot going on in Titans Tower itself this week too, with someone taunting the rest of the Titans. Only Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) seems to be free of the taunting which makes me worried he’s working with Deathstroke.
The team is being manipulated by somebody and I’m not convinced that by the close of the episode we know who it is. Going in to next week’s episode there are plenty of questions around where the story can go next and how both Deathstroke and Jericho fit in to the past and the present of Titans.
“Bruce Wayne” completely defies expectations and becomes one of Titans most heartfelt and comedic episodes to date.
Titans stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson/Robin, Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven, Ryan Potter as Beast Boy, Alan Ritchson as Hawk and Minka Kelly as Dove.