‘Titans’ 1×11 Review: ‘Dick Grayson’

The season finale for Titans is finally here and I have a lot of thoughts and questions. But mostly thoughts. I had been pretty sure that this season was supposed to have twelve episodes instead of eleven. “Dick Grayson” felt more like a penultimate episode than a season finale. I’m not saying it was weak. I just think it did a better job setting up the next episode that we’ll have to wait for until next season to see, rather than ending their epic first season run.

But this is my last review of the season and there is a lot to unpack here. Especially about my boy Dick Grayson. So let’s get to it!

Dick Grayson’s happy life is a facade

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As a long time fan of this character, nothing in this world would make me happier than seeing him be happy. However, this is Dick Grayson and tragedy follows him around like a lost puppy. Trigon, Rachel’s father, created a world where he is married to Dawn, they have a son and she’s pregnant with another baby on the way.

On the surface, it really does seem like the perfect life.

But not everything is what it seems. We quickly start to see the flaw in Trigon’s design when the scenery continues to shimmer around Dick.

One day, a wheelchair bound Jason Todd shows up on his doorstep much to Dick’s surprise. It turns out Jason had a bad run in with The Riddler, and he needs Dick’s help because Batman is breaking bad and only Dick can save him.

The Joker killed Commissioner Gordon and Bruce has vowed to kill The Joker in retaliation. Jason begs Dick to go back to Gotham to stop him. And he does.

While in Gotham, he witnesses firsthand how much the city has deteriorated since he left. But he struggles to get through to Bruce because his old mentor refuses to see him.

It’s not until Batman actually murders The Joker that Dick realizes there is no saving him. He gives the Gotham City Police Department Batman’s identity and with the help of FBI Agent, Kory Anders, they mount an assault on Wayne Manor.

Yes, Kory is also in this dream world but it seems that she and Dick are no longer on speaking terms.

That doesn’t stop Dick from losing his mind when she dies though. And it’s Batman who kills her. So what does Dick do? He kills Batman, thus unleashing all of his darkness.

Which is what Trigon wanted all along.

The Unnecessary Shipper War

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When the promotional stills for this episode were first released, a lot of fans were up in arms about Dick being married to Dawn. Personally, I don’t care about their relationship. I’m sure this was just the writer’s way of including actors Minka Kelly and Alan Ritchson into their finale. Still, I understand why fans of Dick and Kory were so upset.

That said, I like that this episode showed that even though Dick was married to Dawn, he still left. And Batman killing Kory is what unleashed all of his darkness in the real world.

I don’t think that people really need to worry about Dawn being an obstacle for Kory and Dick’s relationship. Not when we know that another fiery redhead exists somewhere in this universe.

DC Easter Eggs Galore

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There were so many Easter eggs in this episode. I’m actually sure that I missed a few of them and I really hope someone is compiling a list of all the eggs this episode had. The first one that sticks out, however, is the reference to Barbara Gordon. This is the first time we heard that name in the series and we heard her name a couple times. We even have a hint as to where she could be in the real world.

At first, Jason mentions her when he tells Dick that she said Batman was never the same after he left. This is a heavy implication that Barbara has already been moonlighting as Batgirl.

Then there’s the story behind how Jason ended up in a wheelchair. He was shot by The Riddler, the exact same way  The Joker shot Barbara in The Killing Joke, turning her into Oracle when she could no longer be Batgirl. Later when Dawn mentions Barbara, she says that she’s “missing” in the dream world.

This is just me theorizing, but I wonder if Barbara has already been shot by The Joker in the Titans universe, and whether she and Dick have really spoken since he left Gotham. That could explain why Trigon knows about her but did not know how to properly incorporate her into Dick’s dream world.

Either way, I am very excited because it means one of my favorite DC ladies is out there and she could show up at any moment on this show. Hopefully they incorporate her the way Smallville brought Lois Lane into their fourth season.

Superman was another character that got a major name drop. Pay close attention to that one, though, because that reference will come in handy later. Insert my winky emoji face here.

Batman’s Rogues Gallery

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If you’re a Batman fan, then this episode was definitely a treat for you. They teased a lot of his biggest villains during their scene at Arkham Asylum. Although the episode focused mostly on The Joker, we still caught glimpses of The Riddler and Two Face. And there was a quick reference to Dr. Hugo Strange. Of course, Batman goes on a killing spree and murders them all in cold blood, but it was still cool to see the show lean into their mythology.

This entire season, Dick has been so disconnected from his life in Gotham that it was really great to see him surrounded by the life he left behind. This should be how he finally learns that he can’t really run from his past. But that doesn’t mean he can’t embrace it to become something better than he was.

That Cliffhanger

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When Trigon’s plan finally comes into fruition, I may have dropped a few F bombs.

Watching Dick kill Batman in cold blood was brutal. But that was a dream world and we knew it wasn’t real. However, watching the darkness take over Dick, that was way worse because that is real.

Of course we know Dick will be saved. The show is not about to turn him into a villain for good. It’s still a torturous cliffhanger to end the season on, because we don’t know when or how he will be saved when the show returns for season two.

The most heartbreaking part of all this was Rachel trying to get him back. She’s watching this man who has saved her countless times and is more of a father figure to her than her biological father be consumed by the same darkness she’s been trying to fight all season.

Last week, Trigon said that he couldn’t eat the world until her heart was broken. In this moment, we are witnessing the first cracks on her heart.

Gar and Rachel: The College Years

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This show clearly understands that Beast Boy and Raven are a very iconic comic book pairing. But they also understand the age difference between the actors playing these roles. This means that writing any kind of romance for them will be tricky. At least until the actress playing Rachel grows up a little bit more.

We’ve been getting teases and hints of something brewing under the surface between Gar and Rachel for the last few weeks. However, nothing was as blatant as the Easter Egg in this episode when we learned that in Dick’s dream world, Gar and Rachel went to college together.

This was one of the sweetest moments of the entire episode and I won’t lie, I really loved seeing them together. I’m looking forward to the day that the show will undoubtedly hook them up but I can wait for it. Let this burn be the slowest burn of all time. In the meantime, we have Dick and Kory and that burn needs to heat up a little more in season two.

The show also gets bonus points for showing us that Gar and Rachel regularly Skype with their dad, Dick. And that Dick continues to worry about his daughter even though she’s totally fine and in college with her boyfriend.

Stay for the End Credits

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Remember that Superman reference I said would come into play later? It did. No, we didn’t actually see Superman.

We don’t need to ever really see Superman on this show. But in my opinion, the end credits tease something even better. This is the best kept secret Titans has had all season.

We got a glimpse of Superboy!

For those who are not in the know, Superboy is Kon-El AKA Conner Kent. He is a clone that was created using Superman and Lex Luthor’s DNA. He’s not as powerful as Superman but he is still really strong. And he has the most adorable wolf dog that you’ll ever meet.

Bringing in the “big guns” for season two is a bold move for the show. I don’t think anyone expected Conner to show up so soon. Still, his arrival is just further proof that anyone can show up on this series.

Who’s next, I wonder?

My hope is to see Dick’s BFF, Wally West, appear some day. I’d love to see Kid Flash show up on Titans. But the sky is the limit and I know I’ll be happy with whoever they decide to bring in. For now though, let the fan casting for Superboy begin because these Titans will definitely be back for season two!

Until next time, up, up and away?

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