‘Titans’ 2×08 Review: ‘Jericho’

This episode finally gave fans the backstory they’d been waiting for since Dick Grayson returned to Titans Tower at the start of this season. Last episode, Dick told Jason that he killed Jericho’s son. And although I find it hard to believe that Dick would actually kill an innocent, I can completely picture him taking on the guilt of Jericho’s death.

This episode takes us back to 2014 when it all went down. The team has just lost Garth and they’re out for revenge. Things get dark but did you really expect them to go any other way?

Jericho Explained

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Before this episode, all we knew about Deathstroke’s son was that he spoke sign language and Dick befriended him in a record store. Other than that, everything about him was a total mystery. This episode gives us the backstory we’ve been wanting. And it’s tragic.

We all know Slade Wilson was a soldier. We also know he was experimented on and that’s where he gets his powers from. When Slade leaves the military he starts working alongside his war buddy and that’s where he became an assassin for hire. One night, a group of masked assholes broke into his home and targeted his family. This is the night Jericho lost his voice after his throat gets slashed. See? I told you it was tragic.

After meeting Jericho, Dick introduced him to the rest of his team. The other three quickly grow fond of the young boy. However, it’s Hank and Dawn that seem to always point out how far they’re going and if all of this is worth the risk. Donna definitely thinks it is but she’s also mourning the man she loved. Dick thinks it is too but he’s currently thinking like Batman.

Jericho becomes part of their group and eventually Dawn convinces Dick to tell the boy the truth about his father, which he does. Jericho actually takes it pretty well. Even finding out that his mother had been lying for years and keeping his father’s secrets for him. It shows that he’s just overall a good person and his father really had no influence over him in his upbringing.

They ask him to join their team, which Jericho does. And he’s excited too. But then his father’s oldest friend tracks him down and says that his father wants to see him because it turns out that Jericho hasn’t actually seen his father since he was attacked.

How Far Is Too Far?

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With Dick’s blessing, Jericho goes to see his father and Dick follows him. Let me explain though. Dick had every intention of letting Jericho go see his father alone. He knew the assassin wouldn’t knowingly hurt his own son.

However, Jericho made a quick stop on the way to meet Jericho where he attacked Jillian. He then tried to draw Donna out by pretending to text her as Jillian.

When Donna arrived, the pair fought but Donna was no match for Deathstroke and she was seriously injured. She was able to throw up a distress call and her team came to her rescue but that was enough for Dick to throw away all the trust Jericho had in him and go after Deathstroke.

If you thought the fight between Donna and Deathstroke was brutal, then the fight between him and Dick was even worse. I love how Deathstroke pointed out that Dick was an emotional fighter and how that was the reason he lacked control. This is just another distinct parallel to show us why Dick is not Batman. He’ll never be Batman because he cares too much. I’m not saying Bruce Wayne doesn’t care. The thing is that Bruce has been able to turn off his emotions when he needs to and he’s learned to compartmentalize them when he can’t simply turn them off. Dick’s never had to do that and I truly hope he never gets to that point.

In the fight with Deathstroke, Dick takes a serious beating and he’s down for the count. The thing is, right before Deathstroke is about to deal the final fatal blow, Jericho stepped in front of Dick to protect him. And Deathstroke’s blade slashes right through his own son instead.

There it is, mystery solved! Rose was right all along. Deathstroke did kill her brother. But it’s also understandable why Dick carries this guilt. He truly believes it was his fault and probably wonders what would’ve happened if he hadn’t followed Jericho that night.

Even Titans Fall

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So there you have it: the reason Titans Tower closed and the team disbanded. Now, we know why Dick and Dawn broke up. She did not like the person he’d become and she told him repeatedly that he was going too far but he would not listen. Hank was angry with his buddy for the same reason as Dawn. And you know you’re wrong if Hank thinks you’ve gone too far. This also explains what may have pushed Dawn and Hank together and probably why they work so well together when compared to Dawn and Dick.

Donna was the only one who left the door of friendship open, telling Dick she’d be in New York in case he ever needed a place to crash. We know he takes her up on that offer eventually when he showed up on her doorstep last season.

The Titans disbanded five years earlier from the premiere of this series. In that time, Dick succumbed to his own darkness, which explains his violent tendencies at the start of the series. He had no one to regulate his actions like his team used to before they lost Garth and Jericho. This explains why he slowly starts changing when a new team emerges in Rachel, Kory and Gar.

I remember all the criticism this show got because people thought Robin was just too violent and now I’m like, this is why you need to let a show breathe before passing judgment sometimes. I’m not saying that this can be said about every show. However, it was clear that this one had layers they hadn’t pealed back yet.

Those layers are slowly starting to show more depth than we probably ever imagined. I know the truth is about to come out to his new team and Dick is going to hit rock bottom before he rises up again as Nightwing. But I’m okay with that. I know the endgame will be worth it.

Highlights

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  • Jericho had a super cool power and the scene where he completely took over Hank’s body is probably one of the funniest in the entire series.
  • Even though I never shipped Dawn and Dick, it’s still sad to watch their entire relationship fall apart in real time.
  • Donna’s still mourning Garth and it is so heartbreaking.
  • The fight sequences in this show are still some of the best I’ve ever seen in any superhero show. I know a lot of people like to think Arrow has amazing hand to hand combat but sometimes their stunts look utterly ridiculous and super unrealistic. TitansĀ close hand to hand combat is usually always on point.
  • Dick Grayson has a good heart and I will continue saying that loudly for the people in the back.
  • Hank and Dawn danced and I was already shipping it. I think it helps that I currently ship them in the present timeline.
  • Jericho’s mom is played by Mayko Nguyen from Killjoys and she’s still as much of a fierce mother in this show as she was in that other show. We stan a queen.
  • The way Jericho died was dirty. Deathstroke is totally to blame but Dick is a little bit at fault too. And I can see why his entire team left him after that.
  • All the references to Greek mythology about the Titans was such a great foreshadow to what would happen. They got their asses handed to them by Zeus for sure.

A new episode of Titans will be available for streaming every Friday on the DC Universe app.

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