‘Titans’ 2×09 Review: ‘Atonement’

As the saying goes, the chickens have finally come home to roost. Dick comes clean to the team about what really happened to Jericho and now he has to deal with the fallout. In the meantime, everyone has seemingly gone their separate way leaving Gar and Conner behind at the Tower. Is this the end of the Titans forever? Probably not, but let’s talk about why this separation is so pivotal right now.

Disbanded

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From the moment Dick told Jason that he’d killed Deathstroke’s son, we knew something was off. First of all, Dick wouldn’t just kill an innocent kid no matter how badly he wanted revenge. Not even Batman would teach him that. We learned last week that Dick had gotten Jericho killed but the real culprit behind the killing was Deathstroke himself.

It turns out, that after it had happened, Dick told the team Jericho had been murdered before he even got to the church. If that’s true, then why did the team leave him? I can understand them no longer wanting to be Titans after losing Garth and Jericho but why the animosity from Hank? And why did Dawn leave Dick for good? I thought he’d told them the truth back then and they were just angry.

Apparently not , because after five years, they finally found out the truth and they’re more angry than ever. This time though, they’re definitely justified in leaving.

So pairing off, everyone went their separate ways. Jason left with Rose to who knows where. Rachel weirdly asked Donna if she could go with her and then abandoned the Wonder Girl moments after leaving Titans Tower. Dawn and Hank headed home to Wyoming. Kory had to go take care of her family drama but she wasn’t technically “leaving” the team. And Dick went on a sabbatical, leaving Gar in the Tower to watch over a comatose Conner.

What could go wrong, right?

Personally, this separation feels necessary. I know this is what will eventually lead to him becoming Nightwing. But this is important for the rest of them as well. Because hopefully when they finally do come back together, it will be once and for all with no conditions. It’ll be because they all want to be there. Not because they felt they were forced to.

Boredom is a silent killer

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At first, Gar really liked having the entire Titans Tower to himself. Day One was very productive for him. But by Day Two, the young lad was starting to lose his collective mind. Remember that Gar has never really lived alone and a sleeping Conner is not much of a fun roommate. You really couldn’t help but feel bad for the kid, especially since he is the one that still truly believes the team will get back together eventually.

Dick left him with one task though. As soon as Conner woke up, Gar was supposed to call Bruce in order for Bruce to schedule a meeting between Conner and Superman. If this doesn’t prove that the Justice League is at least in formation out there in their universe than I don’t know what will.

Conner does eventually wake up and Gar tries to call Bruce but the billionaire doesn’t really answer any of his calls. Shocker!

Gar doesn’t really try to contact Bruce again and chooses to hang out with Conner instead, showing him the ropes. He talks up the Titans and asks Conner to join their team. But while they’re out on the streets of San Francisco, Conner gets them into serious trouble with the law. Mistaking a perp’s cries for help, Conner attacks the police that are trying to arrest someone. Eventually the attack gets massive and Gar runs away. He calls Dick to let him know something went terribly wrong, but like Bruce, Dick doesn’t answer him either.

Gar may have thought the boredom would kill him but if his family doesn’t return soon, I think the loneliness definitely will.

You’re not welcome here

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Hank and Dawn return to Wyoming and things seem to be going pretty good for them. The pair are living in a new house out in the middle of nowhere and they seem to be adapting to small town life. They even go out for a night on the town and do some karaoke.

Did you know Minka Kelly and Alan Ritchson could sing like that? Was that even them singing? It sounded like them. Whatever, they sounded great! I almost want to watch them do a musical now. That’d be fun.

What’s meant to be a nice night out turns sour when the ex-con sister of the boy they had been mentoring confronts them. Remember that kid that was murdered by Doctor Light? Yeah, his family was a real piece of work. They blame Hank and Dawn for what happened.

Between the guilt about Jericho and now the guilt about Ellis, Hank is starting to spiral. Dawn tries to get to the heart of the issue and help him but Hank suggests the two of them being apart for a while before he leaves her. You can’t help but feel bad for Dawn here. She’s loved two very self-destructive men in one lifetime and she deserves a break from all this.

Hank ends up in a bar, ordering a Diet Coke. So that’s good, right? Not really, because right after he turns to a fellow patron at the bar and asks where he can score something “stronger”. I’m not sure if he’s going to fall off the wagon this season but I really hope he doesn’t.

Families really suck sometimes

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Kory is trying to deal with the drama currently going on her home planet after finding out that her sister, Blackfire, has taken over and crowned herself Queen. Deciding it’s time to go home, the alien princess finally accepts her fate. She’s a fighter after all.

The problem is, her escort slash ex boyfriend slash ex guard is acting funny.

Kory quickly realizes he’s been taken over. He’s definitely a goner. His body is nothing more than a host for her sister and in order to put him out of his misery, Kory has to blast him. Turning his corporal body to ash finally reveals her sister. Blackfire is already one mean bitch and we’re going to love her as a villain in this series. Kory vows to come for her. And I wonder if that means this ambitious series will eventually launch an intergalactic battle for the Titans on Tamaran.

Atonement doesn’t come easy

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Dick arrives in Nevada on the doorstep of Jericho’s mom, Adeline. He’s come seeking forgiveness for the role he played in her son’s death. I didn’t expect her to be forgiving but I certainly didn’t expect to see Slade in her house either.

When Adeline first told Dick to go into another room of the house and ask that person for forgiveness, I half expected it to be a paralyzed Jericho. Instead, he came face to face with a sad looking Slade Wilson. Dick confronted the assassin, reminding him that it was he who murdered his own son. Slade told him that the same way Dick took his son, he took Dick’s family. He warned the younger man that even though their war was over, if he ever got the Titans back together, Slade would come and kill them all.

Truthfully, I don’t really understand this entire exchange. I wondered if it was in Dick’s imagination. But Adeline was there so it couldn’t have been. But why would she take back her husband after everything that happened? Honestly, this entire scene left me really confused and wondering if the writers just wanted to put these two actors in a scene together without their masks. I guess that’s kind of poetic, isn’t it?

At the end of the episode, Dick is buying a ticket to Greenland because he wants to go somewhere “remote”. But he purposely misses his flight and punches two airport security guards before allowing himself to get arrested. What the hell, right? I know, I’m just as confused as you are.

Highlights

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  • Gar’s daily routine was adorable. I love that he kept audio diaries and read to Conner at his bedside. I also really love the fact that Krypto was the only real companion Gar had until Conner woke up. Beast Boy and his good boy has such a nice ring to it.
  • Conner and Gar’s friendship is already great but I’m worried Gar may be afraid of the Kryptonian clone after what he just witnessed.
  • Where the hell did Rachel go? Why even bother asking Donna if she could go with her? Is it because it’d be easy to escape from Donna, whom she barely knows, instead of Dawn or Kory?
  • Rose and Jason: Where are those two heading???
  • I am kind of disappointed Dick didn’t hop a plane to Greenland. I was hoping this meant he’d be on his way to Nanda Parbat. This could have been a great way to introduce the League of Shadows.
  • Hank and Dawn’s duet was such a highlight for me. I really ship them so hard.
  • Kory is so badass and her sister should be terrified.
  • Why did Dick want to get arrested? And why was Slade at Adeline’s house? Did she not know that Slade is the one who killed their son? What the hell am I missing here?

A new episode of Titans is available every Friday to stream on the DC Universe app. Get caught up now before the season ends!

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