This Titans review contains spoilers.
Titans Season 2 Episode 9
Though a weaker installment compared to last week’s “Jericho,” the ninth episode of Titans season 2, “Atonement,” is an enjoyable story — it’s also frustrating for its loose ends and spotlights how underused many of the core characters have been this season.
The episode begins with Dick coming clean about what really happened with Jericho. Rather than hugging it out, as it seems Hank is about to do before slugging his friend, the team breaks up — again. Everyone goes their separate ways, with Dick charging Gar to look after the unconscious Conner.
The resulting sequences of a motivated Gar looking after Titans Tower with verve, before the enthusiasm wanes, is really quite fun. And there is great chemistry between Ryan Potter and the wide-eyed Joshua Orpin as Conner. Unfortunately, this is the most we’ve seen of Gar all season, and we never got much from the guilt he experienced due to Jason’s capture. This is Gar’s moment, but it feels like he’s emerging after a long absence.
The same is true for Rachel and Rose. Rachel grappling with her powers has again been her main storyline this season, but that hasn’t been developed too much. She’s been operating on the periphery, and we only get a moment of her calling Donna out for her part in Jericho’s death before she bolts. Meanwhile, Rose barely reacts to Dick’s revelation about Jericho. She is already a thin character, so it is a missed opportunity to not give her a meatier moment.
Instead, the episode spends time setting up other plotlines. Hank and Dawn, after a light-hearted karaoke moment, break up and might be headed into conflict with the local yokels. Hank isn’t far off when he points out that his and Dawn’s relationship is rooted in pain, and that’s an interesting concept to pursue. But a war with rednecks is a waste of time for these two.
Kory’s choice not to return to Tamaran becomes a problem as Faddei has escaped her ship, and informs her that her sister Blackfire has seized control (and killed their parents). I like Faddei, and his Big Lebowski-quoting ways. And it’s promising to tease Kory’s cosmic story. Yet, this is too much to set up in a season where there’s already a lot going on. However, Kory hasn’t been given very much to do this season. It’s a shame.
But the Dick Grayson scenes this week are compelling as he looks for forgiveness in all the wrong places. His boneheaded move to speak with Adeline leads to her dressing down the Titan, and refusing him forgiveness. But the reveal that Deathstroke is hanging out in her den is a nice surprise. Slade and Dick, both are broken men trading barbs, but the former is the victor; he destroyed the Titans, and promises to kill them if Dick ever tries to re-form them again. Though I have enjoyed seeing the badass Deathstroke, it’s Slade the man which has been the most compelling to watch.
His words slice into Dick much like a knife, and Dick tries to run — only to have a breakdown. He needs to punished to atone for his sins, even if that means attacking cops in the airport, and forcing them to arrest him.
Interestingly, the police also confront Conner who mistakenly steps in to interfere with a lawful arrest. I don’t enjoy seeing Conner being sent down this violent, darker path, and it is yet another set up that takes away from the main story. Still, I wonder what will happen next, and if the other Titans will catch wind of these events – and realize what happens when they walk away.