TITANS Season 1 Episode 6 Review: Jason Todd

This week’s episode of TITANS is Robin centric in more ways than one. Well, two ways to be exact, but those two ways both reflect a strong change in Robin’s character development. Not only was Robin at the forefront of this entire episode, but this episode, entitled “Jason Todd,” introduces the new Robin 2.0, also known as Jason Todd. Though the rest of the Titans make appearances, this episode serves one main purpose, to re-humanize a character that has become so distant from the person he so clearly wants to be. 

Now, for anyone who has a read one of my previous reviews for TITANS, I’m obviously not a very big fan of Robin in this show. He’s been distant from the group’s goals and has on more than one occasion stopped everyone from accomplishing something because of his selfish actions. This week’s episode goes against the grain of everything the audience has seen from Robin so far, giving him something that he has so desperately needed to connect with the audience: context. It delves deep into the relationships he developed during his time at the circus, as well as the feelings he has when he’s forcibly removed from the rest of his circus family after the murder of his parents. 

After finding out that a man, the son of the man who murdered his parents, is out to kill everyone else in Robin’s family, Robin jumps into action. He sets out to find the last remaining member of the circus, the strongman Clayton who almost became Robin’s guardian before Clayton let him go to live with Bruce Wayne. This adventure, with Jason Todd tagging along, shows a Robin who wants to protect the people he cares about, no matter the cost. His actions, though many of them still troublesome in the progression of the show, are re-contextualized, showing a Robin who wants to take charge so that no one else has to. His entire childhood saw his own decisions taken away from him, having them made by someone else. He can’t take this anymore, so he spends his life taking back the responsibility that has been dangerously taken away from him. He knows the additional dangers that come from taking the lead, so he jumps to take this responsibility to try and reduce any risk falling on those he loves. 

This week’s episode goes into detail about this aspect of Robin, but by the end of the episode, we see a Robin who has not only abandoned this idea, but he’s completely abandoned the role of Robin entirely. When Starfire asks how many Robins are coming back with him, joking about the realization that Dick Grayson isn’t the only Robin, he says none. He isn’t Robin anymore, in fact he’s leaving that identity behind for good. Instead, he’s now just Dick Grayson, someone in need of a new identity void of any of the troubles of his past. He’s going to become his own hero, someone who can reflect the person Dick Grayson is in his new family, the Titans. 

Though this episode does wonders for developing Dick Grayson as a character and as a hero, it also extends the series’ development of this entire world. We receive so much new information about the Batman and Gotham of this world, most of it coming offhandedly from either of this episode’s Robins. One of the biggest mysteries of this world is the presence of Batman, and what this version of the Caped Crusader is really like. One of the biggest revelations that comes from this episode focuses specifically on the way that Batman treats those around him. Jason Todd, when telling Dick Grayson how he found him so easily, reveals that Batman put a tracking device in both of them, but did so without Dick’s permission. This is one in a long line of dark revelations Dick has on his already dark experience with Batman. This man, as Dick puts it, needs a Robin in his life. He doesn’t need a particular person, he just has a role that needs to be filled, no matter who fills it. 

Though there are a lot of revelations about Batman, there are just as many revelations on what exactly Gotham has gone through and is going through by this point in time. One of the biggest revelations comes from the off-handed comment that Harvey Dent, also known as Two Face, is already dead, and was killed by members of the mobster Maroni family, the same family that ordered the murder of Robin’s parents. Later on, we also see how Jason Todd’s Robin beats several police officers, and this, combined with his off-hand comments about the police, illustrates a Gotham where Batman and the police are fighting each other, angry with the other over how they treat the city. 

This week’s TITANS illustrates an expanding world, one that will continue to expand as each series after TITANS comes out. This series is inching towards destruction at the hands of Raven’s father, but though that moment is impending and approaching fast, these characters still need to solidify who they are. Though I predict that our Robin may be transforming into a separate bird-specific superhero, the rest of the Titans are still far from ready to face what has been described as a world-ending threat.

Written by William Staton, TITANS Beat Writer

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