Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter
Created By: Greg Berlanti, Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns
Studio: Berlanti Productions, DC Entertainment, Warner Bros. Television
At the end of episode 5 Dick Grayson, the original Robin was rescued by Jason Todd his replacement and the new Robin. How will Dick feel about being replaced so soon? Will the two birds of prey see eye-to-eye or will they be at each other’s throats? With episode 6 simply titled “Jason Todd”, it’s apparent that they questions will be answered in a Robin-centric episode.
After being rescued by Jason, the two Robins flock (get it?) to one of Bruce Wayne’s safe houses in Chicago. Dick is surprised to learn about this safe house and even more surprised to learn that he is denied entrance with a retinal scan. Once inside Dick learns some details to Jason’s backstory and begins to realize that not only was he almost immediately replaced when he left Gotham City but that this new Robin believes that he’s living the American dream fighting alongside Batman, beating up on lowlifes and criminals and that he enjoys every perk that comes along with the job. It’s hear when Dick starts to realize that, while he may have thought that it was over with Batman…now it is final. He also learned from Jason that Batman implanted tracking devices in both he and Jason with Jason’s being willingly and Dick not having any previous recollection of such a thing. Dick gets out a knife, cuts out his tracking device and trashes it…finally ending his connection to the Batman and the life he left behind in Gotham. Or so he thought.
Upon questioning Jason’s motives for seeking him out, Dick learns that someone in Gotham has being slowly murdering his friends from the travelling circus in which he grew up in. Police photos show that their faces have been melted off or burned by some kind of acid. His closest friend from the circus, a strongman who would have taken him in after Dick’s parents were murdered, is apparently his next victim.
With the Titans making their way to the safe house, Dick reveals his plan as well as introduces the team to Jason. The two Robins make their way to Milwaukee to try to prevent Dick’s friend from meeting the same fate as the others.
As Dick and Jason seek out Dick’s friend whom they manage to find working security at a nightclub, they soon realize that they might be too late as the nightclub erupts in flames and an explosion rocks the building. Dick soon gets a text stating that he must meet up at a warehouse or his friend’s life is over. Dick tells Jason that he needs to take care of this himself and heads off to save his friend. Finding him hanging from pipes that are dripping acid, Dick discovers that his dark past has once again come back to haunt him as the killer is revealed to be the son of Tony Zucco, the man that killed Dick’s parents and who he nearly beat to death with his bare hands but left for dead with the Maroni gang. Nicholas Zucco wants revenge for the death of his father and for Dick allowing the Maroni gang to maim him and burn off half his face. Zucco plans on eking out that revenge one circus member at a time until Dick has no more family left; much like Dick did to him.
With the unexpected (but predictable) help of Jason, Dick manages to save his fried from certain death while taking Nicholas Zucco into custody. And then this is where the episode gets really dark and we see that, even though Dick might have or possibly still could become the person that Jason Todd is. With the police force at the door, Jason tells Dick that he’ll take care of it and then we see Jason brutally, violently and with cheerful glee completely annihilate each and every cop…breaking bones, kicking them when they’re down and nearly killing some officers whether male or female. While Dick becomes a different person while behind the mask, he still has his humanity. When all things are said and done, he is still Dick Grayson. Jason Todd is the same vengeful, violent and morally absent person with or without the mask.
With this episode, Dick begins to realize that the terms of his departure from Batman may be different than what he thought. While Dick ponders his past and what to do going forward, one thing is for certain…the Robin mantle belongs to someone else and it’s time for Dick to put that behind him and finally be his own man.
Bottom Line: The tale of two Robins reveals that both Dick and Jason walk a fine line between being the good guy and being the guy that gets their ass kicked by the good guy. Being that Dick Grayson/Nightwing is one of my favorite comic characters, it’s been great getting to see him transition from Boy Wonder to wonder of the night…on his own terms. It’s one of the things I’ve enjoyed the most on “Titans” so far. I’m anxiously awaiting that moment.