Season 3 of TITANS has pulled back the curtain on many of the relationships between the characters, but only one has been teased and not really explained.
But this is nothing new when it comes to the relationship between Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon. Their comic book history has many different arcs. There are some arcs where they are just friends, some as lovers, and some even as spouses (my favorite one since Batman, who was tired of the “will they won’t they”, just tells them they’re married) over the 52 years they’ve been sharing pages together.
Thankfully, TITANS doesn’t keep us in suspense any longer than 5 episodes as “Lady Vic” finally gives us the backstory of this Dick-Babs arc.
As the name indicates, Lady Vic (Kimberley-Sue Murray) introduces the famous Nightwing villain to the show and she immediately makes her presence known by committing a double murder on her way back to Gotham. But why is she back?
Flashback 6 years where Robin is trying to stop a thief he thinks might be Selina Kyle, but it turns out it is none other than Barbara Gordon. She is dead set on making a name for herself as something other than Commissioner Gordon’s daughter so she decides to be the complete antithesis of what he is. It’s an interesting choice for the character but it does explain the conflicted person she has been thus far this season. After somehow convincing Dick that he should join her as a “fuck you” to Bruce, they start to steal things together and, in true Bonnie and Clyde fashion, they fall in love.
In a heist gone wrong, Dick and Barbara are confronted by Lady Vic and her male partner. The four thieves engage in a fight and Dick appears to be beaten, but a wounded Barbara saves him from a Lady Vic dagger which accidentally kills her boyfriend.
Nothing is the same between Dick and Barbara after this but the motivation for Lady Vic’s return is clear. She’s out for revenge, but we learn that this time she has been enlisted by Scarecrow and fortified with his anti-fear toxin. Crane now has two weapons, which he makes perfectly clear to an exasperated Jason, who only now realizes he has been manipulated and it is Crane, not Jason, who is in charge.
Back at Wayne Manor, the Titans are adjusting to living with a “queen”. Blackfire’s assimilation with the rest of the crew is awkward since she still thinks she’s on Tamarind and they are her servants. Kory tries to explain to her that she is nobody here on Earth but just another being. This doesn’t sit well with Blackfire because she feels she doesn’t have a purpose. She isn’t part of the team and she isn’t a queen so who is she?
The relationship between Kory and Blackfire has been a welcome distraction to the main storyline this season. Both Damaris Lewis and Anna Diop are excellent in playing the two estranged sisters. On the surface, it appears they don’t care for each other but we find out that Blackfire is really only looking to be accepted by Kory and Kory feels responsible for the situation Blackfire is in. After all, Titans is a show about family, and this is another example of that.
“Lady Vic” keeps the momentum going in a season that has been full-blast since the opening moments. It ends with another “OMG” event again caused by Red Hood that re-introduces Tim Drake back into the mix and shows just how far Jason has fallen. It also fleshes out the friction between Dick and Barbara by introducing a common pain point with the Lady Vic character. However, we all know with Crane being behind everything going on nothing is ever as it seems and our heroes are probably only beginning to feel the effects of his plan. – Eric Holzmann