The pace picks up a bit in the latest episode of TITANS which is aptly titled “51%” — since we are now just a bit past the midway point of the season.
After the night of terror that Red Hood (Curran Walters) and his Unmerry Men unleashed on Gotham City, Barbara (Savannah Welch) and Dick (Brenton Thwaites) decide to work together to take him and Scarecrow (Vincent Kartheiser) down. Knowing that the conventional methods aren’t working and the Batcomputer isn’t up-to-date, Dick convinces a reluctant Barbara to resurrect Oracle, the uninhibited supercomputer which is limitless in its scope and has no boundaries.
The decision to make Oracle a computer and not Barbara herself seems to be a conscious one made by the writers. Historically, Barbara Gordon IS Oracle, but they are making a clear distinction here that not only is she not Oracle she doesn’t even want to use the technology. She fears since it has no limits there is no telling what it can do if it falls into the wrong hands, which of course it does, and it almost costs Dick his life.
I keep coming back to just how great Kartheiser is as Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow but I just can’t help myself. He is brilliant and, in my opinion, has been the best part of season 3. He continues to manipulate Jason into action while making Jason think he’s the one making these decisions on his own. It’s so twisted and clever, but also serves the purpose of letting the audience know just how lost Jason is.
Kory (Anna Diop) and Blackfire (Damaris Lewis) are exploring leads on their own but also still working through their relationship. After one of the more shocking moments of the episode, Blackfire finally tells Kory why she killed their parents. This information leads Kory to see her sister in a different light and she decides to give her a chance and they work together.
This episode also has a “cool” reference from the Batman mythos. In a nod to Joel Schumacher’s BATMAN & ROBIN, we learn Crane is hiding out in Mr. Freeze’s Snowy Cones Ice Cream Factory which the Titans infiltrate to destroy the production of the anti-fear toxin. In a show that oftentimes can go a little overboard to remind us this isn’t your father’s Titans, having a nod to the campy 1997 film is a nice touch. This is also the first time the team battles together since the opening minutes of episode 1 and there are some really awesome action sequences for the group.
In every season there is a turning point and “51%” seems to be it this year. Scarecrow and Red Hood are on the run and Jason is beginning to clearly see he is being played. Starfire and Blackfire are on solid footing, and Dick and Barbara also seem to be getting close again. Everything is looking up for the Titans which of course means whatever Scarecrow’s next move is will be one to disrupt that harmony.
This season has been jam-packed and fast-moving, and we haven’t even gotten the Rachel/Donna story arc yet. These last 6 episodes should be a blast! – Eric Holzmann