The parable of the Prodigal Son is one of the more famous tales from the Bible. In it, there are two sons. The younger son asks his father for his inheritance only to squander it recklessly while living a life of indulgence. When he returns, he begins explaining to his father everything he’s done and the father accepts him back unconditionally. The older son who stayed with his father hears of this and is not impressed, but the father explains that his brother returning is like him being risen from the dead, and thus they should not be mad but celebrate it.
“Prodigal” takes inspiration from this biblical story and applies it to our heroes in the penultimate episode of Season 3.
The Dick (Brenton Thwaites) and Jason (Curran Walters) story took an interesting twist in episode 11 when a Gotham citizen shot and killed Nightwing after his confrontation with Red Hood. Using her powers, Rachel/Raven (Teegan Croft) locates Dick’s body and Gar/Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) finally manifests an animal besides a tiger and takes the form of a bat. He and an army of bats transport Dick’s body to the same Lazarus Pit that Crane (Vincent Kartheiser) used to resurrect Jason.
It only took 12 episodes but we finally got a moment of reflection and growth for Dick. While in the pit, he has visions of Crane who tries to convince him that he’s always been a failure as a son, first to his birth father and then to Bruce Wayne, and now he’s failed as a father figure to Jason. It is only when he is shown his past and a possible future that he realizes he still has a chance to save Jason and redeem him.
Speaking of redemption, Kory (Anna Diop) finds Blackfire (Damaris Lewis) and Conner (Joshua Orpin) who have kind of developed this Bonnie and Clyde relationship and are on a mission to right some old wrongs. Kory spills the beans on what really happened with Blackfire back on Tamarind when they were children. When they learn Blackfire’s ship still exists she decides she wants to go back to Tamarind and reclaim her throne and redeem herself in the eyes of her people.
One of the best parts of Season 3 has been the addition of Tim Drake (Jay Lycurgo). While most of his stuff is very on the nose, he is also one of the more uplifting parts of the show. He is a guy who is very driven by idealism, which is something this show lacks in spades. It was a smart choice in “Souls” to pair his story with Donna Troy/Wonder Girl (Conor Leslie) because she has become a mentor for him. She knows he’s ambitious and she slowly allows him to discover things while at the same time protecting him.
As the penultimate episode of the season, “Prodigal” arguably is the most important episode of the season and it leaves us in the perfect place. Everything is set up for the final confrontation between Crane, Jason, and the Titans as well as the team reuniting. I have faith that this year, finally, they will stick the landing. – Eric Holzmann
S3/E13: “Purple Rain”
Well, it has come to this. In a season where we have seen some incredible highs and a few lows, TITANS season 3 comes to a close with “Purple Rain”.
This season finale had a lot to wrap up and for the most part, everything was tied up in a tidy fashion.
As we know from “Prodigal”, Dick/Nightwing (Brenton Thwaites) and Jason/Red Hood (Curran Walters) have formed a partnership to save Gotham City from Scarecrow (Vincent Kartheiser). That was arguably the one-story beat that took really long to happen this season but it finally did and granted Jason a chance at redemption. The question, however, is how are they going to stop Scarecrow from his master plan?
“Purple Rain” has a few reveals in it, but none bigger than Barbara Gordon’s (Savannah Welch) assistant Vee being an undercover member of A.R.G.U.S. who has been working with Roy Harper since Ra’s al Guhl put a Lazarus Pit in the city. This was a nice bit of world-building mentioning the famed Green Arrow sidekick as a part of this universe as well as A.R.G.U.S. Fans of The CW know both were a big part of the Arrowverse and from the looks of things, we might be getting more of them in TITANS.
Dick and Barbara devise a plan to use A.R.G.U.S.’ satellite to track down Scarecrow’s bombs and disable them but they also need to make sure they can resurrect anyone who was already killed. The latter gives us probably the most epic showing of power from Raven (Teegan Croft), Blackfire (Damaris Lewis), and Starfire (Anna Diop) to drain the Lazarus Pit and use its power.
The rest of the team all shine in this episode as well. Gar/Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) and Tim (Jay Lycurgo) are instrumental in disabling Scarecrow’s takeover of the Batcomputer and shutting him down. Conner/Superboy (Joshua Orpin) gets a chance to redeem himself for what happened to Blackfire’s ship and help her return to Tamarind. Donna/Wonder Girl (Conor Leslie) shows how much stronger she is now by controlling the same lightning that killed her at the end of season 2.
But… this season, as we know, has been about Batman and his Robins, and we get closure to that. Bruce Wayne (Iain Glenn) returns to Gotham after the Titans have saved the city and has some really great moments with Dick and Jason. He thanks them both but the exchange between him and Jason stands out here. It’s a father-son moment that rivals the one we got in “Lazarus” and closes out that arc.
While the season ends on a high note we fans have to say goodbye to some of our favorite characters. All of them have the chance to return, but the original Titans we were introduced to in Season 1 (Dick, Rachel, Gar, and Kory) are together again and heading back to San Francisco with a couple of new members among the ranks.
With the announcement at DC FanDome that Season 4 is coming, it’s going to be interesting to see where they take our team now that they are back in the friendly confines of Titans Tower. My hope is that they finally focus on the TEAM aspect of the group. We’ve seen Dick, Rachel, and Kory grow significantly since Season 1. Gar is also finally realizing the scope of his abilities. They seem poised now to take on any threat, having faced Trigon, Deathstroke, and all the horrors that Gotham City has to offer. They’ve dealt with tragic loss and failure but have become much stronger because of it. It’s time to build from there and give us the TITANS. – Eric Holzmann