Titans episode 5, “Together”, started streaming on 9 November 2018.
This week on family feud: the Titans vs the Nuclear Family.
Sure, Dick, Rachel, Kory and Gar might still need to DTR, but the parallels between our, ah, core four and the assassin family were hard to miss. (Nuclear core, get it?)
For those familiar with the comics, this episode also marked the getting “together” of Dick and Kory. It was going to happen eventually, though personally I’m more into the slow burn. But the episode also made clear there was still room for development between the two, so we’ll see how their relationship plays out.
Dick traded his Porsche for a minivan so they could “all fit in”, thus cementing his new status as soccer mom. They gather at a motel to strategise. “Who said anything about sleeping?” Oh, if only you knew what you’d end up doing later, Dick.
After awkwardly defining themselves as an “alliance”, the quartet (seriously, I need the titans to establish themselves as the Titans before I run out of alternative collective nouns) somehow find an empty barn to exhibit their abilities. Kory impresses everyone with her flames, which she figures are powered by the sun (she shoots star fire, literally). Gar scares Dick in his tiger form, before flashing in front of everyone.
Initially hesitant, Rachel unleashes her power after encouragement from the team. She almost loses control, and seems to be exerting herself, but eventually reigns the dark energy in.
Dick refrains from showing his skills, only saying he has had some combat training and can protect them. Later, Kory tries questioning him to no avail, so she resorts to getting him drunk. Things escalate from there. Even then, Dick remains evasive after.
Two things the Nuclear Family are good at: efficient fighting, and having the right music for their entrances. “Tie a Yellow Ribbon Round the Ole Oak Tree” is not a song I expected to hear on a show like Titans, but boy was it apt for the new Nuclear Dad going home to his “family”.
Also, it’s oddly hilarious how Dr Adamson, their handler/creator, keeps using cooking analogies.
The Nuclears track down the Titans through the car dealership, who gives us the most explicit “family” comparison of the hour. Mum and Dad attack Dick while Biff and Sis find Kory outside Rachel’s room. (Kori sought out Rachel after being pushed away by Dick? LET THEM HAVE THEIR MOMENT.) Kory fares pretty well, holding off the Nuclear kids for her own kids (Rachel and Gar) to run outside. Dick doesn’t have as good a time. He is thrown out of his window – but manages to hold onto his all-important briefcase, though.
The Nuclears rally in the parking lot and start crowding Kory, Rachel, and Gar in. Kory tries to summon her star fire but cannot because it is night. Then, smoke canisters roll in, distracting the Nuclear Family. Robin steps out of the smoke and begins taking down the assassins. Gar is excited to recognise the well-known vigilante. He joins in the battle. Rachel follows shortly. Kory still has her karate chops. Together, they overpower the Nuclear Family.
Ultimately, it is Rachel that Dick opens up to. She approaches him after he reveals himself as Robin. Dick confides in her that he can’t control his brutality as Robin, but no matter how hard he tries, he can’t put the suit away. The two commiserate over their dark personas.
I make it no secret that I like how the show is building Dick and Rachel’s relationship, between Dick’s protectiveness and their mutual understanding of each other and their ghosts. There was a soft moment earlier when Rachel’s demon persona was taunting her in the mirror, and Dick took it down without question. Dick may not think himself the best guardian, but having Rachel around could do him some good.
While interrogating the Nuclear Family, Dick begins to suspect they are brainwashed. He eventually goes to Adamson’s penthouse. Adamson kills the Nuclears by remotely detonating bombs inside their heads. He then tells Dick that since he has failed to apprehend Rachel and has been discovered, “the organisation” will soon eliminate him. He concedes that this “organisation” is sorta working for Rachel’s father, but reveals no more than that. Sure enough, masked agents suited up like a SWAT team show up. They take Adamson out and are overwhelming Dick when smoke canisters roll in again. Once again, Robin appears – the new Robin. It’s Jason Todd!
Jason’s entrance pretty much stole the entire episode. And the trailer for next week definitely has my attention. That’s not to say this episode wasn’t great, though. It had some stellar moments and great lines:
- “So have you eaten anyone before?” – Dick after seeing Gar transform.
- “I can’t get your boots off.” – Dick, about five seconds away from getting it down with Kory.
- “Danny has two mums, why can’t we?” – Biff on getting a new father.
- “Aw shit, Dick’s gonna think I did it.” – Kory, upon finding the decimated bodies of the Nuclear Family, after promising Dick not to kill anyone.
Too excited for the next episode? Our Titans tag will tide you over till the next week.
(featured image: DC Universe)