Titans season 2 episode 11, “E.L._.O”, started streaming on 15 November 2019.
I’m not sure what to think of this episode. I’m not sure what the title means, or what it was trying to accomplish. Which is strange, because this is the first Titans has felt odd and lost.
In summary, Bruce Wayne gathers Rachel, Kory, Donna, and Dawn through some really weird and indirect means to an abandoned diner to tell them to fix the Titans. Dick’s subconscious “Bruce” talks himself into breaking out of prison. Mercy experiments on Gar. Jason and Rose hang out near Gotham.
This season has done a good job weaving in and out of different subplots, until this week that is. Each scene jump felt abrupt. Anyway, let’s work through it.
Birdie’s grown up
Since he aided the escape, Dick has been in solitary confinement and not served food. He’s racked up a fever and starts hallucinating his “Bruce” subconscious.
“Bruce” talks about Dick’s visit to Adeline Kane and why Slade didn’t kill Dick there and then. Does Dick really believe they have a truce?
“Bruce” also taunts Dick into realising that punishing himself won’t work. He is “not Robin” any more but a “bird of prey”. During this time Dick thinks he is sparring against Bruce but in reality is training in his cell. He also sees a crow in his small slit of a window, which feels significant but the episode doesn’t elaborate on it.
In his hallucination/rumination, Dick reviews his memories and realises Slade had been signing in the house. Or was Jericho there somehow? Did Adeline mean for Dick to ask for Slade’s forgiveness or Jericho’s?
The realisation stuns him into clarity. Dicks comes to in his cell and sees his shadow with wings on the floor. Nightwing is coming!!!
Calling the Titans
Rachel starts having nightmares in which Dick attends his own funeral, but Deathstroke shows up to kill him. In one nightmare, she tries to reach Dick and has a vision of a diner called Elko when they make contact. Dick tells her not to give up before Deathstroke stabs him.
The girl Rachel met gives Rachel a tarot reading. Rachel’s card say to listen to her subconscious, but she will experience a great loss or make a big sacrifice. This increases her concern for Dick.
(We also learn that the guy Rachel’s loose black thingy killed was the girl’s father, and seems to have been acting on the girl’s wishes.)
Donna gets a frantic call from Rachel. The signal is patchy but she makes out the words ‘Elko’ and ‘diner’. Meanwhile, Dawn is driving back west when she hears a radio ad about said Elko diner. She initially disregards it, but then receives the same patchy call from Rachel and turns onto the road to Elko, Nevada. Kory returns to her penthouse, where the diner ad randomly pops up on her projector.
The ladies gather at the diner and are confused when Rachel claims she didn’t call any of them. Then Bruce Wayne enters, seemingly the one who called them all there. He tells them they need to reunite the Titans because if the Titans can overcome the hard feelings lingering right now, they can go on to overcome anything. Something like that. After he leaves, a static television suddenly airs a news report about Dick helping the refugees escape.
Dawn and Donna decided Dick did this to himself and leave to find Gar. Rachel and Kory storm the prison. The are too late though – Dick is already out, having carved ‘Jericho is alive’ on the wall.
Meanwhile, Rose and Jason have crashed a vacation home on the outskirts of Gotham. Things are nice and all until one of them gets too close to the other’s secrets. Jason strikes a deal – they swap backstories.
He shows Rose the rafters of the high school drama theatre he made his home, having gone through a broken home, foster care, and juvie. “That explains why you’re so dramatic.”
However, Rose is still standoffish and tries to push Jason away. He convinces her to stay by quoting West Side Story and it turns out they are both theatre nerds, I mean thespians.
Later while alone, Rose gives Slade a call to say that she wants out from his plan. WHOA whoa whoa. Judas contract alert! So she was in on this? Did she already know what happened to Jericho? Does she actually know Jericho? And if she’s only quit now, does that mean Slade still has something up his sleeve?
Elsewhere, Cadmus operates on Gar’s brain to figure out who the Titans are. Mercy also conducts an experiment in which Gar sees himself in Titans tower with “Rachel” and he shifts, killing her (a lab tech in real life). I get extracting the Titans’ identities, but what was that all about??!
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