Titans – Atonement review S2 E9

Dick tries to make good for all his wrongs involving the Titans’ tragedies, but atonement isn’t anything he finds this episode. And an early N.W.A. song seems to be the underlined theme of this one as the Titans all fall down. 

This was a complicated, character focused-episode that splits the team up yet again. Unlike the previous season, this split feels justified and not simply a means to keep them apart. There’s some harsh feelings all around so after Dick’s confession, the team walking off makes sense. Only Kori and Gar stay behind, but Kori immediately leaves after getting an urgent text from Faddei.

Kori’s sister Blackfire (Damaris Lewis, BlackKklansman) has seized the throne and Faddei barely escaped. With the kingdom in jeopardy, Kori is prepared to return home, but Blackfire infects Faddei with some virus that allows her to take control of his body. Kori realizes it after the conversation takes a weird change and knowing there’s no hope for her friend/ex-lover, incinerates him. Blackfire appears and drops the bombshell that she’s killed their parents and has a new family now. Does this mean Titans is going to introduce the Citadel next season? Probably, since Blackfire destroyed Kori’s ship and stranding her on Earth for the time being.

titans atonement review - kori

Hank took Dick’s news the hardest, punching Dick and walking off with Dawn. The two try to start their life in Wyoming over again, but some things just can’t get patched together with another trip to Home Depot. In a Doom Patrol-like scene with Hank and Dawn seeing “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” in a karaoke bar, which made the dubbed in recording that much more obvious. That was just a weird scene all around as it’s no longer impressive that Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly can sing if it’s a recording. It’s not like them wowing the locals at the bar by singing couldn’t have led to the confrontation with Ellis’ sister. The fallout from that confrontation made Hank decide he needed to split from Dawn and try to score some drugs at the local bar. Oh Hank…you were doing so well.

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The one bright spot (at first) is Gar, who’s left holding the fort down at Titans Tower. Gar is full of optimism and exuberance despite having no real plan on how to get the team back together. When Conner wakes up, he’s got someone to kick it with leading to some funny moments. Eventually we see why Gar wasn’t the leader as he fails miserably in preventing the well-meaning Conner from attacking police officers making an arrest.

Conner goes off remembering his last encounter with Mercy’s hit squad and creating some major damage and destruction. Like an actual teen would do in this situation, Gar runs off instead of trying to fix it.

I wanted more from the Donna/Rachel scene as she just abruptly walked out of the cab. Did Rachel just get annoyed with Donna placing all the blame on Dick or have some other realization? We probably could have cut one of the Conner/Gar scenes to follow this up.

titans atonement review - rachel and donna

This was all solid spotlight moments on the Titans, but easily the episode highlight was Dick apologizing to Adeline only to come face to face with Slade. Maybe I didn’t hear Adeline right, but in her blow-off of Dick’s apology it sure seemed like she said you can try ” them” and not “him,” right? Is Jericho within Slade now? I’m still not convinced he’s truly dead yet. Slade did tell Dick if the Titans ever come together again even for the weekend he’ll kill them.

Understanding that wasn’t a weak threat, Dick goes to the airport to get out of town, the country and as a far away from people as possible.

So the real question is why Dick attacked the police? Is it that deep seated knowledge that the only place he can keep the Titans safe and apart is in prison? Not even Greenland would be far enough away if they really needed him. But can prison really contain Batman’s protege?

Atonement starts off on a heavy note before offering some hope with Gar, before descending to a very dark place for the team.

Rating: 8 out of 10

Photo Credit: DC Universe

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