In a lot of ways E.L._O. played out like your typical episode of Doom Patrol as there was a lot more quirky shenanigans than what I’ve come to expect from Titans. Switching up the formula ultimately proved to be a smart call for an episode with a pair of huge bombshells. Turns out I was only kinda right on a few of the major plot points of this season, which I appreciate so much more than being able to predict how everything turns out.
Two seasons in now and it’s clear that if Titans has a weak spot it’s the episodes when the team is split up. These characters play off of each other better than on their own and there’s only so much screen time per episode to tackle everyone’s subplot. This time the only ones left out in the cold were Conner and Hank.
Rachel was with her runaway friend who dabbles in tarot cards. Anyone else think it was more than a coincidence that The Hanged Man card looked like comic version Jericho? Rachel’s also having nightmares again — this time of Deathstroke killing Dick at his graveside. Slade is nothing if not thorough. When she learned something killed her pal’s father, Rachel decided it was time to skip town and a seemingly random glitch at the bus station directs her to Elko.
Donna and Dawn also have these odd occurrences about Elko as well. Kori is busy trying to have some mindless distraction sex with a psychiatrist whose superpower is clearly unrivaled restraint given the way Kori was clawing all over him.
I feel like I haven’t said this enough this season, but while the effort to get the classic comics hairstyle right was appreciated, Kori looks so much better with the modern comic straight hair appearance. Her hair was distracting last season as it just screamed bad wig, but this season it fits Anna Diop’s portrayal of Kori.
Eventually Dawn, Kori, Donna and Rachel meet up at this mysterious diner where maybe Bruce Wayne found a way to bring them together to reunite the team. Now the real question was that really Bruce or did the rest of the Titans have a shared hallucination? Either way it didn’t totally work as Dawn and Donna head out to find Gar leaving Rachel and Kori to track down Dick. Yep, there was literally no way I could write that without hearing a snickering sixth-grader reading that out loud.
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Jason has been hanging out with Rose and they’re starting to get close despite Rose’s continued efforts to maintain some distance. Like I wondered a few reviews back before waffling and changing my mind, Rose actually is Slade’s mole and has been working with him to destroy the Titans from within. Now, she’s out and doesn’t want to keep playing his game. I like it.
That’s a pretty effective way to adapt The Judas Contract. Both the Titans and Young Justice Season 3 found some clever ways to change up the story enough to be fresh for longtime fans without ruining the integrity of the classic Teen Titans’ arc.
Dick has another fever dream/hallucination about Bruce. And once again it’s to ultimately get him on the right path. Hallucination Bruce’s tough love scenes are always where Iain Glen stands out in his take on Bruce Wayne. He wants Dick to stop punishing himself and remember his conversation with Adeline.
On this front, I did hear/see it correctly. Hallucination Bruce recalled Dick’s memory that Slade was signaling before he threatened to kill the Titans. Jericho is alive and is inside Slade!
That was all the motivation Dick needed and he engineers his own breakout. He probably should have given his pals more of a heads up so Kori and Rachel didn’t have to bust in the prison and fight off prison guards to get his message that Jericho is Alive.
I’m very curious as to the ultimate plan for Jericho. Cadmus has had some success with cloning. Maybe that’s why they’ve been such a focus this season beyond the obvious gateway for Conner?
Speaking of, Cadmus and Mercy are up to some awful things with Gar first with some brain surgery and then triggering his tiger transformation to kill a Cadmus doctor. Mercy legit has none to watch the doctor literally get mauled. I was hoping Cadmus’ screwing around with Gar would unlock his abilities to transform into other animals.
E.L._O started off kinda weird, but ultimately found solid footing as the Titans begin to re-assemble to deal with multiple threats. Last week wasn’t my favorite episode this season and this one got the momentum back on track. Good thing I can watch another episode of The Mandalorian instead of impatiently waiting for next Friday now.