51% was a unique episode of Titans this week largely for the fact that the Titans actually got to win for a change.
They’ve been chasing their tales and 20 steps behind Scarecrow that it felt like he was just going to troll them right up until the season finale. And then the writers would realize it’s only Scarecrow and not Deathstroke or Trigon.
After Jason flexed out of turn and started distributing the fear drug without permission, Crane gassed him out to the point he was barely coherent. This is not good treatment of one’s bodyguard.
Crane meets with the five families of propose a partnership. It was disappointing he didn’t take the time to dress up in his Scarecrow attire for this encounter.
Titans has been a little lazy with characters in costumes like Trigon, Batman and The Joker, but Christopher Nolan provided a simple hack for Scarecrow that proved just as effective.
Hipster Scarecrow just isn’t that frightening.
Still stymied by Crane being able to avoid them, Dick asks Barbara to use Oracle to find Crane. In this continuity, Oracle is an AI complete with voice. That drastically reduces Barbara’s contribution since even Dick can use Oracle.
Also, here’s a thought— why wouldn’t Dick put a tracker on Crane since he knew he couldn’t be trusted? Maybe Jason finds it, but it just makes Dick look silly for the sake of making Crane look smarter.
Speaking of…Crane knows about Oracle and has somehow magically corrupted the system to feed Dick bad intel. At this point it’s beyond ridiculous that Crane knows every strategy the Titans have/will have because Jason was on full snitch mode.
Although Barbara shuts Oracle down, Kory thankfully has other means of tracking down Crane. Kory and Blackfire make a deal with Valeska Nox (Wendy Crewson), one of Crane’s mob partners.
Dick gets sanctimonious after learning of the deal, but he didn’t have such qualms when asking Barbara to use something the Justice Department ordered shut down.
Valeska wants her son back and after a heartfelt plea to help Gotham, he agrees to go home…just to get shot in the head. Turns out sonny boy was gonna spill family secrets.
Maybe Valeska should have a “talk” with Jason? Kory is not happy she contributed to this innocent guy’s death and promptly ignites Valeska. This isn’t standard superhero justice, but it’s completely justified and doesn’t make Kory look like an idiot.
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Blackfire explains she killed their parents because they were fine sacrificing her to restore the peace on Tamaran sorta like Valeska and her son.
Gar appears to track down another of Jason’s hiding spots — a drawer — with some info. Dick has really been written as fully incompetent this season. Would he really not look through all the drawers in Jason’s room? Also, Titans really needs to do more with Gar’s powers.
Now that they’ve tracked Crane down, it’s time for the Titans to get into action — and they’ve got a new recruit. Kory offers Blackfire a fresh start and gauntlets that create a costume for her. Conner approves. This flirting with Blackfire and Conner has been surprisingly fun.
While he’s predicted every possible outcome, Crane is shocked one of his mob partners would give him up. For the first time in the season, he’s actually rattled. And with Jason still too doped up to help him, he’s got to exit stage left pronto.
Granted the mission was to stop Crane from mass producing his fear drug, but no one had the specific job of finding/capturing him? Bad strategy Dick.
No time to mope about that though. The Titans can celebrate stopping Crane from mass producing his fear drug. Gotham streets are safe again! Well, probably not.
Barbara heads out, but gets “lost” long enough for Dick to find her and for them to hook up. Hopefully, they remember to close the door.
Gar follows up on the note in Jason’s room and knocks on a door. Molly greets him with a gun. In fairness, it was 3 in the morning. Maybe call ahead, Gar? He says they both want to help Jason and he needs her help.
Yeah, so not at all invested in Jason’s redemption at this point. Aside from killing Hank, he’s spilled every Titans secret worth having. There’s no saving him now unless he sacrifices himself for another Titan.
- So no follow-up on Tim’s dad, huh? He really wasn’t necessary this season.
- What is Crane’s plans for the facial scan of Barbara? And was that something he couldn’t have done through Oracle?
- Has anyone let Raven know what’s going on? Seems like she’d be very useful in making Crane confront his own fears.
- With the Titans temporarily relocated, has the crime rate in San Francisco skyrocketed?
51% had some nice action sequences and a badly needed win for the Titans. It might be time to start introducing another villain for the second half of the season now.
Rating: 8 out of 10
Photo Credit: HBO Max
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