Titans – Purple Rain review S3 E13

Titans’ third season finale had its share of eye rolling moments, but no heroes were killed by light posts. That’s progress. OK, that’s needlessly harsh. And to call an episode Purple Rain and not even license it, is one of the biggest mistakes in a season full of them. That had just about the right amount of harshness, no?

Despite the insanely convoluted journey of nonsense character decisions and a villain that could get taken out with one punch (one punch!) at least this incredibly rocky season had a satisfying conclusion.

But first, there’s still some ridiculousness to wade through.

V must have been off sick for the past few days as now Crane’s Gotham Police officers are forcing her to lead them to Barbara tucked away at the Oracle chamber. Turns out Barbara, a super genius with a photographic memory, needs to do better background checks. V actually works for ARGUS. Oh, and Roy Harper says hi. That’s right. Titans hasn’t managed to butcher Roy yet. There’s still hope for Season 4!

Reducing Barbara to being a borderline incompetent police chief instead of the hub of information and data in Gotham as Oracle was a bad idea on paper that somehow was executed worse. This is the problem with the CW Verse tech/hacker ace trope. When Titans brings in the genuine article whose prowess with computer never comes off as a superpower it’s been overused.

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It’d been better to just have Barbara as Oracle as a police commissioner who has zero loyalty and her right hand woman is undercover for another agency. Of course, Titans can’t get any of the comic characters done properly this season so why would Barbara/Oracle be any different?

Let’s catch up with the Titans, shall we?

Gar is exhausted and thoroughly spent after changing into an animal a fraction of the size of a tiger. The writers try and explain it’s because of the hive mind of bats. Now that’s new. But still, a tiger should be far more taxing than a bat.

After he helps Donna by roundhouse kicking one of the infinite army of corrupt Gotham cops working for Crane, Momma Drake decides Tim should stay to help protect the city. The show has had its share of wholly unrealistic events, but this is probably the new clubhouse leader. No mother is saying that in any situation.

Blackfire’s actually OK that Conner sabotaged her ship. This feels like something that probably would and should have been an issue if it didn’t happen the episode before the season finale. Kory says she’s done with this BS, but it’s unclear if she was talking about the whole Komand’r/Conner relationship or Titans Season 3?

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Dick and Jason are in the not Batmobile. Say, why wouldn’t Dick have taken that out at least once this season? Seems like a more effective way to get around Gotham than a motorcycle. Dick suddenly realizes taking Jason back to the Titans could start a war. Wait, did Jason kill Gar’s parents while he was brainwashed by Crane? And is Crane actually Hydra too? Whoa. 

Because he’s amazing at everything until he’s not, Crane somehow hacks Barbara’s communication to Dick warning of the killer gas bombs he’s planted around the city. He blows one up…from the Batcave, mind you, so it’s all seven shades of ridiculous when Crane is strutting along the Gotham streets wearing a gas mask surveying all the people he’s killed. When exactly did Bruce make the Batcave subway accessible again?

Oh look, Dick is back with the Titans and the writers couldn’t even be bothered to have a proper reunion with Dick and Donna. They’ve had 13 episodes to work with and things still feel rushed.

Conner and Komand’r are also at Titans mission control too despite last episode saying F the Titans. Conner gets why Dick did what he did (glad someone does) and they’re all good. All of the subplots are careening towards a simple resolution at breakneck speed here. 

The genius plan this time is to bring the Lazarus pit to the city to resurrect all of Crane’s victims. Great, let’s start with the halls of Wayne Manor. There’s gotta be enough Hank DNA to work with, right?

Also, the Gotham mayor is literally the worst. There’s thousands of bodies lying on the streets and the mayor is just like ‘Trash and recycling pickup is tomorrow.’ No wonder Bruce Wayne went to his mysterious castle to burn himself. There’s no telling when someone would come get him if he did it in Gotham. 

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Oh look, Crane is robbing Riddler’s shtick and trying to get the Titans to decipher his riddles. And he’s somehow back at Wayne manor. Apparently, the Gotham Metro system is far more reliable than trash pickup. 

Now it’s time to do something so radical they could never have attempted it when they first learned Crane was at Wayne Manor. It’s time to take the property back! Dick wants Gar to infiltrate as a bat while he’s got Jason feigning like he’s still #TeamHoodCrow. And Tim has to give Gar the code for Bruce Wayne’s personal alarm system. Good thing Tim knew about Selina Kyle. 

Scratch that whole needing Oracle thing. Tim is far more invasive with people’s privacy to know Selina was the one that got away. 

Nightwing makes his once every three episode appearance in costume to take down Crane’s guards at Wayne Manor. Titans needs more costumed action. It’s easily one of the things it does best.

Jason won’t go confront Crane with the others, but asks Dick to tell the Titans he’s sorry. Dick replies with “Thank you Jason.” Is that for killing Hank? Running Dawn off in grief? Destroying the Wayne family portrait? It’s easy to get lose track since Jason did so many positive things for Dick this season. 

Raven and Blackfire (with Starfire looking on for moral support) are collecting the Lazarus Pit essence into a ball to send to the Gotham skies. They carefully step over the Gotham citizens who are taking littering to a new extreme here. It’s a $250 fine to drop your dead body on the streets of Gotham folks. 

No one checked the weather and a lighting storm flares up, but Donna’s all good. She tosses her very magic lasso in the sky and casually absorbs the lightning. OK, Donna getting killed by sparks was stuuuuuupid. This was less dumb even if the logistics of snaring one lightning bolt didn’t make sense. 

The purple rain falls from the sky — shouldn’t that have been green rain? — and the dead Gotham citizens wake up and get on with their lives. And no doubt disappointed that the Knights found a way to lose again last night. 

Nightwing, Tim and Gar confront Crane and Tim gets the honor of knocking Crane out. Sigh. That should have happened to Crane about six episodes ago.

Dr. Ari gets a selfie with the Titans and tells Blackfire he’s found a way to replicate her ship. They’re doing crazy things with 3D printers these days…

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Bruce is back in Gotham and Dick brought Jason back to talk things out. Jason is sorry for everything. Bruce is sorry for…trying to get Jason some help with Leslie? It’s confusing. 

V wants Donna to come work with her and maybe form The Outsiders with Roy. Did this season really spend eight episodes without Donna being with the Titans only to have her show up at the tail end just to leave again? Ugh. 

Dick is ready to leave Gotham behind. Does this mean Bruce is back as Batman? Which Rogue Gallery member will he kill next? Barbara asks if she needs to worry about Red Hood.

The correct answer is yes, you need to go after this criminal who gunned down criminals and was an accomplice to Crane’s crazy plans, Police Commissioner Gordon. No wonder all her officers became bad guys. Dick tells her it’s no big deal as ‘we’ve made our peace.’  Apparently the Titans membership includes a one free get out of jail card. 

It’s time to finally abandon this season. Instead of a trip on Bruce’s jet, Dick got a souped up RV for a road trip. Gar is down for the fun, but Kory is not looking forward to multiple hours on the road with Krypto. Conner and Komand’r have their romantic farewell before she heads to Tamaran.

Surprisingly, Blackfire doesn’t give Kory her old power back. So does this mean Starfire is now powerless? Great, the last thing the Titans needed was someone else who didn’t regularly use their powers. Dick invites Tim to join the RV (and the Titans). Does Tim need to check in with his parents, first?

There’s just one more stop. Arkham Asylum so Dick and Raven can pay Crane a visit. Raven shares all the pain and memories she absorbed from The Lazarus Pit inhabitants.

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Crane has been such a twit villain that getting his brain completely scrambled by Raven was amazingly satisfying. And probably the best part of the season by having the Titans actually go hardcore in making sure Crane won’t blab to anyone who’ll listen about all the secrets of the Bat Family. 

That ending doesn’t salvage the season, which steadily went downhill after the third episode. At least it paid off the Crane storyline well even if it underscored how badly the Red Hood arc was botched. Hopefully this was just the series’ absolute low point and Titans will recover with a stronger villain and story arc next season. 

Rating: 6 out of 10

Photo Credit: HBO Max

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