This week picks up with our four principal characters all together, on the run, and trying to put the pieces together to figure out who is coming after Rachel and what they want with her. They know the Nuclear Family is still pursuing her and Dick says they need to learn to fight as a team if they’re going to stand a chance. Oh yeah, Gar probably should have known they were on the run from assassins before he decided to throw in his lot with the Titans. Oh well. Yeah, Gar, there’s assassins. Now you’re up to speed.
Dick finds an abandoned barn for them all to demonstrate their powers and learn each other’s moves, the first step to fighting side by side. Starfire burns a hole in the wall with a column of flame, Gar transforms into a Tiger – which everyone has to admit is pretty damn cool – and with some coaxing Rachel unleashes her soul self or whatever we’re calling that black eldritch power that lurks within her. When it’s Dick’s turn, he demures. Kory, “What do you do?” Dick, “I keep you all safe.”
As they all settle into their respective rooms at the motel where they’re temporarily holing up, Kory comes to Dick’s room to try to get his secrets out of him with the help of tequila. She needs him to open up with her about what his deal is. This friendly interrogation leads to sex, but with Dick’s past still a frustrating mystery.
It’s only after they’ve gone their separate ways for the night that the the Nuclear Family shows up with their new Dad, all amped up on “vitamins” and looking to beat the snot out of anyone who comes between them and capturing Rachel for their mysterious boss. In the ensuing fight, each member of our troubled group of young heroes has to bring their unique powers into the mix, and we see our beloved Titans for the first time this season fighting side-by-side, including Dick, who after temporarily being knocked out of commission pops back into the fray in full Robin mode. The threat is neutralized. The Nuclear Family gets tied to chairs in the motel and submits to interrogation in an oddly docile, chirpy way, though they’re unable to provide any useful intelligence to the Titans. The family’s GPS, however, leads Dick back to Chicago and the Omelette Man.
Omelette Man pushes the button that remotely explodes the Nuclear Family’s heads, then informs Dick that the dark, mysterious bosses that control Omelette Man are due to come and murder them both, now that his little Murder-and-Breakfast operation has been compromised. A team of professional killers shows up in all-black SWAT gear, kills the sinister chef, and gets the drop on Dick as well. They’d probably have killed him if not for the smokebomb-assisted entrance of another vigilante who takes out the bad guys with no mercy. He introduces himself as the New Robin.
Amidst all of this, I’m afraid Omelette Man’s crepes have burned.
- Maybe it’s growing up in the ’80s and ’90s, but I still love it whenever a comic book superhero adaptation is unambiguous about everyone being aware of the existence of other heroes. When Dick leaps onto the scene in costume, Rachel and Garfield both immediately exclaim, “You’re Robin!” Later Gar asks, “Will we get to meet Batman?”
- Oh, I’m so glad this is the episode where we get past Dick being all secretive about being Robin.
- We don’t see the Nuclear Family’s heads actually explode, but the show did surprise me by cutting to a shot of their bodies still tied upright in their chairs with bloody, meaty stumps on top.
- Gar’s little side conversation with Rachel about what it’s like when he’s using his powers was nice. I like these two together, being friends. If we’re going to cast young with these roles, then – to paraphrase Robin – it’s nice to see them get the chance to be kids.
- The way they have the whole Nuclear Family gang talk is so effective at creating a surreal, creepy vibe. There was a bit where Omelette Man was bitching out some underlings where I briefly wondered if it was bad acting, but no he’s just a brainwashed weirdo just like his underlings. Robin has seen stuff like this in Gotham. Robin has seen a lot of WEIRD SHIT in Gotham.
Next time: “I’m seein’ double! FOUR Robins!”