Last week, we saw Gar and Rachel take sanctuary with Doom Patrol post-covenant break out while Dick and Kory did their best to find their charge. After some exposition via flashback and some darkly disturbing magic and medical procedures, Rachel was reunited with her protectors and Gar said good bye to Robotman, Elasti-Girl, and Negative while The Chief pondered his new circumstances.
The longest roadtrip in the DC Universe now continues.
***As always, this recap has all of the spoilers.***
Rough Days Ahead
Mysterious Midwestern a.k.a. the cult leader in charge of the Nuclear Family is seen taking phone calls and making omelets, although one of the eggs contains a chicken embargo. While that is in fact a delicacy in some regions, him taking an egg whisk and pulverizing the poor thing still seems in poor taste.
Elsewhere, we see a minivan drive up to a motel and Gar laments the loss of the Porshe. Dick is also lamenting the change, but he has to be the team dad and make sure everyone is comfortable and safe. Kory, as acting team mom, points out a nicer motel is down the road but Dick is sticking to the facts of security and settles the manner. Dick goes in to check-in and gets four room close to each other and he makes small talk with the front desk. Front desk lady recommends a pizza place down the street and that if Dick has any problems with the ice machine, he should definitely hit up Room 101… It’s as subtle as I’m making it sound.
Dick gets everyone in the same room and goes back to the Batfamily lingo and asks everyone to determine what’s “mission critical.” While Kory questions the use of “we,” Dick rightfully points out that there are some bad folks coming after them. Kory continues to nitpick the terminology, Gar has questions about the group chasing him and the show is back to having the characters provide vague non-answers. Dick calls for a team building exercise.
Conveniently, there’s an empty farmhouse perfect for showcasing different abilities of different superheroes right near by. When no volunteers, Dick calls on Kory for the first demonstration. Kory muses about her abilities, thinking they are derived from the sun making her closer to a firebender than a traditional Tamaraneans, but maybe that’s because she doesn’t understand her powers well enough yet. She proceeds to light up a tractor. Gar is up next although he’s wearing his favorite jacket and has to strip down before he “shows off” his shape changing prowess.
It takes a moment, but sure enough a green tiger appears from behind some heystacks. Dick, despite having exposure to super powers, seems particularly shook by this particular skill set. When Rachel is asked to showcase, Dick gives some minor encouragement to let out the darkness within. The creepy music starts playing, the dark viscera starts spewing into black clouds and things become worrisome enough that Kory has to ignite the flames. Rachel asks for a second to recoup and Dick slowly realizes how much he’s bitten off more than he can chew. When Gar ask what Dick can do, Dick despite being a trained acrobatic, martial artist, and detective with military grade tech does not show off any of these things.
Meanwhile in Illinois at as Agnews Asylum, Mysterious Midwesterner a.k.a. Cultist Leader want his medical research to be going a lot smoother than the current results are showing. He’s shown a test subject on some monitors who are seen strapped in and screaming. The doctor explains that the hallucinogens the patient is on is presenting the deepest, darkest parts of him to himself and I’d probably be screaming too. Cultist Leader asks “how long until he’s cooked,” to which the evil doctor responds “within the hour.” And the Cultist Leader is happy with Nuclear Family – Dad V2.0.
Dad 2.0 takes a cab to his new house and Mom V1.0 hides some old family portraits. Son V1.0 asks why they can’t have two moms and I have so many questions about the line given literally everything in the world, but we’re just going to go back to the Nuclear Family’s nuclear dynamic.
Dad 2.0 wants to go right back on the road with the family and they go to a car dealership with a particular Porsche that the salesman warns is too small. Mom is insistent on the Porsche, and the Titans’ minivans. Son and Daughter get some metal instruments from a scrap heap and we cut away to Daughter with blood stains and Mom with a trusty Tide stick to clean it away. Dad 2.0 has more supplements and they head back out on the road.
Back with the Titans, Gar and Rachel have a heart to heart outside, making sure the other is okay with the current situation and with their current suite of powers. Gar asks Rachel to close her eyes insisting that he won’t do anything weird, or *that weird*, and paints Rachel a word picture. The two seem to be good for each other.
In a different section of the parking lot, Kory and Dick are doing their own bonding over Gar and Rachel’s bonding. Of course, the conversation quickly sours when Kory brings up the whole End of Days prophecy thing, but Dick seems skeptical and just wants to protect Rachel. Dick makes some weird side commentary about turning them into weapons and Kory picks up on Dick’s weird wording and rightfully interrogates Dick’s “civilian contracting.” I’m just glad Kory is constantly calling Dick out on his bullshit. Yet before Dick can interrogate himself, he calls it quits for the night and mentions how they’re leaving first in the morning.
Rachel enjoys a sitcom in her room before getting ready to sleep but not before having a chat with Dark-Raven with the typical doom and gloom. Dick, being a good team dad, takes the mirror off the wall and faces it away from Rachel with any questions. Rachel has questions about power control and demands that Dick actually be a team player and do the goddamn things he is capable of.
Gar is up playing mobile games and Kory is at the liquor store. Shopkeeper offers cheap beer for partying, whisky for drinking, and Kory goes for tequila leaving a generous tip. Dick, in his underwear, is doing his nightly hygiene routine when Kory comes in with tequila. It’s a simple plan: get Dick drunk and have him spill his secrets. The two resume their conversation and their “bonding.” Again, it’s even less subtle than I’m making it sound.
Post-bonding, Kory plays coy and Dick is being his usual stoic self and wow, no one seems to know how to communicate effectively with another person outside of Gar and Rachel. Kory heads back to her room, running into front desk lady who proceeds to knock on Dick’s door. Dick’s awkward and this time metaphorically caught with his pants down. You have to wonder if they created this Front Desk Lady specifically to make Dick feel more guilty about everything he has ever done in his life.
As Front Desk Lady walks away dejected and Dick closes a door, there’s a commotion outside and Dick sees a split bucket of an eye and then a right-hook to the face. Dad 2.0 and Mom are here to play. Dick see his supersuitcase on the nightstand and goes straight into the skirmish. It’s nice to see Dick actually fight opponents of his relative skill level in a fair-ish fight. He’s also definitely not getting his room deposit back back. Daughter is attacking Kory, and Kory rushes to get Rachel out of the combat zone. Dick loses round 1 and Dad 2.0 and Mom go check on their kids. Son has now joined Daughter in her fight against Kory and things aren’t looking too great at the moment. Son and Daughter are particularly resistant and creative fighters, but Kory manages to meet Gar and Rachel at the parking lot. Unfortunately, so does the Nuclear Family. Kory tries going on the offense, but seems to be literally burnt out.
Cue the smoke canister.
Dic has his gadgets and gear out and at the ready and things start moving quickly. Dick’s in full Robin attire and in take no prisoners mode and it seems like he needed was a bo staff to properly fight off the Nuclear Family. Gar runs off to be a tiger and help and Rachel suddenly gains a fine control of her power to fend off part of the family. The 4v4 decidely looks like it’s in the Titans favor, and the Nuclear Family is captured and questions.
Detective Dick Back on the Case
Dad 2.0 and Mom are being incredibly unhelpful about their relationship with Cultist Leader outside of their objective to deliver Rachel to him. Rachel is busy trying to interrogate Son and Daughter while Gar watches and it’s a wonder Dick left her essentially unsupervised.
Kory tries to take a more… aggressive behavior, but Dick points out the Nuclear Family has been brainwashed and goes to dig around their car for any clues. He finds an old timely GPS (prompting my weekly “what year is this series supposed to be set in” question) and the address to Cultist.
Rachel meets with Dick and asks about the whole Robin thing and Dick lies his way poorly through the entire conversation starting with “When I was in Detroit, I was planning on leaving Robin behind.” Rachel pushes the subject and Dick complains about his lack of control when wearing a mask and if I was there I’d just stare him dead in the eye if I was Rachel with a literal demonic spirit that actually can’t be controlled. Gar joins in and asks about Batman, and Dick assures the team they won’t be meeting the Dark Knight.
Dick tries to head off to meet Cultist Leader solo, but everyone on the team has wizened up to his antics although Dick manages to convince everyone to let him go to Chicago all by himself.
Dick enters a familiar building and makes his way to the Adamson suite up stairs while being monitored by cameras. The nice old lady offers Dick butterscotch and you have to wonder if Dick is actually thinking anything through.
Cultist Leader, watching from his tablet, presses a button and the Nuclear Family all start to hear a little ringing as each of their heads starts lighting up with a red LED and there’s a lot of blood in the aftermath and Kory’s first concern is that Dick is gonna think she did the deed and the fact there are four headless corpses due to cranial explosives.
Dick enters the abode of Cultist Leader a.k.a. Dr. Adamson, and Dr. Adamson calmly explains how everything is about to blow the fuck up. Dick asks if this organization is working for Rachel’s daughter and Dr. Adamson calmly counts down to the tactical assault team swarming in. Dick does his best to fight them off only to be rescued by… Robin?
Oh, so we’re ending this episode with Jason Todd? I’m game with that.
Tune in next week as we continue watching Titans.
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