DC’s Titans Episode 4 premiered on Friday, and introduced audiences to one of more weirder aspects of the DC Universe: the Doom Patrol. As the individual members of the Titans team, Dick Grayson/Robin (Brentow Thwaites), Kory/Starfire (Anna Diop), Rachel Roth/Raven (Teagan Croft), and Garfield Logan/Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) inch closer to joining forces, the DC Universe exclusive show had one more surprise for fans old and new, and the surprise was very welcome.
DC’s Titans Episode 4, aptly titled “Doom Patrol,” picked up seconds after the end of DC’s Titans Episode 3, with Rachel (Croft) on the run after escaping the convent and running into a green tiger in the middle of the woods of central Ohio. The tigers morphs into Gar (Potter), the green haired-boy she met at the roller rink last episode. The two bond over their colored hair, he with the green, she with the purple, and Gar asks Rachel to trust him and he takes her to his home.
Back at the convent, Dick (Thwaites) and Kory (Diop) return to find the church with a huge hole in the side. The nun (Meagen Fay) tells Dick that she was trying to protect Rachel and he and Kory rush off to find her. Meanwhile, Rachel and Gar come across a wounded deer in the woods and confront two drunk hunters who shot it. Rachel exhibits the ability to heal, though she doesn’t realize it.
Gar takes Rachel to his home: a mysterious mansion in the middle of the woods. There, his lets her into his room, which is full of pinball machines, video games, and vintage toys. As they begin to bond, they’re interrupted by Robotman (Jake Michaels, voiced by Brendan Fraser), a hulking animated mech-man with the brain of race car driver Cliff Steele, who crashed and was saved by the mysterious “Chief,” Niles Caulder. Robotman discovers Rachel hiding in the closet and Gar convinces him to let her stay for dinner.
In the kitchen, Negative Man (Dwain Murphy, voiced by Matt Bomer) is making dinner in a fun scene that uses AC/DC’s “Thunderstruck” to good effect. Negative Man is Larry Trainor, an Airforce pilot who flew through some radiation and gained strange powers. He too was recruited by the Chief. Negative Man creates an epic feast, and Gar goes upstairs to summon the last member of the group, Elasti-Girl (April Bowlby), aka Rita Farr, an actress with the power to change her shape. Rita holes herself up in her room watching her old movies while her body rests in a blob-like state. With the guest, she makes herself presentable and joins the others for one of the strangest dinners ever.
The group quickly accepts Rachel, and she them, and just as they begin to bond further, the Chief (Bruno Bichir) appears with a new member. He calls on his team to help him stabilize the frozen girl, and Rachel lends a hand, using her seemingly new-found healing powers. The Chief admonishes Gar for bringing her to the house, but lets her stay, if only to experiment on her.
Back in town, Dick and Kory hear from some local cops of an incident between two hunters and some kids and they track down the hunters and learn of the mysterious old mansion in the woods. They decide to check it out. Dick and Kory arrive just as Rachel goes full Raven on the Chief after he restrained her against her will. Dick is able to calm her down, but only after she has broken the Chief’s back, relegating him to a wheelchair. Dick promises Rachel that he will help her and won’t leave her again, and she accepts. The episode ends with Dick and Kory and Rachel leaving in Dick’s car, and Robotman telling Gar that he should go with them, as he’s young and needs to live his life and not hide out in a house in the woods. Gar climbs into the car and finally, after four episodes, the Titans are all together.
DC’s Titans Episode 4 was written by Geoff Johns, whose love of classic DC Characters is evident by the way he doesn’t try to modernize or over explain the members of Doom Patrol. This is a collective of weird characters who will one day fight crime as a team themselves, and DC’s Titans Episode 4 serves as a soft pilot, as the Doom Patrol will be getting its own series on the DC Universe streaming service very soon. One issue with the script was how easily Gar joined the team. Dick goes from a loner who is trying to offload Rachel on anyone who can take her, to now acting as a father figure to two wayward teens, and with little to no explanation as to why. It was a little too clean for me. Also, Kory was relegated to a background character in this episode, which is a shame, as Anna Diop sizzles on-screen when she’s allowed to.
DC’s Titans Episode 4 was directed by John Fawcett, who did a great job of using licensed music throughout the episode, culminating in the super fun dance scene that Negative Man performs while preparing the food. While the episode is light on action, the overall weirdness of the Doom Patrol and their house was a welcome replacement to back alley fisticuffs.
DC’s Titans Episode 4 was the final chapter of the first “act,” which ended with the team finally all together. The previews for next week’s episode shows Dick begin training his new team, as the mysterious Messenger and the Nuclear Family work to close in on Rachel. Hopefully, the heavy exposition and character building will begin to wane and the action will pick back up, as after four episodes, I’m ready to see some Titans in action!
DC’s Titans is available now on the DC Universe streaming service. The first four episodes are available now and new episodes are released each Friday. All images ©DC Universe/Warner Bros. Video courtesy of TV Promos.