DC’s Titans Episode 7 dropped on Black Friday on the DC Universe online service, and it was fitting date for this episode, as DC’s Titans went dark. Very dark. There were two instances of a guy getting his throat slit open graphically — the same guy actually — many scenes of torture, both mental and psychological, and even some male nudity. Not exactly holiday fare. DC’s Titans Episode 7 picks up seconds after last week’s episode ended, and then it went downhill from there.
DC’s Titans Episode 7, titled “Asylum” opens with the aftermath of Dr. Adamson (Reed Birney) telling Kory (Anna Diop) that he would only speak to Rachel (Teagan Croft). Rachel begs Dick (Brenton Thwaites) to let her talk to Adamson alone and Dick reluctantly agrees. Rachel confronts the man who has seemingly orchestrated the hunt for her that has stretched across the entire first season of Titans, and learns many different things, the most important of which is that her birth mother is still alive and is being held in an old asylum. Adamson then tries to prove to Rachel the life-or-death importance of her powers by slitting his own throat, and she heals him like she did the deer back in Episode 4.
Confronted with the realization that Adamson might be right, Rachel decides that she has to go save her mother, even as Dick and Kory argue that it’s obviously a trap. Gar (Ryan Potter) is the only one who supports Rachel, and the two youngest members sneak off on the ill-fated rescue mission while Dick and Kory are investigating the asylum’s security on the Bat — uh — Titans Computer.
As expected, Rachel and Gar are both quickly apprehended when they get the asylum, and when Dick and Kory show up, the younger members are used to force the elder members to surrender. Then things go off the cliff in DC’s Titans Episode 7.
Gar is stripped and thrown into a cage, only to be tortured with cattle prods; Kory undergoes an alien autopsy, without anesthesia, so she’s awake and aware as the surgeons cut into her flesh and fish around in her insides; And Dick is strapped to the same chair that created the second Nuclear Dad, and he is subjected to psychological testing and stress, which begins to break his mind.
While all of this is happening, Rachel is once again confronted by Adamson in his office, as he expounds more on her father and her place in the world. Rachel only wants to see her mother and Adamson refuses, instead telling her that she will heal the world like she healed him. This is where DC’s Titans Episode 7 takes yet another twisted turn; Rachel gets fed up of Adamson’s talking, so she flexes another facet of her powers: that which she heals she can unheal. This causes Adamson’s neck to split open again and as he bleeds out, Rachel takes his key card and researches on his computer where everyone is in the asylum — including her mother.
All the while this is happening, Dick is being tortured, and he awakens in his Robin gear. He begins to be hunted by a hooded figure who turns out to be his younger self (Tomaso Sanelli), who proceeds to beat him up with a stick. We once again get to see the Batcave and the Batmobile, and young Dick continues to beat up Old Dick. Dick finally snaps out of it and finds himself still strapped to the chair, in his normal clothes, and all that never happened.
Rachel finds her mother, Angela (Rachel Nichols), and uses the raven-shaped birthmark last seen in Episode 1 to convince the woman that she’s not a trick by Adamson. Together, mother and daughter escape and begin to free the other Titans. When they free Gar from his cage, the guards rush in and Gar transforms to the tiger and proceeds to bite and gnash his torturers. When he transforms back to his human form, he is distraught that he tried to eat someone, as his mouth and chin glistens with the blood of his enemies. I told you this was a dark episode.
Gar, Rachel, and Angela find and free Dick and Kory and are then confronted by most of the asylum’s security staff. Dick snaps and goes all Jason Todd on them, savagely beating them all with a pipe as the rest of the team watches. Kory tries to calm him down after the fight and Dick tells her to burn the place down — the building and everyone in it. He looks down and sees a puddle and the reflection back at him is of Robin. He watches as the image ripples away, symbolizing the end of the character of Robin. Kory ignites and the Titans flee as a team, with Angela Roth in tow. Outside, as the building burns, Dick watches the Robin suit burn, forever ending that chapter of his life. Robin is dead, long live the original Boy Wonder!
He drops his mask onto the pyre and walks away as the suit burns and the metal “R” symbol melts into a puddle.
DC’s Titans Episode 7 was directed by Alex Kalymnios, and juggling so much plot in the 47 minute run time took a deft hand. The fight scene between Dick and the guards was pretty brutal, and the darkness of the episode, both in visuals and in story was not easy to pull off. Make no mistake, things are decidedly different after this episode. The script by Bryan Edward Hill & Greg Walker does a decent job of giving everyone their moment, with Gar once again getting the short stick. My biggest issue with the script comes from the logic flaw of Dick finding his Robin suit burning outside the asylum. Not once was it shown that his captors had the suit in their possession, and it was clearly established that his time in the suit in DC’s Titans Episode 7 was a hallucination, so having the suit there makes very little sense and serves only for for some forced — and unnecessary — symbolism. This is, without a doubt, my biggest issue with “Asylum,” and that flaw helps keep my overall enjoyment of DC’s Titans Episode 7 to a minimum.
Next week’s DC’s Titans promises yet another classic character — a founding Titan at that! So hopefully, as this season begins to wind down and focus on a resolution, the darkness and gore can be replaced with more optimism and fun, as DC’s Titans is at its best when it focuses more on the fantastical and less on the F bombs and slit throats. Check back next week for our review and recap of DC’s Titans Episode 8, titled “Donna Troy.”
DC’s Titans is available now on the DC Universe online service and on Netflix in international markets. All images ©DC Comics/Warner Bros. Video courtesy of TV Promos.