REVIEW: Titans, S1E5 – Together

Though “Together” doesn’t quite match the energy of last week’s “Doom Patrol,” Titans delivers a solid episode with the distinction of being the first time to showcase the hour heroes, well, together. This leads to some great exploration of the various dynamics among Dick (Brenton Thwaites), Rachel (Teagan Croft), Kory (Anna Diop), and Gar (Ryan Potter) even as the mystery surrounding the Nuclear Family’s pursuit of them drags a little.

May the best family win.

Perhaps because he came so highly recommended by Rachel, Gar was accepted into the fold with little to no issues – by the end of the episode it’s as though he has always been there. His bubbly personality offsets Dick’s brooding quite nicely, and adds some appropriate levity to their training-for-doom moments. As for Dick, the others learned that he is no Cisco Ramon in the naming department when he tried to dub Kory and Gar “Sun Woman and Tiger Boy,” but he remained reticent to reveal any other details about his life. This led to one of the major relationship developments of the night: Kory coming to Dick’s room for information and getting something else entirely.

Fans have been expecting romance for these two lost souls since before Titans premiered, both because of their storied comic-and-animated history and because of the promos hinting at it, but it wasn’t until “Together” that any real progress was made on that front. From the playful banter to the heated looks before they engaged in a passionate act of deflection, the escalation sexual tension between was well played out. And while it may have felt a little rushed, it also suited their fiery yet guarded personalities – especially Dick, who still wanted Kory to stay even if he didn’t want to share his story. Neither party explicitly chose to keep the events a secret between them or to forget they occurred, so it’s possible that we will get more glimpses of their burgeoning affair when they’re not busy battling brainwashed family units.

The Nuclear Family took up the rest of “Together,” and as usual their contribution wasn’t nearly as enjoyable to watch as the Titans preparing to fight them was. A few more hints as to their origins are dropped, especially when their creepy boss is shown torturing a poor soul into becoming the new Dad of the household, but no answers are provided as to who sent them after Rachel and why. Considering that Rachel’s father is such a powerful being and such an important presence, it’s surprising that he has yet to appear at the halfway point of the season – and even more surprising that his nature has yet to be uncovered. But mysterious father figures are par for the course on this series, given how skillfully they’ve kept Bruce out of sight but never out of mind.

Nice to meet you, bro.

And, of course, Bruce Wayne was once again the key to unlocking Dick’s identity this week. As much as Dick tried to maintain his Robin persona away from his new friends, he was forced to don it once more for the sake of the most poorly-lit fight of all time, which earned a humorous “I’d really like to meet Batman” comment from Gar. Once his secret powers (or lack thereof) are exposed to the team, he lowered his defenses slightly and explained why he was so desperate to get away from daddy dearest. Knowing that he doesn’t like the violent side that emerges when he wears his costume helps put most of his previous actions into perspective – although of course his decision to beat the hunter senseless last week was not motivated by any Bird identity and still needs to be explored. “Together” ended with yet another piece of the Bat family emerging: the appearance of Dick’s replacement, Jason Todd. Dick’s mission to uncover more about the Nuclear Family was co-opted by assassins, and Jason saw fit to lend his adopted brother a hand in dispatching them. Of course, this means that Bruce is still keeping a watchful eye and that Dick will probably be none too happy about that.

While Dick was dealing with his own family troubles, Kory was left with the aftermath of the Nuclear Family’s Suicide Squad-style bombs going off to prevent them from providing any answers about Rachel. She was mostly frustrated that Dick might accuse her of murder, but viewers may feel more annoyed by the purposeful prolonging of any insight into the chase. But as light as Titans is on overarching plot at the moment, it makes up the difference with dynamic character interactions and meticulously choreographed fight scenes (when we can see them). Hopefully the slowburn in the first half means a well-placed climax in the second.

New episodes of Titans are released every Friday on the DC Universe streaming service.