REVIEW: Titans, S2E5 – Deathstroke

titans 205 deathstroke jason

“Deathstroke” kicked off right where “Ghosts” left off, barring one boring pitstop to Titans‘ past last week. With Jason Todd (Curran Walters) in the clutches of Doctor Light and Deathstroke, the rest of the team is at odds over how to get him back. Meanwhile, Kory (Anna Diop) arrives at the Tower to bring some balance to the situation – as well as to help Rachel (Teagan Croft) come to terms with her new powers.

titans 205 deathstroke dick

Better than Batman?

Jason manages to fend for himself for a time by turning on that annoying charm of his and talking Doctor Light’s ear off before knocking the man out and making a run for it. Of course, he doesn’t get very far because Deathstroke is no rookie. He knows Jason is an ace up his sleeve, and he intends to take the Titans for everything they’re worth. What makes him such a great villain, aside from Esai Morales’ steely performance, is his patience for playing the long game. His useless adversary, on the other hand, has done little other than make scenes literally brighter. Which is why the only downside to Deathstroke popping a cap in him when he tries to strike out on his own is that his screen time up then now was a waste.

Nevertheless, Deathstroke’s Light-free plan is what sets up the meat of this Titans episode, which is a huge upgrade from the previous detour. Upon finding Jason’s tracker on Light’s body, the team realize that Slade is looking to trade his daughter Rose for their friend Jason. Thus a philosophical debate on the right course of action ensues, with some heroes like Hank (Alan Ritchson) appropriately voting to throw Rose to the wolf immediately. I say appropriate not because I agree, but because it makes perfect sense for a few characters to react poorly when faced with a crisis. Gar (Ryan Potter), meanwhile, redirects his guilt for going along with Jason’s scheme onto Rachel and attacks her for the violence of her uncontrollable powers. This fight is less ‘appropriate,’ mostly because Gar’s only character trait thus far has been to be understanding of Rachel.

titans 205 deathstroke kory

Light of my life, fire of my lins.

Kory breaks up the debate party with her glorious presence, and she not only takes a firm stance when it comes to protecting Rose, she also gives Rachel a necessary pep talk. Comparing Kory’s abnormally intense powers with Rachel’s is a strong of genius, especially since Rachel has already seen how vicious she can get while using them. It’s unfortunate, then, that a struggle over Rose’s fate leads to Rachel accidentally killing her with said powers. Thank goodness Rose has some regenerative powers of her own, allowing her to remain in a temporary coma while the Titans take the fight to Deathstroke.

The plan to get Jason back appears to have three layers, but only the final one is really well-executed. First, Donna (Conor Leslie), Dawn (Minka Kelly) and Hank wind up at the wrong location with nothing to do. This is because, second, Dick (Brenton Thwaites) sent them to the wrong place so he could turn himself into Deathstroke. Good thing that garbage plan falls by the wayside since, third, Kory comes to save the day as the wild card Deathstroke wasn’t expecting. It’s a nice reminder of how powerful she is, and the fight scene itself is fun to watch – but it would have made the team as a whole look more competent if they had previously shot down Dick’s sacrificial lamb idea by sending Kory in themselves. As it stands, saving Dick leaves Jason falling off a roof. Ergo, he’s in basically the same position he was two episodes ago.

…Unless, of course, some flying clone of Superman drops by to save him next week in an episode entitled “Conner.” Said episode drops – as they always do – this Friday on DC Universe.