REVIEW: Titans, S2E8 – Jericho

titans 208 jericho review

This week’s Titans takes place entirely in flashback, though we’re left to assume the story of Jericho (guest star Chella Man) is being relayed by Dick (Brenton Thwaites) to the rest of the team in the wake of recent events. Over the course of 48 minutes, young Jericho loses faith in his father and finds it in Dick – only to be let down by both in the end.

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They’re judging you, Dick.

Much like “Conner,” this episode is powerful on its own and well-acted, which nuanced and heartbreaking performances from Chella Man and Esai Morales. This is the first chance either actor has gotten to really dive deep into their characters, and they both deliver. The only problem is that once again, Titans spends the entire episode ruminating on the past without really pushing the story forward. There are moments where it would make sense to check in on the younger team – especially Jason, whose life has hung in the balance half the season – and see how they’re processing Dick’s information.

But instead, we are treated to several scenes of Dick deliberating with Dawn (Minka Kelly) whether or not he should use Jericho against his father. Pumping a teenager for information about his assassin dad isn’t the nicest plan in the world, but it also doesn’t feel like the point of no return – which is exactly what Titans wants it to be. If we didn’t know it ended with Jericho’s alleged death, it wouldn’t be nearly as big of a moral dilemma. On the other hand, the moment in which Dick and Dawn admitted their intentions to Jericho and welcomed him to the Titans was truly lovely. Jericho showcasing his unique powers of possession by making Hank (Alan Ritchson) happened to be a highlight, but also potential foreshadowing for how he might still be alive in the present.

titans 208 jericho donna

Stay away from his son, or he’ll… stab him.

Dawn interpreting Jericho’s sign language was another nice touch, especially since the show laid out exactly how he lost the ability to speak in the first place. The fraught dynamic between father and son helps explain a lot about Deathstroke, and even hints at how he wound up an assassin in the first place. Even Slade’s relationship with his wife, and her aversion to his life yet attraction to him, are fodder for interesting exploration in the future. And yet there are still plenty of questions – such as how and when Rose was even born – left to answer. We can’t waste another entire episode in flashbacks, but hopefully Titans drops some more hints along the way.

The tragic climax of the episode was where “Jericho” fell apart a little for me. After Dick gives Jericho his blessing to meet with his father one last time, said father makes a pitstop in order to nearly kill Donna (Conor Leslie). Because of this, Dick decides to follow Jericho and have his own showdown with Deathstroke – or was that something he would have done regardless? Either way, the two veterans duke it out at an empty church while the ingenue hides in the pews. Then, just as Deathstroke is about to deliver the killing blow, Jericho stands in the way Mercutio-style and gets stabbed instead.

While it is true that Jericho only stood between Slade and Dick because of his feelings for both, that is not a responsibility that rests on Dick’s shoulders. Of course, it’s natural for him to blame himself; that’s what a hero does. But for the rest of the team to blame him as well and jump ship seems a little extreme. And yet that’s exactly what happens, with the exception of Donna leaving a forwarding address. Also: while it makes sense that Slade might be too shaken up to act in the moments following his son’s death(?), how did he allow Dick or any of the other Titans to live for years following that incident? They had to come back to Chicago to remind him of his grudge? But those are questions for another episode, hopefully one that remembers last season’s heroes still exist. This episode was a strong outing for the Wilson family, and one that gave them much more depth than the rest of the season combined.

Titans drops new episodes every Friday on the DC Universe streaming service.