REVIEW: Titans, S2E11 – E.L._.O.

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Titans stretches suspension of disbelief to its breaking point in “E.L._.O.” when it posits that Bruce Wayne managed to gather all the ladies in Elko via subliminal messaging but couldn’t call Gar back in time to prevent a crisis. This is just one of the many inconsistencies present in an episode that winds down a very uneven season. The Deathstroke arc began with such promise that and it’s a shame to see it dissipate before the big climax, but the large number of detours have taken their toll.

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Who is this imposter?

Even the title itself is yet another detour, as there was no need for Bruce (Iain Glen still doing his best with very un-Bruce-like material) to conjure up fake doughnut commercials or static-filled calls to bring the girls to Elko. Especially not when Dawn (Minka Kelly) and Donna (Conor Leslie) decided to turn their back on Dick – so much for the OG Titans – and go save Gar first. Nothing wrong with saving Gar, of course, but that rescue didn’t even happen in this episode. So why waste time not showing it? Surely, Rachel (Teagan Croft) could have dreamed of Dick’s danger and called Kory (Anna Diop) up herself.

Nevertheless, the visit to the Elko restaurant that doesn’t sell doughnuts was good for one thing: a poignant look at how Kory was failing to deal with her sister’s betrayal and Faddei’s death. Diop juggles Kory’s warring emotions, as well as her paralysis over whether she should stay with the friends she found on Earth or avenge her family on Tamaran, with a heartfelt poignancy. And it’s easy to see where that hearts of hers really lies when she agrees to help Rachel without skipping a beat.

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Brother(?) dearest.

Unfortunately, their badass guard-punching duo is all for naught: Dick (Brenton Thwaites) had already escaped by the time they arrived. Needless to say, it rendered half the events of “E.L._.O.” even more irrelevant, but it also suggested that Titans actually sees nothing wrong with Dick’s lone wolf stance. Why found the team in the first place if he’s never going to rely on them? He did leave an important note for them, however, and informed them that “Jericho is alive.” It’s a theory I submitted from the moment Dick and Slade (Esai Morales) had that awkward confrontation at the Wilson house, and now it seems the show is finally following through.

Dick comes to this conclusion after another episode-long consultation with the Bruce Wayne inside his head, who posits that Dick knew all along that Jericho was in Slade. That explains why Dick didn’t kill him when they crossed paths, but it still begs the question of how they can bring him back to life and to his own body. Not to mention where Rose (Chelsea Zhang) even came from, considering that she didn’t seem to exist in the flashbacks.

Speaking of Rose, she and Jason (Curran Walters) have been forming their own little vigilante duo, stopping drug dealers and then breaking into people’s resorts. Though their fast-tracked romance hits the brakes when Jason wants to go instagram official – which already seems like a bad move when you’re in the run from a world-famous assassin and a superhero crew – it still inspires Rose to break ties with her dad even further. Or is it her brother? Either way, it suggests that Rose was previously “in” on the game he was playing with the Titans and now wants out. Considering that all she’s done so far is make out with and then yell at Jason, that doesn’t hold as much weight as it maybe should.

Finally, we get a glimpse of Gar’s (Ryan Potter) sufferings at Cadmus. Mercy Graves treats him as her labrat, sending a doctor in to register to him as “Rachel.” A horrifying scene unfolds, in which she issues a preprogrammed command that sends Gar into tiger mode and has him ripping “Rachel” apart. Mercy’s cold indifference as the doctor is torn limb from limb before her is chilling, and there’s no telling what other monstrosities her Project Rakshasa has in store if Dawn and Donna don’t get there soon.

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