Since the beginning, viewers have been waiting to see the Titans team come together. After four episodes of setting up Dick, Rachael, Kory and Gar (as well as some detours), “Together” finally unites our team. With the Titans now together, did the series finally manage to hit its natural stride? To find out we will have dive right into Titans Episode 5, “Together,” so let’s do it!
[Warning: The following review contains several spoilers]
Rachael Roth is the central focus of this series; the story revolves around people searching for her, and it always focuses on where she goes no matter where that is. That being said, she has gotten a lot of focus in the first four episodes, so it was refreshing to see her get less of a spotlight this time. The audience does not really learn more about Rachael or her powers here, but the audience does get to see her connecting more with Gar; their relationship is developing whether it is romantic or otherwise. Also, we get to see Rachael try to control her powers, to use them more directly but she is unable to. It is to the extent that Kory has to stop her from hurting the team. Other than this, Rachael just gets to be a target for the Nuclear Family. I appreciated the lesser focus on Rachael this week, as she has been dominating the show thus far.
Next up, we are looking at Gar, as he is the newest member to our cast having only debuted properly last week. In this episode he is starting to learn more about the other Titans, specifically Rachael. Gar helps to balance out this team with his humor, as he acts like a bright light in a world that is grey. One of my favorite scenes in the episode is when Gar describes to Rachael how he it feels when he changes into a tiger. On that note, when demonstrating his powers at the request of Dick, Gar reveals that his clothes got torn apart the first time he changed. Due to this, he does not want to wreck his favorite jacket which is why he takes off his clothes each time he wants to change. However, it is not explained how Gar changes back into his clothes in the blink of an eye. Now, Gar is definitely the most shocked to discover that Dick is Robin, as it is implied he knows of Batman and Robin. It makes me look forward to seeing where Gar goes from here, and definitely hope he will learn to turn into other animals at some point.
Dick Grayson is good at living up to his namesake in this episode. Dick wants to help guide this band of misfits that he has gathered, but is not sure of the correct approach. Dick attempts to use more military terms, ones that were probably taught to him by Batman, which the team laughs off. While still being stubborn and closed off for the most part, Dick starts to open up to the other Titans (especially Kory), and does seem to be the most capable person to lead the team. One of the most interesting aspects to the character in this episode is learning that he has not told anyone on the team, including Kory, about his training/ his life as Robin. Not only does he not tell them about his alter ego, but he simply does not want to tell them at all! Dick is forced to reveal himself as Robin when he requires the gear that his suit provides to save them. Dick’s reluctance to be Robin leads me to believe that he will become Nightwing by this season’s end, or by the beginning of the next season. Also, this episode features Dick’s detective skills as he tracks down Dr. Adamson, the creator of the Nuclear Family. However, this leads him to getting ambushed by members of a secret organization that Adamson works for. Dick would have been killed if he was not saved by a mysterious hero in a cape… No, not Batman, but the new Robin, Jason Todd (more on Jason next week). In my opinion, Brenton Thwaites is starting to settle into his role as Dick Grayson, and I am getting more adjusted to this edgier take on the character.
As per usual, Kory Anders stole the show. Much like how Dick hides his life as Robin from Kory and the others, Kory hides her abilities as well. During the team powers demonstration that Dick hosts, Kory shows the team her fire ability. Yet, she explains that her powers are not endless, but need to be recharged with sunlight. We also learn that her powers have trouble working at night due to the need for sunlight. Within this episode we see this weakness take effect when Kory cannot burn down the Nuclear Family. I think that giving Kory limitations on her powers not only gives her some limits, but also saves the show’s budget. If Kory could constantly throw fire at people, this show’s conflicts would be over too quickly. This episode did have me speculate that as Kory regains her memories, she might be able to use her powers in different ways.
In addition, we begin to see Kory open up more as she settles into being an amnesiac. Kory does not know who she is or where she came from, but she is starting to embrace herself as who she is in this moment. Kory also sees herself a lot in Dick; both people have mysterious pasts but for different reasons. Dick’s past is mysterious because he hides information and Kory’s is mysterious because she has no recollection of it. This dynamic is why these two make a great pairing. Kory goes to Dick’s room with a bottle of Tequila in order to get him to open up more, and the two share an intimate moment for the first time. Kory knows that Dick is a good person at heart and she wants to break through his shell. Yet, even after all she tries to do, he still is very closed off to her. Furthermore, Kory is the next best member when it comes to fighting; she has some hand to hand skills, which she probably does not know how she got them. Kory is pretty effective in the fight with the Nuclear Family, as she is able to incapacitate Nuclear Son and Daugther. Once again, I find Kory to be the most interesting and engaging member of the team. Anna Diop’s performance is also a joy to watch each episode.
As they are mentioned in the previous paragraphs, this episode features the return of the Nuclear Family. After being notably absent during Doom Patrol last week, the Family returns now with a new Dad. After losing the original Nuclear Dad in “Origins,” their creator, Dr. Adamson commissioned the creation of a new Nuclear Dad, a Nuclear Step-Dad if you will. It is from this action, that we get a peek into what the Nuclear Family really are; we see that in a lab, a man is being brainwashed with hallucinogens and it is explained that he will have bio technology implanted into him. Now, Nuclear StepDad is noticeably younger than the previous Nuclear Dad, but the rest of the family quickly takes to him due to their overly-twisted ways.
The Nuclear Family quickly tracks down the dealership where Dick traded in his Porsche for a mini-van (in order to be able to transport the team easier), and interrogate the car salesman in order to track down the Titans. Once they track the Titans to the motel, a very well done action sequence breaks out. The Nuclear Family definitely got to have one great action sequence together before getting captured by the Titans. Once Dick manages to track down Dr. Adamson, we see him activate a trigger that he had threatened the family with once before. After the trigger is pressed, the heads of all four family members explode with Kory discovering their bodies after it happens. For now, it seems, that the Nuclear Family are out of the series with Dr. Adamson taking over the recurring villain role. Seeing more of Adamson in this episode really gives the audience the idea that he not only works for someone, but that someone is an organization that has its eyes and ears all over his building. As soon as Dick arrives to speak with him, an armed team arrives to kill both Dick and Adamson to prevent information from leaking out. The organization is not given a name this week, so the audience will just have to wait and see what will happen next. However, the Nuclear Family may be gone and they will be missed, but this might just be noting a shift in series direction to bigger and badder threats.
Overall, “Together” is the most solid episode of the series that focuses on our main Titans team. I personally feel like the show has found its groove with this episode, and I am very excited to see where things go from here. I am really glad that the episode following the Doom Patrol’s prequel episode provides views with great scenes involving the main characters. Titans is a series that I was unsure of when following the marketing materials, but now that I have seen the series itself, I can definitely say this is one of my favorite shows to watch right now!
Soundout Side Notes:
- Kory gets told by Dick to not kill anyone from the Nuclear Family, and as soon as she discovers the decapitated bodies of the family, she utters the funniest line of the series so far, “Oh s–t, Dick’s going to think I did it.”
- As soon as Dick changed to Robin, Gar instantly went and changed into a tiger. I think someone here is trying to impress someone else.
- Gar wants to meet Batman, we knew Gar was a nerd and this cements it.
- Isn’t it convenient for the post production team that Gar is shy so he can duck behind large objects while transforming?
- This episode had the shortest run-time at only about 39 minutes after the recap, and it also had the most visual effects. The correlation is apparent.
- Worst effect of the episode: The 2-minute recap of the first four episodes. I know that does not count, but the visual effects are all solid in this episode, so I cannot just pick any one as the worst.