The Titans episode this week left me uncomfortable and I think that is what it set out to do. For six episodes, the series has introduced viewers to Dick, Rachael, Kory and Gar. These episodes attempt to make our heroes feel like real people. However, “Asylum” went and tore these characters apart piece by piece, and in turn made me feel really uncomfortable while doing so. This review is going to be different as I am not writing out of enjoyment, but out of sorrow.
[Warning: The following review contains several spoilers]
We are not going to break down the episode by character this week. We are just going to cycle through the events that occurred and discuss any character tidbits along the way. “Asylum” did not develop any of the characters in my opinion, it just put them through a lot of trauma. In this episode, Rachael talks to Dr. Adamson only to find out that her birth mother is alive and being held at a compound. After learning that she also discovers she can heal injuries due to Dr. Adamson slitting his own throat. Rachael then tells the team what she has learned. Dick and Kory tell her that they should not go to the compound as it is a clear trap and Gar appears to agree with them. However, Gar later reveals to Rachael that he lied to Dick and Kory, only to allow them to sneak out to the compound. This leads to Dick and Kory chasing after them, only for all four to be captured at the compound.
Once captured the Titans are separated from one another, and each are put through hell. Dick is put under hallucinogenic drugs and finds himself being beaten by his younger self which just reiterates the fact that Dick thinks his time as Robin was a mistake. This point has been clearly made plenty of times before in previous episodes, so this just feels like an excuse to have another action sequence. Whereas, Kory is taken to be experimented on, after her fire powers were expended in an escape attempt. During the experimentation the scientists discover Kory has a healing factor. The scenes with Kory are honestly horrifying as she is strapped down to a table with a tube down her throat, and is being nearly dissected by the scientists. Gar is placed into a cage, only to then be tortured like animal via beating, and shocked by electric pikes. Overall, these are the most twisted actions shown on screen in the series thus far.
Rachael gets off a bit easier as she is taken to Adamson’s office. There Adamson greets her as well as talk to Rachel about her mother, and how his organization wants Rachael to bring forth her father. Adamson shows her a screen with camera feeds displaying the other Titans and what is being done to them. Adamson makes the mistake of threatening Rachael with the lives of her friends. However, it does not motivate Rachel to help Adamson, but instead causes Rachel to user her powers on him. Rachel reverts the affects of her ability to heal, thus reopening Adamson’s wound and causing him to bleed to death. Rachael then proceeds to search out her birth mother, who is surprisingly still alive and manages to survive the entire episode.
Rachael and her mother, then go to free Gar. However, they are attacked by a guard which triggers Gar to transform, and horrifically maul the guard to death. Gar having been so opposed to violence all his life, did not want to hurt anyone but after the torture he endured caused his survival instincts to kick in to save himself, Rachael and Rachael’s mother. This breaks Gar mentally and it is heartbreaking to watch. After saving Gar, Rachael and company go to save Kory. They free her then go to find Dick, who is nearly comatose. The drugs took a toll on Dick, but Rachael is able to talk him out of it, or heal him as it rather unsure if it was one or both options. The team then goes to make their escape but are stopped by armed guards that Dick takes care of quickly. Once outside the building, Kory levels the build by causing a gas explosion. Standing beside one of the fires is Dick, who has thrown his Robin costume into said fire in order to destroy it.
Overall this episode feels rather unnecessary. Most of the developments in the plot are very minor and the extended scenes of torture with the Titans are unwanted. The plot of this episode could have been contained within another episode, and instead of torturing our primary characters, they could have stormed in saving Rachael’s mother. The atmosphere here is darker than usual for Titans, and this honestly is the series’ weakest episode. I am not sure what else to comment on in this review, so I think I will just end things by saying that I am excited for next week. Episode 8 will see the debut of Donna Troy in a live-action format, and it looks to be another detour episode, which I feel is overly needed right now!
Soundout Side Notes:
- I have nothing enjoyable to share about this week’s episode.