Titans S01E04 "Doom Patrol" Review

Now is where the fun begins. Dick and Kory are delving further into parental territory as they work together to track down Rachel's whereabouts. Upon encountering Gar in the woods after escaping the convent, Rachel goes with him to the home of Dr. Niles Caulder ("The Chief") who has set up a band of mutated residents in a luxurious hidden estate. Rachel is fairly unphased by Gar's shapeshifting ability, as he reveals his ability to turn into a green tiger.

At the house, Rachel meets Cliff Steel ("Robotman"), Larry Trainor ("Negative Man"), and Rita Farr ("Elasti-Woman"), all of whom have strange and interesting appearances and abilities that require them to stay hidden away from general society. Gar on the other hand can seamlessly go in and out of town as he pleases, since the only thing striking or unusual about his appearance in his human form is his green hair. Rachel bonds with the other housemates but it's Caulder who poses the greater threat to her well-being, as he is quickly intrigued by her powers to the point of wanting to experiment on her just as he had the other residents of his house.

Though Gar's origin is somewhat explained in this universe, it still begs the question of why a young boy like him would have been in the Congo and in the position to contract a strange disease that would require him to be treated with the strange serum that gifted him his shapeshifting abilities. Perhaps it's something that will be further explained this season, or even in a second season if the show is renewed.

The greatest theme that begins to emerge in this episode that will likely be a force across the rest of the series is found-family. Despite Dick and Kory, and Rachel and Gar having only just recently met each other the power of their connections to one another is crucial to the stories told in this episode. Kory pulls Dick out his darkness while Gar being threatened is cause for Rachel's darkness to emerge. This also marks the first time that we've truly seen Dick's darkness emerge when he's not in the Robin suit. There seems to be a clear line he's drawn in order to compartmentalise his trauma, in which he lashes out his anger and unresolved issues when he is fighting crime as Robin. But his fractured separation conveys the depth of his concern for Rachel's well-being, foreshadowing the formulation of the Titans team. Additionally, Kory's quick ability to read into Dick's behaviour presents the ease with which these two have synched their wavelengths. All these deep connections on description alone may seem hasty but the performer and filmmakers have done more than enough to make these developments translate as organic and authentic when the final product is presented.

"Titans" airs on Fridays on DC Universe.


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