Director – Akiva Goldsman
Writer – Bryan Edward Hill
Following the explosive events of episode 6, Titans provided a new episode this week that was a real mixture of tone and narrative genre. Equal parts comedy, drama, action and thriller, “Bruce Wayne” was an episode with a bit of something for everyone.
Iain Glen made a very welcome return to the show, albeit in an unexpected way. A dominant presence throughout the episode, this Bruce Wayne is an actual figment of Dick’s imagination, exclusive to his inner monologue and not visible to any other characters. Whilst I would have preferred the actual Bruce to play a part this week, this version definitely provided a lot of fun amidst the home truths. Glen seemed to be having a lot of fun playing this version of the character, a more flamboyant and extroverted Bruce Wayne than the taciturn man we have seen thus far.
From berating Dick over his perceived errors and faults, to dancing the Batusi with a pair of burlesque performers (a wonderful tribute to the much missed Adam West), whilst also providing some genuine sage advice, the performance was an absolute treat. It will be great to see the real Bruce make his triumphant return soon, but there was plenty to enjoy here.
Dick’s sanity during the episode seemed to be very up and down. Carrying around a huge amount of guilt over the death of Jericho (I don’t think he’s dead, but we shall see) and Jason’s traumatic near death plunge last week seems to almost tipped him over the edge. From carrying a firearm to having conversations with imaginary Bruce in full view of other people, he is gradually losing the plot. The transition from Robin to Nightwing is surely a rocky road, which I think is effective story telling. The further the downward spiral, the more triumphant the eventual donning of the iconic costume and subsequent resurrection will be. Huge credit this week must go to Brenton Thwaites for his superb performance of a man on the edge. Given more dramatic heavy lifting to do than in previous weeks, Thwaites has really become the leading man in this wonderful ensemble cast!
Huge kudos this week must also got to Curran Walters. Whilst all previous appearances had required displays of cocksure, foul mouthed bravado, here we got a traumatised, scarred teen, endlessly reliving his fall from the top of the skyscraper. This mindset provided an extremely tense episode finale, with Dick having to offload his dark secret to literally talk Jason off a ledge. It is going to be very interesting to see how Jason’s mindset is affected by recent events and also whether his ultimate fate resembles that of the source material or not. Either way, one feels that dark times are in the future for Jason..
Of course, it wouldn’t be an episode of Titans without a dash of spectacle, so it goes without saying that we got a nice little helping this week. Yes, you can’t keep a good dog down, especially one imbued with Kryptonian powers. The escape of Krypto and Eve from Cadmus Labs was nothing short of joyful. As the saying goes, “You will believe a dog can fly“. And fly he does! Our favourite canine creation gets the chance to display the full gamut of his powers in a fan pleasing moment that would surely win first prize at Crufts.
Slade’s masterplan to divide and conquer the team also gathered pace this week, as each member of the team was left a little souvenir of past problems. Engineered in such a way to intimate that Slade is somehow in the tower, it is fascinating to see the slow, deliberate pace with which the villainous plot is being unfurled. Slade is certainly playing the long game with his cerebral approach. Although, for my money, Rose is the inside person here, i’m not convinced by her crocodile tears and tales of woe. But that all remains to be seen….
Another highly enjoyable and eclectic episode of Titans, “Bruce Wayne” was hugely satisfying from start to finish. With so much meat on the bone, it was an episode that didn’t dip once during its running time and continued the high standard of season two. Next week promises to add on extra intrigue and shed some light on Jericho’s fate. Same time next week anyone?