Director – Kevin Sullivan
Writer – Jamie Gorenberg
“Fallen” was an episode that continued to follow Dick on his journey of self-imposed punishment, with a healthy dose of impending doom. Juxtaposed with his overwhelming desire to help people and the fledgling germ of the Nightwing concept, the episode was extremely solid work from all concerned. With the “fallen” concept also applying to Rachel and her movement towards the dark side, plus Conner and Gar’s trials and tribulations, it would appear that our titular heroes have got a long way to go to reach a point of redemption. As such tropes are always inevitable, with the “further the fall, the greater the rise” principal being employed, the stage is set for the last 3 episodes of the season to start that climb.
So, to Dick Grayson. Following his arrest last week, he started his stretch of hard time. 7 years without parole, to be precise. Determined to hurt himself for the sins of his past, this is a new low for the character. Locked up with the worst of the worst, refusing any protection from an odious guard, it is almost as if Dick wishes for somebody to end it all for him. In his own eyes, he has fallen so low that he doesn’t deserve to be free, or happy. Brenton Thwaites gave a very effective performance, there truly was a dead man walking vibe to him, very low key and monotone, really projecting to the audience that this is a man that has given up. As an interesting aside, it will be intriguing to see how, once he eventually wakes up and becomes Nightwing, he can have a life as a free man. Banged up for 7 years, with a guilty plea and with an inevitable sentence extension to come based on his actions at the end of the episode, then how does he get to be free without being a fugitive? Perhaps some Waynetech criminal record expunging? I really hope the creative team haven’t painted themselves into a corner here.
It was a treat to see, albeit briefly, the full Grayson hand to hand repertoire at the end of the episode. Titans has always done close quarter fight scenes really well, and this was no exception. The seed of inspiration planted with him by his cellmates, which will be the catalyst for the Nightwing persona, was an interesting take on the character’s origins and one I found to be very effective and believable.
Poor Rachel is on a dark path, with her powers manifesting themselves in a more dangerous and evil way. Whilst the object of her ire certainly was a wrong’un and deserved a little bit of punishment, his ultimate end was something different altogether. What a horrific way to go, and the use of the church gargoyle was an interesting new way for Rachel/Raven to use her powers. Whether her new found friends are going to lead her further astray remains to be seen, but I think we are in for some more gore when she is around. One would imagine the calming influence of Kory may help her out to a degree. Teagan Croft gave a good performance, following several weeks of having very little to do. A talented young actress, her portrayal of the character’s internal struggle is very good. Struggling with her evil heritage against her desire to be a good person, the character is one that can go both ways. As I have mentioned in previous episode reviews, I don’t think we have seen the last of her dear old dad….
Finally, to the Conner/Gar bromance, loyally augmented by Krypto. Still the most badass dog every depicted onscreen, his involvement in the confrontation with invading Cadmus forces at Titans Tower was another of the canine’s skill set. Oh, to have a guard dog like that! Said scrap was another solid piece of action, with both Titans getting to employ their powers to great effect. With an interesting ending set up courtesy of Mercy Graves’ plans for them both, could we see either of turned towards a darker path? With only 3 episodes left in the season, there is so much ground to cover, with the various members of the team scattered to the four winds (no Hank, Dawn or Kory this week), that the writers can afford zero fat on the bone narratively speaking.
A quick pace is certainly required now, and the final weeks must be all killer, no filler. With the promise of a season finale smackdown that has to be seen to be believed, we need the path to it to run nice and smoothly. Bring it on I say! Now they have all fallen, it is time to rise…