The Titans are in dire straights as Titans: E.L._.O. begins. But could there be a happy ending for the superhero team?
One can never know what to expect from DC Universe’s Titans, and it’s never more exemplified than in its latest episode, Titans: E.L._.O.
At the start of the episode, the splintered team are struggling—Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft) is having prescient nightmares of death and destruction. Gar Logan (Ryan Potter) is being experimented on by Cadmus. And Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) is barely alive in his solitary cell in prison.
How are the Titans ever going to get out of this mess? The answer may just lie in a small diner in the middle of nowhere.
With the finale of Titans season two only a few episodes away, Titans: E.L._.O. leaves audiences tantalisingly close to the answers they’ve been searching for.
We look at what went down in Titans: E.L._.O. and what it could it mean for the future of the Titans. Spoilers ahead.
The Secret Behind E.L._.O.
This is one of the more bizarre titles that Titans has produced, but the mysterious name is somewhat necessary for the story.
As we have seen over the last few episodes of the Titans, the titular team don’t fare very well when they’re divided.
One can objectively say that the men on the team have fared worse. Hank Hall has gone on a bender since leaving Dawn Granger (Minka Kelly). Dick is in prison.
Conner fought the wrong crowd and got himself and Gar caught by Cadmus—Conner is apparently back in stasis, but Gar is being reconditioned to become Cadmus’ new weapon.
On the other hand, Donna Troy (Connor Leslie) is still out and about, trying to put her team back together. Rachel has joined a group of fellow runaways. Dawn is living her best free life. As is Kory, though she is also upset at the loss of her crown, at the hands of her evil sister, Blackfire.
But at least the ladies are free, and that is the central focus of Titans: E.L._.O.—to use that freedom to bring the team back together.
Of course, the way the episode goes about it is hilarious and bizarre—like its title. The ladies are essentially led to Elko’s diner via voicemails, dreams, radio transmissions, and TV ads—the last one promising Kory the best donuts (she never gets them, though).
It’s all very mysterious and magical, but it does the job.
Kory, Rachel, Dawn, and Donna end up in one place, giving Bruce Wayne (Iain Glen), of all people, the chance to encourage them to come back together.
Ladies to the Rescue
Bruce’s weird team bonding exercise aside, his plan doesn’t actually work. The four superheroes don’t agree on one course of action.
Donna and Dawn decide to team up to save Gar, despite Rachel’s pleas that her dreams portend Dick’s death. At least Kory joins Rachel to rescue Dick.
We have yet to see how Donna and Dawn will fare against Cadmus, but we do see Rachel and Kory make short work of the prison guards at the institution Dick is held in.
We also see Kory struggling with her powers, which is disconcerting. Despite growing in her powers over the course of the season, Kory hasn’t been the same since Blackfire’s revelations.
Is this dip in her abilities psychological? Earlier in Titans: E.L._.O., Kory has a brief liaison with a psychologist who thinks she’s having a manic episode. That could explain her recent erratic behaviour, especially considering the losses she has suffered.
Rachel and Kory’s efforts come to nought—partially—as Dick has already made his escape. He does leave a chilling message.
Throughout Titans: E.L._.O., Dick is suffering from a bug, exacerbated by his time in solitary confinement.
Hallucinations of Bruce haunt him, but instead of mocking Dick, as he did in episode seven, this time, Bruce actively encourages Dick to rethink his last interaction with Slade Wilson (Esai Morales).
And as Dick gets back into his groove, he realises he missed something about his meeting with Slade—a hand gesture that Dick had dismissed makes it clear that Jericho is actually alive.
Titans Season Two’s Real Villain
After Jericho’s untimely death in episode eight, some critics and fans had speculated that Jericho may be alive. From Dick’s message scratched in his cell wall in Titans: E.L._.O., it seems the speculations were right.
Jericho’s ability to co-opt another person’s body seems to have made it possible for him to continue living even after the death of his own body.
So, has he been living inside Slade’s consciousness for the last five years?
That may explain Slade’s vendetta against the Titans—after all, if Slade killed Jericho, why would he go after the Titans? He would have held himself responsible.
That also explains how the Titans found deeply personal items and messages around Titans Tower—Slade wouldn’t have known these truths about the team, but Jericho would have.
One can also assume that Jericho retains his power while in Slade’s body—which is how Slade/ Jericho would have learned facts about the newer team members.
This essentially means that the true villain of Titans season two hasn’t been Deathstroke, but Jericho.
All this is designed to lead to Dick’s eventual transformation into Nightwing—there was some bird imagery in Titans: E.L._.O. that suggests we might be seeing Nightwing as soon as next week.
However, what does taking down Slade/ Jericho mean for the Titans? Jericho was their friend, and a good person. Jericho’s recent actions can easily be blamed on both Slade and Dick.
Will Slade and the Titans take responsibility for turning Jericho into a pawn in their own game? We will have to find out in the remaining episodes of Titans season two.