Titans Season 3 Episode 6 Review: Lady Vic
Titans introduces a new antagonist to explore Dick and Barbara’s past to unsatisfying results.
Sometimes, a misleading synposis can dampen your enjoyment of an episode, especially when it teases something that doesn’t come to pass. I found that to be the case with the sixth episode of Titans Season 3 as Dick and Barbara’s promised history was explored by introducing a new antagonist tied to their past, albeit to highly unsatisfying results. Meanwhile, Jason and Crane develop a sort of schism in their ambitions with the new, mysterious anti-fear drug that they’re cooking up as Kori struggles to tolerate her sister Blackfire’s disparaging remarks.
Dick and Barbara’s shared history was a huge downer and it seems like Titans can’t rest easy without linking Dick romantically to each of his leading ladies. Yes, we learn that they shared a romantic relationship and were somehow perfect for each other despite us getting to witness very little of their shared dynamic. And Barbara’s leg was supposedly botched by Lady Vic slicing her knife across her knees, even as Barbara made Vic accidentally kill her own lover. None of this invokes any shred of emphathy as it flies by too fast with almost no context or lead-up to the characters; it’s hard to care about anyone in that moment as they simply go about their motions.
Likewise, the team’s investigation into Jason’s plan serves as filler material to showcase the dynamic between the Tamaran sisters. In among the episode’s better moments, Blackfire bonds with Connor Kent who discuss their common thread of being alien outcasts, their troubles adjusting to their respective families and societies. Yet again, Conner hammers home the we-are-a-family rhetoric that, along with Blackfire’s constant dismissal of earthly pleasures and her queen-complex, gets a bit repetitive by now. But Blackfire’s distrust of the Titans and her disdain for earthly chores is going to wreak havoc sooner rather than later. Which makes it more perplexing as to how bringing a ticking time bomb onboard is a good idea, especially in the wake of Hank’s tragedy.
Tonally, Titans feels rather off when you have Gar and Conner being emotionally shattered by Hank’s death a couple of episodes ago, only for them to joke around with Blackfire, then suddenly express anger where it’s convenient. It’s like the showrunners want us to move past Hank and Dove already. There’s also a lot more gore introduced than usual to convey Lady Vic’s hack and slash combat moves, which is a good decision as it heightens the sense of danger when she’s around. It also paints her as a cold-blooded asasssin, which bodes well with Kimberly-Sue Murray’s performance.
The idea of being a family runs antithetical to Dick’s actions at times. He works as the de facto leader of the team and often launches into quests alone, with blatant disregard for everyone’s face. This manifests itself again when he barges into the evidence room despite Barbara’s pleas to do nothing and stay at home. In a way, he’s closer to Bruce’s operating methods as much as he’d like to distance hismelf from his mentor. Old habits and lessons die hard and Dick continues to struggle to rid himself of Batman’s influence and shadow as well as the horrors of his past fighting as Batman’s sidekick. He’d much rather Barbara had chosen Robingirl as her nickname over Batgirl.
What we do get that’s noteworthy, is a wonderfully badass scene with Barbara taking down Lady Vic in a wheelchair, further proving that disability is no hindrance to superheroics. And Dick’s analysis of the voice sample to deduce the killer’s identity was some thrilling detective work, skills he undoubtedly picked from the Dark Knight himself. But aside from these few interesting beats and alien talk, Lady Vic does nothing particularly compelling to advance the story in any meaningful way. Despite focusing on the main characters, it’s as much a filler episode as the standalone deviations that Titans took in abundance in its first two seasons.