Titans Season 3 Episode 7 Review: 51%
The Titans thwart Scarecrow’s plan for now in an hour full of bizarre plot decisions.
To no one’s surprise, the titular Titans manage to thwart Scarecrow’s plans of unleashing a fear gas across Gotham for the time being as they make short shift of Crane’s army of goons. The lead up to that event has Dick and Barbara making some ethically questionable choices while Koriand’r and Blackfire try to reconcile despite the latter having killed their parents on Tamaran. And Conner might be beginning to fall for Blackire by the looks of it.
Dick and Barbara spend most of the episode trying to track Crane. That leads them to using a massively powerful surveillance tool dubbed the Oracle. They cite concerns over spying on people, arguing for a bit about whether it’s the right thing to do. In an amusing portrayal, the Oracle quickly narrows down on Crane mouthing his location, which turns out to be a trap because Crane has somehow managed to take control of the Gotham PD’s supercomputer. The machine itself has a rather uninspiring design, straight up resembling an eye to drive home its purpose.
Again, the episode fails to truly capitalize on the hour’s most interesting bit. There’s a fascinating quandary to be had about the title 51% and Blackfire’s explanation on how sometimes, the right choices are just slightly better than the wrong ones. Blackfire uses that explanation to absolve herselves of her own murder of her parents and redeem herselves in Koriand’r’s eyes. Oddly enough, that works as the two sisters are back together and at least for now, any potential threats posed by Blackfire are hushed aside. But we never truly get that 51% moment in the episode that would’ve had our Titans toe the line between some dangerously close choices in terms of right or wrong.
Instead, we get a team that’s so overpowered it has no trouble foiling the Scarecrow’s “plan”. All it takes is some uninspiring fight sequences for you to realize just how underpowered Scarecrow was in comparison. And everyone doesn’t even need to use the full extent of their powers, Connor’s dog alone should be more than sufficient to take on them all. Poor Gar doesn’t get a chance to transform as the show tries to save some of its budget while also trying to solve the issue of just how to have Gar transform without having to strip him off his clothes everytime. Naturally, the Scarecrow makes a hasty escape, promising to return back with a vengeance.
Perhaps unleashing the Red Hood would have been a better move. Working together with the Scarecrow and a few goons high on the anti-fear gas would have perhaps put up a stronger fight to the Titans. Instead, Jason is completely sidelined as he gets “punished” for betraying Crane by stealing and unleashing the early few drug samples to let hell loose on Gotham. The overall plan itself offers nothing but a tamer version of what we’ve already seen done much more excellently in movies and other shows like Gotham. Scarecrow always has the same plan. It’s almost comical just how easily the Titans are able to dispense off Crane and it’s about time someone put up a better fight.
Again, the two sisters probably get some of the finer moments this episode as they bring back the son of gang member who defects, only for him to be shockingly killed as he is revealed as an FBI agent spying on his mom. The resulting decision by Koriand’r to kill the mother in return is a well earned moment of rage that shows her emotional and virtuous side, while also demonstrating the sanctity of her word. Knowing Titans though, I’m unsure if we’ll see that angle played again.
By this point, the team is well past the tragedy of losing Hank and is back to functioning as a cohesive unit, nevermind that Dick barges out on his own every now and then. They all have their own struggles but at this point, it appears Dick’s battle to find himself and emerge out of Batman’s shadows is what will form the season’s narrative arc. And Jason’s unleashing of Crane’s gas will undoubtedly have consequences, as it affects the lives of some very pivotal characters such as Tim Drake.