Episode 1: “Barbara Gordon”
Before you read any further, this breakdown will be riddled (no pun intended) with spoilers. So, watch the Titans S3E1 episode first if you do not wish to be spoiled.
Death in the Family
Titans S3E1, immediately starts off immediately with Jason Todd telling Bruce that he found Joker‘s location. Bruce warns him off and makes him promise that he would not go after him.
Jason’s impulsiveness after being sideline is his crutial flaw. After, ingesting a chemical that takes away his fear, he goes after Joker. But, he is out of his depths and is distracted and the Joker gets the jump on him. Then, the iconic death in the family scene where Joker beats Jason Todd with a crowbar. Obviously, they are not allowed to show the Joker, due to contract agreements. So, the viewer only gets his outline and laugh to suggest it is Joker. Later, Barbara Gordon confirms that the Joker waited for police and was taken into custody without incident suggesting he wanted to be caught.
Next, we get a reintro to The Titans (takes place 3 months since the end of Season 2) and the viewer is treated to a much more cohesive and productive titans unit. Also, The Titans appear to have garnered some fame; talking to the media to keep their image up.
The interview is broadcasted through WGCN and of course is a reference from the comics, ( Batman #436). All news outlets will have been adapted to something that is originating from the comics. Therefore, it is always an easter egg.
Right off the bat, Starfire is shown in her comic accurate suit. Connor is matured as Super Boy and has become not only accepted but infamous. Superdog, Krypto gets to show off his powers with, “Speak.” Gar is still garfield, not much has changed with him, other than maybe missing Rachel/Raven.
Despite, all The Titans speaking to the media, Nightwing stays in the shadows just like Bruce would. Dick is a lot like Bruce and the show is exploring that rather nicely.
The gang of heroes take on Gizmo quite easily and give him up to the authorities. In the comics, Gizmo first appeared in 1981’s The New Teen Titans #3. Gizmo was stealing the streetdrug clench (could it be what Jason Todd was ingesting or a altered version of the drug because it wasn’t able to be identified later?) which appears to be a de-weaponized nuclear engineered ebola strain that Dayton Labs was researching. Dayton Labs first appeared in 1985’s The New Teen Titans #15. Steve Dayton runs the labs. In the Comics, he is Gar’s adoptive father (Bat Fandom Wiki, DC Fandom Wiki).
Comissioner Barbara Gordon (Post Killing Joke)
It appears that Barbara Gordon, former Batgirl, is taking over her father’s mantle as comissioner. It is important to not that her appearance is post killing joke where Joker shot a bullet through her spine crippling her.
“[Joker] was waiting for us by the body, he did the same thing after me.”
Barbara Gordon is shown in wheelchair as she speaks to Dick Grayson. Apparantly, the two have history together but are not together in the moment. Commissioner Barbara Gordon first appeared in Batman Beyond. Barbara Gordon and Batman have a strained relationship unlike Batman’s relationship with her father. Former Batgirl, informs us that Commissioner James Gordon died at the hands of Mr. Freeze.
Tim Drake: Pre-Robin, Batman Fanboy
Drake is reading a newspaper about Batman. There, he’s portrayed as a big Batman and Robin fanboy. As comic fans are aware, he would be the next Robin.
Drake’s bike even bears the bat emblems. His scenes also portray lots of yellow (and some blue) and it seems they are using that color to hint at Tim Drake Robin and Batman.
During his scene, he speaks mandarin (not certain) confirming he is Asisan and bilingual.
As Drake rides away, there is an easter egg for the Church of Blood.The Church of blood cult worships trigon. And while there appears to be an absence of Raven in the episodes, that hints that she could return later this season. The cult may try to free her father thus causing a lot of chaos in the titans world.
When Tim Drake arrives at his family’s restaurant, the viewer gets a look at his parents and cousin. His parents confirm that he is biracial: Black and Asian.
There, the news of Todd/Robin’s death is broken via news outlet and he is crushed as he just lost one of his most beloved heroes.
Batcave and other Easter Eggs
Dick Grayson goes to Bruce Wayne to comfort him and explore Jason’s room for any clues.
There, we see him enter Wayne Manor and use the grandfather clock to obtain entrance into the Batcave, in which they were show many shots from around the batcave.
In the background the Bat theme plays but in a solumn altered version. Upon entering the Batcave, the viewer is treated to a bunch of easter eggs in the form of Batman’s villains’ trophies. FIrst, there is Penguin’s umbrella. Another is a halographic rendering of a Dinosaur. Then, next to it, is a giant halographic Penny. Furthermore, Madhatter’s hat and giant Joker card are also seen.
Dinosaur: The mechanical T-Rex is a robot that first appeared when Batman fought in Murray Hart’s theme park known as “Dinosaur Island“
Giant Penny: refers to the Penny Plunderer. Batman Chronicles #19 Joe Coyne was a poor man who made pennies by selling newspapers. After, being caught stealing in the office, he turned to crime and the penny began to symbolize failure to him. Yet, he was still obsessed and the giant penny became his downfall. Additionally, the Penny refers to Two-Face (Two Face: Year One).
Scarface head: From “The Big Dummy”, a giant head hangs against the wall of the Batcave. The head once belonged to Arnold Wesker, a ventriloquist who controlled a living puppet named Scarface (Trophies). In Titans S3E1, there appears to be a skull on a pedestal that could be Scarface’s head.
Batman Kills Joker
Bruce is seen cleaning off armor that is splattered with blood. Then, he explains there won’t be a funeral for Jason as he had no one. Dick argues, “He had us.” At this moment, it seems Bruce does not want to acknowlege Jason’s death further and is trying to move past it quickly instead of exploring his own feelings of guilt.
Parallels: Redirects Grief into their work
Instead, Bruce turns to work once more as the shock and grief is something he had not learned to deal with having lost his parents at a young age. “There’s a new player in Gotham.” Bruce seems obsessed with taking down the new criminal ravaging Gotham City. Likewise, Dick seems to cope similiarly but trying to solve the mystery of events prior to Jason’s death. This season, there seems to be a lot of Bruce-Dick parallels which remind us that Dick Grayson is very much like Bruce Wayne, even more so than other Robins.
Confirms Batman kills Joker
Later, Bruce drops a bloodied crowbar in front of Dick Grayson. By not dealing with his pain, he caved and gave into his darker instincts. As a result, this is where the comic events and TV events diverge as Bruce has avenged Jason Todd’s death.
“you know what [Joker] was doing as he caved in his skull, he was laughing. He laughed at me because he won.”
It appears that Batman needs a Robin to keep him focused and keep him from losing himself. Barbara warns Dick that Dick must keep him from destroying another kid’s life but he does not believe that Bruce would do that so close to Jason’s death.
Barbara Gordon: “And Jason… ( scoffs ) You took another kid who was lost and angry and alone, and convinced him that he’d be invincible if he put on a mask. No more Robins, Bruce.”
Dick: “the last thing Bruce is gonna do is drag another kid in the mess.”
However, viewers know this isn’t the case as Batman cannot be without a Robin. Grayson finds a folder marked Robin on the Batcomputer whose password is DICK. There, a bunch of files of kids are desplayed as potential new recruits:
Carrie Kelly– Robin iii, catgirl, Dark Knight Returns Robin
Stephanie Brown– Robin, Batgirl, birds of Prey, daughter of cluemaster, Spoiler
Daxton Chill -mechanic, we are Robin, daxatax
Duke Thomas– the signal, we are Robin, Robin
Even though, Jason has just passed only one week prior. Bruce even suggests Dick to become Robin again. Bruce seems broken and pleading maybe fearing what being alone with his grief may cause him to do.
This concludes Titans S3E1, Barabara Gordon” breakdown. Overall, this was a solid opening and they have jumped right into the action. Additionally, It seems that they are going to be exploring Bruce Wayne-Dick Grayson parallels this season and I’m here for it. Anyone else shook that Batman killed?