The second season of Titans has been a bit of a pendulum swing between the past and present. Pacing-wise, this has caused the season to inconsistently flutter between time periods but in terms of action, there’s no denying that Titans has really stepped up its game for this second season. Deathstroke is a compelling antagonist and learning more about his troubled past certainly helps flesh his character out.
We begin in San Francisco 2014 with Dick and the others aware that Jericho Wilson is Deathstroke’s son. Aqualad’s death is still a painful reminder of Slade’s power and Dick is determined to use Jericho to get back at Deathstroke. While sat around a camp fire, Jericho tells the others about his relationship with his Father, which all changed when Slade left the military. During an operation, armed guards break into his house and hold Jericho up at knifepoint. Although managing to kill off the thugs, Jericho’s throat was severed in the ensuing conflict which is how he became mute.
Surviving, Dick and the others question whether they should continue using him to siphon information about Desthstroke while our antagonist learns Jericho himself is mixing with the Titans, desperate to gain intel of his own. It’s here we find out Jericho has powers, able to control the mind of whoever he touches. When Dick learns of these abilities, he shows it off to the rest of the group. It turns out Deathstroke knew this too and implored Jericho not to show anyone for fear of him being taken away.
Dick and Dove decide to come clean to Jericho, telling him the truth about why he’s there and who his Father really is. Given what they’ve seen, they ask him to join the Titans. With the truth now out in the open, Jericho decides to move out and join the team, ignoring the pleas from his Mother as he packs his bags. She immediately speaks to Slade and tells him to make amends before he sends his assistant to give Jericho a message; in order to find out the truth about his Father, Jericho has to come alone to a specific location. After telling Dove what happened, she tells Dick who sees it as the perfect opportunity to use him again to get to Deathstroke.
Meanwhile, our antagonist goes toe to toe with Wonder Girl. Beating her to within an inch of her life, she hits the emergency beacon on her wrist and calls on Dick and the others to help after Deathstroke tells her to stay away from Jericho. Dick and the others rush to the scene while Jericho and Slade discuss their past. He tries to make amends with his son but as he looks on the verge of getting through to him, Dick suddenly arrives and confronts Slade.
A fight inevitably breaks out between the two, resulting in Dick downed and on the verge of dying. However, Jericho steps up and takes the killing blow as Deathstroke watches on in horror. This happens to be the defining moment that breaks the Titans too, as we see them all leaving and Dick left alone with his thoughts as the episode closes out.
With another deep dive into the past, Titans boasts more character development for Deathstroke who’s fast becoming one of my favourite antagonists on TV right now. Seeing his troubled past and how this ties into his hatred for the Titans allows for some much deeper characterisation than a simple, murderous ex-soldier. It’s something DC have done particularly well here and I just hope his character is allowed a suitable send-off after all this good work. Being able to down both Wonder Girl and Robin in one-on-one fights is certainly eye-opening and the ease at which he does this too really hammers home his credibility as a villain.
Quite what the future holds for Titans right now remains to be seen but one thing’s for sure – the epic fight between the Titans and Deathstroke is shaping up to be one for the ages.