Episode 5 of Titans Season 3 begins out in the woods. Jason is working with Crane after all, and he catches up with the good doctor to divulge parts of his plan. It seems there’s an overarching plot here which involves consuming Gotham in a toxic state of fear.
Speaking of toxic, Crane also seems to be partially responsible for Jason’s submission, given his dependence on this strange serum we’ve been seeing glimpses of since episode 1.
From here, we then jump back 3 months ago. Jason is haunted by visions of Crane at the manor. These dreams have been going on for weeks and Bruce sits with Jason, concerned for his wellbeing.
Bruce decides to bring Jason along to see Lesley Tompkins. If he refuses to go though, Bruce will force him to hang up his cape.
Jason is on edge following his incident with Deathstroke, and his friends are aware of this too. Jason constantly changes the subject when this is brought up though. In fact, he decides to pursue a case involving a missing kid called Diego Martinez.
Therapy brings up unexpected results too, especially when Jason notices a picture of Dr Crane up on the mantle. When Lesley mentions Crane’s fascination with fear, the attention turns to Crane’s fear gas.
Well, this certainly piques Jason’s interest as he starts to look into Scarecrow’s gear. While there, Bruce ends up calling Jason his son, which is a pretty big deal.
Between texting Molly and attending therapy, Bruce takes Jason out to the exact spot where his parents were killed. It’s pretty significant, especially as Bruce tells Jason he doesn’t want him to be Robin anymore.
This completely rubs Jason up the wrong way as the two end up verbally sparring. Bruce promises never to give up on Jason but his decision has been made. And that’s right on the eve of him heading to London too. What a time to drop a bombshell like that, eh? Jason refuses to believe him though and turns away, intent on proving Bruce wrong.
Part of this involves turning to the dark side and visiting Dr Crane in Arkham. He wants Crane to concoct up a serum to reverse-engineer fear. In order to do so, Jason tries to strike a deal.
In exchange for Crane’s help, Jason is going to unveil absolutely everything about Batman, including all his secrets. Crane also wants Robin to help break him out of Arkham as some form of twisted poetic irony.
With Jason agreeing to the terms, we whisk forward 3 days to see Jason has concocted up this anti-fear serum. This seems to be what he was ingesting before heading out to the fairground to confront the Joker. It’s also where Joker obviously leaves him for dead.
Jason is brought back from the brink though by Crane, who takes him deep underground in Arkham and revives him. Crane encourages Jason to don thee Red Hood and adopt this new supervillain identity.
With the Red Hood mask on, Jason also manages to free Diego and save him. Jason says his goodbyes to Molly, who gently encourages him to seek help. Instead, Jason turns and walks away.
The Episode Review
Episode 5 of Titans is another great chapter, one that takes us back in time and actually start to fill in the blanks over what happened to Jason and what this serum he’s been ingesting actually is.
The knock-on effect to Deathstroke’s attack last season and what impact that’s had on Jason is a great bit of character development too. It helps to bring this character into feeling like a much deeper and more rounded player, and provides crucial context over how and why he’s working with Crane.
Much like last season’s flashback episode with Conner and Superboy, this one involving the origin of Red Hood is a great inclusion to the lore and easily one of the best episodes so far.
Season 3 has felt like a brand new revitalized show and the future certainly looks promising for these superheroes. With 13 episodes though, we’re not even halfway so we’ll have to wait and see if this keeps up.