The Titans season 1 finale plunged viewers into a twisted dream-world in which Dick Grayson found himself forced to kill his mentor, Batman. It was a strange way to end a season, an episode that didn't really tie up any of the plot threads but instead set the scene for Titans season 2. It was also, in typical Titans fashion, something of a bloodbath. There was one extended action sequence in which Batman tore through the Gotham City Police Department, killing them with all the brutal efficiency you'd expect if the Dark Knight did indeed go bad.
Titans has been a strange series, seemingly unconcerned with the issue of actually advancing its main plot. Indeed, some of its best episodes - such as "Jason Todd" - have essentially been diversions from the main narrative, which ostensibly revolved around Raven and Trigon. "Dick Grayson" is an attempt to pull the threads together a little, with Trigon successfully corrupting Dick because of his own inner darkness. Conceptually, that's a smart idea, as it tries to give a sense of payoff to the amount of time viewers have spent with the titular Titan. Unfortunately it's not particularly well-realized, and would frankly be a lot more disturbing if there weren't a number of moments where Trigon forces Dick down a path he would have rejected. It would have been interesting to see a world in which Trigon had just exposed Dick's own inner darkness.
All in all, the Titans season 1 finale doesn't really advance the plot much; the bulk of the entire episode takes place in a fantasy world, and the only real-world impact is that Dick Grayson is now under Trigon's thrall. It's a fairly underwhelming way to end the first season, but it does raise a lot of questions.
- This Page: Dick Grayson's Nightmare
- Next Page: Unanswered Questions & Titans Season 2
8. Was This Originally A Nightmare - Or Dick Grayson's Dream World?
One of the smarter details in "Dick Grayson" is the fact that this fantasy world appears to have originally been constructed out of Dick's deepest desires - and that Trigon corrupts the hero by bringing these desires into conflict with one another. On the one hand, Dick dreams of a world where he'd never messed things up with Dawn, and where the couple had abandoned vigilantism in order to settle down. That's an interesting detail, as it perhaps explains why Dawn was the first person Dick thought of when he needed a safe haven for Raven; it seems that, in the Titans world, Dove was the great love of Robin's life. (It's just a shame there's better chemistry between Dick and Donna Troy.)
But Dick also dreams of a world in which he matters to Batman. When a crippled Jason Todd arrives on the scene, it's to tell Dick everything he wishes he'd be told; that he matters, that he is the only one who can save Batman, that he is the one true Robin. No doubt this need for affirmation has been strengthened by Dick's recently learning Batman has replaced him as Robin. Here's the interesting thing, though: Dick's desire for a normal life is deeper than his desire for affirmation as a superhero and a sidekick. That's clear from the sheer number of times where Trigon has to force Dick down the darker path by manipulating the dream-world. This is quite an insightful look into Dick's character - and it raises the possibility that Dick's love for Dawn could be what brings him back from the brink in Titans season 2.
7. What Had Happened In Dick Grayson's Imaginary World?
Dick's dream-world is set five years in the future - so what had happened in that five-year period? It seems that Dick imagined a world where Dawn had broken up with Hank, and he and Dove had become an item. They'd left their crime-fighting lives behind them, and settled down in Los Angeles to start a family. According to dialogue, Raven was the one who redeemed Dick from his darkness; he's found a purpose in helping the teenager, and this had given him the opportunity to move on from being Robin. Raven and Beast Boy have now gone to college, and are clearly a couple.
At the same time, though, Gotham City has gotten worse. Batman has isolated himself from the rest of the world's superhero community, and little by little all the people who kept him on the straight and narrow have slipped away. Barbara Gordon has disappeared, Alfred has died, and Commissioner Gordon has been tortured and brutally murdered by the Joker. Jason Todd himself has recently been crippled when the Riddler unexpectedly pulled a gun. Meanwhile, as Batman fell into his own darkness, so too did Gotham City - as though reflecting his broken psyche
6. Which Superheroes Did This Episode Confirm In The Titans World?
"Dick Grayson" confirmed two new superheroes in the Titans universe - Superman and Batgirl. There had been previous nods to Superman in the form of a T-shirt with a Superman logo, but this revealed that the Man of Steel is indeed a part of the Titans universe. Meanwhile, the reference to Barbara Gordon - a.k.a. Batgirl - is particularly interesting. In the comics, Dick Grayson and Barbara Gordon have often been a couple; it's entirely possible she's another one of Dick's exes, and could even appear in Titans season 2.
5. What Was The Significance Of Room 309?
When Dick Grayson arrives at Gotham, he finds his way to Gotham's idea of a decent hotel. There, he's given Room 309 - and that's not a coincidence. Batman #309 was published in December 1978, with the title "Have Yourself a Deadly Little Christmas." It's a subtle way for the show to acknowledge the finale's release date, and the form of the glad tidings is certainly appropriate for this episode.