After a prolonged midseason break of four months, “Titans” made a banger of a comeback with two back-to-back episodes, “Caul’s Folly” and “Dick, Carol, Ted, and Cory,” as the team grapples with being entrapped in a new realm and with a familiar multiversal threat. In the previous episode, in the midseason finale, we saw that, in order to save the Titans, Sebastian agreed to undergo the process of transforming into Brother Blood. A brainwashed Sebastian attacks the team, which would have resulted in the deaths of the team members if Garfield Logan, aka Beast Boy, hadn’t tapped into his connection with the mystical realm of ‘Red’ and transported them. Jinx died during a struggle with Mother Mayhem, and there was a hint of her return too.
Previously in that episode, Garfield was visited by Dominic Mndawe, aka Freedom Beast, who hinted about other characters with animalistic elemental powers like Animal Man and Vixen, who, like Gar, share a connection with the Red. Throughout the first part of this season, one of the most significant members of the team, Conner, aka Superboy (who was created by combining the DNA of Superman and Lex), had a change of heart, took a liking to his villainous parent, and tried to emulate Lex’s qualities in himself—which continued to isolate him from the team, and eventually, his preoccupation with taking matters into his own hands caused the team to fail to stop Mother Mayhem. Before getting pulled into the Red, Rachel got her powers back and became the White Raven, her most powerful version yet.
The episode begins right where the midseason finale left off, in the temple of Blood. Sebastian rises from the well of Blood, now completely transformed into Brother Blood. The cult of Blood obeys his commands, and as the next step in their plan, Mayhem remarks that they will have to resurrect his father, the demon Trigon.
After a while, the team, consisting of everyone except Gar, gets transported inside the empty temple, and they wake up. Although they don’t remember how they survived, they seem to retain the memory of Gar saving them somehow. Rachel manages to free Jinx’s spirit from the place by releasing a magical conduit. Before they leave the place, Conner finds out about a hidden suitcase, apparently left by Lex Luthor before his death, from which they recover a letter and a book on ancient artifacts and occult magic. It is revealed that Lex, who discovered the temple in the first place and tried to cure his cancer by using occult means, had an idea about May’s betrayal and/or eventual uprising, and in the book, surprisingly addressed to Dick Grayson (perhaps due to the high regard he held him in as a detective), he laid out the means of stopping her. The rest of the letter is addressed to Conner, presumably about his Luthor heritage. The group goes to decipher the contents of the book, which is written in an ancient Tamaran dialect that none of the members can translate, and finds Conner once again going off on his own tangent.
Dick and Kory go to an eccentric, nerdy expert, Roberta, to decode the secrets of the book. After a peculiar show and tell, Roberta talks about a prophecy that if the child of Trigon gains access to the mystical horn of Trigon, the demon can be summoned to the earthly realm, where he will proceed to devour their reality. She also remarks that if Kory unleashes the full potential of her powers, she can tackle the might of Trigon, but it will also result in her death. Kory and Dick take their leave, and the latter isn’t willing to talk about the possibility of Kory’s death.
In the Titans’ RV, Tim discusses with Rachel the nature of her newfound powers, and Rachel remarks that it feels similar to her Raven powers, except the darkness seems to be gone. Tim also asks her about Conner’s motives, and seeing that Krypto, the super-dog, is present at the RV, too, Rachel remarks that Conner will return for him sooner or later, even if he abandons the Titans. Dick and Kory return and share the information regarding the horn they have learned from Roberta. After jotting down some of the key phrases from the translated version, Tim deduces that, just like mythological scriptures, the phrases might allude to alphanumeric codes that can lead them to the place where the horn is kept. The team analyzes the data accordingly, and they get the coordinates, possibly leading to the location. It seems that, as his last act, Lex tried to help the team locate the horn.
Dick drives the RV to the location but is unable to find anything that can remotely indicate the existence of such an artifact. Roberta had mentioned the horn being guarded by the loyalists of the Cult of Blood, but there is no sign of them either. Meanwhile, the STAR Lab research chief, Bernard, tracked the team and arrived at the same location after Tim deliberately ignored his calls as he was dealing with his self-esteem. The team decides to venture further, and Tim decides to follow the RV with Bernard.
While moving forward, they come across a signboard welcoming them to the town of Caul’s Folly, and all of a sudden, the RV enters through an invisible portal, and Dick, Kory, and Rachel end up in Caul’s Folly, the small town seemingly stuck in time. Bernard and Tim can’t find such an entry and try to find one using gadgets from STAR Labs.
The inhabitants of the town seem extra peppy and almost as if they’re being controlled by someone. The trio of entrapped Titans enters a diner, and the receptionist seems especially piqued by their arrival. Later, as Kory and Dick go to the town sheriff nearby to get some clue about the artifact they are searching for, Rachel gets abducted by the receptionist, Megan, and her father, who wrongly considers her and her friends to be the prophesied children of Trigon, which is the reason they gained access to this realm. Rachel assures them that even though she is a child of Trigon, she has no intention of using the horn to summon the demon, and in fact, she and her friends want to ensure the prevention of that. Megan and her father remark that the sheriff and the entire police force of the town are chief security of the horn, and if they find out that Rachel’s friends aren’t the prophesied bringers of doom, they’ll take their lives. Things are worsened even further by the fact that Megan’s initial suspicion led to her slipping in a special deterrent in their drinks, which neutralizes Rachel and Kory’s powers for a significant period of time.
Conner goes to Lexcorp’s office and meets Lex’s personal assistant, Mercy Graves, the person who tortured and experimented on him and Garfield, which resulted in prolonged traumatic bouts for both of them previously. However, Mercy manages to convince Conner to honor Lex’s legacy by avenging his death and destroying the cult of Blood along with May and Sebastian. On the other hand, after a daylong search, Bernard and Tim fail to come up with a rescue plan, and as they spend the night at a nearby motel, they decide to work out their past differences.
Meanwhile, the sheriff, who initially considers Dick to be the son of Trigon, invites him to the police station to hand over the horn to him. As per their agreement, Dick goes to the police station but gets himself captured by the sheriff and his forces. Before he slips into unconsciousness, Dick sees Sebastian and Mayhem have already arrived at the town, followed by the entire populace of the town. With this scene, the seventh episode ends.
The Cursed Town
As the eighth episode begins, we find Dick and Kory waking up in a stately house, with the reality fabricated in a way that makes it seem that they have been living in the house as the lovely couple, Ted and Carol. Confused, they return to the town diner to search for Rachel. At regular intervals, the duo gets dazed by the sound of the songs which ring all over the town continuously.
Rachel has once again been abducted from Megan’s hideout by Mayhem and her followers. A transformed Sebastian urges to meet with her to cut off his own vulnerabilities by killing Rachel, whom he considered a sister in the past, but initially, May tries to dissuade him. Sebastian goes to her anyway and discovers that both of them, being Trigon’s children, are connected with each other, and any physical harm to Rachel will end up harming him as well. Sebastian angrily exits but later uses his powers to heal himself—and he heals Rachel too. Later, as he brings out the horn from a hellspore, the entire town attends in a congregation of Blood and bursts out in joy.
Dick and Kory approach Megan in the diner and ask about the whereabouts of Rachel. Megan tries to lure them in a similar way she initially did to abduct Rachel, but Dick manages to corner Megan and her father. They reveal that Rachel was with them and told them everything about the Titans’ mission, but she was abducted by Mayhem’s stooges. They also share that the town was destroyed by Mayhem and the followers of her cult and later rebuilt only to capture people from the outside world and entrap them in time stasis for a decade. The song they hear all the time is used to make people forget their true identity in order to make them do the bidding of the cult unquestioningly. Megan and her father are the only ones to escape this pathetic fate due to their deafness. Dick also learns that the Church of Blood is the place where Rachel has been taken by May’s lackeys.
Grayson To The Rescue
Dick plans to resist mind control by recording significant memories of his life as Bruce taught him to. Kory isn’t too fond of the idea but reluctantly agrees to do so. However, even though Dick manages to resist the effects of the song with his own mental strength, Kory forgets everything about her past, and even the recordings of her memories cannot bring her back.
In the earth realm, Tim and Bernard reach a radio station nearby where a lot of signs and photographs indicate people went missing in the area. They also meet a boy named William, who is waiting for his missing family. From the conversation, it becomes clear that William is Megan’s brother. Even though they can’t access the entry point still, Tim and Bernard hit upon a plan to use audio frequencies to send a message to the invisible realm. They manage to do so by turning on the station using Bernard’s car, and on the other side, Megan and her father get assured of the possibility of escape.
With May and Sebastian going after retrieving the horn, it doesn’t take much effort for Dick to take down the sheriff and his forces, who were assigned to the church of Blood. After rescuing Rachel from that place, Dick manages to break into the town’s version of a radio station and damage the mechanism enough to stop the ominous tunes from playing. Meanwhile, Kory plays Grayson’s memory recordings and manages to remember her forgotten past. Finally, the Titans reunite in the outside world, and William, too, reunites with his sister Megan and their father after a decade.
Will Trigon Rise Once Again?
In Metropolis, Conner, who has now even shunned his superboy tee, resembling Luthor to a T, meets with Sebastian Blood and offers his partnership. Once again, Conner is making extremely risky and rash decisions, but with his ego boosted by Mercy Graves, it’ll take him a long time before he finally realizes his folly.
The “Titan” begins with Rachel’s tragic predicament as the daughter of Trigon, and the series ends with Trigon at the center, thereby completing the circle. Perhaps this time, the makers will choose to undo some past mistakes, and with only five more episodes to go in a season that has been surprisingly decent compared to the lackluster earlier seasons, they will like to end it on a high note. The interdimensional, multiversal demon Trigon has been the ultimate enemy of the team in the comics as well, notably during the famous “Teen Titans” run by the legendary duo Marv Wolfman and George Perez, from which the series is heavily inspired. Hopefully, their legacy will be respected in the live-action if the series manages to continue its good run in the remaining episodes as well.
Also, the “Stargirl” and the “Doom Patrol” crossover is definitely going to happen in the next episode, which will surely hype up DC fans immensely. We wonder whether James Gunn considers utilizing the potential these casts and storylines had by incorporating the characters in the new DC Universe.