Right after the midseason break, “Titans” returned with back-to-back episodes showing the team getting trapped inside the mystical realm of Caul’s Folly and navigating their way out of it. Sebastian and May got their hands on the Horn of Trigon, which can allow them to bring back the interdimensional multiversal demon into the earthly realm. However, in these two episodes, the disappearance of Garfield Logan, aka Beast Boy, irked fans the most, and even though the team was saved from the destructive powers of Brother Blood only through Gar’s assistance, they had no idea where he could be. The ninth episode of this final season, titled “Dude, Where’s My Gar?” not only answers that question but also takes Garfield Logan on a journey of self-discovery, which entails numerous multiversal clues and possibly is the best episode of the entire series itself. The episode, directed by legendary comics writer Geoff Johns and none other than Beast Boy actor Ryan Potter himself, honors the legacy of the DC Multiverse in such a big way that it can be regarded as the best multiverse-related moment in live action across all franchises and also establishes the fan-favorite character Beast Boy in his due revered position, and we can’t wait to discuss all of it.
A Repressed Memory
The episode begins with a flashback sequence that shows a young Garfield sitting alone on zoo premises. A zookeeper approaches him, and Garfield urges her to stay as he is too afraid to be alone. The zookeeper tries to comfort him, saying that she will look to find his parents and that she’ll be back in no time. Sitting alone, Garfield starts receiving signals from a chimpanzee who seems to be in distress, and the entire world of fauna seems to be connected with him. A red whirlwind engulfs Gar, and we see him back in his adult form, hearing the voices of his friends from the Titans. Garfield wakes up in a cave and gets the shock of a lifetime seeing a bat-lion chimera creature in front of him. A mysterious African person donning a peculiar helmet appears in front of him and states that the creature, who is his loyal friend, is his creation.
Previously, Garfield had met this mysterious person before setting off on his mission against Brother Blood and Mother Mayhem, who mention Gar’s connection with the ‘Red.’ Turns out, Gar managed to tap into the connection when Sebastian’s powers almost annihilated them, and he managed to escort the team by channeling them through the Red. It is during his time in the Red that the mysterious person claims to have managed to pull him out to the cave, which is situated atop Mount Kilimanjaro.
Freedom, Beast, And Red
The person introduces himself as Dominic Mndawe, aka Freedom Beast, a champion of the Red, much like Gar himself. After gaining the Helm of the Beast from Mike Maxwell, aka B’wana Beast, Dominic was completely transformed into the entity known as Freedom Beast. Empowered by the helm, Dominic gained superhuman physicality, longevity, and the power to merge two different creatures to create a super hybrid. Dominic remarks that the legend of the beast dates back to antiquity and that there have been numerous protectors of lifeforms in every generation.
Gar asks him about the Red and gets to know that it is a metaphysical realm that connects and permeates all life forms across the universe and other universes as well. Dominic mentions that Gar is destined to be the protector of the Red and shares the strongest connection with the realm. He mentions Buddy Baker, aka Animal Man, and Mari McCabe, aka Vixen, who share a similar connection with the Red, but Garfield’s surpasses all of them, including Dominic himself.
As the two discuss, they are ambushed by a group of militants, whom Dominic dispatches with relative ease. Presumably associated with the private military, the gunmen were working under the orders of eco-terrorists, to whom the presence of Freedom Beast is detrimental.
Garfield requests Dominic repeatedly to send him back to the Titans as he grows increasingly concerned about his friends, but Dominic requests his help before that. He shows Gar a vision he saw previously of a chimpanzee crying in anguish as it is experimented on while still conscious. Dominic reveals a past connection with the situation.
Garfield lost both his parents to the disease called Sakutia, aka the Green Plague, and even though he contracted it too, he was saved by Niles Caulder, aka Chief, the founder of “Doom Patrol”—Gar’s first adopted family. Dominic shares that he lost his sister and their children to the disease, too and the disease was caused by a re-engineered virus that was spread from the facility where the chimpanzee was being experimented on. Dominic says it is their sacred duty to rescue the creatures caged in the facility and burn it to the ground.
Before they start, Dominic asks Garfield to consume a mysterious concoction, which will allow Gar to channel his connection with Red freely. After consuming it, Gar goes through several interactive visions, where he visits Rachel, who states the importance of finding his own path after a lifetime of following others and meets a now deceased Jinx, who tells him about the interconnectedness of life, which the Red symbolizes. Lastly, he revisits the memory of his childhood, of being separated from his parents in the zoo, and realizes how that foreshadowed the loneliness that followed him all through his life.
After going through the visions, Gar is prepared to start off on the mission, and Dominic takes him to the facility. After wrecking the security all over the place, the duo finds that they’re too late, as all the creatures in the facility have already perished. All except one, the chimpanzee, Dominic’s friend, Djuba, who has deliberately contracted anthrax as a test subject and is dying at the moment. Anthrax being highly contagious, they cannot take her outside, as it could jeopardize numerous other creatures, and they have no choice except to leave the hapless creature to an imminent death. However, Dominic teaches a lesson to the chief scientist who conducted the heinous experiment by fusing him with Djuba into a human-ape hybrid, leading to the deaths of both of them.
Trauma And Acceptance
Dominic remarks that the scientist was working under the orders of someone, and the duo searches through the facility to get a clue about the culprit. It turns out that it was none other than Chief, aka Niles Caulder, who also released Sakutia on purpose. Suddenly, the duo is transported through the Red to the same place in a different time period, and Dominic confesses that every event that Gar went through up to this point was shown to him through the Red. These events took place in the past when Dominic shut down the facility by himself, and Gar lived through them as the realization dawned upon him that the person who saved his life was responsible for the deaths of his parents.
As “Doom Patrol” viewers must remember, the reason for the team’s existence was Niles Caulder deliberately creating ‘accidents’ to choose the surviving member among the mass, who were considered test subjects for his immortality project. Gar, the only survivor of Sakutia and former member of “Doom Patrol,” was such an unfortunate test subject, and unlike the other members of his first adoptive family, he had no idea about Niles’ evil scheme. A tearful Gar asks Dominic that if he knew already, then what was the point of making him live the tragic discovery instead of just telling him? Dominic states that in order to help an unassuming Gar recognize the unnecessary elements of his life, like the destructive ones like Niles Caulder or distracting ones like Titans, the experience was necessary.
Dominic states that he needs Gar to take his rightful place as the protector of the Red and allow Dominic to retire. Gar argues that his friends need him and that he would like to return to them, but Dominic is adamant in his opinion that Gar’s responsibility is far greater than the cause of the Titans and that he must devote himself to the cause of Red. Gar opines that as a champion of Red, he is always connected to every living being on the planet, and he will fulfill his responsibility as the protector of Red, but not by abandoning the people he loves.
Did Gar Realize His Potential? Did We Just Witness The Biggest Multiverse Moment Yet?
Gar accesses the Red and goes back to his childhood memory. He comforts the younger version of himself and reassures him, saying that he shouldn’t be afraid as he will never be alone in his life. As Gar embraces his younger version and reconciles with himself, time stops, and Garfield is teleported to the central junction of the Red, where he witnesses the expansive interconnectivity among all life firsthand. Gar realizes that he is at the central point of the multiverse too, and what follows is a sequence that reveals the existence of different universes that are accessed through the Red.
We get a glimpse of CW’s “The Flash” rushing through the multiverse as Gar gets hit by his lightning and gets transported into the universe of “Stargirl” in Blue Valley, where Courtney, aka Stargirl, and her sentient cosmic staff greet him. Gar commands Red to take him to his universe but ends up in a multiversal junction, from where he peeks at the universe of DC Universe’s “Swamp Thing” and the DCEU universe during the battle between Shazam and Dr. Sivana. However, undoubtedly the biggest tease turns out to be the appearance of the legendary writer Grant Morrison with the map of the DC multiverse in their hand, performing a 4th wall-breaking sequence, much like their notable works consisting of meta-commentaries; Morrison says to Beast Boy that they ‘see’ him and asks whether he too can. Gar smiles and shows an affirmative sign. The appearance of a creator helped the sequence achieve a uniqueness that will surely be remembered by the fans a long time later too, and with the person in question being Grant Morrison, who achieved inimitable success by using the literary device of meta-narrative in his DC works like “Doom Patrol” and “Animal Man,” the tradition definitely came full circle. And the fact that as the architect of DC Multiverse, Grant charted out his plans in “Multiversity” makes this meta commentary from him even more exciting.
Afterward, Gar sees the animated version of Beast Boy from “Teen Titans Go” playing in an alternate universe; voices can be heard from the Harley Quinn animated series, as well as from the Joker, Doctor Fate, and Jonathan Kent from different universes. Finally, Gar sees Dominic once again, who nods in affirmation, signaling that the Beast Boy is now ready to shoulder his responsibilities. A space-time stream takes Gar to the unknown as he repeats his wish of being with his adoptive family, and indeed, he ends up with his first adoptive family – as he crashlands in the Doom Manor, where Victor Stone, aka Cyborg, discovers him lying unconscious.
Garfield Logan has been denied a significant impact on the “Titans” for the longest time, and despite how much he cares about his friends on the team, the denial he faces becomes pretty apparent time and time again. Therefore, it was glorious to see the fan-favorite character getting a much-deserved glow-up, that too amplified by the amazing multiversal sequence. The next episode will focus on the relationship between Gar and other members of Doom Patrol, and hopefully, after this final season of “Titans” ends, Gar will embark on the adventures of protecting the worldwide fauna by quitting the group of edge lords.