DC’s new streaming service, DC Universe, is still in its infancy, but it has clearly found its killer app in its first original series, Titans. The more mature presentation of one of the company’s most beloved factions has been a major source of buzz during the service’s launch. The show might have shown a heightened focus on Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth thus far, but it showed plenty of room for other characters to grow moving forward. In last week’s episode, Rachel was captured and separated from Dick and Kory before she made her escape. The season’s fourth episode showed just that while also introducing the cult-favorite team, the Doom Patrol.
Rachel is on the run through the snowy woods after destroying and escaping her convent prison. Unknown to her, Gar Logan is on her trail in tiger form. His transformation attracts her attention and he leads her away from her destruction. The two have a discussion about the nature of their powers. Gar believes himself and Rachel to be special, though Rachel sees herself as a danger. Gunshots suddenly ring out courtesy of a pair of deer hunters. Rachel stops them from killing a wounded deer, resulting in on of them being shot in the arm. Rachel comforts the dying animal. Gar pulls her away as the now healed deer awakens.
Gar brings Rachel to his home. What appears to be an abandoned mansion lights up to reveal teenage “nirvana,” complete with video games and unlimited Orange Crush. Rachel obviously questions his living situation. After both reveal that their parents are dead, Gar rushes Rachel into a closet. The ruse fails as Cliff, aka Robotman, discovers her and berates Gar for bringing her here.
The distracting argument allows Rachel to discover Larry, aka Negative Man, cooking up a mean dinner to some AC/DC. Rachel joins the crew for dinner, and is later joined by Rita, aka Elasti-Girl, after she is able to form her unstable cells into her normal appearance. Unfortunately, her face begins to lose shape. Rachel comforts her, taking her by the hand and seeing visions of the accident that altered her cellular structure. Rita’s face returns to form as the group’s doctor and overseer, Chief, arrives.
Rachel might be getting acquainted with the Doom Patrol, but Dick and Kory are hot on their trail. Kory berates Dick for leaving her alone in the care of the nuns as the duo begins their search for her. Their first stop is a local police station where an officer informs Dick of the hunters run-in with his “purple-haired girl.” Dick and Kory pay one hunter a visit. The hunter isn’t very forthcoming with information and Dick’s continued pursuit leads to a physical altercation. The former Robin’s knuckles grow bloodier as he realizes that the hunter’s son is watching the fight. Dick pulls back, the hunter tells them of an old house and Kory offers the man some money and an apology as they exit.
Kory ridicules Dick for letting his demons fuel his actions. Dick pushes back, but Kory points to a much larger explosion on the horizon if Dick doesn’t deal with his issues. Dick might not want Rachel to make similar mistakes that he did, but Kory points out that he’s still making those mistakes by keeping himself on an emotional island. The two suspend the talk as they begin to infiltrate the seemingly abandoned home.
Chief’s dinner interruption was for good reason as he pulls his group into assistant duty with the treatment of a new patient, Arani Desai. Chief’s medicine fails to counteract Arani’s fluctuating body temperature, but Rachel’s touch stabilizes and heals her to Chief’s amazement.
This curiosity turns to malice when Chief chastises Gar, calling him selfish and showering him in guilt for being able to exist in public when the others can’t. Chief uses the opportunity to find out more about Rachel’s powers, leading him to offer her similar aid. He explains that he helps those that others have given up on and convinces Rachel to submit to an examination.
The decision proves to be destructive, however, when Rachel second-guesses her decision. Gar threatens Chief when he doesn’t release Rachel, eating a tranquilizer dart for his troubles. The stress unlocks the dark energy within Rachel, picking up Chief and slamming him against the wall of his examination room. Dick arrives on the scene just in time to save Rachel from herself, his embrace causing her dark energy and a mysterious portal to subside.
As Dick, Kory and Rachel leave the house, Cliff tells Gar that he should go with them. Gar initially refuses, but Cliff knows that he can have an actual life, more than anything the rest of the home’s inhabitants can have. Gar and the Doom Patrol say their tearful goodbyes a now paralyzed Chief ruminates on recent events.
What did you think about Titans season 1 episode 4? Let us know in the comment section below!