We Finally Know What Happened to Jason Todd

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The Big Picture

  • Titans Season 4 introduces a new Robin, Tim Drake, who teams up with former Robin Jason Todd, now Red Hood, in an unexpected alliance.
  • Jason Todd’s return in this episode fills in important gaps in Red Hood’s backstory and provides closure to the character’s arc.
  • The episode showcases Jason’s growth as a character, as he shows a calmer and more nurturing side while still maintaining his irreverent nature.


Titans debuted its third and best Robin in Season 4, Episode 11, but that’s not the only exciting reveal in the episode. When Tim Drake/Robin 3.0 (Jay Lycurgo) is sent on his first solo mission as Robin to Gotham, he finds himself an unusual ally—Jason Todd/Red Hood (Curran Walters).

For one episode only, Curran Walters returns as the anti-hero Red Hood to conclude the character’s story. The show couldn’t have ended without closing the loop on this character, so some of us may have expected — hoped — he’d return for one last hurrah. He does! Walters steps back in the role like he’d never left it and fills in some much-needed gaps in Red Hood’s and Gotham’s story.

Titans

Dick and Rachel, a girl possessed by a strange darkness, get embroiled in a conspiracy that could bring Hell on Earth. Joining them along the way are the hot-headed Starfire and lovable Beast Boy. Together they become a team of heroes.

Release Date
October 12, 2018

Rating
TV-MA


What Happened to Jason Todd on ‘Titans’?

In Season 3 of Titans, a traumatized Jason tried to eliminate his fear and get back to being the superhero Robin. But that path ended with him being crowbarred to death by the Joker and then resurrected by Jonathan Crane/Scarecrow (Vincent Kartheiser), who got Jason addicted to an anti-fear toxin. Side effects include turning into a bloodthirsty criminal.

Jason did a lot of terrible things during his reign as Red Hood—as Scarecrow’s partner-in-crime, Red Hood terrorized Gotham and duped his former Titans teammate Dawn Granger/Dove (Minka Kelly) into accidentally killing her on-again-off-again boyfriend Hank Hall/Hawk (Alan Ritchson). But he was under the influence of Scarecrow’s drug, and suffering PTSD from being captured by Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Esai Morales) and also betrayed by Slade’s daughter Rose (Chelsea Zhang) in Season 2, so Jason ended the season on the road to redemption.

However, we didn’t know what Jason’s plan was for the future. He’d mended his relationship with his adoptive father Bruce Wayne/Batman (Iain Glen), but was he planning to stick around in Gotham?

It’s Red Hood to the Rescue in ‘Titans’ Season 4

In “Project Starfire”, Dick Grayson/Nightwing (Brenton Thwaites) tasks Tim with an odd mission—Tim has to return to his hometown of Gotham to seek out an informant named Venta who used to work with The Organization. Despite Tim’s reluctance to leave the team, go back to Gotham, and be apart from his comatose boyfriend Bernard Fitzmartin (James Scully), he soon changes his mind when he’s gifted the Robin suit.

But a suit does not make a superhero. Though Tim’s been training throughout the season, he’s still a rookie, and it’s not long before he’s pinned down by the bad guys’ guns. But then, someone else takes them down. It’s not Batman, as one would have expected; it’s Red Hood.

Jason’s introduction in this episode is a direct homage to when Jason first appeared on Titans. Back in Season 1, Episode 5, Jason debuted in the final moments of the episode to rescue Dick, the first Robin, from an ambush where he was pinned down. And here he is again rescuing another Robin.

Jason’s appearance, of course, wouldn’t be complete without his quintessential swearing, and general disdain for everyone around him, which is exactly what Tim endures. Jason is impertinent and profane, and Tim never bats an eye. Never change, Jason Todd.

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Jason Doesn’t “Team” Anymore, Or So He Says

close up of Curran Waters as Jason Todd in Titans.
Image via Warner Bros. TV

Jason brings Tim to his hideout—it’s a rundown, abandoned building with security controlled by a red laptop in the lobby. Jason has a full setup in his place, complete with a command center filled with monitors, a mini gym, a jukebox, and what passes for nourishment for a vigilante.

Jason has not heard of Dick’s informant, and when Tim asks if they can team up to find Venta, Jason explains that he doesn’t ‘team’ anymore. Though he’s not interested in helping Tim, Jason isn’t overly vicious about Tim sticking around either, which is a nice change. It’s obvious that Jason is a lot less temperamental now. He does, however, have his own mission—he’s tracking the villain Shimmer, who briefly appeared in Season 2, and has been leaving clues he’s unable to decipher yet. That’s because Jason had the code wrong, which Tim quickly fixes.

For a guy who says he doesn’t work in teams, Jason makes it clear that he’s not working solo either. He immediately shares Tim’s answer with Babs over the phone; Babs is none other than Commissioner Barbara Gordon/Oracle (Savannah Welch), who worked closely with the Titans in Season 3. We also hear Jason tell Babs that he’ll take his ‘usual percentage’ for sharing this information. So, it appears that Jason’s operations as Red Hood are conducted with the GCPD’s, or at least Babs’ blessing, quite like how, throughout Batman comics and adaptations, Commissioner Jim Gordon allowed Batman to patrol Gotham without a badge. But Jason, unlike his father, isn’t a vigilante working for free. This isn’t completely surprising given that Jason isn’t altruistic by nature. He loved being Robin because he had carte blanche to do what he wanted. In Season 1, we see him unnecessarily attack and brutally beat up cops simply because he had a history of being ill-treated by them. It’s just who he is, but what’s good to see is that Jason’s channeling his darker tendencies for the good of Gotham.

It’s All a Test for Robin 3.0 in the Penultimate ‘Titans’ Episode

Brenton Thwaites in standing in front of flowers in Titans Season 4
Image via HBO

The mysterious Venta continues to be elusive, so Jason challenges Tim to a sparring session. We know something’s off when Jason wins the first round and immediately offers to go for a second round. That’s not like Jason, he likes to win and show people up. The two continue to spar and Jason keeps on beating Tim but always picks him back up again. He doesn’t stop their sparring session till Tim’s had a few wins. And then suddenly it’s ‘suit up’ time. Very fishy indeed, but Tim, who doesn’t know Jason, as well as us viewers do, does not see anything concerning regarding Jason’s behavior.

Tim is ambushed once again, this time by Shimmer’s goons, but thanks to Jason’s training sparring, Tim can hold his own. As Robin, he has to rely on his combat skills, his awareness of everything around him, and needs the ability to turn anything and everything into a weapon if needed, even if that weapon happens to be a busted dustbuster and Jason’s laptop. That’s what a few rounds in Jason’s lair have taught Tim.

Tim leaves (or rather, is kicked out by Jason), only after being with a gorgeous bike, and that’s when we learn the truth about this whole Venta mission. As one can guess by this point, Venta doesn’t exist and was a ploy by Dick to get Tim to Gotham. He’s been in touch with Jason and had specially requested him to train Tim as Robin. And to prove how much Jason has changed, he assures Dick, over the phone, that Tim will be a better Robin than himself. That’s saying a lot for a character who once felt that his identity as Robin was all that mattered.

Seeing Jason as irreverent as ever, but also calm and nurturing is great growth for the character. He’s become a beloved character in the comics and the show wouldn’t have felt right without closure for his arc. He’s still a vigilante, but he’s also working with Barbara Gordon, most likely in a clandestine fashion. Knowing Jason is still in touch with Dick is heart-warming—Jason had lost faith in his brother, his team, and his father, but he’s regained some of it now.

Tim and Jason’s meeting is also crucial since their only encounter was when Scarecrow shot Tim and Jason tried to help him. With Jason training and guiding Tim, he’s officially passing on the baton to the new Robin, and freeing himself of the burden that came with his experiences as Robin 2.0. What works with Jason and Tim’s dynamic in this episode is Tim’s nonchalance in the face of Jason’s indignation. Tim’s exuberance at cracking the code to help Jason’s mission, and his later confession that meeting ‘the great Red Hood’ was a bucket list item, shows how grounded Tim is. Which is an essential quality for a Robin. Jason had a tough life, but now he seems settled, and he’s helped make a better Robin who can keep cities safe. That’s a nice way to say farewell to this character.

Titans is streaming in its entirety on Max

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