WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for the Titans Season 2 episode "Atonement," streaming now on DC Universe.
While Season 1 of Titans focused on Dick Grayson/Robin (Brenton Thwaites) reluctantly assembling a new version of the team, the second season isn't just about melding these faces with the old roster -- it's about deconstructing their symbol on the whole.
This comes in the form of Slade Wilson/Deathstroke (Esai Morales) as he goes on the warpath for what we now know was a reprisal for him murdering Aqualad. The sin committed by Dick was officially revealed to be Slade's son, Jericho (Chella Man) sacrificing himself to save Robin in a brawl at a church. While it seemed the hatchet was buried years ago just after this happened, Slade returned and since then, his war on the Titans has been most brutal.
Now, courtesy of "Atonement," it appears the villain has finally won, breaking the team and most notably, Robin.
In the beginning of the episode, Dick admits he tracked Jericho down to a meeting with Slade where the son thought he could talk sense into his father. This led to Slade thinking Jericho was a traitor but even after he realized his son was being used, Slade simply wanted to put an end to Robin. This fight led to Jericho's death and Robin lying, telling everyone Jericho was dead by the time he arrived, painting Slade as a bloodthirsty and vengeful dad who put a sword in the boy for no good reason.
When the truth comes out that Jericho died saving Dick from being impaled, Hank (Alan Ritchson) is the first to respond, calmly walking up to Dick before punching him across the face. Jason (Curran Walters) immediately leaves with Jericho's sister, Rose (Chelsea Zang), to further rub salt in Dick's wounds. A disappointed Donna (Conor Leslie) exits as well, with Raven (Teagan Croft) coming with her as the youngster doesn't trust Dick nor Garfield (Ryan Potter) anymore. Hank also quits with his significant other and Dick's ex, Dawn (Minka Kelly), following suit -- unsurprising as she consistently wanted to stop the ruse with Jericho. Admittedly, Starfire (Anna Diop) wants to stick around but she has her own cosmic drama to tend to as her people are hunting her so when she departs, it's just Dick and Gar left. He's quite literally become the very thing he hated: Batman, driving away everyone he loves and filling his life with lies and violence.
Dick realizes no one wants to follow him as a leader or as a friend and so, he decides to head to Greenland for what we think is a mini-hiatus. But as it turns out, Dick needs to do more than just clear his head. Not even Garfield knows what's going through his leader's mind as Beast Boy keeps optimism alive, hoping Dick, Raven and the others will come back to Titans Tower to continue grooming him and a recovering Superboy. But what ensues is nothing short of career suicide.
Robin remains vague as to his plans, just leaving instructions to call Bruce Wayne when Conner wakes up, and when he's in the airport ready to board, it seems like he's relieved to be getting the R&R he needs to reflect. In a shocking move, though, Dick crumples his ticket and assaults airport security, only to drop to his knees so he can be arrested. This impulsive decision is driven by Dick not getting any forgiveness from a battered Slade, who's now officially in retirement, or Jericho's mother. They have nothing in their heart for Robin and with no redemption to be gained, not to mention the Titans smashed to pieces, the sight of a kneeling Dick means Deathstroke has truly won the war.
He's damaged Robin mentally and physically, to the point where Dick wants to be incarcerated so he never has a chance to start the Titans up again. He knows Slade will come back to finish the job once this happens and it's quite jarring seeing the fear of God inflicted into Dick. Everything he's worked for has been irreparably shattered and, clearly, Deathstroke has punished Robin to the point that the Batman protege truly believes he's an utter failure as a superhero.
Streaming now on DC Universe, Titans Season 2 stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson, Anna Diop as Kory Anders, Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth, Ryan Potter as Garfield Logan, Curran Walters as Jason Todd and Conor Leslie as Donna Troy, with Minka Kelly as Dawn Granger, Alan Ritchson as Hank Hall, Joshua Orpin as Superboy, Chelsea Zhang as Rose Wilson, Chella Man as Jericho, Drew Van Acker as Aqualad, Esai Morales as Deathstroke and Iain Glen as Bruce Wayne.
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