HBO Max’s Titans Shakes Things Up With a Different Kind of Oracle
Any episodes of Titans that feature the whole gang fighting together is a winner for me, and not only does this week’s episode, “51%,” deliver in that regard, but it moves bonds on the team forward romantically and platonically.
**Spoilers for Titans’ season 3 episode “51%.”**
I constantly go back and forth as to how I feel about Jason Todd on Titans, mostly because of the rushed execution. After acting without Dr. Crane’s instructions, he is gassed and tied up by his new father figure. Crane wants to teach Jason to be patient, but he has clearly never raised teenage boys.
As he plots to take over Gotham with his gas, the Titans come together in order to stop him, with the help of Oracle. I was super excited when Dick went to go see Barbara, but then it quickly became clear that it wasn’t that Oracle.
In the comics, after being injured by the Joker and becoming a wheelchair user, Barbara went from being Batgirl to Oracle, the “woman in the chair” who used her technological skills and intelligence to help the Batfamily and the Birds of Prey. In Titans, Oracle is a piece of technology that basically has the power to listen in to every conversation. It allows them to track Crane, but it is soon discovered that Crane has hacked into it.
Savannah Welch has been great as Barbara Gordon, not only because she is an actress with disabilities playing the character, but because they have done the work to show her as a full person in her career and sex life. I am still bummed that these other aspects of Barbara’s character have fallen to the side, but hopefully, now that she and Dick are back together, we will get Batgirl properly.
After almost getting blown up, the Titans reassemble and face Crane using their own combined skills, destroying a huge supply of his drugs and forcing him to flee with a still-drugged Jason.
Blackfire and Starfire’s relationship remains the highlight of my watching experience. Blackfire gives us the title of the episode by explaining that their parents felt like if a decision was 51% good, then it was the right one to make. The two team up to help a mob leader reunite with their son. Initially, it seems like a touching parent-child reunion, until she shoots her son in the head. She explains that he was an FBI informant and liability.
Wiping the blood off her face, Starfire ends up burning the woman alive. It is this that allows Blackfire to reveal that she killed their parents because, after Starfire left for Earth and didn’t return, the people blamed Blackfire for it. Their parents decided that killing their “lesser daughter” was the 51% best choice to make.
Damaris Lewis has been killing it as Blackfire and has amazing chemistry with Anna Diop’s Starfire. It is what makes Starfire deciding to allow Blackfire to fight beside the Titans that much more emotionally resonant. Plus, I’m officially shipping Blackfire with Conner. Yes, please.
If Kory and Dick both have to deal with evil younger sibling drama, I am hoping that Blackfire gets to come out of this as a good-ish guy. I am invested now, and I don’t want her and her twists to leave.
We end the episode with Gar going to see Jason’s friend Molly. In the battle for Jason’s soul, Gar had made himself the defender of his former teammate, and I hope he won’t be too disappointed with what he discovers.
Until next week.
(image: DC Comics)
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