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Titans - "Aqualad" - Review



Titans - "Aqualad" - Episode 15 Review

Ok so here's another flashback episode of Titans and I'm all for it. We begin five years ago with the badass one-eyed mercenary known as Deathstroke. The assassin gets ready to go to work. With a peppy little dance tune in his heart Slade Wilson gets to his wet work and single handedly eliminates an entire government prosecutorial case. Lawyers, snitches, even the judge gets taken out utilizing his incredible expertise in death. So is blood flicked on the fourth wall cheesy or not cheesy? Get back to me in the comments. Slade's main man Wintergreen meets him back at DeathHQ with another assignment. This time in San Francisco. He says it weird but promises it will be easy. Some time later Slade is driving along a quiet street in San Francisco. He pulls over and uses some binoculars to spy on a young man in an upstairs apartment. The throat scarred youth is making dinner for his mother who has just arrived. She guesses that the young man has made his famous eggplant parmesan for dinner but then freaks out when she sees that he has left the window open and curtains apart! She reminds him that they must always stay vigilant.


Elsewhere on the rough streets of San Fran a family is attacked in their vehicle by a gang of hoodlums. They pull the father out of the minivan and begin to rough him up. Suddenly Dick Grayson dressed as Robin attacks! He proceeds to save the father as his friends Hawk and Dove come in to help take out the rest of the scoundrels. One of the bad guys manages to slip away but Donna and Aqualad himself are there to take him down. Donna destroys some public property by smashing a fire hydrant open and Aqualad uses his Atlantean Mera-like powers to redirect the water and forcefully knock the heel to the ground. Back at Titans tower, in a scene we saw clips of last episode, the squad celebrates Aqualad's Garth's birthday. He and Hawk exchange barbs while boyfriend and girlfriend Dick and Dawn look on. Dawn finds Donna in her room reading and chastise's her for not giving in to Garth's advances? Kinda weird but OK. Donna lets us know that they may have flirted when they were younger but she's bailing for home soon and isn't looking for any boyfriends getting in the way. Dawn basically forces her to go interact by dragging her by her heels to the party.

In a dark and dingy laboratory somewhere, Dr. Light is beating up an old scientist acquaintance of his. He's looking for something called The Activator and is beating his former colleague to get it. The scientist shows hilarious bravado in rebuking Dr. Light which of course only makes him mad. The Dr. absorbs some light energy from the hanging lightbulb and then uses the charge to blast the insolent scientist across the room. To his credit the blasted scientist still refuses to give in so Dr. Light supercharges himself and begins to cook him with his powers. Brutal. But awesome. Sweet match cut, literally and figuratively, to the match lighting for Garth's cake. Nice one to the editor on that.


Dawn brings in Garth's cake and the Titans all get together to take a photo. As Dawn shakes the polaroid the power in the Tower and across the city goes out. Dick goes to check and see if Bruce's mainframe is still up and running, while Hank and Dawn check on candles, leaving Donna and Garth all alone. Once again Donna shuts down the smooth Atlantean's advances. Dawn finds Dick in the computer room and gets flirty flirty digging the cave like vibe. She infers she doesn't like Bruce's darkness within and doesn't want him to end up like that.

As Donna lights some candles Garth once again hits on her asking if she likes Italian food. He once again can't take a hint and keeps talking as he follows her around. She once again shuts him down but fishboy insults her home and asks why she would want to go there? He tells her she has a choice and again tries to ply her with alcohol and food. She deflects again and texts someone that she needs to see them.

Dr. Light approaches a bank with some partners and heads inside to rob the place. The Titans get the call and head out without Donna. She is meeting a Thymisciran contact that watches over her and can help her with her travel plans to the invisible island. Donna wants to leave early even though she had previously asked for more time. She's feeling the pressure and wants to bail early. At the bank the Titans walk around the crime scene? OK thats weird but they find out Dr. Light hit a safety deposit box. Back at the Tower Garth and Donna review the footage from the security cameras and Garth pulls the nostalgia card by giving Donna an orange soda that they used to drink when they were kids. This cracks Donna's wall a little as she drinks some and shares the bottle with the Aqualad. They talk and she realizes that Garth murdered a clownfish for her by making it swim from the warm caribbean waters to somewhere in the states. She thinks thats cute I guess? Dawn barges in and ruins the moment by saying they have something on the bank robber.


The group identifies Dr. Light and how he got his powers. They see he torched one of his old buddies to find out where the activator is and they decide to find out what it's for. Donna sits in her room and stares at the photo she took earlier. Garth tracks down Dick and asks him for some advice in wooing Donna. Dick tells him to slow his roll but Garth lets us know he's had the hots for her since he was 12 and he obviously doesn't want to. After he leaves Donna finds Dick and tells him she's leaving. She lies and blames the amazonian handler and tells Dick she's leaving tonight. Dicks pissed and tells her she needs to tell Garth. Suddenly the computer sounds an alarm. They found out that the activator is for a giant laser system and if Dr. Light gets his hands on it he'll be super powerful. The Titans get suited up for battle.

In a dark warehouse some soldiers are moving the laser weapon system. Dr. Lights henchman over power them and the bad Dr. turns on the sucker and starts to mega power up! He attacks the Titans who are inside and pin them down with photon light blasts. Garth shows up and takes the attack from Dr. Light head on. His tough Atlantean hide protects him as the Dr. zaps him with his laser hands. Donna and Dick watch as all this happens? What? Why don't they attack? Whatever. Dick directs Hank and Dawn to flank the Doc and then they all attack and pummel Dr. Light. Robin cracks the Dr.'s super villain suit and the conflict is over.


Later at Titan Tower Donna receives a message that she'll be leaving that night. Garth corners her again in the hallway inviting her to burgers and beers. She doesn't answer directly but instead thinks it over and then grabs him and plants a big ole smooch right on his kisser. They stumble together into his room and get it on. Afterwards Donna leaves another bottle of orange soda pop on his pillow as a parting gift. Dick sees her off and Garth stumbles out drunk in love and stupid with afterglow. Dick tells him the truth and Garth rushes off to catch the girl of his dreams.

At the airport hangar Garth catches Donna just as she and her handler are about to board the disappointedly visible airplane. They connect but then BOOM! Aqualad is shot and killed! By Deathstroke! Ahhhhh!!!!!

Inside Titans HQ the squad examines the footage from the airfield. They analyze it and find out that it was Deathstroke who shot Garth. But...who was Deathstroke really shooting at? There's no way he was going for Garth right? He just showed up there. So was he aiming for Donna or the handler? Hmmmmm..... Dawn now gives Dick permission to go full Batman. He does so by tracking down Slade Wilson's son that we saw at the beginning. Oh it's going to get brutal up in here.

Great episode. Learned lots about Titans history and got to see the start of what caused the Titans to break up in the first place. I really did not like seeing Garth being so, ahem, thirsty. Give the girl a break. Can't wait to see what the group has in store for them as they battle Deathstroke.

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