DC’s Titans Season 3 Episode 5 explains via flashback how Jason Todd went from Robin to Red Hood, and how he came back to life.
DC’s Titans blew fans away when they immediately jumped into the death of Jason Todd as Robin, and the resurrection of Jason Todd as Red Hood in the first two episodes of Season 3. After showing everyone just how brutal he is, and that he didn’t even flinch when he helped kill his former teammate, Hank, Titans Season 3 Episode 5 is now exploring exactly how this change in him happened.
Warning, this recap and review of Titans Season 3 Episode 5 will contain spoilers. So if you have not yet watched this episode on HBO Max and would like to remain in the dark, please come back at a later time. If you missed our Titans Season 3 Episode 4 recap, check it out.
Warning: Spoilers Ahead for Titans Season 3 Episode 5.
Fans of the DC comic books know that Jason Todd is killed as Robin, and is brought back to life to take up the mantle of Red Hood. But how exactly does this happen and why? There are a couple of different versions of events that lead him down that path, and DC’s Titans Season 3 has just revealed their take on things.
The start of Episode 5 shows Scarecrow and Jason together, making it just a bit more obvious that they have been working together for some time. Then, the words “3 months earlier” appear on screen, and we all get the flashback we have been waiting for. Just exactly what drove Jason Todd to become the brutal Red Hood.
The flashback starts off with Jason dealing with some pretty terrifying nightmares that feature Donna, as well as him being shot. Bruce tells him that as long as he is having these, he is shelved from being Robin. Jason tries to explain that everyone has nightmares, but Bruce is not having it. He says that he wants to make sure he is in the right frame of mind for what they do, and has set up a therapy appointment for him with Dr. Leslie Thompkins. Bruce says once she clears Jason, he can be Robin again.
Next, Jason heads to the city to meet with his friend Molly, who tells him that a kid from the shelter, Diego Martinez, is missing. She has heard a rumor that Joker has someone on the street who is taking in strays. They decide to go see what they can find out, and end up witnessing Pete Hawkins trying to pick up a young girl. Jason being Jason, decides to confront him. The only problem is that he is dealing with some serious PTSD and is off his game. He gets beat up pretty badly, before Hawkins takes off.
Jason is not exactly forthcoming in this appointment with Dr. Thompkins, instead he turns it back on her, to hear about her encounter with Dr. Jonathan Crane, AKA Scarecrow. She explains that he used his fear gas on her and it was like a living hell. She even goes so far as to say she doesn’t know where she would be if Bruce hadn’t saved her.
This sparks Jason’s interest in Scarecrow, and he is later seen going through Bruce’s trophies, including Scarecrow’s mask, and a vial of his fear gas. Bruce shows up and realizes that Leslie told Jason her story. He tells him that he is proud of Jason for going to therapy, because he knows it is not easy, and calls him son. In therapy it seems like he is making some real progress. Dr. Thompkins tells Jason that it is up to him on if he returns as Robin or not. And that she will tell Bruce whatever he thinks is best, when their time together is up.
Later, Bruce takes Jason to the spot where his parents were killed, and explains that Gotham will always take. He is worried about Jason, and how he could end up, and tells him that he doesn’t want him being Robin at all anymore. Jason does not see this as Bruce looking out for him, but as Bruce once again looking down on him and thinking he is not good enough.
Jason decides to go see Scarecrow at Arkham Asylum, and asks him how to reverse engineer the fear gas, which he stole from Bruce. He wants more than anything to not be afraid, to have no fear. He goes so far as to tell Scarecrow who he is, and makes a deal. Scarecrow will help with with the gas if Jason tells him everything he knows about Bruce, and gets him out of Arkham.
During a montage scene, fans get to see Jason attempting to get the right mixture of chemicals in the warehouse he was renting. Eventually he finds it, and brings it to Scarecrow, who tells him to test it on the Joker. Cut to a rehashing of Joker killing Jason, which we saw in the Season 3 premiere episode, which has a whole lot more context now.
That security guard that snuck his body out of the morgue? We get to see him now dumping Jason’s dead body in a Lazarus Pit, which brings him back to life. Scarecrow is there for him to explain what is going on, and he helps give him a new persona, the Red Hood. He tells him to thank Ra’s al Ghul for his life, and that he left a little something behind to help them that even Bruce didn’t know about.
Red Hood tracks down Pete Hawkins, asking about Diego. When Hawkins begs for his life Jason tells him to make sure his friends know his name. Then has a change of heart, shoots him in the head, and says “I’ll tell them myself.” More proof that Jason has gone off the deep end, and is extremely brutal.
Red Hood shows up at Molly’s house with Diego, and she knows he is Jason as soon as he speaks. He leaves, however, after telling her that he will never hurt her.
Titans Season 3 Episode 5 Review
This episode of Titans works as well as it does because it focuses on one thing — Jason becoming Red Hood. It gives the reasoning behind this change, where his head was at, and why it would even cross his mind to go down this path. He has always felt like he is living in Dick Grayson’s shadow, but Bruce benching him as Robin for what he feels is no reason pushed him in the direction of the Scarecrow. He felt like he had no one else to turn to, and talks about how he is tired of being afraid. Something both Batman and Scarecrow have told him to embrace.
Spending this time on character development is important to the overall story, and was much needed. I am really glad that they did it this early on in the season so that fans can understand his mindset, and go on the journey with him through the rest of the season.
Curran Walters absolutely shines in this episode. He evolves from one version of Jason Todd to another, right before our eyes. What little interaction he has with Scarecrow, has me eager for more between the two of these bone-chilling villains. And that exchange with Bruce is one of the best scenes in the entire episode. Walters is going places. Keep an eye on him.
About Titans Season 3 Episode 5
In flashback, we learn the story of how Jason became estranged from Batman, found his way to Dr. Crane, and the tragic turn of events that transformed him into Red Hood.
About Titans Season 3
Titans follows young heroes from across the DC Universe as they come of age and find where they belong. In season three, circumstances draw our heroes to Gotham City, where they will reunite with old friends and face new threats.
Titans Season 3 drops new episodes on HBO Max every Thursday morning!
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Tessa Smith is a Rotten Tomatoes Tomatometer-approved Film and TV Critic. She is also a Freelance Writer. Tessa has been in the Entertainment writing business for almost ten years and is a member of several Critics Associations including the Hollywood Critics Association and the Greater Western New York Film Critics Association.