So, the big casting announcement for this show was that former Mad Men cast member Vincent Kartheiser was going to be playing Jonathan “the Scarecrow” Crane. Something like that is either going to be brilliant or terrible. The character makes his first appearance in this episode, so I might have a good guess as to whether this was a good call or not.
And, so far, I have no idea. The premise is the GCPD uses him to do criminal profiles, something Bruce of all people suggested, and Dick goes to see him. It’s…odd. Kartheiser is a naturally babyfaced actor, so he doesn’t seem particularly threatening, even with all the facial hair. He seems like someone thought to make Pete Campbell into Hannibal Lecter, making him somehow a smart, observational man without coming across the slightest bit evil. Sure, that could be an act and he might become more menacing later, but right now…nope!
That could describe so much about Titans.
Actually, what could describe so much about Titans is that somehow the show always feels to be about Dick Grayson, the least interesting member of the team. Kori is having weird visions. Conner and Gar are chatting about what Superman has in his house after the whole gang moves into Wayne Manor. Dawn and Hank are fighting because she left without telling Hank she was going.
Is it weird that Hank and Dick have a scene together where they are actually getting along just fine? Because that seemed weird to me.
However, this episode introduces the Red Hood, a criminal mastermind that…look, it’s Jason. He wasn’t as dead as he appeared to be, and anyone who’s read a Batman comic in the past few years knows about how Jason became the Red Hood. To the show’s credit, they don’t drag that out. Dick, taking various clues (or, more accurately, when Gar figures something out), finds the Red Hood as he consolidates his power in the underworld as the man who made Batman leave. Quite frankly, this Jason has been something of a wild card the entire time he’s been on the series, always on the edge. His first appearance showed him mowing down some cops “just because”. A Robin using his skills to do bad things could make for a good source of drama, and Jason’s schemes so far have kept him largely one step ahead of Dick and the Titans.
Granted, the fight scenes this season have been a bit weaker of late. The Titans storming the warehouse, with Gar in obvious CGI tiger form, and Conner just “speeding in” behind a guy just looked bad. True, Kori looks good powered up, but the others? It just reminded me this show probably doesn’t have much of a budget.
And the fight scenes were so good in season one when Dick jumped some baddies…
Well, even if we are getting another Dick-centric season, at least it’s starting off more promisingly than it has in the past.