I am going to get into so much trouble for writing this from Seppin and Rek, but it is a subject I feel must be addressed. Titans Season Three has been amazing so far. The acting and writing seems crisper and the action even better than before, but the arc of Jason Todd has left many fans divided. Especially, in this household.
I am going to admit, I am a Jason Todd / Red Hood fan. Since Seppin introduced him to me, I have developed a soft spot, a motherly instinct if you will, towards Jason. After seeing the animated movie, Under the Red Hood, I was curious about this anti-hero. A Robin gone bad? Amazing story. I know many people, including myself, were a bit apprehensive about how Titans would portray or introduce his story. I was prepared for a bit of a rushed storyline. I was also adamant I probably would not like it, but, upon reflection, I decided I am willing to overlook certain details because it is a series and they can’t do every single thing comics accurate.
The most obvious difference was that the transformation did happen somewhat overnight, but thinking about it, maybe not so much. We saw in the first season of Titans when Jason was introduced, he had this impatient effervescence about him. We also saw how little he thought of the authorities when he took out a warehouse full of policeman (Lights out, bitch). I loved at the end of the season how Dick took Jason with him to San Francisco to train under him and also surround him with the other younger members of the team. Jason was so excited, but season two changed all of that.
In season two, we saw his frustration, and resentment build towards Dick. He wanted more responsibilities, but Dick was pretty set in his thinking that what Jason needed was to learn patience. This is what caused him to go after Deathstroke and get himself captured. The events during this time are pivotal because it is, in part, what created the persona of Red Hood in the series.
Jason almost died from Deathstroke pushing him off the skyscraper. Superboy saved him, but the memory and terror Jason felt as he was falling is replayed over and over in his mind. As he comes to terms with what happened, little incidents in the Titan’s apartment play out, and Jason is wrongfully accused of terrorizing his teammates. What transpires is one of the best moments, in my humble opinion, ever portrayed regarding the Bat Family currently.
Jason wants to commit suicide. He feels abandoned, scared, and does not see the point of living. He sees himself as a cursed man. His issues from childhood with a drug addict mother and criminal father shaped him horribly and, once again, he finds himself lost. Dick joins him and he casually sits on the ledge as Jason stands, his feet poised to jump, completely tortured. They have an honest talk, but Jason loses faith in Dick when he reveals something which happened in the past. Jason and Rose take off, as do most of the Titans, but once again Jason finds himself betrayed by Rose back in Gotham when she reveals she is a spy for her father, Deathstroke. The last we see of Jason is a brief appearance at Donna’s funeral and he takes off for parts unknown.
In season three, we see Jason become Red Hood rather quickly, but not until episode five do we delve into more detail. Jason is still struggling and Bruce recommends therapy (Leslie Thompkins-yay!) Why it took so long for Bruce to suggest this is beyond me. Jason needed help from day one, but he finally goes, and the first session did not go well, but the second one was much different. We saw hope from Jason and it warmed my heart for a brief moment, but Bruce ended up screwing over all the progress they made.
I understand what Bruce was doing, but taking away the mantle of Robin was NOT a good idea. Jason needed that one thing to give him confidence and, once again, he felt abandoned and let down. He also brought up Dick and you could feel the resentment he has for Dick. So, what did Jason do? He went to Scarecrow to help combat his fear of dying in hopes of proving himself worthy to retain the cape and Crane, with a gleam in his eyes, seized upon it. The toxin formula he gave Jason may have helped him with his fear, but that is what led to his death at the hands of the Joker. Crane played his hand and won. He now has a former Bat Family member under his thumb.
He has obviously tweaked the anti-fear formula and whatever he has done is causing Jason to lose his humanity. We have seen glimpses of it though. Most recently, when Lady Vic massacred the hospital staff in the operating room. Jason was revulsed. Or the way he was shaking when the thugs he had just given the not-quite-ready drugs to ended up shooting Tim Drake’s dad! He was certainly unnerved before he took another hit of the drug. I’m not going to defend him for what happened to Hank. It was a heartbreaking episode and showed Jason in the worst possible light. I cried when Hank died. Everything Jason has done is indefensible, but I do think he is being controlled by Crane, and I also strongly believe he can be redeemed. At the end of the day, Jason needs help. Whether he gets it, I don’t know, but I do have a theory on how it could happen.
I think Rachel will try to help him. This is not a good idea for her, but I think she will do it regardless. Taking Jason’s pain into herself will no doubt trigger Trigon and destroy her, but I think this is where they are going. I could very well be wrong, but I do know one thing. Dick will not kill Jason nor will he let anyone else hurt him.
If you go back to episode four and Dick kidnaps Crane. He learns just how much Jason told him about the Bat Family. When he finally confronts Jason, it’s not about Hank. No mention of his death whatsoever. Dick was pissed Jason had told Crane the family secrets. Dick sees Jason as his brother and if there is one thing about the Bat Family, they protect their own. Yes, Barbara gave the order to shoot Jason, but she hesitated. If the other woman wasn’t there, I do not think she would have given the order.
Again, my opinion.
Can Jason be redeemed after everything that has happened? That’s the question, right? Well, I don’t think there is a clear cut answer. The lore of Red Hood is the fact he is a vicious side of vigilantism. He is not on the right side of the law, but, and it’s a big but, the Jason I know (figuratively) would never harm anyone except criminals. I have no problem accepting that and I do think that the things he has done, as far as the series goes, will haunt him for a very long time.
Ninety-nine percent of fans may not agree with me and this is okay, but I have hope for Jason. I am not going to abandon my boy like so many have in the past. I also have faith in Dick Grayson. The Dick I have come to know would not abandon him either. At the end of the day, Jason is a lost little boy who needs, not only help, but acceptance. Will that ever happen with the Titans? I do not know, but the one thing I want to see is the Bat family coming together for the sake of their brother because Jason needs help now more than ever.