The Dick Grayson of DCU’s streaming Titans has proven himself to be morally ambiguous at best, and maybe a bit of a monster if this week’s episode “Jericho” is to be believed.
First Dick plays on Jericho’s sexual attraction to get close to his father Slade. The scene in the flashback to the record store certainly suggests that Dick is queer baiting Jericho, but is confirmed when he shares the excitement of meeting up with his record store friend and his mom says “or he.” But then even after revealing the real reason he approached him, Dick is determined to have Jericho join the Titans (and more importantly it seems his powers).
For those of you who don’t know, Bait Bus is a series of adult films wherein a “straight” guy is lure into having sex with what he presumes is a woman, blindfolded, and inevitably learns he’s with a guy and presumably comes to enjoy it.
Welcome to the Titans, Jericho. pic.twitter.com/EuXi4ueUpS
— DCUTitans (@DCUTitans) October 25, 2019
CBR said, “Despite his sinister look when he “accidentally” crossed paths with Jericho five years ago, shortly after the murder of Aqualad, Dick (Brenton Thwaites) had no intention of harming the young man. Instead, he wanted only to use Jericho (Chella Man) to learn information about Slade, with the full support and participation of the other Titans — initially, at least. Like teenage chums in some 1950 book series, they build fires on the beach, toss around the football, and … probe for details about Jericho’s estranged father.
When it becomes obvious that Jericho doesn’t know much, if anything, about his father (he believed him to be an insurance salesman), the Titans’ determination begins to falter; they genuinely like this kid that they’re manipulating. Dawn (Minka Kelly) and Hank (Alan Ritchson) demand the Titans cut ties with Jericho, for his sake, a move that’s complicated by Dick’s discovery that the young man can possess the bodies of others. Dick and Donna immediately recognize the possibilities of Jericho’s “gift,” with Robing rationalizing to a skeptical Dawn that the Titans could train him to use those powers.
Dick chalks up his monstrous behavior to him following Dawn’s admonishments telling him to be more like Batman.
We’ll see where this leads.
“Look at us,” Dawn pleads. “We’re using a kid … a damaged, fucked-up kid who just wanted some friends, to find his damaged, fucked-up father.” However, Dick convinces Dawn, and apparently himself, that Jericho needsthe Titans, to have a place to belong. It certainly sounds good, even noble, but when Dawn and Dick reveal to Jericho who they are, and invite him to join the team, it’s really another form of manipulation.
What begins as a possible reconciliation between father and son is marred by Dick’s arrival, and the brutal fight that ensues. Robin is no match for the seasoned, controlled assassin. But when Deathstroke goes in for the kill, Jericho steps between him and Dick, and pays the ultimate price with a sword through the chest. There is no convenient “retcon”; Slade did murder Jericho, just as Rose Wilson (Chelsea Zhang) and I.N.T.E.R.P.O.L. believe. It’s just that Dick Grayson—and, indeed, the other founding Titans—have culpability.