'Titans' Episode 7 Review: DC Finally Does Justice to a Superhero Team

Listen to your parents, kids. Or you might end up trapped in an abandoned insane asylum in the middle of the woods. At least that's what happened to Beast Boy and Raven in the latest episode of Titans. It picks up right where the last episode left off. Just as Starfire and Dick were plotting how to rescue Raven's mother, Beast Boy and Raven call an Uber and take off into danger. Fifteen minutes into the episode, the team is f**cked

To give credit where its due, Dick and Starfire did make it into the building unscathed. But only moments later, they're all separated, tortured and helpless. Dick gets mind controlled. His admirable attempt at a mental block was no match for the Titans version of the sadistic comic book doctor. Beast Boy gets tazed over and over, locked in a cage like the animal the scientists don't know he is. Starfire gets sliced open and experimented on. Raven's physically fine, because her actual reality is insane enough. Her long lost mother is alive (in the building), everyone thinks she's some demonic creature, and all her friends are about to die.

The big takeaway is any old cliche "superhero" mission isn't going to cut for Titans moving forward, at least if the mission's leading purpose is to present a challenge. Raven freed everyone, but Dick literally fought the way out of the building. Dude is just a normal guy, and now he has three power-packed weirdos who all pretty much owe him their life. It's fairly absurd Titans took this long to bring its characters together in a full capacity, but the season's relatively low stakes so far paid off in "Asylum." The cast had no choice but to trust each other and work together. Everybody knows a highly emotional, transformational experience is the best way to form a team. (yay, bonding).

Yet the way Titans has established character development (the slow disjointed pace for better or for worse) made it easy for each individual story to feel impactful. Beast Boy kills for the first time. Starfire is put in her first powerless situation. Dick leaves the Robin monicker behind. And Raven now has faith she can heal the world, not end it. The juxtaposition of these heroes, and what they stand for, is what makes it feel so powerful when they all work in tandem.

The acting is at its best yet, too. I wasn't really sold on Brenton Thwaites as Dick at first, not for performance reasons, mostly because the casting reminds me of Grant Gustin's Flash. But, damn, I really enjoy watching him fight with such conviction. He moves like a Batman trained vigilante should. After this episode, Starfire can wear whatever the f**k she wants. I actually don't think I'll ever get tired of Starfire walking out of a burning building wearing bright purple. Teagan Croft had her best Raven performance yet. She genuinely sold the tiresome "find my real parents" thing. Ryan Potter is charming as Beast Boy. He does feel reduced to Raven's friend simply because his personal arc isn't as important as the rest, but I'm not really mad at it because the "Doom Patrol" episode was perfect.

The Titans all keep saying, "We're doing this," like they can't believe this is their new life. The funny thing is, I can't really believe this show is this good either. DC is doing this team of superheroes justice.