Titans season 3, episode 3 recap – “Hank & Dove”

August 12, 2021
Jonathon Wilson 0
HBO Max, Weekly TV
3.5

Summary

“Hank & Dove” leans on bad decision-making a little, but it amounts to some bold storytelling that proves this season is pulling no punches.

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3.5

Summary

“Hank & Dove” leans on bad decision-making a little, but it amounts to some bold storytelling that proves this season is pulling no punches.

This recap of Titans season 3, episode 3, “Hank & Dove”, contains spoilers. You can check out our spoiler-free season review by clicking these words.


After the shocking — to the characters, not the audience — revelation of the previous episode, “Hank & Dove”, so-called for reasons that’ll become sadly clear, opens with Dick digging up Jason’s grave. Bruce told him back in the premiere that the second Robin had been interred in the family plot next to Alfred, but his casket is empty. Jason really is Red Hood, which can only mean one of two things: Either someone is bringing people back from the dead — Starfire suggests that, if this is the case, they could bring back Donna — or Jason faked his own death. Given the chemistry set that Dick discovered, there’s obviously more afoot here, so the gang decides to start with that lead in an attempt to track him down.

This episode is named after “Hank & Dove” for a reason, as mentioned, and their frayed relationship is integral to its drama. Out of nowhere, Hank gets a call from a teary-eyed Jason, out of costume, who tells him that everything he has done hasn’t been his fault. Hank promises to keep it quiet if Jason tells him where he is, so he sends him on a goose chase to the old Gotham Observatory, where he’s told to destroy his phone and swap it for a nearby burner, and then to the old gym, where he’s instructed to strip naked and swim a length. When he reaches the other side, Red Hood knocks him out, and the next we see of him he’s back at Wayne Manor with something unhealthy-looking lodged deep in his chest.

Conner, who is consistently being used this season as superpowered tech support, is able to use his x-ray vision to determine that the device is a bomb with incredibly nuanced engineering, designed to go off if anyone attempts to retract it. Rather than a conventional timer, though, it’s hooked up to Hank’s heart, counting down his life one beat at a time. Even though Gar sends a message to Bruce Wayne imploring him to return to Gotham since Jason is alive and they need his help, this deadline means that the Titans have very little time to figure out how to disarm the device before Hank is blown to pieces.

Jason calls Dick demanding $30 million in gold bars, a needlessly outlandish ransom designed, by his own admission, to give Gotham a show. But the Titans don’t negotiate with terrorists, so rather than acquiescing to Jason’s demands, Dick puts Hank on beta-blockers to slow his heart rate while he goes to Scarecrow for a profile on the person he assumes to be pulling Jason’s strings. Together, they postulate that Jason is in a battle with his father, or the idea of his father, so he’s likely to use his father’s own weapons against him. This turns out to be literal — the bomb is a prototype designed by Wayne Enterprises, and Conner is going to need to build a deactivator from the schematics in the archives, all in less than three hours (Dick assumes Conner can do this because he’s able to read very quickly, which Conner points out is ridiculous before proving him correct anyway.)

In the meantime, Krypto and Dawn tend to Hank, and a lot of the best scenes in “Hank & Dove” are shared between a bedbound Hank and various other characters, including Dawn and Gar, both of whom attempt to say their goodbyes while also remaining adamant that Hank will be saved. And it’s easy to believe he will be saved — he’s a major character in a superhero show, after all.

Titans season 3, episode 3 ending explained

So, what follows are a lot of bad decisions. The fact that the episode is still able to build as much tension as it does is admirable given how out of character and outright stupid Dawn is forced to act. Upset with Dick’s refusal to meet Jason’s demands and skeptical that Conner can assemble the device in time, Dawn hijacks an armored truck full of bullion and agrees to meet Jason by herself, but is shocked to discover he has provided her with a gun and instructions to shoot him. Jason claims to be holding the deactivator, having already pushed the button with his thumb, and that killing him is the only way to get him to release the button and activate the device in time. Dick, having tracked Jason down thanks to Starfire and Barbara, who pulled up footage of one of his associates, Cyrus Beake, helping to move Jason’s supposedly dead body, arrives just in time — or so it seems. With Conner only seconds away assembling the device, but the bomb in Hank’s chest only seconds away from detonating, Dawn pulls the trigger. But Jason hooked the detonator up to the gun. With five seconds remaining, and Conner literally on his way to Hank’s room with the completed deactivator, Dawn unwittingly detonates the device, killing the love of her life. And in just the third episode!

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