Titans pivots into overt horror territory in a much more coherent episode that nonetheless still raises some big, mystifying questions.
This Titans season 4, episode 2 recap for the episode titled “Mother Mayhem” contains spoilers.
I’ll be the first to admit that my DC knowledge isn’t exactly encyclopedic, so I must say the identity of the mysterious figure murdering people in a plague mask — or something very much like one — is totally lost on me. But the cold open of “Mother Mayhem” is the second time the dude has shown up after slashing some poor girl’s throat in Titans season 4, episode 1, and his appearances always seem to be heralded by a lot of blood, implying that this person is connected to — or possibly is, or is at least some aspect of — Sebastian and Mother Mayhem. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Titans season 4, episode 2 recap
Anyway, Conner has been apprehended for the murder of Lex Luthor, and his treatment proves his late father correct in his assessment that people will turn on him the second he puts a foot wrong (you have to imagine this was all part of Lex’s plan in some way, but maybe I’m just cynical.) The voice over the Metropolis PD tannoy refers to Conner as “it”, much to Dick’s annoyance.
With Conner locked up, Dick sends Kori to investigate why Lex was keeping tabs on her — he hacked into his computer and found several photos, files, and an address — and sends Raven to Lex’s penthouse to see if her own magic can identify whatever witchcraft and wizardry was used to kill Lex.
The address leads Kori to a surveillance and research hub built around her, where a man named Nelson Blake tells her it wasn’t just Lex but the entire LexCorp inner circle who suddenly died under mysterious circumstances. He suggests that Lex’s illness made him attempt to solve not just the problem of his imminent demise but of death itself, and he supposedly turned to occultism in order to do so, surrounding himself with “advisors”. As if to prove the point Nelson promptly dies under the exact same circumstances, with the same CGI snake swimming out of his mouth. Kori, disgusted, disintegrates it.
Rachel also turns up evidence of a kind in Lex’s penthouse, as she can sense the lingering magical energy, which gives her a vision of not his killer but somewhere his killer has been. At the same time, though, Gar, who is training in the woods with Tim, has weird visions and hears disembodied voices himself. It’s hard to tell if this is just sloppy editing or deliberate juxtaposition, but it seems, at least to me, that the show is actively trying to imply that Gar is connected to the murder here.
Regardless, Dick summons Gar and Tim to meet him and Rachel, and all four head to the house Rachel saw in her vision, which turns out to be the house from the cold open. They find the mother’s body there, but they also find the kid upstairs, intentionally trapped in a nightmare by the killer. Rachel, because her powers are never really explained for this very reason, is able to venture inside the nightmare, where she encounters not just the girl but the killer himself, the “bone-faced man.” Rachel fights him a little and tries to pull off his mask, but she eventually dips with the kid for their safety.
Through the screams of dying animals that came through in the nightmare, the full gang — sans Conner, obviously — are able to confront the bone-faced man in a slaughterhouse where he is keeping several victims he has abducted, including the dude from the premiere and the father of the little girl from this one. They’re all alive, but their blood is being drained into containers through tubes. Raven confronts the killer, and they tussle a little, but when she wraps him in her magic to forcibly remove his mask, he bursts into flames before his identity can be settled.
Sebastian, meanwhile, is having a terrible day. First, his community-driven video game pitch is laughed out of an investor’s meeting, and then he discovers his elderly mother has died. That news, though, is delivered to him by May Bennett, posing as a nurse, who smiles as he breaks down at the news. It’s worth mentioning that he also imagined all the game investors bleeding from head wounds when they were rude to him, so, you know… something’s up here.
Conner is eventually exonerated, and the crimes are pinned on Lex’s personal physician, Arthur, who evidently promised him more than just a cure and wanted whatever power Lex was cultivating for himself. Dick also shares a nice scene with Aria, the little girl whose mother was murdered and father was kidnapped and drained of his blood, giving her his jacket — which was given to him by Bruce under similar circumstances — and telling her how “good magic”, like the kind Rachel is possessed of, always wins. It might be wishful thinking, but it’s a nice sentiment.
Anyway, the Titans try to leave Metropolis and head for San Francisco, but they’re waylaid when Mother Mayhem herself, in full witch villain attire now, starts throwing red lightning all over the interstate. The Titans hop out of the bus to take them on, but she tears through all of them easily, except for Starfire, who seems to be able to match her power, at least temporarily. But Rachel takes the brunt of it, and in the aftermath, the gemstone disappears from her forehead and her hair turns white, which can’t be a good sign.
At the end of the episode, we see Mother Mayhem return to her lair, which seems to feature runes on the ground and a big pool of blood in the center, not to mention a menagerie of hooded cultists who all chant in unison at her command. Sebastian sees his coffee turn to blood and overflow the mug as the chanting rings in his ears.
- Titans season 4, episode 3 preview.
- Titans season 4, episode 3 recap. (Will go live once the episode airs.)