A potential death raises the stakes ahead of the finale in an episode that challenges the idea of destiny to mixed effect.
This recap of Titans Season 4 Episode 11, “Project Starfire”, contains spoilers.
All throughout this fourth and final season of Titans, it has been repeatedly implied that Kory is due to have some kind of prophesized world-saving death. So, after episodes devoted to Gar’s trips through the multiverse, Conner’s hasty barbering, and time-locked American towns hiding magical artifacts, it only seems right that she gets a namesake outing as we rocket toward the end of the season.
“Project Starfire”, right from the off, is laden with foreboding. Kory is having weird dreams, thinking about the missing Sebastian. She and Dick have a conversation while looking out over the innocent, ordinary people she might have to die to save. The implication seems clear enough.
Titans Season 4 Episode 11 Recap
Why does Dick send Tim back to Gotham?
With Bernard still comatose and Tim’s wounded sulking getting in the way of things, Dick sends him back to Gotham City with a mandate to meet some guy who may have vital information on Mother Mayhem (continuing the funny trend of this season of Dick always knowing someone who can get the plot moving again.)
Dick also gives Tim a suitcase containing something that the audience doesn’t see yet but that nonetheless leaves Tim in wide-eyed excitement and surprise. So, it’s the Robin suit, isn’t it?
Of course it is! We get our official debut of Tim Drake as the Boy Wonder in “Project Starfire” in a scene clearly meant to evoke Dick’s infamous “F*ck Batman” debut back in the first season premiere. He still isn’t that capable, though, and needs to be saved from a couple of standard henchman types by Jason in his full Red Hood attire.
Tim and Jason complement each other well. Tim reminds Jason he doesn’t exactly have the brains, while Jason reminds him he doesn’t exactly have the brawn. As it turns out, this is the point. It’s later revealed that Dick has sent Tim to pursue a red herring so that Jason can test him to make sure he’s ready to assume the Robin mantle.
How does Mother Mayhem get Trigon’s horn?
After her death and resurrection in Episode 10, Mother Mayhem remains central to everything. Sebastian and Conner, who’re in hiding, need to kill her to allow Sebastian to regain his powers and summon Trigon, while Mother Mayhem herself is in pursuit of Sebastian.
To help find him, she’ll need someone pure, their heart filled with devotion for him. One of her acolytes excitedly takes this to mean she needs her to sleep with him, but not quite – instead Mother Mayhem rips out her still-beating heart and crushes it in her hand.
It’s not exactly explained how this works, but after reducing the heart to a little glowing crystal, Mother Mayhem presents herself to Sebastian, tells him he can regain his powers by summoning Trigon, forces the piece of heart into his hand – which causes him immense agony – and tells him to meet her at the Temple of Azarath. And she takes the horn.
It’s as easy as that, I guess.
What is Project Starfire?
Kory goes missing to follow Conner’s laser vision heat signature, alone, but she only manages to get as far as Mercy Graves before the rest of the Titans catch up with her.
Gar does a little bit of digital sleuthing to unearth LexCorp references to “Project Starfire”, and Mercy reveals it was developed by Lex to replicate Kory’s blue light power, which he believes is the only way to stop Brother Blood.
Mercy has already provided a copy of the encrypted files to Conner, who seems to have gone rogue. But then he presents himself to Dick all full of apologies, claiming that he tried to stop Sebastian on his own to prove himself but that things have gotten a little out of hand.
So, Conner offers to help the Titans figure out Lex’s Project Starfire, which is presently a prototype that requires Starfire’s power to activate. Doing so almost kills Conner and Starfire both, but Dick intervenes at the last possible moment. The device is, like, 98% activated, which should hopefully be enough, but to say this guy isn’t keen on the idea of destiny is certainly an understatement.
Titans Season 4 Episode 11 Ending Explained
Earlier, Conner had convinced Sebastian – whose entire personality seems to hinge on believing anything anybody tells him – to drink the blood of one of Mother Mayhem’s acolytes to take on some of her powers. So, when he goes to meet her at the Temple of Azarath, he’s ready for action.
Sebastian kills Mother Mayhem (again), which seems to be part of Conner’s plan. He lurks in the background and then throws the charged-up LexCorp sphere at Sebastian, which seems to defeat him.
Not quite, though. Sebastian rises into the air in his full supervillain regalia and blasts Conner with the full extent of his powers, sending him flying through some rubble.
The Titans, watching on a monitor, theorize that the sphere wasn’t strong enough. Dick shut it off too early. His attempts to avoid the destined fate of one of his friends seems to have resulted in the death of another, as the camera takes in a very dead-looking Conner.
You can stream Titans Season 4 Episode 11, “Project Starfire” exclusively on HBO Max.