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Nightwing’s Scarecrow Torture Proves He Can Never Be Batman


In the Season 3 finale of Titans, Dick Grayson’s Nightwing pulls off a nasty move at Arkham Asylum that reinforces why he can’t ever be Batman.

WARNING: The following contains spoilers for Titans Season 3, Episode 13, “Purple Rain,” available now on HBO Max.

One of the major aspects of Titans Season 3 has been Dick Grayson’s (Brenton Thwaites) growth from Robin to Nightwing. He’s wrestled with fear and anger, just like Batman, but after dying and being reborn, Dick does seem like he’s ready to become the next Dark Knight as he understands compassion and empathy more. However, that’s totally walked back in the season finale as Dick pulls off a nasty move that reinforces why he can’t ever be the Bat.

Dick’s team uses a Lazarus shower of rain to bring dead Gothamites back to life, while also shutting down Scarecrow’s operation. He gets an RV for them so they can road trip back to San Francisco, but he has a pitstop to make, visiting Scarecrow in Arkham Asylum.


RELATED: Titans Confirms Another Hero Has Gone Dark

Rachel Roth/Raven in Titans Season 3, Episode 13, "Purple Rain."

But as Jonathan Crane warns that the doors can’t keep him, hinting that he’ll expose the identities of the heroes, Dick smiles and brings Raven in. She uses her magic on Crane, breaking his mind by injecting him with the fear and angst he inflicted unto others — especially all the Titans. They walk away happily but it’s a weird ending as it’s not befitting of heroes who’ve seen the light.

Now, whether or not this erases Crane’s memories, it harkens to 2004’s Identity Crisis, where Batman got angry at the League for wiping the mind of Dr. Light. Light committed a series of atrocious acts against the likes of Sue Dibny, so Zatanna erased his memories to protect the secret and ensure other villains wouldn’t find out.

RELATED: Titans: Scarecrow Shares Something in Common With Batman’s Most Complex Villain

In the melee, as Batman saw, he too was mind-wiped, with the bombshell being that this method was used by the League in other cases to hide their identities. It led to Bruce eventually figuring out the deception, not trusting his peers and enacting the dangerous Brother Eye spy plan.

Nightwing and Raven break Scarecrow's mind in Titans Season 3 finale

Dick walks that same dangerous, arrogant path here in Titans, because rather than discredit Crane, use Bruce’s resources now that he’s back to cover it up, or work with A.R.G.U.S. or Barbara as Commissioner to nullify Crane’s words, Dick goes for revenge and torture. It’s hypocritical as he didn’t like how Batman got emotional and killed Joker after Jason Todd’s death, so Dick shouldn’t be the same monster he’s preached against.

The new Bruce would definitely see this as crossing the line with his virtuous perspective back, and it honestly feels like Dick regressed in terms of being that person who got Red Hood to embark on his own redemption quest. This is vindictive, and if Crane goes free, we could get a madman worse than Joker or the old Scarecrow all due to Dick’s selfish flouting of the law.

All 13 episodes of Titans Season 3 are available now on HBO Max. The show has been renewed for Season 4.

KEEP READING: Titans: Superboy Makes Amends For His Most Villainous Act

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