Titans (Season 4) Episode 9: After sitting out the first two episodes upon Titans’ return, Gar Logan/Beast Boy returns to the forefront in the latest episode, which makes up for lost time. Throughout the episode, Gar learns about The Red and his purpose in life, and he undergoes a transformation through flashbacks and new revelations from his past. The episode contains numerous clues related to the multiverse. Directed by famed comics writer Geoff Johns and the Beast Boy actor Ryan Potter, this episode pays tribute to the DC Multiverse.
Titans (Season 4) Episode 9 Recap:
The episode commences with a flashback where a young Garfield is shown sitting alone in a zoo. A zookeeper approaches him, and Garfield implores her to stay with him as he is too frightened to be by himself. In an attempt to console him, the zookeeper assures him that she will attempt to locate his parents and that she will return soon.
Whilst sitting alone, Garfield begins to receive signals from a chimpanzee who appears to be distressed, and it becomes apparent that he shares a profound connection with the animal kingdom. Suddenly, a red vortex envelops Gar, and he reappears as an adult, hearing the voices of his Titans friends.
Garfield wakes up in a cavern and is startled to discover a weird, hybrid creature standing before him. A mysterious African man sporting a peculiar helmet materializes in front of him and reveals that the creature is his creation and loyal friend.
Before embarking on his quest against Brother Blood and Mother Mayhem, Garfield had encountered this individual, who had mysteriously alluded to Gar’s link with the Red. It transpires that Gar had accessed this connection when Sebastian’s powers had almost obliterated them, and he had guided the team to safety by utilizing the power of the Red. It was during this time in the Red that the mysterious figure professes to have extracted Gar from the realm, depositing him in the cavern atop Mount Kilimanjaro, where they are both currently located.
The individual introduces himself as Dominic Mndawe, also known as Freedom Beast, a defender of the Red, akin to Gar. Following the acquisition of the Helm of the Beast from his predecessor Dominic underwent a complete transformation into Freedom Beast. The helm granted Dominic superhuman physical attributes, longevity, and the ability to merge two disparate creatures to form a powerful hybrid. Dominic notes that the beast’s legend dates back to ancient times and that there have been guardians of various life forms in every era.
Gar inquires about The Red and learns that it is a metaphysical realm that connects and permeates all life forms throughout the universe, including other universes. Dominic states that Gar is destined to become the protector of The Red and possesses the strongest link with it.
As they converse, a squad of unknown soldiers ambushes them, whom Dominic easily vanquishes. Garfield implores Dominic to send him back to the Titans, growing increasingly worried about his friends, but Dominic instead seeks his assistance. He presents Gar with a vision he witnessed earlier, depicting a chimpanzee undergoing agonizing experimentation while still conscious. Dominic also discloses a personal connection to the situation.
Garfield lost his parents to Sakutia, also known as the Green Plague. Despite contracting the disease himself, he was saved by Niles Caulder, aka Chief, the founder of the Doom Patrol—Gar’s first adopted family. Dominic reveals that he lost his sister and her children to the same disease, which was caused by a re–engineered virus disseminated from the same facility where the chimpanzee was subjected to experimentation. Dominic contends that it is their sacred obligation to liberate the imprisoned creatures and destroy the facility.
Before commencing their mission, Dominic instructs Garfield to consume a mysterious potion that would enable him to harness his link with The Red without impediment. After drinking it, Gar undergoes several immersive visions. He encounters Rachel, who emphasizes the significance of finding his own path after a lifetime of following others, such as Chief and then Dick Grayson. He also encounters Jinx, who has passed away, and she imparts to him the notion of the interconnectedness of all life, which The Red is. Finally, he revisits the recollection of his childhood, when he was separated from his parents at the zoo and sees his younger self alone.
After experiencing the visions, Gar is ready to embark on the mission, and Dominic escorts him to the facility. Despite wreaking havoc on the security, they discover that they have arrived too late as all the creatures, except one, have already died. The lone survivor is Dominic’s chimpanzee friend, who has intentionally contracted anthrax as a test subject and is currently dying.
Due to the highly contagious nature of anthrax, they cannot risk taking her outside, which would endanger other animals. Therefore, they are left with no choice but to leave her to her inevitable demise. However, Dominic has his revenge on the chief scientist responsible for the heinous experiment by merging him with the chimpanzee, transforming him into a human-ape hybrid and causing their deaths.
Titans (Season 4) Episode 9 Ending, Explained:
What is The Red? Who is responsible for Beast Boy’s parents’ deaths?
Dominic notes that the scientist was merely following orders, and together they search the facility for clues about the mastermind behind the heinous experiment. To their surprise, they discover that it was none other than Niles Caulder, aka Chief, who had also deliberately unleashed Sakutia.
Suddenly, the Red transports them to the exact location but in a different time period. Dominic reveals that all the events Gar had experienced up to this point were shown to him through the Red. They had taken place in the past when Dominic had shut down the facility alone, and Gar comes to the shocking realization that the man who saved his life had been responsible for his parent’s deaths.
Gar tearfully asks Dominic why he didn’t just tell him about Niles Caulder’s role in his parents’ death instead of making him relive the tragic discovery. Dominic explains that he needed Gar to realize for himself the unnecessary and destructive elements in his life, such as Niles Caulder and the Titans.
Dominic urges Gar to take up his rightful place as the protector of the Red, allowing Dominic to retire. However, Gar argues that his friends need him and that he cannot abandon them. He believes that his responsibility as a champion of the Red is to protect all living beings, including those he loves, and that he won’t abandon them.
Gar uses the power of the Red to travel back to his childhood memory at the zoo and comforts his younger self by telling him that he will never be alone in his life. As Gar embraces his younger self, time freezes, and he is transported to The Red. Here, he witnesses the vast interconnectedness of all life firsthand. The sequence that follows reveals the existence of different universes that can be accessed through the Red.
Gar harnesses the cosmic power of the Red, enabling him to access various multiverses. We catch a glimpse of alternate worlds featuring superheroes such as the Flash, Stargirl, and Shazam. Similar to the Green, the Red is a formidable force, and we even catch a glimpse of the Swamp Thing. As Gar gazes into the Red, he witnesses an animated version of himself as Beast Boy from “Teen Titans Go!” playing in another universe. He hears voices from other universes, including the Harley Quinn animated series, the Joker, Doctor Fate, and Jonathan Kent.
Eventually, Dominic reappears before him, silently acknowledging that Gar is now ready to assume his responsibilities. Gar then begins to fall rapidly, and he finds himself in the Doom Manor, where he crashes and is discovered unconscious by Victor Stone, also known as Cyborg. Although not confirmed, this is the wrong universe for Gar.