Titans 4×09 Review – Gar-enteed Fun

It’s been months since we’ve seen Gar Logan. He disappeared when pulling the Titans out of the hairy situation they were in against Sebastian Blood and his cult. While we’ve caught up with all the other Titans since then, we’ve seen hide nor hair nor regular human sign of Gar. This week, we catch up with the shapeshifter and learn about a special place in the DC Universe called the Red, which makes way for a few special cameos that we’ll mark as extra spoiler-y. Spoilers follow for Titans Season 4, Episode 9, “Dude, Where’s my Gar?”

“Dude, Where’s my Gar?”

All life is connected in the DC universe. For plant life, the connection comes through the Green, a sort of interdimensional space that lets anyone who can access it move around the world and hear and see through plants anywhere they might be. Characters like Poison Ivy and Swamp Thing can access the Green. For animal life, though, there’s the Red. Where the Green is watched by the Parliament of Trees, the Red is watched over by the Parliament of Limbs. Characters like Beast Boy, Vixen, and Animal Man can access the Red in the comics, and Gar’s storyline this season has been about him coming into his own as a superhero–part of which is, for him, coming to grips with the Red.

This is a strange, heady episode of a show normally lost in a bunch of extremely serious hero melodrama, and it’s a fun watch for the most part.

Gar wakes up first in a cave on Mt. Kilamanjaro with a man who used to go by the name Dominic Mndawe, but is now known as Freedom Beast, a man who with the powers to combine any two living things into a hybrid creature. Gar meets a lion with a bat’s face and wings, which frightens him before flying off into the night. Weirdly, he doesn’t find himself inspired to make a bat-lion costume to fight crime.

Gar’s Journey

Freedom Beast serves to do most of the exposition for Gar, getting him up to speed on where he is and why, including reminding us that Doom Patrol‘s Niles Caulder is at least partially responsible for his condition. Gar is more focused on saving his friends but is trapped where he is. The two make a daring attack on a research laboratory testing deadly diseases on live animals before Gar sets off on his own. One of the biggest encounters Gar has is meeting himself as a child. The young actor playing child Gar is the spitting image of his adult co-star, and is some truly excellent casting in that way. These scenes aren’t given much context, and we’re mostly left to guess for ourselves what exactly happened to Gar’s parents in that moment and how that eventually led him to the Doom Patrol where the Titans found him.

Multiversal Cameo Montage

This is where we’re going to dive into the wild montage of cameos, so if you don’t want to be spoiled, stop reading after this picture.

A lot happens in a short time here. As Gar looks around himself, lightning bolts circle him, and Grant Gustin’s Barry Allen wordlessly knocks him out of the Red, where he wakes up in Blue Valley. Brec Bassinger reprises her role as Courtney Whitmore/Stargirl here, but fans of that massively underrated show will be disappointed to learn that she doesn’t get to do much other than wear the costume once more and brandish the Cosmic Staff.

Elsewhere, though, Gar spots Shazam, the most recent iteration of Swamp Thing from the short-lived live-action show–another canceled show in DC’s repertoire–and even the Teen Titans Go! version of himself. Perhaps the weirdest cameo, though, comes in the form of a suit-wearing man with a shaved head. The man asks Gar if he can see him. If you didn’t recognize him, that’s okay–it’s comics writer Grant Morrison, according to the credits at the end of the episode.

This spells Doom

The multiversal adventure lasts just a few minutes and calls to mind the montage of dying Earths in the CW’s Crisis on Infinite Earths, which had the Titans’ own Earth being destroyed by the Anti-Monitor along with so many others. Finally, Gar drops into a familiar background, and we’re at Doom Manor, with Joivan Wade’s Cyborg kneeling over the unconscious hero and calling out to the other members that they might have a problem. The last time Gar saw the Doom Patrol, Cyborg hadn’t yet joined. The last time we saw the Doom Patrol, Cyborg had replaced his metal parts with synthetic skin. So it’s anyone’s guess where in the Doom Patrol’s story this moment is set.

The other Titans are entirely absent from this adventure, save an appearance by Raven in Gar’s mind. Now that we’ve caught up with Gar and found that he can appear just about anywhere he wants if he focuses, we’ll likely see the crew back together soon. Right now, though, I can’t wait to see what happens when he wakes up at the Manor.