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Titans’ Superboy/Nightwing Conflict Fixes S3’s Ridiculous Moment

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The following contains spoilers for Titans Season 4, Episode 3 “Jinx,” now streaming on HBO Max.

Quite a lot has happened on HBO Max’s Titans in Season 4, from Starfire turning to stone to the introduction of fan-favorite character Jinx. However, there are a few moments between Dick Grayson and Conner Kent in Season 4, Episode 3, “Jinx” that stand out. They seem like an attempt to fix the most ridiculous moment between between the characters from Season 3.

Throughout the episode, Conner wants to face Mother Mayhem again, embarrassed at how easily he was taken down and emotional about how she killed one of his fathers. When Dick stops him, it’s reminiscent of Season 3 in which they had a similar exchange. Because he’s a clone and because half of his DNA comes from Lex Luthor, Conner has always been looked at with distrust. His journey to become worthy of the “S” is a big part of his story. Building on it rather than running from it could deepen the relationship between Dick and Conner in a way that makes Dick knocking Connor with Kryptonite finally make narrative sense.

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Why Nightwing Holds Back Superboy In Season 3 Versus in ‘Jinx’

The titular team of DC's Titans

In Season 3, Epsode 11, “The Call is Coming From Inside the House,” Dick used kryptonite dust he conveniently had to knock out both Superboy and Krypto. One argument was that Titans‘ storytellers needed Nightwing to face Red Hood alone. Another argument was that even though Conner is near invincible, Dick was acting out of emotion and not willing to lose any other Titans to the adopted brother he failed. The resolution of that episode glossed over that moment, so when Dick prevents Conner from acting in Season 4, it feels like a deliberate callback to the prior not-confrontation.

Season 4 is Conner’s story as much as anyone’s. When Conner wants to go after Mother Mayhem, Dick says similar things as he did before — only instead of Dick being blinded by emotion, it’s Conner. Making Dick almost foolishly protective of Conner helps to retroactively put that Season 3 moment in a more sensible context. As Conner grows surer of himself and more confident in his powers, Conner and Dick’s dynamic can be similar to Batman and Superman. They can have a deep and loyal friendship, while one is always prepared to take the other out if needed.

It’s even possible that in order to get his revenge, Conner could end up incapacitating Nightwing in another scene that mirrors the moment from Season 3. The Titans team doesn’t have much tension in its ranks, so giving Dick and Connor something to work out helps with that while keeping the team together.

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Titans Needs To Remind Fans That Dick Is Training the Younger Team Members

Titans could have Raven curing Beast Boy

Past seasons of Titans have shown Dick training the Titans in fits and starts. Moments like Dick talking Conner down remind viewers of this. Season 4 is letting Dick step up as the leader of this group. Through S.T.A.R. Labs he outfits the team with equipment and space to train. After the events of the past seasons and the show’s version of his upbringing, it makes sense that he’d be very protective of these kids — even the invulnerable one. There’s not much Dick can really train Conner to do other than keep in check that “billionaire hothead” side inherited from Lex Luthor, but even that is valuable.

The Dick and Conner relationship can echo their more famous predecessors’ friendship. However, Titans can also make Dick’s relationships with Conner and newcomer Tim Drake a bright counterpoint to his relationship with Jason Todd. Dick can fix what’s wrong — and it may all start with turning a ridiculous moment from Season 3 into a bit of foreshadowing.

Titans streams Thursdays on HBO Max.

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