Thursday, November 10, 2022

Titans S04E03: Jinx

© HBO Max

It's witchcraft, wicked witchcraft...
by Chuck Duncan

Let's Talk About 'Jinx':

  • Rachel lives but she isn't quite herself.
  • Mother Mayhem extends her powers with her victims' blood and some stolen magic, specifically Rachel's.
  • The videogame company seems to have a change of heart about Sebastian's game.
  • Dick and Kory visit Bludhaven prison to seek assistance from Jinx, a witch and former associate of Dick's.
  • Gar hears voices from Najavo spirits calling him Skinwalker.
  • Tim and Conner are sent back to STAR Labs so Tim can finally begin his Robin training.
  • Jinx draws Dick and Kory into a very rocky situation.
  • The victims of the bloodletting are all found to possess a genetic mutation linking them all to an ancient Assyrian tribe.
  • Kory encounters someone from her past who tells Kory her destiny has arrived.
  • Dick finds out he really can't trust a trickster like Jinx.
  • Sebastian is confronted by his own destiny.

Rachel is alive. She can’t feel anyone. She says she feels empty, like something is missing. Her soul is gone. Dick says they’re all alive so that’s what matters, but whatever Kory did during their battle with who they now believe is a witch shows the woman is not invincible so they will be ready for her the next time the see her. Dick wants Gar to look after Rachel, and he's sending Tim back to STAR Labs with Conner … to start his Robin training. That made Tim's day. Kory and Dick has an errand to run, to meet someone who can help them should they encounter the witch again. Conner wants to stay with the Titans saying he knows there’s a way he can beat the woman, he just needs a chance. Dick insists that he accompany Tim back to Metropolis.

Meanwhile, at a supposedly secure facility belonging to the MPD, some workers are moving heavy barrels. One of them notices something leaking from his, and a puddle of what looks like blood comes alive and turns into some little creature that scurries up his body and enters his ear, apparently killing him. The co-worker checks on him, she feels something on her neck, sees blood on her hand and starts convulsing, blood coming from her mouth and she collapses. A woman in a long black jacket enters and takes their keys. The woman quickly returns to the Temple of Azarath with Mother Mayhem. Mayhem talks about the blood and having the power, and she transfers Raven’s power from her staff into another vessel and says that nothing else matters now.

Dick and Kory's errand was visiting Bludhaven State Penitentiary to meet with a prisoner named Jinx, who is also a witch. She's also a thief and grifter Dick knows from Gotham. As the guards bring her out to the yard, Kory says she looks harmless. Dick notices Jinx is taking her shoe off and he warns the guards to not let her foot touch the ground, but before he can stop her she does and creates a dust devil and she’s gone. Dick tells Kory Jinx once tried to steal a valuable artifact and there is an auction in Geneva where she is most likely to appear if there’s money to be made. Kory says she’s returning to the scene of the crime so off to Geneva they go.

© HBO Max

Gar is cooking pancakes for Rachel. She says she now feels light instead of empty. Smelling the maple syrup without everyone’s pain flowing through her is amazing. She likes this feeling, saying this is like living a normal life, but she feels like she’s not handling her responsibility of being a Titan now. Gar asks if it was her responsibility to begin with if it wasn’t her choice. Good question. Gar then hears sounds from outside which Rachel can't. He goes to investigate, and Rachel follows. Gar tells her he just needed a break. She feels she upset him making him think about his responsibility of being a Titan. He says he’s been having weird flashes ever since they were in Metropolis, hearing voices before the attack the day before that called him 'Skinwalker'. They kept saying, 'Join us', but he doesn’t know who is calling to him. He explains to Rachel that in Navajo culture, skinwalkers are those who can change into animals, and he thinks they’re trying to tell him something about 'her'. Rachel asks if he means the witch who attacked them, and he says if he can get them to talk to him again, maybe they can help take her down. That's all well and good but Rachel doesn’t like being 'normal' in the middle of the woods. Gar says something is coming. He tells her to look at the sky, but she can’t see anything unusual. He taker her hand and they can both see the sky has turned orange. She wants to go back to the RV. Gar says he’ll take her back but then he’s coming back out alone. She says they will do this together. Gar and Rachel approach the tree he saw in his vision. Bones hang from the limbs, trophies collected by a dark force, he says. The voices are telling him when the blood moon is full, the world will fall.

At STAR Labs, Tim and Conner are training with the bow staff. Tim is whacking Conner with the staff, the Bernard Fitzmartin tells Conner to let Tim tire himself out and then they can really get started. Conner isn’t thrilled about being a punching bag but he stands there and let's him do his thing. After the first round, Tim is given some attachments to allow him to feel the hits in their VR training. A bulletin comes through about a break-in at the MPD evidence warehouse, two people are dead, 40 gallons of blood was stolen. Tim continues his VR training, getting beaten badly by the simulation. After hearing about the stolen blood Conner is doing some online research and notices a symbol on the milk canisters of blood from the slaughterhouse that he believes is an occult symbol but he can’t find any matches in the database. He asks Bernard to check the blood samples because all of the people they had found at the slaughterhouse were obviously not chosen randomly. After some digging, Bernard finds the blood analysis shows that each victim has a genetic mutation that traces its origins back to an ancient Assyrian tribe. Conner found a matching symbol for the one at the slaughterhouse, a screengrab from a videogame by Sebastian Sanger. Conner finds a file on Sebastian, currently employed at Wolfmen’s Taxidermy. Bernard says they need to find Sebastian fast because he has the same genetic mutation as the other victims. Could he be the next victim?

They may be too late, however. We find Sebastian who seems to be scattering his mother’s ashes. He gets a call from the man at the videogame company who says they want to buy his game. But it’s actually Mother Mayhem. Sebastian goes at the videogame company, but the guy who he thinks called him has no idea why he’s there. They already told him they are not interested in his game. He says he never called Sebastian, but Sebastian says he can show him the call in his history. The man starts hearing chanting, which Sebastian cannot, and he suddenly plunges scissors into his eyes before Sebastian can stop him. Sebastian calls for help and the police are already there, aiming their guns at him. Conner gets in touch with Dick to tell him about the common marker in all the victims, that Sebastian has just been arrested for murder and the cops showed up almost right as the murder was happening. Odd. Dick says it has to be a set-up, the witch is orchestrating the whole thing. Sebastian is being held at Metropolis PD so Conner believes that’s where she’ll be next and he can stop her there. Dick says this is not the time for Conner to be rushing blindly into a situation, they need to know more about her. Their mission at the moment is just to get Sebastian.

And that will have to wait until Dick gets back because he and Kory are currently trailing after Jinx, who is now at a vault, using her powers to move the laser beam security out of the way. She opens the vault door with her magic and approaches a box but before she can take it, it flies off the podium into Dick’s hand. He and Kory are right behind Jinx. He says they need her help and the box is her payment if she accepts. She tells him it’s very valuable ... and very dangerous. Kory says the sooner she helps them the sooner she can have whatever is in the box. Kory opens the box and sees a beating heart ... and then she turns to stone. Oops. Dick tells Jinx to undo the spell now but she says there’s nothing she can do, it’s not her spell, but Kory will be fine. Maybe. She claims she doesn’t know how to fix this, telling Dick the box belongs to Lironne, a dark elf. The heart was stolen from her and there is a hefty reward for its return. When Jinx takes it back to her, maybe she’ll unlock Kory. Dick doesn’t trust Jinx to go alone and she agrees to take him but she collects the finder’s fee. Dick doesn’t want to leave Kory there but Jinx says she’s not going anywhere.

Jinx and Dick reminisce about old times in Gotham, seems they had bit of a romantic past along with their thievery, but Dick reminds her that it was just business between them and she played him. She wants to know that if he doesn’t trust her why did he come to her now? He tells her about the woman who attacked them with the red waves, tall, dark hair, a staff. Jinx asks if it was a magical staff. She doesn’t know her but she tells Dick to not fuck with her, he’s way out of his league. He knowns, and if he wasn’t he wouldn’t have come for her. They’ve arrived to meet the elf. Dick thinks it’s like Santa’s elves but Jinx said they’re like Lord of the Rings elves, and she needs $200 to get into the club where they are to meet.

Back at the vault, one of Kory’s eyes lights up. In her mind, she is back at the diner. She meets an old friend and asks if she’s dead. The woman says she’s not dead. She also say that only Kory can save them (from the witch, apparently). Kory says she already did the queen thing, she did the 'go to Earth to save Tamarind' thing. But Kory has all the answers, all she has to do is listen. So Kory plays a song on the jukebox, her destiny has arrived, time to be the warrior. Yeah but she can’t because she’s been turned into an over-sized paperweight by a witch. The woman says her friend will help her out of that. Dick is part of her destiny. She’ll understand more when the time comes. Kory wants to know now, but she’s told to have patience, it’s all how it was meant to be.

© HBO Max

At the club Jinx orders drinks. The bartender said there was a rumor she busted out, and now she’s working with humans again? Dick says they need to speak to Lironne, but the bartender says he doesn’t know who that is. Dick puts the box on the bar and the bartender tells them to stay there. Jinx wants to handle this because Dick is an outsider, but he says he can take care of himself. Dick is summoned to meet with Lironne.  In elvish she says, 'It stinks, what does It want?' The bartender responds that It has something that belongs to her. She asks Dick, in English, what he has and he says he’s always happy to recover stolen goods. But first he needs a favor, he wants the spell to release his friend. She says he's the one who could have stolen the box and now he wants favors? He says he’d ask someone else but was told only she could do it. She called him impudent and naive, and tells the bartender to take It outside and kill It. That doesn't go as she planned as Dick takes down one henchman after another, so she says she’ll kill him herself. She’s almost as skilled as he in hand-to-hand combat but she uses a little magic to turn one dagger into four and flings them at Dick. He dodges them, grabs one and throws it back at her, she catches it and tries to go for him but he sweeps her feet out from under her.

Jinx is in another part of the club opening a box, but Dick enters and announces that Jinx could have removed the spell herself, she just used him as a distraction to get to whatever is in that box she's planning to steal. Dick says she must have a death mark, and she wouldn’t try to get anyone else killed unless her life was on the line. She says he’s earned his gold star for figuring that out. She's in debt to the tune of $5 million. Dick puts the money in escrow (Bruce's money?), to transfer in seven days, and if she frees Kory and helps the Titans the money is hers. She says she can help with her magic powers and it’s a deal. They get back to the vault and Jinx thinks Kory would look good on Bruce’s terrace. She tells Dick to undo the spell he has to kiss her. He's not sure if she's pulling his leg, but she just wanted to see if she could make him kiss a rock. She performs the spell and releases Kory. She’s a bit freaked out after what she just experienced, nor is she thrilled that Jinx is going to help them, and warns that if she does anything like that again Kory will fuck her up. Jinx says she can see why Dick likes her.

Sebastian is in an interview room at the police station. Mother Mayhem appears in the room out of nowhere. He asks who she is but she says it doesn’t matter, all that matters is that she’s here now and she’s going to take care of him. Is she his lawyer, he asks. No, she says she knows him, she’s known him since before he was born, she knows what’s in his heart, and she knows he didn’t do the things they said he did. She knows about his game, all the years, the dedication and passion he spent on it, he is going to change the world and she’s there to help him do it. She can make all this go away if he lets her. Will he says yes to the offer? Yes. Shall they do it now? Yes, he says. She tells him to say the words 'Azarath Metrion Zinthos'. He says the first two but before he can say the third Conner breaks through the wall and snatches Sebastian away, taking him to Dick’s car. He asks who Conner is and he says, 'We’re the Titans, buckle up.' Mayhem walks out and watches them drive away, smirking.

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