The title of this episode of Titans alone has me intrigued by what’s to come and hopefully answers one of my questions about where Gar (Ryan Potter) has been. I can’t wait to get into Titans Season 4, Episode 9, “Dude, Where’s My Gar?”
The episode begins with a young, tearful Gar alone at the zoo. A zookeeper offers to help find his parents, leaving him alone even though he protests. After a few moments, he has flashes of memories, and the scene transforms to our current Gar, hearing voices before waking up in a cave with mysterious creatures. The mysterious host and masked man claims to have pulled him from the Red and brought him there. He doesn’t answer questions about who he is but claims to be Gar’s freedom. Gar’s demands to be taken to the Red are ignored, and he can’t get back.
Since he can’t return, he asks his host question about the Red instead. He then shares that a doctor cured him of the green plague, and that brought him these gifts. His host shares the doctor cured him as well. When the man asks for Gar’s help, he instead offers to help in the future but insists on needing to get back to his friends now.
At that moment, the two are attacked by armed men. His host singlehandedly takes them out. He reveals when he wears the helmet of the beast; he can hear the screams of apes being experimented on. Because of this, the man encourages Gar to help him stop the doctor. He then explains the disease that killed his family came from the doctor’s lab.
Although his plea is compelling, Gar protests, wanting to know more about the man. He reveals his name to be Dominic Mndawe (Nyambi Nyambi), and in the helmet, Freedom Beast. Dominic offers Gar liquid in a vial, telling him he’s more closely connected to the Red, and almost immediately, it transports him back to the Red before it takes him back to the RV.
He sees Raven (Teagan Croft), and she assures him not to worry about them. She encourages him to find himself. The vision then transforms into a lab with Jinx (Lisa Ambalavana). She, too, urges him to forget himself with the Titans, claiming this is so much bigger. Next, he moves to the past, seeing his younger self at the zoo.
When he’s back in the present, Dominic asks if he can hear the animals. Once he can, they leave to save them and the Red. Soon, they arrive, and hearing the sounds of the apes in pain, they go in and take out all the guards in their way. They fight their way to the operating area. The doctor cautions that the animal they want to free has an anthrax infection. Because of this, if the animal is released, it could cause widespread death. After hearing this, Gar cautions Dominic not to release the ape. Although Dominic listens to reason, he morphs the doctor and the ape into one so that the doctor also suffers the ape’s same fate of death.
While looking around, Gar finds the lab belongs to Doctor Niles Caulder, the doctor who cured them. Then, Dominic discloses that all he had just experienced was a vision. He has been in the Red the entire time. He also reveals the doctor killed Gar’s parents and urges him to be more than just a Titan but to be the protector of the Red to relieve him of his duties.
Even after hearing this, Gar denies this destiny. He insists on getting back to his friends. Dominic insists Gar’s role is to be alone in solitude and give his heart to the Red only. Much to Dominic’s disappointment, Gar agrees to be the Red’s protector on his own terms. He finally feels ready and prepared to save the world with his friends.
The Red sends him back to the moment in his youth at the zoo, and he consoles the crying younger version of him. He assures the child of a future with friends and family and without loneliness. As Gar further connects with the Red, he turns the ball of red light surrounding him green, which is his favorite color. He connects with other universes seeing a flash of red lightning, which shows the Flash momentarily running. Once he’s zapped out of the Red, he encounters Stargirl (Brec Bassinger) in Blue Valley. He asks for her help with getting back to the Titans.
Gar demands the Red take him to his family. He sees many different familiar faces from the DC Universe as well as hears them. When he finally goes through a portal, he passes out in a strange home. We see Cyborg (Joivan Wade) calling for help.
What an episode. It was definitely a ride. I’ll admit, I spent just as much time confused with Gar, but by the end, I loved the person he became. Gar came into his own, standing on his own two feet as a hero. He reconciles his past with his present and accepts who he is now. I really love that journey for him.
Another thing I loved was in the Red; when Gar sees all the different scenes, there was The Flash, which looked to be Grant Gustin‘s Flash, Teen Titans‘ Beast Boy and the voice of Harley Quinn. All the scenes, sounds, and cameos practically made me squeal with excitement and seemed to connect the entire DC Universe. Although I hate that the end of the series is coming soon, I can’t wait to see what else our heroes do next.
You can stream Titans on HBO Max.