Spoilers below for those who aren't yet caught up with Titans ahead of its Season 1 finale.
Few TV shows have ever set up a season finale quite like DC Universe's Titans, whose final episode will reveal to fans that Batman has gone completely over the edge and is murdering his enemies willy nilly. The finale's trailer depicted Jason Todd returning to enlist Dick's help in bringing Bruce back to the land of morals, and in new images, Dick stumbles across Titans' sad-note introduction to classic rogues The Ventriloquist and Scarface, and possibly even The Riddler.
Wow, "presumed dead in a jail cell" is definitely not the direction that I expected Titans to go when bringing its first big Batman villains into the narrative. (The show's Nuclear Family wasn't exactly Dark Knight-focused.) Admittedly, I also wouldn't have expected for the show to use The Ventriloquist and Scarface as two of the initial baddies popping up, though I understand why the human character is face down and only recognizable by the dummy laid out at his side.
To be fair, it's not at all confirmed that The Ventriloquist is dead in this pic. There are some puddles beneath him that could obviously be blood from Batman-delivered wounds, with the same going for the blood on the walls. But it's a filthy cell, so that mess might have already been there. The way that Ventriloquist, a.k.a. Arnold Wesker, is laid out with his hands on the ground makes it look like he's surrendering.
If Batman still killed the villain even when he was trying to give up, so to speak, that would say volumes about just how far gone the caped crusader actually is at this point. I'm not so sure Dick has the ability to convince his former mentor to dial it down, either.
The way that Titans blends grounded realism with comic book fantasy is fantastic, as far as I'm concerned, but even I'm not sure that this series could have spun a realistic yarn out of Ventriloquist and his domineering sidekick Scarface. (Gotham, though? Certainly.) However, one could easily see an eccentric character like Edward Nygma living within Titans' corrupted world.
He may very well have been, too, but "living" is not the operative word right now, if this other new Titans image is indeed showing off the fate of Gotham City's mostly puzzle-minded criminal.
Similar to Ventriloquist's true fate, we can't be fully certain that this is indeed The Riddler's dead body. It appears to be a bloody gurney in a morgue, partially covered by a sheet or body bag, but could be revealed as something else entirely. Maybe the person is just injured and laid out in Arkham Asylum's...nurse's...office? They have those, right?
Plus, the question marks tattooed on the arm obviously make it seem like this would be The Riddler, who is known for wearing costumes covered in said punctuation. If so, this move might have been inspired by the ink-heavy look of Jared Leto's Joker in Suicide Squad, though thankfully limited to a single motif in this case.
We've heard The Joker's name several times, of course, and it sounds like attempts to take the villain down caused Batman's mental snap. That's a lot of years for the Clown Prince to be active in Gotham City, too, considering he was already an established psycho when Dick and Donna were teens. He's obviously given Team Batman the most trouble over the years, so I find myself hoping he survives Batman's murderous rage and continues lurking in the background of Season 2 and beyond.
Especially if The Riddler, The Ventriloquist and Scarface are already dead. Not that there aren't a slew of interesting villains for Titans to bring out in the future as its core group works out the kinks, but I just want to see character wholly embracing The Joker's identity in live-action TV at some point.
Titans is set to air an action-packed season finale on DC Universe on Friday, December 21, at 12:00 p.m. ET. Be sure to watch to see just how bonkers Batman will be, and while waiting to see what Season 2 has to offer, be sure to bookmark our fall TV schedule and midseason premiere guide to keep track of all the exciting new and returning shows.