The multiverse, every mega-franchise’s (and Oscar-winning non-franchise) favorite idea can often seem like homework. Why, it is reasonable to wonder, does every other blockbuster movie ticket come with a five-minute lecture on quantum physics for casuals? It doesn’t have to be this way. Instead, the multiverse can just be like it is on the most recent episode of Titans: a goofy nod to a long-running franchise’s history that is great fun but ultimately not that vital to the experience.
With the all-timer episode title “Dude, Where’s My Gar?,” Titans — which resumed its fourth and final season after a five-month hiatus this month — sends Beast Boy, a.k.a. Gar Logan (Ryan Potter) on a metaphysical trip across the DC multiverse. He’s being coached by Dominic Mndawe/Freedom Beast on how to connect with The Red, the DC Universe’s cosmic force that ties together all animal life, and counterpart to The Green, which connects all plant life.
This results in Gar getting briefly lost in the multiverse, where he glimpses — mostly through archival footage and audio — numerous DC film and television adaptations, including Cesar Romero’s Joker, Grant Gustin’s Flash, Zachary Levi’s Shazam, and even animated Beast Boy from Teen Titans Go!. He also meets a few characters in the flesh, namely Stargirl (Brec Bassinger) and being reunited with Cyborg from Doom Patrol.
Gar’s trip through the multiverse isn’t as expansive or ambitious as the Arrowverse’s truly bonkers Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover — it’s more of an Easter egg than a big event — but there’s a sense of fun to it that makes it a counterweight to the grave stakes of something like the MCU’s Multiverse Saga.
It also helps that DC has a multiverse to speak of — since the company has never worked as hard (or as successfully) as its competitor to craft a continuous cinematic universe, it can just retroactively label every DC TV and film property as part of “the multiverse.” And, according to my copy of Quantum Physics for Dummies, that all makes perfect sense.