Up until now, Kory (Anna Diop) has been something of a background player. Sure, her scenes in the pilot were explosive and one in particular echoed the character’s comic book persona, but as she is a mystery to herself, she’s also a mystery to the viewer. Consequently, we haven’t had much to say about her.
But that all changed this week as she becomes a feature player in the drama by finally meeting up with Rachel (Teagan Croft) and Dick (Brenton Thwaites). And while she might be the biggest Titans departure in terms of character, there is something quite appealing about Kory. Sure, she’s not the bubbly innocent of either animated series nor is she much like her comic book counterpart; whose persona often changes with the whim of the writer. She is nonetheless, compelling here as a creature of instinct. Confronted with intolerance or homicidal hitmen, she trusts her abilities to do the work even if she doesn’t understand the workings behind her muscle memory.
Of course, her fighting prowess is the only thing she remembers as her search for Rachel led to her amnesia. Unfortunately, Raven has no idea why people are after her. Beyond the plot, though, the scenes between Rachel and Kory speak to a strength the show identified quickly: Croft’s chemistry with the older members of the cast. Where she accidentally offered Dick some key advice last week, she humanizes Kory in their scenes in the car and later in the diner. The moments might not play as well if Croft didn’t have a rapport with Diop or Thwaites — or Minka Kelly’s Dawn for the matter — but as it is one of the strengths of the show, seeing her give the violent characters a chance to slow down and reveal themselves is a welcome respite from the darkness and violence. See also the brief moment between Rachel and Gar (Ryan Potter).
At the same time, it was interesting to see Kory and Dick play off one another when he catches up with her at the storage facility. The fact she could steal Dick’s car says a lot about her, but watching both them try to piece together her forgotten motives suggests some of their relationship in episodes to come. Like so much of Titans, it has potential.
First, though, the show has to resolve Rachel’s problem. Fans of the comics will recognize the underlying threat, but the show is still playing coy with the true nature of the demon hiding within her. In fact, her isolation in the church basement would’ve been the perfect time to introduce a certain name into the show’s mythology. Instead, we get some well-realized scenes of her power.
We also get a little more of the hitman nuclear family. It seems they are part of some organization with some screwed up methods and a potentially screwed up purpose. Are they allied with Trigon? It remains to be seen, but they’re such a wacky and strange element of the show that I want to see it stick the landing with them. Wouldn’t it be a hoot if they turned out to be totally opposed to Trigon?
And while we’re talking twists, wouldn’t it be interesting if Diop was really playing Kory’s sister Komand’r? That would explain her willingness to kill and the lack of some of Starfire’s more traditional quirks. It would also make for an interesting second season in which Diop starts playing the real Kory and possibly Komand’r at the same time.
Titans streams Fridays on DC Universe.