Back when Titans was being developed for TNT, it was said the series would revolve around Dick Grayson training a new generation of heroes. This log line survived into the early days of its DC Universe development. And now, 12 episodes into the series, Titans is finally becoming the show it originally set out to be.
Between the barbs thrown by Gar (Ryan Potter), Jason (Curran Walters), and Rachel (Teagan Croft), a nice bit of light can be seen in the show’s reliance on darkness. It’s genuinely fun to watch these characters interact. We’re tempted to say its emblematic of the Titans show we always wanted. And our hope that Jason would become the source of most F-bombs seems to be playing out as he delivered the only one uttered in Titans Tower this episode. Meanwhile, we need more moments of Gar and Rachel just being teenagers. Whether it’s supposed to be something romantic or a case of supportive friends, scenes like Gar’s attempt at a study break are the sort we should be seeing more of now that the original premise has kicked in.
Nevertheless, Titans is a serialized show and the serialization is interesting. This week, Slade (Esai Morales) seemingly released Dr. Light (Michael Mosely) from prison as the first step in his revenge plan. It’s definitely a good play from Deathstroke’s book of tricks and it leaves us wondering if Rose (Chelsea Zhang) will be a version of Terra in his scheme. The again, that’s really obvious, so maybe the plant is Jason. But that may be out bias talking. Dr. Light immediately set out to light bomb the hell out of the old Titans; completely running the paradise Hank (Alan Ritchson) and Dawn (Minka Kelly) seemingly found far away from any city.
That said, their paradise was running a bit thin if Dawn felt the need to suit up and punch the crystals out of a bunch of meth cookers.
And we have to admit the Hawk and Dove storyline is not well served by being so far from the main action. Sure, they’re headed to San Francsico now, but for the purposes of this episode, it was easy to lose track of them for all the jumping the story did. From San Francisco to Wyoming to Chicago to Gotham, the episode felt a little unfocused as it moved from plot to plot.
Which is all forgiven whenever it landed in Chicago. The pairing of Donna (Conor Leslie) and Kori (Anna Diop) is inspired. They have a great buddy cop chemistry and a quickness in their dialogue which brings the characters to life. It’s just a shame a Tamaranean agent snatched Kori away. Also, we’re going to assume Donna’s attempt to find her will keep her away from the Dr. Light situation for at least an episode.
Oh, and what the hell was Roy Harper calling about? Did he get a light bomb in the mail? And while we’re asking question, what’s up with Rachel’s darkness? Is our prediction about Trigon on the money?
Curiously, this episode’s biggest dud was its biggest introduction. Rose didn’t feel vital or interesting in her interactions with Dick (Brenton Thwaites). It absolutely makes sense plotwise that she’d want nothing to do with him and it definitely counters the sense of bonhomie throughout the rest of the episode, but it makes her unapproachable to the audience. Instead of letting Rose give us a reason to care about her, it’s up to Jason to tell us she’s interesting. And that’s reason number one to doubt her in any sense.
Hopefully, she’ll have more of a chance to make a name for herself next week as the team assembles to take on Dr. Light.
Titans streams Fridays on DC Universe.