‘Titans’ recap: 1×02 “Hawk and Dove”

Titans season 1 episode 2 “Hawk and Dove” was released 19 October 2018.

Today, Titans proved that it can balance its darkness (the figurative kind, although I did have to turn up my screen brightness again) with humour in four words: “Take his pants down.” Said words were casually delivered by an unassuming black market gun dealer while torturing the titular Hawk. Fortunately his girlfriend Dove shows up to save his nether parts.

At the end of last week, Dick told Rachel they were headed “somewhere safe.” Somewhere safe is Hawk and Dove’s – or rather, Hank and Dawn’s – apartment in D.C. (because DC, maybe.) The bird couple just passed their 3.5 year anniversary, for which Hank built a pigeon coop on the roof of their building. Despite his injuries and gruff demeanor, Hank gets poetic about how pigeons (of which doves are the white variety) mate for life.

dc universe titans hank hall dawn granger hawk and dove
image: DC Universe

Return to the Roost

Hawk, Dove, and Robin (against Batman’s wishes) used to kick ass together 4 years back. Now, the former two are planning to retire from vigilantism. Hank has been racking up injuries. Once they take down this gun op for good, they will move to Wisconsin. Side note: the fight scene with “Kids in America” playing was delightful.

dc universe titans robin dick grayson

As the couple prepare for their final fight, newly arrived guest Dick pulls up some intel indicating that the takedown won’t be possible for two people. Dawn then suggests Robin tag along, but Dick declines, afraid of his brutality. However, he runs after them after a pep talk from Rachel and manages to turn the tide as Hawk and Dove get cornered.

Hank and Dawn’s anniversary unfortunately ends in tragedy as the Nuclear Family have tracked Dick and Rachel via Amy to DC. The show doesn’t actually name the family, nor give them powers. They are just mindless assassination machines sent to acquire Rachel and take out anyone in their way. Anyway, “Papa Loves Mambo” playing in their introduction was music moment #2 this week.

In the ensuing battle, Hank, Dawn, and Dick are overwhelmed. The latter two are both thrown off the roof of the apartment building. Dick manages to grab onto a ledge, but Dawn is less lucky. Dick eventually finds her close to death on the pavement below. He starts to perform CPR, but is he too late? The episode can’t end here!

Bird bonding

This episode did not advance the plot narratively so much as emotionally. Dick’s reunion with Hank and Dawn highlighted how much he has changed in 4 years, especially when Dawn verbalises it.

Dawn also points out to Richard that he has more or less taken Rachel under his metaphorical wing. He is obviously very protective of her, continuing the father-daughter vibe from the premiere. However, there was also a bit of a brother-sister dynamic emerging, from their shared distaste for pineapples on pizza to Rachel questioning Dick about his history with Dawn. Dick called her “Rach” once by the end of the hour. They also share a deeper understanding of each other from losing their parents and their shared inner darkness.

dc universe titans rachel roth dick grayson
image: DC Universe

This development is sadly derailed when Rachel discovers Dick intended to leave her with Hank and Dawn, against his earlier promise not to leave her. Soon after that revelation, she is taken by the Nuclear Family. Dick had felt he was not fit to be a guardian to Rachel, and now that will certainly eat him up from inside.

A bird family with Hawk, Dove and Raven would not have been too bad, though. Dawn and Rachel were certainly getting along, bonding over Game of Thrones.

Easter eggs

This episode was full of them. Dawn’s Superman tee was the most obvious. Dick’s contacts include ‘Donna Troy’ and ‘Bruce Wayne’, and ‘Alfred Pennyworth’. Dick even speaks to Alfred on the phone! Donna might be the fourth person in the photo Hank and Dawn have with Dick.

The episode also tipped its hat towards the late Steve Ditko with a “Ditko Movers” van. Ditko was a comic artist and writer who created the characters Hawk and Dove, amongst others.

dc universe titans steve ditko
image: @scifyextremist on twitter

If you noticed any other easter eggs, let us know!

Other notes from this episode:

  • When Dick and Rachel were having coffee, Rachel had a necklace with a red stone around her neck (see earlier image). Will that stone eventually become her chakra?
  • Rachel believes she killed her father in an emotional outburst years ago…?

Memorable quotes:

  • Dick to Rachel: Is that Game of Thrones? Should you be watching that?
  • Dawn, about where to bring Rachel: What about Bruce?
    Dick: *chokes on coffee* He’s no good with kids.
  • Rachel: So, you and Dawn.
    Dick: No.
    Rachel: You realise it’s impossible to lie to me, right?

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(featured image: DC Universe)


Ellen Ng

Ellen is a student, writer, professional daydreamer etc. Most likely to be found with green tea, but coffee has been an option as of late. Currently superhero-watching.

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