Titans episode 8, “Donna Troy”, started streaming on 30 November 2018.
Titans has proven to be way more fun when other heroes from the DC verse are involved, and “Donna Troy” extended the streak today. The former Wonder Girl lent herself to an entertaining episode filled with great lines and great scenes. Plus, Conor Leslie is just beautiful.
Who is Donna Troy? Or, how to become a superhero’s sidekick
These Justice League folks certainly have a type for recruiting sidekicks. They look for: 1. Orphans. In Donna’s case, her guardian was none other than Wonder Woman. Dick and Donna met when Donna tagged along to Justice League events at Wayne Manor. Being the only two kids around, they formed a friendship. When Dick needed someone to talk to, the emotionally mature Donna was his go-to.
“Why the hell do you always have to be right?”
“Because I’m older, smarter, and prettier than you.”
– young Dick and Donna
Now that Dick, in his words, “quit” being Robin, he doesn’t know what to do with himself. He leaves the Titans (with the promise to see them again, but seriously, again?) and immediately seeks out Donna. Donna has, in her words, “stopped” being Wonder Girl, and works as a photographer.
In the ensuing events, Dick slowly learns the difference between “quit” and “just stopped”. (Hint: one does not involving being dramatic and burning one’s expensive costume.)
But first, he learns he has terrible social skills.
“Us sidekicks gotta stick together.”
Donna invites Dick to an exhibition of her photography. Dick is incapable of mingling, which I can relate to. When Donna is called away for “work”, blindfolded, and transported by shady-looking guys in a shady black van, Dick predictably follows.
Of course, Donna knew what she was doing. She was covertly meeting a member of a poaching ring to photograph their catch. Her photos could lead to the shut down of operations without her pulling any punches, even if she let the snitching man walk free for the time being. Dick couldn’t see the big picture, and jumps in to beat up the guy, thus ruining a client connection for Donna.
Donna surmises that she and Dick cope with leaving their former identities behind differently due to their different upbringings. In other words, Dick inherited his emotional imbalance from Bruce.
Like “Jason Todd”, “Donna Troy” is more about Dick than it is Donna, though less bloody and less upfront. Also, where Jason made Dick think about his past, Donna made him think about his future. All in all, Titans is 2/2 for debuting characters in live action.
Murder on the Amtrak express
While Dick crashes on Donna’s couch, the rest of the Titans follow Angela to Ohio, where she has a house. Kory has been getting brief flashes of her past since the asylum, which bother her on the train ride. She tries her best to chill with Gar.
Gar confides that when he is in tiger form, he isn’t completely in control. He says he didn’t feel guilty attacking the man in the asylum, and Kory tells him he shouldn’t – it was self defense. Gar hasn’t had much to do with anyone besides Rachel, so it’s nice to see him bond (and get buzzed) with Kory.
Meanwhile, Angela explains to Rachel that Melissa was her friend, and agreed to take Rachel in to help them evade Rachel’s father. She believes Rachel’s father is gone, and his cult followers didn’t know to stop, but they should be safe since the Titans burnt down the asylum. Is this a good topic to discuss in a public train carriage?
Kory notices one of the train staff and attacks him, thinking he is part of the cult. He turns out to be a regular person, so Kory now thinks she is being paranoid. However, the man now recognises she is wanted by the police and calls the US marshall.
The team manage to slip off the train when Kory fights off the marshall officers and burns a carriage. They steal a maintenance vehicle and drive the rest of the way with AC/DC playing.
Starfire, we have a problem
At the house, Rachel notices Kory’s behaviour, and offers to use her healing powers to help Kory regain her memories. It doesn’t sound entirely safe, but Kory gives Rachel the go ahead. Kory sees her memories with more clarity – she appeared to be in a spaceship and things did not look smooth-sailing.
At this point, Donna has found the pictures on Dick’s phone of Kory’s notes on Rachel, and recognises the alien language. She translates one text as a mission statement for “Starfire” (finally someone said it) to secure/take control of/take care of/kill “the Raven” aka Rachel. Whoa, those are very different translations, and Dick is very concerned.
Back in Angela’s house, Kory stiffens, her eyes glow, and she grabs Rachel’s throat, lifting the girl off the ground. What is happening?!?
Other notable moments:
- Angela offering Gar a hug, then inviting him to join her and Rachel watching the sunrise. Aww.
- As much as I hate Dick for leaving again, I quite liked the scene where he parted ways with everyone else. Kory and Dick wished each other well in their search for their identities. Rachel hugged Dick, though she was still visibly disappointed (rightfully so) and called him out on his, well, being a dick.
- “Sounds healthy.” “Sounds disgusting.” – Gar and Kory, discussing the train menu’s vegan options.
- “Pretend you’re with Bruce on a yacht.” “I always got seasick.” – Donna and Dick
- “The only thing I point at an animal is my camera.” – Donna
Finally, our last scene with Donna seems to suggest she will be sticking around for a while more. Since Donna has traditionally been part of the Teen Titans in the comics, does this mean she will eventually join the team on Titans?
Need a memory jog on Titans? It doesn’t have to be as scary as Rachel’s healing. Our Titans tag has you covered without any superpowers involved.
(featured image: DC Universe)