Titans S2E1 released 6 September 2019 on DC Universe.
Alright guys. I like Titans. In a “weird, psycho way”.
I think, at the core, Titans focuses less on plot and more on its characters. It’s intent on fleshing out their nuances, their history, their light and shade and grey areas. If making the big bad sit around and conjure up vision for some complicated reason means we explore our characters, so be it. No need for a big staple fight scene. Those have already been done thousands of times.
What I’m saying is, maybe think of Titans as a psycho-thriller rather than a superhero comic adaptation.
Start at the End
So, “Trigon” was meant to be the finale of season 1 before they bumped to to open season 2. Trigon (Seamus Dever) has just possessed Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) after Angela (Rachel’s mother, played by Rachel Nichols) poisoned Gar Logan (Ryan Potter). Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft) realises she has been tricked by both her parents.
Gar wakes up on time. He and Rachel run around the creepy house while Demon Dick chases them.
“Real life horror movie. Real life horror movie!!” – Gar
Meanwhile, Dawn Granger (Minka Kelly) and Hank Hall (Alan Ritchson) seek out Jason Todd (Curran Walters) following a dream-vision SOS from Rachel. They find Jason doing motorcycle tricks around Wayne manor while Bruce and Alfred are out of town. The trio meet up with Donna Troy (Conor Leslie) and Kory Anders (Anna Diop) outside Angela’s house.
Come to the dark side
We don’t have cookies. Trigon lets the other heroes into the house. They blindly walk in (did no one think that was a bad idea?) Immediately, they are separated upon entering. Each person enters a vision meant to trick them into embracing their dark side.
- “Rachel” finds and asks Kory to kill her to fulfil Kory’s mission and save everyone. Kory eventually obliges.
- Donna winds up on the day her father died in a fire. She chases and kills the arsonist.
- Jason finds Bruce under the rubble where Dick killed him in his vision. “Dick” threatens Jason. The Robins fight. Jason holds is losing but finds a gun (specifically the one that killed Bruce’s parents). He shoots Dick. (P.S. Red Hood’s weapon is a gun. Hmm…)
- Trigon appears to deliver some meds/drugs to Hank and Dawn. Hank convinces Dawn to shoot up?? (I’m confused by this one.)
Rachel and Gar find all their friends possessed. Trigon orders them to kill Gar, and it seems like they do. Trigon spins it such that all the destruction is Rachel’s indirect action, which wrecks her. Then he pulls out her heart??????????!!!!!! He crushes it to create the gem, then turns into his full CGI demon form. Then he sticks the gem in Rachel’s forehead, resurrecting her as a demonic Raven.
Finally, he kills Angela before he walks out to begin…destroying the world? He doesn’t need to do much, everything withers and dies in his path.
Where it all began
Luckily, Gar escaped death by turning into a snake. New form unlocked! He manages to call out to Rachel and snap her out of her demon form.
Through the episode, Rachel has been adamant that getting through to Dick is the key to stopping everything. She explains that her dream of his parents started this whole process, so it must end with her and Dick too.
Approaching Demon Dick, she ends up in his vision right after he kills Bruce, and changes it to the circus. In a risky attempt to make Dick remember who he is, she swings towards him on the trapeze and lets herself fall. Dick catches Rachel before she hits the ground, and they both return to reality unpossessed.
Titans are back!
Rachel quickly ends her father in an explosion of dark energy. With Trigon destroyed, everyone wakes up un-demonized.
Dick runs out to meet her. And hugs her. He’s a proud dad, isn’t her? Now that the world is saved, he decides to take his adopted children – Rachel, Gar and Jason – on a mystery road trip. He also finally uses the “bird boy” joke on Jason, and teases Gar about maybe meeting Superman.
Kory declines to come because she wants to figure things out herself.
“Send me a postcard from your planet.” – Gar
Dick makes a stop at Wayne Manor to clear the air with Bruce Wayne (Iain Glen). Dick wants to explain why he left. He says he has realised he can’t blame his violence on Bruce for weaponizing his childhood. Basically, Dick’s stint at parenthood/taking care of Rachel helped him understand Bruce’s shortcomings as a parental figure, and recognise Bruce did some good by him too.
Then, he brings up his idea of rebooting the Titans with Rachel and Gar. Bruce agrees – if he takes Jason too. Jason and Gar are stoked to be in Titans tower. Their excitement was cute. I need a friendship here.
Also, since Jason is canonically 19, Rachel is 13, and Gar is probably around Jason’s age, this makes them the teen Titans…
In the woods somewhere, Slade Wilson (Esai Morales) has been living rough. He sees Jason’s news stunt while getting groceries. He apparently retired from being an assassin, but decides it is time to reopen shop.
By the way, netizens have pointed out that the password to Slade’s armoury spells ‘JOEY’.
Part of me wishes that they played out the Trigon arc longer, actually make him burn a few cities and what not. The way Raven finally offed him seems way too easy. Maybe he shouldn’t have been their first big bad, save the dramatics for when the show and team is firmly established. But that’s not what Titans is about. Not yet anyway.
It’s about a bunch of people who must face their demons and find each other. I’m satisfied by the connections between the characters, from Dick and Rachel’s father/daughter bond to Hank’s grudging amusement by Jason. That’ll do for now.
Plus, I feel like the upcoming season – the real season 2 – will lend itself to much more classic superhero antics.
- Donna, making an order: Titans…
Jason, eagerly: Yes!
Donna: …and, uh, new Robin…
- Gar, accepting Hank’s apology for beating him up: I knew it wasn’t really you guys. Dick was kind of funny, in a weird, psycho way.
- [in Titans tower] “I get the big room?” “Keep dreaming”
(featured image: DC Universe)