This review is based off the season premiere.
Throughout my history of reviewing TV shows, I’ve had to base my critiques on samplings varying from one to five episodes before the time of premiere. As you could imagine, the maximum amount is preferred because not only is it just plain cool to see that much content before anyone else, but also due to the fact that it allows for someone such as me to formulate a more informed opinion regarding the TV show itself.
Like I said, I’m no stranger to viewing only one episode going into a new season, but doing so for Titans‘ sophomore year admittedly made me nervous at first. Those familiar with this series’ production are aware of how “Trigon” had originally been intended to serve as season 1’s finale, only to be saved for season 2. That said, you’re probably wondering if DC Universe’s gamble paid off.
In short, it did.
But before I get too ahead of myself, I’ll get the obvious stuff out of the way. Yes, the premiere does pick up seconds after where season 1 left off. This isn’t a spoiler, as you could’ve figured this out yourself from publicity photos and the like. Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) has been corrupted by Trigon (Seamus Dever) and it’s up to Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft) to break her demonic father’s hold over him and the rest of her superhero friends.
To my delight, the entire Titans gang is on hand, be it other familiar faces like Kory Anders (Anna Diop) and Garfield Logan (Ryan Potter), in addition to former guest stars like Jason Todd (Curran Walters), Donna Troy (Conor Leslie), Hank Hall (Alan Ritchson) and Dawn Granger (Minka Kelly). The reason I refer to those latter folks as “former guest stars” is because they’ve all been promoted to being series regulars, and I’m extremely happy because of that.
Not meaning to give away much, “Trigon” is a spooky thrill ride that’s essentially the final chapter in Rachel’s coming of age story that launches into her becoming Raven. It’s what diehard fans of the character have been waiting for and what short-sighted folk failed to realize about the first season as a whole: that the inaugural year was about origins, personal revelations and the coming together of a team. I think people expected for the heroes to be eating pizza in Titans Tower from the get-go, and that just wasn’t going to happen.
Had this ended up airing as the first season finale, I would’ve still approved of what went on, but the stuff that was added to retrofit it as a the second season premiere put a huge smile on my face. Believe me when I tell you that DC fans will lose their shit (in a good way) during the final fifteen minutes or so.
Actually, it was that final stretch which alleviated the worry I mentioned earlier. At first, I thought I was going to be essentially checking out new/old material as it were, yet that content handily laid the groundwork for what’s to come. And the fact that it introduces us to Slade Wilson (Esai Morales) and Bruce Wayne (Iain Glen) put this one over the top.
As you probably figured out, I must avoid major spoilers in this review. With that, I’ll say only that there’s enough of those two gentlemen to whet our appetites, although you’ll most assuredly be champing at the bit to see Morales kicking ass in what’s easily the best live action Deathstroke costume to date.
When it comes to Bruce Wayne, I’m still getting used to the idea of Glen playing him. Despite his impressive resume as a seasoned actor, it’s difficult picturing the 58-year-old as being a Batman in his prime. Heck, that’s how old the grizzled Caped Crusader was in Frank Miller’s The Dark Knight Strikes Again! If I were to piece together the timeline of this universe, I’d say he’s been at it for decades, yet Jason Todd joining his mission came much later than one would normally expect. That’s the only way I can make sense of this. Regardless, Glen does a good job as a less tormented Bruce.
In my view, Titans is now fully becoming the show that both devoted viewers and doubters hoped it could be, so you’d better get on board as this bad boy amps up. The premiere alone will leave you on the verge of a full-on nerdgasm, so I can only imagine what it’ll be like when we have two Robins, Starfire, Beast Boy, Raven, Wonder Girl, Hawk, Dove and Aqualad fighting together against the world’s deadliest mercenary. And don’t forget, we still have Superboy, Krypto and Ravager on the way, so this’ll just get better and better. Doom Patrol had better look out because there may be a new DC Universe king before long.