Titans made a name for itself as the grittiest, darkest entry in the DC universe yet right from the beginning, but the season 1 finale made the earlier episodes look like Teen Titans GO!, as it saw Dick Grayson having to return to Gotham City to stop his former mentor, the one and only Batman, from going over the edge and killing his enemies.
This was a shocking enough scenario, but things just got darker from there. After succeeding in wiping out many of his foes, a SWAT team being sent in to combat him and even killing Starfire, Robin snaps and is forced to kill Batman himself. Just as fans’ jaws scraped the floor, it was revealed that the whole thing was a dream induced by Trigon – Raven’s demonic father – in a bid to corrupt Dick. It didn’t work, but it’s probably left him with some pretty heavy psychological scars.
Given the season-long focus on the threat of Trigon though, why was the decision made to turn the finale into a dream episode with a heavy use of Batman, who’d previously only featured in a supporting roles in flashbacks? Well, showrunner Greg Walker told Entertainment Weekly that it was all to do with his mission statement of exploring Dick Grayon’s psyche.
“I think one of the things that most intrigued me and brought me to Titans was this idea of depicting Dick Grayson and his journey as Robin in a very emotional and psychologically grounded way.”
He went on to say how he felt the plot of the finale also had a thematic resonance, as it almost brought things full circle by returning to the set-up of the show’s first episode, which was all about Dick and Rachel’s intertwined storyline.
“I liked it both thematically and I liked it from a cliffhanger point of view, and I liked that it focused, in many ways, back to where we started with the Dick-Rachel story. It felt very focused and sharp and made you want to know how you’re going to pull him back from the brink of disaster, as it were.”
Having said all of that, Walker admitted that it wasn’t always the intention for the finale to play out as it did. The original plan for the finale appears to have been held over so as to kick off season 2 instead.
“We’ve started in on another episode that will finalize the Trigon story, and it felt like it needed to do two things: end one season and launch another. We got really excited about the way to launch a new season with that episode and pitched it to our partners at DC and Warner Brothers, and they signed on. We shot a piece that we’re going to use, and then we’re going to incorporate it into where we want to launch the new season.”
Speaking of Titans season 2, it’s expected to go before the cameras in February before hitting the DC Universe streaming service in late 2019.