Pardon me my fellow Junkies. I’m still somewhat collecting my thoughts after watching what may be the most unexpected turnaround for a shaky show in recent memory. Suffice to say, after having just finished consuming the latest episode of Titans, I’m almost ready to say this show has finally fulfilled all the promise we’d hoped for dating years back when it was first announced! That’s literally how excited I was while watching this episode, and when it was all over, I wanted the next episode immediately. I want whomever is making the decision to make me wait a week arrested. This is not a joke. ARREST THEM.
ALL HAIL THE MVPs OF THIS EPISODE…THE WRITERS!!
To say the tonal shift was into overdrive would be putting it mildly. The writing has taken a turn for the better and it is evident everywhere. The subtle moments aren’t without notice and were present from the opening scene. Rachael and Dick getting coffee at his favorite spot in their new home in San Francisco were subjected to mislabeled coffee cups “Rochelle and Dirk” respectively. When Dick attempted to correct him by simply saying “Dick”, and realizing what was transpiring in that exchange was a subtle moment of levity that was largely missing from last season. The tenor of the writing in that scene carried over to every facet of this episode. The time jump of 3 months has allowed the writers to showcase how much these characters have grown together.
Dick has grown into a role of older brother/mentor to all the kids on the show. Teagan Croft is absolutely KILLING IT as Raven now, but the same could be said about nearly every principal character with maybe the exception of Garfield Logan (Ryan Potter) and even that might be because he’s not a huge focal point yet. He and Jason’s sparring scene also helped show how the playful banter between the younger characters has gotten to an almost familial level. Dick having a chat with Jason about being the leader of his younger teammates was exceptional as well given their mutual bond as wards of Bruce Wayne. I’ve mentioned before how much I thought that many of these characters were unlikeable people, yet each and every one has been written better, directed better and portrayed better. This is especially true with regard to Hank Hall and Dawn Granger who provide a very nice side story to follow in this episode. Yet we need to talk about two others who if we’re being honest, I’d pay for a spin-off buddy cop show with.
WE NEED A STARFIRE/WONDER GIRL SHOW ASAP!
Much was made of Anna Diop’s…unfortunate wig and attire last season. Wash ALL of that away. She was slaying it all episode long. But the best treat of the entire episode of was her and Connor Leslie’s Donna Troy as a metahuman bounty hunting tandem. Their stakeout scenes were filled with the type of banter we’d expect of characters who’d been paired together for years. Both women, whether they were arguing about the desirability of jelly donuts (apparently Donna’s favorite); arguing over ‘We Are Family’ by Sister Sledge being played on repeat for hours (apparently Kori’s favorite) or both of them kicking ass in the street when faced with Shimmer; were dynamic! This is the buddy cop show I didn’t know I needed, and I desperately want more of it. Natually, story elements will keep us from getting it thanks to Kori’s past coming front and center. But that’s kind of a theme of this episode.
FORGING A NEW FUTURE…WHILE HAUNTED BY THE PAST
Scratch that, most likely a theme of the season. See, one of the opening scenes of the episode saw what I assume is Deathstroke busting Dr. Light out from prison. We never see him, only the aftermath of the breakout itself, but the fact that he broke out a villain of the Titans, much like Shimmer is ALSO a villain of the Titans, is some pretty obvious foreshadowing. The application of him using his powers was also incredibly cool, leaving care packages for his favorite superhero team in the form of living light bombs and putting them on notice…their past is coming for them. Which of course hits home the reasoning for Dick to get these kids prepared for “The Life”, even as the past comes home in the form of Rose Wilson (Chelsea Zhang) who is running from her own past and bringing trouble to the Titans present.
DID I SAY HOW MUCH I LOVED THIS EPISODE?
Lemme be real with you right now…Titans just might vault to being one of my favorite shows based on the strength of this episode alone. Clearly, this episode would’ve been a much better, stronger season premiere than last episode. It managed to do in 40 minutes of screen time, what 500 minutes of screentime in all of season one couldn’t, make me unabashedly excited for upcoming episodes. I STILL want the person who’s making me wait arrested. I need the next episode right now. That’s how good this was. If this continues, I’m fully ready to say that Titans has finally found its way.