Titans is a DC Universe original series and a new a mature-rated take on team of the same name. Season 2 follows Dick Grayson, fresh off giving up his Robin alter-ego, as he assembles many of the young heroes he fought with in season 1 to reform the Titans, a team of young superheroes he formed five years ago but was broken apart by a tragedy. But when a familiar threat pops up, Dick will have to reunited the old Titans as well. But will the team survive when ghosts from Dick’s past come back to haunt him?
To give a quick spoiler-free summary of my opinion, Season 2 was a lot of fun. Most of the old characters are given more to do and the new characters that are introduced are all welcome additions. The fight scenes are brief and don’t come around but when they do they’re very exciting, almost to the level of Daredevil. There’s a lot of great fan service which actually ties in to the main story, unlike in season 1 where it’s focused on select episodes that, despite being great, end up detracting from the main story. The season has its weak points, particularly the begging and end and a little towards the middle of the second half, but makes up for it with some of my favorite moments in any superhero TV show.
Now is where we get into SPOILER territory, so be warned. Starting by going through each character, Dick Grayson is great in this season and proves once again that Brenton Thwaites makes for the perfect Dick Grayson. We once again follow him in his quest to become a good, responsible leader, but this time he has evolved from facing his internal demons, by reconciling with Bruce, to facing his mistakes from the past and having to face and live with them and to not let them endanger the team despite the fact that him not wanting to be alone. He learns it’s important to be truthful to the ones you care about, despite how much it may hurt. The little Bruce inside his head serving as his conscience was a nice touch as well. The show gave us the moment we’ve been waiting for since the show premiered, Dick Grayson, turning into Nightwing. Many fangasms were had over that one.
Speaking of Bruce Wayne did a great job as the character. Even though his appearance and his accent might have tricked some into thinking he was playing Alfred (there was even a point where he did an impression of Alfred and there wasn’t much difference) he quickly proved, at least inside Dick’s head, that he really was Batman.
Kory Anders, aka Starfire, got a lot more to do. Now that she’s very from amnesia, we get to dive deeper into her character and her life in Tamaran, especially her rocky relationship with her sister Blackfire, which has set up a great storyline for season 3 that I can wait to see realized.
Gar Logan, aka Beast Boy, still remains the beacon of light in this dark show, with some funny and not forced at all comic relief. And they found the right way to test a character as pure and optimistic as Beast Boy, buy turning his environment, and not the character, darker and more violent.
Jason Todd got more layers added to him, making more complex than just edgy Robin full of angst. I mean that’s what we liked about the character and what differentiated him from other Robins, but I’m glad they allowed him to be more than that by exploring the backstory and tragedy behind his character. And I liked the twist that Jason didn’t die like many DC fans predicted, instead being miraculously saved at the last minute, a nice reference to how Jason’s death was open to vote in the comics, with the outcome being his death. And the fact that Superboy saved was also a reference to how Jason got resurrected win an evil alternate Superboy punched reality (comics are weird I know).
Now let’s talk about the new characters. I’ll start with the one that seems to be everyone’s favorite, Superboy. And it’s not hard to see why, since Joshua Orpin gives such a great performance by capturing Conner Kent’s childlike mind. And his relationship with Eva Watson and Krypto make for a phenomenal episode of the series. And speaking of Krypto, with so many movies and TV shows about Superman over the years, why has DC only now realized how cool it is to see a dog with Superman’s powers taking bad guys down in live-action? I mean that dog literally caught a missile and threw it away like a frisbee!
Rose Wilson was everything I expected from the daughter of Deathstroke. I loved her backstory, her relationship with Jason Todd, and the fact that they adapted the Judas Contract stroyline from the comics by having her infiltrate the titans and tearing them apart from the inside. By not using Terra like in the comics, they made her true intentions a surprise, by not using Terra like in the comics. It just goes to show that the showrunners really know their audience. And it made all the more satisfying when she switched sides and took down Deathstroke, awesome-looking Ravager suit and all.
And the flashbacks showcasing the old Titans, along with the characters introduced in them, were my favorite parts of the entire series. It was really exciting to see the first live-action portrayal of Aqualad, who had nice chemistry with Donna Troy, aka Wonder Girl, and his death was a great way to establish the Titans’ rivalry with Deathstroke and sending them into a darker path.
And then there’s Jericho, easily one of my favorite characters of the show. Chella Man deserves any and all praise for giving us such an endearing and altruistic character. And the episode showing his backstory and the story revolving around his death was the high-point of the series.
With the heroes out of the way, let’s talk about one of the aspects made this season so good, the villains. Firstly, I like the fact that villains that are familiar to fans as well as very silly, like Doctor Light and Shimmer, were included as a nice nod to fans and a way to show that the series doesn’t take itself too seriously (I mean for the most part). And with so many sidekicks on the show, it only made sense to make one of the villains Mercy Graves the sidekick of one of the most ruthless DC villains, Lex Luthor. Mercy works very well as both her own character and an extension of Luthor’s evil agenda.
And of course, there’s Deathstroke. Now Manu Bennett’s version from Arrow will always have a special place in my geek heart and I’m sure Joe Manganiello can pull off a great Deathstroke if given his own movie, if his cameo in Justice League is anything to go by. But has of now, Esai Morales is the best live-action Deathstroke. I love his costume and look, I love his intensity, I love his origin story which is very faithful to the comics, I love the fact that he psychologically breaks down the Titans and any action scene with him is a treat. And bonus points for having a kickass partner in Bill Wintergreen.
But the season isn’t without its flaws, which are mostly focused in specific episodes. The first being “Trigon”, which should’ve been the season 1 finale (maybe they couldn’t make it in time and saved it for season 2). And as finale, it’s very disappointing as Trigon is finally revealed in his true form only to be one-hit K.O.-ed by Raven. But it was a nice beginning for the new lineup of Titans too.
Then there are the episodes “Atonement” and “Fallen”. These episodes dedicate way to much time to the Titans being separated. Not that it shouldn’t be done, but don’t drag it out so much, since we know we’re they’ll eventually come together again. And most of the character arcs felt predictable and pointless. Robin throwing himself in jail was a bit too ridiculous and the subplot involving him freeing other prisoners that feel like it belonged there. Maybe they were trying to do some social commentary but it ended up sticking out like a sore thumb. You could’ve done the same story about Robin comping with his mistakes (and psychologically fighting Bruce, which was a lot of fun) without the prison element and it would’ve been fine.
Rachel, aka Raven, yet again deals with her powers going out of control just like last season. And it seemed like it was going somewhere interesting with her killing her new friend’s dad, but her friend is like “Meh, he deserved it” and it’s forgotten about.
Also what was the point of Hank and Dawn, aka Hawk and Dove, breaking up, since they eventually got back together? And even when their story is otherwise interesting, its grounded and realistic style still feels at odds with the super heroic shenanigans of the other Titans. I think they would fit better in their own show, which I would absolutely watch.
Overall, these two episodes were flawed and had very little of the actual main plot, but were still entertaining, specially with the moments between Superboy and Beast Boy. And nothing in them is quite as bad as the last episode: “Nightwing”. Now I don’t hate this episode like a lot of people. In fact, I love the final battle against Deathstroke, despite being brief and killing him off a little earlier than I would’ve liked, as well as the fight against mind-controlled Superboy and it was satisfying to see the Titans reconcile and seeing Dick finally reveal to Bruce what he had given him. I only hate one particular scene, which is of course Wonder Girl’s death.
This death was so poorly executed. It just came out of nowhere, because I guess the writers need to add more drama to what was otherwise a very happy ending. I guess the mindset was that sometimes heroes die to small and random perils, but it’s still so unrealistic that Superboy can’t take her down but a carnival ride can. And even if it was done well, I wouldn’t care so much because Wonder Girl was my least favorite character of the Titans. She felt very bland and kind of mean-spirited, not all like the smart, kind and brave Wonder Girl I saw in the first season. This death was so pointless that you could take her death, her funeral and any mention of her death out of the episode and it would’ve been the same, not only that but ten times better.
So yeah, this season wasn’t without its disappointing lows, but I’m still thankful for its highly entertaining highs, and I’m still super excited for the next season. And given that this season was a big improvement over the last one, I’m confident the writers learned from their mistakes and will deliver an even better season next year.
Written by: Miguel Coelho
What did you think of season 2 of Titans? Did you like it or did you think it was a bit disappointing? Share your thoughts in the comments, and for more reviews on other movies, be sure to follow The Cinema Spot (@TheCinemaSpot) and me (@Miguel42Coelho) on Twitter.