The second season of DC Universe’s Titans premiered with an unusual and exciting plot.
DC Universe’s gritty superhero show Titans is back with season two, and there are plenty of reasons to be excited.
The premiere episode of this season, ‘Trigon’, is well-executed and well-paced—the cadences seem to have been thought out, which is more than we can say about the Titans’ first few episodes.
We break down what worked in ‘Trigon’, the first episode of Titans’ second season, and what we could expect from the rest of the season.
Multi-Genre Titans Season Two
The first season of Titans was entrenched in its grittiness but managed to be fairly action-oriented, with a few horror elements.
By the end of the season, Titans had placed itself in the intersection of that horror-action genre and season two episode one continues in that vein, albeit with much more horror.
There are some surprisingly frightening moments in this episode, plus a healthy number of mind-bending scenes that would make an Inception fan proud.
Despite the weightiness of ‘Trigon’s plot—Rachel/ Raven (Teagan Croft) effectively being isolated from her friends by her villainous father—there is a fair amount of humour.
Gar Logan (Ryan Potter) exclaiming “real-life horror movie” as photographs begin oozing black blood was a particular highlight. But so was Jason Todd/ Robin 2.0’s (Curran Walters) repartee with Hank Hall/ Hawk (Alan Ritchson) and Dawn Granger/ Dove (Minka Kelly).
The combination of genres made the premiere of Titans season two that much more enjoyable, and has hopefully set the tone for the rest of the season.
Into the Superhero Mind
What I particularly enjoyed about this episode was being able to learn a bit more about the heroes and their deepest darkest secrets.
Trigon uses his powers to use the Titans’ basest urges against them. We saw that in Titans season one episode eleven, ‘Dick Grayson’, where Grayson was led through an alternate reality to kill Bruce Wayne/ Batman.
In this premiere episode of Titans season two, we see what darkness lies in the minds of Grayson’s cohorts. Kory Anders/ Starfire (Anna Diop) had been sent to kill Rachel in season one, an urge she managed to fight. In her Trigon-ed mind, she does the ‘right’ thing to save the universe and kills Rachel.
Reader, it wasn’t the right thing to do.
Donna Troy/ Wonder Girl (Conor Leslie) returns to a traumatic moment from her childhood when her father was killed by an arsonist. As a child, she could have done nothing, but as an adult, she exacts revenge against her father’s killer, and ends up in Trigon’s sway.
Hank and Dawn, overcome by the fear and anger at the tragedies of their lives, turn to drugs—dutifully sold to them by Trigon—and thus fall under the villain’s powers.
And Jason Todd, ever the angry young man, avenges his mentor’s death by killing his predecessor, Dick Grayson.
Throughout season one of Titans, Grayson spoke of a darkness within him that he was terrified to let out—it’s what allowed him to connect with Rachel. But it seems that the remaining Titans aren’t exempt from the darkness either.
Considering the flashbacks we are going to see this season, one wonders how well this team is going to cope with the horrors buried in their minds.
A Positive Denouement
Despite the darkness of the Titans season two premiere, the final scenes were positive, and hopeful. This is most likely because this episode was initially set to be the finale of the first season.
But the makers of the show decided to end on the darker note of Grayson being controlled by Trigon, with the Titans unable to rescue Rachel and Gar.
I think that tactic worked—the first season, which had been patchy at best, ended on a high note and a cliffhanger. ‘Trigon’ would have worked as a positive close to the season, but felt too much like the end of a show, not a season. It might have sent mixed messages.
Instead, as an opening to Titans season two, ‘Trigon’ sets up a new superhero team, and the possibility of new adventures.
It also repairs the central damaged relationship that had plagued season one. Grayson finally opens up to Bruce Wayne/ Batman (Iain Glen) about his departure from the Bat-life.
We also see Starfire head off to find the answers she’s been looking for, while Troy goes back to her life as an investigative journalist.
Hank and Dawn put their complicated past with Grayson behind them to start their new life. And Rachel, Gar, and Jason get to join Titans 2.0 and finally have a home and family.
What Next for the Titans?
From what we have seen in the trailer of Titans season two, Starfire and Troy aren’t going to be away for long. We saw them teaming up to fight against Shimmer.
‘Trigon’ made no mention of Superboy (Joshua Orpin), who we know is going to play a part in this season. Nor were Rose and Joe Wilson introduced, even though they are set to join Titans 2.0.
By the end of ‘Trigon’, we are presented the primary villain of Titans season two—Slade Wilson/ Deathstroke (Esai Morales)—who comes out of retirement when Jason Todd ill-advisedly proclaims the return of the Titans on live television.
Titans 2.0 are hardly rookies—they know how to fight and work as a team. However, from what we understand from the trailer, the first Titans team were devastated by Deathstroke. Titans 2.0 have their work cut out for them. And we will be tuning in every week to find out how well they do.
Titans season two is currently airing on DC Universe.