Titans stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson/Robin, Anna Diop as Starfire, Teagan Croft as Raven, Ryan Potter as Beast Boy, Alan Ritchson as Hawk and Minka Kelly as Dove.
Titans is available to watch now on DC Universe in North America. The series will arrive on Netflix in international markets soon.
The origin story of Hank Hall and Dawn Granger.
“Hank & Dawn” is a quandary in the pantheon of Titans episodes. Whilst on the one hand it fleshes out two of the most compelling characters on the show it also completely interrupts the season’s narrative at a rather crucial juncture.
It would be unfair not to heap praise on Geoff Johns for this episode. As sole credited writer he has composed a story which deals with some incredibly difficult subject matter. Johns shows an understanding which goes beyond how child abuse is represented in comics. There are complex nuances to the characters behaviours and dialogue which really ground the episode well.
Alan Ritchson and Minka Kelly both deserve a huge round of applause for this episode. Both own their own storylines in ways I could never have expected from a comic book show.
Although one of Hank’s pivotal scenes takes place with a younger actor, Ritchson plays the psychological consequences of child abuse delicately and with great conviction.
Similarly Minka Kelly plays Dawn with a grace that female superheroes are rearely afforded. The Trekkie in me had to geek out at Marina Sirtis playing her mother of course. But actually the scenes based around her mother’s storyline are also beautifully tragic.
I commented on this during my review of episode two but the chemistry between Kelly and Ritchson is perfect. When the two share the screen it is electric. From the quiet moments in Hank’s apartment to the scenes at his abusers house the relationship between them pops on the screen.
There is one moment which lets this episode down. The deaths of Dawn’s mother and Don Hall. The moment happens too fast. The idea was clearly out have the moment come completely out of the blue and shock the audience. I can see there was. Some thought in trying to replicate the characters feelings in the audience reaction. Unfortunately the brief sequence comes off as rushed and never quite lands as it should.
Now for the drawback. “Hank & Dawn” destroys all of the momentum created by last weeks episode. Despite the immediacy of Kory attacking Rachel the latter is able to appear in both Hank and Dawn’s drams to call for help.
These moments do tie the episode to the overall narrative but there is some contrivance to proceedings here. At least we now know that as season 1 draws to a close Hawk, Dove, Jason Todd’s Robin and Donna Troy will all be part of the action.
If this episode was lame filter I could easily give it a bad score for upsetting the best cliffhanger of the series so far. But in actual fact “Hank & Dawn” is an excellent episode. With that in mind I can forgive the timing a little.
“Hank & Dawn” is a somewhat frustrating episode of Titans. Whilst it expands brilliants on the Hawk and Dove characters it does so by seriously interrupting the regular narrative of the show.
A mixed bag but one which hugely entertaining results.
Next week on Titans…