TITANS “Donna Troy” review

Titans (DC Universe)

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.

Synopsis

As the Titans disband to go their separate ways, Dick decides to turn to old friend and investigative journalist, Donna Troy aka Wonder Girl (guest star CONOR LESLIE), for answers. When he’s soon embroiled in her undercover investigation of a crime syndicate, he realizes that past events have taken more of a psychological toll than he previously imagined. Meanwhile, seeing Kory’s distress over her inability to recover her identity, Rachel attempts to use her powers to heal Kory’s memory… with unintended and frightening consequences.

Review

“Donna Troy” makes for a very interesting episode of Titans. Whilst it doesn’t move the plot of the series along as much as previous episode “Asylum” (reviewed here) it does some heavy world building. Within the opening minutes of the episode we’ve had name drops of “Diana” aka Wonder Woman; a mention of the Justice League and then to cap it all off… The Joker is discussed at length.

All of this dialogue is carried out by a young Donna Troy. The character cleverly first appears alongside the young Dick before jumping back to the present day. The writers clever add her to the series by showing us a glimpse of her past with Dick instantly foregoing the need to setup their relationship at length later on.

The only downside to this episode is that it, once again, sidetracks us from the main storyline. Titans is doing an excellent job of world building for the DC Universe but it’s doing so to the detriment of longer running arcs. To that end this feels like an episode which sound have been placed earlier in the season, much like next weeks “Hank and Dove” episode.

Titans continues to lack in the villain department. With only three episode remaining in the first season the team have no foe to come together against. The vague mentions of Rachel’s father continue though his name remains unmentioned. Another villain of the week appears in this episode but only for the purpose of one scene.

Whilst this is definitely working to the series detriment I have to admit it is doing nothing to dampen my fun. This is absolutely still the series I have to watch the minute each episode becomes available. If the first season ends having only been designed to setup the team it won’t by any means become a complaint.

All four of the Titans leads remain compelling. Through Donna we’re able to learn more about Kory which leads to the first mention of the word Starfire. It also leads us to a frustratingly dire cliffhanger which is most likely to go unresolved until episode 10 given next weeks trailer.

Aside from a couple of a awkward scenes between Rachel and her mother this is another solid episode. There’s a great balance that’s been struck between the four leads which enables the episode to take place in several locations as the cast split up. Earlier in the season the show struggled a little to find this balance so it’s great to see continued growth in the storytelling.

As for this weeks main storyline? Dick and Donna have a great brother-sister relationship. This show is once again able to portray some very grown up relationships. The two instantly reconnect in an entirely non-sexual way which is great for mixed-gender relationships on screen. Dialogue between the two also really helps to push Dick’s characterisation forwards. Hearing him talk about burning the Robin costume and moving away from the violence has brought Nightwing another step closer.

What’s also great is that Donna isn’t a throwaway guest character. She has a story which is organic to the show and which enables her to become of use to the Titans for the time being. She doesn’t feel shoehorned in for the sake of a nod to the comics.

The question remains with next weeks flashback will we see the moment Dick, Donna, Hank and Dawn took the photo together we saw on the wall in episode 2?

Verdict

“Donna Troy” is yet another solid entry in Titans first season. It’s doesn’t quite hold up against previous episode “Asylum” but it does help round out the Titans world and add some further context to the series.

6/10

Next week on Titans

 


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About Neil Vagg 2006 Articles
Neil is the GYCO Editorial Chief. He has a BA in Film & Tv and an MA in Scriptwriting; he currently works 9-5 as an office manager and 5-9 as a reviewer/web designer. He has been subscribing to comics for around nine years but has been reading them as long as he can remember. Favourite comics: Batman; Nightwing, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and All New X-Men Favourite films: Batman (any apart from & Robin); Star Trek Generations, Underworld, Beetlejuice Favourite TV shows: Fringe; Buffy, Arrow, TBBT, Being Human UK and Star Trek TNG