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.
A new threat is after Rachel as she and Dick arrive at the home of Hank Hall and Dawn Granger, where a complicated history resurfaces.
Last week Titans laid bare its take on four of DCs finest young heroes. Whilst some fans weren’t happy with the darkness of their portrayal the series certainly gripped me. I was interested to see how the inclusion of Hawk and Dove might help to expand that world.
What this episode actually did was begin to blow the world of Titans wide open. The two additional heroes add some serious emotional weight to the storyline. There’s strong chemistry on screen between Minka Kelly and Alan Ritchson and it really enriches the episode.
But they aren’t the only additions which help world building in this episode. Dick Grayson speaks directly with Alfred Pennyworth, his voice his heard during one conversation, we also get to see Donna Troy’s name in Dick’s phone. Donna’s face also appears in a photo alluding to the classic Titans lineup.
Akiva Goldsman is working hard to make this a rich version of the DCU in live action. For me it’s really working. I found by the end of the episode of cared deeply for the relationship between Hawk and Dove. I hope we are gifted with more time spent exploring their history together.
What also become very clear in watching this episode is the journey of Dick Grayson. When he tells Dove that she won’t understand what he’s become it feels like the next step towards him becoming the Robin (or Nightwing?) that we know. Also her horror at seeing him attack the gang who has captured Hawk felt like proof he won’t be this dark, violent, brooding type for too much longer.
Though at times the building blocks of Titans feel a little obvious they’re easily forgiven because the final product is still so entertaining. There’s some great action beats in this episode. The flashback to four years ago is excellent. The fight choreography is very impressive and puts even the early episodes of Arrow to shame.
It was interesting to see Dove’s reaction to violent Robin was how much her violence mellowed between the flashback and the present day. I have no doubt that Dick’s journey will mirror hers when the dust settles on the episodes cliffhanger.
Rachel has a little less to do this week. She plays the typical teenage role in “Hawk & Dove” as she struggles to understand the world around her. She has some fairly typical reactions to the scenarios in this episode. Whilst by no means a low point in the episode I think the writers need to, like Dick, try to treat her more like an adult.
In a show which has become so emotionally complex in the space of two episodes things still feel simple with her. Hopefully as her powers grow we’ll see a little more complexity in the battle with her inner demons as Teagon Croft is proving to be a fine actress who could easily handle the material.
Starfire and Beastboy are both absent from this episode but will be back next week!
“Hawk & Dove” is an excellent second episode. It furthers the overall plot of the series whilst doing some serious world building with the introductions of Hawk and Dove. A suitably emotional cliffhanger ending was more than enough to get me hyped for next week!