TITANS S02E12 “Faux Hawk” review

Titans streams new episodes on Friday’s via the DC Universe platform. The second season will debut internationally on Netflix later in 2019.

Synopsis

 Hank finds himself at a new low, cage-fighting for money, when he finds an imposter now acting as Hawk.

Review

When Titans first began in September 2018 it brought with it a rather heavy promise. The promise that we would see the first ever live-action incarnation of Nightwing. Season one of the DC Universe show then set about putting Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) on a transformative journey which would eventually see him put on the black and blue (or could it have been red?) suit.

Hardcore and sceptical fans alike would say that journey hasn’t always been easy. But with “Faux Hawk” we have finally reached the pivotal moment where Dick goes in search of a new suit.

I appreciated Titans, written this week by Tom Pabst and directed by Larnell Stovall, set up a support network for creating the suit.

Currie Graham’s appearance as Stu, disguised as a shoe repairman but really the designer behind this universe’s super suits, brings some much needed levity at a very dark time in the Titans lives. This series isn’t shy to explore the darker side of being a vigilante so it was a welcome change to see some comedy introduced to the mix.

The approach to designing the suit feels very fresh. I remarked whilst watching the episode that this could have been an off-the-books department of Wayne Tech under the eye of Lucius Fox. But there is the concern that so many people working in that bunker are aware of both Bruce and Dick and their alter-egos.

This being Titans there was one last sting in the tail as the suit wasn’t fully revealed. That moment is being saved for the finale, of course.

Despite STILL waiting – unless you have seen the finale trailer – to see the suit this episode feels like the start of a great pay off for Dick and the audience. The writers now need to capitalise on Dick making peace with his demons and moving on.

Elsewhere the episode does an excellent job of mirroring Dick’s journey against Hank’s. Alan Ritchson was absent from last week’s episode following his breakup with Dawn (Minka Kelly) and was last seen in a bar looking for drugs.

Cut to a couple of weeks later and Hawk is cage fighting in an attempt to make money which he is almost immediately spending on cocaine. To paraphrase the slogan used to promo this week’s finale: we literally watch one Titan fall as another one rises.

The two storylines work incredibly well in parallel and really drive home just the vigilante life can affect two people in close proximity in such different ways.

Ritchson has clearly given his all to the character and it undoubtedly drawn to the drama that comes with his darker side. His performance shows a sensitivity to the subject matter as well a great emotional range for the actor. If any character were to be pitted against Dick’s final transformative moments then I’m glad it was Hawk.

There’s plenty else going on in “Faux Hawk” as the lady-Titans split up on different rescue missions. It’s fair to say that neither team is very successful but at least Donna (Conor Leslie) and Dawn get close to their targets.

Both pairings, the other being Rachel (Teagan Croft) and Kory (Anna Diop) have excellent chemistry. But it’s Croft and Diop who really pop when on screen together. Their fight in the car was a laugh out loud moment and really drove home the sisterly bond between the new Titans.

Going in to the finale there are still plenty of questions which need answering. I hope Titans is able to give some closure to the current storyline whilst introducing a new status quo ready for season 3. The darkness which has loomed large for two seasons feels like it may be about to clear and it’s about time that it did.

Verdict

After almost two seasons Titans finally makes good on the promise to bring the first live-action Nightwing to the small screen. It does so in an episode which brings great levity to a series prone to explore the darker side of vigilante life, as penultimate episodes go, “Faux Hawk” puts all the pieces in place for an excellent finale.

8/10

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. 


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About Neil Vagg 4080 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