TITANS S02E13 “Nightwing” review

Titans has been renewed for a third season and will return in late 2020. The second season will debut internationally on Netflix later in 2019.

Synopsis

The Titans battle Deathstroke and more.

Review

After thirteen long weeks we have finally reached the conclusion of Titans second season and its time to fulfil on the promise of Nightwing.

Though the episode is named after Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) new moniker the name itself is never uttered in the episode. We’ll have to wait for season 3 to complete this journey but for now we can rest assured that the Titans team have perfected the character’s look.

Thankfully the finale wasted very little time in revealing Thwaites in his new threads. His entrance was a scene fitting of the Dark Knight himself and positioned the character very much as his own man, in charge and ready to move forwards in his role as patriarch.

Instantly the character felt different. He moved differently than as Robin, he was more acrobatic, he seemed more confident and more in control and it all feels like Nightwing of the comics should feel.

When the escrima sticks came out to play against Deathstroke it solidified all my hopes that the writers would treat Nightwing with the respect he deserves.

If only the same could be said of his rival in battle. After teeing up Slade (Esai Morales) as the ultimate villain of the season, his character is dispatched all too easily. It’s Trigon all over again but this time the fail in pacing is masked by some excellent window dressing.

I gather a post-credit scene was cut which would show Slade waking up in hospital, recovering from his wounds. A predictable turn of events given the healing abilities we have witnessed from his family thus far, but frustrating to have that moment taken away. Instead his story feels cut short and unfinished. Hopefully he still lives to fight another day.

Rather than focus on the big fight, writer Richard Hatem chooses to focus “Nightwing” on the aspect of family. On the positive side it shows that this disparate group of heroes is now able to move on from tragedy together rather than be broken by it. It also births some of the episode’s most touching moments: Rachel (Teagan Croft) snapping Gar (Ryan Potter) out of his Cadmus trance, Dick similarly snapping Conner (Joshua Orpin) out of his and the final dinner scene.

But on the flip side it does take away from the potential spectacle of this being the season finale.

Now for the elephant in the room… the death of Donna (Conor Leslie), arguably one of the best and most loved characters on the show.

The scene itself ensures the character goes out – at least for now – as a hero. As I mention in today’s new podcast (listen here), I would rather the character go out a hero than killed in battle by the villain. But there are logistical questions around how and why it happened. For starters: why didn’t Conner rush to hold up the structure? He would have known his Kryptonian physiology could handle the shock. Secondly, given that she is referred to as Themyscarian in this episode and that she could go toe-to-toe with Conner in a fight: why was Donna not able to survive the shock?

Unfortunately this seems to be a moment of the character being used to fit the story. A ghost of Titans past mistakes coming back to haunt us at the end of what has been an incredibly solid season.

It’s hard to argue the pointlessness of the death when it meant that we got to see the team galvanised and looking towards their future. Each of the actors portraying their character’s grief incredibly well. It’s some of the strongest work we have ever seen on the show so congratulations to them for it.

Hugh there is no post-credit scene we do till tenet a tease for what is to come next and it looks like Starfire (Anna Diop) is about to take centre stage for season 3!

Verdict

Titans ends its second season on a high and a low note as it fulfils fans dreams for a live-action Nightwing but kills off a much-loved character in less than dramatic fashion.

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