(DISCLAIMER: This article contains major spoilers for Titans, Season 2 finale.)
The Titans faced multiple threats this season, and all faced the skeletons in their closets. I was optimistic when the season began. The show seemed as if it was improving. But, I’ll be honest, I’m not happy. The season two premiere was a mismatched episode, then again it was intended to be the finale of season one. Episode two is when this season really premiered, and it was specular. Some of the cinematography and visual effects were composed beautifully. You could already feel in episode two, that it was a much lighter tone than the previous season. In reality, this season of Titans started off strong and promising. However, somewhere along the way, it fell short.
Their biggest struggle was the juggling of too many characters and their storylines. The focus was on so many characters, that there wasn’t enough time to focus on the Titans’ individual development and development as a team. It was a bit cluttered with multiple storylines that never crossed over one another. There were constant transitions from scene to scene, just to see someone have an incomplete thought or action. It had a very slow pace and such wasted potential. Much like the CW shows, it had many quite a few ‘filler’ episodes.
The finale overall was very underwhelming, and expectations were not met. The episode was over in about 30 minutes, but it just drug out. We’ve spent twelve long episodes building up the Deathstroke story-line. As each episode goes on, they make him more intimating, but he’s killed off very quickly in the finale. Leading up to the finale it was teased in the finale promos, that there was going to be a huge showdown between the Titans and Deathstroke. Although the fighting was indulging, it doesn’t last long. The fighting between Nightwing and Deathstroke was a long-awaited brawl. The fighting scenes were choreographed very well, but it could have been even better. Each fight scene is overshadowed with dark lighting and flashes of light in the background. This background effect is in almost every combat style scenes we do get. Deathstroke has always been the Titans’ main antagonist in animated shows, movies, and comic books, and this series is no different. He’s such an iconic villain, whose known for his deadliness. However, I can’t say that was wholeheartedly felt this season, he could have been deadlier.
His costume was ravishing, in almost every aspect. Comparing him to Manuel Bennet’s Deathstroke in CW’s The Arrow, he’s not significantly better. The CW’s Deathstroke had a more sinister plot to get revenge against Oliver Queen, and Titan’s Deathstroke fell short of just that. It seemed as if it was going to be an episode-long showdown, but the majority of the finale was about Superboy and Gar going rogue. When did it go from Deathstroke being the bad guy to Cadmus? Granted, Cadmus was introduced to us in episode four. This story-line particularly had poor quality aspects, due to the scrambling of various story-lines. Gar and Superboy both were brainwashed and under the control of the organization Cadmus and its head-honcho Mercy. In the same token, there were many spectacular scenes of Superboy and Gar going rogue. It was especially frightening watching Superboy fighting against the Titans, because of the firepower we all know he has within him. Gar going rogue was a bit heartbreaking because it was so out of character of who he really is. But with the help of Raven and Dick they are able to dig deep and be able to save their friends. Donna Troy was the ultimate disappointment in the finale. Donna deserved better than what she handed. The way she died, was emotionless, and boring. After the team is done fighting Cadmus, Donna sacrifices herself to save Dawn from a falling pole, gets electrocuted and dies. With this in mind, Superboy is standing aside with the rest of the Titans. It didn’t make any sense. Not to mention, it would have been much more emotional if she sacrificed herself while fighting against Deathstroke.
The Titans – Old and New
As for the original Titans; Dick, Dawn, Hank, and Donna their character origins were explored heavily this season, as well as the reasoning why these Titans are no more. But, as far as Titans 2.0 their character arcs were truncated. Almost every episode has a sad overtone, and consisted of characters being overly emotional, and making emotionally based decisions which lead to more problems. Especially in Dick Grayson’s case. Dick goes on a never-ending downward spiral, all the way up to the last two episodes. Dick has had some strong attributes such as taking on more of a leadership role. He was the very reason why the Titans got back together and was responsible for them. He finally embraces his destiny as Nightwing and seems free from his past demons. Nightwing is much quicker and wiser than Robin ever was. Dick’s fighting has been enjoyable to watch and is choreographed very well but with less blood this time around. If you present the audience with a bloody, dark, and grimy feel season one, it would have been expected to be the same this season. It feels as if it’s reverting from being intended for a mature audience. Additionally, there was little interaction between Dick and Kory this season, unlike the previous season.
In episode two, it immediately seems as if we are going to learn more about Kory’s origins. She’s told it is her destiny to take the throne as Queen on her home planet, but Kory struggles within herself on becoming who she wants to be. However, once again her origin story was left untouched. Blackfire was teased at the very end of the finale; but, she could have been more included in this season if the focus was more on the Titans. Starfire and Raven both fell victim to the exploration of their powers. It never happened. Both characters are still unsure and unknowing of their powers, and the full potential of them.
Season one revolved all around Raven’s story. Therefore, it seems fitting for her to share the spotlight this season, but she still is struggling with the same issues and no resolutions. She isn’t in control of her powers and still is very unsure of herself. Early on, we see Raven powers running rapid as she falls asleep, and wakes up with gouges on her side. In the later episodes, she unknowingly loses control of her powers, and someone dies because of it. But, again no resolutions, or explanations. However, at the very end of this season, Raven begins gradually exercising her role. Her character, aside from Dick has had the most potential of the group. Even though, they’ve only spent a few scenes together, Raven and Gar’s chemistry feels more genuine. Her scenes are even better when she’s paired up with him.
Gar, unfortunately, has been the biggest disappointment for me. Great acting, yet not enough screen time. Although Beast Boy isn’t green, Ryan Potter does a phenomenal job at capturing Beast Boy. He rarely transforms this season, until the very end. Gar was the biggest miss for me because he had no character development. He hasn’t changed much from season one to now. Regrettably, there is not much to be said about Gar’s character, because he had such a lack of screen time.
The reason why most are tuning into this show is because they want to watch Titans, and we didn’t get much Titans this season. Audiences were overloaded with characters, and not enough of our main characters. Dawn and Hank should have less screen time, and maybe a spin-off show. I adore Dawn and Hank, but l don’t want to watch the Dawn and Hank show, I want to see the Titans. If they shaved off Dawn and Hank, and kept them at a cameo level, plus including Jason Todd, and Donna Troy on the side it would have been easier to control the amount of storylines. Curran Walters also does a fantastic job as Jason Todd. His humorous and spunky role has tied in quite nicely with the Titans. Jason Todd did feel a little out of character for me at times, especially after his near-death experience with Deathstroke. Jason Todd shouldn’t have been as traumatized as he was. He’s Batman’s sidekick and has had many experiences in combat, and I’m sure near-death experiences.
All season, I sat each and every episode and anticipated each Titan getting their costume, and it didn’t happen. Dick got his Nightwing costume, but it wasn’t until the final episode. Raven, Starfire, nor Gar got a costume. We saw flashbacks of Dawn, Hank, and Donna in costume, but not the Titans. This is especially disappointing because in season one finale leaked photos, it revealed both Raven and Starfire in costume. There were many challenges throughout the course of this season which was very frustrating as a fan. We are still left with lingering questions, after the finale. Will Donna return? Are Hank and Dawn together again? Will Raven finally be in control of her powers? Is Hank clean? And, where do the Titans go from here? Many, many questions, that might be answered in season three.
Season three has already been confirmed for the DC Universe only, which is a very interesting take. Since Doom Patrol’s season two will air on both HBO Max and the DC Universe. Not to mention Stargirl is also rumored to air a few episodes on the CW. And additionally, the animated Harley Quinn series has already debuted on the DC streaming service.