S02E03 — The old Titans reluctantly return to Titans Tower to strategize against an old enemy. But the secrets of the Titans’ past threaten to tear apart this newly formed team from within.
Something happened this week that hasn’t happened in a while. I’m not sure when it stopped happening, but when it happened, I noticed.
I was excited to see this next episode.
This is purely based on last week’s episode, mind you. The good will built up from that carried over, so it’s not like I’ve made TITANS appointment TV (Hell, I watched BRIDE OF FRANKENSTEIN before this), but I was strangely looking forward to this.
The episode starts off great, too. The new Titans are kind of taken aback by the revelation of Rose’s identity, Dick is keeping info on Slade close to the vest when the old Titans arrive. They agree to only take down Dr. Light and move on, but once Dick reveals that Rose is a few rooms away, Donna, Dawn and Hank push back…hard. When the drama is, pardon me, dramatic, it makes a difference.
These are experienced actors (and sometimes, yes, you have to wonder how much or where the experience came from) so the dramatic parts, not the action and stunts, should have weight. What the director/production staff (I can’t really point to who is responsible) did was sprinkle some quick cuts, flashbacks, to give the moment some oomf along with the dialogue.
What I’m noticing, at least currently, is that when you put any of the characters in the same room, especially when there is some tenuous bond between them, they fall into a patter, a rapport, that is easy. Watch Dick and Rose spar, Rachel and Rose having a deadbeat dad convo, or Dick and Hank reminiscing. They all are genuinely interested in each other.
Unless one of those other conversants is Jason.
Jason rubs EVERYONE the wrong way, and without getting too far ahead, it bites him in the ass before too long. Jason tries to ingratiate himself with the older Titans, then manipulates Gar to doing what he wants to do and it’s easy to see why he is always one step away from being kicked to the curb. It’s definitely in character, but the thing I’m noticing is that Curran Walters is definitely the person you watch in any scene he’s in. He’s a catalyst no matter how you mix the formula. He’s definitely got the best role on the show.
Contrast this with Dr. Light and Deathstroke’s scene together. Slade is definitely working 30 yards ahead of everyone, including Light. Esai Morales is so friggin’ intense, and he’s perfect.
Meanwhile, Light is a bit of a dickhead, which works well, but it’s so over the top it’s almost campy. Don’t get me started on the shit-show of a costume he’s wearing. It’s almost like he’s doing this intentionally and…let me cut to the chase. I’m hoping we don’t get an Identity Crisis callback (the worst one) because I can see that happening on this streaming platform, but something that was said about Light keeps ringing in my ear. I can’t remember who said it, but someone said that Light was thrown to the Titans because, after getting mindwiped, he was a pushover. Which really plays well into Jason beating the ever-loving shit out of him.
I don’t mean to gloss over Kori’s subplot with Faddei, an emissary from Tamaran who is tasked with bringing her back to take her place as queen. There’s an underlying theme in their scenes, and that’s “duty.” Kori is meant to go back, but her obligation to Rachel, and seeing her come through her darkness, is paramount. Likewise for Faddei, his affection for Kori (they have a long history together that includes a sexual tryst) and his duty to the throne are almost one in the same, and that makes for an interesting contrast between them.
Faddei has no nuance, no inner voice that makes him question what is right from what is best. He’s bound by honor, duty and even love, and it makes him very one dimensional (not the actor, he’s great). Kori, by now, has had years (it seems, but is unclear) on Earth and her affection for the way we marry, or court each other, or even just live our lives is an entirely romantic position, but that’s who Kori is; she’s an optimist. Even here, on this show, where she has killed indiscriminately, she is a force for positivity, and unfortunately for Faddei, that means she goes where her heart tells her; to San Francisco to help Rachel.
The episode ends on Jason beating the piss out of Doctor Light, only to be taken by Deathstroke. Gar, who was “helping” Jason find Light, finds a streak of blood leading off camera.
Personally, I hope this isn’t the end for Jason.
EXTRA POINTS & NIT PICKS:
- At one point, Gar refers to Jericho by name…but that’s not his actual name (it’s Joseph)
- Most popular question asked on the show? “Have you talked to Dick?”
NEXT WEEK: …Believe it or not, they haven’t released the title! But since Aqualad/Tempest is in the thumbnail, I’m going to guess that it’s called…TEMPEST or AQUALAD. They’re not too clever with these titles, guys. (Per IMDb, it’s the latter.)
Vito Delsante is a comic book writer, graphic novelist, editor, letterer, and the co-creator/writer of STRAY with Sean Izaakse, and THE PURPLE HEART with Dean Haspiel and artist, Ricardo Venâncio. He’s written for DC Comics, Marvel Comics, Image Comics, AdHouse Books, and Simon & Schuster, among others, and his stories have been reprinted in other countries. He lives in Pittsburgh, PA with his wife, Michelle, his daughter, Sadie, his son, James, and his pitbull, Kirby. You can find him online at incogvito.com and you can follow him on Twitter @incogvito