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‘Titans’ S02E04: ‘Aqualad’ (review)

S02E04 — Four years ago, Dick, Donna, Hank & Dawn formed the Titans with Garth aka Aqualad. But the team is tested with the arrival of a new villain.

Despite the description, this week’s episode begins FIVE years ago, with Deathstroke taking on a contract to basically kill every witness for a federal trial. However, with Slade (and with the DC Universe app originals), you get overkill. He kills the DA, the judge…just about everyone associated with the trial.

A post op drink with Wintergreen and then a new contract, and we’re on our way where we meet Jericho, who has just made dinner for his paranoid (rightfully so) mother.

After the title sequence, we have the Titans (Robin, Hawk, Dove, Wonder Girl and…you guessed it, Aqualad). After taking down some would-be car-jackers, they head back to Titans Tower (screw it, I’m calling it like I see it) for Garth’s birthday party (which was seen in bits and pieces two episodes ago).

Dick and Dawn are an item, Hank is kind of a third wheel and Garth only has eyes for Donna. It’s not reciprocal, but you can tell Donna “wants” to LIKE like Garth. It’s almost painful, like watching a train wreck, because he’s trying so hard, and she’s trying to hard to resist.

While all this is happening, Dr. Light is up to no good, killing former colleagues and robbing banks of security deposit boxes (although, in this case, it’s a singular box). The team (minus Donna, who is elsewhere) scout the bank for clues, and what I like about this is that they do this out of costume.

It’s almost like they do recon as members of the Mission: Impossible team and then go into action as superheroes. It’s not novel; I’m sure Team Arrow has done this more than once, but for some reason, seeing the team in their civvies and doing the work.

The other thing I enjoy is, after they start to look at the surveillance videos, Donna and Garth do more flirting and in the interim, you see that they have history.

It’s similar to when we saw Donna and Dick as kids last season; Garth mentions that he’s been pining for Donna since he was 12 (which is ten years as he was celebrating his 22nd birthday earlier in the ep). It’s also evident when Donna and Dick have a heart to heart and she says that they never say goodbye.

The team go into action, suiting up and jumping into the fire to take out Dr. Light.

And they do it with teamwork, which…hey, the original Titans might have a point, Jason! Back at the Tower, Donna gets a message; she’s to leave for Themyscira at midnight. She takes a chance and kisses Garth. It’s not…I don’t know, the only context I have is Ross and Rachel, but you know what I mean? It’s not like that, but since it’s this episode, it’s…nice. It’s fine. It’s whatever. I don’t know. Was Donna in love? Was it an Amazon thing that prevented her from giving in until the very last minute? Donna is about to get on the plane and Garth shows up.

Jesus, it is Ross and Rachel.

“You’re asking me to choose between my destiny and you.”

“Maybe they’re the same thing.”

Goddamn, that hit ME in the heartstrings, dammit! I’m not a monster, you guys!! For a second, maybe more, contrast this entire episode with the Hawk and Dove episode from last year and…has this show grown up??

Donna chooses to say and then FUCK. YOU. Deathstroke shoots Garth in the chest.

Donna still stays and the team decide to go medieval on Slade.

Ok, maybe the show hasn’t grown up.


Jericho (again, no one has said if this is his code name or his alter ego) is in a record store looking for…uh, records when who should he bump into and lock horns-the-bond over a copy of Bowie’s Space Oddity?

Dick Grayson, bitches.

But as friendly as it seems, it all goes to Hell when Dick gets his Robin game face on and James Brown’s “The Payback” plays us into the fade out.

This isn’t going to end well.


  • OOH! Ann Magnuson! And she’s an Amazonian warrior!

  • Ok, hold up. Am I crazy or did they retcon Hank and Dawn’s initial romance?




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 and you can follow him on Twitter @incogvito


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