TITANS Season 1 Episode 4 Review: Doom Patrol

The fourth episode of TITANS continues to open new doors for its characters, but at the same time, it struggles to close any of the doors the series already opened. All of the central Titans are still dealing with the same problems they were dealing with in episode one, and while these problems reach long before the actual beginning of the series, the Titans are still at a standstill, struggling to find a way to actually form the team. The episode ends with the Titans in full formation, but while the Titans may have developed as a team, the audience is left with the fact that TITANS as a series hasn’t developed very much beyond the pilot. 

I’ll give you an example. While Raven and Beast Boy take up a majority of the episode’s focus, the audience’s exposure to Starfire, and especially Robin, show them doing the exact same things they’ve done since the beginning of the series. Some moments in TITANS feel like a slow moving episode of Law and Order, with Robin just walking on to any crime scene in the entire country (sometimes bringing Starfire with him, which has got to be illegal) what feels like three or four times an episode. Robin’s productivity in the show so far has been exploiting his position as a detective, causing trouble, using excessive violence to get himself out of it, and then passing off the consequences as if brutally beating up a man in front of his child is a totally normal thing to do. 

While TITANS is letting Robin sit in character development limbo, the main progression for the series comes from this week’s inclusion of the Doom Patrol, the central team around DC Universe’s next live action series, you guessed it, DOOM PATROL. These characters reflect the outcasts of this world, those who have been pushed aside by society into living in solitude in a mansion in the middle of the woods. At this point in these characters lives, they aren’t even an official team, but rather a family who bond over their rejection from society’s standards. Not every member of the Doom Patrol was in this episode, but three central members make appearances, Robotman, Negative Man and Elasti-Girl, as well as their supposed leader and the totally not terrifying and evil Chief. 

Surprisingly, considering their team name, the members of Doom Patrol are nothing but endearing and hilarious. After Beast Boy, a member of the Doom Patrol family, brings Raven to the house, these characters shine the brightest light that TITANS has seen yet, bringing heart to a world that was previously occupied by brooding angst. After some initial hesitation about how Chief will react when he finds out that they’ve brought in an outsider to their hidden hideout, they accept Raven as one of their own, showing that no one knows outcasts like outcasts. Though many of the performers for these characters are recast in the upcoming series, these characters seem like they’re going to have an incredible series ahead of them, one that emotionally connects with audiences rather than splattering blood in their faces. 

I also want to acknowledge that this episode marks one of the first moments that I’ve mentioned in a previous review for TITANS. Beast Boy, now an official member of the unofficial Titans team, comes into his own in this episode, giving him a reason to deserve the superhero title Beast Boy. Despite the fact that Beast Boy has received the least amount of screen time and opportunity to develop, his heroism snaps in this episode, going against the oppressive Chief to protect Raven. This change in Beast Boy is not only evident by him dawning an entirely green look, one similar to his comic book counterpart, but it’s also shown in how the members of the Doom Patrol encourage him to go with Robin, Starfire and Raven so he can embrace this new found heroism. 

Now that Beast Boy, Raven, Starfire and Robin are now officially together, it’s time for the series to really get into the conflict that it’s been skating through so far. Raven’s powers, and whatever inhabits those powers, are beginning to take too much control, and before they know it, they may release the teased “Destroyer of Worlds.” This has been a hell of a build up to the team’s formation, so now there’s nothing stopping them from becoming the Titans that we all know and love.

Written by William Staton, TITANS Beat Writer

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