TITANS Season 1 Episode 8 Review: Donna Troy

This week’s TITANS is a trip down memory lane, both for some of the characters in the show and for the audience themselves. Though this episode spends time digging into the struggles of a young Dick Grayson and what exactly Raven and her birth mother lost because of their separation, it spends most of its time showcasing newcomer Donna Troy. Troy isn’t a new Titan, however, but rather she lives in her own world, a world that is going to be getting its own television show in Fall of 2019. This bottle episode, seemingly meant to gain the audience’s impression of Troy before the release of her show, is the exact same thing TITANS did earlier in the season with the Doom Patrol. So, while the plot may not be building at a regular speed, at least we’re still building the universe that surrounds the Titans. 

Donna Troy’s introduction in TITANS almost seems forced, as if her presence in the show does nothing other than introduce a character we won’t see again for almost a year. She provides another outlet for Dick to express his frustrations, as she experienced the same type of sidekick pressure as Dick when she worked with Wonder Woman, but she herself has very little opportunity to shine as a character outside of her relationship with Dick. Just as she’s about to solve a crisis surrounding illegal smuggling, showcasing her private eye and journalistic abilities, she’s interrupted by Dick’s selfish actions when he can’t bear to let the enemy get away, even if it means taking down more enemies in the future. 

Donna Troy’s presence in the episode feels like a reflection of the issues that Dick is dealing with. She doesn’t really get too much time to shine on her own, and all of her contributions to the episode are centered around her relationship with Dick and her ability to help their plot move along, albeit slowly. She has so many jobs and so many abilities thrown at the audience in small moments, and yet she gets very little opportunity to show them off. At one point, she leaps onto a large vehicle, showing that she has superhuman powers, but we’re given really only this moment, and Donna Troy’s admission that she doesn’t do this kind of work anymore. She doesn’t want to be some specific hero, leaving us wondering whether or not Donna Troy is more like Jessica Jones then we thought. 

Outside of Donna Troy, this episode digs more into Starfire’s past, showing her having reoccurring visions of when she presumably crash-landed on Earth from her home world. Though we’ve known Starfire is an alien for a while, especially for those who are familiar with her a character outside of the series, it’s still exciting to see the series really dig into her past. This is one of the most anticipated backstories of all of TITANS, and I for one am incredibly excited to see where it goes. 

Donna Troy, who translates the mission statement that Dick and Starfire found in Starfire’s storage unit, reveals that she believes that Starfire’s true mission is to kill Raven. Right as they are discovering this, Raven is trying to help Starfire clear her mind of the flashbacks she’s been having. As she finishes however, Starfire wakes up with a horrific aggression, and she starts chocking Raven. Whether or not she really is there to kill Raven, Starfire is about to change as a character, and we’re about to dig more into her than we ever have previously. Hopefully she will understand her powers a little bit more, and then she’ll find out more about her place within the team. 

Overall, this week’s episode of TITANS left me wanting more. The series was starting to speed up within the last few episodes, but this episode feels like a stop sign in the series’ progression. Not only has Dick separated himself from the team, effectively creating more time for the Titans to not be together as a team, but also the characters themselves are at a stalemate. They think that there’s nothing to be done and that there aren’t any more threats to immediately deal with, so they drop their defenses. Even when their assumption is shown to be wrong and they’re ambushed, they still seem aimless beyond hiding and waiting for the next group of assassins to come after them. The Titans, just when they started gaining momentum in the plot development, decided to take a nap and let some of the other characters of the universe take charge for a little while. Next week’s episode, another bottle episode which has been previewed as a backstory for Hawk and Dove, will hopefully prove itself to be a rewarding pause in the ongoing story that is TITANS.

Written by William Staton, TITANS Beat Writer

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