TITANS Season 1 Episode 11 Review: Dick Grayson

It’s over. TITANS’ first season has come to a close. It’s been a wild, often bumpy ride, and while TITANS survived on it’s definite highs, there are still countless jarring moments that all come back into memory throughout this finale. It feels frustrating to know that all along, this is how TITANS’ was going to conclude an entire season. It put time, effort, and extreme detail into building a story that, in the end, was never meant to even develop beyond an introductory point. Now, we have to wait. TITANS season two may not be coming out for over a year, so in the meantime, why don’t we take a second to delve into some of the mystery surrounding the inconclusive conclusion? 

First off, it feels necessary to mention how strange it is to end the season on another bottle episode. The third, arguably fourth bottle episode of the season (out of eleven episodes mind you), takes every question you’ve had about the entire series, and instead insists that you put all of your focus on Robin and the same conflict with Batman he’s been angst-ily talking about all season. Now, if Batman were an actual character in this show, that would be one thing, but if this episode does one thing, it reminds the audience that they don’t actually have the rights to use Batman, but they’re still going to tease you with him for 45 minutes. Do you like to see Batman’s back run out of the frame really quickly, and then hear Robin just talk about Batman? You wanted actual answers to the questions TITANS has been begging you to ask all season? Well… Maybe they’ll get to it in season two. 

Now, I want to say that if this episode were a single entity, if it were done in any context other than the TITANS finale, it wouldn’t be a bad episode. In fact, it’d be pretty interesting to see this dynamic play out in this way. But, TITANS put everything on the line for this episode. They built their own pressure for themselves, and yet even then the series doesn’t seem to be able to grasp how many times they’ve taken their audience through long, distant stories that, in the grand scheme of the show as it is right now, have nothing to do with the overarching plot they’re been creating. Though some of the decisions make sense in the context of the business of the DC Universe streaming platform, such as when they introduced Doom Patrol before their own series, the choice to have an entire episode focus on Hawk and Dove when they don’t actually come back in any established way seems completely unnecessary. If they hadn’t have made those sorts of decisions, we may have actually gotten to see some conflict with Trigon, the villain the entire series is spent teasing, beyond his initial introduction. 

Outside of the general story development of TITANS, it feels as if all the other characters in TITANS are thrown into the wind so that Robin can take center stage. TITANS’ ongoing plot has focused on the family and horrors of Raven’s life, yet in the end, we’re stuck seeing how Raven’s father tortured Robin specifically instead of any concrete moments between this father and daughter. We’ve spent all season being teased with what will happen when they reunite, and what Trigon needs from his daughter, but in the end, we’re left with what Trigon does to Raven’s friend all within a few seconds outside of the dream-state Trigon puts Robin in. Though this will obviously be the entirety of season two, I’m left wondering if they’ll ever even leave the cabin we see the characters left in at the end of season one. 

TITANS has a lot on its plate. It’s been that way since the beginning. There’s been an enormous amount of pressure on this series, and in many ways, it seems baffling that it has even been able to accomplish what it has. It’s the first live action series of this platform, and it’s a huge source of incentive for their original content. With DOOM PATROL premiering in a few months, I’m left wondering if it would be better to wait a few years for these shows to become more established and developed before really digging into them. We’ll see where the other series, and season two of TITANS can go, but as of now, TITANS stands as a monument to long, and I mean long, form storytelling.

Written by William Staton, TITANS Beat Writer

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