The Titans Second Season Premiere Would Have Made a Great First Season Finale

author img
BY September 7, 2019

Often, stories are all about pacing. Reveal too much too soon, and you lose your audience. Hold back too much, same problem. For all it got right during its first season, the Titans second season premiere seems more like a season finale than the start to a new chapter. Inexplicably, the first season of Titans ended on a strange cliffhanger after a slow-burn leading up to the confrontation between Raven and her father, the demon Trigon. (Comic book stories!) Brendon Thwaites’ Dick Grayson fell under the thrall of Trigon, played by Seamus Deaver. And the season just ended. So, when the Titans Second Season Premiere kicked off it had to end this story. Despite the marketing spoiling what happens, the episode still works well, but as a finale to that story. Other than a brief glimpse of Esai Morales’ Slade Wilson, nothing in the episode feels new.

The denouement of Rachel’s origin story is a worthy tale that explores, briefly, the greatest emotional fears of the titular Titans. Thus, it’s up to Rachel on her own to face her demonic father and save her newfound family. Only in the final act of the Titans second season premiere does the story actually move forward. What’s remarkable about this conclusion is how much better it would have been were it the conclusion to the show’s first season. The ending sets things up nicely, making it so that the group has to find each other once again to face a threat they don’t even know is coming for them. This ends the spoiler-free part of the review, so bookmark the page and return if you’ve not watched the episode.

Titans’ Second Season Premiere Finally Completes Season One’s Story

Titans second season premiere 4 Image via screengrab

Two things happen in the Titans second season premiere that most fans could predict. The first is that Teagan Croft’s Rachel (or Raven, as she’s known in the comics) triumphs over her demonic father. The second is that Dick Grayson makes peace, of a sort, with Bruce Wayne. To be fair, the second season premiere was, originally, meant to be the Titans season one finale. However, showrunner Greg Walker, told IGN last year that they ultimately decided to “shorten” the season and save this resolution for the premiere. It’s unclear if this was a story decision or budget-related, like the shortening of Swamp Thing’s first season to ten episodes down from 13. Whatever the reason, it made the first run feel incomplete. Thus, the delayed resolution throws off the pacing of the second season right from the get-go.

To be clear, it’s a good episode. However, because the marketing for the Titans second season essentially overlooked this entire episode, it lacked even the slightest bit of tension. As soon as fans saw the red crystal on Rachel’s forehead, they knew Trigon ultimately failed. The story they want to tell—that Deathstroke will come for the new Titans—feels unnecessarily delayed. Fans eager for the next chapter in the Titans saga to start in earnest may feel that the Titans second season premiere is a bit of a slog. Still, fans won’t be short-changed by the decision to carry over the end of this story. Instead of just 11 episodes, Titans second season clocks in at 13 episodes. Which is good because Joshua Orpin’s Superboy (and Krypto!) don’t even appear in the episode.

The Judas Contract and Rose Wilson A.K.A. Ravager

Titans second season premiere 4 Image via screengrab

The sophomore episode of Titans second season will begin the larger story by introducing Chelsea Zhang’s Rose Wilson. The illegitimate daughter of Slade Wilson, she eventually becomes Ravager. She’s featured heavily in the two Titans trailers and her unresolved family issues will likely play into the larger conflict with Deathstroke. The story, likely following the classic Titans tale The Judas Contract, will showcase stories in the present and the past. In the first appearance of Iain Glen’s Bruce Wayne, we learn that this is not the first time Dick Grayson and the Titans united. However, as we reported, it appears that one of their members fell to Deathstroke.

Drew Van Acker’s Garth (A.K.A. Aqualad) features prominently in (what we assume are) the flashback sequences. His absence from the present-day sequences suggest that he might be dead, killed by Deathstroke. The fourth episode of season two, according to unconfirmed reports, is titled either “Aqualad” or “Garth,” and that suggests we’ll learn his fate therein. Of course, it’s possible that due to apparent relationship drama between him and Conor Leslie’s Donna Troy, Garth just retired. In the comics he eventually becomes the hero The Tempest, so it’s possible he’s just not in the loop anymore. Still, the smart money suggests that Deathstroke was able to kill the Atlantean sidekick.

How Much of the Larger DC Universe Will Titans Include?

Titans second season premiere 4 Image via screengrab

The last lingering question fans have about Titans second season involves heroes (and villains) not normally associated with the Titans. First, there are questions about the characters on DC Universe’s Doom Patrol. They appeared in Titans first season, because Ryan Potter’s Gar Logan (A.K.A. Beastboy) lived with them. Of course, with them busy on their own second season, partially financed by HBO Max, it’s unlikely they will appear again. Cyborg, played by Jovian Wade, appears in that show. However, that character is both a part of the Justice League and Titans in the comics. While the actor could perhaps do double-duty, it seems that (for now) he’s firmly a part of the Doom Patrol. Other Titans characters, like Kid Flash or Speedy (the Green Arrow’s sidekick) are also noticeably absent. Walker said that he didn’t want to bog the already character-heavy series down with even more people. So, maybe for season three?

The other thing fans wonder is if we will ever see a Justice League-level hero. Batman appears both in a dream sequence and as Bruce Wayne. Superman and the Flash both earn a mention. Yet, DC and Warner Bros. notoriously restrict access to these marquee-level characters. Crossover happens, as Deathstroke appeared both in the Arrowverse (played by Manu Bennett) and the DCEU (played in a wordless cameo by Joe Manganiello). Yet, it will help the larger world of Titans feel more real if we actually see some of these heroes, if only for a moment. Otherwise their absence in spite of continued mentions will play as well as the sad “text message conversations” Melissa Benoist’s Supergirl had with Superman when he was banned from appearing on the show.

Should You Watch Titans Second Season?

While this review of the Titans second season premiere may, on “paper,” seem mixed, the pros definitely outweigh the cons. Other than the questionable decision to cut the first season short, the series delivers in every other way. The special effects are equivalent (or slightly better) than those found on the CW shows. The actors deliver excellent performances, and the story that the second season promises improves on its predecessor. While it’s not as delightfully weird as Doom Patrol, it’s the kind of kick-ass, mature superhero series that fans will enjoy. Plus these sidekick characters are ones fans waited to see in live-action for years. It may not be the best superhero series on television (or even DC Universe), but it’s an enjoyable show worth your time.

But, we want to hear what you thought of the Titans second season premiere! Let us know in the comments or by sharing the article on social media.

DCTV Shows

Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.

Leave a comment

Related

TV Shows
Is What Daenerys Did in the GoT Final Season Really that Surprising? (Spoilers!)

We’re almost at the end of the final season of GoT, but most viewers are still reeling from what Daenerys did in the penultimate episode, “The Bells.” Despite Cersei Lannister doing the not-evil thing for the first time in her life and surrendering, Daenerys burns the city anyway and topples the Iron Keep. Fans were…not […]

BY Roman Colombo May 16, 2019
TV Shows
Star Trek: Short Treks Season 2 Trailer Brings Back A Lot Of Trek!

The anthology companion series to Star Trek: Discovery, Short Treks, releases a Season 2 trailer that has some exciting storylines!

BY Shah Shahid July 21, 2019
COMICSDCMovies
The Birds of Prey Teaser is Short and Chaotic, just like Harley Quinn

The Birds of Prey teaser opens with dozens of red “It” balloons rising past the screen. We see a clownish figure approach and of course, it’s Harley Quinn with her iconic mallet and smashes at the balloons. “I’m so (balloon pops) over clowns” she quips and smiles. New #BirdsofPrey Teaser pic.twitter.com/8FpleEgUCY — detective comics comics […]

BY Roman Colombo September 5, 2019
History of the Wii U – A Console Gone Wrong

A lot of our history posts on gaming have been about a series like Gears of War or Halo. As a huge Nintendo fan, however, I think we need to take a look at a recent console. It’s tough to say exactly what sort of impact the Wii U had on gaming at the time […]

BY Taylor Bauer September 14, 2019
Ring Fit Adventure is the Latest Fitness Game for Nintendo Switch

When Wii Fit came out, people wondered who would actually use it. As it turned out, a lot of people enjoyed playing games while they did mild exercise. The game’s sequel even made its way to the Wii U. The appeal of a game like Wii Fit is the ability to engage with the workout. […]

BY Taylor Bauer September 13, 2019
Apple’s Gaming Service Gets Price and Launch Date

There are a lot of ideas from Apple that sound crazy at first. Nobody imagined you could carry 30,000 songs in your pocket. Everyone wondered if an expensive tablet could replace their desktop computer. We’ve been in this position before. Apple’s gaming service, Arcade, is one of those ideas that seems like a potential miss. […]

BY Taylor Bauer September 11, 2019
New Pokémon Anime ‘Pocket Monsters’ Has Some Fans Worried

With the Pokemon universe growing after a hit live-action movie & a popular mobile game, some fans are worried about a new Anime series.

BY Shah Shahid September 10, 2019

Trending

Alternate Iron Man Post-Credits Scene Shows Nick Fury Talking About an Even Bigger MCU

At the end of the first Iron Man film, Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark met Samuel L. Jackson’s Nick Fury, and superhero movies changed forever. The big advantage Marvel Studios had over other franchises was its deep roster of characters and stories. A new, never-before-seen alternate Iron Man post-credits scene presents fans with a much […]

BY Joshua M. Patton September 14, 2019
Epic Comic Book Events: How Did the Big Crossovers Start (And Why do We Keep Buying Them?!)

Every year, Marvel and DC Comics have some kind of major Comic Book Events that, at least temporarily, shakes up the status quo if their heroes. It used to be “this year’s event”—now we see two or three a year. At Marvel, in 2019, the X-Men had an apparently universe-changing event with Age of X-Man […]

BY Roman Colombo September 14, 2019
History of the Wii U – A Console Gone Wrong

A lot of our history posts on gaming have been about a series like Gears of War or Halo. As a huge Nintendo fan, however, I think we need to take a look at a recent console. It’s tough to say exactly what sort of impact the Wii U had on gaming at the time […]

BY Taylor Bauer September 14, 2019
TIFF Honey Boy Review – An Authentic Script & Phenomenal Performances

Amongst all of the sequels, franchises, and terror-filled films, Honey Boy stands out like a breath of fresh air at TIFF. In fact, a lot of Shia LaBeouf’s post-Transformers films seem to do so. Borg vs McEnroe, American Honey, and more recently, The Peanut Butter Falcon aren’t the kinds of films you’d ever have expected from the Hollywood Bad Boy […]

BY Meghan Hale September 14, 2019