After an uneven – and wholly depressing – debut season on the DC Universe app, the streaming service’s first original series is back for a second season, but the episode that debuted this week felt more like a finale to the first season than a new premiere.
The episode picks up where the FIRST SEASON left off, with Dick Grayson in the thrall of the demon Trigon. The former Robin is the first domino to fall to the inter-dimensional terror, who is using his daughter to take over this plane. Rachel Roth, the girl who would be Raven, is forced to watch as Trigon manipulates every one of her new-found friends in an attempt to break his daughter’s heart, unleashing the darkness he needs to fully enter this world.
He succeeds, bringing Rachel over to the dark side, only to have her saved by Garfield Logan. Gar and Rachel manage to bring everyone else back before Rachel banishes her father once again. It all wrapped up nice and easy, though the moments that built up to Trigon’s eventual defeat were tense in all the right ways.
But this episode wasn’t really about defeating the darkness that comes with Trigon’s arrival on Earth. It was more about defeating the darkness that infected the show’s first season and giving some hope for a brighter series going forward.
Once the Titans defeat Trigon, Donna, Hawk, Dove and Kori go their separate ways while Grayson takes the kids – Garfield, Rachel and new Robin Jason Todd – with him back to Wayne Manor, where he has a heart-to-heart conversation with his former mentor Bruce Wayne (played by Game of Thrones’ Iain Glen). The former partners clear the air and Grayson tells Bruce that he needs to get past the anger he had and try to live a happy life. In San Francisco, the former home of his team of Titans. Grayson takes Gar, Rachel and Jason to their new home and everyone gets a chance to start over.
Before we sign off for the week, though, we get a glimpse at the man who will likely be the Titans’ big bad for the second season: Slade Wilson, Deathstroke.
Wilson had a major run as an important character on ARROW, but Manu Bennett, unfortunately, isn’t reprising the role here. Instead, Esai Morales will take up the mercenary’s sword. Given how well-received Bennett’s interpretation of the character was, it’s a little surprising that producer Greg Berlanti (who also oversaw the Arrowverse) would bring in a new version of Deathstroke. Morales is going to have big shoes to fill here.
The second season of TITANS is off to a promising start. Let’s see if the light its characters all wanted this episode sees through the rest of the season.