DC’s Titans Episode 3 premiered this week, and the fiery momentum of the first two episodes came to a screeching halt. The DC Universe online service series had come out of the gates punching — literally — but that ended this week with a more expository Titans Episode 3. Instead of fight scenes and action, our heroes found themselves making discoveries and talking, and Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) got a huge chunk of back story filled in.
DC’s Titans Episode 3 was titled “Origins,” yet the only origin on display was that of Dick Grayson, played as a youngster by Tomoso Sanelli. More of Rachel Roth/Raven’s (Teagan Croft) backstory was hinted at, but it wasn’t explicitly offered, and we still know nothing about Kory (Anna Diop), other than she can speak in an alien language — but can’t explain why. And Gar Logan/Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) finally got some screen time.
DC’s Titans Episode 3 opened with right where Titans Episode 2 ended, with the Nuclear Family taking out Dick, Hank (Alan Ritchson), and Dawn (Minka Kelly), and capturing Rachel. Kory (Diop) was apparently there to witness the battle and we get a quick flashback that shows Kory go to the Roth house in Traverse City two days prior on the trail of Rachel. Just like that, she’s caught up to her in a very clunky bit of exposition.
Dick and Hank have a moment while Dawn is seemingly on life support at the hospital, and Dick promises to get Rachel back. Hank makes him promise to kill those who hurt Dawn.
Kory catches up to the Nuclear Family at a gas station and kills Nuclear Dad (Jeff Clarke), saving Rachel. She then takes her to a church where Rachel grew up in Ohio — because she knew that from a photo she saw at the Roth house. Dick catches up to Rachel and Kory at a roller rink where Kory is tracking down a series of keys that she keeps finding. While at the rink, Rachel is playing pinball when a green-haired boy (Potter) strikes up a conversation with her. This is the first time that all four Titans are together in the same location, yet not as a team.
Kory and Dick leave Rachel at the church while they go off to investigate more, and the sisters lock her up, fearing her darkness. Rachel lets the darkness take control and she breaks out and goes on the run. Dick and Kory discover a storage shed and an investigation from Kory, complete with alien writings and a tanning bed of some kind. The investigation mentions Corvus and Rachel and the mystery deepens. They leave in time to see smoke rising from the direction of the church and realize that Rachel has escaped.
Also revealed in DC’s Titans Episode 3 is that the Nuclear Family (Melody Johnson, Jeni Ross, and Logan Thompson) are, in fact, robots and can easily be swapped out and that the person in charge (Reed Birney) seeks Rachel to prevent the “destroyer of worlds” from bringing about the darkness.
Lastly, throughout the episode, Dick has moments of memory of his time moving into Wayne Manor, and Bruce Wayne is shown in silhouette and from the back. This bit of backstory shows a young Dick (Sanelli) wanting revenge on whoever killed his parents, and Bruce offering him a “new” path.
DC’s Titans Episode 3 was not as exciting as the previous two installments, and there was some nonsensical moments from a weak script by Richard Hatem & Geoff Johns, and Marisha Mukerjee & Greg Walker. The directing by Kevin Rodney Sullivan was adequate, but not at the level of the previous episodes. The script assumes too much with the story and “Origins” feels too much like it’s trying to speed up the natural progression of the greater narrative. Also, there wasn’t really any origins on display in this episode, save maybe for Dick, and we all know his story.
The good news is that the next episode looks to have more appearances from classic DC Comics characters as Gar protects Rachel by taking her to where he lives — and apparently he lives with Doom Patrol!?
DC’s Titans Episode 3 is the first misstep of the young series, but it would have been difficult to keep the level of momentum from the first two episodes going. Hopefully, Episode 4 will get back on track, and we’ll find out next Friday when it premieres on the DC Universe online service.
DC’s Titans is available now on DC Universe and on Netflix in international markets. Video courtesy of TV Promos; all images ©DC Comics/Warner Bros. Television.