DC’s Titans Episode 2 premiered this week on the DC Universe online service, and the gritty, violent episode introduced two classic DC characters. Titans Episode 2 traded the mysteries of the first episode for the introductions of Hawk and Dove, and this action-oriented episode did a great job of filling in some of Dick Grayson’s (Brenton Thwaites) recent past.
Titans Episode 2, aptly titled, “Hawk and Dove,” opens with the vigilante crimefighter Hawk (Alan Ritchson) being tortured. After being stabbed and prodded by a sadistic arms dealer, Hawk was in danger of losing an important lower body part when his partner, Dove (Minka Kelly), appeared to save the day. This set the tone for the episode going forward, as Titans didn’t pull any punches with the adult themes and liberal use of “F” bombs. If there was any illusion that this is a show for families to watch together, it was squashed here. In addition to the reference of male dismemberment and F bombs, there was also a borderline graphic sex scene. In other words, Titans focuses on storytelling, not censors.
Dick (Thwaites) and Rachel (Teagan Croft) left Detroit at the end of Titans Episode 1, and are making their way across the country to Washington, D.C., as Dick plans to recruit the help of some friends in protecting the frightened teen with demonic powers. In D.C., Hank Hall (Ritchson) and Dawn Granger (Kelly) are celebrating their anniversary, and Hank’s broken, beat down body can’t take much more crime fighting, so he has a plan for one final mission, then he and Dawn can retire to Wisconsin.
When Dick and Rachel show up at their front door, it triggers some bad memories of a time when the collective vigilante “birds” fought together. It was also revealed that Dick and Dawn have a romantic past, which doesn’t sit well with Hank. Grayson offers to help the duo with their mission, but Hank doesn’t want or need Dick’s help. Rachel, on the other hand, discovers HBO’s Game of Thrones, and she and Dawn make a connection.
In St. Louis, the Nuclear Family — Nuclear Dad (Reed Birney), Nuclear Mom (Melody Johnson), Nuclear Biff (Logan Thompson), and Nuclear Sis (Jeni Ross) — are activated and are sent after Rachel. The Nuclear Family are a group of powered-up robots that resemble the perfect family — until they are activated. The Nuclear Family head to Detroit to track down Dick Grayson and they attack Grayson’s new partner, Amy Rohrbach (Lindsey Gort), to find out his location.
Back in D.C., Hawk and Dove make their move on the arms dealer, and get tripped up. Robin shows up to save the day, much to Hawk’s chagrin, and they end the threat. Left alone at the apartment, Rachel discovers Dick’s plan for her and it upsets her, triggering her darkness. The heroes return home and confront Rachel, and while they are sorting their respective issues, the Nuclear Family appears and things go from bad to worse.
Titans Episode 2 was written by Akiva Goldsman and was directed once again by Brad Anderson. The script does a great job of introducing Hawk and Dove and the use of an obscure villain in the Nuclear Family signals that this show is going to be fun. I also applaud the use of Hawk and Dove’s comic book-inspired costumes. Dove wears the big blue goggles and has leather “feathers,” and Hawk was near perfect. Also, Alan Ritchson nailed Hank Hall to a tee. In the comics, Hank is quick to temper with a very short fuse, and he’s always nursing wounds. Goldman got this part right in the writing, and Ritchson bright it life wonderfully. I hope we see more of him in the future.
Anderson once again films his fight scenes like he was born to direct highly-choreographed action, and seeing Robin fight alongside Hawk and Dove was a real treat. This wasn’t Arrowverse level of fighting, which can be very bad, this is feature film, in your face violence, and I loved it.
Sadly, Titans Episode 2 did not feature Anna Diop’s Kory or Ryan Potter’s Beast Boy at all, so we’ve yet to see the full Titans team together, but the trade off is that we did get to hear Alfred Pennyworth’s voice during a Grayson phone call, and one can’t help but wonder if we’ll see Bruce Wayne/Batman at some point in the next two seasons.
Titans Episode 2 did a great job of further developing the relationship between Dick and Rachel and it introduced some classic DC heroes as well. I was excited at the end of the episode last week; this week, I find myself aching for Episode 3, which premieres on Friday, October 26, to see what happens next. The DC Universe online service is off to a great start and I can’t wait for more.
DC’s Titans, Season 1, is streaming now on DC Universe and on Netflix in international markets.