Review: TITANS 2×01 – “TRIGON”
[Editor’s Note: This review may contain spoilers]
Director: Carol Banker
Writers: Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns and Greg Walker
Starring: Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Curran Walters, Conor Leslie, Minka Kelly, Alan Ritchson, Seamus Dever, Iain Glenn
Reviewed by: Carl Bryan
Titans 2×01 follows directly after the apocalyptic events of last season’s finale. With Rachel’s father, Trigon (guest star Seamus Dever) having successfully turned Dick dark, he sets out to win the others over to his side by embracing their inner darkness. With everyone under Trigon’s control, Rachel and Gar find themselves fighting what seems like a hopeless battle against the powers of Trigon.
This season premiere delves directly into action and actually feels like a continuation of the season finale of season one. The episode picks up almost immediately where the season one finale left off, with Trigon successfully traveling to Earth and beginning his conquest of the planet by trapping all of the Titans in dark, psychic illusions.
Beast Boy and Raven in direct conflict with Dick Grayson sets up the first of scenes where we dive deep into the characters’ not so morally good moments!
Donna is channeling some inner dark Amazon as she has emerged as a clear leader of the Titans in Dick’s absence of mind. And the psychic illusions are perfect to explore the macabre. Dick Grayson and Jason Todd battling in the remnants of the Batcave. “You think you can take my place?” utters Dick while he and Jason battle it out! Jason’s personality is perfect in his portrayal as we have two Robins battling for the mantle. And a gun… wow! This scene goes to a dark place.
Titans 2×01 is a great “psychic” re-imagining of what would go wrong if the Titans went dark. And it gives a darker character like Raven the chance to be the lighter side against Trigon.
Beast Boy’s eventual demise at the hands of a dark-hearted Titans is a horror story in and of itself. And that is the turning point as Raven confronts Trigon! Seamus Dever’s portrayal of the master manipulator of a father is perfect! I like that Beast Boy becomes the moral thermometer to turn things back!
CGI is on fire with this episode as the special effects are really on point! Dark lighting when it needs to be and transformations on point. DC doesn’t skimp on its budget!
Hawk and Jason Todd’s exchanges are clever comic banter. And Deathstroke’s (Esai Morales) appearance stays true to form with the comics. Also, Iain Glenn’s Bruce Wayne is reminscent of a good Batman Beyond homage and sets the stage for “older” Titans and not just kids running around unsupervised. The scenes between Dick and Bruce are pretty on point, and gave some “closure” to a Bruce/Dick chapter. But I need Bruce to hit the weights a bit more so I can believe he is truly Batman, and not just the blank check for the Titans.
An extension of the cast creates quite a buzz, but sharing screen time with so many new heroes is going to create a log jam at some point. Hawk and Dove are great, and provide a good “here comes the calvary” duo for future episodes. Beast boy takes on more the hero role and Jason Todd provides more cockiness, proving he needs the mentorship from Dick.
Some unresolved plot lines come up from last season, such as Starfire being wanted by the FBI. Perhaps the writers feel that now that they have an anchor in season one, they could do some minor “reboots”?
Bruce sets up the Titans for a pretty strong run in San Francisco and gets the ball rolling for further adventures with the core Titans. I’m invested and so should you be as this episode was really the ending that everyone wanted last season. And so the real fun begins!!!