At this point, I think we’re all rooting for DC to put out a quality product that fits within the success of Wonder Woman, Arrow, and The Flash. A television show that does the characters justice while giving hope to the fan base that things are going to start to shift in a new direction. DC Universe’s Titans has a lot of pressure on it being the first show to the new streaming app. It doesn’t help that the show is telling the story of a number of beloved characters that have had their story told already, quite excellently, through an animated series. Titans had a lot going for it, and while the pilot was shakey and a bit uneven, the second episode really knocked it out of the park leaving me wanting more. Episode three, “Origins” has times where it’s a bit uneven. Much like the pilot, there are moments that if they had been explored would have been impactful. Finding out that Dick’s partner has been murdered doesn’t resonate because we didn’t know anything about her, which has me believing that maybe she’s not dead. If you didn’t see it on camera maybe it didn’t happen. There are also some head-scratching moments like why Starfire would steal Dick’s car when she has a perfectly good one of her own or how every car window in the parking lot explodes after Raven screams with the exception of Dick’s, but that’s just silly stuff. For the most part, “Origins” is another solid episode that really starts to dig deep into these characters.
What I really liked about this episode was how well balanced it was. We lose Hawk and Dove for this episode, outside a quick visit to the hospital to see Dove is on life support and Hawk is angry, and focus on expanding Dick, Raven, and Starfire. “Origins” is exactly that, an origin, and it takes the time to give the audience an idea of who these characters are and what it means for the season arc going forward. One of the things Titans has excelled at so far this season is taking the time to dive into character to not only enhance the narrative but the universe it lives in.
The biggest reveal of the episode is Raven and how she seems to be the ender of worlds. It’s tough enough being a blue-haired teenager without having to worry that there is an unlocked part of yourself that wants to devour the world. Of course, this could just be a huge metaphor for puberty. Yet here we are, Raven is being pursued by a number of different people, some with fancy bird tattoos, including Starfire who has apparently been tracking her for a year and a half.
While Starfire has yet to transform into the character we recognize from the comics, I expect that will happen once she regains her memories, there is no denying that her presence is magnetic. Anna Diop’s brings so much flavor and funk to the role that she has quickly become my favorite character on the show. With powers that are out of this world (wink, wink, nudge, nudge), Starfire seems like a true force and maybe the best solution to battling the evil that is begging to be released in Raven.
As Starfire’s backstory unfolds so does Raven’s, the two are deeply tied and are just begging for a buddy spin-off where Starfire drives Raven to restaurants to eat crappy food. I would watch that. Starfire seems to have been in pursuit of Raven for a year and a half and her storage unit, straight out of True Detective, holds not only the biggest clues to who (or what) Raven is but also a secret language that Starfire speaks naturally despite not recognizing the symbols. I’m really enjoying the slow burn on Starfire’s backstory and how every answer we get raises like three more questions. Fans of the comics had to geek out a little with Dick Grayson and Starfire sharing some screen time together. I’ll be curious to see if this season jumps a little bit into their storied history. That is a discussion for another day though.
Raven’s history keeps getting more interesting with the insertion of the group of nuns set to “protect” her and the raven tattooed people in pursuit of the teenager eager to exploit her hidden powers. I would even believe that the strange omelet making villain is a part of these raven people and has hired the suburban family of assassins to bring her in. I would imagine he wants her for some end of the world like plan, but right now omelet man is playing his cards a little close to his chest. We do learn that just because a group says they are willing to protect Raven doesn’t mean that they have her best interests at heart. The nuns drug Raven in the hopes of locking her in a basement because she’s a little too dangerous. End of the world prophecies will make a nun switch from rulers to drugged tea real quick.
Locking Raven in the basement ultimately backfires on Nun McDruggy Pants, as it brings her demon to the forefront. Praying on her insecurities, this darker entity begs Raven to “let her in” thus putting into motion the prophecy we heard about in Starfire’s storage unit. Once Raven consents there is a massive explosion at the church and Raven and her dark entity are on the run leaving Dick and Starfire concerned to what the next move is.
“Origins” ends with a bit of a cliffhanger but earns it having given us an episode full of information. The pursuit for Raven is on and the bigger question becomes who’s going to get to her first? The dark entity has Raven believing she is an outsider who doesn’t belong, will Starfire and Grayson be able to help Raven keep the power in check or is this the first step in ending the world?
Some other quick thoughts-
- The use of Beast Boy has been minimal, at best, but I loved his interactions with Raven at the arcade. Can you say possible budding romance?
- All the Titans were in one room at the same time in this episode and it was pretty cool. I’m very much looking forward to this team taking shape.
- While the main story seemed to focus on Starfire and Raven, it was still a big one for Dick Grayson. We got to see more of him in Wayne Manor and his outbursts that eventually force Bruce Wayne into courting him into a better outlet for revenge. I was a bit critical of Grayson in the first episode but I’m really enjoying seeing his story take shape.
- Anyone else love this family of assassins? Are they clones? Robots? Something else?
- Seriously, why didn’t any of Dick’s windows blow out? Wayne Tech windows or just some of that Grayson luck?
There you have it Geeklings, we are now three episodes into the freshman year of Titans and the story is starting to open up. How are we feeling about the show so far? Is this a new direction for DC or more of the same? Are the characters what you expected or still waiting? Sound off in the comments or if you’d like to talk more Titans you can find me on Twitter @iamgeek32. See you all next week with a brand new episode review!
Kevin Carey is an
unapologetic geek who strongly
believes his mind works much like an episode of
Community. Has a strong love for pop culture that focuses on
TV, comics, movies,
and books. Kevin also enjoys writing fiction and has self published a short
Amazon. While awaiting his Hogwarts acceptance letter, Kevin lives on
Long Island with his cat and extensive
Pop Vinyl collection. You can find him here on Fan Fest, at his blog I Am Geek, or the I Am Geek Podcast spreading geekiness to all.