Following the previous episode, this one sure feels a lot more like the premiere of the season with plenty of teases and surprises to help us dive deeper into the world of these young heroes from the pages of the DC Comics. This episode continues the story of the team’s recent parting of ways that we saw at the end of the last episode, and brings us a story that proves that these heroes are just better when they’re together.
Episode two, ‘Rose’, also brings in some nice little treats from the pages of the comics we know and love, by bringing some metahumans into the world, similar to that of the CW television series of The Flash. Titans is still finding its feet and getting into the swing of things, so not all that much happens when the heroes meet the metahumans.
Whilst there are a few action sequences in the episode, there seems to mostly be dialogue driven sequences in which the members of the (now split) group, question what they plan to do with themselves. However, in true Titans fashion, the team are brought back together through a series of disasters.
So, what are our heroes doing?
Well, whilst Dick, Rachel, Gar and Jason all get comfortable in Titans Tower, training hard and growing stronger as a family, Koriand’r and Donna Troy seem to have gone into their own line of work fighting crime, and it seems the criminal they are currently on a stakeout for, is the villain known as Shimmer, who first appeared in ‘New Teen Titans #3’ (January 1981) and as Koriand’r and Donna soon find out, she is in fact a metahuman who shimmers. Shimmer isn’t the only Titans villain to make an appearance in this episode though, as we also get a glimpse at the metahuman powers of Dr. Light who first appeared in ‘Justice League of America #12’ (June 1962). These are the first live action adaptations of both of these characters, with Hanneke Talbot (Star Trek: Discovery) portraying the villainous Shimmer, and Michael Mosley as Doctor Light, although we only get a small amount of time with both of these villains, since Doctor Light is only seen escaping prison, whilst Shimmer is seen in a fight with Donna and Koriand’r.
Another great introduction is that of Rose Wilson, who gives this episode it’s title and is therefore a focus character of the episode, though very little information about her is given to us, and to our heroes. Rose is seen in a vehicle chase with police, which leads to a badass rooftop fight scene in which Rose kicks so much ass before she decides it’s time to leave. The group at Titans Tower watch these events unfold on the news, and Dick sets off on a mission to help the young girl who is a complete stranger to him, and yet he feels she should be on the team as a member of the ‘New Titans’’ due to her incredible combat skills, and a possible healing factor that helps heal her wounded eye.
Rose is portrayed by Chelsea Zhang, who is known for her work in Andi Mack (6 episodes, 2017-2018) and films such as The Perks of Being a Wallflower. She is a great casting choice for the role, which she has proven in just this episode alone. She has the rebellious attitude of Rose Wilson, as well as the talent to portray the character in a way that makes us question whether she is genuinely a good person, or a deceptive agent of her father. After all, in the comics she becomes known as Ravager, a name that has been taken up by four villains, but only one hero. While Rose was indeed the one hero in the comics, becoming a Teen Titan in ‘Teen Titans Vol. 3, #34’ (May 2006) but that might not stop the writers of this Titans series from throwing a few curve balls into her role in the show.
This is not the first time Ravager has appeared in live action though, as her first live action appearance was in the hit CW show, that spawned a variety of shared universe spin-offs, Arrow. In Arrow, the characters was known as Isobel Rochev, portrayed by Summer Glau (Firefly, Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles) who deceived Oliver Queen and was revealed to be working for Slade Wilson a.k.a Deathstroke in season two of the series.
Meanwhile you may be asking about what is happening with Hank and Dawn, a.k.a Hawk and Dove. Well, they have a fair bit of drama in this episode, as Hank believes they have both escaped from a life of masks and drug abuse, with a positive new outlook on life as he helps not only himself but others get through and fight against addiction to drugs, using a ranch with horse riding lessons, away from the big city. However, the drama this time comes from Dawn, who later gets caught sneaking home after being out on mission as Dove, despite everything she told Hank about getting away from the life of being a vigilante was better for them, it seems that being a vigilante could be her addiction. However the matter is never properly settled after they escape a close call with death, due to a visit from a victim of Doctor Light.
Overall this episode had a few great action sequences, but concentrated heavily on story and set ups, which is not a bad thing at all. I enjoyed this episode a lot and personally feel like this was the true first episode for season two. It sets up the characters nicely as well as giving us the drama we need to become invested in these characters as a whole, so that when the time comes we can sympathise with them and decide whether we like them as an audience or despise them for their relationships with the other characters. This episode felt so much more like the premiere to the season than the previous one, which is why it ranks higher in my opinion.
My Rating: ★★★★
Directed by: Nathan Hope
Written by: Richard Hatem
Cast: Chelsea Zhang, Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Curran Walters, Conor Leslie, Iain Glen, Alan Ritchson, Minka Kelly, Seamus Dever, Hanneke Talbot, Michael Mosley