TV Review

REVIEW: Titans – Season 2: Episode 1 – ‘Trigon’

Titans season two has finally begun on the DC Universe streaming service, which means it should be available to fans in the UK on Netflix by the end of November/early December time, as the episodes will air weekly on the DC Universe service, with a total of 13 episodes planned for release. So there isn’t too long to wait if you think about it. Why not kill that time to watch or even rewatch Season One on Netflix, which I recently reviewed

The season two premiere picks up directly from where we left off at the season one finale (disregarding the after credit scene of course), with Dick Grayson trapped in a demonic trance by Rachel’s demon father Trigon, along with her mother and an injured Gar. Rachel herself continues to plea for Grayson’s recovery from the evils of the dreamscape his mind is trapped in. Meanwhile, Koriand’r and Donna Troy a.k.a Wonder Girl (Conor Leslie), who we saw previously in season one for a short period of time, remain outside due to the magical barrier that Trigon set around the house to avoid any interruptions. 

Whilst all this is going on, Hank and Dawn, a.k.a Hawk and Dove, have set off on their little mission to find Jason Todd, the second Robin, who is currently enjoying Wayne Manor to himself whilst Batman is “halfway across the world with the rest of the Justice League” along with Alfred. So far, we haven’t seen Bruce Wayne or Alfred, but both are name dropped throughout season one, with Batman being seen in the dreamscape that Dick Grayson is trapped in, though his alter ego is never revealed and the actor portraying Batman in those scenes was Alain Moussi (Kickboxer: Vengeance), who was used more as a stuntman for the episode, and as far as I am aware, was never actually considered for the real world Bruce Wayne role for season two. More on that later however.

Hank and Dawn find Jason Todd, which begins their mission to save Rachel, Dick and the rest of the Titans, who have finally been called ‘Titans’ mostly by Jason Todd himself, who rejoices more than any character in the formation of what will be the new Titans team, as the previous one was formed of Dick Grayson as Robin, Hank and Dawn as Hawk & Dove, and Donna Troy as Wonder Girl. 

Rachel realises how evil her father truly is, but at the same time, how powerful he is after he removes her magical abilities and uses her friends against her, so that he can truly complete his ascension into our world, by breaking Rachel’s heart. 

As the episode progresses, we get to see the demons of each of the Titans as they each enter their own dreamscape which adds more of the horror elements that made the first series so good. 

The visual effects of this show seemed to only have improved slightly as this episode gives us a crumbling ash corpse after Starfire burns someone, but more importantly, we see the first live action appearance of Trigon’s demonic form, though not as big as he appears in a lot of the animated shows and films, as he remains a somewhat above average human height, which I would think helps keep some of the seriousness of the show and makes it more believable that the Titans might stand a chance against him. 

The cast continue to excel in their roles, bringing the characters to life, and the writers of the show seem to have an idea of the types of scenes we want to see, such as a Robin vs Robin fight in Jason’s dreamscape, which luckily for us as fans and for the characters, isn’t real. The dreamscapes are, as expected, horrifying what-if scenarios or possible ‘what could have been’ moments for our heroes, but are thankfully all fake as they are merely apart of Trigon’s magic taking hold of our heroes minds. 

Later in the episode we are treated to some incredible easter eggs and appearances, including Bruce Wayne himself, now portrayed by Iain Glen (Game of Thrones), as well as the first appearance of Slade Wilson a.k.a Deathstroke portrayed by Esai Morales, who will be a prominent character throughout this series and hopefully future series as well. 

Slade clearly has history with the previous Titans, as his reaction to Jason Todd’s television appearance, in which he yells “Titans are back bitches” seems to stir some emotions within Slade, who seems to have been retired, as he soon meets with a colleague who takes him to his old armoury, where we get our first look at his Deathstroke suit on display, as his colleague asks “Are we back in business?”.

After the facing Trigon the team split up, with Dick being a father figure still for the younger members of the group which included Rachel, Gar and Jason Todd. Towards the end of the episode, we finally get to see them settle down in a headquarters of sorts, which is soon revealed to be the home of the previous Titans. However, the future of Koriand’r, Donna Troy, Hank and Dawn, seems to be unclear, as they mention very little about what they plan to do before they meet again. 

 

[Spoiler Warning: The following paragraphs contain MAJOR spoilers for the episode]

 

My main issue with this episode is that it feels more like it should have been the season one finale, especially with how it handles it’s characters. It’s a very dramatic episode that deals with the presence of Trigon and his effect on Rachel as he torments her and literally breaks her heart, which becomes the red jewel she now wears upon her head. However, the issue I have is that after we finally get the full demonic looking Trigon, he isn’t in the show for much longer, as he is destroyed after less than ten minutes, by Rachel herself. One of the biggest baddies in DC and he lasts 10 minutes at full strength, which seems to me a waste of the character, even though I know he is not the main focus for this season. 

In the hopes that Titans does not get cancelled beforehand, and prospers with multiple series for the show, I hope more than anything that Trigon returns as a main villain, otherwise I would feel very disappointed at his short lived appearance. 

Other than that, I love this episode, and cannot wait for more from this show. It’s a dark, gritty, dramatic series that brings the Titans into a reality similar to our own, and the writing of the characters along with the incredible portrayals by the cast, make the characters feel relatable and easy to love from the start. 

 

★★★½

 

 

Directed by: Carol Banker
Cast: Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Curran Walters, Conor Leslie, Iain Glen, Alan Ritchson, Minka Kelly, Seamus Dever

 

 

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