WARNING: The following contains spoilers for the Titans Season 2 finale, “Nightwing,” streaming now on DC Universe.
The first season of Titans was pretty solid, although the season finale turned out to be very jarring as it wasn’t even meant to cap the debut outing. With Dick Grayson and the Titans finding a kidnapped Raven, many were anticipating a showdown with Trigon, only for it to abruptly end and continue as the Season 2 premiere.
Everyone loves a good cliffhanger but it was super disjointed and not well executed at all. After the Season 2 premiere took place, the show then quickly forgot about the demonic arc, which didn’t flow into the rest of the season. Unfortunately, the Season 2 curtain-dropper follows in the same vein as its predecessor, failing to stick the landing, and hustling to bring a new villain into the fray.
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The finale feels choppy, albeit it’s cleverly disguised, starting with the Titans going after Beast Boy and Superboy at the San Francisco carnival. Deathstroke ambushes them and while many anticipated a patiently drawn-out and cerebral battle, all the show does is rush Dick into action as Nightwing to save his friends from Slade Wilson’s attack. Rose then jumps in from out of nowhere and in a hasty fashion, killing her dad, leading to quick forgiveness for Dick and friends uniting once more — even Hawk.
It feels like a bad network TV show and not the smartly constructed streaming service property that pushes boundaries it should be. Beast Boy and Superboy are magically saved by Raven and Cadmus is then taken down without the series even expanding on Lex Luthor calling in. At this point, with a half-hour left the show’s ticking off boxes in a checklist as seen when the writers suddenly remember there must be a major character death — killing off Donna Troy by having her get electrocuted from a falling crane and loose electrical cable.
Yeah, apparently the impervious Amazons can be shocked to death. It’s a silly deus ex machina, done for plot convenience and also, dramatic effect. It then quickly cuts to the heroes in black at a funeral with a coffin, yet there’s no emotional resonance. It’s just hard to believe Donna could fall that easily, not to mention Jason watching the funeral from afar and speeding off on his bike feels like something out of a soap opera. He doesn’t even attempt to get closure with Rose. Then again, seeing how quickly Deathstroke was killed off after the entire season built him up as a villain of principle and philosophy, it’s no surprise because, at this point, the bookend’s trying to barrel something big.
Other plot threads, like Jericho’s return into Rose’s body, isn’t even addressed properly as it’s invasive, and oh yeah, they don’t even let his mom, Adeline, know about his return. What makes this even worse, as if it’s just cut scenes smashed together, there’s no conversation on Dick’s forgiveness or a proper reason why Bruce Wayne has emerged to play den father to them at the tower during a dinner session forced to give the impression a happy family of crimefighters. His cameo falls way flat and again, between Deathstroke being dispatched easily and all these plot lines resolving in a heartbeat, one has to wonder if the finale should have been a bit longer or split into two here. After all, Raven wanting to go with Donna’s body to Themyscira when Kory and she have a stronger bond simply feels like the show’s also trying to give the young girl some new agency.
Lastly, what compounds the episode as a miserable failure, well, apart from some bad CW teen dialogue, just like how the first finale didn’t show Trigon’s demonic form, Season 2 tries to tease a new monster on the block in Blackfire. But this is done is the most underwhelming fashion as it’s unclear how she even got to earth — which would have given her a cool arrival a la Thanos — or a portal. Blackfire simply possesses a pregnant woman in a supermarket parking lot and shapeshifts into herself as if she were Mystique. There’s no grandeur or majesty to it at all, and we don’t even see her using powers or anything. She gives a mean glare and the credits roll, which sums up this closer: weak, lacking any sort of organic gravitas and cliched to the point it almost undoes most of the good work that preceded.
Streaming now on DC Universe, Titans Season 2 stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson, Anna Diop as Kory Anders, Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth, Ryan Potter as Garfield Logan, Curran Walters as Jason Todd and Conor Leslie as Donna Troy, with Minka Kelly as Dawn Granger, Alan Ritchson as Hank Hall, Joshua Orpin as Superboy, Chelsea Zhang as Rose Wilson, Chella Man as Jericho, Drew Van Acker as Aqualad, Esai Morales as Deathstroke and Iain Glen as Bruce Wayne.
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