The Final Fight
I’ve said it before but an ending can make or break a show. Titans is an interesting one in that respect because not only does it feature a really poor finish to Season 2, it also undoes almost an entire season’s worth of writing for key characters in the space of about 25 minutes. To make matters worse, a key character is killed off in the worst way possible and the entire antagonistic threat is wrapped up in the first half of the episode. Not only is this one of the bigger TV disappointments this year, it also caps everything off with a post-credit scene that teases what’s to come for season 3 with little dramatic weight behind it.
We begin the episode with Cadmus pitching their new mind-control scheme to prospective buyers. Meanwhile the remaining fragments of the Titans head out but are ambushed by Deathstroke. Thankfully the new and improved Nightwing arrives and fights him off. Rose arrives too and she stabs her Father through the heart, killing him instantly. In the process she also frees Jericho who takes control of her body and thanks Dick, setting him free from his guilt.
The other Titans make it to the fairground where Gar and Connor are on a rampage, under the influence of the mind-control device, while the company profit off the carnage. A fight breaks out before Hank arrives and joins in too. Nightwing arrives soon after while Bruce Wayne jams the communication link.
Raven saves Gar but in order to save Connor, chains a link to Dick and he heads inside Connor’s head to save him from his mental restraints. After successfully freeing him from his shackles, Connor singlehandedly takes out the company and saves the day. Despite surviving a one on one fight with Deathstroke and the final fight at the end, a falling beam at the fairground kills Donna as she tries to hold it up. Unfortunately shes electrocuted in doing so. During Donna’s funeral, they prepare to load her coffin up onto the plane while Raven decides she needs to go something to control her growing power.
Back at Titan Tower, Bruce shows up and apologises for what happened to her. He tells him not to turn inwards toward the darkness and rallies Dick to lead his team. At dinner, Kory thanks Bruce for showing up at the diner and it’s here we learn it wasn’t actually him. Who was it then? However, before they can continue, Dick speaks up and delivers a speech in memory of Donna, telling them they’re a family and have to stick together.
Before they can continue however, Gar spots a disturbance downtown involving a bomb squad and police, prompting Dawn to stand up and encourage them all to head off and help. United together, they walk off down the street. During a post-season scene, a pregnant woman is controlled by an alien entity that begins walking menacingly away.
It’s hard to know where to start when it comes to Titans. The writing this season has inconsistently switched between slow-paced flashbacks and quick bouts of action and never really settled into an enjoyable rhythm. Some of the late drama involving CADMUS feels rushed and their entire arc has been really poorly fleshed out from start to finish. Deathstroke though is where the season has messed up the most if I’m honest.
The first half of this season managed to build Slade up as a credible threat and some of these episodes were perfectly executed, managing to show the rift growing in team Titans as well as building him up as a credible villain. Seeing the way he’s killed of at the end is a bitter pill to swallow and after so many episodes of hype, I can’t think of a worse way to kill him off. To make matters worse, Donna’s death feels completely inconsequential and avoidable, especially given Connor’s super-strength; standing and watching while a fellow Titan struggles to hold up a beam and then subsequently dies feels like a poor piece of writing.
Will I come back for Season 3? Probably, given this is my job but after two seasons of fake-outs and poorly plotted finales, I’m struggling to see how this show can keep the enthusiasm going for loyal fans. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice? Well you know the rest.