Trigon – | Review Score – 3/5
Rose – | Review Score – 4/5
Ghosts – | Review Score – 4.5/5
Aqualad – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Bruce Wayne – | Review Score – 4/5
Jericho – | Review Score – 4/5
Atonement – | Review Score – 2.5/5
Fallen – | Review Score – 3.5/5
E.L._.O – | Review Score – 3.5/5
Nightwing – | Review Score – 2/5
Titans Season 2 is a strange blend of influences, some that work really well and others that really don’t. With a decent central antagonist in Deathstroke and some nice plotting early on, DC’s flagship superhero show stumbles during its second half, introducing several different half-baked subplots and ending things with a questionable finale that offers up an unsatisfying conclusion to our storylines and undoes a lot of the work achieved up until that point. While there is some good material here, Titans squanders its early promise with a lacklustre second half that fails to capitalise when it matters most.
Given the cliffhanger ending we received last season, Titans begins with an episode that essentially acts as the season finale to the previous story. The back-end of this episode then introduces Slade Wilson aka. Deathstroke, the formidable antagonist our titans go up against in the comics. With the stage set for a dramatic clash, a rift in Team Titan sees the group grapple with their own ghosts from the past as a secret Dick hides from them all threatens to destroy everything. As the season progresses, the story introduces a new hero to the fray, Conner, and with it the arrival of a secret organisation called CADMUS.
From here, the back-end of the season sees various different individual character plots crop up, including ones for Kory, Hawk and Dove, all of which snaking their way to the finale where everything is wrapped up within the first half of the episode, whilst leaving enough open for another confict to come in season 3.
The characters this year are a real mixed bag too, ranging from well written to questionable cameos and window dressing. Gar’s character has little to do for large swathes of the story while Donna’s character arc is given a pretty poor conclusion toward the end, especially given the lack of effort put into giving her anything to do during the middle portion of the season. Kory is another casualty here too, while Raven’s visions and subsequent growing power leads to a completely unsatisfying resolution.
Dick Grayson and Slade Wilson, the two central characters of the season, are given decent enough arcs though to see you through to the finale but the whole experience, given some of the exciting episodes that came before this, feels like a complete waste of time upon seeing these stories result in nothing.
Unlike the first season, the pacing during Titans’ run this year has been questionable at best. I can’t remember the last time I watched a show that both dragged and rushed its way to the finale in such a manner. Oftentimes the season progresses the main story and ends an episode on an almighty cliffhanger, only to suddenly turn things around for a flashback the next week. The result is a tonally jarring series that can’t quite decide what direction it wants to go in and quite what to do with all of its players.
The problem with this approach means the momentum never quite reaches the same heights as the early episodes, eventually petering out and stumbling over the finish line for one of the more disappointing finales of the year. I won’t divulge what happens here but suffice to say it’s my least favourite episode of the entire 2-season run and closes things out in such a way that it sours everything that’s come before it.
That’s a shame too because there is some good material here, including the rising threat posed by Deathstroke. In one of the better flashback episodes, we see just how dangerous and merciless Slade Wilson really is, and all of this plays into Deathstroke’s cold demeanour as he manages to singlehandedly outperform a lot of the Titans in one on one situations. You’d expect this would lead nicely to an epic fight at the end but the manner this storyline is wrapped up, within 10 minutes of the final episode, feels like a complete slap to the face and undermines everything that’s come before it.
Compared to other superhero shows this year, Titans pales by comparison. It’s such a shame too because there’s a lot of potential here for a solid second season but the second half of the show and the finale in particular sour the entire experience. If you’re a fan of these heroes you’ll undoubtedly watch through to see the conclusion but there’s no denying the show never quite reaches those same early-season highs. It’s not the worst offering this year but it is a far cry from the lofty heights this show should have effortlessly achieved and that’s a tough pill to swallow.