The Good, The Bad & The Nightwing
Welcome! If you need a handy recap before Titans Season 3 drops on HBO Max this Thursday we’ve got you covered with our full story recap with everything you need to know if you don’t fancy plunging back in and watching two seasons.
Titans takes place in the near-future, with a dark tone, gritty characters and some decent plot twists. The show is full of recognizable DC players and each season ends on an almighty cliffhanger.
Anyway, let’s begin.
A Life Without Batman
The story begins with Rachel Roth, a guarded teenager, haunted by dark visions. When her powers manifest, she flees her home and makes her way to Traverse City, Michigan.
When she arrives in Detroit, she falls under the protective wing of Detective Dick Grayson. However, by night he fronts as a dangerous vigilante who is now working independently to Batman, after a nasty altercation severed their friendship in the past.
With Rachel taken under his wing (insert Robin/bird pun here) Dick takes the girl to Hank Hall and Dawn Granger (aka. Hawk and Dove) for safe refuge.
Enter the Red Head
While this is going on, a mysterious woman named Kory Anders awakens from a car crash with no memory of who she is or what she’s doing. The only thing she does though is that she’s been sent to pursue and track down Rachel Roth. Our final player for the Titan team is the arrival of mischievous Beast Boy, Gar Logan.
Rachel finds no luck with Hawk and Dove, and as Kory and Gar align with Dick and Rachel, the gang escape the Doom Patrol manor, thanks to Dr Niles’ experiments, and eventually fight their first battle together as the Titans. Their opponents are the infamous Nuclear Family, who are in pursuit of the group.
Throwing a spanner in the works though is Jason Todd, Batman’s new partner in crime and the one adopting the Robin alias. Jason has a very different perspective of Bruce Wayne though, which forces Dick Grayson to reassess his own motives.
Well, the Titans eventually part ways thanks to separate issues, just in time for Kory to have her memories come flooding back.
Her true mission regarding Rachel involves bringing a monstrous creature called Trigon to our dimension. This being was summoned to Earth to conceive a daughter which just so happens to be Rachel. Rachel is the doorway for which this being can walk through. If that comes to pass, Earth will be covered in darkness.
The first episode of season 2 is basically a finale to season 1 so we’ll just include it within the season 1 story. Here, Trigon is defeated, Rachel starts to gain control of her powers while Hawk and Dove decide to hang up their superhero capes…for a while anyway.
So now we come to season 2. Three months pass and Dick is hard at work training up Rachel, Gar and Jason at Titans Tower. Hank and Dawn have retreated to Wyoming while Donna and Kory are off on the move.
However, trouble lurks within. A brand new villain in Deathstroke sets to work systematically going after the Titans. He has history with the group too, having killed Garth in the past and also showing his powers by assassinating targets with a combination of samurai swords and sniper shots. This guy is not to be taken lightly.
Unfortunately his arrival also coincides with the Titans starting to question Dick’s loyalty and leadership. When Dick accepts the mysterious Rose Wilson into Titans tower, this only causes more drama within the group.
In fact, Jason heads off in search Deathstroke alone and consequently finds himself badly beaten and held up for ransom. Jason is the perfect bail for the Titans, who come biting along with the rest of the team.
Despite Jason being held up with a bomb and Deathstroke hitting the detonator, Jason miraculously survives…only to slip and fall to the ground below…or does he?
Wonderboy, what is the secret of your power?
In the midst of this, we’re introduced to Conner, aka. Superboy who escapes from Cadmus Labs and emerges into the world as a free man.
This kryptonian clone kills everyone who’s holding him hostage at Cadmus and even takes his super-dog Krypto with him for the ride. Conner, as we soon find out, is part Superman and Lex Luthor. With an episode exploring his origins sandwiched in the middle of our Deathstroke conflict, Conner comes flying in and saves Jason from certain death.
Walls of Jericho
After his trying experience, Jason is a very different and somber Robin now. So what are Deathstroke’s issues with Dick Grayson and the gang? Well, it turns out five years back Dick actually killed Jericho, Deathstroke’s Son.
This is a pretty significant reveal given it essentially destroys the core of the group when they find out. Everyone loses faith in Dick and they go their separate ways.
Dick Grayson tries to atone for his sins, ending up in a Nevada prison. With Conner and Gar the only ones left at Titan Tower, it’s the perfect opportunity for a regrouped Cadmus to attack and capture Gar and Conner for themselves. Their plan involves using the pair and brainwashing them for their own diabolical super villain schemes.
With the Titans in trouble, it’s the perfect time to get the gang back together. The new and improved Titans are fronted by Dick Grayson, who has now transformed into Nightwing. He makes quick work of Deathstroke, who’s subsequently killed by his daughter Rose.
In the process she also frees Jericho, who takes control of her body and thanks Dick, setting him free from his guilt.
Death by falling debris
With Deathstroke now gone, the attention turns to Cadmus. This all collides into a final fight at the fairground. Gar and Conner are on a rampage, under the influence of a mind control device while the company profit off the carnage.
Nightwing and Hank show up, eventually freeing Conner from his mental shackles. He singlehandedly takes out most of the goons, before Donna is killed via a falling beam and electrocution. Oh…well that was disappointing.
Anyway, the threat is thwarted and during Donna’s funeral, Raven decides she needs to do something to control her growing power. On the back of this, she decides to leave.
Prepping for season 3
Back at Titan Tower, Bruce shows up and apologizes for what happened. He encourages Dick to lead his team and become a better man. At dinner, Kory thanks Bruce for showing up at the diner and helping them out during an earlier incident in the season. Only, it turns out it wasn’t actually him.
Most of Bruce Wayne’s appearances this season have been a hodgepodge of flashbacks, projections and hallucinations. If it wasn’t Bruce Wayne then who could it be?
During a post-credit sequence an alien entity takes control of a woman and walks off menacingly. This seems to be Blackfire. This alien queen is Kori’s sister and sees Kori as a loose end. Could this be our big bad for season 3? We’ll have to wait and see!
So that’s the entire story of Titans Season 1 and 2 in a nutshell. There’s a lot more going on here – including flashbacks and individual episodic arcs – but hopefully this is enough to get you up to scratch in time for season 3!
What did you think of Titan’s story? Have we missed any crucial details in this recap? Do let us know in the comments below!