As the first original series on the DC Universe streaming app Titans had to set the bar for everything that came after it. Despite a fairly short first season it did that job very well and really established itself as a heavy hitter in the superhero TV genre. As it returns today for a second season it once again raises that bar. WARNING: Minor spoilers ahead.
To be fair, the first season ended kind of abruptly. When we last saw the Titans, Rachel had unleashed her demon father upon the world and he set about corrupting Dick in order to alienate her. It felt like it was part one of a two-part story that needed to be told. Today, we get the full story.
The result is much better than expected. The first half of the episode leans heavy into the horror aspect of bringing a demon into this world and really goes for the scares. Honestly it felt a lot like the New Mutants film we’re never going to see. A bunch of young metahumans deal with pure evil head on.
But what this show does, what DC really seems to have embraced, is showing the heroes in all of their glory. The gang is joined this time by Jason Todd who, it seems without any real prompting by his comrades, shows up to the fight in full costume. Taken out of context the Robin suit grounded in real life could come off like Batman & Robin, pure cheese. Instead the show sees it as an everyday thing and no one questions it. It works.
As a result the show presents the audience with some truly epic scenes that never would have been possible years before. If the first season saw the show getting on its feet then this season it’s taking the reins and owning it.
The only real problem with the episode is pacing. It builds a real threat with Rachel’s dad then discards him far too easily. Granted it’s a journey to get there but defeating him barely seems like an effort for the Titans.
The second half of the episode does a lot of world building. To give anything away would be robbing the audience of the absolute joy that is the final sequence of the episode. The directing is spot-on and it creates a world that, given previous incarnation of Teen Titans, you would never expect to work. This is going to be a crazy season and it seems like the show has only just scratched the surface of it is capable of moving forward.