Titans Delivers a Lackluster Episode in “Rose” Hinting at Larger Payoffs

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The Titans are starting to come into their own this second season as the world they inhabit becomes much more like what viewers are used to in the comics. It’s been three months since the crew set up shop in San Francisco and you can tell they are getting restless. MINOR SPOILERS AHEAD.

The biggest problem with this episode is you can tell it’s working on a TV show budget. There’s far more telling than showing and it actually hurts the narrative quite a bit. Dick talks to Jason about how the others follow him when they’re out on patrol but we never actually see it. Rachel and Gar talk about how strict Dick has become but we never really see it on screen. Instead focus shifts away from the dynamics of the main group to a mysterious new girl that almost literally lands on their doorstep.

Crashes on their doorstep is more like it. While fighting the police (and winning) the mystery girl jumps between buildings and through the window of a corporate office. This gets the attention of Dick who realizes she might be a good fit for his current team of misfits. Which works in theory, except she fights him almost every step of the way.

This leads to one of the best moments of the episode. Finding himself in a familiar situation Dick calls up Bruce Wayne for advice on how to deal with a runaway that doesn’t want his help. Bruce reflects on his time with young Dick and what it took to keep him by his side. It’s an aspect of the Batman and Robin relationship that’s never really been explored before and if this is the direction the show is going the payoff seems to be worth it.

But this is, if anything, a filler episode. While all of this is going on Donna Troy and Kori are in Chicago doing a stakeout on a B-list villain named Shimmer that really wasn’t worth the time and effort they put into the whole thing. The entire fight lasts 10 seconds and I’m sure could have been done earlier in the story if the writers didn’t put the two of them in a fan to fight and provide exposition.

The big reveal of the episode comes when the audience finds out the identity of the mystery girl. That surprise won’t be spoiled here but needless to say it’s a creative twist with the potential to create a lot of unique stories.

Unfortunately the audience is left waiting for the big teaser from the end of season one to pay off. The bonus scene at the end of season one hinted that Superboy and potentially Krypto were on their way to join the team in one form or another. There has been no mention of it so far and nothing to hint that it’s coming. Given that it’s such a limited series that payoff better come soon to make it worth it.