DC Universe’s Titans returns to the niche streaming service today with the first chapter of its second season. Titled “Trigon,” the return episode of the series has more the feel of a Season 1 Finale than it does a Season 2 premiere, but this doesn’t come as much of a surprise. Because the producers wanted to end on a cliffhanger last season, they cut an episode from last year’s roster of shows so that the titular Trigon, Rachel’s Earth-shattering, monstrous father, possessed Dick Grayson at the end of the episode. This move made for a somewhat unfulfilling finale for the series’ first season, but the rest of that story is told here, to mostly great results.
The premiere picks up the moment that season 1 left off, where Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) has been possessed by Trigon (Seamus Dever) and it’s laid to task Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft) to somehow lift her demonic father’s possession of him, with the aid of Garfield Logan (Ryan Potter) and the rest of the fledgling superhero team. That entire team are all present here, made up of this season’s series regulars, Hank Hall (Alan Ritchson), Dawn Granger (Minka Kelly), Donna Troy (Conor Leslie), Jason Todd (Curran Walters) and Kory Anders (Anna Diop).
The first half hour of the premiere plays out almost like a Haunted Mansion movie, with Dick chasing Rachel and Gar through a house literally haunted by her immensely powerful father. In order for Trigon to be able to destroy the Earth, he has to break his daughter’s heart. There isn’t much explanation as to why exactly that is here, so its probably for the best that the whole world-consuming threat brought upon by Trigon is actually wrapped up about 35 minutes into the premiere, rather than drag out for another episode.
The real promise of Titans’ second season begins to play out when the main storyline ends, with a full 20 minutes of exposition left. A lot of that sentiment comes from Dick’s apparent efforts to clean up his act and to finally make peace with his surrogate father, Bruce Wayne, played here by Game of Thrones actor Ian Glenn. Glenn portrays Wayne here as a little older, a little wiser and a more sedate version of the character. This is a portrayal of Bruce that is more forgiving and more accepting than we have grown accustomed to and it’s a welcome version of a character we’ve seen on-screen countless times over the years.
The end of the premiere episode also introduces us to the assassin Deathstroke (Esai Morales), who looks to be the big bad of Titans‘ second season. We’re introduced to Morales’ costume here and it looks to the best version that we’ve seen yet in live action.
DC’s The New Teen Titans, the 1980s comic book series by Marv Wolfman and George Perez, appealed mostly to its readers because of the characters’ interactions with each other. These “soap opera” elements of that title probably explains why this DC Universe series draws so much inspiration from that source material. It looks like we’ll be seeing a lot more of that this season, especially as we’re introduced to Superboy (Joshua Orpin) and Aqualad (Drew Van Acker) this season (though note, neither make an appearance in the premiere).
If you’re like me, you may have found the first season of Titans exceptional comic book-inspired entertainment, but a little too dark at times. However, by the end of the Season 2 premiere you will undoubtedly find the series taking more a turn toward your tastes. We’ll see where it goes from here, but if the series stays the course, it may find itself at the very top of the mountain made of the ever expanding landscape of DC Comics-inspired television properties.
Titans season 2 premieres Friday, September 6, exclusively on the DC Universe streaming service. The series stars stars Brenton Thwaites as Dick Grayson, Anna Diop as Kory Anders, Teagan Croft as Rachel Roth, Ryan Potter as Garfield Logan, Curran Walters as Jason Todd and Conor Leslie as Donna Troy. The series also features Alan Ritchson as Hank Hall, Minka Kelly as Dawn Granger, Joshua Orpin as Superboy, Chelsea Zhang as Rose Wilson, Drew Van Acker as Aqualad, Chella Man as Jericho, Esai Morales as Deathstroke and Iain Glen as Bruce Wayne.