For my apprehension with the debut episode, Hawk and Dove had me a lot more optimistic about Titans.
The episode kicks off with Hawk (Alan Ritchson) chained up by some low level thugs. For my issues with the takes on Robin and Starfire, Hawk is exactly right. The only shame is that Robin is so dark, brooding and violent that Hawk doesn’t have a lot of room to be be the vicious hero.
Dawn (Minka Kelly) arrives in time to save him. Hawk and Dove had me very encouraged about Titans thanks to their faithful comic book costumes. They look terrific and it’s nice to see a costume design that stays true to the source material. DC is getting better with that with their TV shows and films and it’s an exciting trend.
Through flashbacks, we learn Hawk and Dove teamed with Robin four years ago — along with another brunette. Donna Troy? Dick Grayson does consider dialing her when trying to find a safe place to take Rachel. Now Hank Hall and Dawn Granger are preparing to retire after taking down one last crime lord.
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Hank isn’t thrilled to see Dick, which might have something to do with his impotency problems as well as knowing Dawn and Dick hooked up back in the day. That fits as Dick was always the ladies’ magnet in the comics.
Dick doesn’t have much of an end game for Rachel. Clearly he’s not going to go into the ward business and sending her to stay with Bruce and Alfred isn’t a good idea either. At least Dick still keeps in touch with Alfred for a loan to help Hank and Dawn/pay them to look after Rachel.
It’s a bad look for Dick, but an understandable one. Plus, Dick doesn’t like this darker violent side of himself now. I get that as an reason, but Dick could ease up when he’s beating down bad guys. Even Dawn and Hank are shocked when Robin goes full Batman by way of Punisher on the gang. These sequences were shot very well and reminiscent of the boogeyman approach Christopher Nolan used for Batman’s intro scene in Batman Begins.
Both Kory and Beast Boy are sidelined this episode. I actually like this approach in the early stages of the series. There was more than enough story focusing on Rachel, Dick, Dawn and Hank.
In an interesting subplot, a quirky family that seems stuck in the 50s as evident by their playing Monopoly in the kitchen, gets called into duty. They take some serum and go hunting for Rachel, savagely attacking Dick’s partner, Amy (Lindsey Gort). Amy was investigating the acolyte that Rachel killed, but the psycho family wants to know Dick’s location.
Rachel isn’t happy about Dick’s plan to ditch her and that leads to a rooftop argument with Hank, Dick, Dawn and Rachel. That ends quickly as the family arrives. The family catches the group off guard enough to beat down Hank, send Dick clutching and toss Dawn off the roof before making off with Rachel. Competent bad guys? Yes please!
Dick races down to check on Dawn, but it doesn’t look good. Would Titans really kill her off after one episode? Can’t poor Minka Kelly get a steady job? Bravo Titans, you’ve now got me looking forward to the next show. That first episode was a little rough and while this was still way too much Dark Robin, Hawk and Dove was an encouraging follow-up. Also, the very funny line with Rachel calling Khaleesi showed Titans might have a sense of humor after all was very welcome. Let’s see what’s in store for the next episode.
Rating: 8.5 out of 10
Photo Credit: DC Universe