Titans: Donna Troy review

By now we know the pattern. Odd numbered Titans episodes feature the team together and the even numbered episodes introduce us to a member of the larger DC Universe. I’d complain more if the formula didn’t keep working so well. Donna Troy made her long awaited Titans debut making another fine addition to the ever expanding supporting cast.

Titans is already doing something I wish was part of the film universe — establishing the teen sidekicks. Donna Troy opens with a flashback of young Donna and Dick talking about The Joker and the Justice League. I know immediately want to see young Wally West, Roy Harper and Garth and a vintage Teen Titans flashback episode.

In the present day, Dick is on his usual every other episode abandon the team deal. That’s hardly surprising now. He casually breaks things off with Kory and in a fun twist, Gar and Rachel already knew they were hooking up.

Overall this episode had a much better sense of humor than the typical Titans installment. That balance was definitely an improvement and one the show would benefit greatly from making the norm.

Dick did recognize he needed some stability and visited Donna (Conor Leslie). Leslie immediately gave off the proper Donna Troy vibe. The Dick and Donna dynamic felt true to the sibling bond established in the comics. While I’d be OK with Hawk & Dove appearing as semi-regular guest stars, Donna felt like the missing piece to the team. Hopefully, Leslie will become a series regular.

Donna has managed to successfully retire from the sidekick life and Dick needs some advice. Mainly, he needs a friend to help him loosen up. Donna quickly has a positive affect on Dick as he actually joked wondering what Penguin was doing.

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In the midst of an identity crisis, Donna advises Dick not to be Batman or Robin. Robin was an echo chamber for Batman’s rage. Now is the time for Dick to be someone else. I’m sure it’s going to be a Season 2 tease, but I’m ready to see this Nightwing costume now.

Angela offered to take the team to her place in Ohio. But first, it’s a Titans road…er, rail trip courtesy of a train. Kory and Gar are both left shaken from their asylum encounters. Kory is seeing visions while Gar can’t believe he mauled a doctor in his tiger form. I’m glad that episode meant more than a standalone freak show detour. We haven’t gotten a lot of Kory and Gar scenes so this was appreciated.

Kory is rightfully worried about a guy who keeps checking her out. She questions her instincts, which prove correct as the guy was a federal marshal. Kory really needs to find a less flamboyant style of dress if she’s trying to avoid attention. She easily fights off the feds and reunites with the others.

Sadly, Angela’s place is not a big T-shaped building like I was hoping. Further differentiating itself from the other DC shows, Kory actually tells Rachel about her visions. That would have dragged out for a month on Arrow. Rachel starts unlocking Kory’s memories just as Donna reveals to Dick that Kory’s mission is to kill Rachel.

Will Dick and Donna make it in time to stop Kory from making a big mistake? Donna Troy was my favorite episode of the season. It balanced humor, action and strong character development beyond brooding. Even with the changes from the source material, this episode suggests Titans has struck its ideal formula.

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: DC Entertainment

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