Titans: Hank and Dove review S3 E3

Is it possible to both hate and love an episode? If so, that’s the case with Hank and Dove, easily one of the strongest episodes of the series yet. 

Dick doesn’t believe Jason is really back from the dead and digs up Jason’s grave. At least in this case it’s on Wayne Manor property and the ground should be fresh enough that it wasn’t a big deal that it was unearthed by whoever originally dug his body out. 

Kory asks the sensible question if folks are being resurrected, why not Donna too? We’re three episodes in now. It’s about time to hear from Raven on her quest to bring Donna back. 

Braggadocios as ever, Hank doesn’t mind doing what needs to be done and killing Jason, but immediately changes his tune when Jason calls apologetically asking for help. This was the one very questionable aspect of the episode as Hank ignored Jason’s very shady directions and aggressive instructions (right down to the Aquaman homage by swimming in a pool), which is very clearly setting him up for a trap. 

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Thank you Admiral. Predictably to everyone but Hank apparently, Red Hood straps a bomb on his chest timed to the remaining heartbeats he’s got left with this device installed. Conner’s X-Ray is very helpful here as he breaks down how it’s booby trapped if it’s tampered with too much. Titans has done an excellent job of incorporating a Superman character into the show without diminishing him and not making him so overpowering the other characters are useless.

Jason calls Dick with a ransom demand of $50 million in gold bars, but Dick rightfully doesn’t trust him and he puts Conner on bomb defibrillator duty. Titans needs a Kid Flash/Wally West, but this was a perfect use of Connor in this scenario. Less so was the need to have Dick visit Jonathan Crane for a further breakdown on Jason’s motives. And it felt a little suspect that Bruce Wayne would even let a heart bomb make it to the production phase. Why isn’t Luke Fox vetting prototypes at WayneTech?  

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Dick and Dawn clashed over the priority of saving Hank over Jason and those goals not being mutually exclusive. Dawn tries to help keep Hank calm by stroking his..neck, but that just leads to some serious stages of undress making out. That’s definitely not gonna help Hank’s heart rate, Dawn. 

Kory doesn’t get a ton to do this episode, but she does meet up with Barbara to track down the guy who stole Jason’s body from the morgue. And something from the screen zaps her. Maybe it’s time for her to call Zedman, Stantz and Venkman?

Dawn, Gar, Krypto and Dick all manage to spend some quality time with Hank as the clock keeps ticking. Alan Ritchson really provides a necessary dynamic for the show as the big talking hero that just wants to do right and protect his friends. He gives the show that cool big brother personality 

After getting frustrated waiting on a lead, Dawn robs the gold bar truck and heads out to meet Jason. He’s still not being straight up and wants her to kill him to save Hank. Nightwing stops her from initially pulling the trigger as Connor is getting closer to working up the counter for the Red Hood’s device. 

Dawn knows Red Hood can’t be trusted and pulls the trigger. “Ooops, looks like I gave you the detonator.” Uh-oh. Connor arrives in Hank’s room just as the bomb detonates and the only figure to emerge from the flame and smoke is Krypto, who stayed with Hank until the end. 

One of my all-time favorite TV episodes is the 24 installment from Season 3 where CTU is desperately trying to save Ryan Chappelle against a terrorist demand. This episode came the closest of anything else to hit that same level of suspense. Hank’s fearless attitude allowed for him to get caught in Red Hood’s trap, but it still felt like a bad way to set up one of the show’s strongest personalities. 

Now Dawn will be wracked with guilt over Jason’s manipulations. Conner will think he was a fraction too slow and Nightwing has to face the reality of his brother killing another brother. 

That’s about as effective a cliffhanger for this opening salvo of three episodes. It’s not getting any cheerier or lighter, but Titans Season 3 does a fine job of effectively functioning in its universe.  

Rating: 9.5 out of 10

Photo Credit: HBO Max

Grab the McFarlane Toys Nightwing vs. Red Hood figure set from Amazon. 

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