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DC Universe’s 'Titans' Season 1 Finale Review

The 'Titans' season finale was a tussle between Dick Grayson’s ideologies and Batman’s descent into darkness.

Titans season one finale trailer (Credit: Rotten Tomatoes TV)

Previously on Titans, Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) had run head-long through a force-field that Seamus Deaver’s Trigon had placed after entering Earth, while Kory Anders (Anna Diop) and Donna Troy (Conor Leslie) were locked out. In the season one finale, we see why Dick was the one allowed into Trigon’s thrall and what lies in wait for him.

So, what is Trigon’s plan?

Seamus Deaver as Trigon (Credit: CBR)

At the end of episode 10 of Titans, Trigon had mentioned that he wouldn’t start ‘eating’ Earth till his daughter, Rachel Roth’s (Teagan Croft) heart was broken. I had initially wondered if he would turn Garfield Logan (Ryan Potter) against her, but Trigon’s plan is far darker.

Through a series of visions that Trigon manipulates at every turn, Dick is made to commit a heinous crime and is thereby transmuted into a demonic being. It seems like Trigon is using Rachel’s own father figure to convert her to his side and bolster his powers.

Is that why Kory and Donna weren’t allowed to re-enter Angela’s house? I think Trigon is planning to pick the Titans off one-by-one, starting with the people closest to Rachel. He’s converted Dick; perhaps Kory is next on the list? In which case, when he ‘saved’ Gar from Angela’s poisoning, did he get his claws into the boy and transmute him already?

Rachel being on her own, surrounded by demonic versions of her loved ones, is a disturbing thought. She’s proven herself to be a formidable force, but her soul-self is intertwined with Trigon, so I’m not sure how she will wrangle her way out of this mess next season without help.

Dick Grayson, Worst Husband Ever

Dawn, Johnny and Dick (Credit: ComicBook.com)

The rest of the Titans don’t figure much in the finale, which focuses almost entirely on Dick Grayson’s arc. Trigon sends Dick on a vision quest where Dick is happily married to Dawn Granger (Minka Kelly) with whom he has a son and another baby on the way. While Dick is enjoying his tranquil life, the world, and his home city, Gotham, burns.

All of that is secondary to how Dick is represented. Dick lazes in the pool, while his wife frets about painting the nursery—something he should be worrying about as well considering Dawn is a month away from her due date, and their first child had been born prematurely.

Later, Dick whinges about having to help Bruce, while Dawn laboriously chops vegetables. Uh, Dick, shouldn’t you be helping her? When he leaves for Gotham (after Dawn prompted him to), she calls to tell him that their son has been ill—I love the expression on Dawn’s face when Dick asks her if she called the doctor.

However, the pièce de résistance is when Dick lays into Dawn for inviting her ex-boyfriend Hank Hall (Alan Ritchson) to paint the nursery while Dick is away. Dawn is patient with Dick only till he reveals that he’s in touch with Kory, his ex. Funny how Dick didn’t think to let Dawn know about Kory first.

Comic book Dick Grayson hasn’t always been the best partner, but would still probably not do most of these things. But then again, the finale episode version of Dick may not be an accurate characterisation of him either, since all of it is Trigon’s doing. Or so we hope.

Welcome to Easter Egg Heaven

Is that the Riddler? (Credit: Animated Times)

One of our favourite things about comic book adaptations is Easter Eggs—or at least spotting them, anyway. Titans has dropped many hints about the wider Bat-Verse throughout the first season, and the finale added plenty more.

Name-drops include Commissioner Gordon, Barbara – we’re assuming this is Barbara Gordon, aka Batgirl) - as well as the demise of the Commissioner that sounds eerily like Alan Moore’s The Killing Joke had Batman not made it in time in the comics.

We see the Joker of this universe, though the showrunners work in a number of ways to conceal his face. The Riddler is mentioned by Jason Todd (Curran Walters), and we later see part of his corpse along with that of Two-Face (who was still holding his coin) and The Ventriloquist (and his puppet Scarface).

For the first time in the show, we get a complete look at the Bat-signal, the Batmobile, and Batman’s suit. Batman is still covered in shadow, but his suit seems like a nod to the Batman Beyond comic books. While the Arrowverse borrowed the Shakespeare bust from the 1960s Batman television series, Titans pays homage to Christopher Nolan’s Dark Knight trilogy with Dick pressing particular keys on a piano to try and open the Batcave.

In the post-credits scene, we see a silhouette of a man with a Superman logo tattooed on his arm walking around a lab. This is most likely Superboy (Conner Kent/Kon-El), a genetic clone of Superman and sometime member of Titans in the comics. He frees a meta-powered dog, who is definitely Krypto, aka Superdog! Here’s hoping Krypto gets a cape in the next season.

Miscellaneous Thoughts

Agent Kory Anders (Credit: Flickering Myth)

I feel like Gotham reaching the lowest of its lows could have been handled better. The depravity and general disorder on display looked derivative; considering how innovative some of the writing and direction has been, the finale could have done with a touch more innovation in this area.

It’s weird that the showrunner chose Dawn as Dick’s one-true-love in this show. It’s a strange choice when Barbara Gordon has been revealed to exist in the universe. The perennial romantic tussle for comic book fans has always been Dick/Barbara vs. Dick/Kory.

Kory as an FBI agent in the vision giving Dick orders and being generally well put-together was a good touch. Far too often, writers feel the need to make sure female characters’ lives disintegrate once their male love interests leave them, but thankfully, Titans didn’t follow suit.

Someone needs to tell Dick Grayson that it’s poor form to touch a person’s wheelchair without their permission. Every time I see Dick grab Jason’s chair and wheel it into position it annoys me that Batman never taught him such basic etiquette.

Conclusion

After a rough start, Titans has picked itself up to become an enthralling superhero show with a great cast of characters. Admittedly, the season one finale feels more like a midseason hiatus, but the post-credits scene certainly whets our appetites for what season two has in store. As a fan, powering through the first four episodes is an important step in appreciating how much better this show could be. The tone and look of the show still don’t feel anything like the comic books, but the showrunners have been able to stamp their own mark on it.

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