Now that we’ve gotten through what should have been the finale for season one, it finally feels like we are moving into season two. While I say this, let me be clear, the set-up wasn’t bad at all. Here we are on the second week, and everything is pretty much fresh in our minds between the defeat of Trigun and where we begin to see the reformation of the Titans. With that said, this week won’t be the week where they all come together either, but it should be great to see what everyone gets up to on their own. Some of us want to see the four so far working to be a team, we want to see where Kory finds her new path, and we want to see how the others get themselves pulled back into the game from their personal lives.
When it came to this episode, the big thing I was looking for was how they would transition from last week’s season two premiere, to what actually should have been the season opener. It wasn’t a big time-skip, but it was just enough to see some noticeable changes in everyone. For Dick, Rachel, and Gar you could see this in them particularly. It was good to see that there was some feelings left over from the Trigun situation for Gar. You don’t have a close-call like that and not struggle getting over the emotional hoops that puts you through. We saw that not everything is now peachy for Rachel either. I wasn’t entirely feeling the way things ended for her last week, so it was the right call that there could still be something more for her to overcome in order to have full control of her life. Then we have Dick who moves forward with a new sense of purpose. This part of him we were seeing is so far the best version of Dick. He’s not distancing, trying to intimidate, or brooding. At this time we are beginning to see the guy with a heart who most of us are familiar with. It’s a step in the right direction even though we should all be realistic that this will be a progression to that point.
As the episode to follow the events of last week’s episode, it did feel right that this one was a bit quieter. This didn’t mean that there wasn’t action, but there was much more time put into character development over anything else. The right move when this is the episode that will set the tone for everything else to come. Let’s take Hank and Dawn for example. Of all of the original Titans, these two would be more likely than the rest to look for a normal life. We know already that this season will involve making the statement that normal is not an option, though regardless it was welcomed to see what normal looks like for a superhero duo and couple. It was both heartwarming and heartbreaking because obviously they struggle with the demons that they run away from, and run to.
Like any of those other things I mentioned above which we looked forward to, we also would have anticipated where this story for Slade Wilson and his kids begins to kick off. I’m personally not too familiar with either of them, so this was all new territory. As the title of this episode suggests, this week they have placed a spotlight on Rose. Quickly she grabbed my attention because she wasn’t your typical stray who you pick up reluctantly. It didn’t take too long to see what made her formidable, not too long after that to see what makes her special, and from there you got a good idea as to the kind of trouble she might bring with her. Especially when her family connections come with bad blood.
What caught me off guard was the storyline they decided to go with for Kory. I’m sure that most of us were looking forward to her meeting up with the other three and embracing being a superhero. However, that wasn’t what we saw from anything promotional for season two. This stirred up many questions wondering what she must be up to while everyone else is training or dealing with Deathstroke. We got our answer by the end of this episode, and I couldn’t argue with the direction they have taken when the next step would be to address who Kory was before Earth. This live-action adaptation was probably the first time where we were ever introduced to Starfire and she was not running away from her own people who were trying to kill her for her sister.
Speaking of Kory, the highlight of this episode for me was the team-up of Donna and Kory tracked down a rogue metahuman, Shimmer. Big surprise who that turned out to be since somehow many viewers knew this was coming before the episode even aired. For two who argued a lot the last time we saw them, their new dynamic was fun. It was also refreshing considering everyone else had some crap they were dealing with regarding others or each other. Their encounter with Shimmer was exciting when the time came. Great use of powers between all of them, and the choreography was smooth from beginning to end.
In general I’m in love with the fact that in one episode they have already introduced two metas as enemies. It will always be appreciated when every bad guy isn’t someone who is a copy of Dick.
Overall, I would say that Titans “Rose” gives us a bit more confidence in what this second season has to offer. More standout action scenes, deeper characters arcs, and cooler introductions for allies and villains alike. There was also a lot going on in this episode too. I found myself impressed that they got around to everyone and then some without pulling us in too many directions.