Titans- Ep. 3- “Origins”: A Review

Posted: 10/31/2018 in Uncategorized

The feeling of everything coming together gets due traction with this latest run. The episode was Koriand’r/Rachel centric and delivered assuredly. The “Nuclear Family” run gets deeper delving and a firmer introduction of the eventual nemesis lurking in the shadows. We get another glimpse of Gar Logan/Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) and his look was very comic book accurate. His interaction with Rachel though brief holds the promise of something more. My review follows below.

Dawn Granger/Dove (Mika Kelly) miraculously survived her fall but is mortally injured. What could have been an overwrought performance featuring Hank Hall/Hawk (Alan Ritchson) instead played in remarkably, and perfectly presented, understated fashion. Hall is focused on Dawn’s survival and his query about who or what was chasing Rachel (Tegan Croft) was genuine. Blame and anger will assuredly occur later, but for now there is only pain. Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites) goes into full detective mode and we get a sizeable taste of backstory including some moments of his youth in which he rebelled against his new situation, namely his adoption by Bruce Wayne/Batman. The  moments of his ‘acting up’ are framed by intimations of Wayne’s presence. Dick’s admitting to Detective Jessica Perez (Liza Colon-Zayas) that he wasn’t “running’, he was simply beginning to determine who killed his parents is later perfectly framed by a promise from the Dark Knight to young Grayson offering a manner of dealing with his pain and channelling it.

The present arc features Rachel in jeopardy at the hands of the Nuclear Family. A gas station stop allows for the intersection of Rachel’s path with Kory’s (Anna Diop). While I am still not digging the amnesiac on a mission angle, I cannot deny that Diop brings a certain level of fire to the role, literally and metaphorically. Her easily eliminating the ‘father’ of the family is followed by later moments of bad assery at a local diner. The connection between Rachel and Kory plays well with each allowing for their inner motivations, one of light and one of dark. Teagan Croft continues to shine with her stellar performance. There are moments in which she is very much a kid, via her moments with Kory and a later brief meeting with Gar. Other moments she is self aware and terribly so. She knows at heart something is wrong at her core but recognises on occasion that this ‘wrong-ness’ must be accessed for her protection and freedom.

The duo, Kory and Rachel, becoming a trio, via their being tracked down by Dick, which brings together the core of the group that will become the Titans. Thwaites’ interactions with Rachel continue to deliver as he has been where she is…to a degree… and as such empathises on a deep personal level with any child in jeopardy. Rachel is wounded by his essentially abandoning her but there again recognises his good intentions. At this point, the moments between Dick and Kory are terse and it remains to be seen where their story will play out and if it will be remotely close to the source material. Rachel’s earlier attempt to read Kory being unsuccessful does push toward the conclusion that her current saviour isn’t human The link between the two women going back a year keeps the mystery aspect of the series duly interesting.

No good comes from sickly sweet nuns on most series…superhero genre included. Kory reconnecting Rachel with her former guardians doesn’t play anything but false. This story line thankfully does not linger long, nor does it fall into the trap of potential exorcisms or other horror based fare. Rachel’s on the run sequence with requisite billowing flame is a cool segment though.

Ultimately, the series at this point is well acted and successful in linking various characters to one central figure. As it is in the source material, so it is with the series. Titans is dark, brooding, mysterious, but above everything- very damn good.

 

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