Ooooooh boy, it’s that time again where a new episode of Titans is up on DC Universe! While last week’s episode of season 2 was able to kick off the new season by tying up loose plot threads (vis-a-vis Trigon and/or Rachel), episode two really sets the tone for its new story and characters — as well as the Titans’ new foe.
If you missed last week, you can check out my recap of the first episode of season 2 right here!
Alright. Off to the races we go!
Kicking it off with some Dick jokes
Sprawling shot of San Francisco, three months after what takes place in episode one. Dick and Rachel are getting coffee. After an awkward exchange with the person behind the counter and a bad mix-up with names, Rachel brings up that they should be discussing names for the team.
“It doesn’t matter what you’re called. It matters what you do,” Dick replies. “All it takes for evil to succeed is for good men and women to do nothing. That’s Titans. Good men and women not doing nothing.”
Look at our boy growing up and sounding a helluva lot like ol’ Bruce.
Who even bookmarks that kind of thing?
Back at Titans Tower, Gar and Jason are basically having a bro-off in the training room. Jason is blindfolded and is wielding a rattan stick while Gar is…being Gar with a rattan. Which may be a mistake when Jason makes sure that Gar is clear on the fact that Jason doesn’t want him to hold back at all. They proceed within training in what is, undoubtedly, a really killer — and well-choreographed — fight scene. Ultimately, Gar gives Jason a good whack on the back of the head and knocks off his blindfold after he’s been too busy flipping and carrying on — which Jason doesn’t take too kindly to. (Quelle surprise.)
Luckily, Rachel and Dick show back up to break up the nonsense. When prompted to tell them what the problem is, Jason asks why they have to wear the stupid blindfolds. Dick, sounding more like Bruce than ever, explains that in a fight a lot can be taken away — your eyes, your hands, your feet, your weapons — and that regardless of what it taken away, you have to find a way to beat it. (He does all of this while completely schooling everyone the room, obviously.)
As the rest of the team leaves, it’s revealed that Jason seems to have lost his privileges from the almighty Bruce Wayne, and that he’s been relegated to staying with the Titans until Bruce believes that he’s ready to come back to Gotham. (Apparently, taking joyrides in the Batmobile and using the Batcomputer to bookmark porn isn’t ideal for a Robin.) Jason gets irritated and tells Dick that the Titans are just a gang of sidekicks anyway, and asks why staying with the Titans is better than him going back to train as an actual sidekick. To quiet the fussy child, Dick offers Jason a chance to mentor some of the other Titans because of his experience as Robin, considering Dick doesn’t have that anymore. Jason seems fine with that, but, before Dick has a chance to leave, he asks “If you’re not Robin, then who are you?”
“That’s a good question,” Dick replies.
Dun dun DUNNNN! ANNNND TITLE SEQUENCE!
We come back to San Quentin State Prison, where a prisoner walks out of his cell to a hallway of dead prison guards, blood on the ceiling, and…well, he doesn’t seem too bothered. In fact he raises his arm — which burns with electric current — to steal the electricity from the lights. He notices a guard crawling away and follows him, only to shoot electricity out of his hands and pump the guard full of it.
A sudden scene jump to a farm shows Hank guiding someone on a horseback riding lesson. He joins Dawn up on their porch, exchanging lovey words and expressing their gratefulness for now living the quiet life in the country. Dawn mentions that she spoke to Dick and he’s invited them to come visit in San Francisco. Hank wants to go, but Dawn voices her concern for being around masked heroes again; especially in the city that’s full of partying, drugs, and vices that Hank has previously struggled with.
Jump once again to catch up with Kory walking around a big city. She delivers a box of donuts to a van full of surveillance equipment and…Donna Troy! They’re doing a stake-out to find Shimmer but — after ages of waiting to bust her — Donna seems to be growing impatient. (Looking for Shimmer hasn’t come up before, but yeah, let’s go with it.)
“Where I come from, it doesn’t really pay to get pissed off,” says Kory.
Donna asks Kory if she’s heard from Dick, and neither seem to have. Donna says she’s fine when Kory asks if she’s okay with not being contacted, and while Donna says yes the tension shifts as she tries to focus back on work instead.
Meanwhile, a young woman with a hoodie covering her silver hair and wearing a bloody gauze eyepatch watches a man get out of his car…for some reason.
More like The Art of Snore amiright?
Rachel’s barely staying awake trying to read Sun Tzu’s The Art of War. As soon as she nods off, a black force comes flowing out of her hands, encompassing her. She snaps awake and it’s completely gone; but she winces — raising her shirt to show three large claw marks across her side. A knock on the door has Gar coming into her room to give her some food and she hides the marks. She offers for him to stay and talk and Gar brings up that he’s noticed Dick trying to be extra nice to him because he feels badly for almost killing him. Rachel asks if it’s working, and Gar’s expression drops and he solemnly tells Rachel that it isn’t.
Their conversation gets interrupted, however, when there’s the sound of an entire calvary of police cars and helicopters come chasing down a car being driven by the silver-haired eye-patch girl from the previous scene. The girl is completely mowing down the police officers after she gets caught and — when cornered — she jumps off the top of the building and lands in an office. Dick, watching all of this on the news, leaves the Tower to find her.
Sex, drugs, and…marital tension…?
Back on Hank and Dawn’s farm, they’re enjoying a quiet night in front of the fire discussing the boy Hank had been teaching to ride earlier. Hank understands the boy’s struggle with getting off of drugs and Dawn is proud of Hank for taking on the responsibility of helping him. And then, erm…then they start gettin’ down by the fire.
Hank wakes up in the middle of the night and Dawn is not in bed. The scene shifts to a garage where a handful of men are cooking up drugs, only to have the lights shut off on them. One of the men leaves the garage to check the fuse box and…lets just say he doesn’t come back inside. The other men arm up just in time for Dawn (now in full Dove regalia) comes careening in to whoop all of them into paste on the ground. With one of the drug cooks still conscious, Dove makes him go to his phone and call in his own meth lab before knocking him out cold.
She returns home to Hank waiting for her. She admits to him that she’s been back at the superhero life for a month and that she destroyed the meth lab where Ellis’ friends “used” to cook. Hank is clearly concerned that Dawn is going out on her own, and even more concerned that Dawn is wanting to get back to crime fighting.
“We have no future with Hawk and Dove. No marriage. No kids. No life. We got lucky for a while and then that luck stopped. It’s too dangerous.”
Though the conversation is meant to be over, Dove tells Hank that they became Hawk and Dove to deal with pain. When it wasn’t enough, Hank turned to other means and it became too much. She has decided to go out on her own because she didn’t want him to risk a relapse. Hank gets angry with her and puts his foot down, insisting that they’re done. Before that can really set in though, Ellis walks into their house; lightening shooting from his eyes, building more and more until the house blows up.
Meanwhile, Dick has found our silver-haired girl passed out in a dumpster, covered in wounds, and brings her back to Titans Tower. Just as she begins to wake up, Dick gets a call from Hank letting him know that they’ve had a visit from Doctor Light. Dick offers for them to come to San Francisco and stay with the Titans; an offer that Hank begrudgingly accepts.
Elsewhere in the Titans Tower, the mysterious girl has left her recovery room and is trying to find a way to escape. The team confronts her, and Dick lets her know that while she has every freedom to leave the tower, whoever she is running from will be able to find her. She stays hardened against the idea of revealing her name or who she’s running from, despite Dick’s promise of safety among like-minded people and, eventually, tells Dick that she has to leave.
We. Are. Faaaaamily…!
Back in the van, Donna Troy and Kory are still staked out with the hopes of busting Shimmer. Donna is getting restless stuck in a van with Kory’s repetitive 1970s playlist and insists that they go out for something to eat.
That’s it. That’s the scene.
Jason Todd is kind of terrible reason #384687598763
Rachel, Gar, and Jason are all speculating what is happening with the conversation between Dick and the silver-haired girl.
“He’s giving her a job,” Jason says. “Dick can’t resist a stray.”
Gar remarks that he knew there would be new people on the team, but he didn’t know it would be so soon. Jason (being Jason) brings up the point that they don’t even know who she is or if she’s able to be trusted; but, of course, Rachel jumps in to empathize, saying that she’s a person who needs help. The discussion shifts to the idea of her being a metahuman, which gets brought up when Gar mentions that, while the eye she had been missing was still gone, the wound had already completely healed. Rachel takes a few more opportunities to dunk on Jason before they decide that there’re other ways to find out who she is — even if she’s not willing to talk yet.
Help me to help you; help me to help you
Rachel joins Dick in his very Bat-tech-cave to see how things went. Dick lets her know that the girl is still in her room, but she’s very intent on leaving. When Rachel pushes back to ask if anyone else gets a say, Dick reassures her that, while it’s troubling to have someone new enter their family, they need to trust each other to make the right calls. Rachel agrees, and lets Dick know she fully supports his decision to take her in — calling back to Jason’s comment by telling Dick that he “can’t resist a bird with a broken wing”.
“When you came to me, you wanted help,” Dick tells her. “She doesn’t.”
Rachel replies, “Maybe she doesn’t know it. Or won’t admit it. But she needs help and that’s what you’re good at.”
Aaaaand we’re back to Kory and Donna, both finally out of the van and walking the streets. Thank god.
Kory inquires about why it’s so important to catch Shimmer, which Donna takes as a perfect opportunity to make fun of how her name is Shimmer. Which is fair. But just as she makes her joke, Shimmer — who actually shimmers — comes walking down the street. Donna tells her that they’re taking her into custody and not to make it things more difficult.
But through the power of bad accents (and the ability to turn a nearby newspaper into a shard of glass to chuck at them), Shimmer tells Donna that “that’s what she does”.
A fight breaks out (duh), with Kory using her flame powers as Donna lassos Shimmer into submission. Kory just can’t help herself though and gets one last punch in before Shimmer is down for the count. All things considered, it’s all over very quickly.
Essentially the “Do You Love Me?” scene from Fiddler on the Roof
Bruce Wayne is lounging around at Wayne Manor doing Bruce Wayne things when he gets a phone call from Dick. Dick lets him know that he’s found the young woman, that she’s special, and that someone is trying to kill her. Bruce tells him to be patient despite her not wanting to be there, because that’s what he did with him and he’s done so well. He also tells Dick that finding out who she is will be an important step, because it’s difficult to work with no information. Dick, however, doesn’t feel right invading her privacy. All of the conversation revolves heavily around how Bruce chose to raise him, leading Dick to ask him if he’d do it again if given the choice.
“Would you take me in again? Devote all of that time and energy for someone who doesn’t want to be there?”
“I would do everything exactly the same,” replies Bruce.
Taco Truck Trouble!
We jump back to Donna and Kory who are leading Shimmer and her bad accent into a police van. Donna makes a joke to Shimmer about her name, before Shimmer assures her that they’ll meet again. With Shimmer out of the way, Donna takes a call from Roy Harper and agrees to meet Kory at a nearby taco truck afterwards. While Donna is on her call, Kory is on her way to get them tacos when a stranger says hello to her. His eyes flash green before letting her know that her lack of enthusiasm is unwelcome, considering how far he came for her. As Kory looks around to see if there are any others, the man zaps her with a small Tamaranian device that knocks her out.
Done with her phone call, Donna walks to the truck and looks around for Kory when she gets a call from Dove letting her know that they’re in trouble.
Two eyes, full hearts, can’t lose!
Dick comes out of a coffee shop and gets into the car where the silver-haired girl is waiting for him. As they begin driving, Dick tells her that he’s taking the wrong direction because he’s seeing if they’re being followed. She gets upset and assures him that she’ll be fine on her own. He apologizes for overstepping his boundaries by keeping her at the Tower, and taking her off the street without her knowing, but reminds her that being special and alone doesn’t work — a lesson that the other Titans have also had to learn.
He drops the spiel just as they pull up to a station of some sort. Dick offers her a cell phone with his number programmed in and asks for her to call if she’s ever ready to utilize their help. She finally tells Dick that her name is Rose just before looking in the back of the car to find a light glowing larger and larger. Dick grabs her out of the car and throws her out of the way, before the car explodes and they recoup while hiding behind another vehicle.
Meanwhile, just as Rose was about to leave, across town the other Titans have begun a Batcomputer search of her background — revealing her as Rose Wilson, daughter of Slade Wilson. Jason looks shocked at the name and — prompted by a confused Gar — reveals that they have been housing the daughter of Deathstroke.
And that concludes the second episode of season 2 of Titans. Make sure to check back next week for a recap of the third episode!