This Titans review contains spoilers.
Titans Season 2 Episode 10
The Dick Grayson self-flagellation tour continues in “Fallen,” a solid bit of storytelling for the Titans season 2’s tenth episode, even if it is also somewhat overwrought.
First up, mopey, self-loathing Dick Grayson is a drag, and wears thin. But Brenton Thwaites does a great job at it, and I entirely believe Dick’s destructive “Hero No More” arc. He doesn’t just want to pay for his sins against Jericho, and the Titans, he wants to die—but it has to be by someone else’s hands. Dick outright goads his new roomies to bump him off.
The whole affair inside Kane County Detention Center borders on being a bore, but the superhero behind bars is a well-tread, yet enjoyable, trope. What I found amusing, however, was how Bruce Wayne’s name didn’t come up once. Sure, the guard wanted to be Detective Dick’s BFF in exchange for being his eyes, and ears, but you’d think he’d also want to cash in on the ward of a billionaire.
Following his non-interventionist phase, it would seem Nightwing is finally on the way—and will apparently be inspired by the etching on the prison wall. Dick emerges from the shadows and delivers a swift beat down of abusive guards. A bird in the night saves the wrongly incarcerated refugees.
And yet, while Dick is being selfish about his desire for punishment, everything continues to go to hell in San Francisco. Hank, Dawn, and Kory are absent this week, but Donna is roaming San Francisco searching for Rachel.
And Rachel has been busy.
Mastering her powers must have occurred between episodes, but whatever, because they are put to impressive effect. Even though Rachel feels like an outcast and misfit, she’s also a teen. And she meets another teen, who is also an outcast. Their budding friendship feels a little forced initially, but the payoff is satisfying. And the effects look cool, leaving me to want more from Raven. Although I wish we could have had these moments earlier in the season rather than Rachel being underused this entire time.
The lingering question is whether she intentionally animated the gargoyle to kill the abusive partner, or if her powers acted on their own. Whichever it is, this not-so-subtly serves as a reminder of why the Titans are necessary. Between this and Conner’s outburst, San Fran is getting trashed by super teens.
Speaking of Superboy, he tries the hang-dog act—and also wants to sacrifice himself—even doing the classic “go away, dumb dog, I don’t want you anymore” bit on Krypto (who is a very good boy, and not at all dumb). While very wrong about Krypto, Conner is kind of correct that Gar was so fast to make him a Titan because that’s what the beast boy wanted, not the clone.
(As an aside, I understand the series is Titans and not Titans and the Super Friends. But I find it difficult to reconcile how Superman wouldn’t already be on the scene after Conner’s attack. You’d think he’d want to know about a kid with his powers. Maybe he’s off world – with Bruce, who didn’t notice his adopted son was just locked up.)
For his part, Gar gets a lot of good moments in “Fallen.” Like Rachel, he has been underused this season, but here he has some strong action moments, and we see him in tiger mode, then he goes toe-to-toe against Mercy.
Although Mercy might be the MVP of the week. I must admit I was surprised to find Lex’s right-hand also has a family, and goes on road trips, and is such a soccer mom type who doesn’t want the kids on their smartphones all the time. The opening scene is a quirky character moment that becomes all the more compelling when juxtaposed with Mercy’s evil ways. But she puts those maternal skills to use to easily manipulate poor Conner.
Setting aside the fact that Cadmus found Titans HQ way too easily, the fight sequence where Gar, Conner, and Krypto take out the goon squad is thrilling (Titans continues to do an excellent job showing off the powers). But as bone crunching as the scene is, it is nothing compared to the Mercy’s heartbreaking treatment of Conner, who just needs some of his own parenting.
Despite some hand wringing with Mr. Grayson, “Fallen” is enjoyable. But I am going to sound the narrative claxon one more time before I go: With so many threads, and continued pacing problems, how is Titans going to wrap up most of what’s going on before the finale?
Aaron Sagers is a freelance contributor. Read more of his work here.