This Titans review contains spoilers.
Titans Season 2 Episode 12
This week’s Titans, titled “Faux-Hawk,” involves a teenage impostor who briefly picks up the mantle left behind by strung-out Hank — but it’s the show itself that fakes us out by stringing along the reveal of the Nightwing costume. Still, this episode is overall an enjoyable, if drawn out, tale while our team is slowly regrouping.
As Dick’s jailbird graffiti confirmed last week, Jericho is indeed alive — but stuck inside Slade’s head. What’s more, Daddy Deathstroke wants to keep him in there, despite the boy’s attempt to kill off his pop. This doesn’t strike me as entirely in character for Deathstroke, but perhaps his grief and appetite for vengeance against Dick has justified keeping his boy locked up for five years.
With Dick hip to the scheme, confirmed by Adeline, he does what any reborn hero should — he visits the super tailor for a new suit. The introduction of Stu’s Handmade Shoes and Stu, who is more of a fruitcake man and is pretty peeved about the destruction of the Robin suit, is an excellent addition to the Titans universe.
The DCU version of Edna Mode is handled with the quirky humor that Titans has allowed itself to enjoy more this season. And of course Bruce has phoned ahead with costume designs because he knows his former sidekick just that well.
Unfortunately the episode stops short of showing the suit, or letting Dick don the duds. So we’ll have to wait for next week’s season finale.
While Dick is discovering his new suit, Hank lost his old one — and pretty much lost his way. Rather than dwell on the depths of addiction, we see Hank kind of loving it. He seems to be having a great time kicking butt in cage matches in between snorting dope. But all is not well. He is haunted by dreams of Dawn.
The dark humor of Hank’s descent is well played, and a nice twist on the typical addiction story. Hank’s random hook-up is pathetic, and pained. And even a hairy dude doing laundry in his undies judges his former favorite Titan for becoming a junky. That is only trumped by the fact a 16 year-old simply bought the Hawk costume while Hank was high.
While the boys were flying solo in this ep, the women of Titans were teaming up. The bickering Kory/Rachel dynamic works well. Teagan Croft is delivering a better performance the second half of the season, and is simply being given better material to act with. Plus, I love seeing Kory get salty with her space witch little sis, and claiming to be an adult when she’s been the one falling apart.
Conversely, Donna and Dawn should get more side adventures. I think this is my new favorite power couple on Titans as they use their sex appeal to easily gain access to the Cadmus suit. There’s no doubt that Wonder Girl has the best accessory on this show, and the women call it right out while doing a little bondage/interrogation.
There’s no sign of Conner this week, but during the interrogation we learn he’s been getting his brain scrambled alongside poor Gar. Mercy’s mission to turn our friendly tiger into a killing machine is working far too well, and she has taken him public — with the result being Cadmus gets to call the shots on security measures. Want to bet “Security” wears a black tee with a big red “S” on it?
Like Croft, Ryan Potter is getting some meaty story to chew on these last few episodes, and it’s effective, and frankly hard, to see him become the monster he used to fear he was. This character is going to be pretty broken when Mercy is done with him.
The final thing to discuss is Rose, and Jason. Now that Jason has opened up, and allowed himself to be vulnerable, if all goes to hell when his girlfriend reveals she’s been in cahoots with Slade. Although, I get it that Jason is young, and inexperienced, but the boy tries waaaaaay too hard to please.
Rose is an odd fit in in Titans, and everything about her story this season has felt forced, and two-dimensional. At first I believed it was because she was an angry kid, but the character herself is not clicking. Now that we’re this far along in the season, it feels too late to cram in a backstory to make us care. However, if I do some character gymnastics, her scheme with Slade might explain why she’s been largely nonplussed all season with the activities happening around her. She was just playing a part.
But her lady Deathstroke/Ravager mask is just bad. For a series that has done a consistently excellent job on its super suits, this is ill-fitting, and cheap looking. Yes, it is better than the version we saw in Arrow Season 2, but not by much.
Aaron Sagers is a freelance contributor. Read more of his work here.