The popular DC comic featuring Raven, Starfire, Robin, and Beast Boy has its gritty live-action series currently streaming on HBO Max. With three seasons already in the can, we’re going to look back at the five best episodes of each season. Be warned, spoilers will be within each article, so if you’re waiting to binge-watch the series at a later date then I strongly suggest you stop reading here. Let’s get started with the first episode.
As any good pilot episode does, Titans give us a promising glimpse into the future of season one. The focus on Rachel/Raven’s powers was a good call as she’s arguably the most interesting character in the Titans universe. However, Anna Diop‘s Koriand’r/Starfire is another standout in this episode. While some could argue that her outfit makes her look like a high-class prostitute (I’m saying she is), her mysteriously waking up after a car crash and being chased by a group of Russians is compelling stuff. It helps that Anna Diop plays the situation well, the actress doesn’t have much dialogue in her opening sequence; however, she is able to effectively convey her emotions through body language and facial expressions. Dick Grayson being a psychopath is also a fun departure for the Robin character. It creates interesting layers surrounding his psyche and persona, and more importantly, his relationship with Batman becomes more complex. A good episode that strongly sets the stage for what’s to come.
Fresh off the “Destroyer of Worlds” rampage at the orphanage, the story of Raven’s darker being continues to be the most fascinating arc on the series thus far. While’s it’s not perfect, the questions surrounding her dark past continue to remain intriguing. Teagan Croft‘s performance has to be commended over the portrayal of the young Raven. It’s easy to slip and have the character go over the top with her double persona; however, Croft has done an excellent job of managing a grounded performance throughout the season thus far. She’s been able to showcase pain, anger, and a minor glimpse of happiness without it ever feeling or phony. However, the highlight of this episode was the introduction to the Doom Patrol. It was fun experiencing the different personalities of Rita, Cliff, and Larry. The storyline with the controlling Dr. Niles was solid, though it’s a shame that it was rushed since this was a one-episode arc. Either way, a good episode that opened the Titans world and advanced the important plot points of the season.
The storyline with The Organization has been a weird one but in a good way. We got more development here as Dr. Adamson finally explains his actions. Reed Birney is effectively creepy in his scene with Rachel and the high tension within the sequence is due to the writers nicely building up to the big moment. However, once the gang got into The Asylum then the episode was at its strongest. Robin’s issues with his past were put on full display and his sequence helped further dive deeper into his mental state. However, almost everyone was mentally challenged throughout their time in the Asylum, with Gar/Beast Boy feeding into his primal instincts, and Raven feeding into her darker side. It helped open up more questions about the characters and developed them at the same time. Koriand’r/Starfire walking out through the burning building was pretty cool, though the green screen was a little obvious.
Hank and Dawn
Surprise, surprise, Hank was your classic meathead jock who was raped as a little kid. The latest chapter of the Titans saga focused on the origin story of Hank and Dawn to great effect. While the story isn’t the most original, the purpose is to get a clear understanding of both characters and the writers did a great job in that aspect. The burden and pain that Hank carried with him through life following that horrific moment are well-displayed thanks to Alan Ritchson‘s performance. Minka Kelly‘s Dawn Granger had a solid introduction here, though the story was mostly about Hank so we didn’t get much of a chance to dig into her past.
Dick and Grayson
The Dark Knight has officially turned evil. Raven’s father has finally arrived and he’s picking apart the Titans one by one, starting with Dick. Of course, we knew that Dick’s storyline was fake from the offset; however, that didn’t make it less entertaining. Seeing Batman playing the bad guy was a fun distraction and a story that I wouldn’t mind seeing come to reality in future seasons. While the big bad (Raven’s father) wasn’t defeated, the season one finale still left excitement in the air for the next season.