The Latest Season Of ‘Titans’ Breathes New Life Into The Series – Review
Titans has come a long way since its debut in 2018 and perhaps the move to HBO Max is responsible. Along with a higher budget, and perhaps more trust in the world Titans exists in, season three ushers in a new dawn for the fledgling show.
At the end of the second season, our heroes have been left with unresolved issues or are beginning new journeys, many of which involve their family, biological or chosen. Raven seeks help from the Amazons of Themyscira to revive Donna. Superboy (Joshua Orpin) is still struggling with his identity and the fact that he is a clone of Superman and Lex Luthor. Hawk (Alan Ritchson) and Dove (Minka Kelly) are keeping out of the hero business. Starfire (Anna Diop) is having weird visions. Nightwing (Brenton Thwaites) is once again, dealing with “family” issues. And plenty more troubles plague our heroes, with more to come.
With only the first five episodes of the new season made available to us, it is clear to see that there is a ton of growth the series has undergone, both on-screen and off. The third season kicks off with the Titans up against a new but familiar threat in one of their former teammates, Jason Todd (Curran Walters). This character is one of the elements that has undergone improvement, as the writers develop Jason’s character especially his bond with the team for when his inevitable turn to Red Hood happens, it feels earned. In addition to the superb writing, Walters does a stellar job of playing a menacing antagonist. These first few episodes spend a lot of time showing us how Jason becomes Red Hood, and Walters gives it his all.
Moving over to another Bat Family member, Brenton Thwaites’ Dick Grayson a.k.a. Nightwing continues to develop in interesting ways, so much so, that the character development almost warrants its own show. In all three seasons, Grayson has been a focal point, primarily revolving around him stepping out of Batman’s shadow. With Jason Todd taking on the role of this season’s antagonist, more light is shed upon Bruce Wayne’s makeshift vigilante chosen family. That being said, season three expands the Bat Family by introducing us to Titans’ version of Barbara Gordon (Savannah Welch). Her arc in these first few episodes is captivating and provides a new perspective to what it’s like being involved with the Bat Family, as well as being romantically entangled with one of them.
Meanwhile, Diop’s Starfire continues to impress. This season, we see Starfire taking on a leadership role that suits her as well as her new costume which is, dare I say it, fire. There is more to see with her and her sister Blackfire (Damaris Lewis), which is set up to be developed past the first five episodes. However, with the Gotham/Bat Family-centric narrative other characters, including Starfire and Blackfire, seems to be an afterthought. Lewis is an excellent addition to the show and pairs nicely with Diop’s portrayal of Starfire. Hopefully, the latter half of the season does these characters and actresses justice.
This latest season has its fair share of shocking moments as it maintains its dark and edgy atmosphere, but there are moments of levity that create a nice balance. The moments of comedy or lighthearted superheroes come from Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) and Superboy. Many fans of the animated Teen Titans series will enjoy Potter’s portrayal as it is very much in the spirit of our favourite animal-friendly hero. Potter works well opposite Orpin, with the two characters being powerful in their own right here’s still a lighthearted innocence about them because they haven’t had to go through nearly as much as the other heroes (yet). Once again, Hawk and Dove continue to anchor the series with their romantic pairing. Ritchson and Kelly’s chemistry continues to be unmatched and they have some incredible moments this season, especially Ritchson who delivers some of his best acting thus far.
Overall, this season is off to a great start. Many interesting narrative threads have crossed over from the previous season and the resolutions to those are just as promising as the start of new drama this season. The series continues to impress as it opts to grow and mature with each season. However, the show may be a tad bit too Bat Family oriented, and will probably be served best with an expanded TV universe at HBO Max. These characters need to be given more room to grow as well as expand upon their individual storylines. Other than those constrictions, the series is fun and riveting television with great action, a fantastic cast and thrilling storytelling.