DC Universe’s Titans season 1, episode 2 recap: Hawk and Dove

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In the Titans pilot episode, Dick Grayson took Rachel Roth under his protection and they headed to a safe place. We find out more about where Dick is taking Rachel and who his ‘friends’ are.

The second episode of Titans opens with Hank Hall/Hawk, played by Alan Ritchson, chained up and tortured by a group of gunrunners. They want information from Hawk, but instead of unmasking him (comic book logic), they decide to use knives and shears to threaten him.

He is saved in the nick of time by Dawn Granger/Dove (Minka Kelly) who takes out all but one of the thugs. That scene felt like it had as many F-bombs as The Wolf of Wall Street.

Following the rescue, Hank recuperates in his and Dawn’s apartment in Washington. He is battle-scarred, popping pills and injecting drugs to beat the pain.

Turns out he needs a hip replacement and the two of them have to shut down one more gun supply operation before they can quit this game for good. Dawn (wearing a Superman t-shirt) looks like she’s been quietly suffering through this same promise for a while.

When she gets a moment to herself, she reminisces about a mission four years ago. Hawk was healthy and the two of them were taking down a large gang. Part way through the fight, a fellow superhero swooped in to help – none other than the Boy Wonder, Robin (Brenton Thwaites).

From the conversation in the flashback, it is evident that Hawk and Dove aren’t the kind of company that Batman approves of, so Robin’s tryst with them is a secret. While the choreography of the fight scene is pacey, the fake blood splatter is laughable.

Robin in Titans episode 2

Back in the present, we see a photo of the three of them smiling together with an unknown woman. Who could she be?

In Ohio, Dick Grayson and Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft) are grabbing some coffee. He asks her how she killed the Acolyte in the pilot episode of Titans, but she isn’t able to answer.

Dick explains that he’s taking her to some friends of his who will give them a safe place to lie low for a while. ‘You’re scared, I get it,’ he says, ‘but, sometimes, there’s no time to be scared’.

They head to a motel and Dick scrolls through his phone to make a call. There are a few familiar names to spot for comic book fans, including Lucius Fox, Donna Troy, Bruce Wayne, and Dawn and Hank.

Dick finally settles on calling Alfred Pennyworth, the Wayne Manor butler and the man who practically raised Bruce following his parents’ deaths. Alfred doesn’t sound at all pleased to hear from Dick, which is, again, a departure from the comics.

Alfred has always rallied around the children in his life, even challenging Bruce’s harsh treatment of the Robins when the need arose. But lest we forget, this show is dark and gritty, so everyone is a loner in Titans.

In Detroit, Amy Rohrbach (Lindsay Gort) examines the body of the Acolyte with the medical examiner. It appears his organs burst all at once, but there is no explanation as to how. On the Acolyte’s back is a tattoo of a Raven (get it?).

Amy calls Dick asking where he’s gone, and he fends her off by saying he’s working a case. I’m not sure that’s how the police department works, Titans writers room. Amy explains that the uniform who had checked Rachel out of interrogation in the first episode was a fake and has turned up dead (Dick would know that, of course). He asks her to forward all the case information she has.

While Dick has gone to get pizza, Rachel uses Dick’s laptop to Google herself. She moves on to watching videos of the tragic night when Dick’s parents were killed when Rohrbach’s fax of the Acolyte case turns up, upsetting Rachel and her soul-self.

Dick returns to find Rachel in the bathtub, frantically reciting the Lord’s Prayer, surrounded by scraps of paper with crosses drawn on them. Teagan Croft is excellent in this scene, but why is there no urgency from Dick when he walks into the room to find an upturned chair and Rachel missing?

In St. Louis, Missouri, a family is going about their business like it’s still 1955. The teenaged kids play a board game, the Dad reads the paper, while the Mom busies herself in the kitchen. A mysterious man rings the bell and tells the father ‘you’re activated’ while handing him an image of Rachel. ‘She’s more dangerous than she looks.’

The father unlocks a cabinet full of injections that the family dutifully inject themselves with. The first place the Nuclear Family hit is Amy’s apartment. They brutally attack her demanding Dick Grayson’s location.

The Nuclear Family – Titans Ep. 102–Photo Credit: Steve Wilkie / ©2017 Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc. All Rights Reserved

Rachel and Dick are back in his car. He explains that the man she killed was part of a Doomsday cult intent on stopping the end of the world. Dick asks if Rachel knows anything about this, and she replies that when she was a child she was not allowed to get too angry or scared because ‘bad things would happen’.

She realizes she’s an orphan now and is afraid that Dick will leave her. He insists he won’t. He’s a liar.

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Dick brings Rachel to Dawn and Hank, even though he hasn’t spoken to them in four years. From the look on Dawn’s face when she sees him at the door, I’m guessing he didn’t call first, either.

Rachel shakes Dawn’s hand and sees flashes of Dawn and Dick together. That’s probably not something a little girl needs to see in her head.

Dick explains the situation to Dawn but she struggles to believe Rachel killed someone. She asks why Dick didn’t go to Bruce, to which he replies, ‘he’s no good with kids’. I am baffled by this comment, but then again, Titans doesn’t seem to care about the comic book characterizations of these people.

Dawn asks Dick to join Hank and her on their last job, but Dick is adamant that he is ‘out of the life’. Didn’t we see him brutally attack a child abuser in the pilot?

Hank sees them talking and immediately starts piling into Dick. Jealous much? Rachel confronts Dick about his past relationship with Dawn. When he tries to deflect she says it’s impossible to lie to her. Somehow Rachel knows that he hurt Dawn, but the writers don’t delve any deeper.

Dick leaves his secret Bat-mobile phone inside his locked case. To get to it, he needs to do a finger-print and ocular scan. Who’s going to stay on the line for that long? What if this was an actual emergency?

The person on the other end would be dead by the time he answered. Fortunately, it’s Alfred on the line and he’s got what Dick wants. A transfer of a sum of money that Dick hides in Hank and Dawn’s apartment.

Here’s what I don’t understand about the editing and writing in Titans. Alfred calls Dick on his mobile, but when Dick picks up he says, ‘It’s me’. Who else would it be? And then, when Dick picks up the money from the bank, the camera spends an extra few seconds trained on Dick’s face. Brenton Thwaites is not emoting anything special in those seconds – it just slows down the pace.

Rachel and Dawn return from shopping (because, women!) and they’re busy chatting about Game of Thrones, a show Rachel is too young to watch but enjoys all the same.

Dick is surprised by how chipper Rachel is, and Dawn explains she didn’t treat Rachel like a kid, which was apparently the magical ingredient to make the child smile again. Wow, how did Dick Grayson not know this? Is it because he isn’t a woman? This writing feels like it’s from the 50s.