Titans Season 3, Episode 9 recap: Of afterlives and Amazons

Teagan Croft in Titans Season 3, Episode 9 - Photograph by Ben Mark Holzberg/HBO Max
Teagan Croft in Titans Season 3, Episode 9 - Photograph by Ben Mark Holzberg/HBO Max /

In Titans Season 3, Episode 9, “Souls,” we take a trip to the afterlife with Tim Drake and Donna Troy. But there’s a pleasant surprise waiting for them. The HBO Max show has been on high intensity for the first eight episodes, and this installment goes in a completely different direction. And honestly, we needed it.

The plot of this episode focuses on death, opening on the imminent demise of Bruce Wayne himself. Bruce has got his will ready and prepared his estate. This is a man who has given up on life. Bruce opens the story, but Titans moves swiftly away to a destination we have been waiting to see—Themyscira. But worry not, we’ll see Bruce again.

Titans Season 3, Episode 9 – Result determined

Titans Season 3, Episode 9
Teagan Croft in Titans Season 3, Episode 9 – Photograph by Ben Mark Holzberg/HBO Max /

Rachel Roth/Raven (Teagan Croft) has been working with the Amazons on Themyscira for months. Her mission in Titans Season 3, Episode 9—resurrect her friend, Donna Troy. The Amazons have a long-established ritual for this process. It requires patience, concentration, and most importantly, the ability to follow the rules. Rachel can’t do any of that.

Rachel is impatient to get her friend back. She’s also tired of training so hard with the Amazons when there’s nothing to do with the training. Rachel chafes against the rules and demands whenever she has the opportunity. But eventually, the young Titan goes too far.

Rachel sneaks into the room with Donna’s body and uses her dark powers, unsuccessfully, thus disrupting the ritual. The Amazons aren’t pleased. Though Rachel’s only friend among the Amazons promises to take Rachel in hand, the Amazon leader will hear nothing of it. Instead, she proposes a test for Rachel.

It’s a seemingly simple test, which surprises Rachel, who expects to be thrown in a pit somewhere. But the Amazons are much more civilized than that. The test requires the reconstruction of a stone sculpture-like rebuilding a soul. It looks easy, and Rachel is confident she’ll complete it with ease. But the stones keep falling.

While Rachel tries to complete the test, the Amazon leader tells Rachel about her own daughter, who had died. The Amazons attempted to resurrect her, but the ritual didn’t work. Rachel is sorry to hear this, but she is determined they can bring Donna back until the leader asks Rachel why she wants Donna back. To have her friend back, or because it’s what Donna would have wanted?

This isn’t a question Rachel thinks about much until a whole day later when she fails the test again. As the stones fall around her, Rachel comes to a stunning realization—Donna is gone, and nothing Rachel can do will bring her back.

That was the whole point of the test. A heartbroken Rachel packs up her things, ready to leave. But she might just have to wait a little bit more.

Titans Season 3, Episode 9 – Train to nowhere

The last we saw of Tim Drake, he had been shot by Scarecrow and was dying. In Titans Season 3 Episode 9, Tim awakens to find himself on a train. How did he get here? Why is everything black and white? Where is he headed?

The conductor has few answers for Tim, but he is very insistent Tim come with him. Apparently, Tim’s stop is coming up soon. Tim has no idea what all that means, so he pushes the conductor away and bolts. This shakes someone else out of their reverie on the train—Donna Troy.

Donna doesn’t know Tim, but she understands his confusion. She felt the same way when she found herself on the train. This is where the dead come before they cross over to the “other side.”

Tim is not happy to find out he died. It doesn’t help that he can’t remember how he died. He wants off. Tim finds a door off the train and escapes.

This was not part of Donna’s plan, but the former Wonder Girl can’t help but assist a terrified boy. Donna follows Tim out into the snow.

And then things get bad—Dark ninja-like creatures accost Tim and Donna. And they emit some kind of power that starts sucking Donna and Tim’s souls. Donna tries to protect Tim, who appears to be their primary target, but she isn’t immune to these creatures either.

Donna and Tim manage to run, but they can’t run for long. Fortunately, a car arrives, blasting Bon Jovi. The train escapees leap into the car to find their savior—Hank Hall!

Hank explains that the creatures in the forest were ghouls. They attack anyone who leaves the train. Succumbing to them means a one-way trip to Hades, aka the underworld. Yikes!

But Hank has a place they can lay low and get some food and drink. He’s already got the lay of the land despite not being in the afterlife for very long. This is great because Donna doesn’t really know anything beyond the train. And Tim? He’s terrified out of his mind. Poor lad.

Titans Season 3, Episode 9 – Bridge of hope

Titans Season 3, Episode 9
Iain Glen in Titans Season 3, Episode 9 – Photograph by Ben Mark Holzberg/HBO Max /

But even in their hideout in Titans Season 3 Episode 9, they’re attacked by ghouls until Hank produces two guns and takes the ghouls out. Where did he get those?

According to Hank, things work a little differently in the afterlife. If you want something very much, it appears. Neither Donna nor Tim believes this. But there’s more news that Hank has to share. Apparently, there’s a way back to life. A bridge, accessed via an upside-down tree—of course—can help them get home.

Tim, who finally remembers what happened to him, is desperate to return. And he believes that Hank and Donna can help him—they’re Hawk and Wonder Girl, after all. Hank also wants to return—he wants revenge on Jason Todd for murdering him. Donna doesn’t think that’s a good idea.

That might be because Donna doesn’t want to return. Unlike Hank, who died in a blaze of glory, Donna was killed in a carnival. It was unceremonious. Donna doesn’t see any point in going back to that kind of world.

But Tim won’t stand for it. Hank and Donna are heroes, his heroes. They have to go with him. So, off to the bridge they go. Unfortunately, the trio is attacked by ghouls on the bridge. Hank tries to summon his guns but ends up with Dick Grayson/Robin’s shuriken and then with one nunchuck. What a bother.

Donna struggles, as well, ending up with cream soda bottles. Until she finally gets her sword, and eventually, Wonder Girl’s Lasso of Persuasion. Hank and Donna manage to take down a fair number of the ghouls, but they keep on coming. When the bridge breaks, Hank and Tim end up on the wrong side.

Tim jumps across with a huge assist from Donna’s lasso. Hank, unfortunately, remains behind to keep the ghouls at bay. Once Donna and Tim cross the bridge, the afterlife becomes more colorful, and Tim starts disappearing. Until Tim wakes up in the hospital, still bleeding but alive.

Donna finds herself in Bruce’s castle and finds the place engulfed in flame. Bruce is unconscious, but Donna carries him to safety. When Bruce comes to, he’s sure he’s dead. But he isn’t and now, neither is Donna.

Back in the afterlife, Hank is understandably upset. But that’s about to change. Someone calls Hank’s name, and he looks up to find his brother, Don/ Dove (Elliot Knight). Hank and Don had their ups and downs as brothers, but they loved each other enough to become heroes together. Losing Don broke Hank until he met Dawn Granger.

Now in the afterlife, the brothers are united. Don is Dove again, helping the souls in the afterlife fight the ghouls. As in life, so in death, Dove and Hawk are going to be heroes. Though Hank would like a word about the order of their names first.

Final Thoughts – Titans Season 3, Episode 9 is a much-needed breather episode

I adored Titans Season 3 Episode 9. I love the atmosphere. I love the humor. I loved seeing Donna’s journey. I loved seeing Hank one last time and knowing that he had found peace with his brother.

I would have liked this episode to have come in a bit earlier in the season. It’s been dark and intense for eight episodes, and this lighter, albeit more philosophical episode, would have been a great way to break the tension.

Having said that, this episode was a delight, like Supernatural with superheroes. I can’t wait to see what Donna and Rachel do once they return to the Titans. Scarecrow, watch out!

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What did you think of Titans Season 3 Episode 9? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.

Titans Season 3 is streaming weekly on HBO Max.