DC Universe's Titans TV series is back - and the Titans season 2 premiere raises a lot of key questions for the future. The first season was remarkably disjointed, in large part a result of extensive reshoots, and it ended with an abrupt cliffhanger in which Dick Grayson fell under Trigon's influence and the demonic entity prepared to eat the world.
The Titans season 2 premiere acts as something of reset. Half the episode is dedicated to resolving the Trigon plot, and the other half serves as setup for what's to come. That means Trigon, the big bad of the entire first season, is dealt with at remarkable speed. From there, the show heads to stately Wayne Manor to introduce Iain Glenn's Bruce Wayne, before Dick Grayson and his team head off to San Francisco to reform the Titans.
The transition in tone and style is quite jarring. It's clear that Titans has picked up on the criticism that season 1 went overkill on the darkness and violence, and is attempting to carry out something of a course-correction. But how did it go? Let's explore all the key questions about the Titans season 2 premiere.
13. How Was Trigon Unleashed?
Although Rachel had drawn Trigon into the world, he wasn't truly free until her heart was broken and even she fell under his influence. Trigon did this by making Rachel face a horrific reality in which she watched her friends - specifically her trusted mentor, Dick Grayson - murder Beast Boy. It was only then that Trigon could step out of the haunted house in Ohio, and begin to extend his destructive influence across the entire planet. That seems to have manifested as a point source of corruption that was utterly inimical to life, and resulted in the deaths of all birds and vegetation as Trigon's power grew.
12. How Was Raven Freed From Trigon?
Fortunately for the world, the Titans season 2 premiere revealed that Trigon had made one major miscalculation; he'd failed to realize that Beast Boy isn't so easy to kill. It may be that Dick Grayson retained enough self-control not to kill him; it's more likely that Beast Boy's shapeshifting ability means he can survive physical injuries like a broken neck. When Raven realized her friend was still alive, it broke Trigon's influence over her.
11. Why Did Raven Need To Free Dick Grayson?
Before Rachel could take on Trigon, she first had to free Dick Grayson from Trigon's control. There was a logical (if, frankly, poorly-explained) reason for this; if she was to beat her father, she had to believe that human nature itself had some innate goodness that could defeat the darkness. Rachel used her empathic powers to enter Dick Grayson's nightmare world, in which he had killed Batman, and to help him break out of it. This gave Rachel the confidence to believe that Trigon could be resisted.
10. How Did Raven Beat Trigon?
Inspired with hope to believe that Trigon could be defeated, Rachel used her powers against him. It was unclear quite how she pulled this off, or even what she did; it's reasonable to assume Trigon isn't really dead, but instead has been forced back into his own dimension. It looks as though Trigon could remain free on Earth so long as Rachel's heart was broken. Disturbingly, that does mean that Trigon could come back at any time. So long as Rachel is happy, and around her friends, Trigon has no access. But all she needs is a single moment of despair, and he can begin to influence the world again.
9. Why Did Raven Send Hawk And Dove To Find Jason Todd?
The transition from Titans season 1 to the Titans season 2 premiere is pretty jarring, not least because it leaves Hawk and Dove's entire arc unresolved. The first season saw Dove put in a coma by Trigon's agents; Rachel awoke her from it in order to get Hawk and Dove to pick up Jason Todd. The problem is that all three characters were pretty much irrelevant to the Trigon plot's resolution, and only Jason stuck around to join the Titans afterwards.
8. Has Titans Just Retconned The Team's History?
The Titans season 2 premiere rewrites the show's history, revealing that the first generation of the Titans assembled years ago - and consisted of Robin, Donna Troy, Hawk and Dove. They were based in San Francisco, in a building donated by Bruce Wayne himself. All this contradicts Titans season 1, which strongly implied that Hawk and Dove had crossed paths with Dick Grayson in Gotham City, and that Batman had actually disapproved of Robin's alliance with the two street-level vigilantes.
7. Just How Many People Know Batman's Secret Identity?
The comics have always treated Batman's secret identity as something of a joke; although the Dark Knight insists he keeps his real name a closely guarded secret, the fact remains that a lot of his allies seem to know who he really is. That appears to be the case in Titans as well, given the Titans season 2 finale opens with the news that Batman has headed off to the other side of the planet with the Justice League - and he's taken his butler, Alfred, with him. Furthermore, it's surely just a matter of time before one of the Titans realizes the connection between Dick Grayson and Jason Todd, the two iterations of Robin, especially now they're based in a building owned by Bruce Wayne. This is hardly the world's best-kept secret.
6. Since When Did Alfred Travel With The Justice League?
Of course, that raises the obvious question; since when has Alfred Pennyworth accompanied the Justice League on missions across the world? The Titans season 2 premiere suggests that Alfred is far more than Batman's "Man in the Chair", but instead is an active associate of the Justice League in his own right.
5. What Has Happened To Dick Grayson's Job In Detroit?
Has Dick Grayson decided to quit the police force altogether, or has Titans simply forgotten that he was ever a detective in the first place? Titans season 1 opened on Dick's first day as a detective in the Detroit PD, but he promptly skipped town and began to go cross-country with Rachel without any comment from his superiors. The Titans season 2 premiere sees Dick take the new Titans to San Francisco to settle in the old Titans Tower, presumably meaning he's going to be living there, too. It will be interesting to see whether the show ever remembers Dick Grayson is supposed to have a job that he's worked hard to get.
4. Why Did Deathstroke Come Out Of Retirement?
The Titans season 2 premiere unveils its version of Deathstroke, played by Esai Morales. He comes out of retirement the moment he learns that the Titans are back, clearly implying he has a history with the team. That may be the real reason Titans has retconned the team's history; it gives Deathstroke a personal vendetta. In the comics, Deathstroke targeted the Titans in order to fulfill a contract taken up by his assassin son, and that was the beginning of a long-lived enmity. It's possible there'll be a similar arc here.
3. Was Deathstroke Living Next Door To Rachel's Mom?
Deathstroke learns about the Titans because he happens to see them on the news. Amusingly, this is a local news broadcast, which means he'd happened to retire to Ohio State. Given both Angela and Deathstroke had attempted to hide themselves away from the world, it's even possible that they were actually neighbors.
2. How Bad Are The Ohio Press?
For their part, the Ohio press don't seem to be particularly good at their job. The reporters claim that only birds died in the mysterious phenomenon, ignoring both Rachel's mom, Angela - whose neck was casually snapped - and a local cop whose body would have been found inside the house as well. Amusingly, they also claim that a group of masked adventurers saved the day, which is more than a little odd given Jason Todd is literally the only one in the Titans season 2 premiere who's wearing his costume. It's safe to assume that this inaccuracy is related to the substantial reshoots.
1. What Happened To Starfire Being Wanted By The FBI?
Finally, another Titans season 1 plot appears to have been forgotten. Starfire was actually wanted by the FBI for numerous acts of homicide in season 1, but she doesn't seem worried to hang around the haunted house when the police arrive. It's clear that this is another plot that's being dropped, reinforcing the sense that the Titans season 2 premiere should really be seen as a reset.