The latest episode of DC Universe's Titans brings the team into conflict with Deathstroke and Dr. Light - and raises curious questions about the team's history. Titans season 2 has been a dramatic improvement from the first season, in large part because the show has picked up much more skilled directors. Titans season 2, episode 3, is directed by Kevin Tancharoen (Agents of SHIELD, The Flash, Arrow), and he does a solid job advancing the plot and developing the central characters.
The Titans have gathered in San Francisco, and they're soon caught up in a deadly game of cat-and-mouse with Dr. Light. The Titans don't realize that Dr. Light has been freed by Deathstroke, and as a result they have no idea that they're out of their depth Events take a dangerous turn when Robin and Beast Boy decide to take down Dr. Light on their own - and fall into Deathstroke's trap.
Titans season 2 has retconned the team's history, revealing that this is the second generation of the superhero group. This latest episode suggests that they broke up due to tragedy - and raises a lot of ominous questions about Deathstroke's involvement in the end of the original Titans.
10. What Happened To The Original Titans?
Titans season 2, episode 3 hints that the team disbanded after one of the Titans was killed by Deathstroke. It seems to suggest that Dick Grayson was leader of the original Titans, and that his team wound up in something of a grudge match against Deathstroke. Dick made some particularly poor judgment calls, with tragic consequences; Donna claims that there are "ghosts" in Titans Tower, and her mournful tone suggests this should be taken to refer to someone being killed. The Titans believed they won against Deathstroke in the end - in fact, dialogue in Titans season 2, episode 3 suggests they thought Deathstroke was killed - and they then disbanded.
9. What Happened To Deathstroke's Son, Jericho?
But who was Deathstroke's victim? Titans season 2, episode 3 reveals that Rose came to San Francisco hunting down her father, who she blamed for killing her brother Jericho. In the comics, Jericho was actually a member of the Titans, a mute who communicated with the use of visuals rather than thought and speech balloons. He joined the Titans when he learned they'd been targeted by his father, but was tragically possessed by demons and killed by Deathstroke. It's reasonable to assume Jericho's Titans backstory is a little different - the demons that possessed him were tied to Raven - but something similar could well have happened.
8. Was Aqualad Killed By Deathstroke?
Another candidate is Aqualad, who's been name-dropped as a member of the original Titans but has yet to make his small-screen debut. Drew Van Acker has been cast as Aqualad, who will be the focus of the next episode. The clips appear to be flashbacks, given Donna Troy is visible in the background in a costume she doesn't wear in the present. That's concerning, and suggests that Aqualad's absence may mean he's a part of the Titans' past, but not their present; he could well be the one murdered by Deathstroke.
7. How Long Have The Titans Been Disbanded?
Dialogue in Titans season 2, episode 3 hints that the team has only been disbanded for a few years. Dr. Light was an enemy of the original Titans, and he claimed to have been imprisoned for the last five years. The Titans must have disbanded sometime in that five-year period, but the exact amount of time the team was broken up remains a mystery.
6. Did The Original Titans Kill?
The original Titans agree to work together for a time, in order to take down Dr. Light. Their first attempt doesn't quite go according to plan, when Dick Grayson finds himself put in a spot where he has to back off in case Dr. Light kills some innocents. Shockingly, Hawk is furious at this, and even claims "the old Robin would have taken the first [shot.]" It suggests either that the original Titans killed, or that they had no interest in limiting collateral damage from their superhero fights.
5. What Is HIVE?
Titans season 2, episode 3 name-drops an organization called HIVE, who conducted experimental bio-enhancements upon Deathstroke. In the comics, HIVE is a mysterious organisation whose goal is to improve the world through enforced, artificial evolution. They're classic Titans foes, so it's nice to see them referenced in the show. It will be interesting to see if Deathstroke is used to set up a major role for HIVE going forward.
4. Who Trained Rose, Deathstroke's Daughter?
Titans season 2, episode 3 sees Dick Grayson engage in a protracted sparring match against Deathstroke's daughter Rose. While he's able to beat her, Rose's combat skills are incredibly impressive, and they seem to improve as the bout continues. It's clear that she's received high-level combat training somewhere, and it may also be that - as in the comics - she's absorbing combat knowledge from the fight against Dick. If the latter is the case, Dick's training may backfire.
3. Why Do The Tamaraneans Want Starfire Back?
Meanwhile, Starfire learns that the Tamaraneans want her to return to her homeworld. As far as they're concerned, as a member of the royal family she has an obligation to her own people. That fits with Starfire's dialogue in Titans season 2, episode 2, with the superhero admitting she likes Earth because there are no expectations weighing in upon her. Starfire views her time on Earth as an extended holiday, but the Tamaraneans clearly feel it's time for her to bring her vacation to an end.
2. Who Is Blackfire?
It seems the Tamaraneans are being sent by Starfire's own sister, Blackfire. In the comics, Blackfire was first in line for the royal succession, but her status was passed on to her hated younger sister, Starfire. Blackfire was exiled, and became a traitor to her people, betraying them to the rival Citadel Empire. The Titans version must be a little different, given she appears to still be on Tamaran, but Starfire still views her sister as bitter and vindictive.
1. Do None Of The Titans Care About Secret Identities?
It really is starting to look as though none of the Titans care about their secret identities. Titans season 2, episode 3 sees all the original Titans take to the field in their civilian garb, and they even address one another on a first-name basis. This is particularly strange for Dick Grayson, who has always concealed his identity quite carefully in the comics, largely because it reflects on Batman. He probably doesn't need to worry too much about Dr. Light figuring anything out - he doesn't really seem to be too smart - but certainly villains like Deathstroke can join the dots. It's past time for Dick Grayson to become Nightwing.