Will the Third Time Be a Charm?
HBO Max has released the third season of Titans, the series that had originally been released on the DC Universe app back when when did TV shows. All that stuff has moved to HBO Max now and after everything with COVID, a new season is finally here. The first 3 episodes of the show are available now and new episodes of the show will be released each Thursday until October 21. The poster for the season shows the regular returning cast including Donna, who we last saw dead, in an outfit looking like her old Wonder Girl outfit. And we get a full season of Dick as Nightwing now instead of multiple Robins. Barbara Gordon, already in her wheelchair, makes an appearance along with Jason taking on the mantle of the Red Hood. This should hopefully be an interesting season. A lot has happened already this season and I’m hoping there’s a lot of good to come. But now it’s time to dig into the details of the first 3 episodes.
Given that we’re getting Red Hood, it’s no surprise that Jason Todd makes an early appearance as he goes after the Joker while Bruce is up in a plane. Despite Bruce telling him not to, Jason goes after the clown and gets himself killed a little too easily. I mean, there’s really no fight. The Joker sneaks up on him and just start beating him to death. Before leaving though, Jason had picked up some sort of face mask with an inhaler of it. At first, I thought it was for Joker gas but as things progress and Dick finds a hide-out of Jason’s with lab equipment and some unknown substance, I’m thinking it wasn’t. Why was Dick looking around? Well, there’s not much else to do since Bruce dumped Jason in the ground as soon as the coffin arrived and before Dick even got there. Dick even invites Barbara over to help figure out why Brice is acting quite the way he is. Despite the wheelchair, she is not Oracle. She has taken over as Commissioner of the Police which is an interesting change. Also, she’s not fond of Bruce and let’s him know what she thinks about him and how he treat his sidekicks. There’s another twist that’s different from the comics as well. While Dick is sleeping, Bruce heads off to Arkham and beats the Joker to death with a crowbar. He then leaves telling Dick to be a better Batman. I wasn’t really fond of this interpretation of Batman so I’m not sad to see him leave. It does leave a weird hole in this universe though.
The Titans come to Gotham to support Dick just as the Red Hood starts making his move. He takes over the crime in Gotham and then starts sending ordinary people with red hoods (Think Little Red Riding Hood type hoods, not like his.) to set his plans in motion. He also tricks the Titans into making a mess of things, weakening their bond with Barbara and the police in Gotham. The team starts following obscure clues that are really along the lines of the 1966 Batman TV show in terms of “How the f*** did you come to that conclusion?” but somehow always turns out to be right somehow. Once the Red Hood gets tracked down, Nightwing fights him and cracks the hood and finds out it’s Jason. He gets away though.
Back at the mansion, the team is shocked, not sure how he’s alive, and not sure how to treat a former teammate who has turned into this. Most are conflicted because he’s family but Hawk is ready to take him out to stop the bad guy. This makes the whole next part all that much more confusing. After everyone spreads out, Hank gets a phone call from Jason acting confused and needing help. All of a sudden, he’s like “OK. I’ll be right there. I have no problem coming alone after everything that has happened.” He does whatever Jason tells him including smashing his own phone (which means the Titans can’t reach him) and using a new one that was left for him. Once he gets there, Jason has him strip totally to prove he doesn’t have a wire which he does no questions asked. While I find him all the more stupid for this, getting to see Alan Ritchson totally nude makes the whole thing worth it. Sadly, his naughty bits are blocked by a swimmer’s starting platform but we do get a view of his very nice butt. Ummm… but back to the story…. If you haven’t seen it coming, yes, it was a trap and Hank is knocked out by the Red Hood. Everyone is looking for Hank, but he shows back up at the mansion on his own with a bomb in his chest. (This is the guy who was most ready to kill Jason and he fell for all of this.) The team starts looking for a way to stop it and finds something after using Dr Crane (the Scarecrow, who seems will be a recurring character this season) as a reference to get into how Jason’s mind may be working. It turns out that it was a Wayne Tech bomb and Superboy is able to speed reach through computer files to understand the workings of the device so he has to create something to disable it. Hold on a minute here! When has Superboy ever been smart enough to design something like this even if he has things he can reference to try to do it? Nonetheless, he starts working on something to disable to bomb with a failure rate of 0%. Dawn sets up some stuff to slow down Hank’s heartbeat as the bomb’s time is tied to that and not counting down like a normal timer. Then she starts making out with him which I would think would actually start speeding it up. But maybe she knows better than me. She then also gets summoned to Jason who says that he has a device to stop the bomb. If Dove shoots him, his hand will go off the button and the bomb will stop. Nightwing shows up to stop her. Meanwhile, with almost no time left, Superboy finally gets 0% and starts the run up to Hank’s room. Dove, being the peaceful one of the pair of course, decided to shoot Jason anyway to make sure it’s disabled. The only problem was that the gun she was given was a detonator and not an actual gun which causes the bomb to go off before Superboy gets there. Jason takes off while Nightwing deals with Dove’s reaction to Jason telling her this.
And this is where we’re left at the end of the 3rd episode. I’m not sure how we can still have Dove without Hawk. In the comics, Dawn’s sister became Hawk but that was when there was a mystical part of the characters which has been ignored in this incarnation. (I was never a fan of Holly anyway.) I’m really hoping that they decide to bring in that part of Hawk and Dove’s actual origin and have him saved by the Lords of Chaos to be their avatar. I have a feeling they won’t go that path though. You see Krypto (who had been at Hank’s side at the end of this) come out of the clouds of smoke to Superboy, but you never see inside the actual room to see any results. While there really seems to be no way for Hank to have survived the explosion, this is based on a comic book and we’ve already seen Jason come back already this season. We still have yet to see more of Blackfire, but Kory keeps having some visions. She doesn’t have any psychic powers so I’m guessing it’s related to her sister, but I guess we’ll have to wait and see. After 2 seasons, it looks like Gar may look into changing into something other than a tiger. He hasn’t yet but mentions that he can. As for Raven and Donna, we’ve seen nothing of them yet. Hopefully, we’ll get back to them soon though I can see how the intensity of everything in the first episodes would have been broken trying to incorporate anything about Donna into the story right now. I’ll looking forward to seeing what the rest of the season will bring. I will be pretty pissed if they kill Hawk though. I’ve always been a pretty big fan of Hawk and Dove, even going back to when it was Hank and Don Hall in the comics.