We arrive to the third episode of Titans; we have reached the point where the series wants to finish setting up the story and begin to move forward. Due to this we, the fans, get an episode that feels a bit awkward. However, it works its way through a checklist of plot elements that need to be introduced. So let us begin our deep dive into Titans Episode 3, “Origins,” as usual we will be breaking down the episode by character.
[Warning: The following review contains several spoilers]
This episode heavily focuses on Rachael Roth/ Raven; it makes it clear that Rachael is going to be the focus of this season as everyone in the show is introduced while looking for her. Dick, Kory, Gar, Hank, Dawn, and the Nuclear Family all get involved with the plot by either looking for or meeting Rachael. With that being said, Rachael’s past is fleshed out a bit more with the reveal that as a baby, she and her mother stayed at a convent. The exact reason why Rachael was there as a baby is not too clear until later in the episode where the nuns lock her away to contain her demonic side; it is an attempt to prevent a mysterious entity from arriving. While not explicitly stated in this episode, comic fans will realize it is alluding to Rachael’s father, the demonic Trigon who needs Rachael in order to enter the mortal world. Also, during this episode, viewers get to see Rachael connecting with Kory and bonding over the fact that neither of them know the source of their powers. Rachael also holds resentment over Dick, for his plan to leave her with Hawk and Dove. Furthermore, this episode provides the first interaction between Rachael and Gar, as she plays pinball at a roller rink. There is definitely some chemistry between these two, so they might be alluding to their romantic relationship from Teen Titans Go. Overall, Rachael has a lot of moments to shine especially with the scene where she is confronted by her demonic side in the convent.
Next, we will discuss Dick Grayson/ Robin, as his role in this episode involves him playing catch-up to Kory and Rachael. In the time he does not spend trying to catch up, he spends it by reflecting on his past. While visiting the hospital that Dawn is being treated at (after the fight from last episode), Dick thinks back to the death of his parents and the months following. Throughout the flashbacks viewers see how Dick was taken in by Bruce Wayne, his first visit to Wayne Manor, and running away after stealing one of the cars in the garage. Now, while these scenes did show how Dick’s anger has been with him for years, as well as his intention to kill his parents’ murderer, the scenes do not add much to the episode. The flashbacks do not seem to even relate to the current plot, and overall seem superfluous. However, these flashbacks may continue in future episodes to help flesh out Dick’s character. Overall, Dick Grayson did not do as much in this episode, and does not suit up as Robin at all; it made this episode less violent at least.
Small shout out to the Nuclear Family, who are just as endearing as in the previous episode. The family receives about the screen time as the previous episode, but with episode 3 viewers learn more about them. After losing the father, which we will discuss more about shortly, they go back to their creator who threatens them with a kill switch. The implication is that the Nuclear Family are created either as robots, or as bio-organic lifeforms. Viewers also learn their creator is looking to capture Rachael in order to bring the mysterious force (Trigon) into the world. Luckily, the Family is given a second chance and are promised that they will obtain a new father. These characters are very intriguing, and make me look forward to seeing their future appearances in the series.
Just like with the pilot, the stand out character is Kory Anders/ Starfire. After being absent in the previous episode, Kory appears now in Washington, D.C. searching for Rachel and trailing the Nuclear Family who has captured her. When the Nuclear Family stops for a bathroom break at a gas station, Kory takes the chance to free Rachael who is already trying to escape from them. In the process, Kory manages to kill the father by burning him alive, as well as destroying the bathroom. Kory then takes Rachael and they head for the convent listed on the back of a photo that Kory found in Rachael’s house. Now, throughout the episode Kory begins to piece together parts of her memories; eventually learning that she has been looking for Rachael in order stop her from being the Destroyer of Worlds. The revelation comes when Kory locates a storage lock that contains an alien pod, a lot of information on Rachael, and images of Ravens. In addition, there are notes written in an alien language which Kory can read, but is unable to translate to English.
Also, it is worth noting that Kory seems to have a lot of cash, as she casually hands a 100 dollar bill to Rachael, so she could play arcade games. Furthermore, Kory does not care for when people (men) attempt to extort a diner and sexually harass their waitress; as seen in an earlier scene where Rachel and her stop to get breakfast. A diner brawl quickly ensues once Kory gets involved, but she takes the men down with ease and is applauded by the other patrons. Kory also gets Rachael’s meal for free since she “cleaned up” the diner. Overall, I really enjoy every scene featuring Kory; her personal journey is something I want to follow and the mysteries of her past are very interesting. Anna Diop portrays Kory as a very tough woman who can be kind and caring, but is not willing to let people get away with doing bad things, or walk over her. It is a very unique take not only for a female lead in a series, but also as a different interpretation of the Starfire character seen in the comics. Despite the changes I feel that Anna Diop embraces the spirit of the original character, and I cannot wait to see what she does next.
Overall, “Origins” is not as good as the previous two episodes. A majority of this episode is dedicated to plot set-up; there is a lot introduced here that will be followed up upon in later episodes. This episode may be a necessary evil in continuing this story, but it is about seeing the team begin to come together that is quite exciting. Whereas, next week on Titans, Gar takes Rachael home with him and introduces her to the one and only Doom Patrol. Now, from the trailer it shows thing will only continue to escalate quickly, so stay tuned for my next review on episode 4 “Doom Patrol” right here on Hero Club.
Soundout Side Notes:
- Kory gets some great 70’s music in this episode that really fits her character as well as completing her “Female Version of Shaft” vibe.
- I am pleased to see that Dawn did not die at the end of the last episode, and will see a return later on this season.
- Dick’s pointless detective partner being dead is not a loss that is felt whatsoever in show, or by the audience.
- Gar gets sidelined again with this episode, by having only been in two scenes. I am sure this is because his powers restrict the budget, but I also believe his time to shine will be next week.
- The violence in this episode is toned back, but so are the number of action sequences. It does seem like no “Robin” equals no intense violence at times.
- Worst visual effect in the episode is young Dick Grayson swinging off trees.
- Best thing about the episode, Kory and her glasses.
- The next best thing is how Kory just obtains (steals) cars, we practically call them her, Conquest Mobiles. For example, Dick’s Porsche the Dick Mobile… We now call it, the Conquest Mobile.