Titans started off with an introduction to the grittier and realistic life of Dick Grayson, Rachael Roth and Kory Anders. Whereas, other DCTV series might rush into getting the team together, Titans decides to take a slower approach. Now, this week’s episode focused heavily on Hawk and Dove and their relationship, as well as their history with Robin. So let us take a deep dive into Titans Episode 2, “Hawk and Dove;” much like last week, we will be looking at each character one by one due to the series being very character driven.
[Warning: The following review contains several spoilers]
Starting with Dawn Granger/ Dove, Dawn in this series is a kind and caring person who is taking care of Hank Hall/ Hawk, her partner and lover. We learn that four years ago that Dawn, Hank and Dick were fighting crime together against Batman’s wishes. In addition, Dawn and Dick ended up getting really intimate; this left some unsaid feelings when Dick left them without notice. While Dawn gets a lot of screen time, we do not learn too much about her outside of her connections to the other characters and her caring personality. That being said, Dawn’s caring personality and Minka Kelly’s performance really made the ending scene of her near death experience quite an impact and emotional one. What I did enjoy is the difference in fighting styles with Dove having a more graceful approach as opposed to Hawk’s more violent style; Dove’s cape is also a great highlight and feature on her suit. Yet overall, Dawn as a character is a nice change of pace for the cast, providing that she is someone that actually cares for other people.
Naturally, the next person to discuss is Hank Hall/ Hawk. In the series, Hank has been the vigilante known as Hawk for a long time; it is implied that he began this life prior to meeting Dawn. In addition, Hawk’s anger leads him into situations where he gets gravely injured. When viewers are introduced to him in this series, he is suffering from many scars and injuries, including a hip that needs to be replaced. His own stress of wanting to take down one last gang of criminals before retiring with Dawn, and moving to somewhere quiet causes him to be irrational towards others. He wants his happy ending so badly that he becomes antagonistic towards Dick, most likely due to Dick’s previous relationship with Dawn. While Hank can come off as a jerk for most of the episode, his heart and motivation for carrying out justice shines through. It should be interesting to see how Hank develops over the course of the season especially with what happens to him and Dawn at the end of the episode. Alan Ritchson provides a very deep performance for what seems like a shallow character. Hawk’s fighting style is rough and untrained with more of a bar fight vibe than a specific style; this is a nice change from Dick’s cold killer style and Dove’s grace.
Dick Grayson in this episode sees him dealing with the fallout of saving Rachael in the pilot. His decision to take Rachael to Dawn and Hank’s apartment is a good indication that he has severed ties with almost everyone in his past; everyone except Alfred Pennyworth. In the episode, Dick calls Alfred in order to get money with the intention of paying Hank and Dawn to take care of Rachael. Dick’s mental state is a focus of the series, as his willingness to dump Rachael with friends he has not seen in years, and thinking that money will make up for that is a sign that he has changed. We learn a lot about Dick through his actions in the episode, from the Hank and Dawn situation to keeping his partner detective in the dark to still relying on help from the Wayne estate, we really get an eye into his life; it shows that Dick is willing to help others, but only to a certain extent. Considering the marketing of the show as promoting Dick to be the Titans team leader, he still has a lot of growth to do before he can actually lead his own team.
Rachael Roth does not receive too much focus within this episode, as the story revolved more around Hank, Dawn and Dick. Rachael is more of a plot device than anything in the episode, which is a bit underwhelming from her debut last week. However, on the budgeting side of things, it works as she does not entirely use the full extent of her powers here at all. The trade off is we get to see a softer side of Rachael with her partaking in normal teenager activities. Overall, Rachael is not given a whole lot to do in this episode, but it was nice to see her trying be a normal teen.
This week also saw introduction to the series’ first recurring villains, the Nuclear Family. The Nuclear Family were characters introduced in DC Comics during the Silver Age as androids that had the personalities and looks of a typical 1950’s American family. However, the Titans version of these characters swap androids for syringes, but still keep that 1950’s American family vibe. They are pretty unsettling in appearance and by their actions, leading to are a nice change of pace from the street thugs that we’ve seen the heroes face until now. I look forward to seeing more from the Nuclear Family in the next episode especially now that they have captured Raven.
Overall, I really enjoyed episode 2 of Titans with the highlights definitely being Hawk and Dove. They are two of my favorite DC characters and seeing them in live-action, albeit without super powers, is very exciting. Titans is managing to craft an intriguing story while still sticking to a tight focus on each episode, and providing deep character work. I look forward to seeing where this goes from here. This concludes this week’s review, so please stay tuned for next week where I will be reviewing episode 3, “Origins.”
Soundout Side Notes:
- Dawn is wearing a Superman t-shirt which implies his existence in this universe.
- Dick’s caller ID includes Donna Troy who is slated to appear later in the series, and is implied to be the fourth person in the picture of Hank, Dawn and Dick.
- That “one” street thug was really insistent of taking Hawk’s manhood…
- Using the Foo Fighters cover of “Kids in America” for the flashback was an odd yet completely fitting choice.
- Hawk and Dove appear to be taking money from the criminals they take down which allows them to afford their apartment without civilian jobs takes away from actual crime fighting.
- Can we see a Hawk and Dove spin-off showing their earlier years of crime fighting? It would be nice to see them in their prime.