I would have thought somewhere in the DC Universe there was a super hero janitor that didn’t yet have a series, and I confess that not being well-versed in the origin source material, I thought Titans was going to be about X-Men-like mutants. I was definitely NOT expecting Dick Grayson, aka Robin, as the main guy.
The first episode is a bit hard to follow, as there are several storylines happening simultaneously and at the beginning, they don’t look like they’re very well connected. First up, we meet Detective Grayson working as a cop in Detroit, having transferred in from Gotham. He is tracking a thug who got away with hurting his young daughter, and Grayson wants some vigilante justice. He shows up, kicks some butt with serious bloodshed (definitely NOT the normal beat them up and arrest everyone motif of most super hero shows) and maiming, and then basically kicks the crap out of the guy and beats him severely long after he is down. He is DEFINITELY closer to Nightwing in this incarnation than the old lovable Robin. Brenton Thwaites plays Grayson, and while I have not seen him in anything previously, he’s pretty dang good. Kind of like a darker version of Grant Gustin’s Flash. Does a great job of seeming young but old too soon.
Next up is Rachel Roth aka some sort of demon-within-a-girl who is having trouble coming to grips with whatever is happening to her, and the only solace she can find, is that she keeps seeing Dick Grayson in a nightmare, the night his parents died. But she finds her way to Detroit after her mother is killed and meets Grayson, which she feels cannot be a coincidence. She asks for his help but he’s reluctant to get too involved. Teagan Croft plays Rachel, and she’s good despite her limited experience.
And finally there is a third storyline around a woman who wakes up in a car wreck in Europe, only to be hunted by mobsters who killed the driver of the car she was in. She has lost her memory and is a bit surprised to learn she has superpowers. She is super strong and a skilled fighter, and when she goes up against someone trying to shoot her, she turns into a Firestorm-like human torch and incinerates them with a giant wall of flames. Interestingly, she torches them, but leaves a file sitting on the deck untouched (umm, sure). Anyway, she finds out that before losing her memory she was apparently looking for Rachel. The amnesiac is played by Anna Diop, and I have no more understanding of her character or role than she does.
The amnesiac torch is looking for Rachel, Rachel is looking for Grayson after someone kills her fake-woman-who-claimed-to-be-her-mother, and Grayson is looking for a new life away from Batman. Oh, and just for fun, the episode ends with a boy who turns into a tiger and robs stores at night to get new video games. Umm, okay. Wait, what is this show about?
I confess, I really have no idea. But it is WAY darker and more bloody than I was expecting. I also really love the fact that Robin is a full-fledged Robin, not an origin story. He has cool toys, nice car, fully formed fighting style, and kicks some serious butt in the episode. One of the downsides of going in blind is that I didn’t know much about the show or even the main character, not having seen ANY of the trailers or even the description apparently as it wasn’t even on my initial review or prediction list. I would have said RENEWAL and I’ll stick with that now. And it’s dark enough to hold my interest, so I’ll be one of the ones watching.