Warner Brothers has done an impressive job when it comes to their live action DC Universe television shows. Everything from Arrow, The Flash, Swamp Thing, Doom Patrol, Pennyworth and Titans have been fun entertaining experiences, but after a decade of television, it seems the powers that be have wanted to bring all the DC shows to an end. When I first heard about Titans, I wasn’t sure what to think, considering I wasn’t much of a fan of the animated series, but I’m so glad I came into this show with an open mind, because this show is jam-packed with coolness. Since this was made for a streaming service and not broadcast television, not only do we get superheroes dropping F-bombs, but we get some edgier storytelling along with some violent action you may not expect. Seriously, this one is not for the kids. And with this being the final season, it shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that that the gloves really come off in this series to deliver a satisfying conclusion to its 4-season run.
“When the blood moon is full, the world will fall to evil.”
Season 4 really sets the tone for what this season is about, as we get to see Conner, aka Super Boy (Joshua Orpin) attempt to have a relationship with his father (not Superman; he’s too busy trying to save the universe) Lex Luther (Titus Welliver), who happens to be dying and wants to spend that remaining time grooming Conner to take over the business. You think you might know where this is going, until suddenly Lex vomits blood and suddenly pukes a giant snake, which kills Lex in the process. I mean, bravo for subverting expectations, and it doesn’t take long till we meet one of the true villains of the season, Mother Mayhem (Franka Potente), a dark witch who has plans to conjure none other than Trigon, who we saw back in Season 1 trying to destroy the world. The key to bringing Trigon back revolves around Sebastian (Joseph Morgan), a geeky game designer who has all the traits we’re used to seeing in characters before they turn into villains, but he seems like he could also be a good guy, so over the course of the season we do get to see him inevitably make that ultimate choice.
Gar Logan, aka Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) steps up a lot this season, as he’s having visions and hearing strange voices that lead him to this “mysterious” realm they call “The Red”. All I’ll say is, the way this story progresses, I feel a lot of comic fans will enjoy the route they take. I’ll admit I was a bit bored by this storyline at first, but it does have a solid payoff. There’s Tim Drake (Jay Lycurgo), the newcomer to the group who is still in training; honestly, I feel this character was wasted a bit this season and was just thrown in to have a romance angle that really just distracted from the main story. I mean, this is the last season, and instead of fleshing out other characters and their bonds that we’ve seen from the beginning, this romance feels shoehorned in. Finally Tim seems to have a purpose by the time we get to Episode 9, but again it still feels like filler, and that’s a bit of a shame, because despite everything, I do actually like the character.
Then there are who I consider the core three of the show, Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites), Rachel (Teagan Croft), and Kory Anders, aka Starfire (Anna Diop) … Dick has finally found his place as the leader of the Titans, and it seems this season we see him less out of the suit, which is a bit refreshing. Rachel is thankfully not the focal damsel in distress. She has control of her powers, and I felt she was fun to watch this season, especially in her “relationship” with Sebastian. And then there is Kory. I’d argue she’s the most important character of this season, as we see her continue to struggle with her purpose not just as a Titan, but as a person. Seeing the relationship between Kory and Dick is definitely the heart of this season.
One thing that I immediately loved about this season is that it has more of a horror element. It’s not just because it has dark magic; just the overall tone of this season felt more horror than anything, down to one of my favorite moments in not just the season but the entire series when we get to see zombie Deathstroke. Seriously I wish we had so much more of that; it was just such a cool moment that left me grinning the entire time. Another thing that just made me giddy was that we do get a crossover with The Doom Patrol. It’s a mild spoiler, but I won’t delve into it any more just because it is a fun episode.
There is a fun two-part episode that has some members of the Titans trapped in small town where the radio waves are brainwashing the residents to live a Norman-Rockwellian kind of life. Most times I’m not a fan of these kinds of episodes that just feel like filler, but I ended really digging these episodes, and for a moment we get a tease of what life could be like if Kory and Dick were just regular folks and not superheroes. I should note that a lot of this season doesn’t take place in Gotham, but instead in Metropolis. We get a lot of time at Star Labs, and while I did enjoy these moments, I did kind of wish this had more action in the dark alleys or just in the underground of society, but as a tradeoff we get the literal underground where ancient rituals took place and get to witness several sacrifices.
Now, there are some things for me to complain about … Seriously, the amount of time wasted on if Sebastian will or will not blow a horn to summon Trigon is a bit maddening. You know, I get it; it’s a way to build tension and keep viewers coming back week after week, but at the same time it’s a character blowing into a glorified conch shell to conjure a guy that’s supposed to destroy worlds. Then there’s the major trigger for Sebastian. It’s not about family screwing him over or a lover betraying him; no, what they decide is his “trigger” is a company deciding not to purchase his cheap video game that he feels is going to change the world.
For the 12-episode run of the final season of Titans, despite there being some times that I felt it was trying to just give us filler, it was still pretty entertaining from start to finish. I hate having to say goodbye to this show. This is one of the superhero shows I really liked, and I felt there was still more they could do with it. But with the DC TV universe coming to a close, I hope in the new regime we’ll get to see these characters again.