“Trigon” made for a moody start to the new season of Titans, but the fact it was clearly intended as the first season’s finale is never quite overcome.
This recap of the Titans Season 2 Premiere, “Trigon”, contains spoilers. You can check out our thoughts on the previous season’s finale by clicking these words.
“Trigon” was a perfectly serviceable episode of Titans — and it was really quite a good finale to the first season, which never really got one. But that’s the problem. This is supposed to be the Titans Season 2 premiere, and it isn’t. Well, not all of it, anyway.
Inelegantly divided into two mismatched halves, “Trigon” is at once the conclusion of the first season’s story arc and also the beginning of a new status quo — including a teasing introduction of an exciting new villain whose brief glorified cameo feels like a transplant from a completely different show.
Since the Titans Season 2 premiere started with the unceremonious end of Trigon’s demonic menace, that’s where we’ll begin. And it really should be said that I liked this section, despite how ill-fitting it felt as a part of a premiere, and how much better it would have served the first season’s ending if they hadn’t messed up the scheduling. The hallucinatory meddling was a good way to force the core cast to confront their innermost demons and anxieties, but also their relationships with each other. Raven (Teagan Croft) dealt with her longing for a real familial connection; Dick (Brenton Thwaites) and Jason Todd (Curran Walters), Robins past and present, battled for the Boy Wonder mantle; Starfire (Anna Diop) was lured by her extraterrestrial mandate to kill Raven and save the universe; Donna Troy (Conor Leslie) was seduced by darker, baser impulses; and Hawk (Alan Ritchson) and Dove (Minka Kelly) met their self-destructive impulses halfway. None of it was real, but it felt real to them, and that’s all that really matters.
Despite the execution, though, “Trigon” only spared half an episode for all this, so a satisfying payoff was never a possibility. As quickly as Trigon had brainwashed all the Titans, Raven had led them all to the light and vanquished her demonic father in the process. And that was that.
The second half of the Titans Season 2 premiere then moved into laying the groundwork for the new season. A casualty seemed to be Starfire, who has gone elsewhere to take something of a break from superheroics, but the upsides seem to outnumber the downs. With Curran Walters having been promoted to a series’ regular, his relationship with Dick can become more central, as can his irritation of Hawk, which was good for a laugh all throughout “Trigon”. His livewire personality really works because it comes with an edge of unaddressed trauma, which is fitting since Batman and Batman-adjacent stories have always been, on some level, about a deeply unstable man passing his instability down through the generations.
We also got our first proper glimpse of Batman, as it happens, and it was fun to see him wearing the face of Iain Glen, even if it wasn’t exactly a privilege to hear the Scot’s wavering attempts at an American accent. Slightly better — and very Geoff Johns — was the introduction of Slade Wilson (Esai Morales), aka Deathstroke, an aging Titans baddie who lurches out of retirement as soon as he sees Jason Todd declare on the news that, “the Titans are back, bitches.” And the Titans are indeed back. Hopefully, the Titans Season 2 premiere wasn’t all that indicative of what they have planned for their return.
Jonathon is the Co-Founder of Ready Steady Cut and has been Senior Editor and Chief Critic of the outlet since 2017.