"Donna Troy" - Titans S01E08 Review

Oh, look. More about Dick Grayson.

Andi Hubick, Titans S01E08

In fairness, Donna Troy (Conor Leslie) makes a more likeable companion than either Hawk & Dove, or Jason Todd. And we get a little backstory on where Titans fits in the DC Universe. At least, some DC universe, where Batman and Wonder Woman work together and Robin and Wonder Girl are their sidekicks.

But what universe is this in "Donna Troy"? First we get a flashback to a young Dick complaining about Bruce and their failure to stop Joker to a young Donna Troy (Andi Hubick). She talks him down out of quitting and that's it for the flashback.

In the present, everyone is back at Bruce Wayne's Chicago safehouse, and we get some bonding between Rachel and her mother Angela (Rachel Nichols). Dick and Kory are sleeping together, and Dick makes it clear that he's leaving now that Rachel is apparently safe from the evil organization. I'm not sure why he thinks this: apparently because he's assuming the asylum was the one and only base of the Organization, and everyone was there when they destroyed it last week. Which doesn't seem to suggest a high degree of deductive reasoning, or even basic intelligence, but oh well.

Dick goes... somewhere to meet with Donna. Who is now an adult, and a photographer. And working a case against poachers. She takes Dick to her art gallery showing, and there's some funny bits where Dick tries to make small talk and fails miserably. Donna goes to a meeting with a poacher, Graham Norris (Damian Walshe-Howling), claims to be a neutral party, and gets some photos of his poached animal skins. Dick drops in and takes out the poachers, and Donna is unhappy Dick messed up her own poaching-busting operating. They go back to her place, she tells him to figure out someone to be that isn't Robin or Dick since he can't handle either one, notices the writing from Kory's papers on his phone, recognizes them as an offshoot of ancient Sumerian, and goes to work translating the writing.

Anna Diop, Titans S01E08

Meanwhile, the rest of the team takes a train to Angela's old house in Killdeer, Ohio. So they can tell us the name of Killdeer, but not the city Donna lives in? Or are we just to assume she lives in Chicago? Kory sees a guy watching her and assumes he's with the Organization. He isn't, but after she confronts him and lets him go, we see that he's a US Marshal and calls the FBI because the police are looking for Kory after she attacked them.

The police and the FBI arrive and stop the train. Kory and the others get off, Gar scares a rail worker off, and they drive to Angela's old house. Throughout the episode, Kory has been having flashes of piloting a spaceship. Rachel offers to heal her brain, but when she does so, Kory starts strangling her. Meanwhile, Dick and Donna are driving to the house and Donna determines that the papers say Kory is there to either kill or control Rachel.

So things are starting to happen. Thankfully, only about half the episode is dedicated to Dick and his problems. Which I've noted before and will note again: we get it! He has rage issues, he doesn't like Batman very much or what Batman turned him into. So this week seems to be rinse-and-repeat on the whole Dick-has-rage-issues thing.

Ryan Potter gets to indulge in both some angst--since he killed a guy last week--and humor. He gulps down Kory's drink and his extremities go numb. He hastily assures Kory he doesn't want to make out with Rachel. Gar awkwardly stands with Rachel and Angela as they bond.

Rachel and Angela do some mother-daughter bonding. Credit to Rachel Nichols: she does get to do a fair amount of emotion while also conveying the feeling that something is off with her. I'm not sure if it's just five years locked away in an asylum, or if they're going to have her do a heel turn and turn out to be working for the Organization and/or Rachel's father. Who she describes as a charismatic guy who built a cult of personality around himself, but is now long gone. I suppose that describes the Trigon we saw at one point or another in the comics. And better to have Seamus Dever playing him (per various news outlets) then some CGI creation.

Fortunately, most of the spotlight that isn't on Dick, is on Kory. All I can say is about time: the alien origin still seems a bit awkward and the memory loss a bit too convenient in a Coronet Blue kind of way. Tying her to Rachel's background also seems a bit awkward and/or convenient. But I suppose it gets things going and gives us some inter-group conflict.

Still, Anna Diop manages to hit all the bases as a confidant to Gar--telling him not to be ashamed of defending himself--and letting him have a drink, and being the naturally suspicious guardian type watching over Gar and Rachel while Dick's away. And also looking disappointed but covering it when Dick more-or-less dumps her to go off and find himself, or whatever he's doing.

Conor Leslie, Titans S01E08

Next week, Donna is still with Dick. And Hawk and Dove show back up. So it looks like we're kind of getting a mix of the original Titans (if such a thing existed) and the new Titans. Whether, Wonder Girl , Hawk, and Dove join the team remains to be seen. I doubt it, but then I wish they'd stop showing them to us. They seem to be on the show mostly to explore Dick's past... and it isn't that exciting. In fact, Titans makes it a bit more exciting than it was in the comics. And it's still not that exciting.

But that's just my opinion, I could be wrong. What do you think?

Written by Gislef on Dec 1, 2018

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