I used to say that Hope was a useless emotion. So many things come close and never quite make it. A surgery, a marriage maybe, finding the right job, or a myriad of things we try for and fail. As we get older, our hope is hesitant and reality becomes our future.
Titans encapsulates those near misses and the familiar heartbreak that doesn’t sting like it used to. It is the most brutally realistic show I’ve ever seen. It’s almost like watching a documentary. This is really what it would be like if heroes were real and we can see their touchstone in the faces of Veterans.
Brad Anderson wherever you are- You can bring it! The PTSD of this show is Battlestar Galactica levels of real. The fight scenes are sometimes hard to watch, but you can’t look away. You really can show disappointment. This episode was all about coming up short. You missed it by this much! It’s Superhero Noir.
The episode introduces Hank and Dawn/Hawk and Dove. They are a tough duo with a history with Dick/Robin. By history, Dove and Robin knocked boots. Dick failed Dawn. Dawn failed Hank. Now, Dawn and Hank are living on the margins, trying to take down/ripoff a gunrunner or just die. It’s sad. Hank gets beat up a lot, he needs a new hip, he’s alcoholic, addicted to pain pills, and steroids. Dawn is resigned to her fading life with a broken man who will need long-term care- if he lives. She has a broken partner and she pines for Dick Grayson; the true love of her life.
Dick has the great idea to abandon Rachel with this well-adjusted duo in DC. It works out…..terribly. Dick agrees to help Hank and Dawn ripoff of the gunrunner and he proceeds … well …see below. There’s hedge clippers to the balls and a throwing star R to the eye. It is brutal. To be fair, Dick doesn’t believe that he is father material. Well, maybe he’s right?! Unfortunately for Rachel, Dick is all she’s got because the cult that is out to kill Rachel has tracked Dick down to DC.
The cult has a Leave it to Beaver family juiced up on super steroids and they totally beat the snot out of Hank, Dick, and Dawn. Dawn is thrown off a building for good measure and appears to be dying. Rachel is kidnapped by the cult….again.
What makes this show great is that they are trying to make rational choices, but life still wins and they still lose. They are competent, but just outmatched. Titans taps into real humanity because success is rare, they understand how flawed they are, and they’re just not good for anyone. The photo below of Dawn looking down on her broken drug-addled boyfriend summed up the whole episode: Hank to Dawn: I promise this time will be different and Dawn’s face says – no… no it won’t, but it’s nice for you to try.
Minka Kelly, Alan Ritchson, Brenton Thwaites, and Teagan Croft’s performances were so painfully spot on. You felt that their failure was yours.