Season 1 Episode 1
In the suburbs of Detroit, a young girl has nightmares of the deaths of Dick Grayson’s parents and his reaction to them. Her nightmares awaken her mother and after confronting her, she is asked to make sure the door is locked. It’s an interesting line followed by the mother leaving the room with the door covered in crucifixes. It does a really good job of challenging the audience to wonder if the crosses are there to keep something out or to keep her in.
After her mother is murdered, the young girl named Rachel (who we have established visually as Raven) goes on the run to Detroit. Coincidentally, Dick Grayson is working in Detroit as a police detective and he seems to be mainly focused on crimes that affect children. After finding a suspect he’s been tracking, Dick decides to don his Robin costume and go after him, brutally taking out a number of thugs and almost killing his target.
This is a pretty long and really dark premiere episode of any series. Between the multiple murders committed by practically every main character and the visual style of the first episode, there’s very little to indicate that there is any joy or levity to be had in this series. Dick Grayson is as brooding as his mentor and his conversation with his new potential partner gives some insight into the break between the two, but not much. Starfire is introduced in the episode, but her story is muddled and almost unnecessarily vague. Beast Boy’s intro felt tacked on and dumb.
It looks like this season, and especially this first episode, is going to be all about Raven and her story. Those moments are actually some of the better told parts of the episode. For anyone unfamiliar with the character, it will be hard to gauge what is going on with her and why so many people are after her, but if you know who she is, it’s actually a really good mystery. Even the supposed bad guy in the episode has more presence when it’s finally revealed what his motive actually is. I think if this storyline is the main focus of the season, Titans might be a really good, dark mystery.
Even though the first episode was a bit of a chore to get through, there is enough in the episode itself story-wise to make me interested in what happens next.