DC’s Titans Episode 8 premiered this week on the DC Universe online service and brought with it another iconic DC hero and founding Teen Titan in Donna Troy (Conor Leslie). Last seen in a photo at Hank and Dawn’s apartment in Episode 2, Dick (Brenton Thwaites) and Donna have a history, and Titans doesn’t shy away from these characters’ past. In fact, it’s one of the show’s strong points. And with Rachel’s (Teagan Croft) story somewhat winding down after last week, another mystery first presented in Episode 1 is now being explored, which bodes well for fans of both DC’s Titans and the Teen Titans comics.
DC’s Titans Episode 8 is titled “Donna Troy,” and introduces the character to the series proper. The show opens with young Dick (Tomaso Sanelli) entering his bedroom at stately Wayne Manor and finding young Donna Troy (Andi Hubick) sitting on his bed. It seems that Bruce Wayne and Diana Prince have some Justice League business going on in the cave, as mentioned in the show, and the sidekicks are relegated to hanging out. This is a good scene for DC’s Titans Episode 8 to establish a long-time relationship between Dick and Donna and it was a treat to see.
Back in present day Chicago, someone is once again making breakfast. What is it with this show and scenes of people cooking eggs? This time, it’s Rachel (Croft) making breakfast for her mother, Angela (Rachel Nichols). Gar (Ryan Potter) enters and offers to make coffee. The two youngest Titans discuss the icky factor of Dick and Kory (Anna Diop) sleeping together, and Angela starts to connect with her daughter. In fact, she invites Gar to join them, giving both Titans some much needed family love.
In the bedroom, Dick tells Kory that Rachel is now safe and he needs to split to find himself now that Robin is dead and the suit is burned. He and the team say their goodbyes, as the team plans to head to Angela’s home in Ohio by train. Dick and Rachel have a tender moment and then the Titans team is no more.
DC’s Titans Episode 8 follows Dick as he shows up at the front door of his old friend, Donna Troy (Leslie), and she agrees to let him sleep on her couch until he gets things figured out. She has a gallery show that night, as she’s a photographer, so she invites Dick to come along.
On the train, Rachel and Angela continue to bond, and Kory and Gar hang out together, drinking. Kory notices a man (James Hawksley) checking them out and decides to investigate. The man swears he’s just a passenger who thinks she’s hot and she believes him. In reality, he’s a U.S. Marshall, and he calls the state police for back up as he’s found the woman who attacked the cops in Detroit back in Episode 3.
Dick and Donna attend the art show and Dick shows that his small talk skills need work. Donna gets a mysterious text and she tells Dick she needs to leave. Of course, Dick follows and discovers Donna mixing up with some poachers. Dick steps in and beats up the head poacher. Donna gets angry with him, as she was working on stopping the black market trade of protected animals. Dick is lost without Robin and Donna recognizes that he’s confused. She stages a photo on Dick’s phone to protect her cover and they leave.
Back on the train, Kory senses something is wrong after the train begins to make an unscheduled stop. She rouses the now drunk Gar (who only had one drink), and the Roths and tries to escape as the authorities begin to close in. She goes all Starfire on them and the team escapes in a stolen utility truck.
At Donna’s apartment, the former Wonder Girl looks at the picture Dick took and finds the image of the strange writing from Kory’s storage shed from Episode 4. She recognizes it as an ancient language, part Sumerian, and has a book to translate.
In Ohio, the team finds Angela’s old house and then enter. Kory feels off, due to the experiments made on her in the last episode, and Rachel offers to try and use her powers to fix Kory. She agrees and they begin the procedure.
On the road, Dick and Donna are driving back to the team, and Donna is actively decoding the ancient, alien language. They learn that it’s a mission statement and that Kory’s mission is to secure the Raven. And by secure, as Donna explains, it could mean kill.
In the farmhouse, Rachel heals Kory and the alien turns into Starfire, grabbing Rachel by the throat as Dick and Donna speed along the road and we go to credits.
DC’s Titans Episode 8 does an amazing job of a cliffhanger here, as when the credits began I laughed. I have a great appreciation for the weekly episodes, as opposed to binging, and cliff hangers like this make it all the more fun.
I’m also a fan of putting the focus now on Kory and her now-exposed hunt for the Raven. The DC’s Titans Episode 8 script by Richard Hatem and Marisha Mukerjee does a great job of building up to this, and I particularly liked the mentions of Diana and the Justice League. This feels like a lived in world with a ton of history, yet the show isn’t bogged down by trying to explain it all. There’s a Justice League and Wonder Woman and Batman are part of it. That’s all we need to know and it works. I’m also a fan of Tomaso Sanelli’s younger Dick Grayson. It’s not a stretch to imagine him in the classic Robin costume, as Sanelli sports a Burt Ward-like hairstyle.
DC’s Titans Episode 8 was directed by David Frazee, and he does a decent job of moving the greater story along, without selling out the pre-established motives of the characters. There were two scenes of action, but it wasn’t to focal point of DC’s Titans Episode 8.
With that cliffhanger, I can’t wait for next week’s DC’s Titans. It’s an episode like “Donna Troy” that makes they series worth watching and in many cases, re-watching, as DC’s Titans has become the best DC Comics-based TV show out there — and we still have three episodes left! Come back next week for our review and recap of DC’s Titans Episode 9.
DC’s Titans is available now on the DC Universe online service and on Netflix in international markets. All images ©DC Universe/Warner Bros. Video courtesy of TV Promos.