DC Titans and its creators aren’t playing around with the Batman universe, and episode 1 proves it. As mentioned in our non-spoiler review of Titans, this isn’t the DC universe your grandparents (or their parents) grew up watching on television. There are no “Holy nick of time,” or “Holy hood-wink” phrases to be found here. Likewise, this isn’t the animated Teen Titans everyone loves, or the reboot Teen Titans Go! Instead, Titans is tapping into its comic book roots.
Major Spoilers For DC Titans Episode 1 ahead! 🚨 You have been warned! 🚨
DC Titans Episode 1 Synopsis Rundown
DC Titans gets right into the dark and gritty, but not in an overpowering way. It’s balanced, similar to other CW shows — and yet, strikingly different. In my non-spoiler review of Titans, I likened it to Yin and Yang. The light and dark moments interchange rapidly, creating a smooth presentation which is visually appealing. All the while keeping its pace and dialog moving, making the action scenes even more stimulating because you’ve still yet to recover from the last big scene.
Rachel Roth (Raven)
DC Titans episode one begins with Rachel Roth (Teagan Croft), not Dick Grayson (Brenton Thwaites). Roth is a typical teenager on the surface, but in truth, she’s trying to bury an evil inside of her. Haunted by visions (like The Flying Grayson’s), Rachel resides in a small Michigan town called Traverse City.
If the opening vision of The Flying Grayson’s doesn’t shake you up, don’t worry, very little is shown of Rachel Roth living a normal life. In fact, it’s clear she and her “mother” have been living in fear for quite some time. Roth’s life gets flipped upside down almost instantly, with her mothing being shot point-blank in the head — right in front of Roth, by a mysterious villain who knows what resides within Rachel. The beast within Raven protects her (mostly itself) and Roth flees to Detroit.
Dick Grayson (Formerly Robin)
Not including Raven’s vision of the circus, Dick Grayson first appears in Titans episode 1 working as a Detroit detective. Hiding out in Detroit after bailing on Batman as Robin, Grayson is trying to discover who he is. And it doesn’t take long for a Nightwing/Robin to take form and vent off his frustrations on the bad guys.
Grayson isn’t playing by Batman’s rules anymore, and he certainly isn’t behaving like a Detroit detective. But he is laying down a good bundle of whoop-ass on criminals who mess with kids and disguise their drugs in teddy-bears.
Grayson’s costume, by the way, is perfect. Much like his attitude and fighting style, his look is a cross between Robin and Nightwing. Between his expandable staff and “R” shaped flying stars which snap into his chest plate, Grayson is not one to mess with. And don’t mention Batman, because it’ll just be followed by an “F-Batman.”
Grayson and Raven are brought together by a decent plot-arc and her powers are revealed to him unintentionally. Afraid for her life, Roth throws a brick at a cop car after the evil Raven in her warns about being kidnapped (her first night in Detroit). She crosses path with Grayson who’s assigned to interview her, because “he’s got a thing for hurt kids.”
Roth is kidnapped right out of the precinct and Grayson goes into superhero mode to track and find her. His Wayne Enterprise tech, by the way, is off-the-hook. The same generic villain from the beginning of the episode is also behind Rachel’s kidnapping. He’s apparently going to sacrifice her (or kill her). It wasn’t really specified.
Grayson shows up in time and witnesses (sort of) what evil Raven can do. And her evil is spectacular, one of the best highlights within episode 1 of Titans. Dick knows something is off, so he conveniently takes a vacation from the police department and tells Rachel they’re taking a trip to visit some “old friends.”
Kory (Starfire) And Gar Logan (Beast Boy)
Unlike Raven and Grayson’s introduction, Starfire (Anna Diop) and Beast Boy’s (Ryan Potter) character arcs are rushed. It makes sense to squeeze them into episode 1 of Titans, however, it gives their characters the short-end-of-the-stick.
Kory snaps to after being in a car crash and notices her driver is dead. Wearing the most eye-catching clubbing outfit in the world, she hides from her pursuers in a nearby forest. As it turns out, Kory has absolutely no memories prior to waking up. She makes her way back her “hotel” and discovers she’s been banging some big-time Russian crime lord (name unimportant), who’s out to get her after she apparently flipped on him.
Starfire’s arc isn’t very interesting, but her frying the crime boss and his goons with alien fire magic sure is. It turns out Kory is looking for Rachel, and that’s where her story stops for episode 1.
Beast Boy gets even less screen time. In what’s clearly fanservice, we see Beast Boy as a green tiger stealing a video game from a corporate store. Why the night guard has a loaded gun isn’t addressed. Instead, the next frame shows Beast Boy transforming back into Gar Logan, and that’s the end of Titans episode 1.
DC Titans Episode 1 Score
Overall, episode 1 of Titans is thrilling and action-packed. Grayson and Raven’s character arcs are off to a great start, yet I wanted more of Beast Boy and Starfire. The villains are extremely generic, but the action and overall story are captivating and intriguing.
Ratings are done on a 5-star system, with the average of each category completing the overall score.
DC Titans Episode 1 Rating Score: 4.6 out of 5 Stars.
- Visual: 4.75
- Dialog: 4.25
- Story: 4.5
- Action: 5
What were your thoughts regarding the season opener of Titans? Will you continue to watch it, and what changes would you like to see implemented? Let us know in the comments below!