Titans Season 2, Episode 3: “Ghosts”
This is the first episode that actually feels like business as usual for the team. After a pair of episodes devoted to closings and openings, this episode is about continuing. It would have worked so much better with that first episode as the finale, as it was clearly intended to be, but you can feel the momentum picking up with this episode, ending with an intriguing cliffhanger.
It picks up with the team dealing with the revelation that Rose’s father is Deathstroke. Then it immediately jumps to the other half of the team, Hawk, Dove, and Donna, showing up at Titans tower. Dick sends the kids off before discussing the current problem with Dr. Light with the old team. They decide they have to deal with their unfinished business and take him in. The team doesn’t react well to his revelations about Rose and Deathstroke. The reconstituted team goes after Dr. Light and kind of flubs the attempt. After Donna commits what was almost certainly a homicide with a motorcycle, Dr. Light escapes.
While the adults are trying to bring in Dr. Light, the kids are having troubles of their own. Raven is having trouble with her powers and Jason is a constant shit stirrer. The addition of Rose, another shit stirrer, really complicates things. Rose is a sympathetic figure, bonding with Rachel over their mutual terrible fathers. But she also can’t seem to help causing some dissension. Just a little time observing the team lets her find some weaknesses. That is not a good mix with Jason’s hatred of being sat at the kid’s table. When he and Gar find where Dr. Light is hiding, he can’t help but force the issue. It, of course, goes poorly.
The other big thread in the episode is the show finally really digging into who and what Starfire is. At the end of the last episode, she was kidnapped by another alien. Her, it is revealed that he is a member of the royal guard from her planet, her seeking a missing princess, who just so happens to be Kori. He is also something of an ex-boyfriend. Now Kori has to deal with her responsibilities at home and her desire to stay on Earth with her new friends. While the first season was all about her remembering who she was, this season is setting her up to decide who she is going to be.
One good thing about this episode is that it gets most of its characters in one place, and the show gives most of them some time to grow. Hawk and Dove continue to not really work. In this episode they frame their continual pull back to the team as addiction, which makes it clear what the right answer is, but if they are going to be on this show they are always going to be involved in superhero stuff. It is like the characters have already figured out the answer to their problems, but the show won’t let them solve the problem. Dick is dealing with some major guilt. The younger three are all trying to find their place, with Jason doing the most struggling against any perceived limits. Jason’s talk with Gar is particularly illuminating. He sees himself as wanted, which explains his general orneriness. He expects to be left behind or forgotten, so he forces everyone to notice him and leave him out.
Overall, Ghosts was a solid episode. The show appears to be finding a groove and appears to have a plan for its large and growing cast.