‘Titans’ 1×03 Review: ‘Origins’

This week’s episode picks up just moments before last week’s major cliff hanger. This time we see everything unfold through another’s character’s point of view. Kory has finally caught up to Rachel and she’s willing to do whatever it takes to get her.

This episode, aptly titled Origins, jumps around the timeline to tease one fan favorite’s origin story via flashbacks while never letting up on the action in the present. Keep reading below to find out why this is this show’s strongest outing yet!

Kory and Rachel: The Dynamic Duo

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Titans’ leading ladies finally met in this week’s episode and it was honestly one of the highlights for me. After saving Rachel from The Nuclear Family, and killing the Nuclear dad in the process, the pair hit the road to find the answers they’re both looking for. Kory had to use her powers to save Rachel, so the two spend some time discussing the powers within them. Kory feels light. Rachel only feels darkness. This is an interesting perspective for both of them because Kory has the power to destroy while we know that Rachel will ultimately have the power to heal.

Stopping at a diner for lunch, Kory and Rachel witness their waitress getting harassed. Kory quickly comes to her defense but one of the men involved tries to intimidate Kory into leaving. Sensing that things are about to get ugly, she tells Rachel to go wait in the car. Then, in one of my favorite sequences of the series so far, Kory easily beats up all three men.

What I loved about this moment is that their waitress thanked Kory by handing off her food in a to go bag, on the house, while all three men were lying on the floor, unconscious.

Rachel proudly watched the entire fight through the diner’s window. She tells Kory she knows at least one thing about her now: She’s a total badass. Right you are, Rachel! She is.

Their relationship is still new but it’s obvious Kory is very protective of Rachel. Since Kory is still suffering from amnesia, she doesn’t really know why she was looking for Rachel. Still, she senses that there is danger and she wants to make sure this girl is safe.

They arrive at a convent they believe is connected to Rachel, where they meet a nun who remembers her. It turns out that Rachel and her mom stayed with them eight years ago, when they were hiding from Rachel’s father. The sister doesn’t give away much information but it’s clear she knows more than she’s letting on.

Who is Rachel’s dad?

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I don’t want to get too much into this mystery because I’m sure the show will dive into it when they’re ready. I do want to talk about Rachel’s dad within the context of this episode, though. The nuns at this convent obviously know about him. They don’t seem to know who he actually is or the full extent of his power, based on how they act.

At first, I thought they might be connected to the man who kidnapped Rachel in the Pilot, but now I don’t think they are. They honestly seem to think they are keeping Rachel safe by locking her up.

Kory seems to be the only one getting close to the truth. Even without her memory, she’s able to track down her research on Rachel in a rented storage locker nearby. She ominously calls Rachel the destroyer of worlds.

Like I said, I don’t want to give away too much, but just know that this is all connected to Rachel’s mysterious father. I don’t know if the series intends on making him their big bad yet. However, if they do decide to go there, it’ll be really interesting because of who he is.

Kory and Dick AKA Mom and Dad

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Anyone who knows me, knows I am a diehard Barbara Gordon and Dick Grayson shipper for life. I will go down with my ship. But I can’t deny that I am really digging Kory and Dick on this show. It helps that I already love Kory and that I’ve loved Dick since Batman: The Animated Series in the nineties.

Their relationship right now is very antagonistic, but I like that. Dick followed Kory and Rachel all the way to the convent using the super cool gadgets he still has from his time working alongside Batman. Yeah, Dick may be really mad at his dad right now but that doesn’t stop him from continuing to use dad’s toys.

 

Finally catching up with the girls in Ohio, Dick and Kory explore her storage unit where she kept all of her research on Rachel. Dick doesn’t trust her at all. That much is clear. And Kory trusts him even less. Still, there’s no denying both of them just want to protect Rachel in their own way. It’s the one thing they have in common right now. That’s okay, though, because there are major sparks between them. Despite being Dick and Barbara shipper, I actually can’t wait to see the two of them embark on the romantic journey we all expect.

Dick Grayson’s Origins

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This episode gives us glimpses of Dick’s origin story via flashback. His parents died fifteen years earlier, when he was somewhere around thirteen or fourteen years old. What he believed was an accident might not have been after all. It seems the show is trying to draw direct parallels between Dick and Rachel, so they were definitely around the same age when both their parents were murdered.

Dick was fostered by billionaire philanthropist Bruce Wayne, and the rest, as they say, is history. No, I’m kidding. That would be boring. Young Dick was sort of, well, a dick. He ran away from Wayne Manor his first night there after jumping out of his window. How cool were Dick’s acrobat moves swinging from one branch to another? The boy’s got skills! Still, this was a total dick move. Especially if you consider the lengths Bruce went to so Dick would feel welcome. Well, to be honest, it was probably Alfred that got Dick all of the clothes in his closet. But it was definitely with Bruce’s money so… Not cool, Dick!

He was obviously found and returned to Wayne Manor. Then he stole Bruce’s Porsche for a joyride. The same Porsche he’s currently driving; the one he called “a family heirloom” when Rachel asked about it. He seemed like such a brat trying to run away.

But Dick wasn’t actually trying to run away like his social worker believed. He wanted to find the people responsible for his parent’s death. He wanted to be the one to deliver the fatal blow.

A brooding kid with a chip on his shoulder? Bruce Wayne can relate. In the final flashback of the episode, Dick found a letter from Bruce in his room inviting him to channel his pain in a different way. And so Robin was finally born!

Was the “big bad” finally revealed?

The Nuclear Family loses Rachel in Titans 1×03 ‘Origins’ (Photo: Warner Bros. Television)

We knew it wasn’t The Nuclear Family. They were just pieces on the board, controlled by a much larger presence. After losing Rachel, thanks to Kory, the remaining members of The Nuclear Family continued their journey to Chicago. They meet with a man who appeared to be their handler. The Nuclear mom called him Dr. Adamson. At this time I don’t really know much about him. I do know he was super intimidating.

I still don’t think he’s the season’s big bad though. I’m interested in finding out if he answers to anyone the way the Nuclear Family seems to answer to him.

An adorable meet cute

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While searching for answers, Kory and Rachel end up at a skating rink near the convent. That’s where Dick initially finds them, but it’s also where Garfield and Rachel finally meet for the first time. If you’ve ever read a Teen Titans comic or watched the animated series, you’d know that Raven and Beast Boy are one of the most popular pairings on the team.

They meet at a pinball machine in the arcade. After seeing her from across the room, Gar walks up to Rachel to introduce himself. The two teenagers are a mess and really bad at flirting. They fumble their initial greeting and when they try complimenting each other’s hair. Rachel’s is blue and Gar’s is green. It’s all really adorable. Is it weird that I might be shipping them already even though they’re still really far away from anything remotely romantic taking place on the show? No? Good, because I definitely ship it. I need to see more of them in future episodes.

Highlights

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  • Kory’s entire flashback when she went to Rachel’s house before heading to Washington DC. I loved that she tried to impersonate an FBI agent. I want to see her try to do that around Dick so he can be completely mortified by it.
  • The young actor they cast to play Dick. He didn’t have a lot of lines but he conveyed a lot of emotion through mannerisms and facial expressions. All the flashbacks were fantastic. The scene where he jumped out of the window was beautifully shot. One of my favorite sequences on the show so far!
  • Rachel calling Kory a badass after she beat up those guys at the diner. She totally is!
  • Kory asking Rachel if Dick was her dad and Rachel’s adorable reaction to that question before getting sad because she believes Dick doesn’t care about her at this point. I wish Dick had been there for that because his head probably would have exploded upon hearing “Rachel” and “dad” in the same sentence.
  • “Gee that’s a new one!” Kory called Dick a dick and his reaction was hilarious.
  • Dick’s reaction to Kory stealing his car. “You stole my car! I like my car.”
  • How they did a flashback to Dick’s joyride in that same Porsche. Bruce gave Dick the car he stole as a kid. No wonder he loves that car so much.
  • “There’s an app for that.” Dick’s response to Kory asking how he found her and the car. I laughed out loud.
  • Rachel’s visions in the mirror are getting more terrifying with every episode. I bet there’s a reason for that.
  • Garfield continues to be a precious cinnamon roll that I want to protect at all costs.
  • What was up with that weird lady giving the Nuclear kids candy that they were later warned not to eat? That was weird.
  • Hank sitting at Dawn’s bedside in the hospital. He doesn’t intend to leave her side. Update: she isn’t dead. But she’s not doing too great either. I wonder if Rachel’s healing powers might play a part in her recovery.
  • Dick’s partner is most definitely dead though. RIP Detective Rohrbach. You deserved better.
  • I love every time Kory uses her powers. She looks so fierce.
  • The Nuclear Family is weird though, aren’t day? Rachel had it right when she called them a freak show in the car after they kidnapped her.
  • Kory has some really extensive research on Rachel. I really like that they keep teasing the raven.
  • Even though we never actually see Bruce Wayne’s face, he still has a significant part to play in the show. I secretly want them to cast someone to play Bruce in flashbacks. I don’t have to see Bruce in the present. He’s not really a part of Dick’s life right now but he is a big part of Dick’s past. Don’t deny us that!
  • The show’s entire timeline is amazing! Dick was approximately 13-14 years old in the flashbacks that took place 15 years earlier, which means that Dick is 28-29 years old in the present. If Bruce was Dick’s age when he fostered him, then Bruce is currently 43-44 years in the present timeline for Titans. Ben Affleck is 46 years old but it was confirmed that his Bruce Wayne was between 42-45 years old in Batman v Superman. It was also confirmed in the Pilot that Dick left Gotham a year ago. Brenton Thwaites, who plays Dick Grayson, confirmed it was because Bruce was killing as Batman and Dick didn’t want to cross that line. This is basically the entire premise for Batman v Superman. How is this show not officially connected to the movies yet?????

An all new episode of Titans is available every Friday on the DC Universe streaming app.