‘Titans’ 1×09 Review: ‘Hank and Dawn’

This week’s Titans takes us back to the beginning when Hank and Dawn first met. Taking a break from last week’s cliffhanger, the series has chosen to show us the tragedy that brought this young couple together. 

The Original Hawk and Dove

If you thought that it was always Hank and Dawn fighting crime side by side, think again. Originally, Hank suited up with his younger brother Don. The two brothers would spend their nights going after pedophiles and child molesters that the system let slip through the cracks.

But there was a reason for that.

In this episode, we learned more about Hank’s backstory. When he was a kid, his football coach would molest him. One day, the coach was trying to prey on Donny and Hank decided to step in so his brother could be saved. Offering himself up to his coach like a sacrificial lamb, Donny was spared. But that guilt never left Don because after that he made sure to always be by his big brother’s side every day of their lives. 

And that is exactly where he was the day he died. 

The B-Street Tragedy

Hank first met Dawn at a newsstand on B-Street. The pair bumped into each other while Dawn was walking with her mom. And that was when a driver lost control of his vehicle, colliding right into Don and Dawn’s mother. 

After the accident, Dawn and Hank attended support group meetings for the loved ones of the victims from the B-Street Tragedy. It was in those meetings that the pair grew closer together.

They soon became good friends, filling the holes in each other’s lives left behind by the people they’d both lost.

Dawn would eat pizza with Hank from Don’s favorite pizzeria in the city and Hank would go to afternoon tea with Dawn, just like her mother used to. 

Their friendship quickly blossomed into some kind of romance because they did sleep together. Now that I know it was Hank and Dawn way before Dick ever came into the picture, I’m a little annoyed with Dick. I completely understand why Hank has such animosity toward him. It does seem like Dick may have temporarily stolen the girl Hank loved. No wonder he hates Dick so much.  

Hank and Dawn

I love that this episode showed why these two are together. They come from a similar background and maybe that’s the reason why their relationship works as well as it does. 

Like Hank, Dawn was also abused by her mother’s husband. When she was younger, she broke his arm and that made him stop for a little bit but it’s still understandable that Dawn is upset when her mother confesses that she’s going back to him. 

Dawn tries to convince her mother not to but she’s made her decision. The two leave the conversation alone for the time being, expecting to revisit it later. But they never got the chance to because later that day was the B-Street Tragedy. 

After weeks of connecting because of their shared tragedy, Hank tells Dawn the truth about what happened to him. This triggers something in Dawn, because while Hank is asleep, she tracks down his old football coach. 

At first, she just wants him to confess but she soon realizes what she’s dealing with and that he never will. Dawn goes on the attack after that but he is able to overpower her. It’s in that moment that Hank arrives to save her.

He never wanted to go after the coach because that would mean that it was all real. But after arriving at the coach’s house, a very visible trigger is turned on in Hank, and he finally lets out all his anger on the coach with Dawn as the sole witness. 

This is the birth of the new Hawk and Dove. 

Rachel calls for help

Throughout these flashbacks, Rachel is appearing to both Hank and Dawn. She’s calling to them for help. At first, Hank doesn’t even notice her but Dawn does eventually. 

It’s Rachel’s cry for help that wakes Dawn up from her comatose state. She crawls to Hank and tells him that Rachel needs them and they need to find Jason Todd. 

This episode was a small reprieve from the hard hitting episodes we’ve been getting lately. However, it’s clear that the last two episodes of the season will bring it all to head and I can’t wait to see everyone back together again. 

Highlights

  • Hank is still by Dawn’s bedside and I love that. He really is a great boyfriend, minus the fact that he’s an alcoholic who self medicates.
  • I loved Donny. I hope that we get to see him again. 
  • Dawn’s mom was British and I honestly did not expect that but I liked it. 
  • Dawn eating Don’s favorite pizza and Hank having afternoon tea were such great moments in this episode. 
  • Hank and Dawn hooked up in this episode but then she told him that it couldn’t happen again. So were they together or not when Dick comes into the picture? 
  • After this episode, I now need to see Dawn suit up as Dove for the first time. 
  • Did Rachel somehow heal Dawn because how else did she get out of bed? She couldn’t have healed that fast on her own.
  • And how was Rachel calling out to them? Was this happening at the same time that Kory was choking her?

A new episode of Titans is available for streaming on the DC Universe app every Friday. Check out the trailer for next week’s penultimate episode here: