Season 1 / Episode 2: Hawk and Dove / The CW
Welcome back to your weekly dose of Titans.
After some murder mysteries in good ole’ Michigan featuring Rachel a.k.a. Raven and Dick Grayson a.k.a. The “Fuck Batman” Robin, some literal scorched earth tactics on the other side of the globe from Kori a.k.a Starfire, and the briefest of cameos from Beast Boy, are you ready to see how our ragtag bunch of misfits are going to collide?
Spoilers ahead as we recap Hawk and Dove.
I. It’s a Rough Life for a Vigilante
Our scene opens with Hawk hanging from chains as some low-level criminals crowd around and critique the costume. One gets a little too familiar with a cigarette and Hawk pays the kindness back with a swift knee which in turns get a gun pointed at his chest. The apparent ringleader has a surgeon theme going and brings up some implements of torture and a handheld radio (once again making me ask, what year is this series supposed to be set in?).
Hawk does some monologue as the mooks add some more chains and when Hawk asks “Are you going to torture me or what?” the ringleader predictably starts torturing, this time with some light stabbing to the stomach. Ringleader makes an inquiry about what Hawk is doing here before ordering the mooks to take the pants down as he selects a nice pairing of garden sheers.
Cue the lights shutting down and Dove making her dramatic entrance. She quickly clears out the room. Ringleader makes a quick break for it, leaving Hawk and Dove to have a flirty little moment.
We find out that Hawk and Dove are based in DC, the capital, as Hawk takes a nice cold bath to help heal his latest set of wounds. He injects and ingests some drugs and Dove watches over him like a Nightingale rocking a Superman t-shirt. Hawk is hellbent on finishing the job and shutting down an operation, while Dove is a little concerned about the whole “clearly in constant pain” thing.
Before that conversation can continue, Dove is distracted by a nicely wrapped box and asks Hawk what the occasion is. Per typical TV show fashion, it’s an anniversary gift. It turns out it is a key to a little bird enclosure on the roof where we see a literal dove. It’s actually a sweet moment, even with the “they pair for life” comment Hawk makes after expressing his joy about the half 3.5 years they have spent together.
Hawk is having some stamina problems in… other areas of his life, so Dove decides to take a flashback. Four years previous we see your typical acrobatic display to rock music. A flight of birds brutally beats down some criminals in bloody fashion. We see Robin break ranks with Batman to play with the quote unquote bad kids. Dove is stirred from her flashback when Hawk asks if she’s okay and we end with a look at an old photograph.
II. Road Tripping Through the Midwest
Somewhere in Ohio, Dick and Rachel are cruising down the highway, taking a stop at a diner. Dick is trying his best to be an adoptive dad and Rachel is trying her best to be an independent teenager. As they awkwardly try to bond, Dick tries to figure out how often Rachel channels the dark forces. She doesn’t really have any answers other to stare at her evil reflection. Dick details a plan to hide away with some old friends.
Back in Detroit, Dick’s partner is getting a talk from the medical examiner. The doc describes what happened to the husk of skin as “fucking biblical” before showing off the raven tattoo on the back. Dick’s partner doesn’t take too kindly to the medical examiner’s words and goes off to investigate.
Back on the roadtrip, Dick calls in a favor from Alfred. He then gives a basic safety lecture to Rachel before asking if she should be watching Game of Thrones. They connect over a shared hatred of pineapple on pizza (which they are wrong for). And Dick goes off into the night while Rachel see the very obvious spy suitcases just laying around. One of them is a laptop with the Google, that Rachel uses to search herself. She finds some news on what’s going on with her mom’s murder. And then she looks up Dick Grayson.
Dick is running an errand when his partner calls and reminds him that he has a job back in Michigan. They talk details about the fake cop that tried to kidnap Rachel. Dick has some documents faxed, I guess, to his laptop printer. However, this sends a picture of a corpse to Rachel, who does not handle the imagery well. Dick finds her boarded up in the bathroom with a bunch of hand-drawn crosses littered about.
Jump back to St. Louis with 1950’s showtunes playing. We see the most prototypical white family playing Monolopy while eating breakfast. The father goes to answer the door, where he speaks to an older generic white man who informs him that “he’s been activated” and that the girl in the photograph “is more dangerous than she looks.”
Man casually walks back to the kitchen with the news that they’re going on a family trip. He brings up some blue drugs and everyone takes their dose because that’s normal.
Dick and Rachel are back in the car, talking about the doomsday cult that is after Rachel. Rachel talks about her incredibly dark aura. She asks some questions about Bruce Wayne which Dick avoids, although they do share some of their abandonment issues. Rachel explicitly calls Dick out on how he’s probably going to ditch her too, although Dick assures her that’s not the case.
III. The Plot Lines Begin to Converge
Looks like Dick’s old friends are none other than Hawk and Dove. Dove definitely is surprised to see Dick. When Rachel introduces herself her empathy powers kick in giving her a peek into a little more of Dick and Dove’s backstory. This is followed by:
Dick: Can we talk?
Dove: You’re about four years late, but sure.
The two former lovebirds chat on the roof while Rachel appreciates the dove cote. Dove asks Dick about his relationship with Bruce and his new job as a cop. She recaps some of Hawk’s injuries. Dick suggests they quit, but Dove is talking about doing one last job. She asks him for help but Dick claims he’s out of the life (which… he’s not. We saw him very much in that life last episode), and then an angry Hawk marches in.
Hawk is definitely not okay with any part of the situation. He is your typical jealous boyfriend type, especially since Dick showed up the night before their one last job. Dove tries to tone down the amount of testosterone pumping to limited success. Hawk doesn’t want Dick’s help though.
Rachel points out that Dick and Dove were a thing, to which Dick replies “when we were kids” (to which I have to ask how old are you exactly now Detective Grayson?). Rachel continues to call Dick out on his dickish behavior and Dick fades away to his own couch. Later, Dick gets a suitcase message and meets up with Alfred at the Federal Reserve. He gets a whole bunch of money, which he promptly hides in some towels.
Dove and Rachel share some quality time shopping. Dove decides to show Dick the prep work for the latest job. The gun dealer Hawk is after is very much bad news and is trying to corner the preteen market for handguns. Dick, always one to show up, brings up his “famous bird computer” to do some more recon. In the background, Rachel enjoys Game of Thrones, while Dove starts a lecture about responsibly raising a child.
At this point, Dick does something incredibly silly and tries to pay off Hawk and Dove to raise Rachel. Dove is like WTF and what exactly have you become? Hawk comes in at just the wrong moment to see Dove try to comfort Dick. They scuffle before Rachel shuts that shit down in a second. All of the adults are understandably concerned about all of the broken glass.
IV. The Briefest of Interludes
Back in Detroit, Dick’s partner goes back to her apartment to get some rest and relaxation but is instead greeted by activated cult St. Louis Family. The resulting four versus one ends with Dick’s partner giving up Dick’s location thus upping the “Women hurt to give a male character motivation” count by one.
V. Dick is Bad With Interpersonal Relationships
Dove and Dick try to comfort Rachel after her flare up. Dove promptly leaves after about 30 seconds to do the job with Hawk and you can tell everything is about to go south for everyone very, very quickly. Rachel and Dick have a conversation about Dick’s current problem with helping people and the whole having to do bad things for good reasons. Rachel is just completely over Dick’s inaction.
The gun deal goes as you expect. Hawk and Dove seem to have things handled, but then more people show up and Hawk gets shot and they get captured by dude with the surgeon aesthetic. He brings the sheers back out, but thankfully Robin makes the dramatically entrance this time. He goes ultra-violent on everyone who had the misfortune of being there. Dove finally sees Dick’s dark side and everyone is a little exhausted.
Back at the apartment, Raven finds Dick’s envelope of money with a letter and reacts exactly how you’d expected a teenager in her situation would. When everyone gets back to the apartment, Rachel is at the roof meditating on how Dick just blatantly lied about his plans. Hawk reads the letter and gives another “the fuck” before looking at Dick with a simple look of incredulousness. Hawk and Dove get into a lover’s quarrel. Meanwhile, Rachel continues to call Dick’s BS out but before any positive resolution can take place — the cultists are here!
Activated cult St. Louis Family begins to take names. Hawk and Dick struggle to put up a good fight. Dove gets promptly thrown off the roof, once again upping the “Women hurt to give a male character motivation” count. Rachel gets captured and Dick climbs his way back to the roof only to realize that Dove is on the street level.
Dick starts doing CPR and a solitary Raven brings us to the credits just to hammer home how bleak things are.
How’s that for a cliffhanger?
Keep up on all things Titans, as we recap the series beginning to end.
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