Four seasons and a streaming service migration later and the Titans are hanging up their super-suits with a final stretch of episodes starting this week on HBO Max. Part 2 of Season 4 sees our heroes in a desperate final showdown with the newly risen Brother Blood (Joseph Morgan) alongside his creator, Mother Mayhem (Franka Potente), as they attempt (yet again *sigh*) to release Trigon on Earth.
After viewing them in their entirety, the final episodes carry the same strengths and weaknesses that have been the frustrating calling card of the series since its debut on the defunct DC Universe streaming service all those years ago. The cinematography and visuals continue to be big screen worthy and the actors are excellently cast and continue to turn in great work, but the writing, on the other hand, is just as inconsistent and head scratching as ever.
A great example of this is the unique new direction of Connor/Superboy (Joshua Orpin) as he decides to embrace the Luthor side of his DNA, which sees him shave his head and accept his role as the new LexCorp CEO. Orpin has been terrific in this whole series and sells this Lex Luthor version of Connor in all his dark moments. Unfortunately, Conner’s motivations never make sense and, by the end, never even matter – the character shifts with the whim of each individual episode. The same can also be said for Joseph Morgan as Brother Blood, with Morgan absolutely giving it his all in every scene, but Sebastian/Blood’s decision making and personality change completely depending on what the story needs.
In brighter news, Gar/Beast Boy (Ryan Potter) finally gets the spotlight he deserves, with a story by Geoff Johns and Potter himself, in a string of middle episodes that feature a wildly cool adaptation of the wonderfully absurd and obscure DC hero: B’wana Beast (Nyambi Nyambi). Potter is great and once again the unsung MVP of Titans, anchoring these installments with humor and depth. He also gets to steal the show by interacting with a number of unexpected characters in appearances that will no doubt delight fans, while getting social media trending. As an added bonus, these episodes also do a solid job of setting things up for the final story.
While those aforementioned moments are very satisfying and a long time coming, there’s still a lot to cram in before the end and it shows. Viewers are introduced to the new Rachel (Teagan Croft), aka “White Raven”, whom despite Croft really growing into the role, isn’t given much to do here besides the costume change – which again doesn’t make sense, and goes nowhere.
Tim Drake/Robin (Jay Lycurgo) fares much better with the debut of his official Robin costume in a rushed, but still very entertaining “Robin Boot Camp” led by a brief return of Jason Todd/Red Hood (Curran Walters). The new Robin suit may be the best live-action one yet and Lycurgo’s shortened stint as the boy wonder is definitely one of the bigger bummers of the show coming to an end that wasn’t fully planned in advance.
It seems fitting that the last we’ll see of Titans remains true to the uneven nature of the entire run of the series. The ending is plenty satisfying, if not a bit convenient and lacking in a sensical road to reach it – but will leave fans with a smile. But anyone on the fence about it should definitely return to the team one last time, if only for the middle stretch of episodes featuring Beast Boy and some wild surprises.
Score: 3.5 out of 5
Titans, the fourth and final season, returns with two episodes Thursday, April 13 on HBO Max, followed by one episode weekly through May 11.