[This review contains some minor SPOILERS!]
I’ve joked in previous reviews of Titans that the show was stopping its storyline every second episode so as to present a pilot for another future potential DC Universe TV series. While that ultimately proved to be true of Doom Patrol, I’m not so sure that was a joke anymore. “Donna Troy” feels less like an episode of Titans and more like a crossover event on The CW.
The fact that the episode opens with a flashback of a younger Donna Troy and Dick Grayson discussing Dick’s uneasiness following an encounter with The Joker doesn’t help this impression. The hell of it is that the scene is brilliantly acted and I found myself wishing that we had a series built around awkward sidekick conversations while “the parents’ are working together than the Titans series we got. But I digress.
Still uncertain what he’s supposed to do with his life now that he’s burned his Robin costume, Dick Grayson decides to seek the advice of the one person who said she’d always be there for him when the darkness got to be too much – Wonder Woman’s sidekick, Donna Troy. So Dick once again abandons everyone to go deal with his own drama, as Kory, Rachel, Gar and Rachel’s mother, Angela, take a train to Ohio to see if Angela’s house is still there and still livable.
It must be said that Conor Leslie is a fantastic Donna Troy, though she doesn’t get much chance to show off Donna’s Amazonian side in this episode. It is revealed that she’s stopped being Wonder Girl but is still finding ways to save the world while working as a professional photographer. As someone who was introduced to Donna through the Green Lantern comics when she and Kyle Rayner were dating, it was a nice nod to that part of Donna’s life and the script by Richard Hatem and Marisha Mukerjee perfectly captures the spirit of the friendship between Dick and Donna from the comics. Between that and Leslie’s performance, you’ll find yourself falling in love with Donna Troy by the episode’s end.
Unfortunately, nearly everything else in the episode up until the last five minutes feels like filler. There are some good moments between Tegan Croft and Rachel Nichols (who is almost unrecognizable as Angela) as mother and daughter get to know each other and Ryan Potter once again steals the show with some wonderful physical acting as he awkwardly deals with not wanting to intrude on one of the touching family bonding scenes. Yet most of the scenes on the train dealing with Kory and Gar don’t seem to accomplish anything beyond killing time.
Despite this, “Donna Troy” is an enjoyable hour of television viewing. Yet it exemplifies Titans greatest problem to date – it keeps introducing characters I’d much rather see a show based around than the current team of Titans! Thankfully, Donna is along for the ride with Dick at the episode’s end, so hopefully she’ll be sticking around a while longer.