This three-episode premiere was bursting at the seams with drama, culminating in one of the most shocking scenes in the history of the series and setting the tone for the rest of the season.
Let's dig in. We have a lot to discuss!
Jason's death was not a surprising development. It was teased in the official trailer for Titans Season 3, and given the way it played out in the comics, it was inevitable he would pop back up as Red Hood.
Jason has never been my favorite member of the team, and after the way Titans Season 2 ended, he was set up as an adversary. The series is finally following through on it, so that's a major positive.
What is murkier is how he was brutally murdered by the Joker, only for him to pop back up in the flesh. Is someone bringing people back to life in Gotham, or was the death faked?
Jason is now anti-Titans and anti-Bruce, which can only cause drama in Gotham, but there has to be more to the tale than him faking his death. The chemistry books and the mysterious liquid suggests there's something much darker going on.
Could he have a split personality, or is he truly being controlled by another force? Anything is possible on a superhero show, but I wish the reveal that he was alive landed with more of a thud because what we got was more of a fizzle.
Jason never evolved. He never grew past his own worst instincts. Don't let that happen to you. Keep learning. Keep growing.Starfire
Whether it was fake or not, Jason's death understandably changed the dynamic of the Titans because how do you bounce back after losing one of your own?
The moral dilemma for Dick as he battled through the pain for answers worked well to show how he was still trying to make sense of Bruce's bizarre decisions.
Barbara Gordon's integration this season was seamless, and it's clear off the bat she will go to any measures necessary to keep the citizens of Gotham safe.
In various mediums, we've learned that the city is a hotbed for crime, so her job must be tough.
The Titans descending on the town will either help or hinder her progress because how do they know more villains will not pop up to battle with these supposed heroes on the back of it?
Barbara's verbal attack on Bruce was needed. All these years, Bruce has been the ringleader, putting kids through truly horrifying scenarios to turn them into killers.
It's hard to rule Bruce a hero or a villain. He's more of a character who plays on the gray area, but it's hard to believe he was already working on replacements for the team.
He's a tough nut to crack, and he's the type of character who will tell you things on a need-to-know basis, something that works very well for the person he is.
The consequence of the verbal beatdown being that Bruce broke into Arkham Asylum, and murdering the Joker was perfectly executed. Bruce dropping the bloody crowbar and declaring that Gotham is Dick's problem now relieved Bruce of the big decisions.
That's how you see my father, isn't it? As a sacrifice? You dragged him into this insanity. Just like you did Dick and Jason.
People who lead teams are often faced with tough decisions, and Bruce's time at the helm of Gotham has come with some truly heinous decisions. Heavy lies the crown comes to mind here.
Dick was given what can only be described as the keys to the kingdom, and there was truly no telling how he was going to handle it. San Francisco was tough, and Dick sometimes cracked under the pressure, so seeing him as the supposed leader of the Titans in Gotham is quite jarring.
Will this be a therapeutic process for Dick that allows him to understand the decisions of the man who raised him? It sure seems like that's the direction we're headed here.
The opening episodes were filled with terrible decisions, but Jason going to fight the Joker and Hank visiting Jason took the cake.
I'll eat crow if we learn Jason faked his death, but Hank made a grave mistake by visiting this psycho teenager.
Hank wanted to stay well away from that Titans life, but even he started to realize there was something more going on with the Red Hood than the Titans were privy to.
But he knows how far villains will go to get the upper hand, so he should have had a contingency plan in place in case things got gnarly.
The series managed to build up the tension of Hank attending the meeting with Jason very well, but it's hard to take it as seriously when you consider the bad decisions he made in the process.
It seemed like we would spend a long time with Hank missing, possibly as a way to write Alan Ritchson off temporarily to allow the actor to film Jack Reacher for Amazon, but what actually transpired shocked me to the core.
You're as crazy as the fucking Joker.
Hank having a bomb attached to his heart, counting down with every heartbeat, was out there. Red Hood truly is one of the most cunning individuals these characters have gone up against to date.
It was nice to see Hank and Dawn start the process of repairing their relationship. It's just a shame they waited so late to do it, and it was heartbreaking to watch this somber iteration of Hank.
He was chipper at the beginning of Titans Season 3 Episode 2 as he embraced his new life. Had he stayed away from Gotham, he would have probably been safe. Then again, maybe Red Hood would have found a way to kidnap him.
The frantic mission to save Hank's life had a lot of twists and turns. If Hank had not made the stupid decisions earlier in the episode, it would probably be the best episode.
Dick refusing to deal with Red Hood because he said the team didn't make deals with terrorists was something, but you would think he would have been more open to bending the rules considering, you know, a bomb was strapped to one of his closest allies.
You know, Barb was right. You're just as bad as the Joker. You and he have been poisoning this city together.Dick
Dawn suiting up as Dove to try to get the gold bars for Jason was hardly a surprise. She knew the clock was running out on Hank's life, and unless Superboy had a miraculous discovery, Hank's survival would come down the wire.
The fight between Dawn and Dick at the scene was a true shocker, but it highlighted how the pair had very different views on how the situation should be handled.
There had to be another play from Red Hood, so putting the detonator into the gun Dawn used to shoot Red Hood with was pure genius.
It came out of nowhere and knowing that Dawn sealed the fate of the love of her life is something she will have to deal with for the rest of her life.
It was a tragic ending for Hank and Dove. Tragedy brought them together, so it was possible their story would end with some more tragedy.
Now, Dawn will be wondering whether they would have been safe if they gave up their superhero identities and lived a normal life.
Being a superhero is a double-edged sword. You need to prepare for the worst in every scenario.
Dawn will not be the only one affected by this death. Superboy, Gar, and Starfire were also a part of the mission to save Hank's life.
Gar knew there were was a genuine possibility he would be losing his friend for good, and you could tell as much during their last chat together.
I ended it. You know what he was doing as I caved in his skull? He was laughing. He laughed at me because he won. You and Barbara were right. It's all a game I should have stopped playing a long time ago. It's over for me now.Bruce
Superboy is still unaware of the true extent of his powers, but it sure was fun to see him battling to save Hawk.
Thanks to Scarecrow, we know that Jason is acting out against Bruce, and using the explosive from Wayne enterprises solidified as much.
Bruce suggesting Barbara and her team use Scarecrow as a profiler felt a bit too Prodigal Son for me, but if the show utilizes Scarecrow well, I can get on board with it.
Starfire's condition is a bit concerning. Is someone controlling her body? Does she have a virus? Does she have repressed memories?
There is so much up in the air with her, and I'm not sure the chats with the therapist are needed. The therapist will probably be revealed as a villain down the line because nobody is who they say they are on this series.
You've got to believe me, man. All of this shit I've done, it's not my fault. I don't know what's happening to me. Something's wrong with me.Jason
The first three episodes were the best opening episodes of the series to date. The focus was in the right place, but it wouldn't have hurt to see where Rachel is and how her efforts to revive Donna are panning out.
As things stand, the fun is gone, and the move to HBO Max has ushered in a much darker era of Titans. There are still flaws, but hopefully, the series manages to build on the success of these first episodes to give us a killer season.
Titans has always had a problem sticking the landing, with seasons starting strong and imploding before the end.
What did you think of Hank's death?
Do you think someone is controlling Jason, or is he merely trying to trick everyone?
What did you think of Dick and Dawn's fight?
Are you a fan of Barbara Gordon?
Hit the comments below.
Titans continues Thursdays on HBO Max.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.