Titans Season 3 Episode 9 Review: SoulsPaul Dailly at .
Putting Rachel and Donna on the backburner for a while was the best decision.
Titans Season 3 Episode 9 brought the two characters back into the fold, and it left us with a lot to unpack, so let's dig in.
Rachel is a young woman who struggled to harness her abilities throughout the first two seasons.
The trip to Themyscira was important to give her some much-needed perspective on her abilities, and the constant plans to resurrect Donna proving fruitless solidified the fact to Rachel that this was not going to be an easy process.
It would have been nice to have seen more of Themyscira, but given the context of the story being told, it made sense.
The location seemed as tranquil as other locations, but I especially enjoyed the struggle to resurrect the dead.
If it was an easy process, too many people would be back in the land of the living, but now that we know there's a distinct process, it makes it all easier to understand.
Rachel preparing her exit from Themyscira only to realize the person she was trying to resurrect was a pivotal moment.
The only good thing about Donna rushing off to save Bruce is that Rachel should be leaving Themysira to reunite with her fellow Titans and kickstart this battle against Scarecrow and his band of villains.
Delving deep into Rachel's psyche was needed to help understand how she came to process the grief of those she's lost in the years since her powers started to manifest.
The character has been a casualty of poor storytelling choices in the past and the less-is-more approach resumed her storyline with resounding success.
The intriguing aspect will be in how she approaches the fact that one of the Titans is working with the bad guys, and, well, the dynamics have been forever changed by a wave of new additions.
Hank: We have to go back.
Donna: Look, you don't even know if we can, and even if we could.
Hank: You're telling me you wouldn't jump at the chance to go back down there and hand Jason his ass?
Donna: Is that what this is about, revenge?
Hank: You're god damn right it's about revenge. That little fucker blew me up.
Donna: I think we're supposed to let that go, Hank.
Hank: Donna Troy is lecturing me about letting stuff go? Did you let stuff go when Deathstroke killed Garth? I didn't fucking think so. What the hell happened to you?
Donna: I died and so did you. It sucks. It is what it is.
Hank: I had a lot of road left.
Donna: And so did I. You think I'm happy about how I went out? I saved the planet from some asteroid. I died at a carnival, Hank. A carnival.
Hank: Well, when you put it like that.
Donna: I spent a lot of time struggling with it. Agonizing over it, trying to make some sense of it. You know what I realized? It doesn't make sense.
Hank: You saved someone's life. You can sure as hell bet it made sense to them.
Donna: I shouldn't have had to die to do it. We spent our whole lives on a hamster wheel. Running hard but not making much ground. We saved people, I know that, but it didn't change anything. So, when I was sitting on that train, I made a decision, I want to move forward. See what's next for Donna Troy. Who knows maybe I'll come back as a Clown Fish. At least that would make sense.
Will there still be a place for Rachel on the team, or will she realize that going solo is the best foot forward for her?
Donna, Hank, and Tim in the afterlife was a storyline I never thought we'd get on the series, and while the villains were a little too reminiscent of the Dementors from Harry Potter, it was a decent way to have these characters collide.
What worked the most is that their consciousness was with them in the afterlife. It would have had much stronger emotional impact if they got their consciousness back when they were in the company of people they connected with in their original lives.
Donna's pain as she said she didn't want to get off the train was apparent. She would have remained there, riding into oblivion forever if she could. Thankfully, she felt drawn to Tim when he arrived.
Donna is still haunted by the past and the loss she's endured during her time as a hero, so in her eyes, it was more calming to sit on a neverending train in the afterlife.
It's hard not to agree with her. The world is turning into a shell of its former self with new and more unpredictable villains rising, and plus, her saving Tim will be the road into the Titans for the Robin wannabe.
Tim has been slowly nestled into the plot in a way that feels natural. Characters have been hastily introduced in the past, and if Tim is here to stay, then the show has done a remarkable job of introducing him.
Dick will find it easier to get on board with him being a member of the team after everything that's transpired since he showed up at Wayne Manor. Tim will need to be trained, but he will be an asset to the team if he gets the right level of care to become a hero.
Sorry, asshole. Not going to happen.Hank
I'm not sure what to take of Bruce attempting suicide, but when you think about his actions over the years, he probably has his fair share of demons.
Donna has been so against Bruce in the past that her saving him came out of the left field. Maybe the purpose was to show that a hero will save even the people they think are despicable, but it should make for an interesting meeting with them in the future.
Hell, maybe this will give Bruce the drive to return to Gotham City and help the Titans rise up to take these villains down, once and for all.
Hank's death earlier in the season was tough, but expected when you consider that Alan Ritchson has a new and exciting series to sink his teeth into.
Bringing him back for this purgatory-set installment was a surprise, and he got a much better goodbye this time. Instead of being blown to smithereens, he reunited with his brother.
Hank was battling a lot of demons, literally and figuratively, so if he and his brother can find happiness in the afterlife, it will be satisfying enough for this viewer.
It was a shame we didn't get to see Dawn, but maybe we'll get her reaction to Donna and Tim meeting him in the coming episodes, assuming Minka Kelly is still attached to appear here and there.
"Souls" was a unique installment. It had a lot of character-building moments that should change the trajectory of the series.
With a handful of episodes remaining, I genuinely have no clue where the show is going next.
What did you think of Hank, Rachel, and Donna returning?
Do you think Tim has solidified himself as a member of the Titans?
What did you think of Bruce attempting suicide?
Hit the comments below.
Titans continues Thursdays on HBO Max.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.