Every single time the Titans get some downtime, a new wave of villains arrive to interrupt their peace and tranquility.
By the end of Titans Season 4 Episode 2, the series had traded in the fun vibe for one synonymous with horror. I'm not sure it worked.
We'll start with the Lex Luthor of it all. Titus Welliver not being a series regular made me think we'd only see Lex in a handful of episodes, so you can probably understand my shock that he was dead by the end of the premiere.
We've seen plenty of iterations of Lex in media over the last few decades, but Welliver's take on the character had an edge that made it worthwhile.
You never know what Lex's motives are, and even when he's trying to make you think all is fine and dandy, he's probably plotting your downfall.
That's what he does, and he does it well.
Kory: A few days ago, I didn't think we were gonna make it. Now, here we are, goofing off in a bowling alley.
Dick: We got lucky.
Double-crossing Mother Mayhem was par for the course, but I was shocked it happened so soon. The series clearly wanted to set the tone for the bloodshed to come, and boy, there was a lot of blood, if you catch my drift.
The cryptic message from Lex to Conner came out of the left field, too, but it showcased Conner's maker's desire to control everything flawlessly.
Adding a terminal illness for Lex was a decent way to add a more human side to someone many deemed a villain. With his mortality on the line, how far would he go to get some more time?
I wouldn't put body-swapping past Lex, although it would be a bit of a stretch when considering the madness of these first two episodes.
Conner losing Lex after meeting him was heartbreaking, but in the long run, Conner is better off well away from him.
Even though Lex was wicked, Conner has been searching for a sense of meaning since he was created and learned how he came to be in this world.
It's natural to want to meet the people who created you, but it was a shame Conner was arrested for murder. He's strong, but we've seen him buckle under pressure before.
There was a great spectacle surrounding Lex's death, which begs the question of whether he planned this or made some deal with someone who practices the occult.
Dick: Okay, hang on, this isn't about Gotham. It's about Metropolis. Bruce and I have been talking about you wanting to meet your dad. So, Bruce made some calls and he wants to meet you.
Conner: Superman wants to meet me? Are you serious? He... he said that? Dick: He said you need flying lessons, actually. But, um...
Conner: He what? What?
Dick: No, no. I'm... I'm joking.
Plans rarely come together on superhero shows, so Lex double-crossing Mother Mayhem, all the while knowing what she would do next, wouldn't be much of a shocker.
The series needs to give us intel on Mother Mayhem on Titans Season 4 Episode 3 because she pops up, causes carnage, and then disappears without giving us much context. That will grow old quickly.
The first three seasons of the series burned through the plot quickly, but the creatives wanted to slow the narrative down to allow the developments to sink in.
Unfortunately, these two episodes are a bit too slow for my liking.
It looked like Mother Mayhem was allowing them to attack her one by one so that she could absorb their powers because, if she wanted to showcase her abilities, she would have killed one or all of them easily.
S.T.A.R. Labs. Scientific and Technological Advance Research Laboratories. Built by Garrison Slate in 1971. Dedicated to pure scientific research, but no private or governmental affiliations.Tim
Leaving Rachel incapacitated was a strategic move because she knew Rachel could enter people's nightmares to fight back against the compulsion.
All of the Titans seem to be operating at the lower end of their abilities, and my theory is that Titans Season 4 will be about them coming to terms with their skills and working as one.
Kory's powers are the most intriguing to me because we learned she was using just eight percent of her abilities.
If that's her using less than a tenth of her powers, I would love to see her at 100 percent. No one would stand a chance.
Kory's journey throughout the series has been about acceptance and discovering more about who she is, and I loved how confident she was throughout the two-episode premiere.
Lex thought he could strong-arm her into agreeing with what he wanted for Conner, but that's not Kory. She'll always fight for what's right, no matter the consequences.
Kory will likely be the key to her friends surviving the onslaught of dark magic.
Bernard: Garfield Logan, your days of stripping naked in public are over.
Gar: Just when I was starting to like it.
Brother Blood is rising, and with all of these villains using dark magic to their advantage, things in Metropolis are about to get darker.
Bringing Kal-El into the mix would have been a fun way to show where Conner gets the lighter parts of his personality.
We have no clue who will play Superman or if we'll ever see the Man of Steel in the flesh, so all we can do is hope there will be some answers down the line.
It's hard to imagine him not showing up at some point. Why would they tease us like that?
The changes to the team have undoubtedly had a profound impact, but thankfully, this might be the friendliest iteration of the Titans to date.
Everyone is getting along swimmingly, which is quite the juxtaposition to past formations.
The main concern for everyone at the end of "Mother Mayhem" was Rachel's safety, so hopefully, everyone can stay on the same page.
Past seasons have started strong and imploded quickly, but starting from the middle might be a better direction.
What did you think of Lex's death? Do you think it will stick, or do you think he had a trick up his sleeve?
What's your take on Mother Mayhem? Do you think she's stealing all of the powers?
Did you really think we'd meet Superman?
Hit the comments.
Catch new episodes of Titans Thursdays on HBO Max.
Paul Dailly is the Associate Editor for TV Fanatic. Follow him on Twitter.