The second episode of Titans introduces us to Dick Grayson’s old friends, Hawk and Dove or Hank Hall and Dawn Granger, respectively. Though this episode is void of Kory Anders and Gar Logan, which is disappointing, it moves the story forward as we discover more about who and/or what is searching for Rachel.
Titans Recap: Episode 102 “Hawk and Dove”
Written by: Akiva Goldsman; Directed by: Brad Anderson
Originally Airs: October 19, 2018
Hank Hall aka Hawk and Dawn Granger aka Dove are a pair of vigilantes, hoping to get out of the Super Hero business after shutting down one final criminal operation. When Dick arrives with Rachel, looking for a safe haven for the hunted child, his reappearance after many years causes strife between all three of them. Still traumatized over the death of her mother, Rachel struggles to trust Dick. But all their differences must be put aside when a lethal Nuclear Family, sent by The Organization, is activated with the sole purpose of capturing Rachel.
The action kicks off with Hawk and Dove, the crime fighting duo/lovers, who are quite the pair with Dawn representing reason and nonviolence and Hawk representing force and aggression. Together, they work both on and off the “field” as it were, but the life has been wearing on them both, especially Hank who masks his pain with booze and drugs which is affecting his personality and his performance in bed. Dawn tells Dick that Hank has suffered two fractures, three concussions, and a herniated disk all in the last year; they’re looking to retire after this last job. At first, Hank seems to be the picture of toxic masculinity, especially the way he reacts to seeing Dick at their apartment after some years, but underneath it is someone who’s hurting and trying to mask that pain the only way he knows how. Dawn is so soft and kind, he wants desperately to be the man she needs and she loves him deeply. He gifts her a beautiful birdcage full of doves for their 3 ½ year anniversary and it feels like a marriage proposal without the words. It’s evident they are meant for one another even if she has a sordid past with Dick.
A photograph in their apartment flashes on screen of Hank, Dawn, Dick, and Donna Troy aka Wonder Girl (Conor Leslie, cast earlier this year, no airdate announced yet) right after a flashback reveals the trio have a history fighting alongside one another without the approval of Batman. In case the hint of flirtation wasn’t enough to make you think Dick and Dawn once hit the sheets, it is confirmed when Rachel introduces herself to Dawn, prompting a vision of the two having sex.
When Rachel inquires about it to Dick later on, he says they were kids, it’s in the past, he didn’t mean to hurt her. Hank is all sorts of not here for Dick and the tension is so thick it makes you uncomfortable through the screen. Being the rational, peace keeper she is, Dawn knows this last job could turn out badly and she asks Dick to help them even if Hank is all “I don’t need him”, peacocking and grunting about it.
Earlier in the episode while Dick and Rachel are traveling to DC, she asks him if he’ll leave her which he promises he won’t. He promises her this several times during the episode even though he makes a call to Alfred (yes that Alfred) and has him wire money so he can leave Rachel with Hank and Dawn because he cannot quite trust himself to attach to anyone.
This episode explores relationships in such a unique way, with both Dawn and Rachel trying to push through the barriers that Dick has set up. He assures them both he isn’t quite the great guy they think he is and that he’s no good at family; which is contradictory to most of what we’ve seen him do since Episode 1. He doesn’t’ trust himself and he has good reason, but deep in his heart is goodness.
When Rachel is crying in the bathtub because her inner “demon” is trying to break out, he hugs her reassuringly, he shows up to save Dawn and Hank when they’ve lost their fight even though he swears he won’t, and when Rachel finds out he’s going to leave her, he’s still protective when the Nuclear Family shows up to take her. Dick is wrestling with his own inner demons and he doesn’t trust himself to be there for her the way she needs, but fate and destiny align in a way that makes it impossible. Rachel knows he helps people, that’s what he does, even if he can’t quite see it now.
The Nuclear Family is sent by The Organization, a cult of people determined to stop the end of the world, to capture Rachel. They attack Dick’s partner Amy Rohrback back in Detroit to get his whereabouts and eventually end up on Hank and Dawn’s rooftop. They’re the picture, perfect Stepford looking family, trained assassins, hiding in plain sight. They brutally attack the 4, throwing Dick off the side of the building, rendering Hank unconscious, and tossing Dawn clear off the roof. They get away with Rachel as Dick finds Dawn gasping for breath on the pavement. Could this introduction to Dove also be our goodbye?
Titans does a great job making this seem very real world, especially when they have Rachel watching Game of Thrones and calling Dawn- Khalessi. There’s also more than 1 Easter Egg to Donna Troy in the episode, besides the above mentioned photograph in Hawk and Dove’s apartment, when Dick is scrolling through his contacts to call Alfred, we see Donna’s name. And where exactly do Rachel and Dick land on the pineapple on pizza debate? That would be a hard NO.
In an interview with us, Alan Ritchson (Hank/Hawk) teased Hawk & Dove’s origin episode and discussed how the series delves into the human condition of flawed heroes.
DC Universe’s first original series, already picked up for a second season – from Weed Road Pictures and Berlanti Productions in association with Warner Bros. Television – airs original episodes every Friday on DC Universe Streaming Service.
For more information, visit DCUniverse.com.