The origin story of Hank Hall and Dawn Granger’s relationship and the loss in each of their pasts that brings them together as vigilante Super Heroes Hawk and Dove.
Titans: Episode 9: “Hank and Dawn”
Written by: Geoff Johns
Directed by: Akiva Goldsman
Original Airdate: December 7, 2018
Heading into this episode I was all ready to heavy eye roll… are we really doing a stand-alone episode so close to the end of the season about characters we haven’t seen or heard from since Episode 2? Who cares? Well. Was I wrong! “Hank and Dawn” was easily the strongest episode of this entire series so far.
Geoff Johns takes us back to the origin of Hawk and Dove by introducing us to a young Hank and his brother Don as they try entirely too hard to make a name for themselves as superheros. It’s fun and entertaining even though you know Don won’t be around forever because Dawn is currently inhabiting the Dove persona. For those who thought Hank was kind of a douchebag back when we met him, the reasons for that and why Dawn cares so deeply for him are explored. Hank was molested as a young boy by his football coach, an incident that deeply scarred him his entire life. He never admits it outright to his brother, even though Don knows, but he does finally open up to Dawn after they spend time bonding over their shared trauma of losing Don and her mother in a freak car accident.
The construct was that the story was being told through Hank and Dawn’s dream’s while she’s on the ventilator in the hospital. How did it all tie in to the over all story? Throughout the dreams, Rachel is reaching out to both of them but only Dawn can finally see her. When Dawn wakes, she tells Hank they have to find Jason Todd.
Alan Ritchson really shines in this episode conveying the different layers that make Hank Hall who he is, everything he’s been through, and everything he’s lost. He discussed with TV Source earlier this year (NYCC Interview) about what Titans was looking to delve into with this character and teased this episode. Titans is really driving home the idea that nobody can be a superhero and maintain a semblance of normal or maintain being a healthy role model.