With “Aqualad,” ‘Titans’ Farts Out The First Episode of the Season That Isn’t Completely Terrible

We flash back five years this episode to see Dick, Donna, Hawk, Dove, Aqualad in an old school Titans mission as a mysterious assassin is killing folks and, seemingly unrelated, Doctor Light is also killing people and it’s up to the Titans to stop him.

“Aqualad” wasn’t completely terrible. That being said, it wasn’t that good either.

While I saw a lot of things I’ve been wanting to see in Titans in this episode, namely… you know… superheroes actually teaming up to do superhero things because apparently, we just can’t have superheroes doing superhero things in a gosh-darned superhero show anymore, the series is still hobbled by lame characters, bad writing, and artificial angst.

Let’s face it, if you honestly expected Aqualad to survive this episode, then I have some ocean front property in Kansas I’d like to sell you. He was more doomed than a first season Kenny, the Grim Reaper was basically standing behind his left shoulder impatiently looking at his watch. You would think that the writers would have taken some time in the scant single episode that Aqualad appeared in to at least make him an endearing character so that, when his inevitable death finally occurred, we would feel something more than “Hey, aren’t Atlanteans supposed to be bulletproof?” Instead, they decided to inject that never-interesting edge to him and turn him into a horned-up party bro, kind of like Jason Mamoa-lite. Granted, (looks on IMdB) Drew Van Acker does his level best with what he’s given and does make Garth likable, but beyond the motivation of wanting to bed down Wonder Girl, there’s nothing to the guy. No wants, no needs, no history… no reason to care about him.

Doctor Light is a fairly terrible bad guy played with hammy one-dimensionality by (looks at IMdD) Network Connectivity Error. Much like Aqualad, he has no real motivation other than wanting to suck up lights and be evil but, unlike Aqualad, he’s not even remotely likable at all. Honestly, they could have switched out the actor halfway through the episode and I probably wouldn’t have noticed. The horrendous costume didn’t help matters, either. It almost looks like they stole the Juggernaut’s costume from X-Men: The Last Stand.

Still, like I said, it’s nice to see Titan characters in costume and acting like a team of superheroes instead of a mob of unruly brats and whiny mental cases. Seeing the classic team in costume and in action was entertaining and, when we weren’t being subjected to the infuriating and predictable writing in the slow parts, it wasn’t terrible.

Not great, but not terrible.

It really depresses me that “not terrible” has been the highest praise I’ve been able to heap on this show all season.

Oh, wait… wasn’t Jason Todd ambushed, beaten to a pulp, and kidnapped by a psychopathic killer last episode? Strange that I ultimately didn’t give a lump of rancid feces what happened to him, isn’t it? It’s almost like making a character as edgy as possible is… alienating to the audience, isn’t it?

Go figure.

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