DC’s Titans Season 4 Premiere Recap and Review

Throughout their history in DC comics, the Teen Titans have redefined what it means to be a super hero team. While Justice League members were often off on their own adventures, upholding legacies and only teaming up against big threats like Darkseid, the Teen Titans were doing something different. They were building a family.

Together, the Teen Titans are much more than a DC Comics team. This dynamic, which also brings its fair share of pain and fighting, is brought to life on the HBO Max series Titans. Season 4 premiered Nov. 3, beginning an arc that will see the team face off against new villains Mother Mayhem and Brother Blood. Let’s look back at the first three seasons for a refresher before diving into episodes 1 and 2 of Titans season 4.

Titans Seasons 1

In their first season, the Titans barely knew each other, let alone trusted one another. Dick Grayson struck out on his own so he could make a name for himself outside of Batman’s shadow. but the trauma of growing up as Robin slowly emerged, making it hard for Dick to handle the pressure of leading a team — especially one composed of Starfire, Raven, and Beast Boy. Kory Anders, AKA Starfire, couldn’t remember who she was, though flashes of her past continued to wreak havoc. Rachel Roth, AKA Raven, was a young girl struggling to understand the dark powers welling within her. Beast Boy decided to leave Doom Patrol and stick with this new group of super-powered individuals.

Season 1 was ultimately spent trying to uncover the mysteries of Rachel’s power. Jason Todd, the newest Robin, also appeared, as did Dick’s former crimefighting partners, Hank (Hawk) and Dawn (Dove). Together, with the help of Donna Troy, Wonder Woman’s past protégé, the team discovered that Rachel was the daughter of Trigon, a sadistic extra-dimensional demon. Trigon attempted to corrupt the team with his darkness so he could conquer the world. His power caused Rachel to lose control and Dick to suffer through a vision of a bleak future. After the finale’s cliffhanger, a final scene revealed Superboy and Krypto in the Project Cadmus labs.

Titans Season 2

Picking up right where the season 1 finale left off, the team came together to defeat Trigon once and for all. After Trigon was gone, they all part ways. Kory went off on her own while Rachel, Gar, and Jason stayed with Dick. He talked it over with Batman and decided to train these young heroes as the new Titans.

Season 2 revealed more of Dick’s crimefighting past independent of Batman. It turned out he, Dawn, Hank, and Donna had all previously formed a team called the Titans. However, the villain Deathstroke killed their teammate, Aqualad, and the Titans quickly fell apart. When Deathstroke got word of Dick training new Titans, he re-emerged. At the same time, Rose Wilson, his daughter, was accepted onto the team — she had a vendetta against Deathstroke for killing her brother, Jericho.

Jason’s Brush with Deathstroke

Jason was ambushed by Deathstroke and captured. While the new Titans figured out what to do, Kory was learning more about her past on Tamaran, as well as meeting her devious sister K’omandr, AKA Blackfire. Rachel began to lose control of her powers and Dick and Kory, newly returned, failed to rescue Jason. A trap from Deathstroke caused Jason to fall from a skyscraper, though he was saved by Conner Kent. Conner, the result of combining Superman and Lex Luthor’s DNA, was angry and looking for answers.

Dick’s failure with Jason and Deathstroke’s manipulation caused the team to disintegrate, yet again — especially after they learn of the original Titan’s part in Jericho’s death. Gar and Conner were then captured and brainwashed while a twist revealed Jericho was still alive. As Dick embraced becoming Nightwing, the rest of the team reunited to save Gar and Conner. Though Rose had been working as a double agent to betray the team, she killed Deathstroke. During the mission to rescue Gar and Conner, Donna was killed. In the aftermath, Jason left on his own and Rachel traveled to Themyscira to find a way to revive Donna while the rest of the heroes formed a new Titans team.

Titans Season 3

As Nightwing, Dick became the confident leader of the new Titans. However, trouble soon set in for the Titans. Blackfire returned to Earth and Kory began to have blackout episodes. Back in Gotham City, Jason was killed by The Joker, who was in turn killed by Batman. Dick returned to Gotham to meet up with Barbara Gordon and help Bruce. Barbara, as police commissioner, was also using the imprisoned Dr. Jonathan Crane for criminal consultation.

Eventually, Jason resurfaced as Red Hood, causing Hank’s death. During a prison transfer, Crane escaped from Arkham and, despite a showdown with Dick, reunited with Jason. Crane had been manipulating Jason all along to become Red Hood. His plan was to distribute his signature fear toxin (in drug form) throughout Gotham, effectively creating No Man’s Land. Due to the drug, Scarecrow turned the entire city against Nightwing and the Titans. With the help of a new teammate, Tim Drake, the rest of the Titans once again reunite to use the Lazarus Pits and heal Gotham’s intoxication.

Titans Season 4 Episode 1, “Lex Luthor”

As the Titans continue their road trip, they get a call inviting them to S.T.A.R. Labs — and it’s Conner Kent’s chance to finally meet Superman. The RV heads to Metropolis and spirits are high, especially when the team gets to explore the labs. Kory learns she’s only skimming the surface of her new powers’ potential and Gar receives a new suit. After putting it on, Gar is transported to a mysterious setting while, off screen, he blacks out and transforms into an armadillo, a velociraptor, and a gorilla, which absolutely trashes the lab.

Later, Tim is geeking out over his new bo staff from Dick and Bernard Dowd, a lead scientist, who also slips Tim his number in case he needs any help with it. Comic fans of Tim will know that this small moment could lead to some big romance for Tim later! However, not everyone’s visit to the labs is happy. Conner also learns that Superman can’t make it to meet him.

Elsewhere, Lex Luthor gains control of the Temple of Azarath with the help of a woman named Ms. Bennett. He immediately fires her, which she protests. Ms. Bennett warns him that such power always comes at a price. As Luthor assumes control of these dark forces, bloody mayhem begins to infiltrate the world — something that Rachel also notices.

“A desire doesn’t equal the right.”

Luthor invites Conner to come meet him. Kory and Dick are leery of the super-villain, so Kory meets with him beforehand, implanting a WayneTech superbug into Luthor’s hard drive. Everyone keeps insisting that Conner can decide what he wants to do for himself, but it’s clear that everyone also seeks to push him toward what they think is best. Though Kory remains wary of Luthor’s desire to meet Conner, especially when they figure out he’s dying and wants Conner to take over LexCorp, she supports Conner’s decision to meet with Luthor.

The meeting between Conner and Luthor is tense but short-lived. Another bloody attack occurs and a writhing snake emerges from Luthor’s lips. On the streets below, Ms. Bennett reappears to repeat that there’s always a price to pay. Conner kills the snake but it’s too late. Luthor is dead.

Titans Season 4 Episode 2, “Mother Mayhem”

It’s clear that Conner must have been set up. He’s apprehended as Luthor’s killer and stashed in a high-security, Kryptonite-laced prison. Kory attempts to help Conner through the ordeal, especially after she learns that Luthor was following her as well. Luthor’s last words poison Conner’s mind, leading Conner to believe he was created in the image of evil.

Meanwhile, attacks from skull-faced figures continue to occur, leaving behind a bloody trail. As the Titans race to use Rachel’s magic to uncover this new mystery, a taxidermist named Sebastian Sanger struggles with his meager existence. An occult plot is slowly unfurling, and at the episode’s end, a new villain emerges. Mother Mayhem wields a red energy that neutralizes Conner and potentially depowers Rachel. Only Starfire’s blue energy causes Mayhem to retreat.

Though she’s driven away, Mother Mayhem leads a ritual. The names “Azarath, Metrion, Zinthos” are chanted while Sebastian Sanger hears the words and sees blood manifest before his eyes.

Do you think we’ve seen the last of Lex Luthor? And what are your thoughts on this season’s new villains, Mother Mayhem and her Church of Blood? There’s certainly a connection forming between Raven and this group’s power. Plus, Conner seems to be leaning toward one dad more than the other lately.

What were your favorite moments from the Titans season 4 premiere? Join the conversation alongside other Titans fans in the Let Your Spoiler Sideshow Facebook Group, and don’t forget to Let Your Geek Sideshow!