Titans
Season 3
Promotional poster
Starring
Country of originUnited States
No. of episodes13
Release
Original networkHBO Max
Original releaseAugust 12 (2021-08-12) –
October 21, 2021 (2021-10-21)
Season chronology
← Previous
Season 2
List of episodes

The third season of the American superhero streaming television series Titans premiered on HBO Max on August 12, 2021, and concluded on October 21, 2021, consisting of 13 episodes. It was executive produced by Akiva Goldsman, Geoff Johns, Greg Walker, Greg Berlanti, Sarah Schechter, and Richard Hatem, with Walker serving as showrunner for the third consecutive season. Developed by Goldsman, Johns, and Berlanti, the series is based on the DC Comics team Teen Titans. Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Conor Leslie, Curran Walters, Joshua Orpin, Minka Kelly, and Alan Ritchson return to the main cast from the previous season, joined by season 2 guest star Damaris Lewis and series newcomers Savannah Welch and Vincent Kartheiser. It is the final season to feature longtime cast member Ritchson, who exited the series after appearing in the first two seasons.

In the third season, the Titans team of Dick Grayson (Thwaites), Kory Anders (Diop), Gar Logan (Potter), Conner (Orpin), Dawn Granger (Kelly), and Hank Hall (Ritchson) travel to Gotham City after learning that their former teammate Jason Todd (Walters) was murdered. Tasked with protecting the city in the absence of Bruce Wayne (Iain Glen), the Titans find themselves targeted by a resurrected Jason, now calling himself Red Hood. Dick, working alongside former vigilante partner and love interest Barbara Gordon (Welch) in her new role as police commissioner, is forced to receive assistance from incarcerated criminal Jonathan Crane (Kartheiser) in stopping Jason. Further tensions emerge when Kory's sister Blackfire (Lewis) takes up residence with the team, despite conflict between her and Kory. Meanwhile, Titan Rachel Roth (Croft) trains with the Amazons in Themyscira as she attempts to resurrect fallen teammate Donna Troy (Leslie).

Titans' third season was confirmed shortly before the conclusion of the second season in 2019. Filming was scheduled to begin by the spring of the following year, with the season premiering on DC Universe in late 2020. However, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, production was delayed before the start of filming. Production resumed by October 2020 and concluded by June 2021. The third season was the first to release on HBO Max following its acquisition of DC Universe's original programming and the repurposing of DC Universe into comic distributor DC Universe Infinite. In addition to having elements from Marv Wolfman and George Pérez's 1980s The New Teen Titans and Johns' 2003 Teen Titans comics, the season is inspired by the Batman comic storylines "A Death in the Family" (1988) by Jim Starlin and Jim Aparo, "No Man's Land" (1999) by Jordan B. Gorfinkel, and "Under the Hood" (2004–2006) by Judd Winick and Doug Mahnke.

Reviews of the third season have been positive, with critics regarding it as an improvement over past seasons.

Episodes

No.
overall
No. in
season
TitleDirected byWritten byOriginal release date [1]Prod.
code
251"Barbara Gordon"Carol BankerRichard Hatem & Geoff JohnsAugust 12, 2021 (2021-08-12)T13.22451
After learning the Joker killed Jason, Dick returns to Gotham City. He discovers Jason had been working with chemistry equipment, which was used to create an unidentified drug. Reuniting with Bruce and Police Commissioner Barbara Gordon, Dick begins to question Bruce's mental state over losing Jason. His suspicions are confirmed when he finds out the Joker was murdered by Bruce, who departs after tasking Dick with protecting Gotham. The news of Jason's death also reaches Tim Drake, a young Gotham resident who idolizes Batman. Meanwhile, the Titans team of Kory, Gar, and Conner continue to fight crime in San Francisco. Kory begins to experience hallucinations that result in her blacking out.
262"Red Hood"Carol BankerTom PabstAugust 12, 2021 (2021-08-12)T13.22452
To help Dick protect Gotham, Kory, Gar, Conner, and Dawn arrive at the team's new base in Wayne Manor. Hank also joins, despite tensions between him and Dawn. In Bruce's absence, a mysterious figure extorts Gotham's mob bosses into becoming their enforcer. When the figure has individuals wearing red hoods perform criminal acts, Barbara informs Dick that the incarcerated Jonathan Crane has been serving as a police consultant. Through Crane's help, the Titans are able to track down the figure to an abandoned munitions building. Dick engages in a fight with the figure, who is revealed to be a still-alive Jason. Jason identifies himself as Red Hood before escaping.
273"Hank & Dove"Millicent SheltonJamie GorenbergAugust 12, 2021 (2021-08-12)T13.22453
Hank is lured into a trap by Jason, who implants an explosive device in his chest. As Hank's heartbeats bring the device closer to detonating, Jason offers to deactivate it if the Titans steal gold bars being delivered to a bank. Dick, refusing Jason's demand, discovers the device was created by Bruce. Using the device's schematics, Dick gives Conner the task of creating a deactivator. However, Dawn, having rekindled her relationship with Hank, steals the gold bars. Dawn and Jason meet at a secluded location, where Jason coerces her into saving Hank by shooting him with a gun he provides. Dawn pulls the trigger, but the gun instead detonates the device as Conner arrives too late to use his deactivator.
284"Blackfire"Millicent SheltonStephanie CogginsAugust 19, 2021 (2021-08-19)T13.22454
In the aftermath of Hank's death, Dawn leaves the Titans. Crane is removed from Arkham after Jason orders his assassination, but Dick abducts him during his transfer to a new prison. Taking Crane to the cabin where he trained, Dick reveals he knows Crane manipulated Jason into becoming Red Hood. Dick, recognizing Jason will attempt to rescue Crane, lures him to the cabin for a confrontation. A fight ensues that ends with Jason and Crane's escape. Meanwhile, Kory's visions lead Gar and her to Blackfire in custody at a government facility run by Dr. Artie Kind. Unable to abandon her sister, Kory frees Blackfire, who accompanies her back to Wayne Manor.
295"Lazarus"Boris MojsovskiBryan Edward HillAugust 26, 2021 (2021-08-26)T13.22455
Three months before freeing Crane, Jason has nightmares of an ominous warning from Donna. Bruce responds by placing Jason under therapy from Leslie Thompkins, a former colleague of Crane. When Jason learns Bruce intends to remove him as Robin, he begins helping Crane in exchange for a drug that will eliminate his fear. After Crane manipulates Jason into being killed by the Joker, he has Jason resurrected with a Lazarus Pit and creates a toxin to control him as Red Hood. Jason uses his new identity to help his friend Molly Jensen rescue missing orphan children, despite Molly recognizing his personality change. In the present, Crane tells Jason of his plan to take over Gotham by engulfing the city in fear that only they can control.
306"Lady Vic"Nick GomezJoshua Levy & Prathi SrinivasanSeptember 2, 2021 (2021-09-02)T13.22456
Six years before the present, a romantically involved Dick and Barbara engage in a series of museum heists. The robberies lead to them battling the assassin Lady Vic, where they inadvertently cause the death of her partner. In the present, Crane has Lady Vic steal a medical device that will rapidly distribute his drug. Jason circumvents Crane's authority by giving the drug to street criminals, resulting in a wave of violence. Barbara survives an attack from Lady Vic, but Lady Vic succeeds in obtaining a picture of her for Crane. Despite mounting tensions between her and Kory, Blackfire assists the Titans by uncovering that Crane is working with Gotham's mob bosses.
317"51%"Nick GomezKate McCarthySeptember 9, 2021 (2021-09-09)T13.22457
Recognizing Jason still fears Dick, Crane has him drugged. Dick convinces Barbara to find Crane with the computer Oracle, but Barbara deactivates it when Crane uses her picture to hack into the system. Kory and Blackfire visit mob boss Valeska Nox, who offers to give up Crane's location if they reunite her with her son Michael. However, when Valeska shoots Michael for being an FBI informant, Kory retaliates by killing her. Nevertheless, Kory and Blackfire help Dick locate Crane's drug plant through interrogating one of Valeska's henchmen. The Titans destroy the facility, forcing Crane to flee with Jason. In the aftermath, Dick and Barbara resume their relationship. Seeking to help Jason, Gar tracks down Molly. Blackfire informs Kory that she killed their parents in self-defense.
328"Home"Larnell StovallTom PabstSeptember 16, 2021 (2021-09-16)T13.22458
After a sexual encounter, Conner and Blackfire attempt to help Kory with new visions she begins experiencing. Without drugs to keep him under control, Jason turns against Crane. Tim, having deduced Dick's secret identity, arrives at Wayne Manor in an unsuccessful attempt to become the next Robin. A remorseful Jason contacts Dick to surrender himself and Crane at a condemned pumping station, while Crane secretly overhears their conversation. Tim also follows Jason, but is shot outside the pumping station by Crane. While the rest of the team tends to Tim, Dick and Kory pursue Jason and Crane in the facility. Crane tricks Kory into attacking him with her powers, causing an explosion that allows his toxin to enter Gotham's water system.
339"Souls"Boris MojsovskiRichard HatemSeptember 23, 2021 (2021-09-23)T13.22459
Training with the Amazons in Themyscira, Rachel's efforts to resurrect Donna prove unsuccessful. Tim awakens in the afterlife, where he encounters Donna and Hank. Banding together against demonic ghouls that steal dead souls, Hank leads the group to a bridge rumored to revive the deceased. Hank is forced to stay behind during a battle with the ghouls when the bridge collapses, but Donna and Tim successfully cross through the bridge to escape the afterlife. As a departing Rachel discovers Donna's body gone, Donna saves Bruce from a suicide attempt. Hank reunites with Don, prompting them to team up in protecting other souls from the ghouls.
3410"Troubled Water"Larnell StovallMelissa BridesSeptember 30, 2021 (2021-09-30)T13.22460
Crane manipulates Gotham's citizens against the Titans through a video that frames Dick and his team for the toxin outbreak, while also presenting Red Hood as the city's new hero. To help the police maintain the trust of the public, Dick has the team turn themselves in. However, they are attacked at the station by corrupt officers under the command of Fletcher, who received a bribe from Jason. The team escapes, but Barbara is arrested for shooting Fletcher to save Dick. With the Titans separated and forced into hiding, Crane and Jason take residence in Wayne Manor. Attempting to heal her sister's injuries from the attack, Kory has her powers absorbed by Blackfire. Gar reunites with a newly-arrived Rachel. Donna also arrives in Gotham after the Amazons test her leadership abilities.
3511"The Call Is Coming from Inside the House"Carol BankerStephanie CogginsOctober 7, 2021 (2021-10-07)T13.22461
Dick accepts a challenge to face Jason in public. The confrontation sees Dick emerge victorious, but a crowd of bystanders attack him. Jason retreats to Wayne Manor, where he discovers Crane has turned violent from a psychotic break. Instigated by information that Gar uncovered, Rachel finds the Lazarus Pit before her powers alert her of Dick being in danger. A reunited Donna and Tim learn Crane is plotting to have corrupt officers assault Tim's city block, prompting Donna to lead the residents in fighting back. After being shot, Kory experiences a vision that reveals her parents had Blackfire's powers transferred into her. Kory emerges from the vision with a new ability to generate blue light.
3612"Prodigal"Carol BankerJamie Gorenberg & Bryan Edward HillOctober 14, 2021 (2021-10-14)T13.22462
A dying Dick is brought to the Lazarus Pit by Gar after he takes the form of a bat. Dick emerges from the pit fully healed, inspired by visions of his father and a future daughter. Learning Crane plans on killing the city's entire population, Jason teams up with Dick, but they are unable to prevent Crane from obtaining explosives containing his toxin. Donna leads Tim and his family out of Gotham, despite Tim's insistence on helping protect the city. After escaping her holding cell, Barbara attempts to reactivate Oracle. Blackfire arrives at Kind's facility with Conner, where she discovers her ship is being held. When Kory informs her of their parents' actions, Blackfire decides to return to Tamaran, but Conner's romantic feelings for her cause him to destroy the ship.
3713"Purple Rain"Chad LoweRichard Hatem & Greg WalkerOctober 21, 2021 (2021-10-21)T13.22463
A.R.G.U.S. agents led by Vee rescue Barbara. Joined by Tim, the Titans reunite. After detonating one explosive, Crane threatens to set off the other bombs if the heroes are unable to solve his clues. Dick instead directly attacks Wayne Manor with Gar, Jason, and Tim, who help deactivate the explosives and capture Crane. The remaining Titans turn the Lazarus Pit into rainfall that resurrects those killed by the first bomb. Bruce returns to Gotham, where Jason makes amends with him before departing. Conner helps design a new ship for Blackfire, who bids farewell to him and Kory. Leaving the team to find Dawn, Donna is asked to join A.R.G.U.S. Tim accompanies the Titans as they return to San Francisco in an RV. Before leaving, Rachel destroys Crane's sanity with the pit's dark magic.

Cast and characters

Damaris Lewis and Vincent Kartheiser (top to bottom) portray season 3 characters Blackfire and Jonathan Crane

Main article: List of Titans characters

Main

Recurring

Dog actors Pepsi, Wrigley, and Ziva portray Krypto in the third season.[8][9]

Guest

The character Oracle was re-envisioned from Barbara Gordon's alias to a computer voiced by Carlo Rota
The character Oracle was re-envisioned from Barbara Gordon's alias to a computer voiced by Carlo Rota

A voice over of poet W. H. Auden is provided by Benedict Campbell. The Joker is portrayed by an uncredited stand-in. Esai Morales and Chella Man appear in archive footage from the second season as Deathstroke and Jericho, while April Brown Chodkowski appears as Mary Grayson in archive footage from the first season.

Production

Following a reorganization at DC, Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee revealed that Titans would move to HBO Max
Following a reorganization at DC, Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee revealed that Titans would move to HBO Max

Development

A few weeks before the second season concluded, Titans was renewed for a third season in November 2019. DC announced that the third season would premiere on DC Universe in the fourth quarter of 2020, with filming scheduled to begin earlier in the year.[11][12] Before the official start of filming, however, the COVID-19 pandemic in March 2020 forced production to be temporarily shut down. Executive producer Akiva Goldsman stated two months later that filming on the third season had not yet occurred, but would begin "as soon as possible".[13]

During the production delay, DC Chief Creative Officer Jim Lee announced that the series would be moving from DC Universe to HBO Max, which launched in 2020.[14] The third season was the first to premiere on HBO Max.[15]

Writing

Writers Prathi Srinivasan, Joshua Levy, and Stephanie Coggins were reported to have joined the third season in 2020, alongside returning writers Jamie Gorenberg, Tom Pabst, Kate McCarthy, and Richard Hatem.[16]

The third season adapts "Batman: Under the Hood" by Judd Winick (pictured) and Doug Mahnke
The third season adapts "Batman: Under the Hood" by Judd Winick (pictured) and Doug Mahnke

At DC FanDome in August 2020, showrunner Greg Walker announced that the third season would take place in Gotham City and introduce Red Hood, Jonathan Crane, and Barbara Gordon.[17][18] It was later revealed that the season intended to use the San Francisco setting of its predecessor, but filming being pushed into the fall and winter months resulted in the story being moved to Gotham.[19] During the extended FanDome panel in September, Walker hinted at Donna Troy returning for season 3, despite the character's death in the previous season.[20][21]

In 2021, Walker described Gotham as "a huge character" in season 3 that "brings out leadership qualities that [Dick] has to assess to see whether they're his own - true Nightwing - or are they patterns [inherited from] a father who he needs to differentiate himself from?". For Barbara, Walker noted that she and Dick would be reckoning with the legacy of James Gordon and Bruce Wayne in the third season. He also compared Crane to Hannibal Lecter as an incarcerated villain who helps the police capture other criminals, while being able to exploit fear.[22]

Casting

Series regulars Brenton Thwaites, Anna Diop, Teagan Croft, Ryan Potter, Conor Leslie, Curran Walters, Joshua Orpin, Alan Ritchson, and Minka Kelly reprise their roles as Dick Grayson, Kory Anders, Rachel Roth, Gar Logan, Donna Troy, Jason Todd, Conner, Hank Hall, and Dawn Granger, alongside Damaris Lewis as Blackfire, who was promoted to series regular status after guest starring in the previous season.[23]

In April 2020, cinematographer Boris Mojsovski revealed that Iain Glen would return as Bruce Wayne for the third season.[4] McKinley Freeman was also revealed to be returning as Justin Cole from the second season.[6] Savannah Welch was announced as Barbara Gordon in January 2021.[2] Later in the month, Jay Lycurgo was revealed to be playing Tim Drake.[5] In April 2021, it was revealed that Vincent Kartheiser had been cast as Dr. Jonathan Crane.[3] Kimberly-Sue Murray was revealed to be portraying Lady Vic in May 2021.[10]

The third season is the last to feature Ritchson, who officially departed after the episode "Souls".[24]

Filming

After being delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, filming began on October 13, 2020, and concluded on June 15, 2021.[25][26][27]

Shortly after the season premiere, Kartheiser was allegedly investigated twice over accusations of disruptive behavior and inappropriate comments on set. Kartheiser denied the allegations.[28]

Release

The third season premiered in the United States through HBO Max on August 12, 2021, and concluded on October 21, 2021.[29][30] The first three episodes aired on the premiere date, while the remaining episodes were released weekly.[1]

Reception

Reception to the third season has been positive. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season holds an 100% approval rating based on 20 reviews, with an average rating of 8.2 out of 10. Its critical consensus reads, "With bolder storytelling and deeper characterization, Titans' third season hits the show's sweet spot to deliver the best season yet."[31]

Notes

  1. ^ a b The young Dick Grayson and his father are also played by Tomaso Sanelli and Randolf Hobbs in archive footage from the first season.

References

  1. ^ a b "Shows A-Z - titans on dc". The Futon Critic. Retrieved October 13, 2021.
  2. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (January 19, 2021). "'Titans' Season 3 Casts Savannah Welch as Barbara Gordon (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved January 19, 2021.
  3. ^ a b Baysinger, Tim (April 28, 2021). "'Mad Men' Alum Vincent Kartheiser to Play Scarecrow on HBO Max's 'Titans'". TheWrap. Retrieved April 28, 2021.
  4. ^ a b Perine, Aaron (April 4, 2020). "Titans: Iain Glen's Bruce Wayne Will Return in Season 3". Comicbook.com. Retrieved October 19, 2020.
  5. ^ a b Otterson, Joe (January 28, 2021). "'Titans' Season 3 Casts Jay Lycurgo as Tim Drake". Variety. Retrieved January 28, 2021.
  6. ^ a b Kaya, Emre (December 16, 2020). "'Titans' Season 3 Set Leaks Reveal [SPOILER] Cameo". The Vulcan Reporter. Retrieved April 11, 2021.
  7. ^ a b Gelman, Samuel (July 20, 2021). "Titans Introduces Tim Drake's Family in Season 3 Photo". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved July 21, 2021.
  8. ^ Orpin, Joshua [@joshua_orpin] (December 12, 2020). "Introducing the newest Krypto: Pepsi!". Retrieved December 13, 2020 – via Instagram.
  9. ^ "Ontario Animal Actors". Facebook. December 11, 2020. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  10. ^ a b Campbell, Jacob (May 27, 2021). "Kimberly-Sue Murray Reportedly Tapped To Play Lady Vic In 'Titans'". Full Circle Cinema. Retrieved May 27, 2021.
  11. ^ Freeman, Molly (November 11, 2019). "DC's Titans Season 3 Officially Happening, Will Release 2020". Screen Rant. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  12. ^ Griffin, David (November 11, 2019). "DC Universe's Titans Season 3 Renewal Announcement". IGN. Retrieved November 11, 2019.
  13. ^ Mancuso, Vinnie (May 15, 2020). "'Titans' Season 3: Akiva Goldsman Offers Update on Filming". Collider. Retrieved May 17, 2020.
  14. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (August 14, 2020). "DC Universe Original TV Series Will Be Moving to HBO Max, Says DC CCO". TV Line. Retrieved August 23, 2020.
  15. ^ Agard, Chancellor (September 18, 2020). "DC Universe to become premium comics service as TV originals move to HBO Max". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 18, 2020.
  16. ^ Kaya, Emre (January 20, 2020). "Exclusive: DC Universe's 'Titans' Taps Writers Prathi Srinivasan, Joshua Levy and Stephanie Coggins". TheGWW.com. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  17. ^ Lawrence, Gregory (August 22, 2020). "'Titans' Season 3 Is Adding Barbara Gordon, Scarecrow, and Red Hood". Collider. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  18. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (August 22, 2020). "Titans Season 3 Will Head to Gotham, Add Barbara Gordon and Red Hood". TV Line. Retrieved August 22, 2020.
  19. ^ Kaya, Emre (September 4, 2020). "Exclusive: New Details About 'Titans' Season 3". The Vulcan Reporter. Retrieved September 4, 2020.
  20. ^ Flook, Ray (September 12, 2020). "Titans Season 3: Conor Leslie Set to Return as Donna Troy". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  21. ^ Galanis, Evangelia (September 12, 2020). "Titans EP Teases a Return for Donna Troy". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved September 15, 2020.
  22. ^ Agard, Chancellor (June 17, 2021). "Titans reveals Scarecrow and Barbara Gordon in season 3 first look". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved June 20, 2021.
  23. ^ Mitovich, Matt Webb (December 2, 2019). "Titans Season 3: Damaris Lewis Promoted to Series Regular as Blackfire". TVLine. Retrieved December 4, 2019.
  24. ^ Agard, Chancellor (September 23, 2021). "Titans star on character's 'beautiful' exit: 'The decision was made for me, and it was for the best'". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved September 24, 2021.
  25. ^ Kaya, Emre (September 12, 2020). "'Titans' Season 3 Set To Start Production On October 13". The Vulcan Reporter. Retrieved September 12, 2020.
  26. ^ "DGC Ontario Production List" (PDF). Director's Guild of Canada. October 7, 2020. Archived (PDF) from the original on October 8, 2020. Retrieved October 17, 2020.
  27. ^ Flook, Ray (June 15, 2021). "Titans Season 3: Lycurgo, Leslie & Walters Signal Final Filming Day". Bleeding Cool. Retrieved June 16, 2021.
  28. ^ Andreeva, Nellie (August 13, 2021). "'Titans' Star Vincent Kartheiser Was Subject Of Multiple Investigations Over On-Set Misconduct Claims". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved August 14, 2021.
  29. ^ "HBO & HBO Max Summer 2021 Programming Overview". WarnerMedia (Press release). May 21, 2021. Archived from the original on May 21, 2021. Retrieved May 21, 2021.
  30. ^ Outlaw, Kofi (June 17, 2021). "Titans Season 3 Official Release Date Revealed". Comic Book Resources. Retrieved June 17, 2021.
  31. ^ "Titans: Season 3". Rotten Tomatoes. 2021. Retrieved September 28, 2021.