DC's 'Titans' Is a Lot More Fun When It's 'Doom Patrol' Instead

Raven's introduction to the Doom Patrol was like going to a friends house after school for the first time and staying for dinner: expect the unexpected. She had a nice playdate with Beast Boy, then mom and dad — Robin and Starfire — came to pick her up at dusk. This review contains spoilers for Titans episode 4, "Doom Patrol."

dc doom patrol titans spoilers dc universe
Spoilers for 'Titans' episode 4, "Doom Patrol" ahead! DC

If not for the episode's title, Raven's encounter with Doom Patrol would have been a surprise. The timing was appropriate. Last episode saw Raven let out her demons, cry, set a church on fire, cry and escape through a lush forest to dark, dramatic music. Even though it meant sidelining Robin and Starfire, "Doom Patrol" was a popcorn-worthy watch. Turns out, Titans is a lot more fun when it's Doom Patrol instead. That being said, most superhero shows are serialized to the point of exhaustion. Titans took the risk of doing what was essentially a standalone episode and the series is better off for it.

The episode also solidified two distinct teams: Doom Patrol and Titans. That's important for the future of DC Universe shows as a whole. The mission of the episode—introduce Beast Boy and his backstory, and set the groundwork for a new show down the line—was swiftly and successfully executed. With the streaming climate being so much faster paced, Titans basically had to do what Arrow did for The Flash in Season 3, only a lot faster.

'Titans' episode 4, "Doom Patrol."
'Titans' episode 4, "Doom Patrol." DC Universe

The only downside: the Doom Patrol characters are so enticing, they almost overshadow Titans itself. Doom Patrol will be a show with a lot of personality, and Titans has yet to show its true form heading into episode 5, "Together." Needless to say, though, that title is promising since Beast Boy, Starfire, Robin and Raven are finally all in one place. Beast Boy left his fellow Doom Patrol-ers to run off with the soon-to-be Titans. Robotman, Negative Man, and Elasti-Woman are quirky and funny, but Dr. Caulder is...not. Can't blame the kid.

Even though the focus was on all of the above, Titans episode 4 made progress with Raven. She got to save a patient of Dr. Caulder (Okay, she might have tried to kill doc right after, but still.) This should give her a more positive outlook on life, so maybe she'll be a little less "I'm a teenager raahhhh hear my demons" moving forward.

It also seems Dick is going to finally follow through with a meaningful decision. Jokes on him for taking so long to commit to helping Raven. Now he basically has two goofballs to take care of instead of one. And if you thought Starfire was the best part of the series so far... well, too bad. Hope you got your fix in episode 3, because she barely says anything this time around.

'Titans' episode 4, "Doom Patrol."
'Titans' episode 4, "Doom Patrol." DC Universe

As for the "conventionally challenged" group (Beast Boy's words, not mine), there's some stuff to look forward to in the upcoming series, like watching Negative Man cook weird stuff, Elasta-Woman hold herself in, and Robot Man be a robot. The Chief's creep status is high (very high), so brace yourself. His ego is strong; He saves people, that's his undying shtick, and he wants to save more people by doing more experiments on those he saved. Maybe that ironic extremity will be toned down, maybe it won't, but right now he's a somewhat detestable person who describes family as an "incubation chamber." It's an interesting dynamic for Doom Patrol, and it made for the most all-around entertaining episode of Titans yet... even though it felt more like the Doom Patrol premiere.

New episodes of Titans arrive Fridays on DC Universe.