Titans' Donna Troy Episode Features Big DC References And A Major Twist

titans donna troy conor leslie

Major spoilers below for the latest episode of Titans, so be sure to catch up before reading on.

In its first season, Titans has ascended to the upper echelon of superhero television, delivering all of the high-powered action, pulpy mysteries and watchable characters that we're used to seeing in the comics. The episode "Donna Troy" managed to up the ante in some ways, which is unsurprising, considering the character's beloved alter ego Wonder Girl is another occasional member of the Teen Titans.

Donna's arrival tapped into some awesome and interesting comic book references, while teasing the future of one of the show's current central heroes. And then that ending twist! Without further ado, let's dive into all the craziness Titans delivered this week.

Wonder Girl And Robin's Past

In the episode's cold open, Titans took viewers back to the past for a look at the friendship shared between teens Dick Grayson and Donna Troy. Rather than trying to sidestep Donna's comic book origins, Titans immediately makes it clear that Conor Leslie's heroine was sidekick to Diana's Wonder Woman, who was visiting Wayne Manor in the flashback to talk to Bruce about "a Justice League thing."

Dick then dropped the bombshell that, as Robin, he and Batman had just dealt with a situation involving The Joker, cementing the Clown Prince's existence within this universe. (We're obviously not sure what the deadly villain's situation is in the current timeline.) This was quite possibly the first time that Dick voiced his desire to quit being Robin, with The Joker situation apparently being quite a deadly and disturbing one for the teen to handle.

We probably shouldn't expect to see or directly hear from either Joker or Diana Prince on Titans, at least in the present day. Donna was able to step away from her life as a superhero sidekick, and currently has a photography gig going. She doesn't outwardly seem to be driven by vigilante missions, having been able to literally hang her costume up for good (maybe). Diana clearly had a healthier influence on Donna than Bruce had on Dick.

However, fans shouldn't wholly count against Donna's past coming back at some point in Titans' future. Actress Conor Leslie told ComicBook.com that "we'll see little peeks of Wonder Girl" as well as "some of her accessories." So we might just see a hint of the heroine's comic costume, and possible even a lasso of some kind. Our hopes are already high.

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The Nightwing Seeds Have Been Planted

The first thing that adult Dick Grayson tells adult Donna Troy in the episode is that he "quit" being Robin, which immediately set off Nightwing alarm bells. In the previous installment, Dick seemingly closed the door on Robin completely by destroying his (apparently costly) costume. Now, he's basically out of luck if he wants to half-anonymously beat the shit out of criminals, unless he squeezes himself into Jason Todd's suit after "borrowing" it.

Dick had an obvious reason to look to Donna for comfort and guidance in trying to step away from the rest of the Titans team. In his eyes, she is the poster child for transitioning from youthful vigilante to functioning adult. But because she's likely not completely out of the superhero game, she didn't actually tell him to leave all of that life behind. Rather, she stressed the importance of specifically leaving Batman and Robin behind.

You'll never be a civilian, Dick. You lost that chance the day you became Robin. And you can't be Robin anymore, because for all the good he did, ultimately he was an echo chamber for Bruce's pain, and for yours. You wanna go out there and kick bad-guy ass? You want to make sure there's not a chance, not a single chance even one of them gets away? Do it. . . . Don't be Batman or Robin. Be something else. Someone else.

Titans fans have been wondering why the TV show started off with Dick Grayson in a weird limbo between his most iconic super-personas. Now, it's clear that the creative team needed to telegraph the story so that viewers could actually see Dick make the conscious transition between the mindlessly brutal Robin and the more ethically driven Nightwing. Will that distinction be made before the season's over? Here's hoping.

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Starfire Got Her Memory Back

One of the overarching mysteries throughout Titans' first season has been Kory Anders' memory issues, and what her main goal is on the show. Beyond just turning everything into a raging inferno, that is. Episode 8 offered up a big old surprising answer to this situation, too. It turns out Starfire was actually supposed to be trying to capture Rachel this entire time.

This discovery happened thanks to Donna, who just so happened to have "learned a little bit" about obscure and lost offshoots of the Sumerian language while on Themyscira. (No big deal.) She translated what she could of the documents Dick took photos of, and figured out that the most destructive Titans member wants another one dead. Naturally, Donna figured this out right as Kory came upon this highly important information herself.

Kory spent much of the episode being paranoid on a train while Rachel was having some emotional bonding time with her mother. (Meanwhile, Gar drank a beer and contemplated having killed someone.) Kory's suspicions about being watched were justified, but she used her Starfire powers to eliminate those threats accordingly.

Unfortunately, she was the biggest threat to everyone else in the end, after Rachel offered to try and use her own healing powers to restore Kory's memory. That tactic worked all too well, and it was then revealed that the her intentions to "take care of Rachel" had far more dangerous and destructive connotations than they'd previously thought. Cut to black.

Will we see Starfire's blazes going up against Raven's demonic forces in next week's episode? Will we get to see Dick call up Lucius Fox to develop a badass Nightwing costume? Will we get to see Wonder Girl hanging out with other Amazon women while Wonder Woman herself is teased via background shadow?

Find out those answers and more when Titans hits DC Universe every Friday at 11:00 a.m. ET. To see what other hard-hitting shows are popping up in the near future, be sure and bookmark our fall TV premiere schedule and our midseason TV rundown.

Nick Venable
Assistant Managing Editor

Nick is a Cajun Country native and an Assistant Managing Editor with a focus on TV and features. His humble origin story with CinemaBlend began all the way back in the pre-streaming era, circa 2009, as a freelancing DVD reviewer and TV recapper.  Nick leapfrogged over to the small screen to cover more and more television news and interviews, eventually taking over the section for the current era and covering topics like Yellowstone, The Walking Dead and horror. Born in Louisiana and currently living in Texas — Who Dat Nation over America’s Team all day, all night — Nick spent several years in the hospitality industry, and also worked as a 911 operator. If you ever happened to hear his music or read his comics/short stories, you have his sympathy.