“Titans” season 3, episode 9, titled “Souls,” has premiered, and it confirms that the newest season of “Titans” has no idea where it’s going. Like the characters in this episode, “Souls” felt lost and like a narrative block, rather than a necessary stop on the journey.
Rachel has been absent this season and while her presence was missed, she has little to offer this episode as she endeavors to bring Donna back to life.
In some type of purgatory, Donna is on a journey of her own. At first, she comforts a recently-passed Tim Drake as he struggles to accept his circumstances. But he is determined to get back to the land of the living and on their journey, they run into Hank Hall.
The title of the episode seems to refer to the lost souls of Donna, Hank, Tim, and even Rachel, but the episode itself is lost in the narrative it’s trying to represent. Is Rachel meant to be a lone wolf or does she thrive in a group? At the start and the end of the episode, Rachel is in the same place emotionally; the viewers aren’t given time to see the lessons learned from Themyscria.
And having Tim apparently shot dead in the last episode or just on the brink of death was just a narrative plot point to meet up with Hank and Donna. And while Rachel resolves not to mess with the dead, Donna decides to cross the bridge back into the land of the living with Tim.
While it was a nice moment, it could have had more impact if viewers saw Donna in the afterlife and Rachel struggling to bring her back throughout the entire season. These also could have been short breaks from the craziness of Gotham.
But instead, episode 9 feels rushed with narratives shoehorned in at the last moment.