Titans Finally Fixes Rachel's Raven Powers In Season 3

Titans season 3 finally solves the show's long-standing Raven problem. Played by Teagan Croft, Rachel Roth debuted in Titans as a troubled youngster coming to terms with the long line of death and violence in her wake. Teenagers not getting along with their fathers is nothing out of the ordinary, but Rachel really took "dad from hell" to an entirely different level. Season 1 Rachel was a ticking time bomb of dark energy - an innocent child harboring power far beyond her fellow Titans, relying on Dick Grayson and his pals to ensure she didn't accidentally murder anyone. After a full season spent finding herself, Rachel came good at the end of season 1, mastering her abilities to vanquish Trigon.

Frustratingly, Titans season 2 failed to capitalize on what should've been Raven's coming-out party on the superhero stage. Teagan Croft's character immediately reverted back to being the Titans' resident dangerous teen; still unable to control her abilities (the Trigon thing was a fluke), still deeply unsure of herself, and those around her still sleeping with one eye open as Raven's black goop insisted on doing its own thing. While every other Titan was improved and developed in season 2, Rachel wound up right where she began. Thankfully, Titans season 3 has the answer.

Related: Why Batman Attempts To Take His Own Life In Titans Season 3

Rachel remained curiously absent for the first 8 episodes of season 3, the time skip allowing Titans to perform a much-needed character reset. When Croft eventually returns in "Souls," she's a much stronger, wiser young woman who, vitally, is no longer a slave to her powers. A period of training under the Amazons has rejuvenated Rachel, giving her a handle on the Raven she once struggled to keep tethered. The change is demonstrated in Rachel's very first Titans season 3 scene, where she leaks a tiny bit of power to aid Donna's ritual, but immediately withdraws it after a stern shake of the head from her Amazonian mentor. Later in the episode, Raven expertly wields her dark gifts to rebuild Themyscira's intricate soul statue, proving how far her control has come between seasons.

Titans hasn't rewritten the core ingredients of Rachel's personality - she's still a stubborn young superhero who isn't afraid to speak her mind. But while the Raven of Titans season 1 and 2 was shackled by fear, Rachel now exudes confidence, both in herself, and her abilities. Instead of being scared to unleash the Raven in case she hurts those around her, Rachel is now rebelling against the Amazons because she believes her methods hold more hope of reviving Donna than theirs. This is the steely, determined, useful Rachel that should've emerged after she defeated Trigon... but better late than never.

The true test will come when Rachel rejoins her Titans buddies back in Gotham City. The group's dynamic changes completely now Dick and others don't need to be vigilant of Raven's wandering tendrils, and the young crime-fighting collective will look more comic-book-authentic as a result - with Raven a vital cog in their operation instead of just the token goth who follows them around. Rachel's newfound confidence also means her Beast Boy romance can advance to the next stage, with Gar very obviously still in love.

General consensus on Titans season 3 suggests the current run was already a marked improvement upon what came before, and Rachel's development is another fine example of this positive growth on HBO Max. Once portrayed as a liability, Raven wasn't fulfilling her potential. Thanks to the good folks of Themyscira, the Raven Titans fans wanted all along has arrived.

More: Titans Was Right To Keep Hank Dead - Can He Still Come Back?

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