Titans Season 4 Got Rid Of Its Best Character Way Too Soon

This article contains spoilers for the latest episode of "Titans."

The fourth season of "Titans" has finally arrived, warts and all. In the first two episodes, we get a taste of what is in store for the titular superhero team this time around. A lighter tone permeates through the show, while its sinister roots still show up from time to time. The change of location to Metropolis has brought a lot of new things for the Titans to worry about, including the introduction of Lex Luthor, played by Titus Welliver. The tenured Superman villain is perhaps the biggest new addition to the series, and rightfully so. Lex is a force to be reckoned with, and the actor plays him at the peak of his intelligence.

Unfortunately, Lex dies in the premiere episode, for whatever reason. For context, Superboy, aka Conner Kent (Joshua Orpin), wants to meet at least one of his biological fathers, even if he's a megalomaniac. This sets the stage for Lex's arrival, which is less diabolical than it initially appears to be. A genuinely riveting sequence leads to the dumbfounding decision the show has made. Just as we get to know more about Lex, it happens: "Titans" quickly disposes of the best character introduced this season.

Yep, that just happened

When Conner visits his biological father for some clarity and closure, Lex gives away his true intentions. The man is dying, despite some drastic attempts to reverse his terminal condition, and all the evil genius wants to do in his final days is to have a relationship with his son. It's the most compelling scene of the season thus far. For a moment, the conversation convinces Connor (and the audience) that maybe Lex is telling the truth. While I'd normally think Lex was still hiding something sinister behind his words, Welliver makes you cling on to every sentence, and we believe him wholeheartedly. We know what happens next, though.

Lex's affiliation with the Cult of Blood has literally come back to bite him. As he spits out copious amounts of blood, a giant snake escapes from his body, leaving him dead to rights. The death itself is super creepy, leaning heavily into the supernatural. The event also serves as the inciting incident for the rest of the narrative, but it leaves me puzzled. A series that baits the audience on shiny new things every season should not have to feel the need to get rid of them so quickly, especially since Lex made an impression right away.

A diamond in the rough

A new beginning has never felt so short-lived as the premiere episode of "Titans." The death of Lex Luthor plays into the shock factor, but does a disservice to what could have been. Instead of chewing on the potential relationship between Conner and Lex for a few more episodes, we have to sit and contemplate it. Though killing him off is not an inherently bad idea, too much is left on the table unearthed, especially since Welliver is so great in the role. Unfortunately, the series does this too often.

"Titans" has this keen ability to disappoint even in its most promising moments. In the second season, the show got rid of one of the best villains in DC canon before the finale credits rolled. Plus, it took the entire season for Dick Grayson to put on his Nightwing suit. The third season introduced Red Hood and Scarecrow as the main villains, only to fail to create a formidable threat for the superhero team. It's too early to tell if the fourth season will continue to cut its own legs short, but hopefully, Welliver gets to play Lex a bit more, even if it's a flashback.

New episodes of "Titans" air on Thursdays on HBO Max.