Since I presently review both the Teen Titans and Titans books, I was asked to go back and look at the Teen Titans series that aired on Cartoon Network. While still not my favorite show, Teen Titans certainly had its moments. My personal favorite top 10 episodes, with detail and explanations follow. This is in no real order, simply more or less as I found them. I find it hard to rank them against each others, so simply call it the ten best and off we go. There are some spoilers below, thou art warned.
10 Best Teen Titans Episodes
Nevermore Season 1, Episode 6
Partially out of concern for their team mate, who’s been acting odd… well, odder than usual, and partially out of nosiness, Cyborg and BB not only go in Raven’s room, they get sucked into her mirror. Inside, they find a series of color coded alternate Ravens, each representing one of her suppressed emotions. In the real world, Raven feels the effects of their exploration. At one point as she floats there meditating, Robin and Starfire look on to see her suddenly burst out laughing for a moment, the collect herself with a hurried “Excuse me” as she retreats to her room. This led to my personal favorite line of the entire series, Starfire saying to Robin “I am new to your Earthly ways, but… that was just plain freaky, correct?” Raven rescues her team mates from the mirror, they agree to keep her secrets, and gain a bit of a better understanding of why she is the way she is.
Switched Season 1, Episode 7
The team fights a villain called Puppet King. The boys are all captured, but Raven and Starfire switch bodies when his powers go a bit awry. Raven, in Starfire’s body, can’t make her powers work and in frustration says “How do you fly this thing?” trying to get airborne. Starfire rattles off Raven’s words of power and rips a hatch off , hurling it over the horizon. Eventually, all is restored, and the two girls figure out a lot more about what makes each other tick.
Date With Destiny Season 2, Episode 19
This one was just plain silly, but fun. Killer Moth brings the city to its knees… to force Robin to take Killer Moth’s daughter to the prom. Starfire mistakes “prom” for some kind of fight, and accepts on his behalf, then has it explained to her and cries out “Robin does NOT accept!” Robin and Starfire end up sharing a dance at the end.
Winner Take All Season 2, Episode 22
The boys get teleported away with many other heroes, being forced to fight each other by the Master of Games. I liked the episode because it broadened the cast, gave some of the characters a chance to shine, and introduced one of my personal favorites, Speedy. Robin and Speedy saying they’d heard of each other before was a nice touch. Nothing staggering in this episode, just generally well done. It also ends amusingly, with the male heroes, having beaten the Master, vanishing, and females heroes, including Raven, Starfire, and Terra, popping up to the same spiel from the Master that opened the show.
Homecoming I & II Season 5, Episodes 53 & 54
Beast Boy’s old team, the Doom Patrol, shows up, needing his help against an old enemy. It was nice seeing the Patrol, and Gar’s ties to it acknowledged. It was also the first time we hear his actual name, said by Elasti-Girl as she leaves. The story was good, the characterizations were well done, and it was nice seeing a few more DC heroes on the show. The Chief was eliminated, possibly for simplicity’s sake, possibly to avoid confusion with Professor X, even though the Chief and the Doom Patrol appeared first. It was also good to see a rare spotlight on Beast Boy, and see him given some credit.
For Real Season 5, Episode 56
This was one of those episodes where the creative staff decide to take a chance. Our heroes are not really in this episode at all. They took a minor but amusing villain, Control Freak, and had him come back for his revenge at a time when the Teen Titans are away, and the Titans East are Tower sitting for them. Seeing the new team finding its way along was good, the interplay between the heroes and Control Freak was stellar, as he almost ended up a fan of theirs despite himself. One of the things that really made the episode was at random times, “fans” on the internet popped up, posting comments about what the heroes, or Control Freak, were doing. That little added touch took the episode from entertaining to hilarious. It was also a nice touch that Control Freak’s deadly traps were so customized for the Titans he was expecting to fight that they didn’t work particularly well against the Titans East.
Lightspeed Season 5, Episode 60
Ok, this one is on here largely from pure personal bias, and I admit it. I’ve always liked speedsters, and Kid Flash has the coolest costume. Seeing him finally show up was great. His easily handling the HIVE villains was well done, and romancing Jinx on the side was even better, as well as a precursor of the way Wally West acted in his incarnation around the time of the Justice League Europe books and his own title in the early nineties. Another nice touch, Kid Flash was voiced by Michael Rosenbaum, who is better known as Lex Luthor on Smallville…. and the older Wally West as Flash on the Justice League Unlimited cartoon. It was also nice to see a villain, in this case Jinx, actually have some depth to her, instead of just being a rampaging force of evil because… she’s evil.
Calling All Titans/Titans Together/Things Change Season 5, Episodes 63-65
Possibly their most ambitious piece, fitting for the series finale. In three parts, you see practically everyone who has ever been a Teen Titan, certainly every hero on the show who’s been one. Most of the villains come back as well, at least briefly. There’s even a one moment shot of a video screen of Wonder Girl, her only appearance on the show, completing the “Fab Five” Teen Titans’ appearances. It was a nice wrap up, touching on almost every major character and plotline. I think my favorite bit was Mas y Menos, the speedy kids they made up for the show (who have since crossed over to the comics), breaking free and trying to work out what the bad guys’ machine did. In rapid fire (how else?) Spanish, which I speak enough of to follow the exchange, you get “What does this do? I have no idea! Let’s push them all! OK!” and more by dumb luck than anything else, they free the trapped heroes and capture many of the bad guys. There have been persistent rumors of another season, or specials, or something, but aside from the rather odd Titans in Tokyo adventure, there has been nothing, so this serves as the cap to a five season run, and I thought it was done very well.
Mad Mod/Detention Season 1, Episode 10
This was the first appearance of a classic Teen Titans foe, the Mad Mod, voiced entertainingly by Malcolm McDowell. The Titans are captured as the Mod tries to brainwash the team, placing them in surreal versions of different classes at school. Beast Boy is shown to be particularly suceptible to the conditioning, leading to one scene of Cyborg snapping him out of it by giving Raven a “wet willy.” We see some of what the Titans go through on their own before they escape and are reunited. Another personal favorite is Raven showing up with a sports shirt over her costume, and saying “Gym class. Don’t ask.” Towards the end, there is a Scooby Doo/Yellow Submarine type chase through Mod’s illusions as he tries to get away once Robin figures out how to see find the flaws in them. All in all, some good fun, even if Beast Boy is once again more comic relief than hero. Poor kid.
How Long is Forever Season 2, Episode 14
This is up there as one of the darkest episodes on what is usually a light hearted show. Starfire is lost in time while fighting Warp, and ends up some twenty years in the future. What she finds isn’t really pretty. Cyborg has broken down, and can’t function without huge battery packs that make it so he can’t leave Titans Tower. Raven’s powers have proven too much for her, and she is in an asylum. Beast Boy is bald, pathetic, and alone in a run down carnival sideshow. Only Robin is still fighting the good fight, although now he’s Nightwing (another personal favorite and part of why this show made the list). Eventually, she manages to return, and the young heroes listen to their possible fates (I think Beast Boy was more worried about going bald than his sideshow status). They resolve to try and avoid the darkness coming by sticking together, although Robin seems intrigued by Nightwing.
Those are the picks. Discuss amongst yourselves, and feel free to post on what your favorites I may have missed were.