Episode Reviews - Titan Rising

Episode #21 - Titan Rising
Original Airdate - February 28th, 2004

Terra returns to Titans Tower, and this time, she's ready to join the team. But after what happened the last time they saw her, the Titans aren't sure that's such a good idea -- and Raven is positive that it's not. But Robin reminds her that everyone deserves a second chance. And when Slade unveils his latest diabolical plot, Terra gets hers. Can Terra win the Titans' trust and become a full-fledged member of the team? Or will she again lead our heroes into disaster?

Review by Steel
Media by Bird Boy
Titans Writers
Written by Amy Wolfram
Directed by Michael Chang
Producer Glen Murakami
Producers Linda M. Steiner, Bruce Timm
Music by Kristopher Carter
Casting and Voice Direction Andrea Romano
Animation Services by Lotto Animation

Titans Voices
Greg Cipes as Beast Boy
Scott Menville as Robin
Khary Payton as Cyborg
Tara Strong as Raven
Hynden Walch as Starfire
Ashley Johnson as Terra
Ron Perlman as Slade

Screen Grabs


Sound Clips
"Uh...why does she hate me?" (MP3, 251kb)
"I like where we live!" (MP3, 123kb)
"You can start by trusting me." (MP3, 246kb)
"It took me a year to stop hating Beast Boy." (MP3, 148kb)
"They really trust me..." (MP3, 317kb)

This episode was completely and utterly predictable. Terra showing up after the rock got thrown back up: Called it. Slade calling Robin on the communicator: Called it. The Titans Tower being attacked after the worm thingys started to converge: Called it. Granted, many of these perceived flaws are partially due to my own familiarity with both the episode guide and some of the more significant runs of the comics. Still, it is a pity this episode was plotted out with such linearity. I mean, c'mon. Even if we know what's gonna end up happening, at least throw us some curveballs or twists or something.

Fortunately, in light of the rest of the episode almost none of that even really matters. Once again, the story's strength is in its characters as Raven and Terra took the spotlight and got fleshed out quite a bit. Of the team, Robin and Raven tend to be the rational, more level-headed types that often see past the naive optimism of their teammates and are often to gain a broader picture or newer insights into things. Interestingly enough, this episode explored the distinction between the two: They both have highly trained senses of observation and intuition, but Robin seems to believe in redemption and the inherent "goodness" of individuals whereas Raven may not. Although both Robin and Raven made the same observations (that Terra's sudden ability to control her powers is suspicious/doubtful), the differences in their reactions and attitude toward Terra are very telling about them as individuals.

The coolest element of this episode was easily the return of Slade. Is it just me, or is everything that he does just bring badass to the show? Good to see that Slade takes the Titans seriously, but that Robin doesn't flip out and go psycho over him. Aside from the "epic" scope of the story (talk about some kick ass fight scenes) and the expansion of the Titans' world that Slade helped to facilitate, its great to see that Slade still continues his manipulative behavior and hasn't completely tipped his hand. Obviously, Slade could easily dispense with the Titans at whim, but instead he insists on maintaining a web of manipulation to coerce the Titans into working into his own intentions. Those familiar with the comics likely realize some of what Slade is plotting, but with any luck this adaptation will have enough twists to keep us thrilled. Aside from being a stellar episode on its own, "Titan Rising" greatly expands the world of the Teen Titans and leaves several major plot threads in the air. If this episode is any indication, we're in for a wild ride.

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