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Episode #50 - The End, Part 1
Original Airdate - July 2nd, 2005

The stars are aligned. The sun is in eclipse. All of SLADE's labors are about to reach fruition -- and the Titans are about to face their greatest challenge ever. But is there really any hope of preventing the end of the world?

Reviews by Stu, Bird Boy
Media by Bird Boy
Titans Writers
Written by Amy Wolfram
Directed by Alex Soto
Producer Glen Murakami
Producers Linda M. Steiner, David Slack
Music by Michael McCuistion
Casting and Voice Direction Andrea Romano
Animation 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
Ron Perlman as Slade
Kevin Michael Richardson as Trigon
Dee Bradley Baker as Plasmus

Video

Screen Grabs






Pans


Note: The reviews by Stu are for each individual episode, while Bird Boy's review encompasses all three.

Review (Part 1, by Stu)

This season of Teen Titans hasn't been as gripping as the first season's storyline. I've not been a massive fan of this shows 'arcs', I thought Apprentice was awesome, but the rest Aftershock and Titans East, well, sucked, in my opinion. I think Teen Titans strength lies in the short, 22-minute episodes, so in fact; I've been going into this 3-part story with very little expectation.

At time of writing, I haven't seen the following 2 parts so this episode is a review of the opening episode and the opening episode only. The episode wasn't too great, but not terrible, which is basically how I've felt about all the other episodes focusing on Raven and her Father. The main focus of the episode is slightly faded out at the beginning due to an unnecessarily long and pointless fight with a purple monster that likes to cover them in snot.

The direction in the episode was some of the best the show has done. Whilst its writing has been hit and miss since halfway through its sophomore season, the visuals are constantly surpassing the previous episodes. With the likes of Justice League Unlimited, you'll notice a fine difference between each director but with Teen Titans, each director is just as seamless as the other. Whilst I much prefer Justice League Unlimited to Teen Titans, I will say that Teen Titans still has better storyboarding/chorography; but unfortunately, much like The Batman, the writing sometimes doesn't do the artwork justice.

The first part in a trilogy is usually notorious for doing absolutely nothing except set the story for part 2 (which in turn, sets part 3 up) and unfortunately, this episode is no exception. For those of you who will no doubt compare this episode to Justice League's finale "Starcrossed" you're more than likely going to be disappointed.

Whilst not a bad episode I'm not jumping up and down with anticipation to see part two; hopefully this episode is simply setting up a much bigger, grander story. Otherwise we'll be left with another crappy Teen Titans season finale.

Review (Parts 1-3, by Bird Boy)
This marks the end to the fourth season of Teen Titans; it’s certainly stronger than last season (which I still consider to be a pretty weak season). It doesn’t touch what season one and two did—it was still pretty fresh back then and I feel the show is running a bit low things to explore, in the area of overall arcs.

A story this epic, deserves three parts—right? Sure, it’s about the end of the world, but in the grand scheme of things, part two really could have been a stand-a-lone episode. Raven was barely even in it (until the very end). Part one set everything up, with Raven knowing the big prophecy was about to all go down—it ends with her giving herself up. Part two, as previously mentioned, could stand by itself. I’m not saying it wasn’t a great episode—it probably was my favorite of the three, but it really served as more of a station for Slade and Robin to talk, than simply more about Raven.

Part three is what wraps it all up. Unfortunately it throws in one of those “easy plot endings” that season three was victim to: Raven magically goes from being a little girl to her teenaged-self with long hair, simply by being determined that she’d defeat her father. Like Cyborg’s magical destruction of Brother Blood in season two, this just felt like a cheesy way out. Granted, there are not many more routes you can take and with Raven it’s a bit more believable, due to magic’s involvement.

As an overall story, it was pretty sweet. We saw some great episodes that set the finale up (“Birthmark” and “The Prophecy”), with references to other episodes (“Sisters”, “Switched”, “Masks” and “Aftershock” among them) and the finale didn’t disappoint. The universe was borderline destroyed and the Teen Titans saved the day once again. It’s a great story and those who want plenty of action along with their fleshed-out characters won’t be disappointed. Teen Titans is one of the best action cartoons I’ve ever watched and with a fifth season on the way, hopefully it won’t disappoint.

A strange thing I just realized now, while looking up the episode names that this story arc has referenced. In “How Long is Forever?” Starfire travels to the future, where she finds all the Titans much older and very alone. In this future, however, Raven and the universe still exist. Raven either wasn’t told about this or simply forgot; otherwise she wouldn’t have felt both helpless and hopeless when it came to fighting her father. Obviously taking that episode into account would lessen the impact on the story arc, but it’s just something I thought was worth mentioning.

One thing that was unbelievably strong in this three-part arc was the music. I always notice the excellent work done in the series, but never quite as much as in these stories. The music really carried the story along. In part two when the Titans “evil” others come out of their bodies, you here wonderful hard-rock music that’s reminiscent of Batman Beyond. Without this superb scoring, these three episodes wouldn’t have been half as good as they were. All three of the series music writers (Lolita Ritmanis, Michael McCuistion, Kristopher Carter) were on board; McCuistion did part one, part two was done by McCuistion and Carter and part three was done by McCuistion and Ritmanis. Of them all, its obvious McCuistion deserves a healthy lump of praise for the recurring themes throughout the episodes, knitting them together. Carter brought the hard-rock sound to part two and Ritmanis did excellent work on part three as well.

Animation was as solid as always in Teen Titans. No qualms, no real praises, it just flowed nicely along with the story. Sound and voice work was great as well, with Hyden Walch providing some great delivery on Starfire’s dialogue between Starfire and Evil Starfire’s battles and at the end of part three, where she uses the tofu bacon to imitate a creature from her home planet. Scott Menville continues his foray as the slightly pissed off, but still caring Robin and Ron Perlman doesn’t let up on the menacing tone of Slade’s voice. Kevin Michael Richardson voices Trigon and the voice fits the menacing design; the man has some range on him, voicing fathers (Static Shock), insane clowns (The Batman) and demonic lords (Teen Titans) and he does them all superbly.

I’d recommend this story and season to any Teen Titans fan. Aside from a few poor episodes (“Cyborg the Barbarian” and “TROQ” come to mind), it’s been even more hilarious and action packed than previous seasons. Not one to be missed and I look forward to getting it on DVD.