After the first two seasons of Teen Titans, Season Three had a tough act to follow. Both Robin and Terra’s seasons had their fair share of bad episodes, but the arc episodes were considered to be outstanding in quality. Cyborg had claim to the next season and I wasn’t sure what to expect when I discovered this. I’m not sure whether I’ve mentioned this before, but Cyborg is my least favourite member of the Titans. I won’t go into detail here but he always seemed to be the typical super-strong member of the team in episodes that didn’t focus on him. Don’t get the wrong idea, I like him, just not as much as the other Titans. Anyway, back to the topic at hand I wasn’t sure whether I’d like Season Three as much as the previous seasons and it turned out that I was right… partly. While I personally consider Cyborg’s arc to be the weakest out of all five season arcs, the quality of the episodes in between were unparalleled in quality. You had the return of Mad Mod and Red X. Slade returning(kinda) despite many believing he was gone for good. Mumbo Jumbo got his own episode and Beast Boy finally got a really well-written and serious episode. While the arc episodes could have been better in my opinion, there’s still a lot to like about Season Three which meant that this was possibly the most difficult list for me to compile so far. As with the last two season rankings I did, I’m completely open to your opinion as long as you respect mine. Anyway, on with the show!
#13 Can I Keep Him?
In the entirety of Season Three, Can I Keep Him? is the closest an episode comes to being just ‘meh’. Yet just because it’s last on this list doesn’t mean it’s bad, just the worst of the season. Starfire falls in love with one of the larvae left over from Killer Moth’s attack in Date With Destiny and wants to keep him as a pet. However, the other Titans aren’t as happy to have a new honorary Titan. There are some great jokes in this episode and Starfire is at her best; unfortunately, the rest of the episode isn’t all that interesting. There’s the return of what could possibly be the series dullest villain: Johnny Rancid. Killer Moth also returns and competes with Starfire for “Silkie’s” love. While the episode itself is good enough, it’s just not all that memorable and that’s why it gets the lowest spot on this list.
Again, I feel like I need to repeat what I said for Can I Keep Him?. Deception is by no means a bad or even ‘meh’ episode. I actually enjoyed it a lot. Watching Cyborg mingle with supposedly heartless villains like Jinx and his nemesis Gizmo was as intriguing as it was entertaining to watch. For an arc episode, it was surprisingly lighthearted most of the way through apart from the fight at the end and the moments where Cyborg wished he still had his human body. Brother Blood still isn’t all that interesting of a villain though, in fact, this is probably his worst episode. On top of that, the other Titans are barely in it at all. The previous two seasons still managed to make sure we got a healthy dose of the other Titans during Robin’s and Terra’s arcs while still keeping a focus on the main Titans for those arcs. That, I think is one of the main weaknesses of not just this episode, but this season’s arc as a whole.
The other Starfire episode of this season also get’s pretty low on this list but is still a great episode. Starfire is forced into a marriage with an amorphous blob by her douchebag sister Blackfire to protect her home planet of Tamaran. Of course, the other Titans aren’t pleased as it means she’ll be leaving Earth forever to live on Tamaran. As such, they do some investigating which results in the discovery of a shocking secret. Yadayadayada, the plan is exposed and Starfire has an epic confrontation with her evil sister. What I really liked about this episode was how it showcased just how far Starfire had come since her last encounter with Blackfire back in Sisters. She’s done a lot of growing since then and you can really see it reflected in her character in this episode. One of these details I particularly liked was Starfire’s eye LAZORS which she gained when she went through puberty in Transformation. She’s not the tiny little pushover of a sister that Blackfire remembers any more. Apart from this fight though, Betrothed is an average episode at best which is why it sits at Number Eleven on this list.
#10 Bunny Raven… Or… How to Make a Titananimal Disappear
Okay, I know a lot of people like this episode, and so do I. However, one of the best episodes of the series? In my opinion, no. It has a lot in common with Mad Mod’s episodes. Just by looking from the title you can tell you’re in for a crazy ride. There are so many references and jokes that you could probably find at least one in every single frame. However, I just don’t find Mumbo Jumbo as interesting a villain as Mad Mod. Granted, I still think he’s an excellently-written character but I just never liked his method as much as Mad Mod. Instead of misleading the Titans and one-upping them constantly with entertaining tricks, he just takes away their powers and leaves them virtually helpless. It just feels like a cheap way of doing things to me and if you disagree(which you probably will) then that’s completely fine! Mumbo still manages to be a comical character thanks to his boundless ego and the entirety of the episode is one big flashy light show. The only reason this episode is so low is because there are so many brilliant episodes in Season Three and thus, I had the most difficulty ordering them.
Crash is another one of those episodes that the fanbase seems pretty split about. Despite its seemingly low spot on the list, I adore this episode. It’s probably the only example of a comedic Beast Boy episode executed flawlessly. Beast Boy ends up accidentally uploading a virus into Cyborg’s cybernetics making him go crazy and causing him to think that almost everything in sight is some kind of delicious food. This joke goes on for almost the entirety of the episode but it almost never gets stale because of the creative ways they showcase its effects. As well as that, this episode gets extra points simply for the infamous waffles joke. Also, Gizmo is in this episode and he surprisingly isn’t as annoying as he usually is which is amazing because you’d think being in Beast Boy’s proximity would make him even more annoying. It’s a mostly lighthearted episode with some genius gags that make it one of the more memorable Teen Titans comedy episodes.
#8 Titans East: Part Two
While Titans East Part Two isn’t a bad finale, it’s certainly underwhelming compared to the other Teen Titan’s season finales. For a start, the whole “Cyborg leaving the team” thing was pretty pointless. Cyborg says he’s leaving the team, even going so far as to be a straight-up asshole to Robin(who’s usually the asshole in most situations), they beat Brother Blood and then he’s suddenly happy to join again. He says that Titans East just need to listen to Bumblebee but she was being mind-controlled by Brother Blood for most of the episode, so what made him change his mind? Also, the fight between Cyborg and Brother Blood is completely one-sided and the way he defeats him makes as much sense as Cinderblock having the IQ of Einstein. “I hacked into his mind!”. Sure… Nevertheless, it’s still a thrilling episode; it’s just that compared to all the other episodes in Season Three and the other Season finales, it’s not all that outstanding.
#7 Titans East: Part One
Yes, once again I’ve put the first part of the season finale above the second part. While the second part was just as action-packed, Brother Blood was less involved until the ending and the way Cyborg defeated him made no sense. I like Cyborg’s fight with Brother Blood in this episode a lot more. There’s still the problem of him getting owned by his villain way more than the other Titans got owned by their villains but the fight was just a lot more exciting to me. As well as that, the way Cyborg wins actually makes sense and is plain awesome. A rocket boot to the face followed by Cyborg powering on the tower’s defence systems was just too cool. Cyborg using technology to win makes a lot of sense as it’s his biggest advantage. On top of that, Titans East are actually quite entertaining to watch and aren’t just mindless drones like in Part Two. Therefore, Part One of Titans East is one up from Part Two for me.
I’ve noticed that every season seems to have one episode which seems to get overlooked when talking about superb Teen Titans episodes and Wavelength is definitely that episode for this season. I can’t remember another episode in the series where the Titans not only attack the season’s villain directly before the finale but also recruit the help of other superheroes to do it. Aqualad wasn’t all that interesting(I still have my dislike of him from Deep Six) but Bumblebee’s introduction is as smooth as smooth can be. Cyborg and Bumblebee’s fight is entertaining to watch and their begrudging alliance afterwards is even more so. Watching the other Titans assault different parts of the base is also tense and when the final confrontation with Blood happens, it’s epic despite the fact Cyborg gets completely owned. It’s a high-stakes mission and it certainly feels like it too. If I can give Brother Blood one thing, it’s that he was certainly more confrontational and involved with the Titans than the other seasons’ villains. This is by far my favourite episode of Season Three’s arc, even if others don’t tend to agree.
#5 The Beast Within
One of Beast Boy’s few phenomenal episodes, The Beast Within shows us a new Beast Boy that isn’t all comedy relief. During a fight with a new, throwaway villain called Adonis, Beast Boy is covered in chemicals which seem to alter his biology and personality for the worse. This leads to him having a fallout with the other Titans which only gets worse when a new power he seems to have gained puts them all in danger. This episode is surprisingly dark for a Beast Boy episode yet it still proves to be his best episode in the entire series. Full of action and suspense, The Beast Within kept me hooked to the screen and the surprise twist at the end is one of the most well-executed of the series. I’d go as far as saying it almost gives Masks a run for its money. Also, this episode supports the Raven and Beast Boy ship so it’s impossible for me to dislike it.
Ah, another quality Raven-focused episode. No matter the writer, no matter the subject of the episode, Raven episodes always prove to be some of the best episodes of the season and the series as a whole. In this episode, Raven ends up making a new friend in the form of a great wizard trapped in a book due to a powerful curse. Over time, the Titan’s resident sorceress ends up spending more and more time in her room with her new friend until he starts teaching her some new magic so she can break the curse holding him in the book. However, not everything is as it seems. As someone who personally relates to Raven, this is one of the best episodes that explores her quiet personality and delves into her emotions. Heck, it does this just as well as it’s done in Nevermore where Cyborg and Beast Boy literally end up inside her mind. There’s only one small gripe I have with this episode. Why the hell does Robin never use that robinrang(?) sword ever again in the series? It’s so damn cool!
After twenty-two episodes of absence, Mad Mod makes a return to the show in style! Unfortunately, this is the last time he appears in an episode save for a couple of cameos in a few Season Five episodes. Thankfully, he goes out with a bang, transforming the entirety of Jump City into Britain. The sheer abundance of British stereotypes in this episode from British Rock Star Beast Boy to the chimney sweepers to old women shopping for fish had me gasping for air. That’s not counting the ridiculous amount of references such as the Titans running over Abbey Road in the picture above, Monty Python, Clockwork Orange and more. Combined with the clever and witty jokes that the creators somehow managed to fit into the episode with everything else and you’ve got possibly the best comedic episode of Teen Titans in the series.
Want to hear a depressing fact? This episode and Masks were the only episodes to feature Red X as a pivotal character. In fact, the only other episode where he even appeared was Revved Up in Season Five. Just like Mad Mod, for such a beloved villain, he actually showed up very little. Though you can sort of understand why after this masterpiece of an episode. I think they realised that there was no way they could do better than this episode. They must of used up almost all of his cocky and sassy lines in this one episode in an attempt to outdo themselves and realised they’d used up their reserves. They must of depleted all the epic action scenes they thought up and choreographed for him. They must of realised they’d never be able to replicate the simultaneously loathing and respectful relationship between Robin and Red X. Just like Masks, Robin was forced to confront his moral standing once again and question his very foundations as a supposed hero. I honestly can’t say more about this episode. Just… go, go and watch it and you’ll understand.
How could I not put this episode at number one. Not only is it the best episode of the entire season, but many people agree that it’s one of the best episodes overall along with The End. Possibly one of the series’ darkest episodes, Slade comes back from the dead to torture Robin and the rest of the Titans can’t seem to see him. Ron Perlman is an amazing voice actor all the time, but in this episode, he gives a truly chilling performance and cements Slade as one of the greatest villains of all time. As well as that, I just need to commend the awesome effects and animation in this episode, the lighting especially. Slade disappearing into the shadows every time lightning strikes is pure eye candy, the pounding rain on Robin’s clothes and (gelled) hair looks amazing and you can visibly see Robin start to tire during his fights with Slade. It’s clear every single member of the production team pulled out all the stops for this episode and it easily makes number one on this list despite the abundance of brilliant episodes in this season.
If we’re looking at Season Three as a whole, it’s certainly the best season of the show so far. While most of the main arc episodes were quite underwhelming compared to the previous two season’s arcs, the singular episodes were some of the best in the series so far, and there wasn’t a single bad one. The season managed to perfectly balance both its comedic and serious episodes and although Brother Blood proved to be the most disappointing villain so far, he was still nowhere near being a badly-written villain. Only two seasons remain and they’re going to have to do a lot to surpass this season.