Teen Titans. I talked about this show for one of my first ever blog posts all the way back in December. It’s one of my favourite cartoons of all time for its masterful mix of comedy and action, as well as its well-written stories. I’ve wanted to cover this series in a lot more depth for ages now, and now it’s summer, I have the chance to. Over the course of summer, I will be ranking all the episodes of each season as I rewatch them, and maybe I’ll do a few extra posts about the series as well. So, I’m starting with Season One(because why wouldn’t I?). Season One did a great job of introducing us to the titans, mainly their leader: Robin. There were those bonkers, and comical episodes such as Mad Mod, some detailed insights into each of the character’s heads(literally for Raven), and of course, the Teen Titans first ever encounters with the chilling Slade(Deathstroke). Well, that’s my introduction done. Let’s get right into it!
#13 Deep Six
This was probably the easiest choice on this list for me to make. Deep Six is the only episode of Teen Titans I would call downright bad. It starts off decent enough, but quickly sinks deeper and deeper into the depths. Four of the titans are absent most of the episode, Raven and Starfire love Aqualad for literally no reason and 3/4 of the episode is just Beast Boy and Aqualad arguing with each other. The first time I marathoned this series, this was the only episode I couldn’t bear to watch all the way through. Sorry Beast Boy, you’re one of my favourite titans, but your episodes usually aren’t that great.
#12 Car Trouble
Car Trouble is another episode that’s not so great, but it has its moments that still make it a decent enough episode. This was the first episode to feature the T-Car and unfortunately, didn’t do a good job of showing it off. There are quite a few plot holes which just made me roll my eyes at this episode. Before the titans go to fight Overload, it puts lots of emphasis on Cyborg putting various locking mechanisms on his car to prevent it being stolen. Five minutes later, it’s stolen by two random street urchins. Yeah, that makes sense. Later on, when Raven and Cyborg are chasing Gizmo, Raven uses her powers to make the car they’re in float. Wait a second. If Raven can do that to their car, why doesn’t she just use her powers on the T-Car to stop it? Sometimes this episode drives me up the wall(I suppose that literally happens in this episode) but the witty jokes and action makes it watchable.
#11 The Sum of His Parts
At Number Eleven is another Cyborg-centric episode. The Sum of His Parts focuses on the human side of Cyborg and the problems he has being mostly machine. While this episode is decent enough, this side of Cyborg was handled much better in other, later episodes *cough* Only Human *cough*. When Cyborg’s battery runs out, he ends up at the mercy of a mysterious man… robot…. alien thingy(?) called Fix-It(not Felix). Considering the episode is focused on him, Cyborg doesn’t really do much. He’s just held prisoner for a while by Fix-It until his human memories eventually convince Fix-It that making him being all robot isn’t all it’s cut out to be. Robin and the rest fight Mumbo meanwhile which makes for some fun moments and that’s pretty much it. Nothing bad, but nothing really special either.
#10 Forces of Nature
Earlier I said that the majority of Beast Boy’s episodes aren’t all that great, and this episode unfortunately enforces that. Beast Boy pulls a prank that angers Starfire and she calls him a barblamilk. Harsh, I know. Later on, the titans encounter some demigods called Thunder and Lightning who are literally destroying the city for fun. BB scorns them and tries to get them both to stop likening their rampage to the harmless prank he pulled earlier. The moral of this episode feels blatant and forced, as if the writers finished writing the episode and the director threatened to dock their pay unless they worked a moral into it somehow. Whenever there is a moral episode of Teen Titans, it’s usually seamlessly threaded into the episode’s story and is much more subtle but that’s simply not the case with this episode. It wasn’t horrible though, there was some great jokes and the fights were well animated, especially Robin’s first ever direct confrontation with Slade! Overall, an alright episode.
#9 Divide and Conquer
Number 9 on this list is the first every Teen Titans episode! Well, the first to be produced, not the first to be aired, that episode is actually… ah screw it, let’s just get on with it. The fight with Cinderblock does a great job of introducing us to the titans but the rest of the story in this episode isn’t all that great. Cyborg decides to quit the team despite us viewers seeing him on the team for like five minutes. Yeah, not a good choice for the first episode. His “BOOYAHHHHH’s” are sadly absent for almost the entirety of the rest of this episode while the rest of the titans fight Plasmus. It’s a decent enough first episode, but it doesn’t really compare with some of the series more well-written episodes.
Sisters. The first episode to explore Robin and Starfire’s relationship and cause thousands of people to start shipping the two. Blackfire also makes a prominent appearance in this episode and we’re shown her utter villainy knows no bounds, even to her own sister. Like Forces of Nature, this episode has a moral lesson behind it, but it by no means feels forced. None of the characters seemingly talk out of character to shove the lesson in your face, and the dialogue feels completely natural. It’s just too bad it’s the last we see of Blackfire until Season Three.
#7 Final Exam
The first ever episode of Teen Titans to be aired, Final Exam does a better job than Divide and Conquer at introducing the titans. Well, except for Robin, he’s in the sewers for most of the episode. It highlights just how helpless the titans are without their leader and this is also the first episode to feature the Hive Fi-uh, Three. While this episode is great, mixing comedy and action, I feel like the titans got defeated way too easily in this episode. They didn’t even put up a fight against Jinx, Gizmo and Mammoth, hell, Starfire and Raven’s fight with Mammoth was completely omitted. And that’s why it’s at the halfway point on this list.
#6 Mad Mod
This episode honestly doesn’t get enough credit. I know Revolution is the Mad Mod episode people usually pick when talking about the best Teen Titans episode but the first episode to introduce this bonkers villain simply cannot be ignored. On my fifth consecutive year of marathoning this show, this episode still manages to make me laugh all the way through. After the seriousness of Masks, this episode was perfect for reminding us of the more comedic aspects of the series. Mad Mod is one of the most memorable and unforgettable episodes of Season One, and for good reason.
Alright, the bodyswap idea isn’t all that original, but I’ll be damned if this wasn’t one of the most flawless executions of the concept. Raven’s powers are controlled by her keeping a tight grip on her emotions, while Starfire’s powers are controlled by her letting go of her emotions making them the perfect candidates for being bodyswapped. They’re almost the polar opposites of each other, making it all the more hilarious and believable that they’d both have trouble using each other’s superpowers. The only bad part of this episode is that the other three titans are nearly non-existent for the story’s duration, but it was a worthy sacrifice to be able to allow this episode’s antics to unfold.
#4 Apprentice Part 1
This is it. This is what the entire season had been building up to. The ultimate confrontation between Robin and Slade. While the first part falls slightly behind its second half, it’s still a brilliant episode. Slade is threatening to set off a device that will freeze Jump City in time for eternity which of course, agitates Robin greatly. His obsession causes him to flip out on Slade’s robots, his friends, and even an innocent dock worker until he’s eventually separated. Then, he casually flips Cinderblock over in his anger before facing Slade. The tension in this episode is massive and it’s a non-stop rollercoaster that you’ll never want to get off. Even an episode as good as this one pales in comparison to the next few episodes on this list. We’re entering into truly masterful territory now.
Raven is my favourite member of the titans, and I’m certainly not alone in that mentality. Not a single episode that focuses on her is bad, or even simply average, and Nevermore is no exception. Beast Boy and Cyborg end up stuck in Raven’s mind, much to her dismay, and discover just how messed up her mind and childhood was. Seeing all of Raven’s emotions was honestly hilarious, showing us she isn’t as one-dimensional in her feelings as we originally thought. We got some foreshadowing for Season Four as well as the first ever appearance of white Raven. One of the most unskippable episodes of the season, Nevermore is the first episode of Season One that showed the massive potential this series had.
Hell yeah! This episode marked the first ever appearance of Red X, well the suit, but that doesn’t stop the anti-hero from being incredibly badass. Robin was a total asshole in the first season, and this episode proves it. He hadn’t developed a big enough bond with his fellow titans, and part of him still seemed to see himself as a solo hero. So he toils after catching Slade, even going so far as to betray his friend’s trust. In the end, he only ends up playing straight into Slade’s hand and his friends aren’t all that happy either. It’s an excellent episode, showing us the kind of person Robin is beyond just the leader of the Teen Titans and apprentice to Batman. Masks marks a turning point for his character, and the titans as a whole. As well as this, the fights scenes in this episode are just f***ing awesome; easily some of the best in the series. There’s only one episode in the first season I consider better this one, and that is…
#1 Apprentice Part 2
Be honest. If you’re a Teen Titans fan then you saw this coming from a mile away. It’s cliched I know, but Apprentice Part Two is widely considered to be the best episode of the first season for good reason. All the finales are pretty epic, but this one set the precedent. Start with a setup of one of the Teen Titan’s most terrifying and utterly chilling villains forcing Robin into working as his apprentice. Throw in some intense fight scenes, some impeccably good writing and just a sprinkle of pure horror and despair and you have one of the darkest episodes of Teen Titans ever written. You can feel the danger the Teen Titans are facing, the confusion, and Robin’s distress and hopelessness with the situation. This is an episode that will keep your anticipation at a fevered high and constantly surpass all your expectations. Watching this episode, it’s easy to forget that it’s actually a kids show. Apprentice Part Two is the perfect representation of Teen Titan’s darker side, and I still consider it to be the best episode of Season One since I first viewed it five years ago.
Overall, it was certainly an action-packed season. There were a few duds here and there, some good episodes, and then some downright amazing ones. A high precedent has been set for later seasons. Remember, this is just my opinion so if you love Deep Six or hate Apprentice then that’s completely fine! Feel free to express what you think of the first season and its episodes below as I’m interested to hear what you think.