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Why did Teen Titans purposely end on a cliffhanger episode?

Discussion in 'The DC Comics Animation Forum' started by CyberCubed, Apr 5, 2014.

  1. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    Unlike Young Justice which was canceled unexpectingly when they thought they would get a third season and it ended on a cliffhanger, with Teen Titans they pretty much knew from the start that Season 5 would be the end.

    While they concluded the Brotherhood of Evil storyline, the last episode has Terra come back to life with no memory of her past self. That would be fine, but there was also a weird alien/robot thing they fought in the episode with no backstory and no conclusion. The episode ends with the fight against the robot/alien still going on while Beast Boy goes to join them.

    So in general:

    - Terra returns to life with no explanation and loses her memory
    - Titans fight a new weird alien/robot with no conclusion

    And lastly they never explained who Red X was, which was a mystery building in Season 2.

    Why end the show on a cliffhanger when everyone on the staff knew the show was over?
     
  2. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    Young Justice didn't end on a cliffhanger. It ended on business as usual. If the episode stopped with Kid Flash fading in and out from the energy hitting him, that would have been a cliffhanger. Teen Titans didn't end on a cliffhanger either. The point of "Things Change" was the title itself. Some people aren't meant to be heroes and they have to grow up and move on. Or in Beast Boy's case, you don't get everything (someone) you want.

    So by the end of the series, you didn't get that together, they can overcome anything?

    They never intended to reveal his secret identity. That was something they developed for behind the scenes mostly. The show wasn't about secret identities.

    Again, not a cliffhanger. But it's been so long, but I recall they did pitch a sixth season. Something about Dimension X opening up and that monster in "Things Change" was just the beginning. I recall they would have used Phobia, Mister Twister, Murakami would have wanted to do another Mad Mod episode, and the staff talked about Ravager.

    And season five was originally going to be 20 episodes. Slade was originally planned to team up with the Brotherhood of Evil at some point.

    They definitely weren't short on ideas. A lot of cutting room floor stuff, unused ideas, unused pitches. Separated Man, Krypto, Bruce Wayne, Honey Bun, Mister Twister, the Ant, the Scorcher, the Chief, more Robotman, Murakami wanted to do more Thunder and Lightning and Red Star, Omega Men. And the Titans (Witchie-Poo, Captain Thug, Prosthetic Lass, and Dead Pretty-Boy) pitch. Fortunately they finally did get to appear in that one New Teen Titans short "Turn Back the Clock"
     
  3. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    Yet the show ended on a mystery of the Titans facing a weird alien robot.

    Then what was the point? Someone got into the Red X suit and they played it up yet we never know who?

    Where is this coming from? Every season of Teen Titans was 13 episodes, so why would they suddenly get 20 for the 5th season? Likewise that brought them up to 65 episodes total for syndication, why would they think they would get more than that?

    Likewise is that why half the heroes were rushed into the finale instead of getting solo eps?

    Well obviously with any show there are unused ideas and pitches, or things they could have done if they got another season. But I'm pretty sure they knew they were done.
     
  4. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    I saw no mystery in it. They regroup with Beast Boy and defeat the monster together. It's what they do. It's what they've done.

    To corporealize Robin's dark side. It didn't just go away after season one in a neat little bow.

    Probably the Titans Tower website. Lot's of great interviews from what I remember.
     
  5. ShadowStar

    ShadowStar Member

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    It's true, both Teen Titans' final season and JLU's final season were originally greenlit for 20 episodes each. I remember the announcement coming through, and then a later announcement saying that the orders had been reduced to 13 each. I'm pretty sure that Ben Jones (who was a director on Teen Titans) has opened up about this and said that it happened very suddenly in an "OK, now we're only doing 13" fashion. Though it may have been Matt Youngberg who said that in a post-series interview which he did for titansgo.net. It was also revealed that they planned on having Slade walk into the Brotherhood's headquarters and usurp the Brain's leadership, but this idea had to be axed when they found out that there would only be 13 episodes in the season.

    Here: http://www.titanstower.com/five-seasons-of-murakanime/

    Towards the very end of this interview, there's a question about things that were left on the cutting room floor (it's one of the last questions). You'll find some brief details there.
     
  6. RoryWilliams

    RoryWilliams Well-Known Member

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    I remember also reading that they HAD pitched another season and it simply hadn't been greenlit. So it's not as though they purposefully ended the Terra thing in a manner to piss off viewers.
     
  7. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    They always hoped for the show to go on, but they had to know this was the end. The show could have ended back in Season 4 with the 52 episode deal, Season 5 was actually a surprise at the time if I recall.

    Also with JLU ending the same year it was pretty obvious Teen Titans wasn't going to go on at the time.
     
  8. mrbean1500

    mrbean1500 Member

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    Hindsight is always 20/20
     
  9. Neo Ultra Mike

    Neo Ultra Mike Creeping Shadow of "15000"+ Posts

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    Uh, first off that was Season 3's "X" which first had that mystery, and really that was something that was only even addressed twice. In "X" and then in "Revved Up" but otherwise it wasn't really brought up at all. And really I don't think we were ever going to even get an answer to that anyway as like others pointed out TT wasn't about secret identities or who was secretly who or anything like that, even in Red X's case.

    I always found that weird about Cartoon Network though, especially since not only Teen Titans, but Justice League Unlimited had an original planned ending. TT's "The End" 3 parter of Season 4 was meant to be the series finale, same with JLU's "Epilogue" that capped off their season 2. They were not only confident that they weren't getting picked up again, but they felt they had ended the series in the way that they wanted and didn't have to do anymore. Of course if you ask a team to continue a series and they aren't entirely uberly tapped for ideas they're bound to be eager and come back which is why we got JLU Season 3 and TT season 5. But if they had planned on doing more episodes, why cut that original number? Why have them only go up to 13 eps a season instead of 20 that they were originally promised, especially when the networks were the oens that asked for more? My kind of paranoid theory is that it was a more diversionary/stalling tactic. The shows were still popular and CN wanted them to go a bit longer so they could come up with complimentary counter programming that would be more under their control and would fit more the image they wanted. I'm sure there were plans for other DC related shows after JLU and the collpase of the Timmaverse or the DCAU or at least CN wanting to do something different but eh probably still couldn't get the rights right away for another Batman appearance so had to wait for Brave and the Bold on that. I think it's more obvious with Teen Titans though, especially since the last episode "Things Change" premiered on Miguzi the same time as Ben 10, the action show CN wanted to push that was fully owned and controlled by them. Seems pretty obvious they were going in that direction honestly.

    And yeah like other people have said I always viewed "Things Change" more as just pointing out that sometimes it's not just buildings and places that change, but that people do and you need to move on and do what you have to do. And that's what made the ep interesting at least. And really, TT is a show that barely even gave details on explanations of characters some of the time and when they did it wasn't even that good anyway so I appreciate more of the mystery then not having it.
     
  10. Silverstar

    Silverstar Rock the Dragon

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    It was never implicitly stated that the girl in "Things Change" was definitely an amnesiac Terra; that's just a conclusion which you jumped to yourself. The script for that episode refers to the character as "Schoolgirl". The writers were intentionally vague about the girl's true identity a) so viewers could draw their own conclusions and b) because that wasn't what the episode was about. "Things Change" wasn't about getting Terra back, it was about growing up and realizing that you can't always keep things exactly the way you want them; as the title states, things change and like it or not, you have to move on accordingly.


    Beast Boy went off to fight the robot alongside his teammates. He moved on from his memories of Terra and went back to business as usual. That was the conclusion.

    No it wasn't. "X" was season 3 and the question of "Who was the guy who stole the suit?" was only addressed like twice in that episode and never beyond that.

    Again, they didn't "play it up", it was only briefly glossed over, and as with "Things Change" that wasn't what the episode was about. "X" wasn't about trying to figure out who Red X was, it wasn't about the guy in the suit, it was about Robin learning that the world isn't all black-and-white, that it's full of grays. Everything doesn't have to be tied up in a neat little package.
     
    #10 Silverstar, Apr 7, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 7, 2014
  11. suss2it

    suss2it Active Member

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    Also not revealing Red X's identity makes sense since he's suppose to antithesis of Robin, who's identity is also never technically revealed.
     
  12. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    They made it blatantly clear that Robin is Dick Grayson, and the only people who would argue that are obsessive fanboys.
     
  13. ESE150

    ESE150 Member

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    Sorry, I don't buy that. The argument "TT isn't about secret identities so Red X's identity doesn't matter" would hold some water if it weren't for the way he was handled. He wasn't just some random villain whose identity was unimportant like the other bad guys; he was given a costumed identity that until then had belonged to Robin and the episode made the mystery of his identity a major plot point.

    Yeah, it wasn't a cliffhanger as much as it was an unresolved plot point.

    If they hadn't wanted to give importance to his identity, they wouldn't have made it a plot point. There are mysteries that weren't meant to be solved, like what exactly happened to Terra. The mystery of Red X's identity wasn't one of them, from the way it was handled. I'm sorry, but simply leaving it hanging like that was a case of poor writing.

    Not from a storytelling perspective. They made a big deal out of his identity and then forgot all about it.

    I agree with this.
     
    #13 ESE150, Apr 10, 2014
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 10, 2014
  14. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    I found some interviews in which David Slack and Glen Murakami addressed Red.
    http://www.titanstower.com/five-seasons-of-murakanime/
    http://www.titanstower.com/third-season-three-for-three/

    So there you go. They decided to never reveal it on the show.
     
  15. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    This might be true, but I would also argue that the obsessive fanboys are also the only people who care who's under Robin's mask. Teen Titans was never a show that was about secret identities (especially since 4 of the 5 core members couldn't hide their identities if they wanted to). For the show, it doesn't matter whether it's Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, Tim Drake, Stephanie Brown, Carrie Kelley/Kelly, Damian Wayne, or Alan Smithee under Robin's mask. He's Robin, just like Beast Boy is Beast Boy and Starfire is Starfire. For the purposes of the show, nothing else really matters.

    Even before reading what Glen Murakami had to say about it, I would have also argued that it wasn't important who the new Red X was, just as we never really saw anyone on the show without their mask on. I can't remember off the top of my head whether anyone on the show wearing a mask was ever shown without it, or given alter egos that figured prominently into the plot. Whether they made an effort to hide their faces or not, nobody on Teen Titans seemed to have an identity separate from who they were when they were working. I'd argue that for that reason alone, unmasking Red X as anybody would have been anti-climactic and not in keeping with the rest of the show.

    Plus, I think mysteries and questions are often more interesting than answers. Sometimes, not knowing the answer is exactly the point, even if it drives fans crazy. It's also why I thought the finale for the show was wonderful.
     
  16. Goldstar Neo

    Goldstar Neo Good Morning!

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    I think it's the opposite. Although there were indeed several hints that Teen Titans: TAS' Robin was Dick Grayson, TT's Robin was really just Robin, as none of the capes on TT had any identities outside of their super hero personas. Who was Robin was under the mask had little to no bearing on the series. I'd argue that the obsessive fanboys are the only ones who need for TT's Robin to have a true identity.
     
  17. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    Are you being series? They gave 3 blatant confirmations in different episodes that Robin is Dick Grayson:

    - Robin becomes Nightwing in a future episode. None of the other Robin's ever took over the Nightwing mantle in the comics. Nightwing is only associated with Dick Grayson

    - Larry's name spelled backwards was Dick Grayson and it flashes across the screen

    - Robin sees a flashback of the circus and his parents jumping in the air on those hand swings in a fear episode.


    On top of that there was the other obvious nods:

    - This show was based on the Teen Titans lineup from the 80's where Dick was one of the main characters.

    - Only Dick Grayson had a relationship of sorts with Starfire in the comics, carried over into the show

    - This show came out back in 2003...Damian Wayne didn't even exist yet. Back then Jason Todd was also dead and had never been in animation. Tim Drake was quickly ruled out once we saw the above confirmations.



    Seriously, the writers couldn't have made it more obvious but because they didn't directly say his name people will argue this for time to come. The fact that its been over a decade since this show started and people still can't accept this is beyond me.
     
  18. Toddman

    Toddman Hulk not good with words.

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    Well it definitely seemed to me that Robin in TT was indeed meant to be Dick Grayson, but absolutely NONE of those^ examples are "obvious."

    "Obvious" would be Robin taking off his mask and saying "My secret identity is Dick Grayson." (And honestly he wouldn't even really need to take off the mask.)

    By comparison, Beast Boy had a truly "obvious" revelation about his real name. Because they said it. Out loud. That is "obvious."


    Toddman
     
  19. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    Does it matter that they didn't say his name? That's like saying that just because "Batman" was never name-dropped that maybe Robin's father was someone else. Even though Batman was alluded to multiple times in the show. We know Batman exists in Teen Titans, we just never see him.

    They don't need to name-drop "Dick Grayson," the writers were never going to show him walking around as a normal kid off-duty anyway, so what difference did it make?

    It is a ridiculous tired debate because none of the other Robin's are even known by the mainstream public (Jason was dead, Damian didn't exist in 2003), so the only options were Dick and Tim, and they made it obvious it was Dick.

    It's hard to believe we're in 2014 and we're debating about something that was obvious back in 2003.
     
  20. Goldstar Neo

    Goldstar Neo Good Morning!

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    I wasn't arguing the point that TT's Robin was Dick Grayson. I was saying that only obsessive fans of the show would need for TT's Robin to have a true identity at all, since nothing that Robin ever did in the series specifically required for him to be Dick Grayson; he could have been any or none of the named Robins for all that it meant to the show, and also that who Robin is under the mask doesn't matter to anyone else. Thank you for proving my point. :p
     

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