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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. Ed Liu

    Ed Liu That's 'Cause I ATE IT!!!
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    As Goldstar said, this isn't the argument that's being made here. The only hints the show ever gave pointed squarely at Dick Grayson being under Robin's mask. That is not in dispute. The argument being advanced is that it doesn't matter that it's Dick Grayson under the Robin mask.

    To flip this around, let me pose a different question to you: were there any moments in the show where Robin's secret identity was truly significant? Some plot point where his identity as Dick Grayson was the lynchpin of a plot point (vs. being Jason Todd or Tim Drake)? I'm not talking about Larry's name being Dick Grayson spelled backwards; Larry is the same character whether his name is Kcid Nosyarg or Nosaj Ddot or Susan. I'm not even talking about the moment when he tells Slade with barely sublimated anger that he already has a father while bats flit around in the background, because all the Robins could make that same assertion.

    We are arguing that there isn't any such moment anywhere in the Teen Titans series. Raven's identity as the daughter of Trigon is important since most of the Trigon story arc hinges on that background. Beast Boy's identity is tangentially important in the episodes where the Doom Patrol showed up. Starfire's identity as Koriand'r of the Tamaranians was important because of the way it affected her relationship with Blackfire and in that episode where she had to go get married.

    Robin is roughly equivalent to Cyborg. Other than the origin story episode, I can think of no moments in the show where a plot point mattered that it's Vic Stone, former football star, under all those mechanical implants. It doesn't matter that it's Dick Grayson under the mask.

    Attempting to swing back on topic, I think the attitude of the show with regards to Robin (and Cyborg) are related to understanding why it's not important who Red X "really" was when it wasn't Robin, and why it's not really important to know if that was "really" Terra in the last episode of the show.
     
  2. Toddman

    Toddman Hulk not good with words.

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    I'm not debating Robin's identity (in fact in my earlier post I said that I agreed he was meant to be Grayson), I'm debating your use of the word "obvious."

    More specifically, I was trying to point out that Robin's secret identity was always purposely vague, which in some ways ran parallel to the mystery of Red X's identity.


    Toddman
     
  3. ABrown

    ABrown Active Member

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    Now I have to admit that it's definitely been longer since I've watched Teen Titans than it has some other cartoons. But I thought that I remember at one point Red X's identity being implied. Maybe not, I don't know. Like I said, it's been a while.
     
  4. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    Well you're right, in the context of the show it doesn't matter who Robin is as the outcome of all episodes would be exactly the same.

    But I'm sure the reason why the writers put those hints/confirmations there is because they knew fans would ponder about it, so they threw us a bone so to speak. I like Dick as my favorite Robin, so in turn I was pleased to see a show about him as the lead character.

    It's essentially fanservice. Long term fans of the character want to know who the character is they're watching.
     
  5. sdp

    sdp miscrave

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    God, there's a lot of misinformation in this thread, counting that Titansgo.net is now offline and there used to be some website where you asked questions, I forgot the name but there was a lot of information about the show revealed like 2 years after the show ended. Anyway I'll begin with my personal take and then what was revealed years after the show ended, Counting the sites are dead I have no source for them but hopefully someone else that was also active then in those sites can back me up.

    My take:
    The ending is perfect. As the title suggests, "Things Change" and the whole episode explains this wonderfully through Beast Boys experience. I thought it was the perfect ending to the show, since it's a very true lesson that everyone has to learn. The "enemy" was not a cliffhanger, he was only there to represent that there will always be a threat that they have to overcome but we know that they will. It's true Slade was still running around after getting his body back in S4 but he wasn't the focus and they had already done almost everything with him so it's not important. Red X's identity didn't matter, it was all about him being what Robin could become. And of course it was Terra, it's pretty much shown that it is just not explicitly told. So yeah, it's not a cliffhanger to me.

    Now, from the info that we got after the show ended, especially a few years later include. Yeah even though I thought it was the perfect ending they did plan and want another season, and the next season would include all the new teen heroes, I don't remember exactly how they were going to be used but I remember that information was posted. It was confirmed that it was indeed Terra in the final episode. Even then people kept asking who Robin was and it was confirmed dozens of times that it was Dick Grayson. Confirmed that Trouble in Tokyo took place before Season 5. They also confirmed that Red X DID have an identity but that only four people knew who he was and they were sworn never to tell, and the creator is the only one allowed to reveal it and he wouldn't because he didn't know if he'd ever get a chance to do it. Also confirmed was that originally there was going to be a crossover with JLU, one episode done with the titans JLU style and one with the JL done TT style but for some reason it didn't happen but they decided to instead do a small crossover by having Michael Ros. voice Kid Flash, the Flash Museum having Kid Flash's costume, having Speedy with his Teen Titans attire in JLU etc. I actually remember bringing that into the attention of this forum a few times but was always ignored because no one wanted DCAU to be in continuity with Teen Titans.
     
  6. Silverstar

    Silverstar Rock the Dragon

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    It's amazing how 8 years later people still get so worked up over this show. I guess it really made an impact on its' fanbase.

    I also don't get why some folks are so adamant about proving these bits o' trivia are concrete facts ("TT's Robin was unequivocally Dick Grayson!" "Red X DID have an identity!" "The girl in 'Things Change" was unquestionably Terra!") when none of those details were important to the series as a whole or the individual episodes in question. Point blank: none of that matters. It was the entertainment factor of the show and the messages of the specific episodes that were important, not the fanboy/fangirl trivia.
     
  7. Jave

    Jave Beware of the SPLAT
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    I'm honestly not bothered by the unexplained trivia, the unresolved conflicts, or all the questions the episode left unanswered.

    It doesn't change the fact that "Things Change" is to me, in and on itself, a terrible episode.
     
  8. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    What were you hoping to see in the series finale, Jave? I was satisfied with it and but I always get curious around detractors.
     
  9. ShadowBlinky

    ShadowBlinky Never A Good Bot

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    Really??:confused: I believed that was the official closing of the series.
     
  10. Jave

    Jave Beware of the SPLAT
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    TT was a show that I liked for its simplicity and light-hearted humor, with the occasional serious, more action-focused episode. "Things Change" felt like a completely different show, in the sense that it was too serious with very little action, and tried to do some "deep" stuff that honestly didn't seem to fit. The whole episode has this really weird, almost depressing aura to it; with the direction being more akin to a shoujo anime (I remember a lot of people drawing comparisons to an anime which name I don't recall, but it borrows the whole thing with the traffic lights from it).

    Then there's the whole Terra thing. She was my favorite character on the show, and seeing her brought back like that, in the final episode, just to tell you you'll never see her again, felt like a slap in the face. I know what a lot of people will say here: "But that was the point!", well, yeah, I get the point the episode was making, but I can't say I enjoyed the conditions the episode put to make that point. It kinda left me with this odd feeling, something I've NEVER felt with this show before, and while I can still look back at most of my favorite episodes and enjoy them, the Terra episodes don't feel the same anymore. I guess you could say the finale ruined those episodes for me.

    As for what I expected, I guess I just wanted the finale to just be another outing for the Titans. Given the simplicity of the series, I wasn't expecting anything really fancy. I suppose that also contributed to my dislike of it, the fact that it was such an atypical finale.

    In short, I can accept "Things Change" as the series finale and all that it entails as canon, but that doesn't mean I have to like it. I felt it tried to accomplish too much, but ultimately came off sour and too much of a downer ending.

    And might I add, this was a pretty hard post to write. I always have trouble conveying my feelings towards this episode, but I can assure you it IS how I feel.
     
  11. Stonewall

    Stonewall Member

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    Actually, it's a GOOD episode as an episode...but it's a poor series-ending episode.

    Not Jave, but my 2 cents:

    1) See above...not a bad episode in its own right, but a poor choice for a series-ender.

    2) I much would have preferred the series to end on a "high note" with the previous ep showcasing the (temporary) end of the Brotherhood of Evil.

    Mod Note: Double Post Merged.
     
  12. Gold Guy

    Gold Guy Ride On
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    Well, Jave, I also didn't care for the episode. You're not alone. After what I felt was an excellent season, "Things Change" felt pretty weak. I agree about Terra. It was pointless to bring her back, and just...not do anything with her. I feel for the BB/Terra shippers. The lack of an ending was annoying, and the villain was just...there so there could be a villain.
     
  13. Toddman

    Toddman Hulk not good with words.

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    Yeah, I have to agree w/Jave also.

    While I can't say that "Things Change" ruined the previous Terra-themed episodes for me, I've never been that fond of the series finale either due to many of the exact reasons Jave pointed out.


    Toddman
     
  14. Yojimbo

    Yojimbo Yes, have some.
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    I think, bear with me it's been 5 years since I watched the finale, it was taking a narrative cue from Neon Genesis Evangelion. It was definitely a bittersweet tone but as an adult who pays bills and taxes, I understand why they went with that tone. :/

    Mmm, yeah I get the drift a lot of people wanted one more romp or thought "Titans Together" should have been the finale.

    You did fine. Thanks for even replying. ;)

    I guess they could have gone with Slade finding the Brotherhood's base, unthawing most of them, taking leadership and blitzing Jump City - leading the Teen Titans to another all out brawl. But even then that might have been seen as repetitive.

    I remember being lost when Beast Boy found out Slade was just another robot. Was he just trolling Beast Boy? I still don't really see the point of it when Slade wasn't even part of the last season.
     
  15. CyberCubed

    CyberCubed Active Member

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    To be fair Season 5 in general was the weakest overall season of Teen Titans. I remember being here when it was airing for the first time and everyone was saying, "This show is running on fumes" or, "Put Teen Titans out of its misery already." The only real standout episodes were the Kid Flash episode and the origin story ep.

    The whole recruiting third tier superheroes was done better in JLU, and The Brain simply didn't have the charm of Slade/Trigon as main villains.

    Had Teen Titans continued for a Season 6 the show probably would have lost even more quality. I didn't hate Season 5 myself, but it didn't seem as well done as the first four seasons.
     
  16. Silverstar

    Silverstar Rock the Dragon

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    I'll say it: I hated season 5.

    The show definitely should have ended at season 4 like it was supposed to, but fans wanked for another season, and the results speak for themselves. I didn't like the superhero army thing on JLU, so it really didn't gel with me when Teen Titans tried to ape that. This is why I don't get why 8 years later people are still saying "We should get a 6th season!" Why? The show was running on fumes by season 5; do people honestly think the show would get better after that, especially after an 8 year absence? Stop begging for more Teen Titans already, fans. Teen Titans GO! should be indication enough that this concept has been taken as far as it can logically go. Something else, please.
     
  17. Jave

    Jave Beware of the SPLAT
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    Who's asking for more Teen Titans? I'm sure there's some isolated examples out there, but ever since the series ended I haven't seen any sort of major begging from fans. Considering the biggest TT site isn't even online anymore, the fandom seems to have moved on.
     
  18. Stonewall

    Stonewall Member

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    I found S5 to be the absolute BEST season. The characters had all nicely gel-ed. The writers knew their story beats cold.

    Slade is a nice villain when not overused, but he's more Robin's "woogeda guy" than anything else. Trigon is "been there done that" with any number of other characters. Not that interesting.

    Brain on the other hand was a very good choice. His "chess match" with the Titans was well thought out, and a fine example of "Xanatos Chess" in action. And the final fight with the Titans is just simply killer.
     
  19. Gold Guy

    Gold Guy Ride On
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    I liked season 5 a lot myself, but maybe its because I loved JLU, and season 5 felt similar in some ways.
     
  20. BlackoutCreature

    BlackoutCreature Well-Known Member

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    The final episode wasn't a cliffhanger. It's purpose was to show Beast Boy that things don't last the way we want them to forever and we just have to accept that, and sometimes nostalgia blinds us to how things truly were in the past. It's about him growing up and making an adult realization. The monster was only there to keep the other Titans busy while Beast Boy did this. Asking for resolution to the monsters attack is like asking for them to show us what Batman is doing in episodes of Justice League that Batman doesn't appear in. It's pointless and has no bearing on the actual plot of the episode.

    I wasn't a big fan of season five in general but I really did enjoy this final episode. I liked the message it was trying to give. It feels especially relevant nowadays where nostalgia seems to be the driving factor behind every decision DC makes and gets in the way of telling good, original stories.
     

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