Teen Titans

Season 3 Episode 5

Haunted

0
Aired Weekdays 4:30 PM Oct 02, 2004 on Cartoon Network
9.2
out of 10
User Rating
229 votes
36

EPISODE REVIEWS
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Episode Summary

EDIT

Ever since Slade's last appearance, Robin has been haunted by the question if he survived or not. And when Cinderblock busts out of jail, Robin is hurled into a vast forest where he gets his answer: Slade is standing right in front of him and he is planning to use Seismic Generators to destroy the entire city. Robin tells the Titans to find the generators while he and Starfire go for Slade, but when Starfire can't see Slade and the Titans can't see the generators, Robin is convinced that it's up to him to put a stop to his nemesis once and for all.

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Teen Titans takes a serious turn in this darker (if not darkest) episode of the series. And for a show made for a younger audience this is both surprising, yet, incredible that they were able to pull it off. Another reason I love the show.moreless

    10
    There are no spoilers in this review.



    The episode's summary is simple. Slade has returned to destroy the city despite his apparent death in Aftershock. Unfortunately, only Robin is able to see and hear him.



    There is no other episode to compare this to in Teen Titans. The team does everything they can to convince Robin that he's chasing a phantom, an allusion. Yet Robin sees him, fights him and is convinced he exists, even going as far to harming and threatening his friends in order to stop Slade.



    All the Titans play a wonderful role. Robin shows how far he's willing to go to stop an evil he's convinced his there and continually fails, gaining scars and bruises showing his mentality slipping. Cyborg takes over as leader to stop Robin, trying to find a solution to Slade's return. Raven gives a realistic outlook trying to reach their friend with her powers, and adds a plot twist to the tale when she does. And finally Starfire pulls it all together emotionally, believing Robin as long as she can before she's forced to stop him as well. Beast Boy unfortunately is left out, has a cold and is just along for the ride, which is very disappointing considering his attitude and comments in Masks and Apprentice when it came to Slade and Robin. I wish he had played more of a part in this, and it's my only complaint that he played comedian.



    Some of the scenes and the overall message is just uniquely expressed. You'll be wondering whether Slade really isthere, a ghost or if Robin is just losing his mind. There are so many moments that send chills down your spine, from Robin harming Starfire physically, to Slade appearing to Robin inside Titans Tower, all to the dramatic conclusion. It's about friendship conquering madness, and the madness is expressed in such a great, dark, engrossing way, that you can't miss this episode. I highly recommended it.



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  • Dark... and I like it!

    10
    One of a few episodes which explore darker themes, and appeals to wider audience base than children.



    I liked how the subtle animations were put into place, how the rain droplets have no effect on Slade, nor does he rattles the tree branches each time he hops from branch to branch. For me, it is the little minuscule things that matters the most. Sure, you may not have noticed it the first time round, but you would soon be thinking to yourself "why didn't I see that? How clever!". That's exactly how I felt. First time too that a Titan exhibits facial scarring and bruises. Again with the details.



    Plot wise, it was another fantastic storyline. The only annoyance was Robin's constant yelling and cockiness. Well, he IS technically the only person who can see Slade, I guess we can forgive him for being paranoid. After all, he and Slade have got a little colorful history between them.



    Another plus would be, well, Starfire ;). I liked how she reacted to Robin's strange behavior. We always knew that she's the only person who is capable of dealing with his rebellious and combative nature. In this episode it highlights how much she really cares for her than the others. I admit I'm a big fan of RobStar, and like certain episodes, this animated Starfire (body proportion, smooth facial features etc...) was adorable and cute. Wish I was born a cartoon character.moreless
  • This episode is the closest an superhero cartoon, in my opinion, gets to becoming a psychological thriller.

    9.5
    This episode was superb. I have seen lots of cartoons featuring superheroes like Justice League, Batman, Superman, X-Men, Spider Man, etc. with really pivotal episodes with serious subject matters but when I compare them I always come back to Teen Titans' "Haunted."



    It's another story about Robin's drive/obsession not only striving to perfect himself but to put wrongdoers behind bars. It's been done before in Mask, X, Quest but it has never come back and bitten him in the butt in this episode.



    On a side note, Beast Boy's unique cold where he would morph randomly when he sneezed was used to lighten the episode up but I found it annoying after a while. Though Cyborg was beastly in this episode, he was pretty clueless. I think his inability to do absolutely nothing could be interpreted as a symbol for technology. Though it's pretty effective, it can be totally useless and pointless in dire situations.

    Raven, on the other hand, was instrumental in this episode. We got a little insight on her powers which is and has been a plus for the series. Also a relationship between Raven and Robin (also seen in the comics) is hinted. She put her own central nervous system on the line for Robin.



    And then Starfire. Her love for Robin is tested in this episode. Normally, she's an anchor for Robin but as Robin gets more and more aggressive and crazed, she loses her fortitude. He hurts her physically in one seen where he aggressively squeezes her arm and emotionally when he begins to go off the deep end. As the most emotional Titan, the emotional abuse really gets her. To make emotional rollercoasters worse, she is even forced to put him down like one would a mad dog. Yet, she is more than willing to tear up the foundation of Titans Tower and fly at light speed to get to Robin's side.



    As for Robin, we have never really known who he is identity wise since he is always wearing his mask. He became Nightwing in How Long is Forever? but it was never clear whether he was Dick Grayson, Jason Todd, or Tim Drake because he showed aspects of so many. He wore Tim's costume and they both have the same level of intellect, shared Dick's acrobatic prowess and love for Starife and Jason's dangerous temper and fighting skills. This episode gave us enough information without totally getting into the "Spider-Man syndrome/'who is that masked man?'". This incarnation of Robin appears to Dick Grayson, who was an acrobat and his parents fell to the deaths because of the intervention of some mobster with a last name that begins with Z. So that is another big plus point for this episode.



    But back to the actual review, the thrashing the Titans suffer at the beginning from Cinderblock was rather brutal. Cinderblock himself (or is it an it) was smarter, tougher and meaner. Based on this battle, I think they bended the qualifications for a Y7 rating.



    Slade, originally Deathstroke, the Terminator in the comics, is back (or is he) and is more sinister than ever. It doesn't matter if he's confusing the Titans, beating the tar out of one of them, or playing mind games with them, Slade is one of my favorite villains. He's not only the Titans' superior, especially Robin's, physically but mentally, emotionally and even spiritually (his spirit is unbreakable). And this episode shows it. Haunted always begs questions: Is Slade really there? Is Robin losing his mind? Is this Slade's ghost or successor? Who triggered the chemicals? Did Slade really get in the tower? How was Slade but not Robin able to see Raven's Soul-Self, much less give her a good pop?



    Nearly four years later and it still makes you question. What happened to him after he fell into that pit of lava? Did Trigon have something to do with this? Did Slade walk the Earth before Birthmark?



    A mark of a good story is if it sticks with you and it becomes better and better if you read it again.



    The setting of the episode is surprisingly grim, taking place in pitch black corners, dark forests, and dimly lit rooms and hallways. The fact that Slade appeared to Robin in total darkness was chilling, reinforcing Robin's potential insanity and the common fear of the dark. And he would disappear instantly with flickering lights and lightning flashes was freaky and payed homage to tons of horror/psycho-thriller flicks. Speaking of which, M. Night Shyamalan, Michael Bay or Alfred Hitchcock would've tore this episode up.



    But what's really amazing about this episode is that for all their abilities, ingenuity, perserverance and compassion for each other they could do nothing, ABSOLUTELY nothing to save Robin. Only Robin could save Robin. And for all of his "one-man army, greatest teenage detective" mojo, he survived only by the skin of his teeth.



    And if he had survived when Starfire busted in at the last second, he would've been driven insane if not dead.



    Just goes to show how dangerous some brain-altering drugs and chemcials are. My biggest problem of this episode was the damage done to Robin. I don't think Robin would have been able to walked around after an experience like that. Serious damage had been done to not only his entire nervous system but his whole body, especially his heart, lungs. Not to mention all of the internal bleeding from getting beat up so bad. Maybe Raven healed him but her healing powers were never that strong. I know its a cartoon but still...



    ...Anyways.



    The underlying moral of this episode, seen in stories like The Great Gatsby, The Count of Monte Cristo or Narcissus, is that self-motivation, an obsessive drive for perfection or the like, proves not only one's own undoing but those of others.



    And I loved it.moreless
  • Slade is back?

    9.8
    Ever since Slade's last appearance, Robin has been haunted by the question if he survived. When Cinderblock busts out of jail, Robin is falls into a vast forest where he gets his answer. Slade is standing right in front of him and he is planning to use Seismic Generators to destroy the entire city. Robin tells the Titans to find the generators while he and Starfire go for Slade. However the next time Robin sees Slade Starfire can't and the Titans can't find the generators. Robin is still convinced that Slade is going to destroy the city and he feels that its up to him to stop Slade. So Robin goes after Slade and the Titans try to find out if something is wrong with Robin. When Raven enters Robins mind and see Slade she is convinced that Robin is telling the truth. After Robin defeats Slade Cyborg does some tests on Robin and finds out that a powder was used so that he would see exactly what he whated to see: Slade and that Slade was never their but someone did activate the powder and that perosn was out side Titan Tower.moreless
  • Robin fights an apparition of Red X and it ends in an enigma.

    7.9
    This is certainly a dream sequence. None of this seems genuine. Robin fights something unreal and, well, this episode is basically about Something That Is Not. Slade is not even genuine, for goodness' sake! We are just being carried through Robin's fantasies from start to finish, and I realise Robin sure is brainless. He could not even tell that Slade was fake, but just went around crazily fighting a losing battle. In the end, the show tests audiences' beliefs. First, we believe that Slade exists, now he does not, but Cyborg's conclusion shows that Slade must have been revived somehow, so is he genuine or not?moreless

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions

FILTER BY TYPE

  • TRIVIA (22)

    • When the other Titans come in and see Robin (in Robin's mind fighting Slade), Beast Boy makes the comment "since when is Robin into mime."

    • When Raven goes into Robin's mind (to see if Robin is seeing Slade), she sees a clip of Robin's tragic past when he was in the circus.

    • When Beast Boy complains about his cold on the hospital bed, look at Starfire and Raven. When they laugh, you notice that they switch sides.

    • When talking about Robin's condition, Cyborg says blood pressure and neural kinetics (are off the charts). This does not exist; neurogenetics however, studies the role of genetics in the development of the nervous system.

    • When Robin yells at Starfire for letting Slade go, tears well in her eyes but are gone the next second.

    • Beast Boy's transformations: triceratops, tyrannosaurus rex, elephant, gopher, velociraptor, fish, crab, chicken, horse, gorilla, crow, pig, giraffe, armadillo, goose, hummingbird, hamster, koala, frog.

    • When Slade runs past Starfire in the woods, her hair is flat on her head like everyone else's is from the rain. But when Robin has his flashback, Starfire's hair is normal and not affected by the rain at all.

    • The cable episode info said that Slade broke out of jail. But Slade wasn't even in jail. He was killed by Terra.

    • In "Final Exam," Raven healed Beast Boy, so couldn't she heal up Robin's wounds instead of putting him in a hospital bed (other than to hold him down)?

    • Why couldn't Raven or Cyborg just deactivate the protocol, since Robin activated it from inside? Unless it was set to lockdown until another amount of time before deactivating, there should have been no difficulty stopping the program.

    • As implied later in the show, Robin's harm from "Slade" only happens in the dark, while with light, there is no effect (this is shown after Robin says, "Lights out, Slade," and turns on the light, causing Slade to vanish). So, if this is the case, why was Robin still getting hurt if Cyborg was lighting up Robin's battle with Slade in the old hideout?

    • When the Titans get locked in the room, Raven says that there's no way in or out. So, how is it that Starfire could easily rip through the floor?

    • How come the Titans couldn't take Cinderblock down if both Cyborg and Robin have beaten him one on one before?

    • When Robin wakes up in the tower, in the part where they (Cyborg, Raven, Beast Boy, & Starfire) were saying he was "dangerous," Robin's symbol was ripped. It was black and yellow, but look hard, the symbol was red at one time.

    • Whenever the show comes back from commercial, after Robin is in the hospital bed, first there are no wrist restraints on him, and then they suddenly appear when Slade is about to hurt him.

    • Whenever Cyborg, Raven, Beast Boy, and Starfire go into Slade's old lair to locate Robin, they all see Robin all hurt and bruised, and Starfire uses her Starbolt to light up the room, you see Starfire's green light after she flashes her Starbolt, but when they show the whole team in the next next shot, you see Starfire with her hands behind her back and no Starbolt. So how was the green light still showing?

    • In "Sisters," Robin said his cape was made of titanium alloy. Also, in "Winner Take All," Robin reflected lava with the cape. So, if his cape is so powerful, how in the world could he have ripped it with his bare hands while fighting a hallucination?

    • When "Slade" runs by Starfire, she is looking away from him. However, in the flashback towards the end, she's looking right at him.

    • When Robin is all scratched, bruised, and hurt, it was the first time that, when a Titan was hurt, that it actually showed.

    • Every other time Cinderblock has shown up, he has rushed straight into a fight without thinking. In this episode, he suddenly develops a strategic side when he fights the Titans.

    • In "Forces of Nature," it was raining and everyone's hair stayed the same, but in this episode their hair fell flat.

    • If Raven is able to fly through walls and such, why didn't she do that when the Tower got locked down?

  • QUOTES (25)

    • Cyborg: The dude fell in a pit of lava, who lives through something like that?
      Raven: Apparently Slade.

    • (after they found Robin in a darken junkyard, Starfire glowed her hand for light)
      Robin: What are you doing here?! You're suppose to be finding the generators!
      Cyborg: I don't think there are any generators, man. We looked everywhere.
      Robin: Slade must be cloaking them, just like he's cloaking himself. That's why you couldn't see him.
      Starfire: But if I cannot see him, why could you?
      Robin: What are you trying to say?
      Raven: Robin, are you sure you really saw Slade?
      Robin: Saw him? I fought him! You think I did this to myself?!
      Beast Boy: Dude, this is the only way out and we're standing here the whole time. No one got pass us.
      Cyborg: No one was in here but us.
      Robin: I don't have time for this! I have to find those generators!
      Cyborg: There are no generators. There is no Slade!
      Robin: I know what I saw!!! I have to stop him! I'm the only one who can! (takes out Birdarang) And I'll take down anyone who gets in my way!
      (everyone was shocked; Starfire throws a starbolt behind Robin dazing him)

    • Starfire: I have never seen Robin so angry before. So angry at me.

    • Beast Boy: Wow, and I thought I didn't like going to the doctor.

    • Beast Boy: (About Robin) Dangerous? Try totally flipped out, crazy, kookoo, la banza.

    • Raven: I don't know if he's real or not, but he's real to Robin, and that's all that matters. The stress on his mind is destroying his body. Robin truly believes he's fighting Slade . . . and Slade is winning.

    • Robin: You're only in my mind . . . only in the dark. My friends are right: you aren't real!
      Slade: I'm real enough to finish you!

    • Beast Boy: What are you doing?
      Raven: Finding Robin. (Chanting) Azarath Metrion Zinthos…

    • Raven: Robin! I can feel he's not going to make it.
      Starfire: Then we must end this battle... now! (Rips floor apart and dives toward basement)

    • Slade: Seismic generators, Robin. Three of them. Placed on fault lines all over the city. And in three short hours, they will trigger an earthquake so magnificent, it will break your city in two.
      Robin: Not if I break you first!

    • Cyborg: (Grimly) The agent in Slade's mask didn't trigger itself, there was a signal. Somebody triggered it, from OUTSIDE the tower....

    • Robin: My friends say... you're not real!
      Slade: Oh, I'm very real. (Throws Robin to the ground) Could you have gotten all those bruises from someone who wasn't there? You can't even touch me.

    • Robin: Slade... stop!
      Slade: No, Robin. I won't stop. Not now, not ever. I am the thing that keeps you up at night. The evil that haunts every dark corner of your mind. I will never rest... and neither will you.

    • Beast Boy: (About Robin) He's better, now what about me?? I'm DYING over here.
      (Has a sneezing fit, and turns into multiple animals, Raven & Starfire have a laughing fit)

    • Slade: Robin... If you've stopped me, then why am I still here?

    • Raven: (In Robin, then pushed out, gasps) SLADE!!

    • Slade: Brings back memories, doesn't it?
      Robin: All I remember is how much I hated you!
      Slade: What I remember is that you couldn't defeat me... at least not alone.

    • Slade: Relax, Robin. (Holds up lethal-looking device) I promise - you won't feel a thing.

    • Slade: So, here we are again. The old haunt. Just the two of us.

    • Slade: I believe you are familiar with the cloaking technology?
      Robin: I'm familiar with all of your tricks, that's why you're not going to get away with it!

    • Robin: (To Starfire) What happened?
      (Robin grabs her arm)
      Starfire: ... You are hurting me...
      Robin: Slade ran right by you! How could you let him get away?
      Starfire: But, Robin... there was no one there.

    • Slade: Relax, Robin. I'm not going anywhere.

    • Slade: How can you save a city, Robin, when you can't save yourself?

    • Slade: Alone again, Robin? As long as I'm around... you're never alone.

    • Robin: Lights out, Slade.

  • NOTES (26)

  • ALLUSIONS (8)

    • The scene where Robin is tied down to the bed looked a lot like a scene from Batman Beyond: Return of the Joker, where Robin (Tim Drake) was tied down in a similar manner being tortured by Joker, whereas in this sequence he was being tortured by the Slade hallucination.

    • Scarecrow's Fright Dust
      Slade's chemical regenerate strongly resembles Scarecrow's Fright Dust from the Batman cartoons and comics, but instead of seeing what he was afraid of, he saw what he expected to see: Slade.

    • Robin: (unsure about Slade being dead) We can't be sure. He was never captured. Never found.
      This is most likely an allusion to the comic book Rule/Tradition, "Never assume someone is dead unless you have the body in front of you, and even then you can't be certain," given the tendency of characters presumed dead to reappear as clones, ghosts, alternate selves from another dimension, or past/future selves from another timeline.

    • Robin: Batman
      When Raven goes into Robin's mind, you see some flashbacks. One of these is a shadow of Robin with one hand on a bible and one in the air. This is Robin swearing his loyalty to Batman.

    • Robin: Batman
      When Raven locates Robin and enters his mind to look through his eyes, what she sees is Robin's parents being killed. Robin was part of 'The Flying Graysons', a circus act that came to Gotham City and ended in the tragic death of his parents leading to Dick Grayson (Robin) to be taken in by Bruce Wayne (Batman).

    • Starfire: (Shoots starbolt at infirmary door, bounces around room)
      Starfire tries to blast open the door to the infirmary with a starbolt, and it bounces around the room. This is a reference to the scene in Star Wars where Chewbacca tries to blast open the door to the garbage smasher.

    • Robin: Hallucination
      The part about Robin seeing a hallucination of Slade and communicating with it is straight out of the movie Fight Club. Especially when Robin fights him. In his view, he sees Slade. From the others, only Robin fighting himself. Same in Fight Club, when the hero is seen punching himself through a security camera.

    • Robin: Rain/Appearance
      During the scene toward the beginning of the episode where Robin is standing in the rain after seeing Slade, his cape falls over one shoulder and he holds his Bo Staff with the other hand. His hair is flattened by the rain, and he looks strangely like Batman.

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