Love For Teen Titans

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Apprentice, Part 2

Season: 1
Episode:
12
Air date:
October 11, 2003

 

Cast:
Scott Menville - Robin
Tara Strong - Raven
Greg Cipes - Beast Boy
Khary Payton - Cyborg
Hynden Walch - Starfire
Ron Perlman - Slade

 

Crew:
Director(s) - Ciro Nieli
Storyboarder(s) - Ben Jones, Kalvin Lee, Alan Wan, Matt Youngburg
Writer(s) - David Slack

 

Summary: Robin has agreed to serve as Slade's apprentice so the villain will not kill his friends, who have been injected with nanobots. The Titans set out on a search for their friend, but are alerted to a crime being committed. The team arrive at the scene and find the criminal is Robin, who now wears a Slade-style suit. Slade has sent him on a mission to steal from a high-tech defense lab. Confused and unaware of what is inside them, the Titans believe Robin has gone evil. Robin is faced with dilemma of whether he should obey Slade's orders to fight his friends in order to save their lives, or to somehow break away from the mastermind's control.

 

Notes:
  • Slade told Robin that he could like a father to him. Robin replied, "I already have a father." The shot then cut to the ceiling where bats could be seen fleeing. This was an obvious reference to Robin's adoptive father, mentor, and former partner Batman.
  • The sign on top of the building that Robin was sent to break into read "WAYNE ENTERPRISES". The company is owned by Bruce Wayne, Batman's alter ego.
  • After Robin blew up the 'A' in the Wayne sign to escape, Beast Boy morphed into a bat and flew away, another reference to Batman.
  • A lot of fans have expressed their theories that Slade is really Batman, who is setting up all these challenges for Robin as a 'test'. Not only does Batman not have the time to do such things, but he would never do what Slade does. That's the point of Batman—he's a crime fighter. In addition, nothing of what Slade did after season one had anything to do with Robin. Slade's real identity is Slade Wilson. In the original comics, he was an assassin known as Deathstroke the Terminator.
  • This episode marked the first time Slade met any Titan but Robin.
  • This episode was nominated for a Golden Reel Award for "Best Sound Editing in Television Animation".
  • The comic book-styled art seen in Beast Boy's explanation for what happened to Robin was designed by executive producer Bruce Timm, who is known for working on a lot of DC animated series.
  • Near the end, Slade said to Robin, "From now on, you will call me master." This is the same line Emperor Palpatine spoke to Luke Skywalker in Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi.
  • Producer and story editor David Slack spoke on the episode: "Yeah, but I told you about the problems we initially had breaking that story and some of the dead ends we went down. Finally we came up with something I think has a nice sense of poetry to it. Robin literally can’t talk to his friends. It’s a metaphor for a custody battle to a certain extent.”
  • Speaking on the Batman references, Slack said, "“But the thing about Batman is, if we ever bring him in the show, Robin becomes a kid. We put a lot of energy into getting Robin out of Batman’s shadow. A lot of out younger fans think of Robin as a leader, not a sidekick. And that’s a good thing for them....Those Batman references weren’t to say, 'We’ll never do Batman'. But we felt, if we were going to do an episode where someone was trying to become Robin’s father, we had to make some reference to his adopted father. So we didn’t want to mention him outright, but we did the cool thing with the bats flying out there. It’s a nice thing in there for the fans. Same thing with that ‘easter egg’ where he’s stealing from Wayne Enterprises....He’s not just betraying his friends. Slade is making him betray his father.”

Information sources