Saturday, June 11, 2016

Recap: Teen Titans Go! "Dog Hand" aka "Raven's Daddy Dearest"

Today, Teen Titans Go! brings us the story of a young man who fights demons with a magic arm he got from...

No, wait, sorry. That's the story to God Hand. Whoops.

My bad.
The episode begins with Raven in a worse mood than usual. So mad, in fact, that she magically kills some flowers out of spite as she passes by them in the hall. Mad enough to even toss Starfire's pet Silkie out the window for no real reason other than being there. Robin and Starfire have noticed that she's been like this for a couple days, but they stop their gossip as Raven approaches the kitchen and slams the reinforced shutters closed.

Beast Boy, the brave fool, asks her what's bugging her more than usual, and she responds with some psychic lightning.

Raven: "Don't wanna talk about it."

When Cyborg presses the matter further, she has a little demon freak-out and pins him to the fridge with shadowy eldritch tentacles.

Robin: "Raven..."
Raven: "Fine. I'll tell you."

That was... odd.

It's kind of weird to go back to these early episodes and see something played the same as it would be in a more "serious" cartoon. Robin gently presses the issue, and Raven decides to open up to her friends, which is the type of thing you'd see less and less of as time went on for this show.

and more in the way of the senseless violence that preceded this.
But for now, Raven decides to voice her inter troubles.

Raven: "My father... is coming here for a visit."

The sharp, dramatic chord accompanying this announcement doesn't exactly get the point across to the Titans.

Robin: "Ohhh.... no?"
Raven: "You don't understand. He's not your typical dad."
Cyborg: "I can relate. I am half-robot, after all."

And we see a memory to illustrate that, featuring a little Cyborg baby trying to play catch with his dad, who's too busy making toast.

I must object. That "toaster" stereotype, if you'll pardon the slur, is offensive to Electronic-Americans.
Raven: "It's just... I had a lot of issues growing up."
Beast Boy: "Who had childhood issues? Ahem."

Beast Boy's childhood was apparently spent asking various zoo animals if they were his mother like he was in a P.D. Eastman book.

You poor thing, Beast Boy. She abandoned you to be in Young Justice.
Raven: "Look, my father Trigon is..."

That gets their attention.

Robin: "Devourer of a million souls?"
Cyborg: "Conqueror of countless world?"
Starfire: "Trigon is one of the most powerful beings in the entire universe! He is your father?"
Raven: "Yep. My dad is literally a demon who feeds off the suffering of others. Especially me."

To be fair, though, a lot of teenagers feel that way about their dad.

But suddenly, heralded by gigantic knocks, one of Trigon's eyes fills the window as the gigantic demon himself (Kevin Michael Richardson) announces his presence.

Trigon: "Behold, Trigon. Master of the Dark. Destroyer of Dimensions. Enslaver of Civilizations!"
Raven: "Enough with the resume, dad."

As Raven walks off in a huff... things get weird.

Suddenly, sitcom music and a laugh track appears as Trigon shrinks down and teleports inside, having traded his loincloth in for a rather sharp shirt/vest combo.

"Hi, I'm the Devil. I agreed to do this cameo, since I helped get this show made."
Trigon: "Hi. I'm Raven's father. You must be Cyborg. Is that an upgraded optical sensor?"
Cyborg: "Uh, yeah. Thanks for noticing, all-powerful Trigon, sir."

Cue laugh track.

Starfire: "Greetings! I am Starfire! Your daughter's best female friend within the Teen Titans."

Because there was so much competition for that title.

Trigon hands her flowers, calls her pretty, and the crowd goes "Awww!"

Trigon: "And the party animal himself, Beast Boy."
Beast Boy: "Guilty."

What's with the weird exposition? Was this originally the first episode, or are they padding it out by having Trigon talk to every Titan individually?

Trigon: "No introduction needed, Boy Wonder. The honor is mine. How is your back?"
Robin: "It's fine, why?"
Trigon: "Though it might be sore from carrying Batman all these years."

After he lets loose with a few back pats that slam Robin into the floor, Raven demands to know why he's here. He claims that he's just there to see his beloved baby girl and her friends.

Raven: "And now you have. Goodbye."

They teleport away as the Titans wonder why she has such a grudge against her old man. While they come to the conclusion that Raven is overreacting to her actually-pretty-nice dad, Trigon arrives in Raven’s room to criticize how messy it is.  He magically cleans it up, and she magically untidies it. But ever the nice guy, Trigon offers to take her and her friends for pizza. She's not interested.

Trigon: "You know, I wish you could at least pretend to be happy to see your dad."
Raven: "How could I? When I know the real reason you're here is to lecture me for not living up to my potential?"
Trigon: "When you said you wanted to be a hero, did I stop you?"

Canonically, you tried, yes.

Trigon thought that it'd be fine if Raven just got it out of her system, but he's not happy with her slacking off on Earth.

Trigon: "When I was your age..."
Raven: "Here it comes...."
Trigon: "I had already enslaved my first dimension! When was the last time you even tried to torment a species for no reason, huh? Hunh? Huuuuuunh?"

Well, she's appearing in Teen Titans Go!; does that count?

Raven: "I didn't ask to be a demon's spawn, you know. So leave me alone!"

Defeated, Trigon goes off to sit on the couch with the other Titans, wondering where he went wrong.

Trigon: "I mean, who wouldn't want a father who could grant any power?"
Cyborg: "Whoa, did you say 'any power'?"

Yep. Pretty obvious where this is heading.

Some time later, Raven gets a drink in the kitchen while complaining about Trigon to Starfire.

Starfire: "Dude! You got it twisted! You're old man's straight-up the bomb!"
Raven: "Why are you talking like that? How are you talking like that?"

I ask the kids these days the same thing about their slang. With their "on fleek" and their "high-key".... Back in my day, we said "gettin' jiggy with it" and "talk to the hand" and we liked it.

But Raven's cup of water answers her question.

Beast Boy: "Your dad gave her the power to speak like an Earth teen!"

Raven throws away her Beast Boy cup in surprise and disgust, and he reveals that he can turn into literally anything.

Raven: "And yet you choose to be a bean bag."
Beast Boy: "Now I can veg out on myself."

As Starfire LOLs, Raven goes to the living room, finding Cyborg on the couch and the muscley horror that used to be Robin.

That is disgusting.
And Cyborg got a dog for a hand. Because…

Because LOL #SoRandom?
But he really seems to love it almost as much as Silkie loves its new wings.

Et tu, Silkie?
Starfire: "What's the haps, playas?"
"You need to stop talking."

By definition, yes. That is what they will do.
The other Titans tell Raven that deep down, her dad's a pretty cool guy. At the very least, she should give him a chance.

Beast Boy: "His breath smells like a fireplace!"

It doesn't help that they're bitter over the fact that according to Trigon, Raven could have been granting them gifts this whole time, but hasn't. So they suggest that perhaps she should try to be more like her dad. So Raven finally gets fed up and decides to take her dad up on his offer. She and the Titans meet Trigon on the roof, flying a Pretty Pretty Pegasus kite, and she tells her old man the news: She wants to be the best demon she can be.

So Trigon takes Raven through the three steps necessary as her pals cheer her on. First, she draws power from the nightmares of every child on Earth. Then she focuses this energy into an inter-dimensional portal.

Trigon: "The only thing left to do is kill all your friends."

It's at about this point that the Titans take issue with the proceedings.

Trigon: "I like to first make an example out of one. I suggest Beast Boy. To force the others to swear their allegiance. Then eradicate them anyway."

With this betrayal from an otherwise cool guy, the other Titans are finally seeing things Raven's way. And luckily, so is she.

Raven: "Sorry, dad. Looks like I'm going to flunk out of demon school."

Trigon is more than a little upset at his daughter's betrayal, so he decides to kill them all.

Beast Boy: "Raven was right all along. You are a major wiener!"

Trigon transforms back into his kaiju form, but their new abilities make it a bit difficult for him to finish them off. Robin uses his new muscles to smash Trigon with Beast Boy's increasingly-dangerous forms while Cyborg... uses his magic arm to fight a demon. So I guess this is like God Hand.

And Starfire texts.

Starfire: "Whatever."

Eventually, Raven manages to banish Trigon through that portal she opened earlier, and all the Titans lose their demonically-given powers.

Raven: "He's gone for now. But he'll be back. Probably for Thanksgiving."

And as the laugh track makes a reappearance, the episode stops. And if that seems like a sudden ending, don’t worry. It is. So let's get crackin' on that Review.


  1. Can I just say thank you for that God Hand reference? Obscure video game jokes are always welcome in my book.

    - That One Anon

    1. Wait until I get to the episode literally titled "Video Game References."

    2. Hang on, the what now? That's... that is the actual title of an episode?

      ... I can't tell if that's brilliantly meta, or just lazy.

      - That One Anon

    3. "... I can't tell if that's brilliantly meta, or just lazy."

      Welcome to Teen Titans Go!, my friend.