Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Recap: Teen Titans Go! "La Larva de Amor"

I have not yet covered a show on this blog that doesn't have at least one episode I like, except perhaps The Super Hero Squad Show. Ultimate Spider-Man, Goosebumps, and even Hulk and the Agents of S.M.A.S.H. have all managed to impress me once or twice.

And yes, readers, that means what you think it means.

I like this episode.

I wish it didn't take me this long to find an episode I truly like, but the first few episodes were still finding their footing.

The show will still be finding its footing for a bit, but that's neither here nor there.
The episode begins with the creative staff having a bit of fun. The next minute or so features nothing really that important to the story, other than the fact that it isn’t important to the story. For story purposes, the Titans have to be doing something before Starfire comes in to ask for a favor. The writer has chosen "eating cookies and making milk mustaches."

As I've said many times, the writers have cited the later episode "Meatball Party" as the episode where they fully realized the degree of creative freedom they had. But occasionally, there are earlier glimpses that show off the staff's quirky sense of humor, whether it be brief gags, or short sequences.

Here, the Titans are making ridiculously exaggerated dairy-based facial hair.

"It's a-me! Fair-Use-Parodio!"
It's a refreshing moment in terms of the show's general sense of humor, simply because it seems like the creative team had fun with this sequence.

Anyway, it's time to start the plot. Starfire comes in to double check that her pet mutant silkworm, Silkie, will be fine in the care of the other Titans while Starfire is away.

Starfire: "You will make sure he's fed?"
Robin: "No problemo."
Starfire: "And watered."
Cyborg: "On it."
Starfire: "And you'll bathe him every night?"

"And you must provide him with a sandbox. And you must talk to him.
Tell him he is a pretty Silkie. And a good Silkie."
"I will feed him."
"Perhaps that will be enough."
Starfire: "He especially needs to be licked behind the ears."

Before anyone can tell her that Silkie has no ears, Beast Boy does a spit-take, giving Raven a piratey beard with his milk-spit. Which is an odd reaction, considering that Beast Boy's probably done far grosser while in his various animal forms.

Starfire is quickly ushered away and told to have a good time as the milk game continues. In order to win, Beast Boy digs through the couch, tossing away a Green Lantern ring before finding the real treasure: Ten-year-old soy milk.

Using the curdled soy, he sculpts himself a classy beard. Cyborg accuses him of cheating, and he breaks Beast Boy's beard. In retaliation, Beast Boy squirts some rotten soy milk down Cyborg's gullet.

So... Beast Boy would rather rub rotten soy all over his face than lick a giant maggot?
...Not exactly sure if I agree or disagree with that opinion.
It's at this point that we get to the other narrative reason for the milk fight. Cyborg knocks Beast Boy's soy milk away, hurling it into the button for the elevator, allowing Silkie to crawl inside.

More milk antics, more milky pop culture references, and Robin eventually notices that Silkie is missing. They all split up to look for the little spud, and Robin starts in Starfire's room, where he vandalizes one of her posters with "I Heart Robin," steals her diary...

It's going right in his pants.
...and finds something disturbing under her bed.

This raises a lot of questions.
But as the audience is left to wonder what hand Starfire had in the death of Boston Brand, Silkie crawls outside, rolling off a basketball and onto a skateboard...

Back in the Tower, Raven sends out some demon-eye-tendrils into the guts of the building while Silkie climbs up a tree outside. Silkie ends up falling out of said tree, getting grabbed by a bird that smacks into a tower window, falls into a golf hole, and ends up shooting out a pipe and landing in a chicken bucket floating in the ocean. And so, as Silkie sails for distant lands, Cyborg rips a hole in the wall, finding only one of Raven's eye-tendrils.

More happens in the way of unlikely adventures as Silkie crosses the ocean, including a cameo of Batman and Commissioner Gordon on a Bat-Boat fishing trip.

As Beast Boy chows down on some cereal and burps up the prize in the box, he finds himself forced to admit that he hasn't found Silkie to the other Titans, who have had similar luck.

Robin: "I bet he's outside. Titans, go!"
Raven: "Uh, you know, you don't need to say that every time we go somewhere."

Ten episodes in, and they already made fun of that.

The outside search is just as fruitless, mostly because Silkie has washed up on a foreign, vaguely-Latin shore, where he lounges in the sun and gets brought a drink.

Woman: "Do you mind if I sit here?"

Silkie's new neighbor (Nika Futterman) introduces herself as Sonia Conchita Hernandez.

Sonia: "And you are?"
Silkie: "...."
Sonia: "...."
Silkie: "...."
Sonia: "No. Do not speak. Your eyes speak for you."

His eyes seem to be mumbling incoherently.
Sonia: "I can tell someone like you knows how to treat a beautiful woman, no? You would never tell her her dress was too short, or call her mother a donkey!"

Yeah, Sonia seems to be in the process of trading in that bicho she was with for the bicho she just met.

Silkie, this whole time, has done nothing as Sonia's been fawning over him. She plants a kiss on him and tells him how different he is from her ex-fiancé Carlos. Apart from the fact that he's a giant grub, I mean.

Sonia: "You know how to really listen. He would not like me taking to jew."

Why, is he a Nazi?

...Oh, wait, that's just her accent.

As you may have guessed, Silkie has become caught up in a steamy Latin American telenovela ("soap opera," for those of you who don't watch Jane the Virgin). And true to form, Carlos is nearby. Judging from the way he breaks his glass in anger, indeed he doesn’t like Sonia talking to jim.

Back at the Tower, Beast Boy has an idea of how to keep Starfire from figuring out that Silkie's gone. He'll just turn himself into Silkie.

Raven: "Sure. Genius. She'll never notice that you're missing and Silkie's turned green."

You could blame it on cereal.
Beast Boy: "Oh, good. 'Cause I really wasn't looking forward to getting licked behind the ears."

Again, you've probably done far worse, Beast Boy. You've regurgitated owl pellets, for crying out loud.

Cyborg apparently finds Silkie's dried-up, roach-filled corpse under the couch, but it simply turns out to be an old shedded skin. As Beast Boy gets ideas, Silkie has a wonderful time with Sonia. Eating tacos, breaking pinatas...

Biking in front of the Italian flag...
...all followed up by a night of tangoing at the club nocturno. At least, Sonia dances. Silkie just kind of gets picked up and spun around, disproving the idiom that it takes two to tango.

Carlos arrives at the club nocturno, not happy at what he sees, and begins arguing with Sonia in Spanish for a bit before having his goons take Sonia and Silkie away.

Sonia: "You will not get away with this! My new boyfriend will stop you!"

But alas, the two of them are soon chained up in the dungeon of Carlos's mansion.

Sonia: "I would rather die in your arms than live one day with that bad man."

But Silkie's restraint is built for a human-size leg, so he easily slips out and crawls away. Squishing between the bars offers almost no resistance, and Silkie bounces down the stairs and bangs into a table, knocking over a bust of Carlos, which lands on his back, fools the guards, and allows him to slip outside onto the balcony.

You were expecting Zorro?
Carlos awaits with his trusty blade, but Silkie once again wins the day by doing absolutely nothing except crawling in a straight line. Carlos ends up jumping over the rocky cliffside while attempting to attack Silkie, and the day is won!

At sunrise, Sonia thanks her savior on the beach below. But alas, Silkie's chicken bucket starts to drift away, leaving Sonia a sobbing wreck as the man thing she loved leaves her life forever.

Sonia: "No one will ever be as special as you are to me! We will always have the day and the night and dawn we spent together! We must be strong! No! I cannot! I cannot live without you!"

Sometimes, a Silkie just has to keep moving on to where ever the wind takes his chicken bucket.
Starfire soon returns to Titans Tower, eagerly greeted by Silkie's hollow flesh-husk on some puppet strings.

"Silkie": "Hi, Starfire. It's me. Silkie. And I love you."
Starfire: "...The Silkie can talk?"

With little choice, the Titans confess that Silkie is gone.

Starfire: "But you have promised to take care of Silkie. You gave me your oath. ‘We can handle it.' 'NO PROBLEMO!' Well, WE HAVE THE BIG PROBLEMO!"

Sparks literally fly from her eyes as the tower starts breaking apart around her and she starts zapping her friends.

Well, she is a teenager. They overreact.
But before she can go full-on Dark Phoenix, Silkie exits the elevator, instantly returning Starfire to normal. She cradles her little bumgorf and continues talking to her friends.

Starfire: "Now who would care to see the images of my travels?"

And with that, the episode stops. So let’s review.

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