At around 7:55 on a Saturday evening, I ran out to the kitchen, grabbed a snack, a soda, and ran back into my room. “Teen Titans” was coming on. I never miss an episode. I parked myself on my bed and hoped that it was one of my favorites tonight. I was 15 years old at the time, so my mind was still developing rational thoughts.
As the clock turned 7:59, the female announcer said, “Teen Titans is coming on right now”. The screen faded into black for about 6 seconds. The opening played, however something didn’t see quite right. Colors were inverted, Raven disappeared from the opening altogether, and then the screen played a constant loop of Cyborg punching the screen 4 times, before the screen shattered into the episode’s name.
The episode was supposedly “Fear Itself”, however it only showed Slade staring at the viewers, his good eye was colored red. Loud static noises, and red pixels filled the screen. The toy monkey that should have appeared later in the episode yelled “HELP ME” a few times before the colors of Slade drained out and transformed back into the opening.
This was wrong. This isn’t the episode; this wasn’t even the real opening. However, being the massive Teen Titans fan that I am, I still decided to watch. This time, the opening was only still shots of the Titans Tower; the water around it was blood red. They showed Raven, Starfire, Beast Boy, and Cyborg staring out of the tower.
Slade’s laughter was played on a constant loop, and then he said “Looks like you’ll be needing a new leader, huh, Titans?”. Beast Boy’s “NOOOOOOOO!” played forward, then backwards, and Raven started crying, however loud static and Slade’s laughter made it hard to hear. Before the commercial break, Cyborg said in a really distorted, “Robin…is…no…can’t…die…need…him”. Slade’s laughter became even louder, with a dark tone to it, before an explosion of Raven’s power turned the screen into pitch dark, and the commercial break started.
I stared in disbelief. What the hell did I just watch? I decided to go on the Cartoon Network forums and saw over 30 topics about this episode of Teen Titans “Teen Titans screwed up”, “What was that!?” “Umm…OK o.o”. I knew I wasn’t the only one who witnessed this, everyone who was watching the TV, saw exactly the same thing I did. I closed Internet Explorer, and sat back down on my bed.
The show came back from commercials. This time, a new episode was being displayed, with jumbled lettering…:
The screen flashed red, then black, and then turned to static, all within 10 seconds. I couldn’t tell what was happening, but it looked like they were in city searching for the dog they thought was Beast Boy (from the episode “Every Dog Has His Day”) Robin was gone from every scene. Even the dialogue between the characters had a depressing tone to it.
Then everyone stopped. The characters were frozen on the screen, with sad looks upon their faces. It zoomed in on all 3 of their faces, and then the screen faded to white. Almost like a flashback, it showed scenes of Robin lying on the ground, defeated. Once again, Slade’s laughter was looped in the background, colors only showing red.
In a really incomprehensible voice, I heard Slade say, “It’s not nice to hit your father, Robin”, followed by a loud yell from Robin, the screen blacked out, and Slade laughed in a really demonic voice. The black screen and laughter went on for the last 4 minutes of airtime, before the credits rolled, slowly, with the music going in reverse. However, the last thing I saw was “WARNING: DO NOT AIR” in red text after the last credit.
Words could not describe how I felt. I looked in the mirror, but all I could think of was Slade’s laughter, and Robin’s motionless body just lying there. I went back to the CN forums and attempted to see if the producers would have anything to say, but they didn’t. In fact, they closed the forums until further notice.
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