Recap / Teen Titans S 3 E 9 The Beast Within

Adonis: What's the matter, wimp? Don't you know how to fight like a man?
Beast Boy: I'm not a man ... I'm an animal!

Beast Boy gets drenched in chemicals while fighting the villain Adonis, after which his behavior starts to change dramatically. And then he and Raven disappear from the tower, leaving the remaining Titans alarmed and worried about their friends.


  • Absurdly Spacious Sewer
  • Artistic License Law: After the first encounter with the Man-Beast, Robin subjects Beast Boy to a straight-up criminal interrogation trying to figure out what's going on. Even if we presume he has been granted authority to do this, police are not authorized to use psychologically or physically coercive methods during an interrogation, including threats — so Robin threatening Beast Boy with jail was totally out of line and made him viewed as Unintentionally Unsympathetic. It also doesn't help that the Titans have no idea what happened at all after Beast Boy and Raven disappeared or why, so Robin doesn't know a crime has actually been committed.
  • Attack! Attack! Attack!: After Beast Boy and Raven go missing, Robin, Cyborg, and Starfire encounter the Man-Beast carrying Raven around by holding her cloak in its teeth. It puts Raven down gently. Because this confrontation apparently wasn't hostile enough, Robin decides this is the best time to attack just because he has a monstrous appearance.
  • Baleful Polymorph: Beast Boy is positively grief-stricken at the thought he might have turned into a monster and hurt Raven.
  • Berserk Button: Robin in this episode does not take too kindly to Beast Boy being Not Himself and thinking he attacked Raven.
  • Black and White Insanity: Following Beast Boy's change in character and caught with Raven in his teeth, Robin goes full-blown Inspector Javert and absolutely treats Beast Boy like every other Monster of the Week and Villain of the Week they have faced, completely disregarding Beast Boy as a fellow Titan and friend over the fact he attacked a fellow Titan.
  • Bloodless Carnage: Raven is unconscious and explained to be in a "healing trance" during the scene in the medical bay to make up for the fact that she has absolutely no cuts or bruises following her ill-fated encounter with Beast Boy's inner monster. Without such evidence, it's clear nobody has any idea what's actually happened to her, but Robin's pretty sure it's Beast Boy's fault.
  • Broken Pedestal: A temporary variation, due to Beast Boy's change in behavior and being found near an attacked Raven, the Titans' comradeship with him is instantly broken to a point The Power of Trust is averted, he gets No Sympathy from others and he is viewed as a total Fallen Hero and another irredeemable super villain criminal needed to be taken down like a mad dog on a rampage. Fortunately, after the real culprit behind attacking Raven is caught, Adonis, Beast Boy becomes a Rebuilt Pedestal at the end of the episode following getting an antidote from Cyborg.
  • Chemistry Can Do Anything: Beast Boy's Rage Breaking Point inadvertently results in him and Adonis getting a nice warm chemical bath. None of the Titans realize it might have any effects on Beast Boy until he takes a spin on the wild side.
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: Beast Boy's mood swings and body changes bring puberty to mind.
  • Filler: The ninth episode of the third season was originally supposed to be Bunny Raven, and was already mostly produced when they decided to add a musical number. This episode was created at the last minute to fill the gap after they pushed Bunny Raven back.
  • Golden Moment: The moment of bonding between Raven and Beast Boy, including an aesop from Raven about knowing when to let out the Man-Beast and a Moment Killer from Beast Boy.
  • Hair-Trigger Temper: Beast Boy develops this as a result of the chemical exposure.
  • Hypocritical Humor: Raven has the audacity to ask if Beast Boy's had "any good Freak Outs lately" after he hits a Rage Breaking Point in the show's opening scene.
  • Idiot Ball: The Titans' (mostly Robin's) handling of the episode's situation was completely unethical, unmethodical and sometimes cruel (particularly during the interrogation of Beast Boy) as well as the fact they were too judgmental and quick without thinking to view Beast Boy as Broken Pedestal Fallen Hero due to his change in behavior not too long ago and being near an unconscious Raven.
  • Ineffectual Sympathetic Villain: Adonis seems like one at first...
    • Not-So-Harmless Villain: As it turns out, it was him, not Beast Boy, who assaulted and hurt Raven, having fallen victim to the same chemical in the beginning.
  • Jerkass Ball: Beast Boy upon being dosed in chemicals in the beginning of the episode and surprisingly Robin, who borders on near-full Knight Templar and Black and White Insanity when he acts completely hostile towards Beast Boy following his change and might have killed him for the greater good (thereby averting the usual superhero Thou Shalt Not Kill rule, especially since Robin is notably Batman's protege) if it weren't for Adonis behind him. Cyborg and Starfire aren't any better, just less confrontational. Due to this, this episode would likely border on Darkness-Induced Audience Apathy because of Beast Boy's and other Titans' antagonistic natures against each other.
  • Knight Templar: Robin, and to a lesser degree Starfire and Cyborg, absolutely views Beast Boy as just another super villain to take out following his change, ignoring the fact he is their friend and focusing on retaliating against him for his attitude problem earlier and nearly killing one of their own.
  • Moment Killer: Beast Boy accidentally ruins a Golden Moment between himself and Raven, who lampshades the situation.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: Inverted. Beast Boy isn't actually conscious of doing anything wrong, but the Titans are convinced he is. He's consumed with enough guilt that he goes along with it anyway.
    "Raven...she's gonna be okay, isn't she? I mean...she's not moving. What have I done?"
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Robin accidentally causes the second reappearance of the Man-Beast by antagonizing Garfield during the interrogation. Which takes place in a medical bay. Filled with sensitive, expensive equipment. With an unconscious Raven lying prone in a corner. Knowing that the Man-Beast is more than a match for them individually. Neither Starfire, Cyborg, or the episode itself, call him out on this.
  • No Sympathy: Robin makes it quite clear he has little to no concern for Beast Boy's condition during the interrogation, even preventing Starfire from trying to comfort the kid when his heart rate spikes from stress.
  • O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Beast Boy wavers between acting like a lout in front of his friends and aggressively tearing the gym apart with his animal forms when he's by himself. As the day goes on, there's increasingly little difference. He also ate meat for the first time. This is the obsessive tofu fan we're talking about!note 
  • Our Werebeasts Are Different: This episode features the premier of the Man-Beast, Beast Boy's Superpowered Evil Side, which is fast, furry, and ferocious.
  • Plot Hole: The nature of the Man-Beast (and really, Beast Boy's problem in general) is never really explained. The episode originally suggests it's a side-effect of the chemical bath on his DNA and morphing powers... And then throws that explanation right out the window by showing Adonis can also become a Man-Beast... and turns right back around when the episode's denouement behaves as if the "something primal" is unique to Beast Boy.
  • Power Incontinence: After his chemical bath, Beast Boy spends an extended amount of time in the gym working out... and spontaneously shifts, mid-routine, into animals, that rampage around the room, hurling barbells through walls and tearing punching bags to shreds. Absolutely no one notices and it's unclear whether Beast Boy himself knows.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Beast Boy hits his when Adonis asks if he knows "how to fight like a man".
    Raven: Have any good freak-outs lately?
    Beast Boy: I just got sick of being pushed around.
  • Real Men Eat Meat: Invoked by Beast Boy the morning after the fight with Adonis.
  • Rebus Bubble: Robin realizes that "Ham plus Eggs equals Beast Boy" does not compute.
  • Revenge Before Reason: Robin here expresses No Sympathy towards Beast Boy's change, saw him nothing, but just another unrepentant super villain and a Fallen Hero to confront and detain, likely blinded with anger for Beast Boy having to Took a Level in Jerkass and attacking Raven. Robin seems to be more interested in taking down Beast Boy in retaliation for nearly killing one of their own and pettily for being a jerk earlier towards him and his teammates rather then helping him and appeared to prepare to kill him with Cyborg's help like taking out a mad dog when cornering him.
  • Ship Tease: Beast Boy's much rumored crush on Raven only intensifies here, as he actually becomes the Man-Beast in order to protect her. It won't be the last time.
  • Shout-Out: While this episode was specifically inspired by An American Werewolf in London, the Man-Beast in particular is very reminiscent of the Incredible Hulk.
  • The Friend Nobody Likes: Downplayed. This episode is the absolute nadir of Beast Boy's relationship with the Titans as a whole. The Titans are all Genre Blind to the fact that O.O.C. Is Serious Business, and Robin is perfectly willing to subject Beast Boy to a criminal investigation even if he's not actually sure that a crime has been committed, making it seem Robin is dipping into Black and White Insanity.
  • There Are No Therapists: Really poignant in this episode, with Beast Boy having a sudden onset of intense aggression, loutish behavior, and completely abandoning his die-hard "vegetarianism". After attacking Cyborg and on the brink of a superpowered fight with Raven, the Titans confront him about how he's Taken A Level In Jerkass and all he has to say for them to take it at face-value is "This is who I am, now." Robin literally tells him to leave and possibly threatening to fire him from the team for behavioral insubordination because they don't want to deal with his attitude problem.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: The Titans' (but mostly Robin's) attitude towards Beast Boy's change in attitude and attacking Raven, to a point Robin expresses No Sympathy at all, threatening to fire Beast Boy for the former and unethically punishing him for the latter.
  • The Power of Trust: Averted. Despite having only minor, purely circumstantial evidence (and we can't even really call it "evidence" since nobody actually knows whether a crime has been committed or not), Robin who is likely fueled by Revenge Before Reason for one of his teammates being attacked and quickly viewing Beast Boy as an absolute Broken Pedestal due to his recent change in character and being the only suspect goes Full-Rabid Cop Inspector Javert on Beast Boy, complete with Operative Assumption of Guilt and The Worst of All Possible Guilt in full play. Robin subjects Beast Boy to a straight-up police interrogation right in the middle of the medical ward, threatening him with jail if he can't remember what happened between him and Raven. Cyborg and Starfire aren't any better, just less confrontational.