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Recap: Teen Titans S 5 E 4 For Real

"You sound more like a fanboy than a nemesis."
Aqualad

With the Titans scattered all over the world, Jump City is left without heroes. At the request of the main team, Titans East goes to the city and encounters Control Freak seeking the "real" Titans. Disappointed with what he considers to be the poor man's substitute, he sets up a series of tests for them.

Tropes:

  • Badass Crew: Titans East eventually cement themselves as this in Jump City and Control Freak's eyes.
  • Cool Sword: Remember Episode 297-494, with its parody of Star Wars and a Laser Sword with parallel blades? Control Freak either created or brought to the real world a Darth-Maul Double Weapon version of it. Sadly, he doesn't use it in combat.
  • Cutting the Knot: How Titans East beats most of Control Freak's challenges. Can't shoot a rocket out of the sky with your arrows? Hijack one of the rockets themselves. Giant shark keeping you from reaching a main valve you need to plug up? Stick the shark in the valve instead. Can't stop a train before a bomb goes off? Short-circuit the trigger of the bomb.
  • Dude, Where's My Respect?: Both the heroes and villains get this, ironically enough. Control Freak is upset that he was rated as less of a threat than Puppet King, and Titans East keeps getting mistaken for the original five.
  • Embarrassing Nickname: Speedy is "Robin," Aqualad is "unitard guy".
  • Fandom Nod: Control Freak's online chats.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Control Freak's mechanical shark that he sends after Aqualad is named "Glen," after one of the show's producers Glen Murakami.
  • Leaning on the Fourth Wall: After reading the list of threats to the Titans, Control Freak gets irked that he's rated below Puppet King. He puts it best:
    "He was a one-time villain! I'm a recurring character!"
  • Improvised Weapon - Speedy's arrows are taken away for his challenge, so he ends up using himself as an arrow, and the bridge cables (plus tow truck to provide tension) as an improvised bow.
  • Lower Deck Episode: This episode has most of the Titans absent, with the focus on the Honorary Titans.
  • Nice Job Fixing It, Villain: If Control Freak hadn't set the challenges for Titans East, they wouldn't have earned any respect. Not that he minds, actually.
  • Opinion Flipflop: As soon Titans East actually begin winning their challenges, the Internet trolls change their tunes.
  • Take That, Audience! - Two of them, actually. The first one is when Control Freak is speaking to his online friends; the bizarre theories of the people Control Freak chats with ("Starfire and BB forever!") were apparently taken from actual forum posts. The second one is a more general take that to the audience; the episode was directed at people who were highly critical of Speedy, Aqualad, Bumblebee, and Mas y Menos. We learn from this episode that no, Speedy is not useless if he doesn't have any arrows, Aqualad is physically strong even if he's at an aquatic disadvantage, Bumblebee's powers are awesome even when she's not in combat, and Mas y Menos can come up with a way to overcome their "have to be touching" disadvantage.
  • Villains Who Say Squee: Control Freak gushes at Titans East for defeating his challenges. Of course, they take the opportunity to capture him, though he's a Graceful Loser about it.