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Recap / Teen Titans S 2 E 1 How Long Is Forever?

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Get your tissues ready, it's one of those episodes...

Starfire: On my world, Rekmas means "The Drifting," the point in which close friends begin to drift apart... and their friendship begins to die...
Cyborg: Aw, c'mon, Starfire!
Beast Boy: We are so not Rek-whatevering.
Raven: We're getting on each other's nerves a little. Big deal.
Robin: Yeah, this is just...typical roommate stuff. We're not going to drift apart, Star. I promise. We'll all be friends forever.
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Starfire: Forever?

The depressing one. Featuring Nightwing!

Starfire notices all her friends arguing and tries to call their attention to it out of fear that they might be drifting apart. Then, in a fight with a time-travelling thief, Starfire gets sucked into the future, where her fear has come true. Cyborg is confined to Titans Tower due to his final battery giving out, and him having to remain plugged into the tower's power source at all times. Beast Boy has become afraid of everything, locking himself in a cage to keep passersby away. Raven has lost her mind, believing herself to be hallucinating Starfire when she tries to visit. Finally, Starfire runs into Nightwing, who helps her figure out how to get back to her time, and reforms the (no longer Teen) Titans.

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This episode provides examples of:

  • Bad Future: When Starfire is ejected from the wormhole, twenty years have passed. In that time, the Teen Titans have disbanded, Cyborg has deteriorated to the point that he's now completely dependent on a generator at the now abandoned Titans Tower, Beast Boy has resigned to a life as a circus performer after failing to make it as a lone superhero, and Raven has, putting it simply, gone horribly insane. The bottom line? Starfire's glorious charm is what's been keeping the team together, and this all ended up happening because she wasn't there.
  • Dare to Be Badass:
    Starfire: (resigned) There is nothing you can do. There is nothing anyone can do. The past cannot be repaired; the future cannot be altered. No matter how wrong it seems.
    Nightwing: So it's impossible. Good. If memory serves, we've done the impossible before.
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  • Fountain of Youth: How Warp is defeated-when his vortex generator gets sufficiently damaged, it begins breaking down, reverting Warp to a baby in the process.
  • The Freakshow: Where Beast Boy has wound up.
  • Future Badass: Robin is the only Titan to get more badass, but at the cost of his relationship with his friends.
  • Future Loser: Arguably all the Titans to varying degrees, but most glaringly Beast Boy.
  • Go Mad from the Isolation: Raven. She gets better, though.
  • Gondor Calls for Aid / Putting the Band Back Together: Nightwing summons the former Titans for help by using one of their old communicators.
  • Gone to the Future: When Starfire chases Warp into his time-jumping wormhole, she ends up getting spat out 20 years later.
  • Hair Today, Gone Tomorrow: The future Beast Boy is balding. The present Beast Boy does not take it well when he learns this.
  • Hannibal Lecture: Warp tries to crush Starfire's already-shaken spirit by telling her that the future cannot be altered.
    Starfire: (threatens to destroy the modulater) If you ever wish to see your future, you will repair the damage you have done to my past!
    Warp: Damage? Silly girl, there's nothing wrong with your past. One cannot damage history because history cannot be changed. (holds up the clock) I went back in time to steal this because history says it disappeared, and history says it disappeared because I went back to steal it. Past, present, future. It's all written in stone, my dear. And nothing you do can ever change it.
  • The Heart: This episode highlights Starfire's role as this. With her gone, Cyborg loses his humanity, Raven hides in her shell, Robin throws himself into his work, and Beast Boy lets his insecurities get the better of him.
  • Mythology Gag:
    • The two punks who throw things at Beast Boy are based, appearance-wise, on members of the Mutant gang from Batman: The Dark Knight Returns.
    • Besides the obvious (Robin becoming Nightwing as an adult), there's also how Nightwing stores his Robin costume, which is reminiscent of how Batman stores the costumes of retired or dead Robins.
  • Properly Paranoid:
    • Starfire's fear of the Titans potentially breaking up actually happens when she lands in the Bad Future. Upon returning to the present, that fear spreads to the other Titans, who then quickly proceed to celebrate Blorthog.
    • Future Raven's rejection of past Starfire being real, due to the fact that she hallucinated her before.
  • Screw Destiny: Starfire delivers a speech that sums this up.
  • Self-Restraint: Both Beast-Boy and Raven are able to leave the places they're confined with relative ease, suggesting this Trope.
  • Set Right What Once Went Wrong: For Starfire, this means just being present in the present once she finds out that the Bad Future was caused by her being gone for 20 years.
  • Ship Tease: Starfire and Nightwing's interactions in this episode are semi-romantic. (Well, kind of blatant actually. And just a little awkward [and not to mention confusing] considering Nightwing is somewhere around his mid-thirties.)
  • Snow Means Death: Starfire finds herself in a snowy environment when she discovers the Teen Titans had collapsed in her absence.
  • Stable Time Loop:
    • Warp claims that the device he stole was recorded as stolen in his future, thus he was only invoking this. Subverted when Starfire manages to resteal it following Warp getting turned into a baby.
    • Starfire when she comes back tells the Titans everything. Robin ends the episode by saying, "So...Nightwing, huh?"
    • Played for laughs when Beast Boy learns that he’s going to go bald and tears his own hair out.
  • Tempting Fate: The prologue has Robin try to reassure a saddened Starfire that despite her fears of "drifting apart", the Titans will all remain friends forever. Twenty years later, Starfire sees for herself that "forever" didn't last as long as Robin claimed, as the Titans have disbanded in her absence.
  • Time-Traveling Jerkass: Warp is a time-travelling thief from the future who says that the items he steals were recorded lost by history, so all he's doing is enforcing a Stable Time Loop. Of course, when Starfire pursues him to the future, he's perfectly okay fighting her, and tries to break her spirit, gloating that he's going to leave her in the Bad Future that he's created.
  • Wham Line:
    Starfire: Cyborg, what has happened? Why are you-
    Cyborg: Old? (beat) Well that's what happens to folks when you go away for 20 years.
    Starfire: 20 years?!
    • And later, when Starfire wonders where the other three had gone...
    Cyborg: The Titans... are history, Star. Your friends... aren't friends anymore.
  • White Void Room: Raven's chamber.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Warp tells Starfire that the Bad Future she's seen is inevitable. She realizes it isn't necessarily so when she returns to the present with the device (which Warp's history records as vanishing permanently at the time he stole it).

"Please... must this really be our future? Is there nothing I can do to change it?"
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