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Recap / Teen Titans S 4 E 3 Birthmark

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But just because you don't have a party doesn't mean it's not your birthday.

The Titans discover the date of Raven's birthday and try to throw her a surprise party, but for some reason Raven has absolutely no desire to celebrate. Before they can figure this out, the group is called to a break-in, where they discover that arch-nemesis Slade has returned with new powers and a new goal.


  • An Aesop: Of the Both Sides Have a Point variety. On one hand, Raven tells Robin that just because there's no party or celebration doesn't mean your birthday any less a birthday. On the other hand, Beast Boy later puts it best: "You may not like your birthday, but we're all glad you were born."
  • Ageless Birthday Episode: It's never mentioned how old Raven is.
  • Apocalypse Maiden: What Raven is revealed to be.
  • Back from the Dead: The Titans, especially Robin, are shocked at Slade's return, after seemingly falling into lava thanks to Terra.
  • The Bad Guy Wins: Raven can't escape her destiny, a point Slade makes when he forces her to face what she will reap upon the world at her demonic father's behest. In the end, Slade accomplishes his task, Trigon's plan is set in motion, and Raven knows that far worse is coming. All her friends can do is be there for her after what has been the most thoroughly traumatizing day of her life.
  • Big "NO!": Raven lets out a terrifying one when Slade tells her she is destined to destroy the world.
  • Birthmark of Destiny: A very creepy one.
  • Body Horror: Slade implanting Trigon's hellish markings all over Raven's body, which continue to glow fiercely as she vainly tries to outrun him.
  • Casual Danger Dialogue: When Slade begins displaying his newfound power, all Cyborg can say is a meek, "Whoa." Slade expresses disappointment, saying he was looking forward to the team's usual quips during fights.
  • The Chase: The latter half of the episode is Slade chasing Raven trying to deliver his message.
  • Colour-Coded Timestop: An agitated Raven manages to do this, turning the affected area blue, by accident, freezing everyone but Slade (who resists it) and Robin (who Raven brings out of it herself).
  • Continuity Nod:
    • The Titans' battle with Dr. Light at the beginning. Raven ends it by reminding him just what she did to him in Nevermore.
      Raven: Remember me?
      Dr. Light: (Goes Blue with Shock, turns, and raises hands) I'd like to go to jail now, please.
    • Slade and Raven's final confrontation takes place on the rooftop of the same building which Robin robbed under Slade's orders at the beginning of "Apprentice Part 2".
    • There was one to "Haunted" where Robin tries to get the truth out of Raven.
      Robin: We have a bond, remember? You've been inside my mind, let me inside yours.
  • Dangerous 16th Birthday: Raven's age isn't mentioned, but this birthday marks the point where her destiny as Trigon's daughter is revealed.
  • Darker and Edgier: This episode begins the main episode arc of Season 4, which is much darker than most of the rest of the series.
  • Demoted to Dragon: At the end of the episode, it's revealed that this has happened to Slade, when he addresses Trigon as "master".
  • Does This Remind You of Anything?: When Slade finally catches up to Raven, he informs her of her fate in an extremely uncomfortable scene that gets dangerously close to feeling like rape, especially when Slade rips off a considerable portion of Raven's clothes and then grabs her by the arms.
  • Empowered Badass Normal: While Slade was already a capable fighter before, being empowered by Trigon makes him much more dangerous.
  • Face Framed in Shadow: Trigon is given this treatment for most of the Season 4 arc despite him having been seen in full back in "Nevermore."
  • Faux Affably Evil: Slade shows signs of this. While he generally wasn't rude earlier, he was cold and distant, with none of the moments of false friendliness he has here and in the rest of the season.
  • Hidden Depths: Slade describes the amazement he felt when he learned of the power Raven was hiding.
  • Kick the Dog: After Slade has forced Raven to witness all of the horrors she will soon unleash, and leaves the exhausted girl to the other Titans once this has been done.
    Slade: We'll be in touch. Oh, and Happy Birthday.
  • Know When to Fold 'Em: For the most part, Raven doesn't try to directly engage Slade, instead opting to run away from him. Although this was probably influenced by her being so afraid, and ultimately it doesn't work either way.
  • Lightning Lash: Dr. Light's upgraded suit is equipped with a whip made of light, which snapped Robin's staff in the Batman Cold Open.
  • Little "No": Raven.
    • Also Robin when he sees Slade is back.
  • Mood Whiplash: The Titans' attempt to throw Raven a birthday party after Beast Boy snooped through her files starts off lighthearted enough, with them all trying in vain to convince her to have a little fun, unaware of what is to happen that night. Raven in her usual manner bluntly turns them down, but when Beast Boy keeps prodding she has had it and uses her powers to destroy all the food and decorations they had assembled for her before storming out. It's the first clear sign to them that something is horribly wrong.
  • Move in the Frozen Time: When Raven accidentally freezes time, Slade's demonic powers leave him unaffected.
  • Number of the Beast: Mentioned word-for-word by Raven after the prologue:
    Raven: [desperately waiting for midnight while looking at her clock] Six PM. Just six more hours and it'll be over. Six more— [interrupted by her teammates]
  • Oh, Crap!: Considering what she is put through, expect many of these from Raven, who is quite literally living her worst nightmare here.
  • Pet the Dog: The Titans try to cheer up Raven with a much smaller birthday celebration, reminding her that they are grateful for the fact that she was born and to have her as their friend. This time, Raven is more accepting of their gesture.
  • Playing with Fire: Slade has acquired these powers, to (most of) the Titans' confusion.
  • Recycled Animation: At one point while chasing Raven, Slade launches a pair of giant fire arms at her, which Raven blocks by firing a Beam Spam at it using the same animation frames used when Starfire was doing the same thing against Plasmus in "Divide and Conquer".
  • This Cannot Be!: The Titans' reactions to Slade being back.
  • Took a Level in Badass: Slade now possesses various magic powers.
  • Unnaturally Blue Lighting: After Raven stops time, everything goes blue.
  • Vapor Wear: There's no bra to be seen when the back of Raven's leotard is completely ripped off. As mentioned in other pages, this is Truth in Television as most leotards are meant to be worn that way.
  • Wham Line:
    Robin: Slade, I don't know where you've been, but you shouldn't have come back. I'm still ready.
    Slade: That's precious, Robin. But I didn't come back for you.
  • Wham Shot: The episode starts with a pretty standard battle with Dr. Light. Afterwards, it cuts to somewhere underneath the city, where we see Slade (who we last saw falling into a pit of lava) pull himself out of the ground.
  • You Can't Fight Fate: Slade repeatedly reminds Raven that she can't stop what's coming.