Fear Itself is the 18th episode of the Teen Titans series and the 5th episode of Season 2.
When Beast Boy rents a scary film for the Titans to watch at Movie Night, strange things start to happen and one by one each of the Titans start to disappear but the question the remaining Titans are wondering is; Who is behind all of this?
The episode begins with the introduction of Control Freak, who is terrorizing the video store. The Teen Titans arrive and, after a lengthy battle, stop him by activating the fire sprinklers, thus short-circuiting his remote. After the fight, Beast Boy digs out of the mess a famous, and by reputation very frightening, horror movie, Wicked Scary, and presents it to the team back at the tower. The movie turns out to be extremely frightening, so much in fact that even a hard-boiled mind such as Raven finds herself unnerved. But she refuses to admit it to the others.Later in the night, the Titans hear a scream in the Ops. The lights go out, and out of nowhere appears the monster from Wicked Scary, ready to devour them all.
Beast Boy keeps jibbing Raven that she is afraid, which Raven hotly denies. But each time she says so, one of her teammates is snatched and vanishes: first Beast Boy, then Robin is pulled away by shadowy tentacles; Starfire is buried under a horde of demonic rats in the basement, and finally Cyborg also disappears without a trace.
Now totally alone, Raven is beset by horrifying monsters made out of pure darkness. Cornered, she admits that she truly is afraid. She's able to regain control over herself and the monsters disappear. She wakes up and the Titans deduce that Raven had accidentally created the monsters out of her denying her fear.
Now, as the sun rises, the Titans decide to catch some sleep over the night's events. Beast Boy then asks if Raven would want to do this again for Halloween, and Raven clearly says "I'm afraid not."
- Written by:
- Dwayne McDuffie
- Directed by:
- Michael Chang
- Also featuring:
- This is Control Freak's first appearance.
- The movie that Control Freak rages about not being in stock has a picture that resembles Beast Boy's early portrayal as an alien in a Star Trek knock off film "Space Trek 2020" back in the comics
- Many of the other monsters share a striking resemblance to the monsters in Nevermore, which is almost a dead giveaway that Raven is somehow responsible for them (if you noticed the creatures' eyes)
- The counter girl working at the video store resembles Sarah Simms, Cyborg's love interest from the Teen Titans Go! comics.
- In the scene where Cyborg and Raven are the last two remaining, both of his eyes are human eyes. Although this may be an animation error, it is possibly intentional, as his usually robotic eye's pupil is colored red, so this may be for comedic effect.
- In the Justice League Unlimited Season One episode: Wake the Dead, a DVD cover for the movie, Wicked Scary, can be seen in the college kid's room.
- The episode title is derived from the words in President Franklin Roosevelt's famous speech, "There is nothing to fear but... fear itself." This quote and the title is also a possible reference to a line spoken by Scarecrow from the 2005 film Batman Begins, though this episode was released in 2004.
- When Raven banishes the monsters from her mind, a gigantic black pterodactyl manifests instead of a giant raven.
- After Cyborg blasts Control Freak's evil TV, Robin's hair isn't spiky like usual.
- In the evidence room, there is the Puppet King, one of Mad Mod's statues, Slade's mask, a chip that looks like Overload, the Puppet King's remote, and the Clock of Eternity from How Long is Forever?
As the "evil fanboy" he is, Control Freak makes several obvious references to well-known movie franchises, including:
- Star Trek, particularly Star Trek V and the TV episode "Trouble with Tribbles"
- Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, when Control Freak quotes a line spoken by Yoda: "You will be... you will be."
- His personal introduction is reminiscent of the way Darkwing Duck introduces himself.
The scenes of the wicked scary monster attacks are reminiscent of classic horror movies. The Titans themselves play archetypes of horror characters:
- Beast Boy is the funny knowledgeable movie geek similar to Randy Meeks in the Scream series. He is the first to get taken by the monster.
- Robin is the Detective similar to Arbogast in the movie Psycho. Like Arbogast, he is the second victim, who is taken when he was about to disclose important information.
- Starfire is the Cheerleader archetype similar to many minor female characters whom get scared easily. She is the third to be taken.
- Cyborg is the Jock archetype, a tough person in his field, but on the same level as the cheerleader in terms of bodycount. He is the last one to get taken by the monster.
- Raven is the Final Girl, the sole remaining female survivor left to figure out how to defeat the monster. In a surprising twist she is also the Antagonist, since the monsters were her powers expressing her bottled fear.
- When Raven gets out of the elevator, the dark liquid that flows out of it as the doors open is a reference to Stanley Kubrick's 1980 horror film The Shining.
The monsters revealed to be part of Raven's mind is reminiscent of the following horror flicks, The Fiend Without a Face, and The Forbidden Planet. Both monsters were created by a person's mind.
- Control Freak: Well, well, well. If it isn't my old arch-nemesis...ses - the Teen Titans!
Beast Boy: Um, yeah! [aside to Cyborg] Who is this guy? [Cyborg shrugs]
Control Freak screen images: I am the master of monsters! I am your darkest nightmares come to life! I am...Control Freak! [Control Freak presses button, screen images claps]
Raven: [unimpressed] A couch potato with a souped-up remote. I'm petrified.
Control Freak: You will be. You will be.
- Beast Boy: [with shining eyes] Dude! Wicked Scary is out on video?!
Control Freak: [with shining eyes] I know! Director's cut, digitally remastered, alternate ending! It's great.
Beast Boy: Cool! [realizes he was talking to Control Freak] Not cool.
- Cyborg: Ow, ow, ow, ow, ow. ALRIGHT! If y'all are biting Cyborg, Cyborg's biting back! [munches up some of the living candy] Mmm-mmm! Never knew evil tasted so good. [living candy screams and runs away, Cyborg turns green and gets sick] Oh boy. [runs outside and vomits in a trash can]
- Beast Boy: Is it over?
Starfire: I dare not open my eyes to find out.
Cyborg: Now I'm really sick to my stomach.
Robin: I've fought psychotic villains, robot commandos, and giant oozing monsters, but THAT is the scariest thing I have ever seen.
[all of them except Raven stare at each other and burst out laughing]
- Beast Boy: Split up?! SPLIT UP?! DID YOU NOT SEE THE MOVIE?! When you split up, the monster hunts you down one at a time, starting with the good-looking, comic relief guy: ME!
- Robin: (struggling to make Beast Boy get off) Get a grip, Beast Boy! The monster's not going to eat anybody!
- Raven: He's right. There's nothing to be afraid of. (thunder claps are heard and Beast Boy and Starfire hide behind Robin while Cyborg hides behind Raven)
- Voice: Help! Help Me!
Robin: This way!
(the Titans enter Beast Boy's room)
Voice: Help me!
(they walk up to Beast Boy's closet. When Robin opens it, clothes fall on top of them. The mysterious voice reveals to be a toy monkey with cymbals.)
Monkey: Help me! Help me! Help me, count! (Beast Boy and Raven pop up out of the clothes. Raven stares angrily at Beast Boy as he chuckles nervously) One, two, three, four, five......
Beast Boy: Heh heh heh... Umm.... I really got to get rid of that thing.
(the Titans come of Beast Boy's room)
Cyborg: Oooohhh!!!!! Look, y'all, big scary monkey! (laughs)
Beast Boy: Yeah, Raven you should've seen the look on your face.
Raven: You mean, THIS LOOK? (gives him a Death Glare)
Beast Boy: No, that's more angry than scared.
Raven: I already told you, I don't get scared! (eyes flame)
- Starfire: Eeek! Someone's claws are on my grebnacks!
Beast Boy: Heh ... My bad.
Cyborg: There was a monster here, right?
Robin: But where did it go?
Starfire: And from where did it come from?
Beast Boy: HELLO! Isn't it obvious?! The movie's cursed! Watching it opened a portal to another dimension! The monster came through the portal, now it's going to hunt us down and eat us! And- I'M PROBABLY DELICIOUS!!
- Starfire: [quickly] Oh, well! Our friends are not present! Let us quickly go back up and see if they (Cyborg grabs Starfire as she tries to go back upstairs) eeek!
- Beast Boy: 'WHAT DID I TELL YOU?? FUNNY GUY GOES FIRST!!!!
- Robin: (Raven regains consciousness and sees her friends safe and sound) Raven.
- Raven: You're all ok? (Cyborg helps her up)
- Robin: We were never in any danger.
- Cyborg: Say what?!?
- Beast Boy: Did you not see the monsters?!?!?
- Robin : We saw them, but they were never really there. Raven was afraid. But when she wouldn't talk about it, the fear found another way out.
- Starfire: 'gasps' Her powers.
- Robin: Once you accepted your fear, you regained control over it.
- Beast Boy: You mean Raven made all those creepy crawlies by accident?
- Raven: (blushes) Uhh... sorry? (the sun comes up)
- Cyborg: (yawns) Sunrise. Time for bed.
- Beast Boy: You know, your haunted house was way creepier than that stupid movie. Any chance you want to do all this again for Halloween? (silence)
- Raven: I'm afraid not.
- Raven: (Raven becomes cornered by the monsters with no where left for her to run) Stay back! You don't scare me! I'm not afraid! I'm not afraid! (kneels down) I'M NOT AFRAID!! I.... I am afraid. I'm afraid, (gets back up) but that doesn't mean I can't fight back! AZARATH METRION ZINTHOS!!!! (regains her powers and obliterates the monsters, becomes unconscious)
- Raven: (wakes up from the sound of thunder, scaring her. She then looks around her room) Maybe, I should consider redecorating. (goes back to sleep for a bit but hears a loud scream. She runs into the Main Ops room) Who screamed?
- Robin: Sounded like something from the movie. Did we leave the tv on?
- Starfire: We did not (picks up the movie) and the movie is right here. (the lights suddenly goes out) Cyborg: Ok, that's creepy. (takes out his flashlight and looks around)
- Robin: The storm. Probably just tripped a circuit breaker. (a tentacle slithers onto Robin's shoulder, scaring the other Titans) Ok, Beast Boy you got us. Good one. (flicks it off)
- Beast Boy: Uh...Dude? (Robin turns and finds the same monster they saw from the movie scaring the living daylights out of the Titans)