"Can I Keep Him?" is the thirty-sixth episode of the Teen Titans series and the tenth episode of Season 3.
When the Titans arrive back to the Tower after a battle with Johnny Rancid, they are shocked to find the Ops Center in ruins. Believing that an intruder has entered the Tower, the Titans spilt up to track it down. However, Beast Boy reveals to Starfire that there is no intruder, but really it's his pet Silkie whom he has been keeping a secret from the rest of the team. When Beast Boy asks her to look after him temporary, Starfire immediately bonds with Silkie and ends up adopting him, but after feeding him alien food from Tamaran, Silkie grows to immense size and can no longer be kept a secret. Will Starfire be forced to say goodbye to her beloved Silkie or Will something much worse come between them?
Johnny Rancid comes back to Jump City to wreak havoc, this time with the assistance of his robot bulldog Wrex. Of course, the Titans rush to stop this tinfoil puppy, and though it proves to be hard going, they manage to reduce it to a pile of scraps. However, Beast Boy lets Rancid get away, so the group returns to Titans Tower to track him down.When the Titans enter Ops, however, they find it thoroughly messed up. While Robin initiates the search for Rancid, the other Titans are tasked with tracking down their intruder. After drawing up a diversion, Beast Boy yanks Starfire into his quarters and reveals that he knows who trashed the Tower: After their first altercation with the villain Killer Moth, he had secretly kept one of his mutant larvae as a pet and named him "Silkie". Since the other Titans would not approve of him when they find him, Beast Boy now asks the kindhearted Starfire to hide him. After some initial revulsion, Starfire swiftly develops a deep affection for Silkie and adopts him.
But then a new problem arises: What to feed a hungry little mutant larva? After some attempts, Starfire resorts to feeding Silkie zorkaberries from her home planet, which Silkie consumes with great relish. But the alien nature of the berries causes him to suddenly grow to a grotesquely massive size, making hiding him all the more difficult, and in search for more food, Silkie escapes and attacks Cyborg for one of his legs. While Starfire succeeds in averting Silkie from coming to harm by her teammates, Silkie proves much too hungry and hazardous to make an acceptable pet, so Robin vetoes keeping him around.Heartbroken, Starfire brings Silkie to a small rocky island off the coast and abandons him - but against all expectations, Silkie quickly finds company. The very same evening, Rancid returns for revenge with a new combat robot, Wrexzilla, but before his contraption can jump into action, it and its master are snatched and gobbled up by Silkie, mutated into a giant moth and ridden by none other than Killer Moth. A fight ensues which Starfire joins reluctantly, unwilling to harm Silkie, but after Robin almost ends up hurt, Starfire strikes back, blasting Killer Moth off his steed but getting yanked to the ground along with him by his plasma whip.
As the two pick themselves up and Silkie lands near them, each of them tries to entice Silkie to come back to him/her, Killer Moth playing upon his role as Silkie's creator, while Starfire attempts to shower him with kindness. Confused over two conflicting loyalties, the emotional stress gets to Silkie and causes him to explode, releasing Rancid and Cyborg's leg but seemingly destroying him. But as Starfire weeps among the debris, she hears some guttural calls, and after diving into the mess, she joyfully retrieves Silkie-alive, well and now reverted back to larva form. With a pleading eye, she convinces Robin to let Silkie stay with them, under the provision that she does not give him any more alien food. The immediate question of how to feed him otherwise is solved when Silkie begins to consume the renmants of his adult body, which bear the flavor of zorkaberries - a feast Starfire, to the other's consternation and disgust, cordially joins in.
Cultural references and spoofs
- The episode's ending parodies Toho Studios Ltd.'s monster-movie series. It begins with Johnny Rancid bringing Wrexzilla, whose name spoofs Godzilla and parodies Mechagodzilla with its appearance; Rexzilla also resembled Grimlock from the show Transformers: Animated. Then, Killer Moth brings another Japanese monster parody, which is Silkie in a Mothra-like form and size.
- Killer Moth's line 'Larva M3-19, I am your father. Join me, and together...we shall go on a picnic... of some sort'. Is a reference to Darth Vader's famed revelation in Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back, 'No, I am your father. Join me and together we shall rule the galaxy.'
- Beast Boy has a poster of the heads of the Three Stooges in his room.
- When the Titans make their appearance Robin says "We're shutting you down Johnny..." then Raven mutters "...and your little dog, too." An obvious reference to The Wizard of Oz.
- When Beast Boy mentions that Silkie was simply molting, Raven responds "Fascinating..." with an upraised eyebrow like Spock often did in Star Trek.
- When Silkie was eating the Titans' home, it resembled when Pac-Man eats the little dots in the Pac-Man game.
- The rock Starfire tries to have Silkie eat is shaped like a cupcake.
- Beast Boy turning into a donkey was a play on Johnny's words when he says "My dog is kicking your..." referring to the word "ass" (and possibly for censorship purposes).
- This is the only episode in season 3 to have villains from season 2.
- Thomas Haden Church does not reprise his role of Killer Moth. Instead, Marc Worden voices him here.
- The T-Sub apparently still has the booster rockets it was installed with in the episode, "Transformation."
- This episode reveals that Silkie's original name was Larva M-319.
- This was the last episode to air in 2004.
- Right before Cyborg shoots his sonic cannon in the fight against Killer Moth, Silkie's leash is half invisible.
- When Beast Boy jumps onto the fire hydrant in the opening scene, he's to the right of the Titans. When they show a wide angle of Johnny and the Titans, he's to the left.
- Continuity mistake: When the Titans enter the Tower ops room, only to find the mess Silkie has left behind, Raven's hood is down. As Robin comments on the damage, Raven steps up to the chewed-up sofa in the background with her hood up; but in the next shot, where she inspects the teeth marks on the sofa, her hood is down once again.
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