"Deception" is the twenty-seventh episode of the Teen Titans series and the first episode of Season 3.
The criminal activities of the H.I.V.E. Academy students in town have increased in frequency of late; one night the Teen Titans catch Jinx, Gizmo and Mammoth trying to rob the Bank of Perez. The villainous trio escapes, but with a special gift from Robin: a bug which allows the Titans to track down the H.I.V.E. Academy. In order to find the reason behind the rising wave of robberies, Robin suggests an undercover mission. Cyborg has already anticipated the idea and constructed a pair of hologram rings which bestows him with two disguises: a superpowered youth named "Stone" who can turn his body into solid rock, and the appearance of his old self from the time before his cybernetics were installed. In order to cover up his absence, he leaves a fully robotic double of himself behind.
Cyborg manages to wheedle his way into the H.I.V.E. and soon catches the interest of not only a familiar trio of delinquents, but also of the Academy's new headmaster, Brother Blood, who keeps a special eye on him (much to Gizmo's chagrin). In time, Cyborg wins the trust of his fellow students and earns the H.I.V.E. Communicator, but in turn gets so used to being in school that Robin has to remind him what his real mission is, so one night Cyborg sneaks into the headmaster's office and hacks into his personal computer. He quickly finds the "class project" for which Blood had sent out his students stealing to provide its funding: a new device called Ion Amplifier. But right after Cyborg has hit the file, Blood reveals himself and announces that he had known Stone was Cyborg, but also expresses that he is fascinated with him and makes him an offer: In return for his services, Blood promises to make him fully human again. Apparently overcome by Blood's mental powers and his desire to become human again, Cyborg agrees to serve him.
Alarmed by the sudden cut-off of their communication, the remaining Titans (along with the Cyborg robot) sneak into the Academy, but soon fall into a trap. While Blood looks on, Jinx, Gizmo and Mammoth attack them - along with Cyborg/Stone. One by one, the Titans are dragged down and imprisoned in a force field. Cyborg, in the meantime, fights his robot double and viciously smashes it into pieces, but in the process one of his rings is broken and his disguise blown. Blood gives him the Amplifier so he can destroy the Titans, but in a surprise move Cyborg directs his fire at Blood. Blood manages to deflect the blast, which hits the ceiling instead, and with its power vastly increased by the Amplifier, it brings down the entire school. Brother Blood, the H.I.V.E. students and the Titans all manage to get away.
Once the Titans have returned to the Tower, the Titans wonder how Cyborg could have resisted Blood's mind control; Cyborg states that it was the fact that his brain is half robotic and therefore impervious to psychic powers. Later, in a private moment, Cyborg confesses to Starfire that while being at the H.I.V.E., he had, for the first time, felt like a normal human kid since he had received his cybernetic implants. Starfire offers him kind encouragement that, since she has known him as he is now, he is already normal for her. Soon after the other Titans (Robin, Raven and Beast Boy) appear and humorously decide that, since Cyborg had technically left the Titans to become a H.I.V.E. student (albeit temporarily), he has to be reinitiated.
- H.I.V.E. Academy
- Cyborg's hologram human form is, as he states, "the original version", namely his human appearance form before his accident: Victor Stone. When Cyborg removes his rings and says "Goodbye, Stone", it may very well also be the moment where he puts his former life as a "normal" human being behind him for good.
- The title is meant to relate to Cyborg going undercover in the Hive Academy and deceiving Brother Blood and the students.
- Raven willingly chose to have fun in this episode, making Cyborg face initiation all over again.
- Originally, Starfire and Cyborg were meant to go undercover together until the writers decided that the story worked better if Cyborg went alone.
- In this episode, we see Cyborg as a real human being as what he looked like before his accident.
- During the H.I.V.E. "initiation" (which is more like hazing) ritual in which Jinx, Gizmo, and Mammoth make Cyborg carry Jinx's books for her all day while wearing a pink dress, Mammoth also mentions that Cyborg must eat the unicycle which Mammoth shows him (see quote above). It could be theorized that Cyborg did indeed eat the unicycle, as he is shown in the later episode "Crash" to be able to eat and digest just about anything.
- Brother Blood looks a little like Warp when the Titans fall through the trapdoor and lights turn on.
- In Robin's fight with Cyborg, he wields what appears to resemble eskrima sticks. This is most likely a reference to Nightwing's signature weapon.
- Part of Cyborg's cover story, while at the H.I.V.E. Academy, is that a mad scientist created him, which he awkwardly announces to the entire cafeteria. This is in reference to Cyborg's comic book origin, where his father, ex-STAR Labs scientist Silas Stone, outfitted his body with cybernetics to heal him after an accident.
- This episode is Brother Blood's first appearance in the series. Many other characters that appear later on (Angel, Billy Numerous, See-More, I.N.S.T.I.G.A.T.O.R., Kyd Wykkyd, XL Terrestrial, Wrestling Star, Bumblebee) also make brief cameo appearances, though none have dialogue.
- Cyborg states that it's because half of his brain being electronic that he was able to resist Blood brainwashing him. However, in "Titans East - Part 2", he declares his human spirit to be what allows him to resist the madman's mind control.
- This was not the case in "Mother Mae-Eye" where he is under the control of the titular character.
- The milk carton on "Stone's" lunch tray features a MISSING section with a photograph of the Headmistress from "Final Exam".
- Before Cyborg gets pulled up by horseshoe magnet, his left ear turned human.
- At the end of the episode where the Titans wanted to dress up Cyborg, Raven's hood was up even though it was down.
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