"Final Exam" is the third episode of the series and the first season, although it tends to get mixed up with "Divide and Conquer" because this episode was actually the first episode to air on TV, even though "Divide and Conquer" was the first episode to be produced.
The episode focuses on the Teen Titans as the centric characters of the episode.
The super-villain training academy known as H.I.V.E. Academy presents three of its finest cadets for their first mission. The H.I.V.E. Headmistress gives a demonstration of the powers of Jinx, Gizmo and Mammoth to one of the organization's clients – the mysterious mercenary known only as Slade. Slade decides that for their final exam, they need to fulfill one simple task – destroy the Teen Titans.
At Titans Tower, the teenage superheroes engage in their everyday lives. Cyborg and Beast Boy argue about the location of the remote control. Robin and Starfire have a discussion about lightspeed travel while the curmudgeon Raven grimaces perpetually. After finding their refrigerator was full of with blue, furry food, the Titans decide to go into town for pizza. While at the pizza parlor, they are set upon by the three students of the H.I.V.E Academy. The battle is fairly one-sided, Cyborg is knocked out early as he has a rocket attached to his back and is sent flying, Starfire rushes after him, taking them both out. Robin, Raven and Beast Boy put up a spirited yet futile fight as they are well defeated by the H.I.V.E. Robin is knocked into a sewer and presumed missing, Beast Boy and Raven manage to escape back to the tower. Cyborg and Starfire return, but are dismayed, Starfire especially, to hear of the defeat and Robin's disappearance.
Having soundly defeated the Titans, the H.I.V.E. invades the tower and decides to take control of their headquarters, Titans Tower. They arrive just as the Titans return home and the fight is quick and decisive. Jinx hurls a wave of magic that sends the remaining Titans flying away from the tower. Claiming it as their new home, they immediately begin renovating the Tower, transforming it into a giant letter "H". Gizmo has Cyborg's right arm mounted on the wall as a victory trophy. Jinx moves into Raven's room and tries on Raven's cloak, while Mammoth gorges himself on the strange blue food that he finds in the refrigerator.
Back on the mainland, Robin appears and rejoins the group. He comes up with a plan to take back the Tower. Cyborg is still remotely linked to his missing limb, and activates an electronic eye in one of its fingers. The arm removes itself from the wall and plugs itself in to the Titans computer mainframe whereupon it deactivates the Tower’s security systems.
The Teen Titans return, determined to taking back their home. They engage in a fight with the young supervillains and manage to succeed in defeating them. Robin grabs Gizmo by the neck and interrogates him, forcing him to reveal the person responsible for setting up these attacks on the Titans. Gizmo sneers and drops the name "Slade". Robin has no idea who Slade is, but is anxious to find out.
Later, back at his hidden subterranean lair, Slade watches footage of the H.I.V.E.'s battle with the Titans. He is pleased to know that the Titans received his "message".
As the Titans send the H.I.V.E. members packing, they set about repairing the damage to the Tower. Cyborg still cannot find the TV remote, but soon realizes that it has actually been placed in its proper location. Raven is irritated that somebody was in her room, citing that "No one should ever go into my room". Beast Boy suffers the most traumatic revelation as he discovers that all of his compact disks have been categorized alphabetically. Robin, however, is still concerned over the identity of Slade.
- Written by:
- Rob Hogee
- Directed by:
- Michael Chang
- Also featuring:
- The title refers to Jinx, Gizmo, and Mammoth's final task being to destroy the titans.
- "Final Exam" was the first episode to air on television, and is frequently thought of as being the first Teen Titans episode. However, "Divide and Conquer" was the first episode to be produced, and therefore, is the first episode in the series.
- The H.I.V.E are unusually skilled in this episode in that they manage to defeat the Titans twice, subsequently even with new aid the H.I.V.E are usually soundly defeated (however it could also be that the Titans improved by a huge margin and doubled their efforts to get stronger, or at least figured out better strategies to defeat the H.I.V.E.).
- This episode features the first appearance of H.I.V.E. Five members: Jinx, Mammoth and Gizmo.
- This episode also features the first and only speaking appearance of the H.I.V.E. Headmistress, who appears briefly in some subsequent episodes.
- During the scene where the Titans retake their home (the Titans Tower) from the three H.I.V.E. Five members (Gizmo, Jinx, and Mammoth), the shot of Starfire firing starbolts at Jinx and other fighting footage is/are the same footage(s) used during the Teen Titans Theme Song. The scenes of the Teen Titans fighting in this episode (also used in the Teen Titans Theme Song) also occurred in certain scenes of "Divide and Conquer".
- This was the first episode to air in 2003.
- When Starfire and Cyborg return, Cyborg says that he was halfway to Gotham City before Star caught him. Gotham is the homeplace of Batman and where Robin used to operate alongside Batman.
- When Starfire and Cyborg return and find Robin missing, the scene closely resembles a scene in Lord of the Rings where Aragorn is missing.
- The way Cyborg's right arm walks is very similar to Thing from the Addams Family.
- In the scene before Robin comes back, where the others were about to give up, Cyborg's right missing limb is still connected to his arm, despite it being in the Tower where Gizmo hung it up on the wall on the next scene.
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