"Only Human" is the seventeenth episode of the Teen Titans series and the fourth episode of Season 2.
The episode starts with all the Teen Titans training in the gym. Starfire and Robin do combat exercises, Raven meditates and focuses her energy, Beast Boy professes his changing ability in a run pad and Cyborg tries weightlifting. He has a gadget which shows him how much of his power he used already. As the load increases, with the other Titans cheering him on, he tries to give more than 100%, but he fails.
Cyborg walks out of the gym in anger, with Robin giving chase. Cyborg explains that in the past he was an athlete and he always tried to exceed his limits, and he always succeeded, reaching 110% of his body's strength, but now he feels he can't do this anymore since he is half-robot and has limits that are built-in to his robot body.
Later, Cyborg was seen in the Ops room playing an online game, while the others (even Raven) try to cheer him up, but he just wants to be alone. He ends up beating the best player, Atlas. Atlas then demands a rematch. Cyborg doesn't know what this means and accepts the challenge. Atlas, a giant robot, appears in front of Titans Tower, and, intent on picking a real fight with Cyborg, grabs him and throws him out the window, and the two prepare to fight.
Cyborg appears to be outmatched, taking severe damage from Atlas' attacks while hardly fazing him with his own attacks. After a short while, Atlas throws Cyborg high in the sky over Titans Tower, and declares himself the winner of the fight. However, the other Titans notice this and rush out to help Cyborg, but Atlas defeats and captures all of them. Cyborg returns and demands he let them go, but Atlas says he will only do so if Cyborg meets him at the Abandoned Stadium in Jump City for a real, fair, one-on-one fight.
After Atlas leaves with the other Titans, Cyborg trains as hard as he can before he goes and meets up with Atlas in the Stadium. Meanwhile, Atlas has the other Titans held captive at the Abandoned Stadium, and his devoted mechanic Spike is preparing him for the fight. Spike attempts to give him battle tips, but Atlas hears this as an order and dismisses him, hinting at his poor treatment of his mechanic. Subsequently, Cyborg arrives, and after some verbal insulting, the two start fighting immediately. Like before, Atlas seems to have Cyborg outmatched, violently punching and throwing him across the stadium and smashing him through walls, with Cyborg's own attacks barely doing any damage. Atlas eventually overpowers Cyborg and gets him in a desperate position, just as his power meter reaches 100%. Despite his hard training, Cyborg loses after a powerful right hook from Atlas. Cyborg concedes defeat and requests Atlas to release the other Titans, but despite having promised to do so, he reneges his word. Cyborg then runs away, leaving his friends behind.
Atlas starts playing the online game from the beginning of the episode, and the Titans attempt to escape, but Spike informs them that there is no way out. Robin then questions why Spike is on Atlas' side and not the Titans' despite how poorly Atlas treats him, and this makes Spike start rethinking his decisions. Meanwhile, on his way from the stadium, Cyborg is dejected and convinced that he cannot stand up to Atlas' robot power since his own robot power at 100% is inferior. He then has an epiphany that his robot half is not what he needs to defeat Atlas; his human half is. Cyborg realizes this great truth and returns to the Stadium. The scene switches back to the stadium, and Atlas' poor treatment of Spike is further exemplified when he makes impolite demands and spits oil in his face. He then demands warm oil, and Spike, thinking about what Robin said earlier, tells him to get it himself, only to provoke Atlas to grab him and throw him against the wall. Just then, Cyborg appears and picks a rematch with Atlas.
Now relying less on his robot half and more on his human half, Cyborg seems to have the upper hand this time, initially overpowering Atlas. After Atlas uppercuts Cyborg through the ceiling and into the Abandoned Stadium, the real fight begins. Robin again asks Spike why he serves Atlas despite how poorly he treats him, and Spike reveals it is because Atlas is stronger than him. Robin rebuts this by saying that Atlas is only strong because of him; without Spike, he's nothing, and that's the reason he treats him so poorly.
The fight resumes, and Cyborg still has the upper hand, managing to knock Atlas down. However, Atlas shocks Cyborg with underground wires, and proceeds to demand Spike to upgrade his arsenal. Spike, agreeing with the point Robin made earlier, refuses to help Atlas. Atlas then tries to upgrade his armor himself, only to realize he doesn't know how to. Spike then releases the Titans and Atlas tries to run away, but the Titans stop him and he is forced to finish the fight he picked with the now recovered Cyborg. Cyborg then overpowers Atlas, brutally punching him around the stadium while being cheered on by his friends, including Spike, now on the Titans' side. Cyborg manages to knock Atlas down, but Atlas recovers and overpowers him once again. Cyborg, like before, is in a desperate position and reaches 100% of his power, and Atlas states that he can't win. However, Cyborg, with the combined support of his human half and his friends' encouragement, yells that he can win, and his power meter breaks and his strength reaches 110% plus (up to 130%), which allows him to finally defeat Atlas by throwing him into the ground.
Atlas concedes defeat and accepts that Cyborg is a better robot than he is, but Cyborg rebuts this by saying that he is actually a better person. After the Titans leave, Atlas commands Spike to refit him, but Spike, no longer on his side, tells him to do it himself and discards his utility belt, leaving Atlas all by himself. Upon leaving the stadium, Robin points out Cyborg's now broken power meter, but Cyborg says he doesn't need it anymore since his human mind has no limits, unlike his robotic half.
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- Directed by:
- The name of the person from East Gotham City that Atlas defeated in the video game was named after Derrick J. Wyatt, the character designer of Control Freak and I.N.S.T.I.G.A.T.O.R..
- This episode bears some resemblance to the 1976 movie Rocky, as Cyborg must beat Atlas, who could be a homage to Apollo Creed, who coincidentally, was also named after a greek deity.
- It may also be a reference to the 1982 movie Rocky III, as Cyborg lost his first match against Atlas, similar to how Rocky lost to James Lang, but after gaining a new confidence, they are able to defeat their respective rivals.
- Atlas is a minor Superman villain. He appeared in the All Star Superman film, in which Superman overpowered him with a very similar effect to the move used against Cyborg.
- After Atlas threw Cyborg out of Titans Tower and into the water, the top of Cyborg's head is gray instead of his skin color.
- When Atlas punches Cyborg in the face for the third time in the coliseum, his eyebrow turned into the same color as his skin.
- When Atlas fires into Cyborg's arm cannon, it is badly damaged, but then when it is seen a second later, it is not damaged in the slightest.
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