LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Episode Three Review
SEASON 1 EPISODE 3: SNAKEBIT
We open with Sensei Wu waking the guys up at sunrise with a gong, but it turns out a rickety old abandoned boat is not the most comfortable place to sleep. And it quickly becomes apparent that, as cool as this old boat is, it’s still falling apart.
Sensei: I think today’s lesson will be chores.
Cole: Ninja fight Sensei, they do not clean.
But Sensei is all ‘This place’d better be spotless when I get back!’ Kai comments that this is going to take forever, but Jay has the bright idea to use their powers to clean things up. It’s actually pretty clever. Cole clears out all the junk, then Kai’s and Zane’s powers together make hot water to wash the place up, and Jay gets the electrical system up and running. By the time Sensei and Nya get back from… wherever… the guys are done cleaning and back to playing videogames.
Nya: Wow, this place looks… amazing! You guys did all this!?
Cole: We ninja don’t just fight Nya, we clean.
Me: Ah, I see what you did there.
Suddenly, a large noisy car pulls up, and Jay somehow immediately knows it’s his parents. (How does he know without looking? Also, how did his parents know where to find him? They’ve only been staying in the boat one night!) Jay asks everyone not to get his parents talking, because once you start them up they’ll never stop and they’ll just keep talking and talking and talking until they’ve talked the whole day away and—Kai cuts him off ‘Now we know where you get it from.’
Jay’s parents are an adorable doting old couple with North-Midwestern accents like they’re from the Milwaukee area. They get down to the business of being embarrassing parents, talking about how Jay was born in a junkyard, acting like they haven’t heard from him in forever even though he just called them two days ago, pointing out loudly that Nya is just his type, etc.
Jay takes them on a quick tour of the boat in hopes of getting them to leave. Although it is apparent that he enjoys showing off his inventions to them, and they in turn are very excited about said inventions. Looks like Jay comes from a whole family of techno-geeks.
Cole: Why don’t you tell the about the button?
Jay: Ahahahaha… It’s not ready yet.
Ma: Oooh, what’s the button do?
Zane: He’s working on a special defense system.
Jay finally gets them to leave, and through his attempts to get his parents to just go already, it’s apparent that he’s also worrying over them, like how he asks if their headlights are working properly. It’s really cute. They ask Jay when he’s going to come out and visit them, and Jay’s all ‘Yeah, I’ll get around to it.’ We get a scene that’s both funny and a little sad as his parents drive away.
Ed: I don’t think he’s coming, Edna.
Edna: Stop it Ed, he’s coming!
Ed: Ah, he doesn’t need us anymore. I just have to –sigh– remember that… write it down for me, wouldja?
Edna: Oh dearie… lights dear, it’s getting dark.
Ed: Oh, right. Thanks sugarplum.
I love Jay’s parents, they’re so cute!
Moving on to a decidedly less cute scene, Lloyd has followed the map he stole in the last episode to a graveyard where he finds the next Serpentine prison.
Lloyd: It’s not scary… well, maybe just a little, but… uh… I like scary, yeah. That’s it. I’m the son of the dark lord. I love the dark… uh… I eat this stuff for breakfast! –stumbles into spooky tree– Aaaugh!
Lloyd hopes to release this tribe of Serpentine, the Fangpyres, and get them to fight the Hypnobrai as payback for deserting him. (Right, because using the snakes worked so well last time) So the kid opens the prison and meets the general of the Fangpyres, a two-headed snake speaking with a bad accent that I’m sure is supposed to be Transylvanian, but instead just sounds like a bad attempt at Russian. Luckily he doesn’t have a very big part outside of this episode.
It turns out the Fangpyres hate the Hypnobrai, and would be glad to fight them, but this tribe is a lot smaller, so they’re gonna need reinforcements…
Cut to Ed and Edna arriving back at the junkyard. Ed begins working on a large, minifig-shaped contraption when something just out of his vision catches his attention. He looks around, but can find nothing. He asks Edna to check and see if the security alarm is turned on… and then the lights all go off. They hear hissing.
Aaaaand then Lloyd starts talking. Dang it kid, I can’t take you seriously, you’re ruining the atmosphere!
Anyway, it turns out the Fangpyres came here because they can turn all this junk into snakes by biting it. A car becomes a snakecar, a bike becomes a snakebike, a helicopter becomes a snakehelicopter…
and people… the scene closes with a ring of Fangpyres closing in around Ed and Edna.
The next day, back with the ninja, Kai and Cole are teasing Jay about his reluctance to visit his parents.
Cole –pretending to talk on the phone– : Hi mum and dad! Of course, I’d love to visit! What kinda son would I be if I didn’t want to?
Jay: Ah-haha, I know what you’re trying to do. Ok look-look-look, I might have promised to visit my parents, but there’s a lot of stuff on my plate! –Nya comes in– Oh, uh, h-hi Nya.
Nya: You gonna visit your parents today?
Jay: Uh, sure, I… was just about to leave!
Nya: Ok. Tell them I say hi. –She leaves–
–The other three give Jay an unimpressed look.–
Jay: What? So my plate’s not that full.
Me: Oh Jay, she’s got you wrapped around her finger… or claw… clamp… point is, you’ve clearly got ‘it’ bad.
Jay tries to take his dragon to fly to the junkyard, but the dragons have reached their adolescence and need to fly east to complete their growth to adulthood. So it looks like Jay’s going to have to walk there… by himself… sure would be nice to walk there with a certain someone.
Kai: Of course we’ll go buddy!
Cole: Sure, I could use a break.
Zane: All you had to do was ask.
Me: Oh-ho, denied!
So everyone comes along to visit Jay’s parents, and along the way we learn Sensei’s special flute is the last one in existence. Gee, it sure would be inconvenient if anything happened to it.
When we arrive at the junkyard, all is quiet, which worries Jay because his parents are never quiet. He soon finds his parents locked inside a big fridge. Apparently the bite of the Fangpyres works slowly on humans, because Jay’s folks just have cute lil’ fangs and a lisp at this point.
The Fangpyres soon show up with a snakewrecking-ball, and Lloyd, who spouts a few villain zingers before ordering the wrecking-ball to attack. Nya points out that they’re going to need the Fangpyres’ staff if they want to change Ed and Edna back to normal before they completely transform.
Jay: No one messes with my family. –Epic slide under wrecking-ball!-
Sensei pulls out the flute to subdue the snakes, but Lloyd starts blaring rock music on a snakeboombox to drown him out.
Sensei: Young nephew, must I teach you whose side you should be on?
The snakes find the giant contraption Ed was working on last night and turn it into a snake. Turns out it’s a giant nunchuck-wielding mech they were building for Jay.
Ed: Do you like it?
Jay: Thanks, but no thanks!
Now they have to worry about the giant mech and the wrecking-ball. Jay manages to jump onto the swinging ball, backflip down into the cockpit, and kick out the controller! It is AWESOME! He proceeds to knock down the mech, so Lloyd calls a retreat. Unfortunately the kid takes the staff with him.
Jay wonders how they’re going to catch the kid without their dragons when the enemy has freakin’ helicopters. Sensei pulls out this episode’s Deus Ex Machina/ new toy! Since they guys are trying to ‘unlock their true potential’ this means they have to unlock their weapons’ potential. Which apparently means the weapons can transform into vehicles… yeah, let’s go with that. (Would’ve been nice to know this before we walked all the way here)
Jay gets a jet, Kai and Zane get motorbikes, and Cole gets a… monster truck, land rover, I dunno, it’s big.
Nya: Does your flute turn into anything?
Sensei: –beat– I wish.
Jay flies after the snakehelicopter and gets the staff. Unfortunately this breaks his concentration on turning his weapon into a jet and it reverts back to nunchucks. Then he’s falling and can’t concentrate on anything. Nya races in with his parents’ car and catches him at the last second.
The ninja race back to headquarters with the Serpentine close behind. Once they reach the boat, Nya takes Ed and Edna aside to cure them and Jay tries to activate the defense system… except it isn’t starting.
Jay: It’s supposed to work! I spent forever on this, I don’t get what’s wrong!
Ed: Uh, son, maybe I can help.
Jay: –gasp– Dad! You’re ok!
Ed: You’re darn-tootin! Alrighty then, let’s have a look.
So Jay’s dad fixes the button and it turns out the ‘defense system’ turns the boat into a rocket-powered airship! I don’t care that it’s logistically impossible, that is awesome! Unfortunately the kickback causes Nya to drop the staff, and the Fangpyres reclaim it.
This is a really fun episode, even if the premise is a little ridiculous, or perhaps because of it. Once again, the atmosphere is great. We get pretty intense moments in the graveyard and when the Fangpyres invade the junkyard. We also get fairly touching moments with Jay’s parents. But mostly this episode just runs on rule of cool and rule of fun. I’m personally just fine with that. This is one of my favorite episodes, mainly because Jay’s my favorite character and I freaking love Ed and Edna. They’re hilarious.
Character Corner: Ed and Edna (VA Colin Murdock and Jillian Michaels)
These two actually remind me a lot of my maternal grandparents. Like when Edna says she hasn’t heard from Jay in forever and he’s all ‘Ma, I called you two days ago.’ That’s me every time my grandma calls me. Jay’s exasperated sighs remind me of my own. And yet it’s still clear that he loves them and they’re very proud of him. I just love family stories of pretty much any kind, so that’s another reason I like them so much.
I dunno about you guys, but it seems like they’re going out of their way to say the dragons are going to their breeding grounds without actually saying the words “breeding grounds”. The dragons have reached their adolescence, they’re reaching maturity, and they need to have alone time… I’m not the only one seeing this connection, right?
Over-all Episode Quality: Well above average.
This episode is kind of ridiculous, but in a fun way, and it introduces some of my favorite characters.