LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Episode 8 Review
Hey, I’m back from playing with explosives with my family!
SEASON 1 EPISODE 8: ONCE BITTEN, TWICE SHY
We open with Nya speaking on the fascinating subject of Fangpyre paleontology, which I obviously find more interesting than our heroes. She’s been analyzing the venom in the fossilized fangs (The venom hasn’t broken down? It must be really young and well-preserved, we’re talking like less than 10000 years!) and has found that the snake mutation process can be reversed if you dramatically raise your heart-rate. (Which is weird, because that’s the exact opposite of what you’re supposed to do if you’re bitten by a venomous snake in real life)
The guys all watch with a glazed-over expression, but Jay out of infatuation rather than boredom.
Nya has to stop mid-lecture when she starts going into a minor allergic reaction. She asks if anyone’s wearing perfume. (Hey, I’m allergic to perfume too!)
Jay: Eh-heh! –Whispers to Kai– You told me it was men’s cologne!
Kai: Oh. I get them mixed up.
Me: Kai, you jerk!
Kai’s prank ends ‘class’ early, and the guys leave, but Jay hangs back to apologize to Nya. He explains that he was trying to impress her, because before Sensei left he said the heart was the key to unlocking one’s true potential.
Nya: Impress me!? But I look so…
So Jay asks Nya on a date, and she agrees. After she leaves he starts doing a victory dance and accidentally pricks his finger on the fossil’s fangs. Eh, I’m sure nothing will come of it.
The next scene picks up where the last episode left off: Sensei Wu meeting Lord Garmadon in the underworld. Hang on… didn’t Lord Garmadon escape the underworld at the end of the pilot? What, is this like some sort of limbo between the underworld and the overworld? Judging by their dialog this might actually be some sort of ‘dark world’.
Lord Garmadon came here to use the dark magic of this realm to make him stronger. Strong enough to wield all four golden weapons at once! It also mutated him; giving him four arms.
The dark lord proclaims there is nothing his brother or the ninja can do to stop him, and charges Sensei. The two have a short fight, but considering it’s four weapons on one, it’s really no surprise that Sensei gets beaten down into the mud pretty quickly. Three mud monsters appear and start trying to drown Sensei while Lord Garmadon just watches.
Sensei: I didn’t come to stop you! I came to warn you, to tell you –gets submerged in mud, struggles back out– Your son’s in danger!
–Runs in and pulls Sensei out–
Garmadon: … What has Lloyd gotten himself into?
Sensei: He has opened a can of worms I fear I will never be able to close.
Garmadon: You mean we will never be able to close.
Ah man, I gotta give major props to Mark Oliver, Lord Garmadon’s voice actor again. When he changes from ranting, power-mad villain to worried father, it almost sounds like he’s a different character. You can feel the concern in his delivery. Man it is so good. The feeeeeeels!
Garmadon helps his brother up and says they need to get home. Sensei explains he got there using travelers’ tea, and there’s none left. The dark lord knows another way out, but it’s a long and dangerous journey through the mountains of madness. Well, that’s no surprise. There’s always a long and dangerous journey.
Meanwhile, with the serpentine, Pythor has followed his map to the location of the first silver fang-blade: Mega Monster Amusement Park! Skales says they should wait until dark to check the place out. They don’t want to attract the ninja or the samurai, after all. Pythor is all ‘It’s a monster-themed amusement park. Just act like you’re supposed to be there, and nobody’ll notice.’ Surprisingly, this works, although Pythor does have to pose for a family photo.
Back on the airship, Jay is getting ready for his date when he notices the hand he pricked earlier has become scaly. After a quick freak-out, he figures he can just hide it with gloves, and a nice scarf to complete the look.
The lover-boy is about to step out, but Kai has bad news. The bridge has picked up the Serpentine at the amusement park, and, Kai points out, stopping the snakes from unleashing the Great Devourer is kind of more important than a date.
Checking in with Nya, she’s been out as the samurai, and has just flown back into her room through the window when Jay knocks on the door. She stows her samurai equipment quickly as Jay explains from the other side of the door that he wants to have their date at the amusement park instead. She’s just gotten an update about the Serpentine’s actions there as well, and agrees.
Oh boy, it’s going to be a ‘two super heroes who don’t know each other’s secret identities on a date’ type scenario. Those are always fun.
Back in the dark world, Garmadon asks exactly what kind of trouble Lloyd’ gotten into. Sensei explains about the Serpentine and the Great Devourer. Lord Garmadon remembers the snake that turned him evil.
Garmadon: Why would Lloyd open the tombs!?
Sensei: To be like you.
Garmadon: I… never wanted him to.
Me: Lord Garmadon, you are the villain. Quit hitting me in the feels!
It’s a short but heartwarming scene.
Meanwhile at the amusement park, Jay and Nya have sat down to eat, but wouldn’t you know it, Nya’s samurai alert thing on her bracelet keeps going off. Jay asks if she’s ok, and she’s all ‘Fine, there’s just a lot of food.’ Looking for a new subject to talk about, Jay decides to go off on a rant about the samurai. Ooooh… bad call. Nya surprisingly goes along with him. Maybe to keep her secret identity intact, or maybe because she’s so used to putting up with Kai.
Jay starts to stammer, only it’s not his nerves. The Fangpyre venom has mutated him further. He’s got the cute lil’ fangs and a snakes tongue, making him draw out his ‘S’s. He makes the bathroom excuse and runs to the loo. From the safety of a stall, he checks under his gloves to see the scales have spread to both hands. Back in the restaurant, Nya looks around for him, checking her bracelet impatiently.
In another part of the amusement park, the Venomari have set up in the haunted-house ride, turning a corny ‘horror’ ride into a real nightmare. This covers up Skales and Pythor digging for the fang-blade. The other three ninja show up just in time to see the people fleeing from the haunted house in terror.
Kai: Should we get Jay?
Cole: Let’s not bother the two love-birds. We can handle this.
Nya, meanwhile, has had enough waiting and leaves to change into her samurai uniform. Back in the bathroom Jay is psyching himself up to just go out and tell Nya the truth, but she’s already left when he returns to their table. What’s worse, the other restaurant-goers notice his unsightly mutation and mob him.
Within the haunted house the snakes have finally uncovered the fang-blade.
Kai: Not so fast!
Cole: … Really, that’s the best you got?
Me: Thank you Cole. You make my job easier.
The two of them start arguing about entrances, giving the snakes time to get into formation. The two parties begin fighting. Zane tries to use his true potential ice powers like he did in the last episode, but he doesn’t really have control of it yet and ends up freezing himself, Kai, and Cole instead. Oops.
The snakes begin to make their getaway, but run into the samurai outside. She uses her magnetizer to grab the fang-blade. (Silver isn’t magnetic, but whatever) Unfortunately, the mech’s thrusters malfunction, (how convenient) and she has to lead the Serpentine on a chase through the amusement park. Finally a whole horde of Constricti ambush her from under the ground and over-power the mech.
Pythor: Finally, the mystery man is revealed! –Takes off helmet– Or should I have said mystery girl? Who’s going to save you now, hmm?
We cut to Jay, who is still being curb-stomped by a restaurant full of people. He finally manages to crawl his way over to the restroom, where he disguises himself by wrapping his scarf around his head like a turban. Once outside, he spots the Serpentine and pulls out his nunchucks, but the snakes just laugh at him when they see his tail. Pythor has chained Nya inside a rollercoaster with broken tracks, so Jay is going to have to let the Serpentine get away with the fang-blade if he wants to save her. (Clever. Very clever snake)
Of course, Jay goes for Nya. They ask each other where the other went, but that conversation gets cut short when she spots his tail.
Nya: Were you bit? Take off your head-scarf!
Jay: Ah, I’d prefer not to. I’ve been meaning to tell you, but I didn’t want it to ruin the date!
Nya: Awww, that’s so sweet!
They have a few seconds to try and untie the chains before the car goes over the first hill and they have to just hold on for dear life. Jay says, as much as he hates to admit it, they need the samurai’s help, and he begins to call for the mystery warrior. Nya is all ‘Oh, yeah, I haven’t been completely honest with you either, I’m the samurai.’ This takes a few seconds for Jay to process. All he can come up with to say is ‘You’re the samurai!?’
They’re coming up on the broken part of the track, and things aren’t looking good.
Nya: Jay, if anything horrible were to happen, I just want you to know you don’t have to wear cologne or pretend to be anything that you’re not, because… I like you best when you’re you. –Kisses him-
Well, as anyone who’s ever been kissed by their crush can tell you, it gets your heart racing. Remember back to the beginning of the episode when Nya said that an accelerated heart-rate could reverse the venom’s effects? Turns out she was right! With this new-found confidence in himself and the desire to protect the one he loves, Jay not only returns to normal, but unlocks his true potential. He basically becomes a being of electricity, and pushes the car to a halt just before the broken segment of track.
Later they get down and meet up with the other three, who have apparently thawed out. It’s time to tell everyone Nya’s secret.
Kai: Technically, I was the first to discover her secret. And didn’t we agree whoever we thought was the best would naturally be the green ninja?
The others are all ‘No, we never said that.’ Even though they totally did.
Jay: You know what I learned today?
Nay: What’s that?
Jay: No matter what kind of secret you have, whether you’re a snake or a samurai, it’s important to be yourself.
Cole: Yeah. That’s cute.
Me: Cole, I freakin’ love you, always stay awesome.
We close out the episode back in the dark world, where Sensei Wu and Lord Garmadon have reached the mountain of madness.
Lord Garmadon: The worst is yet to come.
Oh boy, foreboding!
I really enjoy this episode, even if it’s a pretty clichéd ‘be yourself’ plot. I think it’s mostly because Jay and Nya are two of my favorite characters, so it’s nice to see an episode centered around them. The scenes with Sensei and Lord Garmadon are also excellent. The voice acting, atmosphere, and character development in those scenes are great!
Character Corner: Nya and Jay
I can’t believe I’m saying this, because usually I don’t give a crap about romance in fiction, but I actually really like these two as a couple. Maybe because it’s not as drawn out as romances in almost every other tv show and movie I’ve ever seen. Maybe it’s because the romance is mostly just little hints and short background bits before and after this episode. It doesn’t take away focus from the main plot. Even in this episode, where the romance is the focus of the episode, it’s only the focus of the episode because it’s what led to Jay unlocking his true potential, which is important to the main plot. And they are rather cute together. Throughout the episode Jay is making up little white lies and going out of his way to impress Nya, which gives a bit more relevance to the ‘be yourself’ Aesop, so it’s not unwarranted, even though it is really cheesy.
This episode gives some interesting insight into Lord Garmadon. He’s the same power-hungry villain from the pilot… until Lloyd is mentioned. It’s apparent that, as evil as the guy is, his son is probably the one good thing he cares about. If you’ll remember back to episode four’s Head-canon Corner, I theorized that Lord Garmadon checked up on Lloyd while banished to the underworld using his shadow-form from the pilot. In this episode, Garmadon thanks Sensei for watching out for Lloyd, and my first thought was “Oh yeah, he’s been doing a great job looking after the kid. /sarcasm/”. But then I thought back to the first episode, where I theorized that Cole, and probably Sensei, had dealt with Lloyd running away from his boarding school before. So Wu probably was keeping an eye on the kid, but couldn’t actually take care of the boy because he had to stay at the boarding school, which was raising him to be a villain. This is interesting, because here, Garmadon says he never wanted Lloyd to be a villain like him. So why was the kid going to the villain school in the first place? I’ll go more into this in a later episode.
Over-all Episode Quality: Well above average
This one was hard to grade. Parts of the episode are great, other parts are just average, so it evens out above average. The episode is cheesy, but fun, and it has some great character moments, especially between Sensei and Garmadon in the dark world.