LEGO: Ninjago Masters of Spinjitzu Episode 15 Review
SEASON 2 EPISODE 15: PIRATES VS NINJA
Will this episode be as epic as the title implies? Let’s find out!
We open with a flashback to two hundred years ago, on board the ship that the ninja will someday convert into their airship. The pirate captain is writing in his captain’s log. His name is Soto, and he’s looking for the fabled Island of Darkness. After finishing up his entry, he hides the book in a secret compartment in his desk.
On deck, the crew is singing and dancing. Badly. (Seriously, are Cole and his dad the only two characters with actual musical talent in this show?) It’s storming, and the captain asks who the heck is at the helm. A very clearly drunk crewmember assures him that ‘No-eye Pete’ is on the job.
Unsurprisingly, the blind man has steered the ship back into Ninjago… quite literally. The ship collides with the rocky shore and sinks. (Ok, how the heck did it get out into the desert where Zane found it? That is a lot of climate change for 200 years!)
We cut to present day, where Lloyd is training with Kai while the others watch. A kick from the kid knocks Kai back into the wall where some pots and pans are hanging.
Kai: Whoa grasshopper, you’re not even ready to face my pinky-toe.
Sensei Wu: I see the student has become the teacher.
Me: Nice call back, I like that.
Lloyd asks when he’s gonna learn Spinjitzu, and Sensei is all ‘You’ll be ready when you’re ready.’ The kid groans and leaves to help Nya with the dragon(s?).
Cole: Heh, sound familiar?
Kai: I wasn’t that whiney.
Zane: No. You were worse.
Me: Oh you guys. 🙂
Jay makes the same point he did last episode, that this tiny one-room apartment isn’t really the best place to train Lloyd. Sensei agrees, and says they’ll hit the town and look around for a better training facility.
Back with Lloyd, he’s come out to the roof where Nya has just given the dragon(s?) its (their?) medicine. Since the individual dragons were loyal to the individual elemental ninja, then all four combined are loyal to the person who has all four elements: the green ninja. The dragon(s?) is (are?) already feeling better, and take(s?) flight over the city.
Later that day, our heroes hit the streets to find a place to train Lloyd.
Jay: Aw, but Sensei, Ninjago City is huge! I’ll take all day to find it on foot!
Zane: And without our golden weapons, we have no Spinjitzu vehicles. How are we going to get around town?
Sensei: You’ll learn to travel with these. –Pulls out coin–
Cole: What are those?
Sensei: They can transport you anywhere you want to go in the city.
Cole: Like a magic portal?
Jay: Ooh! Or a Spinjitzu vortex?
Cole: …Hey, wait a minute… these are bus tokens!
Me: Ha! Sensei, you troll!
Next we check in with Lord Garmadon and the Serpentine on the newly-remodeled-in-evil-airship. The snakes want to know how the new golden mega-weapon works.
Lord Garmadon: The weapon possess unspeakable powers.
Fangpyre: Like what?
Lord Garmadon: I told you fool, they’re unspeakable!
Constricti: It kind of looks like you don’t know how to use it.
Lord Garmadon: Of course I know how to use it! I just… don’t have anything to use it on!
Right on cue, the snakes spot the dragon(s?) flying by, and Lord Garmadon takes the opportunity to test-drive his shiny new toy. He keeps on commanding the weapon to destroy the dragon(s?), but nothing happens. He blames his failure on the Serpentine’s inability to fly the ship straight. The dark lord storms into his quarters as the snakes giggle.
Inside, Lord Garmadon throws a fit, knocking furniture around, until he accidentally opens a compartment in the desk, revealing Captain Soto’s log from the beginning of the episode. He reads the log and wishes the pirates were here to show the moronic Serpentine how to sail the ship right.
In response to his wish, the weapon starts glowing with a dark energy. Lord Garmadon freaks out because he can feel the weapon draining his power and he can’t let go of the thing. He finally collapses to the ground panting as the phenomenon stops. Outside he hears an unfamiliar voice shout for all hands on deck.
Back with the ninja, they’ve arrived at a place called “Grand Sensei Dareth’s Mojo Dojo”. Yep. That sounds promising. Inside, they find the “Grand Sensei” in question.
Dareth: Welcome to Grand Sensei Dareth’s Mojo Dojo. I am grand sensei Dareth, and I ‘dareth’ you to join my dojo! Hiyaaah! –Strikes pose-
-Confused and/or unimpressed looks from everyone else-
Me: Uhg… what a poser.
And so we meet my least favorite character in the series. I dislike him more than the two stupid comic-relief skeletons. He is just such an annoying poser, he never learns his lesson, and he always gets into trouble that our heroes have to spring him out of.
Kai: Look, Dareth, we’re wondering if we could share your dojo. You see, we’ve been put in charge of training this little guy to become the greatest ninja in all of Ninjago.
Dareth: Not possible, for I am the greatest in the land. How many trophies do you have?
Jay: Look pal, we’re the guys who just saved the city from that giant snake.
(Fun fact: They accidentally gave Cole’s voice to Jay.)
Dareth: Tch! Am a looking at Lord Garmadon? Because unless I’m stupid, and I’m not, Lord Garmadon destroyed the devourer.
Jay: Eh-heh, that’s been a huge misunderstanding, actually. (And now he has the right voice again)
Me: Do you see why I can’t stand this guy?
So Dareth says he’ll only share the dojo if one of them can defeat him. Kai gives him a look that just screams “I was hoping I’d get the chance to beat you to a pulp” and has the guy screaming in two seconds. So they can now train in the dojo! Oh boy. /sarcasm/
Back on the ship, the pirates are about to have a confrontation with the Serpentine. Lord Garmadon is watching the two factions, trying to get a hold on exactly how this happened.
Lord Garmadon: When I wished it to destroy the dragon, it wouldn’t… but when I wished for a better crew… The mega-weapon doesn’t have the power to destroy, it only has the power to create!
Which makes sense. When the ninja combine their powers they get the Tornado of Creation, so it follows that combining the elemental weapons would result in a weapon of creation.
So Lord Garmadon tries to order around the pirates, but Captain Soto is all ‘What makes you think you can boss my crew around?’ The dark lord says ‘I created you, that’s what.’ Soto doesn’t buy it, and challenges him to a duel. Unfortunately, Lord Garmadon is still weak from summoning the pirates, too weak to fight. One pirate tries to grab the mega-weapon from him, but when the two of them start struggling over it, the pirate fades out of existence.
The pirates may not be able to steal the weapon, but they’re more than a match for the Serpentine and the weakened Lord Garmadon. They lock the dark lord and his mooks in the brig. On the bridge, Captain Soto is confused by the fancy new technology installed on his ship. He presses the button that starts the airship flying, and is very excited by the possibilities this opens up.
Meanwhile, the ninja have started using the dojo. Jay trains the kid in balance and agility, while Cole trains him in channeling all his strength into his hits. Everyone is surprised when Lloyd manages to strike a stack of ten boards in half…
Kai: That was the power of the Scythe of Quakes! And you did it without the golden weapon!
Zane: That must be why you have the potential to become the greatest ninja! You can harness all of the elemental powers!
Lloyd: Really? …Cool!
Me: You are adorable.
Dareth comes in, claiming he can split fifty boards, and if he can, he wants to join them as the brown ninja. The others are all ‘Haha, NO.’ Unsurprisingly, the idiot just winds up breaking his hand. Our heroes laugh, and I would call them out on it, except the moron totally deserved it.
Outside, in the city, Captain Soto has arrived in the airship, fires on office buildings, steals the mail, and attacks a bus. Our heroes come outside to investigate, and are shocked to find pirates. Apparently they haven’t been around for centuries. The ninja have to follow the airship on a bus.
Kai: Uh… I don’t like the kid coming along. It’s too dangerous.
Lloyd: Please-please-please! I’ll be super-good!
Zane: –Places a hand on Lloyd’s shoulder and kneels down to his level– The powers inside you are still too great; too uncontrollable.
Cole: One of these days you’ll be able to join us. Sorry kid.
Lloyd: –Frustrated groan–
The airship is causing havoc, and we pan to Dareth standing on the roof of his dojo. He jumps onto the deck and demands the pirates surrender. Captain Soto orders he crew to get rid of the pajama man. The moron is soon tied up and calling for help like freakin’ Pauline in the original Donkey Kong arcade game.
The ninja hear him, so now they’re going to have to reach the airship and rescue Dareth.
Kai: Dangit Dareth!
Me: My sentiments exactly.
Jay has the bright idea to dress themselves as pirates and sneak on. Once aboard they find the crew is about to make the moron walk the plank.
Jay comments that they have to save the guy, even if he is a poser, but that’ll be hard to do without blowing their cover. As Dareth is pushed toward the end of the plank, he breaks down and confesses that he’s a fake! He painted his belt brown, and his trophies are all from the dollar store! The guys just roll their eyes and shake their heads as if to say ‘Yeah, this was already obvious.’
Soto gives Dareth one last push, and he falls off the plank. Oh. Too bad. The guy falls for a few seconds before Lloyd swoops in on the dragon(s?) and saves him. Way to go Lloyd. Nice going. /Sarcasm/
With the civilian safe, the ninja are free to reveal themselves, and they surround Captain Soto.
Captain Soto: More pajama men?
The battle begins, and we see that the guys are back to using regular weapons like back in the beginning of the pilot. It’s a pretty good fight-scene. Zane even uses this whip-like thing with a weight on the end, it’s really cool. There’s also a funny part where Cole is fighting ‘no-eye Pete’ and he keeps on missing with his scythe because the baddie is just stumbling about unpredictably while the parrot shouts “Left! No, your other left!” So, Cole just grabs the bird, leaving the guy to stumble without direction directly into his fist.
Suddenly, Lloyd hops off his dragon(s?) and grabs a sail line, swinging into the fray where he knocks down Captain Soto… and Zane. Soto ain’t too happy about getting knocked over by a nine-ish-year-old, and is about to strike the kid down when Kai rushes in and catches the pirate’s blade with his own katana.
Kai: Lloyd!? You’re not supposed to be here! –Sticks the kid head-first in a barrel-
Me: Oh yeah, he’ll be much safer there! @_@
To nobody’s amazement, Lloyd tips the barrel over, and while he’s rolling around he knocks Kai and a couple of pirates over the side. The red ninja manages to grab the anchor, but it’s dragging along the ground now, causing havoc in the streets.
Lloyd, meanwhile, has righted himself, and is actually holding his own against Captain Soto by dodging all his attacks and using the barrel as a sort of shield. Next he actually manages to do Spinjitzu for a moment, but he fails to land a single hit on the captain, and while he’s celebrating the achievement, the pirate knocks the kid down the stairs to the main deck. Luckily for Kai, Lloyd lands on the lever that brings the anchor back up.
Now all five ninja are on the main deck and have Captain Soto surrounded. Conveniently, it’s just now that Lord Garmadon has snuck out of the brig, and was in the process of sneaking onto the deck when he spots Lloyd. The dark lord is distressed to see his son growing stronger.
Soto is still putting up a fight, so Lloyd thinks it’ll be a good idea to use his powers to stop the pirate. Kai warns him that he still doesn’t have enough control of his powers, but the kid does it anyway, releasing a huge energy ball. Captain Soto just bounces it off his sword, and it instead knocks over the main mast.
Our heroes climb out from under the sails in a daze, only to find the pirates waiting for them, ready to give them a beating. It looks like the ninja are going to have to walk the plank when we hear a couple of loud thuds. Cut to the samurai mech, leaping from rooftop to rooftop until finally landing on the airship and lifting up the mast, placing it back where it belongs. Nya hops out of the mech and lands directly on Captain Soto.
Jay: Who wins between pirates and ninja? It’s samurai!!
Jay: –Lovelorn sigh–
So the pirates get taken to jail by the cops. One officer asks the ninja ‘Is that your airship?’ And they’re all ‘Yeah.’ And the officer’s all ‘Because somebody’s flying away with it.’ Yes, Lord Garmadon has reclaimed the airship and is taking off, but he hovers above long enough to taunt our heroes.
Lord Garmadon: You’re becoming stronger son, but you’ll never be strong enough to defeat me! Give up… before it’s too late!
-Lloyd looks up worriedly, then glances back at his friends. They smile encouragingly at him. He grins with determination, and steps back to stand with them-
Lord Garmadon: Have it your way then. Another day ninja, another day!
And so the dark lord leaves with the ninja’s old ship. There’s no way that’s a bad thing! /Sarcasm/
This episode is just good dumb fun. Not much happens in it plot-wise or character-wise, except for Lord Garmadon figuring out how to work his mega-weapon and Lloyd doing Spinjitzu and using his powers for the first time. Still, the pirates are fun one-off villains and the humor and action in this episode is great. The main thing dragging it down is Dareth, and this isn’t the moron’s worst appearance.
Character Corner: Captain Soto
Captain Soto comes off as the only sane man in his pirate crew. All the other pirates are pretty stupid and not all that funny, but Captain Soto gets some great lines and fight scenes. He’s amazed by the future world he’s been dropped into, but he uses it to his advantage. It’s just a new place to plunder. I wonder why he was looking for the Island of Darkness though.
The timeline in this show is hard to figure out. It says that the pirates lived two hundred years ago, and they crash when they sail into Ninjago. But the legend from the pilot says that the First Spinjitzu Master created Ninjago, and Sensei Wu and Lord Garmadon are his two sons. So are Sensei and Garmadon two hundred years old? I’d believe that, except Garmadon has a nine-ish-year-old son. Did he have Lloyd when he was really old? That’s ok, I guess, but a future episode implies he was more middle-aged looking when Lloyd was born. Maybe it’s the other way around. Maybe the First Spinjitzu Master was really old when he had his two sons… I dunno, it’s confusing, and it’ll only get worse with future episodes.
Over-all Episode Quality: Average
A fun episode, even if it goes nowhere. Good comedy and fight scenes, and a good one-off villain. Bad side characters and pointless plot.