LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Episode 17 Review
SEASON 2 EPISODE 17: NINJABALL RUN
We open with more training for Lloyd. Sensei Wu has him doing a one-armed handstand. With everyone else balancing on his feet.
Impressively, the kid actually holds it until a wrecking ball smashes though the window. And whose fault might this disaster be? Why, Dareth’s, of course. (Dang, after not seeing him last episode, I thought we’d gotten rid of him) The moron’s fallen behind on his mortgage payments, and now a developer called “Darnagom Enterprises” is going to tear down the dojo and replace it with a Frisbee golf-course. “Darnagom Enterprises” huh?
Also, Dareth, when were you planning on telling the others about this? The training facility getting torn down is kinda important!
Anyway, if they don’t come up with $50,000 by tomorrow the dojo is toast. How are our heroes going to earn that kind of money in a day? Well, luckily, there’s a road-race today with a $100,000 cash grand prize! It’s the Ninjaball Run, the most dangerous race in Ninjago. I have no idea why it is called that, there are no balls, and no running.
So the guys enter with their ninja tank and Lloyd enters with his dragon. At the starting line, Nya tries to explain a special upgrade she made, but no one can hear her over the sound of the car next to them revving up its engines. Wait… is that…? That’s Brad and Gene from last episode! They’re like nine! They can’t drive yet! I know they say the race has no rules, but… how can they even reach the gas and brake pedals!? And what are they even doing here?
It turns out pretty much every side character we’ve ever met is here. The mailman, Cole’s dad and the rest of his dance team, Jay’s parents (yay!), Captain Soto and the pirates, even the annoying comic-relief henchmen from the pilot! What the heck, why is everyone in the supposedly most dangerous race on the continent!? I know, I know, rule of cool…
The race is about to start… and the kids from Darkly’s School sabotage the ninja tank. What the heck, kids, I thought you leaned your lesson last episode! Are the episodes out of order? At least make it the skeletons who sabotage the tank. So, with the sabotage, our heroes are left in the dust as everyone else zooms ahead. Well, at least Lloyd can take the lead and… oh wait, he turned the wrong way, never mind.
It turns out Jay’s parents, Ed and Edna, take an early lead using special bumpers they installed on their tires. Clever. Very clever.
We cut to a few blocks away, where some of the Serpentine are trying to break Skales out of jail (took them long enough) with a snakebus. The snakes manage to pull the wall out, but have to make a run for it when a couple of police cruisers give chase. The car chase soon merges with the race, making things even more complicated.
Skales: What in the world is going on!?
Me: I don’t know anymore!
Meanwhile, the ninja have finally managed to fix their tank and take off after the rest of the competitors. They’ve got a lot of catching up to do.
Next we see Lord Garmadon, pleased with himself for his plan to halt Lloyd’s training so the kid never reaches his potential. He may have spoken too soon though. He sees a broadcast of the race and realizes they’re trying to save the dojo. Looks like the dark lord is going to join the race too, if only to prevent the ninja from winning.
Anyone else wanna join the race? Someone’s grandma, or dog?
Around the time they reach the canyon leg of the race, our heroes have overtaken the pirates, so they aren’t in last anymore, yay! Unfortunately, this is also about the time Lord Garmadon catches up with them. Since they’re in the canyon, there really isn’t anywhere to run; they’re sitting ducks.
Lloyd comes in with his dragon at the last minute, colliding with the airship and making the shot fly way off target.
Snake: Why don’t you use your megaweapon?
Lord Garmadon: Because I can only use it once before it saps all of my energy. Then who would slap you around to get this ship moving? –Slaps snake- Get this ship moving!
Now the race enters the forest, where Cole’s dad hits a log and crashes. The ninja pass by and Cole just shakes his head sadly. Lloyd flies up and finds a short cut for the guys to take, but this draws the attention of the skeletons. They grab the dragon with a grappling hook and pull the four-headed beast down, but the chain gets caught on a tree and they end up crashing themselves too.
Back in the city, the race announcers have decided to interview Dareth because he knows the kid who just crashed. The moron explains that the ninja and Lloyd are in the race to try and win the money to save his dojo. This somehow wins over the crowd, and they start cheering for the ninja.
The next leg of the race is in the glaciers, where Zane realizes they’re almost out of gas. What? You guys didn’t make sure you had enough before you started the race!? That’s basic maintenance guys! Luckily Jay’s parents come to the rescue!
Ed: We heard on the radio you’re trying to save Dareth’s dojo!
Edna: Oh yeah, we’re so proud of you son!
Jay: Ah, thanks mom, but we’re outa gas!
Edna: Oh, then take ours!
Jay: Wha, but how? If we stop now, we’ll lose the lead!
Ed: -Pulls out a hose- Well then we’ll just have to do this the hard way, son!
Ed and Jay both climb to the back of their respective vehicles, open the gas tanks, and stick one end of the hose in each. At extreme speeds!! This is complicated by Lord Garmadon sending snakes to slow them down. Zane and Cole get out to help fight them off.
Hypnobrai: Look into my eyesss ninja!
–Zane turns his head around–
Hypnobrai: Uhg, that is ssso grossss!
Me: What, he’s a minifig. They all can do that.
Unfortunately, one of the Serpentine gets thrown onto the roof of Ed and Edna’s car, sending both vehicles into a crash. Most of the other racers pile up behind them. Luckily, the ninja tank got out mostly unscratched, and ready to go.
Jay: Wait, stop! –Hops out and runs back to check on his parents– Oh, thank goodness you’re ok!
Ed: Oh, we’re fine son. Just wish I could say the same for the old Jalopy.
Edna: Yeah, shame she didn’t get to the finish line.
Jay: –Grabs a hood ornament– I’ll make sure a part of her will.
Ed: Go make us proud son!
Me: D’aaaaaaaaw I love Jay’s parents!
So our heroes enter the last leg of the race, and it’s down to them and Lord Garmadon. All that’s left is a straight shot through the desert back to the city.
Kai: Let’s make sure good guys don’t finish last.
Me: Nice one-liner, I like that.
Lord Garmadon sees them pulling ahead and decides now is a good time to use the mega-weapon. He creates a giant fissure through the desert, cutting the ninja off from the city. There’s no way they can jump it, and no way around. It looks like the race is lost, but Kai remembers the upgrade Nya didn’t get to tell them about. Hopefully it’s something that’ll help them over the divide.
It is! I turns the back compartment of the tank into a little jet! The other three jump off the main vehicle and onto the jet’s roof. They’re neck-and-neck with Lord Garmadon as they cross the finish line, but…
Lord Garmadon does not take the loss well.
Lord Garmadon: No! That’s not fair! That wasn’t even part of the vehicle in the first place! It’s not even street legal! My ship was—
Lloyd: Your ship? –Camera pans back to see Lloyd and the dragon standing on the deck– I believe this belongs to us.
Lord Garmadon: No no no!! –Police cruiser pulls up–
Cop: Alright Garmadon, you’re coming with us. –Snakebus pulls up in front of them–
Skales: Look who needs who now!
So, they earn the cash prize and save the dojo.
This episode… is kinda stupid. Don’t get me wrong, there are some parts of it I really like, but for the most part it’s just filler with the race. There’s no character or plot development, unless you count the fact that they get the airship back at the end, which isn’t too big of a deal, and the atmosphere is nothing special. Plus, I don’t find race-plots all that interesting. This one in particular was even more clichéd than what’s normal for this show. You have the underdog that’s trying to win the prize to save whatever building or tract of land from evil developers. I’ve only seen that a hundred times before. Still, it’s at least a funny episode, even if nothing happened.
Nothing really to cover in this episode. I guess I can say I liked the bits with Jay and his parents, but that’s no surprise.
Again, nothing really happened in this episode, so there’s not much to base head-canon off of. I think even if our heroes hadn’t won the race, the crowd would’ve donated enough money to pay off the dojo’s debt
Over-all Episode Quality: Well Below Average
I won’t say it’s bad, because there were parts of it I enjoyed, but there were no good character moments and the plot was pointless and clichéd.