LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Episode 20 Review
SEASON 2 EPISODE 20: THE STONE ARMY
We open, not with Lloyd training for once, but the Serpentine. Lord Garmadon tells them he has a new plan to destroy the ninja. He wants to find the Island of Darkness mentioned in Captain Soto’s log back in episode 15. Skales is all ‘Why are we still following this guy? He’s having us chase after legends and stories. And we all know how that went last time.’ The dark lord manages to persuade the other generals with promises of untold power and glory, though, so Skales is dragged along. Keep an eye on him, Garmadon, this snake has a history of turning on people.
Next we check in with our heroes. The morning starts with the alarm clock going off. Kai tries to throw a ball at it to shut it off, but that just knocks it onto a phonograph, amplifying the sound. So Lloyd blows it up.
Sensei Wu comes in, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed, declaring that it’s time for sunrise exercises. Also someone needs to clean up the dragon doo-doo. The others are all ‘Lloyd, you take care of it, ok?’ But he is just ‘Oh no, I’m not putting up with you guys’ crap anymore.’ (No pun intended)
So they settle it with rock-paper-clamp. Everyone chooses paper, except Lloyd, who chooses… rock.
Lloyd: Urg… how does paper beat rock?
Me: A question we have all asked at some point in our lives.
–Outside, with a bag of dragon-dung–
Lloyd: I always have to do the dirty work.
Cole: Hey, having a pet dragon requires a lot of responsibility.
Jay: Didn’t your mom ever let you have a pet?
Lloyd: I don’t remember my mom… she abandoned me when I was real young.
Wanna give character X a hug: Zane= 3; Lloyd= 8; Jay= 2; Cole= 1; Garmadon: 2; Kai = 1
Lloyd says he was pretty much raised at Darkly’s School, but that can’t be completely true, he said back in episode 16 that he remembered his first day of school, so he must have been at least 4.
We’re saved from this depressing conversation by an emergency at the museum. Once the ninja and Sensei arrive, the curator explains that the great devourer’s guts have mixed with the plumbing to create a gross slime that brings inanimate objects to life, including the entire gift-shop.
The museum curator asks if they could please get rid of the evil little figurines before the grand opening of their new Stone Warrior exhibit that afternoon. The little guys put up quite a fight for their small size, and there are a lot of them. So the guys resort to using spinjitzu… and totally wreck the entire gift-shop. Well, it’s not like the little beasties weren’t doing that already anyway.
One manages to slip out the door, and Sensei chases after it. He manages to stomp the thing into dust, when a door behind him opens, revealing a woman with grey hair.
Sensei: –Gasp– Misako.
Sensei: I… Uh…
Misako: It’s been a long time.
The guys arrive and ask who Sensei’s friend is. Sensei explains ‘This is Misako… she’s… uh… she’s Lloyd’s mother.’ And everyone else is all ‘Gasp!’
Lloyd: My-my mother!?
Misako: –Gasp- Lloyd? …My little boy… you’re so much bigger than I remember. –Reaches out to him-
Lloyd: –Knocks her hand away and steps back– Yeah well, it’s-it’s been a long time.
Misako: I didn’t want us to meet like this. I have a reason why I’ve been away.
Lloyd: Well I don’t wanna hear it! –Storms away–
Misako: Lloyd, wait! –He slams the door– Please!
Me: Kid’s got serious abandonment issues because of you lady.
We leave that soap opera to find Lord Garmadon and the Serpentine generals flying over the ocean in a snakehelicopter, searching for the Island of Darkness. They’ve been searching all day, but found nothing. Skales insists there isn’t any land outside of Ninjago, but the dark lord insists they keep looking.
Skales: –Whispering to the other Serpentine– He’s without his mega-weapon! He’s vulnerable!
Constricti: And how do you suggest we get rid of him?
Skales: -Loudly- Oooh! There! Is that the island? –Points out open side-door–
Lord Garmadon: Where!? –Leans out door to look. Skales pushes him out into the ocean–
Me: Dang Skales, that is cold! Also, Lord Garmadon, really? You fell for that? I expect better from you.
So, Skales is in charge of the Serpentine now, and the dark lord is adrift at sea.
Back with our heroes, everyone is searching the museum for Lloyd. Misako finds him sitting on the edge of a sinkhole at the end of a hall.
Misako: I’d watch your step. That sinkhole doesn’t have a bottom, son. It’s where I found the ancient stone warrior.
Lloyd: Uh, son? You’ve been gone my whole life! There’s nothing you can say.
Me: –Trying not to cry-
Misako: Well, I’m going to talk anyway. You want to know what I’ve been doing all this time? Long before Sensei Wu knew who would be the green ninja, I knew it would be you. And I knew you would eventually have to fight your father. I dropped you off at the boarding school so I could learn everything I could about the prophesy, in hope of one day preventing the final battle of good and evil! All this time son, I’ve been trying to save you and your father!
Me: Ok, I guess that’s an ok excuse for not being there… but couldn’t you at least send the kid a letter or something every once in a while!?
Misako explains that there’s more to the legend of the First Spinjitzu Master. When he created Ninjago, there was light and shadow, and ruling over the shadows was an evil being called the Overlord. The two fought, maintaining the balance between good and evil, until one day the Overlord tipped the scales. He created an indestructible army. (I call hax) The First Spinjitzu Master, rather than losing to the evil army, split the continent into two halves, trapping the Overlord and his army on the Island of Darkness.
Kai: So that’s why the battle [between good and evil] was never decided… it was never finished!
So as long as there is a balance between good and evil, the Overlord won’t be able to enter this world. The problem is that Lord Garmadon is trying to tip the balance to remake the world in his image, and that will unleash the Overlord.
Misako: Leaving you was the hardest thing I ever had to do… but faced with saving you and the world, I had no other choice.
Lloyd: –Nods slowly–
Meanwhile, the stone warrior is being unveiled to the public, when a drop of evil slime falls onto it from a leak in the ceiling. It comes to life and starts causing havoc. The civilians all panic and vacate the building. The warrior searches for more prey, and hears Lloyd asking his mother if she’s found a way to prevent the final battle between him and his father. She says no, but she hasn’t given up hope.
That touching sentiment is interrupted by the living statue crashing through the door. Kai charges the thing, but his blade breaks uselessly on contact. Lloyd tries to blast it with a ball of energy, but it just knocks the warrior over for a few seconds. The stone really is indestructible.
That isn’t going to stop our heroes from trying though! The guys give it their all, but the giant living statue just throws them around like rag-dolls. Their only option is to run, except the thing is pretty fast. They at least manage to lock themselves in the dinosaur exhibit room where the thick oak doors will hold the stone warrior back for a little while.
Jay: Then let’s settle this like men! With rock-paper-clamp! Loser has to face him so the rest can escape.
–Lloyd sticks his hand in with the other four-
Jay: Uh-uh, not you, chosen one.
Kai: On three. One, two…
Lloyd: Wait a minute, that’s it!
Sensei: What’s it?
Lloyd: If you guys can keep him busy, I think I know how to stop him.
Cole: –Beat– I say we give the kid a shot.
Jay: You’re just saying that because you don’t want to face him
Cole: Do you wanna face him?
–Stone warrior pounds in another piece of the door–
Jay: I say we give the kid a shot.
So Lloyd sneaks out through the ventilation shaft. Misako thanks Sensei Wu for being such a good teacher for her boy, but Sensei’s all ‘Hey, it wasn’t just me, these four did a lot too.’
Meanwhile, Lord Garmadon has washed up on the beach of a deserted island. He gets up and looks around. Something is watching him from within the trees. It calls out with a distorted voice.
Voice: I’ve… been waiting for you…
Lord Garmadon: -Panting and probably panicking– Who are you? Where are you? What is this place? Where am I? This isn’t Ninjago!
Voice: It is the place you were always mean to find… destiny brought you here…
Lord Garmadon: This… this is the dark island! The one mentioned in Soto’s log!
Me: It’s a lot sunnier than I was expecting.
Lord Garmadon: But… who are you?
Voice: I go by many names… but you may call me… Overlord…
Lord Garmadon: I… I order you to give me the power to defeat the ninja! Give me the power to turn Ninjago into my own image!
Overlord: –Evil rasping laugh–
Lord Garmadon: Why do you laugh at me?
Overlord: For soon, you will have everything you desire… But first… there is something… you must do for me…
Lord Garmadon: And what would that be?
They do a really great job of making the Overlord as creepy and scary as possible. He has a weird, distorted, rasping voice, and we don’t really see him. When we see things from his perspective, the world is in a weird infer-red vision. The atmosphere it creates is great.
Now we cut back to the museum, where the giant stone warrior has broken through the doors. The guys have snuck up to the top floor, and watch the living statue warily. It looks around for its prey, and steps under the hanging display of a dragon skeleton. Cole jumps out and cuts the ropes, dropping the skeleton onto the monster. Everyone runs down to see if they finally defeated the thing. Nope! Just stunned it for a bit! So, hopefully Lloyd’s plan is ready.
They run down the hall and into the balcony of another room. Misako has the bright idea to slide down the banners hanging from the railing, but this only buys them about two seconds, because the warrior just jumps after them. It knocks the guys over, and chases after Misako. She tries to hide behind some giant vases in a long hallway. The thing is temporarily distracted as it breaks all the pots.
Eventually it spots her again, and the chase starts anew.
Lloyd: Over here!
Misako: Lloyd! –Runs into hall-
-Stone warrior charges down the hall to them–
Lloyd: Hey loser! Paper beats rock! –Dives to the side. Stone warrior overshoots and tries to turn around, but the floor it is standing on tears. It was only paper covering the sink-hole–
Me: Clever. Very clever ninja. And now we know how paper beats rock.
So the invincible warrior is defeated, and Lloyd and his mother have made up. Happy ending!
Or is it?
Back on the dark island, Lord Garmadon is following the voice of the Overlord to the top of the island. We now see where the voice is coming from. It is a small floating ball of dark energy. At the top of the island is a rock with four handles carved into it.
Lord Garmadon: Four hands? Is that a coincidence?
Overlord: I told you… it is… destiny…
Lord Garmadon: Whatever.
He turns the handles and the rock sinks into the ground. The entire island quakes as great black spires rise up out of the sea all around the island. The dark half of the continent has been raised. The episode ends with the dark lord laughing his best evil laugh.
This episode has the best atmosphere and character development we’ve seen from season two so far. It’s also nice to see our heroes use their brains to fight an opponent rather than just punching and kicking like usual. Plot wise, this episode introduces a lot of things that will be important for the last half of season two, like Misako, the Overlord, and the invincible stone warriors. We also finally get to spend an episode with Lloyd now that he’s grown up. In some ways, he’s the same (blowing up the alarm clock, complaining about chores) but he’s definitely grown stronger, and he seems to be taking his destiny a bit more seriously now.
Character Corner: Misako
Part of me likes Misako, and part of me really really doesn’t. I’m a young woman in my early twenties, and the oldest of five kids, so I’ve got a fairly strong maternal instinct, so it really, really bothers me that she abandoned Lloyd, even if it was to save her family and the world. Still, it’s obvious that she cares for her son. Her face breaks into the biggest smile when she first sees him. And when Lloyd’s trying to brush her off and she says “I’m going to talk anyway”, that is something my dad would do to me whenever I was being a stupid teenager, so I really liked that. Plus, she’s another cool female character in a series that is seriously lacking in that department.
Grab the popcorn, this is gonna be a long one. I have a couple that I’ve been saving for this episode.
First of all, Misako says she dropped Lloyd off at Darkly’s School when he was a baby, but just a few episodes ago, Lloyd said he could remember his first day of school. Well, I’m gonna fit this in with my theory that Lloyd stayed with his father in the underworld when he was very little. Misako drops the kid off at the school when he’s just a baby with a note saying ‘Hey, this is the son of the great Lord Garmadon, you’d better enroll him.’ But the school is all ‘He’s just a baby, he can’t start here until he’s kindergarten age.’ So they send the kid to his dad, but Garmadon is like ‘Whoa, hey, the underworld is no place to raise a little boy.’ But the school is just ‘Well, you’ve got him until he turns four. Have fun!’
Second, I’ve got a theory about the Overlord. It was defeated by the First Spinjitzu Master, who we know is the father of Garmadon and Wu. Wouldn’t it just be sweet revenge to use your worst enemy’s son as your tool to escape? When Lord Garmadon asks if the four-hands thing is a coincidence, the Overlord says it’s destiny, but I think the guy has been manipulating Garmadon from the beginning. The Overlord sent the great devourer to bite him as a child, and used its influence over all things evil to push him towards his desire for the four golden weapons. A desire that led to his four arms. A desire that tore his family apart.
You evil, evil Overlord.
Over-all Episode Quality: Great
The best atmosphere and character development we’ve seen in a while, plus a lot of really important plot points are introduced.