LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Episode 23 Review

SEASON 2 EPISODE 23: ISLAND OF DARKNESS

 

As the episode opens, we find our heroes have reached the Dark Island, and have hidden the airship from the patrolling stone army. Cole complains about having to keep a low profile; he’d rather fight the creatures. However, everyone reminds him they can do literally nothing to stop the things. That’s why they’re here, to find the temple of light and a way to destroy the invincible warriors.

Misako: Here it is written, ‘For once the green ninja finds the instrument of peace, he will strike it, and know the power of the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master’.

Lloyd: Ultimate Spinjitzu Master?

Misako: It means you will be able to invoke the power of the golden dragon, an ancient fighting style only practiced by the First Spinjitzu Master.

Lloyd: –Smirks at the other guys– Hahaha. Jealous?

Me: D’aw, Lloyd’s still kind of a brat.

The hard part will be finding the temple of light. It could be anywhere on the island. The only clue they have is a medallion with three holes in it that are supposed to match up with something in the landscape. So the ninja are going to have to go out with the medallion and look around.

Sensei: Not you Lloyd.

Lloyd: Aw, seriously, are we still doing this?

Me: He’s got a point there.

Misako: Wu is right. If you were to come across your father, it could prematurely start the final battle. We need to be at full strength before we take any risks.

Jay: –Smirks at Lloyd– Ahahaha. Jealous?

Me: D’aw, Jay’s still kind of a dork. Which is why I freakin’ love him.

Dr. Julien assures Lloyd he could use the help putting together vehicles to help the cause, so it’s not like the kid’s gonna be stuck here doing nothing like he used to. As our four leads leave, Sensei reminds them that the enemy doesn’t know they’re here yet, and it would be best to keep it that way.

Jay: Of course Sensei! Have you ever known us to stray from a plan, huh?

Would you like the list in alphabetical or chronological order?

Would you like the list in alphabetical or chronological order?

Meanwhile, in the enemy camp, Lord Garmadon is presented with more dark matter from the mine.

Stone General: They have lost many warriors down the mouth of eternal shadows, just to obtain this one box.

Me: Many Bothans died to bring you this dark matter!

The dark lord is all ‘Tough cookies, I need a thousand more, pronto!’ The stone warriors comply without a murmur. Then the Overlord shows up and warns Lord Garmadon that he senses a shift in the balance. The ninja have arrived on the island. The dark lord sends out patrols and doubles the guards.

Lord Garmadon: They would be fools to set foot anywhere near my camp!

Camera zooms in on a nearby ledge where the four ninja are hiding

Jay: Look, this must be Garmadon’s camp!

Kai: No, ya think? I thought it was a take-out restaurant!

Me: This kind of thing is why I love this show.

The guys are still using the medallion to look for the temple of light. Zane is looking over the camp through the sight when he spots the falcon. It’s lying broken on a table… in the very middle of the camp.

Cole: Wait Zane, you’re veering from the plan! We’re supposed to find the temple of light and stay out of sight!

Zane: If it were any of you, I’d do the same. I have to get my friend back! – He rushes off to sneak into the camp-

Kai: –Irritated sigh– The more of us that go, the more change we’ll get caught. We just have to stay here, and hope he doesn’t get seen.

Back at the good-guy camp, Dr. Julien and the others are working on what appears to be a giant drill. Sensei gets sent to fetch some water from the creek, but as he leaves he shares a lingering glance with Misako.

Donotwant

Luckily, I’m not the only one who feels uncomfortable about it. Lloyd gets a look that screams ‘Uh, did I just see what I think I just saw?’ He jumps down to talk to his mother.

Lloyd: So… how did you meet him?

Misako: Who, Sensei Wu?

Lloyd: No… my father.

Misako: -Sigh- You know, he wasn’t always like the way he is today. It took years for his poisoned heart to turn him evil. There was a time when I loved him very much, and he was very proud.

Lloyd: When was that?

Misako: When we had you. –She hugs him-

Lloyd: …And now it all comes down to me… fighting him.

Wanna give character X a hug: Zane=7; Lloyd= 9; Jay= 2; Cole= 1; Garmadon: 2; Kai = 1

We next check in with Sensei fetching water. Wouldn’t you know it, he runs into a patrol of stone warriors. He hides, but steps on a twig, alerting the enemy to his presence. (Ninja Sensei my foot!) He fights the things for a bit, but it’s three invincible soldiers with a catapult-truck on one old man. Luckily, Lloyd and Misako show up to save his butt. It’s a pretty awesome fight scene, and it showcases Lloyd using all of his elemental powers. They tie up the soldiers, but Sensei comments that their camp won’t remain hidden for much longer. Hopefully the ninja find the temple of light soon.

And how are our heroes doing on that front? Well, Zane’s apparently spent the past whoever-knows-how-many hours trying to sneak into the camp, and the other three have been stuck on that same ledge the whole time. Jay is playing around with the medallion.

Jay: I spy…uh… another tree!

Cole: Jay, how did you ever become a ninja, seriously?

Kai: Ugh, would Zane just hurry up and get his bird already and get outta there!?

Zane is standing just outside the hut where the falcon is on the table, being looked at by several stone warriors

E23.2

Jay: Guys, look!

Kai: It matches up… that must be the temple of light!

Cole: Jay, I take back everything I said, you are a fine ninja! Not finer than me, but a fine—

The celebration is cut short when Zane’s spotted. Apparently he got frustrated with waiting for the room to clear out and just ran in and grabbed the bird. The stone warriors corner him pretty quickly.

Cole: That’s it, I’m fighting!

Kai: We can’t! They’re indestructible! If we go in there, they’ll know we’re here too.

Me: I’m pretty sure they’ll make the assumption that if one of you is here all of you are here.

Cole: Yeah, and if we don’t, we’ll regret it for the rest of our lives! Come on, it’s Zane!

So the three of them hijack an enemy tank and crash it into the warriors, clearing an escape route. The four ninja are now reunited and make a run for it. Unfortunately, the entire camp is after them now. They try to cross a rickety bridge to reach the gate, but they get cut off at both sides. This is why you never cross a bridge while you’re running away from a large group.

Kai asks if anyone has any ideas. After a couple of duds from Jay and Cole, Zane insists, since he got them into the mess, he’ll get them out of it. He tells everyone to grab a plank as the bridge collapses under them. Then, he uses spinjitzu, turning the plank into a propeller. My, those are some aerodynamic planks. Our heroes escape and return to their own camp, but the stone army is right on their tails. Well, at least they found the temple of light.

The guys are going to have to lead the stone army away in the giant drill Dr. Julien was building.

Dr. Julien: Guess you’re gonna have to figure this baby out on the fly.

Nya: We’ve also packed another surprise in back. Perhaps in can be of use? –Kisses Jay

Jay: –Excitedly- Another Nya surprise!?

Me: D’aw.

Misako: You’ll have to go too. Be safe.

Lloyd: We will.

So, our heroes head out for the temple of light, and the stone army is soon on their tail with its own vehicles. The enemy may be faster, but the ninja have a drill. They just burrow underneath the surrounding enemies, and continue underground until they reach the impenetrable roots of the mountain. At the top of said mountain is the temple of light. Time to see what Nya’s surprise is.

Oooooh, it’s a mini-samurai mech!

Oooooh, it’s a mini-samurai mech!

Kai: Oh, I love my sis!

Kai has waaaaay to much fun with the mech. He throws one of the enemy roadsters about a kilometer, then pounds the ground, flipping most of the other vehicles and catching one on fire. The last enemy vehicle, a four-legged walker, lifts up a leg and… puts… out the… fire… with…

Uhg! Really? The episode was so good up to this point! Ok ok, ignoring it, ignoring it.

Uhg! Really? The episode was so good up to this point! Ok ok, ignoring it, ignoring it.

Unfortunately, more and more enemy vehicles just keep coming, so everyone jumps on the mech and they start scaling the mountain. The enemy, impressively, just drives straight up the mountain after them. Those are some good treads! Kai shoots the mech’s grappling hook, bringing them up to a high ledge, away from the advancing stone army.

Jay: Wooh! We made it to the top! Hey, where’s the temple of light?

Me: Yeah, this is clearly not the top. Look how much mountain you have left.

Lloyd: Are you sure you used the medallion right?

Jay: Of course I used it right! It said it should be right here!

Me: No, it said it would be at the peak. This is not the peak.

Kai creates a small rock-slide with the mech, pushing the stone warriors off the slope and buying them some time. The guys continue up the mountain, and wouldn’t you know it, the temple of light was just up and over the next ridge. Told ya.

Inside they find murals of all the adventures they’ve had, and a diagram showing what they need to do. The guys find their symbols under the dust on the floor in each corner, with a fifth symbol for Lloyd in the center. They stand in their places, but nothing happens. The kid looks around and notices a bell hanging above him. An instrument of peace, maybe? He jumps up and strikes it.

Light pours out of the bell and all around Lloyd. It reflects off of him and bounces around the room, reflected and refracted by the crystals on the walls and ceiling. Our heroes get spiffy new outfits and elemental swords. They send their power to the green ninja, there’s blinding flash of light, and then it all stops.

The stone army breaks in. Kai swings his new fire sword at one soldier, and this time it doesn’t break on contact. It holds, and what’s more, he can create a huge curtain of flame with it!

What follows is a really fun fight scene, with everyone getting back into the swing of their elemental powers. Jay sends an electric current through a whole line of stone warriors, Zane freezes some in a pillar of ice, and Cole buries more in a mound of rock. And then he does the moon-walk over them, complete with Michael Jackson sound effects. Finally, Lloyd blows the rest of them away with a great glowing ball of energy that turns into a golden dragon.

The awesome fight creates a light show that’s visible from all over the island. The rest of our heroes back at the airship cheer, but not everyone is happy about this. Back at the doomsday clock, Lord Garmadon is complaining to the Overlord.

Lord Garmadon: It appears you indestructible army isn’t as tough as they appear to be.

Overlord: The ninja may be getting stronger… but so are we… when the celestial clock reaches zero… the ultimate weapon will be complete… and then… there will be nothing the ninja can do… to stop you from turning Ninjago… into your image.

We close as the clock ticks closer and closer to doomsday.

This episode is a lot of fun. Fun action scenes, fun character bits, and fun dialog. I feel like if you wanted an episode that gives the gist of all our heroes’ characters, this is the episode to see. It has some really funny jokes. Also one face-palm inducing joke, but I feel they cancel out.

Character Corner:

We don’t get any new characters, and we don’t get any concentration on one character this episode. Really, we just have good moments with pretty much everybody on the heroes’ team. (Nothing much happens with the baddies) We have Zane’s insistence on retrieving the falcon, Cole insisting they help Zane, Jay finding the temple of light, Kai having way too much fun with the mech, Nya kissing Jay, and Lloyd talking with his mother about his father. They’re all short, but showcase the different characters well.

Head-canon Corner:

I’ve been saving this one for a while. So, this episode confirms that it took years for Garmadon to become evil, and he was apparently good when Lloyd was born. We also know that Misako figured out that the prophesy of the green ninja referred to Lloyd and Garmadon when the kid was still a baby. She left to find a way to stop it, and left her son at Darkly’s School. My theory is that Garmadon struggled to control the evil inside him for most of his life, and when his wife left, that was what pushed him over the edge to become the dark lord we know today. He tried to steal the golden weapons and was banished to the underworld. By the time the school returned his son, it was too late for him to turn back on his own, and anyone who could help him had already left.

Over-all Episode Quality: Well Above Average

Lots of fun character bits and action scenes. A good place to see all the characters shine.

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