LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Episode 25 Review
SEASON 2 EPISODE 25: RETURN OF THE OVERLORD
We open with a good look at the ultimate weapon from last episode, Garmatron. (I see what you did there) It’s an enormous tank with an enormous cannon. Lord Garmadon is in awe of it. The stone army returns from the doomsday clock with the dark helmet and a prisoner. Nya. She gives the usual ‘You’ll never get away with it!’ shtick. The dark lord figures this is the perfect opportunity to test the dark matter.
Meanwhile, our remaining heroes have made it back to their camp. Dr. Julien asks what happened, and where’s Nya? At this point we see Kai put his hand on Jay’s shoulder.
It’s a small gesture, and only on screen for a few seconds, but it speaks volumes. They’re obviously both hurting.
Sensei Wu: We’ll get her back. At the moment there are bigger things at stake. Including all of Ninjago itself.
Jay: –Sigh of frustration- Who cares about Ninjago!? Nya was my… ah, my… you know…
Kai: And she’s my sister. I know her being captured is tough, but she’s tougher. Tougher than most of us. We’ll see her again.
This really shows how much Kai’s character has developed since season one. It also shows that he’s calmed down a bit since the end of the last episode.
Lloyd’s worried he can’t do it, after all, last episode he had a chance to take his father out, but he couldn’t bring himself to do it. Sensei’s all ‘Too bad, you have to.’
Misako: Remember, your father is just as scared.
Sensei: Then the battle will be decided by who is willing to fight.
Kai: You won’t be alone. I’ll be right behind you. You have my fire.
Cole: And you have my earth.
Zane: And my ice.
Jay: And lightning!
Yeah, I couldn’t help myself, they set it up for me.
Lock and load montage!
Lloyd: … I’m ready.
Me: I’m sorry kid, I can’t take your BA lines seriously with that voice. Especially when you’re quoting Spongebob.
So our heroes are ready to storm the enemy camp… only to find it deserted. The falcon leads them to some giant tread tracks leading away from the camp. (Given the size of the tracks, I’m pretty sure the guys would’ve found them on their own) The ultimate weapon is on the move, headed for the coast where it’ll have a clear shot at Ninjago. The weapon will turn cities full of people evil, tipping the balance and releasing the Overlord. And we can’t have that!
The party follows the tracks at a run. Or at least most of them do. Zane looks back to see his father is lagging behind. Dr. Julien insists that he’s an old inventor, and there’s no place for him on the battle-field. He’ll go back to the airship and wait for them to come back. As the others leave, he tells Zane to be safe. D’aw.
As the guys run along, they realize that, one way or another, this is probably going to be their last fight together. (Or at least until the show gets renewed for a third season) They start to reminisce about all the adventures they’ve had together over the past 24 episodes. It’s pretty bitter-sweet.
Jay: Hey, you remember the time Kai thought he was the green ninja? –Everyone laughs–
Zane: That was quite the memory!
Cole: He was so not!
Zane: Or what about when the Hypnobrai hypnotized Cole, and we had to fight him? –More laughter-
-A shadow flits across the path behind them-
Kai: We should’ve just kicked his butt!
Lloyd: Ha! You had to destroy my treehouse!
Zane: Or what about the time Sensei came out of the devourer’s belly?
Zane: Drinking tea!
Cole: Oh-hoho, that was so gross!
–Another shadow flits across the screen–
Jay: Yeah, I thought he was a goner!
Sensei: –Whacks Jay with his staff– Wrong again Mr. Empty Head!
The shadow flits across the path in front of the party, and they finally stop and take notice. Something in stalking them through the trees, and it ain’t friendly. A red and gold spinjitzu whirl shoots out of the underbrush, hits Cole in the face and pushes Lloyd over. The figure stops spinning. It’s Nya.
Sensei: That is no longer Nya.
Kai: What did he do to my sister!?
The dark matter has transformed her into a grayscale, evil zombie.
She’s here to stop them from reaching the ultimate weapon, and the guys can’t use their powers against her because, come on, it’s Nya; they don’t want to hurt her!
Cole: Lloyd, you go on up ahead with Sensei and Misako, while we take care of Nya!
Lloyd: But… you said you’d always be behind me.
Kai: We will be.
Me: Just a lot further behind than they thought.
Kai: We’ll catch up as soon as we can.
Jay tires to sneak up on Nya real quickly, but she catches him in the gut with a ball and chain.
Cole tries to use the Triple Tiger Sashay (don’t you need three enemies for that to work?) on her, but she grabs him in mid-air and throws him into the other three like a bowling ball, complete with sound effects.
Meanwhile, Garmatron has reached the coast. The cannon is loaded and ready to go. Lord Garmadon is about to push the start button when Lloyd, Sensei, and Misako burst out of the brush, begging him to stop.
Lord Garmadon: So the balance has sent my son, my brother, and wife to try to stop me? It looks like my little surprise has kept the ninja busy!
Overlord: Don’t listen to them!! They betrayed you…
Lloyd: I don’t wanna fight you, but I will if I have to. This is about more than just us. This is about what is right.
Lord Garmadon: Don’t you see? I will never do what is right. The evil that is in my blood can never go away! Evil has corrupted every ounce of my fiber, every bone in my body! I am Lord Garmadon! Destiny took my family from me! And the only way for us to be together is to turn everything in this world into my image! Then you’ll all see what I see, feel what I feel—
Misako: It isn’t too late—
Lord Garmadon: You’ve made your decision, and I have made mine! –Dramatic button-push–
–Garmatron warming up in T-minus… twenty…-
Lord Garmadon: Warming up!? You could have warned me it had to warm up!
Overlord: How could I? You were monologing…
Me: This is why I freakin’ love this show.
Sorry for including pretty much the whole scene, but it’s a really important one. Here, Garmadon’s motivation is finally spelled out. The reason he’s always wanted to ‘turn Ninjago into his own image’ is because the battle between good and evil has torn his family apart. If everyone is evil like him, he can be with them. It’s a little heartbreaking.
And then that wonderful joke at the end kinda turns it around, but I can’t be mad at it. It is a brilliant joke. And really, life is never just sad or just funny. Often drama and comedy come mixed together, and makes them all the better. Or something like that.
So, Lloyd’s gonna have to try and get up to the top of the weapon and disarm it before it warms up. He dodges the fire of the stone warriors and jumps up to the cockpit, but a stone general is waiting there for him and holds him back. The countdown reaches zero and fires. The bad guys are winning!
Across the sea, the evil missile detonates in the same rice paddies in front of the blacksmith shop where we started the whole series. (That is just a really unlucky part of the world, isn’t it?) Black clouds of dark matter envelop the land and turn the people into evil zombies.
Now that the weapon is warmed up, it can fire again as soon as another missile is loaded. Lloyd tries to stop it with an energy beam, but while he’s charging up, Lord Garmadon opens up a trap-door beneath him, dumping the kid out on the beach below. Missile number two is launched.
Back with our four leads, Nya is kicking their butts. (But what else is new?) Zane has the bright idea to use their powers without hurting her. Easier said than done, I’d say, but the guys manage. Jay creates a force-field to block her projectiles (since when can he do that?) and Cole blinds her with sand. Next Kai burns through the trunk of a tree, entangling her in the fronds, which Zane freezes, creating a prison. With Nya taken care of, they’re free to continue on towards the ultimate weapon.
Speaking of which, another missile just detonated in a mountain village. The Overlord is going mad with laughter as the balance shifts towards evil.
Lord Garmadon: Stop laughing now, this is my victory! What’s happening?
Me: Are you really that deluded? You’re supposed to be smarter than that, man!
Overlord: –Elated– You’ve helped offset the balance! Ahahaha! And because of you, I can now cross over into your world! I’m finally! Free!
Lord Garmadon: Wait a minute, you stole that from my playbook!
Me: Which is why you really should have seen it coming.
Lord Garmadon: Well, you can forget about it! Ninjago is mine!
Overlord: No… it was never going to be yours… hehehe… it… is… mine!
A bright blast of energy shoots out of a vortex in the sky, enveloping Lord Garmadon. Conveniently, this is about when the guys catch up.
Jay: Sorry we’re late, did we miss much?
Me: Only pretty much the entire battle.
Up in the pillar of unholy light, Lord Garmadon is thrashing about and screaming in pain as he begins to transform. He grows clawed hands, spines, and a snout.
Overlord: –Now within Garmadon’s body– The metamorphosis has begun!
Sensei: No Lloyd, that is no longer your father.
Lloyd: But what about the prophesy? It said I had to face my father!
Misako: You still must, but now the Overlord has possessed him. Unlike your father, the Overlord will show you no mercy.
Me: Demonic possession? Man, this is pretty dark for a little boy’s cartoon.
Now the battle begins, good and proper. The ninja charge the ultimate weapon and fight the stone army with their powers. It’s technically not that different from what we’ve seen before, but the epic music makes it feel bigger. The Overlord declares he needs more evil, with very bad lip-synching, and targets Ninjago City. But the cannon’s outta ammo. The guys are blocking the loading station, keeping it from firing. Clever. Very clever ninja.
There’s a funny bit where a stone general trying to load the cannon gets kicked into the barrel instead, and once the Overlord sees the ‘loaded’ light come on, he fires, blasting the stone warrior across the ocean. Then it lands in Dareth’s dojo, and gets attacked by the kids in his class. Dareth, I still don’t like you, but your students are cool.
The Overlord decides he’s had enough of this crap and goes to load the cannon himself. He turns to find Lloyd.
Lloyd: This. Ends. Now!
Me: I’m sorry kid, I still can’t take your BA lines seriously.
So Lloyd and the Overlord finally start their showdown. They exchange a few energy beams before the demon charges in and knocks the kid a good hundred meters. Then he flies down after the boy using little energy repulsions like he’s freakin’ Iron Man. The two get into a pretty intense beam fight, with Lloyd’s one big green beam against the Overlord’s four little purple beams.
Overlord: The battle between good and evil… I can do this for eternity, but can you? Your friends can’t help you now. You are all. Alone.
Me: Ah dang, he knows the kid has abandonment issues!
Lloyd: –Takes off his hood– No, I’m not! My father is still in you. He will fight with me!
–The Overlord’s form flickers back to that of Garmadon–
Garmadon: Lloyd! …Stay strong!
Overlord: –Clutches his head– Fool. You cannot defeat me!
They continue to fight, and this time Lloyd seems to have the upper hand, landing quite a few blows and pushing the demon back. Eventually they get caught in another Beam’O’War.
Lloyd: Fight father! Fight him!
Lloyd: Fight him!
Kai: He is the green ninja.
Garmadon: You will not… take…
Lloyd: Fight him!
Garmadon: My son!
Overlord: Your father is… gone.
Me: …Wow… I don’t know what’s more tear-jerking. The inner battle Garmadon just had, or the fact that he lost it.
The Overlord takes complete control, and pushes his energy beam through, blasting Lloyd and encasing the kid in a dark energy bubble. The demon throws the kid across the beach, and judging by the way he landed, I’m guessing Lloyd’s gonna have a concussion at the least. Sensei and Misako are the closest; they run to check on him. But the Overlord has the evil cannon trained on them. He fires a missile… but it doesn’t reach the green ninja. Dr. Julien has flown the airship into the trajectory, taking the hit.
Dr. Julien: I may not be able to fight, but I can fly!
Me: Dr. Julien, you so awesome!
Zane’s father manages to jump clear of the ship before it goes down in dark matter. (Yay!) The Overlord is just ‘Screw it, we’ve got a continent to conquer.’ He opens a portal to Ninjago City and leads the stone army through.
Kai: If they leave, that means we’ll be stuck here with no way to get back! Get to the vortex, now!
Evil!Nya: Bye-bye! …Forever!
This causes Jay pause, which is bad, because he was the closest. You could have made it, man! So yeah, our heroes miss the vortex, standing them on the dark island.
Me: Again Kai, really? You just really like overly-dramatic big noes, don’t you?
A little later, everyone is gathered around Lloyd as he comes to.
Lloyd: Did I… did I win?
Sensei: No. But you’re alive.
Lloyd: But… the prophesy… –He tries to stand, but collapses when he puts weight on his left leg–
Jay: Easy kid, you’ve been through a lot!
Lloyd: –Under his breath- …My leg… Did we lose the final battle?
Me: What? He landed on his head and shoulder, how is his leg broken? If a limb’s broken it should be his arm!
Sensei: What’s important is we didn’t lose you.
The poor boy limps along the beach and finds a broken piece of the airship with the symbol for destiny painted on it. He decides they haven’t lost the war, just the battle.
This episode is soooooo much build up. There was a very strong sense of finality, what with the guys reminiscing about their adventures and everyone talking about ‘The Final Battle’. It really did look like they might end the final battle here. I dunno what they would have done with the last episode, maybe make it an epilog or something. I admit, I wasn’t expecting Garmadon to lose his “I Know You’re In There Somewhere” Fight. They just don’t do that in kid shows! So when the Overlord blasts Lloyd into the sky, I was genuinely shocked. So for this to end with the bad guys winning feels very depressing, even with Lloyd’s declaration of hope at the end. Will the next episode be able to turn things around?
Character Corner: The Overlord (VA Scott McNeil)
I like him, even if he’s not particularly interesting. He’s your standard embodiment of evil eldritch abomination, but he’s got an amazingly creepy voice, especially when he’s just a weird purple energy ball. I love that character design, that thing is cool. He just looks weird when he possess Garmadon. Plus, the demon’s got a good sense of humor. Seriously, that “How could I? You were monologing…” line is genius, I want that on a T-shirt.
I refuse to believe that Lord Garmadon was actually stupid enough to not see the Overlord’s plan coming, so I like to think the helmet of darkness played with his mind a little.
Over-all Episode Quality: Great
Great build up to what seems to be the finale… until our heroes lose and we see we still have another episode to go.