LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Episode 26 Review
SEASON 2 EPISODE 26: RISE OF THE SPINJITZU MASTER
We open with dark clouds gathering over Ninjago City. Tendrils of dark matter sap energy from the power lines. Our heroes’ friends and family come out of Dareth’s dojo to see a dark vortex forming in the sky above them. They think ‘Oh, this must mean the ninja won!’ Uhg… –Facepalm– yes, the dark swirling clouds of doom mean that the good guys have won /sarcasm/. Come on people, I expect better from you!
In a flash of unholy light, the ultimate weapon appears on the street, scaring everyone away. Except Dareth, because he’s an idiot and thinks he can take the thing on himself. The Overlord just smirks and fires a few shots of dark matter at the moron. Sadly, he misses.
Dareth: Uh… w-we shall meet again! This I swear!
Me: Dareth, you are not cool enough to quote El Tigre, don’t even try.
The Overlord and the stone army march on the city, turning everyone they meet into evil zombies. And it looks like the demon is growing wings now.
Meanwhile, our heroes are still stranded on the Dark Island with no way back home. Dr. Julien is bandaging up Lloyd’s broken leg. It’ll take time to heal; time they don’t have. And yet, all they can do now is sit on the beach and helplessly watch the dark clouds gather across the ocean.
Jay: -Sigh– I wonder if I’ll ever see Nya again…
Zane: Perhaps it’s best to think of our friends as we remember them in our hearts, not as they are now.
Me: Mh-hmmm. Zane, this is why you’re the wise one.
Lloyd: But I don’t remember my father any other way!
Misako: Your father loved you. It was the evil of the great devourer that corrupted him.
Kai asks Sensei how they could lose, and what they’re supposed to do now. The old man is just ‘I got nothin’.’ The guys are all ‘What? But you’re the wise old mentor stereotype!’ Luckily, Lloyd has a rousing speech for them instead.
Lloyd: If Sensei doesn’t have a lesson, then I do. I used to be nothing but trouble, but then I met you guys! You took me in, showed me the importance of being brave, of being strong! And most importantly, being good. –Tries to put weight on his leg, but winces– When this battle first began, when the First Spinjitzu Master fought the Overlord, and his back was up against the wall, and he knew it was all over, did he quit? No! He found a way to keep the fight going. He passed his elemental powers on to us, of all people! A bunch of kids! There must have been a reason he chose us. I like to think it was because he knew we’d never back down, we’d never give up! We’ve learned the ancient ways of the ninja, and ninja never quit.
It’s a pretty good speech. I like the fact that Lloyd looks back on how he’s developed over the series and draws inspiration from that. He hasn’t come this far to give up now.
Kai: He’s right! If that means we have to swim the sea to get off this island, then so be it! –Gets into water to do just that-
There may be a way to get there without having to resort to that. The falcon has found something. It leads them back to the temple of light. The guys are all ‘What the hey, we’ve already been here before!’ But now that Misako’s seen it, she realizes it correlates with another scroll. (Of course it does, everything connects to one of your scrolls) There are slots in the four pillars of the room, and if the scroll is right, inserting the swords should unlock… something.
That something turns out to be a mech. Apparently it belonged to the First Spinjitzu Master.
Dr. Julien: Sadly, I think time has done her in. She’s only a relic now.
Sensei: If it worked for the First Spinjitzu Master, perhaps it will work for the next spinjitzu master.
Lloyd: It’s worth a shot. –He climbs up with much less difficulty than a guy with a broken leg should have and plays with the controls–
Lloyd: Hmm… nothing. –The mech suddenly starts glowing and hums to life–
Yes, it appears the kid’s powers were the magic touch. Plus, with a mech he doesn’t have to worry about the broken leg! So, Lloyd has a mode of transportation, but what about everyone else? Just then they hear a roar outside.
Our heroes fly across the ocean with the dragon and the golden mech. When they reach Ninjago, they find it covered in dark purple clouds. Below the clouds they find that the ultimate weapon has transformed into a great tower, the Overlord has transformed into a dark dragon, and pretty much the entire populace has transformed into evil zombies. Huge projectiles of dark matter eject from the tower every few minutes.
The guys are going to draw the Overlord’s fire with the dragon while Lloyd takes the mech to the top of the tower. While the mech is marching down the street we see that Dareth is somehow the one guy in the city that hasn’t been turned evil yet! What the hey? How? Uhg, never mind.
The mech smashes through the first wall of the tower, and fights the stone army, dashing dozens with one swing of its sword. Lloyd winds up for an ever bigger attack… when lasers blast off both the mech’s arms. Oh come on, that was going to be awesome! Who did that?
Evil!Nya’s laser turret shoots the mech down, leaving Lloyd basically defenseless in the middle of the stone army. The guys bail from the dragon to protect him, but it’s clear that they won’t hold out long. It’s five against hundreds.
Jay: I know we’ve always drawn a crowd, but this is ridiculous!
Kai: How can you be making jokes at a time like this!?
Jay: Hey, if I’m going down, might as well go down laughing!
Zane: If this is how we’re going to go down, I’m proud to be fighting alongside my brothers.
Meanwhile, on the dragon, Misako notices that the Overlord is kinda too big to be wearing the helmet of darkness anymore. So, if they find the helmet, they can take control of the army and save the ninja. Guess who finds the helmet. Go on, guess.
With Dareth controlling the stone army, the warriors all freeze. Likely because there is no brain activity going on beneath that helmet. The moron does manage to get the stone army to about-face and charge up the tower.
Lloyd: I need to get to the top of that fortress! I may not be able to get there by myself –Looks down at broken foot– but with your help, I can face him!
So the stone army tries to clear the way up the tower. Unfortunately, Evil!Nya just blasts them all away with her laser turret. The dragon draws her fire for a bit while the ninja climb the tower, but she eventually shoots the poor thing in the tail, forcing the creature to land.
While the guys are helping Lloyd up the tower, another fountain of dark matter shoots from the top, and engulfs Cole. Oh Crap. He struggles against the evil power for a few seconds, and yells at the others to go on without him. The remaining guys don’t get too far before more dark matter falls from the sky. Jay pushes Lloyd out of the way, taking the shot.
Zane: From my calculations, with the distance remaining to the top, the odds are that only one of us is going to make it!
Lloyd: Then let’s beat the odds!
–Evil!Cole and Evil!Jay have caught up to them and attack–
Zane: Go on. I’ll hold them back.
Kai and Lloyd don’t get further than the next corner when Evil!Nya shows up with her laser turret.
Kai: I’m gonna draw her fire, so you can make it to the top.
Lloyd: No, don’t! We can do this together!
Kai: No, there’s only one green ninja. This is your fight.
–Lloyd limps up the stairs as fast as he can-
Evil!Nya: You’re hurt! You hardly stand a chance!
Kai: Ayaaah! –Slashes though laser turret– Go Lloyd!
The kid limps to the top, where he finds the enormous draconic form of the Overlord. The music builds up to create an intense, epic atmosphere.
Lloyd: I have come here… to fight you!
Me: Uhg, you can’t do the epic show-down lines kid, just go for epic silence.
Overlord: You’re in no shape to fight! It’s over. Evil wins.
Lloyd: A ninja never quits.
Overlord: Muahahahaha! You don’t even have a sword.
Lloyd: –Quietly- I don’t need a sword. –Charges up an energy ball–
Me: See? That was great! Don’t go for over the top, go for understated and you’re fine!
Overlord: Then all I have to say is… goodbye.
The demon dragon breaths an intense blast of dark matter at the kid, engulfing his protective energy bubble and nearly pushing him off the tower. But Lloyd puts more force into his energy ball, growing it to the point that it threatens the Overlord’s position on the tower. The two forces rage at a stand-still for a few seconds until the kid’s energy bubble bursts in a golden explosion.
Lloyd: I am the ultimate spinjitzu master!
Me: Dangit kid, what’d I say about understatement before? You totally ruined the epic atmosphere!
Lloyd is now floating, with a golden ninja uniform and golden energy glowing about him. He easily punches and kicks the Overlord off the tower, but the demon dragon isn’t backing down. Lloyd summons his own golden dragon made of energy. Dragon fight! Awesome!
The Overlord starts flying in circles around him, engulfing Lloyd in a cocoon of dark matter. The epic music builds as the ball of darkness grows, engulfing the top of the tower. Within the ball, the golden light shrinks, and the laughing head of the dark dragon swallows it whole.
However, light cracks out from between the Overlord’s teeth, and he’s soon blown up from the inside by an explosion of light. The light drives away the darkness from the city, changing the evil zombies back into normal people.
Kai and Jay wake up in the middle of a crater.
Kai: Uhhg… what happened?
–They both spot Nya lying on the ground a few meters away–
Kai: My sister!
Jay: Nya, you’re back!
–Cole and Zane are just a few meters away in the other direction-
Cole: Come here you tin can!
Zane: Brother! –They hug-
–The dragon lands and Dr. Julien hops off–
Dr. Julien: Is this really happening? We did it?
Dareth: We did it? You did it! I did it! Heck, who didn’t do it?
Me: That’s right Dareth. You’re not special. Your contributions could have come from anybody!
Lloyd lands his energy dragon and joins the others. He’s saved the future of Ninjago! Kai says if the Overlord ever dares show his nightmare-inducing face again, they’ll be ready and stronger than ever.
Jay: And with better catch-phrases!
Me: This is why you’re my favorite.
The guys are all laughing, but Lloyd just frowns and looks down.
Misako: We will all miss your father.
–Some rubble behind them shifts, a figure crawls out and staggers toward them–
Figure: Lloyd! …W-what happened?
Misako: –Looks at the man for a second before recognizing him– Garmadon? Is it really you?
–Lloyd looks at man for a moment-
Lloyd: Dad? –Runs to him– Dad! –They hug–
Me: –Crying happy tears–
Misako: –Joins hug– Every ounce of evil… it’s… gone!
Sensei: Good to have you back, brother.
Garmadon: Wu? Good to be back!
The guys end off the episode wondering what to do now. Kai says the balance between good and evil may have been restored for now, but that doesn’t mean other baddies won’t come along in the future. So they’ll be ready and waiting for whatever comes their way.
You can probably tell that this was meant to be the series finale. The battle between Lloyd and the Overlord is referred to as ‘The final battle between good and evil’ several times, and we get a very definitive happy ending with Lloyd’s family being reunited. They leave it sort of open-ended with Kai’s speech at the end, but it looks like all the evil forces in Ninjago have been defeated.
Then the series got picked up for a third season.
How will they bring in a new conflict, now that the main antagonist of the last two seasons has made a heel-face turn? We’ll see in season three, Ninjago: Rebooted.
No, they do not reboot the franchise. This isn’t the Spiderman movies. The title will make sense later.
Character Corner: Recap time! This season our four heroes didn’t develop much more… it’s more like we just got to see them in some new situations.
Kai: Obviously he’s grown a lot since the pilot, but from the end of season one? Uh… I think he’s learned to respect Sensei a bit more, and he’s got a better control of his impatience. I don’t think he’ll ever be able to actually get rid of it completely though. His development is most obvious when Nya gets kidnapped again. In the pilot he became totally obsessed with getting her back, but this time he’s able to focus on the mission, knowing that if they defeat the Overlord, Nya will be fine.
Jay: He makes a bit of a reversal with Kai when Nya’s kidnapped. Now Jay is the one going a bit crazy over getting her back. Luckily he pulls it together with some talk from the others. Jay’s gone from not taking anything seriously, to at least taking Nya’s safety seriously. Buuuut he still cracks jokes at the completely wrong time. Jay’s biggest development is with his relationship with Nya, which goes from ‘just dating’ to as serious a couple as you can have in a little boy’s show. She kisses him.
Zane: Once again, Zane probably gets the most character development out of the four, although it’s definitely less than season one. We get some funny bits in the first half of season two with goofy robot antics, but the real development comes in episode 22 when we find out Dr. Julien is still alive. We learn that Zane enjoys his life, but there’s one thing about being a robot he doesn’t like: having a memory switch. And then, later on he gets caught trying to save the falcon. Last season, I never would have thought Zane would be the one endangering a mission.
Cole: Cole continues to be already awesome and therefore in no need of character development. We learn he really likes cake. I guess I noticed towards the end that he gets really frustrated with an enemy he can’t defeat, and wants to fight them anyway. As the leader, he always wants to fight to keep his team safe. Other than that… I can’t think of anything. Just awesome as always.
Lloyd: This kid clearly gets the most character development this season. He goes from a trouble-magnet brat to the brat who saves the world. But seriously. At the beginning of season two, Lloyd is very arrogant about his status as the green ninja and he constantly begs to be allowed to come along on missions. He kinda has a good reason to be arrogant too, he develops his abilities quickly, and he is very powerful. However, as the final battle draws near, Lloyd starts to realize he may not be able to go through with this. He doesn’t have the heart to take on his own father in battle. Then the Overlord possesses Garmadon, which should make the fight easier for the kid, but the demon is too powerful. Even after his first defeat, Lloyd isn’t willing to give up. I like to think he got his dead-set determination from Kai. In the end it’s his refusal to give up that gets him to the top of the tower and earns him his happy ending.
Nya: Awesome as always. Nya doesn’t change much this season, except in her relationship with Jay, and as I said before, it’s really just that they kiss. It sadly feels like she did less this season, she hardly got to use the samurai mech at all. Most of her contributions were in the way of vehicles and mechanical repairs, she did most of her fighting while she was evil for the last two episodes.
Garmadon: I like to think that he became less and less rational as the evil took more and more control of him. It’d explain why he made some really poor decisions this season, and why he was duped rather obviously by both Skales and the Overlord. I’m really, really happy to see him redeemed to good, and I can’t wait to see how his character changes in season three.
Misako: She frustrates me. Sometimes she’s awesome, and I like her relationship with Lloyd, but her ‘romance’ with Sensei Wu is creepy, and her scroll knowledge often just feels like a Deus Ex Machina. Hopefully she improves in season three now that her real husband is back.
Sensei Wu: See above.
Dareth: I wouldn’t have minded that much if the Overlord had run him over with the tank at the beginning of this episode.
Dr. Julien: He’s cool, and pretty funny. I like that, even though he obviously doesn’t like fighting, he’s willing to do whatever he can to help Zane and the others. Not much else to say, I just love him.
I dunno… the season is over, and pretty much all of the plot elements have been tied up. I think I’ve covered everything I want to this season.
Over-all Episode Quality: Great
A great ending to the arc of the first two series. Great atmosphere (even if Lloyd’s voice kinda ruins it sometimes) and major feels.