LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Episode 28 Review
SEASON 3 EPISODE 28: THE ART OF THE SILENT FIST
I’m updating regularly again! Yay!
As the episode opens, we see that Ninjago City has been utterly trashed and appears to be mostly deserted. The Overlord is searching for the ninja and taking in the little amount of golden energy the robots were able to steal from Lloyd, trying to reconstitute his old body.
Overlord: It’s not enough! I need more of the boy’s power… if I am ever to be free of this digital prison! I am fed up with pathetic mortal bodies… I want my own back!
PIXAL points out that the Overlord should probably concentrate on destroying the technoblades before going after the golden ninja, but the evil program insists. There’s been no sign of the ninja on any sensors, but luckily they have a prisoner who knows their enemy well.
Sensei Wu says he’ll never talk, but that’s the nice thing about taking over an advanced corporation, you have so many nifty gadgets, including one that can visualize a person’s memories. Somewhere in those memories is where our heroes are hiding.
Speaking of our heroes’ hiding place, it happens to be Lloyd’s parents’ house out in the country. Apparently Garmadon’s started his own dojo in this little village, and goes by Sensei Garmadon now. But just to avoid confusion, I’m just going to keep using his name. In any case, he’s out… I dunno, running errands or something, and won’t be back until tonight.
Misako: Come in, but your weapons are not allowed. Ever since Lloyd saved his father, Garmadon’s sworn an oath to never fight, in hope to make up for his evil past. It’s an oath he takes very seriously.
Me: Oh, so he’s like the people of Ammon in the Book of Mormon! Cool! (Apologies to my non-Mormon readers who have no clue what I’m talking about)
Kai: But we’re supposed to protect these with our lives!
Jay: And never let them out of our sight!
Zane: You guys go on ahead, I will stay back and watch over them.
The others are all ‘Oh, thanks man!’ and leave Zane alone with the technoblades very quickly. He sighs as they leave. Wow, way to show gratitude guys. /sarcasm/
As they enter the village, Misako notices Nya watching the guys with a funny look on her face. Oh no. Oh please no! Please tell me they are not going to do a stupid love triangle!
Misako: I know that look.
Nya: Uh, what look? I wasn’t looking.
Misako: Two boys, one heart?
Me: Yeah, you would know, floosy.
Nya: Am I that obvious? What do I do?
Me: Well, for starters, don’t ask the woman who flirts with her husband’s brother for help.
Uh… yeah. So apparently Nya did take the stupid love machine’s results seriously and is now attracted to Cole. And don’t get me wrong, I like Cole, he’s a cool guy, but this really rubs me wrong for a number of reasons. First of all, love triangles are one of the most over-used romance clichés out there. They are boring, predictable, and only serve to create pointless character drama. The reason I liked Nya and Jay as a couple so much is because they didn’t do something clichéd like a love triangle. Which brings me to my second point: I really like Nya and Jay as a couple and I don’t like that the writers are throwing it away rather than developing their relationship further. And finally, Cole’s never shown any interest in Nya before this, so it feels really forced. This ends up being my biggest complaint with season 3.
Anyway, moving on from that train wreck. Later that night, our heroes and some students are gathered in the dojo, waiting for Garmadon to return.
Jay: –Whispering to Cole– Check out the new Sensei! Lookin’ sharp!
Garmandon: –Whacks Jay with his staff– Silence! Close your mouths, and open your ears.
Me: The more things change, the more they stay the same.
Garmadon has developed a new martial art, called the Art of the Silent Fist, where you “fight without fighting”. Basically, you use your opponent’s energy and momentum against them, so they take themselves out without you landing even a single blow. Kinda the same idea behind Airbending and Waterbending in Avatar, which are in turn based off of real martial arts, Baguazhang and Tai Chi, respectively.
Lloyd volunteers for a demonstration and his dad’s all ‘Ok, but try not to blow the place up’. Garmadon proceeds the wipe the floor with the kid, easily dodging every attack and making Lloyd keep going on and crashing into the floor and walls. Man, it’s a good thing Garmadon developed this skill after he turned good, because if he’d been able to do this before, we’d’ve been doomed by now.
Garmadon: Pupils, I give you the most powerful ninja in all the land, the golden ninja.
Me: Yeah, Garmadon’s still kind of a troll.
Lloyd does not appreciate being trolled and starts charging up an energy ball.
Garmadon: Easy son, it is only a lesson.
Lloyd: Uh, sorry. –Sigh of irritation– I don’t know what got into me.
Garmadon: You let the anger take over. I know that feeling well.
Me: So, uh… should we be worried about that?
Apparently not, because next we cut to Zane, who has unfortunately zoned out again. When he finally comes back down to earth, he realizes the technoblades are gone. Luckily the culprit hasn’t gotten far, and he quickly tackles the fleeing target. But it’s not what he expects.
Zane: –Gasp– PIXAL? What are you doing?
PIXAL: Discontinuing an old droid. –Lunges at him–
Zane: –catches her kick– You may call me old, but not slow! –Throws her against a tree and ties her up–
The noise from the fight alerts the others to the danger and our heroes run outside to see what’s going on. By the time they get there, Zane’s already got PIXAL tied up and leading her to the village. He pulls out his technoblade to purge the Overlord virus from her system. Garmadon protests using a weapon in the village, but Jay’s just ‘Relax, it’s not a weapon, it just hacks stuff.’ Well, technically it’s both a weapon and a tool to hack things… but they’re just using it as a tool here, so it’s cool.
Zane asks how she found them, and PIXAL explains how they used Sensei’s memories. She also explains that the Overlord wants Lloyd so it can drain his power and become a physical being, and that the technoblades are the only things that can reboot Borg Industries’ system and delete the Overlord virus. The guys are impressed.
Unfortunately, PIXAL wasn’t the only one the Overlord sent after them. The nindroids we saw on the assembly line last episode decloak, and our heroes are suddenly surrounded. We get a really great fight scene here. The nindroids are fast and brutal. A large group of them isolate Zane and start really tearing him apart. Luckily Lloyd charges in and saves him, but with more and more of the baddies showing up every moment, it’s clear the ninja have to leave, now.
Cole gets an idea. They hide inside a water wheel and push it down the hill, rolling over any opposition until they reach their vehicles. Then the vehicles take off… and are promptly shot down by the baddies. But wait! Our heroes are still hiding inside the water wheel, the vehicles were just on autopilot. Clever. Very clever ninja.
Cole: We should get a move on.
Garmadon: I’m coming with you. If the Overlord wants my son, I’m not letting him out of my sight.
Lloyd: Wait! If he wants me, and the technoblades are the only things that can stop him, shouldn’t we split up, just in case?
Nya: Good thinking. Zane’s falcon knows the secret location of my Samurai X cave. You and your father go, and take what you need to get as far away from us as possible.
Jay: Secret cave? I thought we knew everything about each other…
Nya: Well, a girl’s gotta have her secrets.
Meanwhile, Nya and the guys are going to the power plant that supplies electricity to all of Ninjago, and they’re gonna shut it down, which should stop the Overlord in his tracks.
Our main group sneaks into the power plant by hiding in a magic box in a circus caravan. Once they get past the first round of guards, Nya explains the plan. Shutting off the power will cripple the Overlord’s forces, but it won’t destroy him. They’ll still need to use the technoblades to reboot the central computer for that.
Jay: Woah-woah-woah, wait a minute! If shutting down the power turns off everything connected to it, wouldn’t that mean PIXAL too?
-The others exchange glances.-
Cole: Well if Zane hasn’t figured it out, don’t tell him. If we come across more nindroids, we need to be on our A-game.
Kai: Speaking of which, where is Zane?
Zane, it turns out, is in the back with PIXAL. She’s repairing him after the beating he took from the baddies before. While she fixes him up, she comes across Zane’s power source, a pulsing blue disk a bit up and to the left of where a human heart would be. PIXAL comments that it’s unlike anything she’s ever seen before. She reaches to take a look, but when her hand gets too close it shocks both her and Zane.
PIXAL: I’m sorry I have caused you pain. I was curious to understand why you are so different.
Zane: We’re all different, but… I don’t feel so different around you.
PIXAL: … I am not different. I am PIXAL, the Primary Interactive eXternal Assistant Life-form, and your repairs are complete. –She walks away leaving Zane looking like someone just slammed a door in his face–
Me: Ooooh, shut down.
You know what makes the stupid love triangle this season even more stupid? The fact that they can clearly write romance well. I do not care for romance in fiction. I’ve always found it clichéd and predictable, so when a show can actually get me to care about a couple, you know they are doing exceptionally well. Zane and PIXAL’s romance should be clichéd, of course they’re going to pair the two robots. But somehow, through the music and the voice acting and the dialog, they make me care. And yet they want to cram in another, totally unnecessary romance subplot that is much more annoying!
Uhg, rant over, let’s check in with Lloyd and Garmadon. They’ve found Nya’s batcave.
Garmadon: Why must everything have so many weapons?
Lloyd: Says the man who had four arms to possess the golden weapons.
Garmadon: Ahaha. –Muttering– I deserved that.
Me: Can we just have an entire season of these two bantering? I’d watch that.
Weapons or no weapons, Garmadon’s pretty excited to drive Nya’s fancy roadster. They set off to put as much ground between themselves and Ninjago City and the other ninja as possible.
Back with the others, we unfortunately have to endure more love triangle stupidity.
Cole: Hey Nya, how are our kids?
Nya: What!? Our kids? Why would we have kids? We’re not even married, let alone…!
Cole: I mean our students! Weirdo.
Me: Can you see why I don’t think this would work out?
Anyway, they get talking and Nya tells Cole he’s a good guy and she appreciates what he does. That’s ok, Cole is a good guy and he does deserve some recognition. Then she reaches across the table and holds his hand. Cole’s reaction is to laugh, take her hand, and say “Don’t tell Jay.” That’s not ok. Jay is your friend and teammate Cole! Tell her you’re flattered, but you don’t want to betray your friend’s trust. Tell her if she’s not interested in him anymore, she should break up before coming on to someone else. Bros before… y’know!
I’m sorry I keep complaining about this, but it really bothers me!
Luckily before the love triangle can go any farther, they arrive at the storm farms, where they collect electricity from the constant lightning in the area to power the entire continent. Wow, I wish power-lines were that efficient in real life.
The power station is heavily guarded by nindroids, so they’re going to have to be stealthy.
Jay: You mean we get to be ninja for a change? Woo-hoo!
Me: You’re adorkable, but did you forget the meaning of stealth?
PIXAL: I’ll stay back. I’m not built for stealth, and cannot assist you.
Zane: Be safe, and stay out of trouble. I’ll see you later.
Our heroes manage to reach the main control-room without incident. Unfortunately while looking for a way to shut the power down, Jay turns on some music, Kai and Cole try to break the power core, and soon everybody’s arguing and generally being loud and un-stealthy. The nindroids are alerted to their location. PIXAL takes note and quickly decides to go help using her…
PIXAL sets off an alarm, which draws the attentions of both the baddies and our heroes. This is both good, because it alerts our heroes to the enemy, who were about to ambush them, but also bad, because now PIXAL has to deal with a whole bunch of nindroids on her own and she really doesn’t have a chance against them.
Nya: Our cover is blown! Seal the doors and find a way to shut it down!
Zane: PIXAL! Don’t seal the doors, I’m going out there.
Jay: Are you crazy? We barely put you back together the last time you fought them!
Zane: You didn’t fix me, she did!
Zane slips out the door, but one little nindroid (called “Mindroid” for future reference) gets in.
Jay: Oh great, now they come in fun size!
Meanwhile, Lloyd and Garmadon are taking a quick rest-stop when they see a huge something flying towards them. The Overlord’s got a great big mecha-dragon now.
It’s fast enough to keep pace with the roadster, so Garmadon fiddles with the controls, trying to shift it into turbo. He accidentally fires a missile at the mechanical behemoth. Oops.
We leave that action to cut back to Zane, who manages to fight off most of the evil nindroids, except for their leader, General Cryptor. And of course, Cryptor’s the one who’s got PIXAL.
Cryptor: The original Nindroid. You’re nothing more than a tin can with feelings.
The general disarms Zane and throws his technoblade over the side of the building. Zane continues to fight back empty-handed, but Cryptor has no trouble countering him, and when the evil nindroid cloaks, he really starts tearing into Zane.
Back in the control room, the Mindroid is giving the other three quite a bit of trouble while Nya continues to look for a way to shut down the power. A stray laser blast from the Mindroid cracks the glass around the power core. Kai gets the idea to use the Art of the Silent Fist to get the nindroids to fire on the power core and destroy it. Nya opens the doors to let more nindroids in, and the guys use their expert dodging skills to avoid all the lasers and blow up the core. This sends a rolling blackout through all of Ninjago, powering down everything connected to Borg’s system. And not a moment too soon, that mecha-dragon was about to catch Lloyd.
Unfortunately this also includes PIXAL. The other guys walk outside to find Zane holding her.
PIXAL: This is why I wanted to stay back. So you wwould not s-s-see this.
Zane: You knew this would happen?
PIXAL: Yyour mission was important. I-I was not. I am to assist. I-I assisted.
Zane: You’re using up your reserve. Don’t say anything more until we find you more power.
PIXAL: You’ve destroyed the only power source in all of Ninjago. Power will all be nonexistent. –takes his hand– W-we are not so d-different, are we? We a-a-are compatible?
Zane: Yes. Yes we are.
–She shuts down–
Wanna give character X a hug: Zane=8; Lloyd= 10; Jay= 3; Cole= 1; Garmadon: 4; Kai = 2
Geez, if this keeps up, Zane’s gonna catch up to Lloyd.
The episode closes as Lloyd and Garmadon climb over the wreckage of the mecha-dragon, continuing on their journey. It won’t be safe to stop until they know the system has been rebooted, and the Overlord destroyed.
This episode continues the interesting story from last episode and sets up some new plot-lines of its own, like Lloyd and Garmadon going on the run, and the purpose of the technoblades. We see Zane’s feelings for PIXAL develop and we see our new mooks for the season, the nindroids. It’s mostly a great episode… except for the stupid love triangle! That really drags it down and just seems like filler we could be using to better develop the characters or the plot.
Character Corner: The Overlord
Yeah, I’m saving PIXAL for later. The Overlord is back from season 2, and he seems a bit different this time. In season 2 he was cool, collected, and in control. In this season he’s much more given to ranting and raging. This actually makes sense, as back in season 2, the Overlord had been pulling strings and setting up his plan for hundreds, maybe even thousands of years. Now he’s trying to come back after only a short time. He’s probably making it up as he goes, which is of course going to be stressful. Add to that the anger and disappointment of being defeated by a kid just when he thought he’d won, and of course the Overlord is going to be a raving monster who won’t listen to reason.
They don’t go right out and say it, but it’s implied that the power station that collects electricity from the local lightning storms is in the same place where they got the nunchucks of lightning back in the pilot. One way I deal with the stupid love triangle is assuming that the Perfect Match arcade cabinet was actually a ploy by the Overlord to try and tear the team apart from the inside. It doesn’t actually make the characters’ actions any better, but it at least gives a reason for the stupidity.
Over-all Episode Quality: Well Above Average.
Would be great if it weren’t for the love triangle stuff pulling it down.