By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
It’s an end of an era for LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu Videos. March of the Oni, the latest season, is essentially a movie split into four episodes. It brings the Oni arc (which started in Sons of, season eight) to an end. In what keeps me coming back, despite a retcon of this villain is in how the good guys value brotherhood above all else. Bad guys rarely give their fellow warriors their due and, as a result, consistently fail in a fight.
Jay, Zane, Nya, Cole, and Lloyd have seen how brothers can turn upon brothers in season four, Tournament of the Elements. With season six, Skybound, the pirates whom the Djinn Nadakhan enslaved were not truly honour bound. Even the serpents, skeletons and ghosts they faced had snide remarks amongst the ranks. Even when Lloyd was trying to do bad things, the Serpentine clan recognised problems and did little because of a misfired attempt by the leader to hypnotise the tyke.
The fact he believed he can save his father made for terrific storytelling in the early seasons. Garmadon’s rise and fall have plenty of Shakespearean tones written all over. Although the son saved him and the evil was bled out once, how he returned to the darkness and the question of where his humanity went in his dark resurrection in season eight still needs to be explored.
Ever since his return, he’s beyond redemption. It’s assumed the evil Oni found him and breathed their essence into him, making him an even greater threat. Another possibility is that he was literally split apart (like in Star Trek TOS, “The Enemy Within” where Kirk’s essence was split apart in a transporter beam accident) and everything considered human (good) is tossed somewhere into the multiverse. What’s left is an aspect hell bent in destroying the city of Ninjago instead of giving the Oni the pleasure. Also, he believes he is stronger alone than with the ninjas.
But as this latest season shows, yin and yang must be in balance to defeat an even worse omnipresent force. Lloyd even acknowledges how father is important to this realm’s creation and without him, the Oni will destroy all. The final act is filled with a lot of philosophy to make me glad another season can be made. A lot of questions are raised. Could there be more Oni who have recanted their ways and become just like Mistaké–neither aiding or assisting the forces of good, but rather becoming neutral observers. It’s safe to assume there are splinter groups and The Ice Emperor who rules the Kingdom of Never-Realm shares some Oni heritage. Some information exists online for this upcoming season and an official trailer will drop May 26th. Let’s hope the dates for each country’s broadcast is not long!