After the Ninjago team’s prison breakout in the latest broadcast (my last running commentary can be read here), the gang is not only on the lam but also have to figure out who else will become a member of this Legion of Doom. But before they can do that, they’ll have to find someplace to hide out in. They can’t go home, and the only people who can help are P.I.X.A.L., Sensei Wu and Nya. In what makes these episodes perfect lays in three facts.
First, the running gag concerning how, P.I.X.A.L. can build the team new mecha (or costumes) in no time flat gets asked again and I surmise she made copies of herself. That’s the only logical explanation to answer this mystery.
Second is the fact we have two new characters! “Hounddog McBrag” introduces fans to an all-new bounty hunter, and I feel he can give Ronin a run for his money. In what makes this character stick is that he’s a cowboy through and through, who also loves his metaphors! However, I hope the rogue is not being retired. He’s multipurpose, whereas Hounddog is not.
Also, Fugi-Dove is back! This misguided criminal has chosen to help Jay out and their relationship is downright hilarious. Jay looks like the straight man of this unusual comedic pairing. The two “reunited” when the inmates were taken to the desert to collect trash along the highway. But before they get too busy, Dareth and Nya’s plan to free them is executed.
In order to avoid getting caught, the team splits up. Lloyd, Jay and Fugi-dove are headed in one direction and Dareth, Zane and Cole the other. To see Fugi-dove “torment” Jay is downright hilarious, and it got the kid in me laughing all the way through. Every time he appears in the series, I can’t help but chuckle, and I have to wonder just how much of a fan favourite character he is amongst the Ninjago fandom community. Apparently, the kids must love him, otherwise why have him return?
Third is in how much I love “The Benefit of Grief.” It’s the perfect side-story with a very feel good ending. Here, we learn why shutting down your emotions is bad. Not only can it cut you off from the world–and what it means to be human–but also it can make people look heartless. We’ve seen this explored in many a Star Trek type television show concerning Spock, Data and even Issac (from The Orville), and to have a NInjago spin on the concept is heartwarming. In this case, it concerns Sally and Zane because they can’t leave their feelings unchecked.
The new character here is Sally. She’s scared her family will disown her because she ran away to pursue her dreams. When Hounddog catches up with Zane, Cole and Dareth, she thinks pops sent him to bring her home instead of realising who she picked up are fugitives. It’s a heartfelt episode because they teach her the value of having each other’s back in times of need. Even though she thinks she can make it on her own, she can’t because she fears she’ll be alone. Even Zane discovers he can’t keep his emotion chip permeantly turned off.
Ashleigh Ball’s (the lead singer and founder of Hey Ocean!) “Inner Steel (Sally’s Song)” is a terrific tune which is very introspective about the turmoil the team is going through. It’s about how to persevere. In addition to her work in My Little Pony, she voices Sally and is a great addition to the series. I hope to see this character return.
Although there’s only two more episodes left, I’m hoping we won’t have to wait long for the next batch to be released. Fans are still awaiting an official word about when the next half will be released. For now, all we have is a trailer for the next batch of episodes. It has been out for a month and I’ll offer my thoughts about it after my next review/analysis of the mid-season finale, “The Council of the Crystal King.”