Quick Thoughts on Ninjago Crystalized Part Two and Teletoon….

15 Oct

NinjagoSpoiler Alert

The staggered world-wide release of Ninjago Crystalized Part Two is very confusing. In some countries, it’s been released to Netflix all in one go on Oct 10th, and in others–due to where Wildbrain operates its own specialty network–started sooner. It began October 1st on Teletoon Canada, and thankfully I missed little with “A Sinister Shadow,” where the story is mostly a recap, with 10% new content. The narrative shifts to Harumi’s point of view. She was dead, but a force known as The Crystal King offers her a chance at a second life instead of living in the emptiness known as the Departed Realm.

It’s not altogether surprising that this former love interest of Lloyd has been manipulating things. She’s required to build an army rather than recruit, and therein lies an interesting tie-in to the comic, Garmadon. What’s suggested is that the other bad guys aren’t needed. Both narratives deal with what ifs after the gangs have lost their leaders. Those who got away aren’t doing well.

“The Spider’s Design” is the better episode, where we get a gradual buildup to a familiar conflict. The Green Ninja must embrace his Oni side if he’s to escape his captors. But this lad boy fears it could take over his personality. That’s been a recurring theme in a few episodes, and Lloyd has to be like Luke Skywalker. That is, he has to learn enough about what drives the Sith before he can become a true Jedi. That is, a yin and yang must always be no more than the other; the First Spinjitzu Master was the Equaliser before his departure.

Ninjago" The Fall of The Monastery (TV Episode 2022) - IMDb

With the next episode, “The Fall of the Monastery” has the best action. It’s by far the better Marvel Cinematic Experience the producers promised to deliver. Although they promised an epic fight in the style of The Avengers, I feel we got that here than in what is still to come.

The concern why Wu treats his students like they are his sons and daughters is much more important, and thankfully the build-up doesn’t forget this. It shows how significant he is that he reacts to more loss. This moment has been handled before (“Secrets of the Forbidden Spinjitzu”) and I’m still waiting for that MCU’s Black Widow moment where a death is made permanent.

Instead, “The Council of the Crystal King” requires the Golden Weapons to bring back the dead! Without it, this lord can’t cross over. As for what vile threat he has for this world, the backstory is rather quick. I hoped there would be more to reference what this region was like before his coming and the First Spinjitzu Master, but alas, what’s said before sticks instead of going into greater detail.

Ninjago Council of the Crystal King

Although part of me is sad that Ninjago may no longer feature these characters, it’s unlikely the New Ninja will be the focus in the next chapter, slated for release in 2023. What’s planned is very much Star Trek: The Next Generation. It won’t be a reboot either, but a continuation with certain characters fulfilling their roles as revealed way back in “Grave Danger” (Season 5)

But for Lloyd, he’ll have to do more than embrace “The Darkness Within” in the following episode. This one is more of a filler. It’s obvious the weapons are needed to bring the Dark Lord back. This episode is a humdinger for those viewers who haven’t followed the speculation. The entry of the said lord only sets up a huge Return of the King showdown than anything else. The direction is very obvious with “The Coming of the King,” as the Crystal Lord finally manifests and reveals who he truly is. The build-up only gets better and considers the LotR reference with a very telling title, “Return to Primeval’s Eye.”

This season is satisfactory to close off this arc about the current Ninjago team, but I feel more can be done to make it unique than be a familiar fight between two rival forces.

Honestly, I’d love to watch the First Spinjitzu Master return in Ninjago Crystalized Part Two. Before, we only got to see him in vague appearances, and to not bring him into the fight feels like a disservice. Also, since most fans know every ally made will appear in this finale of Lloyd Garmadon’s Hero’s Journey, so why not him?

LEGO NInjago Crystalized Part Two Trailer

 

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