|“I came here for you, Zane. I came here to bring you home.”|
“This . . . is my home.”
“No. Ninjago is your home.”
|— Lloyd and the Ice Emperor|
|"A Fragile Hope"|
|Season 11, Episode 28|
|Air date||October 21, 2019 (Australia)|
November 8, 2019 (Canada)
January 25, 2020 (US)
|Written by||Matt "Chato" Hill|
|Directed by||Adam Wood|
"Once and for All"
A Fragile Hope is the twenty-eighth episode of the eleventh season, and 126th overall of Ninjago. It aired on October 21, 2019, in Australia and on November 8, 2019, in Canada, paired with "Corruption." It aired in the US on January 25, 2020, paired up with "Once and for All."
Extended: Lloyd attempts to remind Zane of who he is and where he came from. Vex, however, sees his influence waning and urges Zane to destroy Lloyd. The moment is witnessed by Grimfax, who seems unsure what to believe. In a moment of desperation, Lloyd throws himself at Zane and tries to knock the Scroll out of his hands. But in his weakened state, Lloyd is easily overpowered and dragged off to the dungeons. Elsewhere, Nya, Jay, Kai, Cole and the creature, Krag, find themselves pursued by Frost Wolves. Just as the Frost Wolves are about to catch them, they arrive at the wreckage of the Land Bounty. They ninja luckily scare the Frost Wolves away and start to work on the Bounty. In the Ice Castle, Lloyd finds himself in a dank dungeon cell. He hears a voice and realizes he has a neighbor in the next cell. It's Kataru: Akita's brother! The two prisoners bond over their shared connection and plan their escape. Elsewhere, the ninja get the Land Bounty working just as the Frost Wolves return! Their narrow escape is witnessed by Vex, who convinces the Ice Emperor to conjure forth Boreal one last time to destroy them. Just as all hope seems lost, however, Lloyd receives an unexpected visitor. Grimfax arrives and releases Lloyd and Kataru, offering to join them and help them defeat the Ice-Emperor.
Lloyd looks up to Zane in disbelief, seeing that he is the Ice Emperor. Zane is confused about who Lloyd is and why he calls him Zane. Lloyd tries to get Zane to remember who he is by telling him of Ninjago, their friends, and moments from their shared past, like how Lloyd made his ninja gi pink. However, Zane doesn’t recall any of those moments and Vex calls the stories lies.
Lloyd sees Zane's scepter, which reminds him of the Scroll of Forbidden Spinjitzu and Zane's banishment by Aspheera. Lloyd eventually reaches the conclusion that it has corrupted him and asks Zane how long he has been the Ice Emperor. Zane answers that he has held the scroll for decades. Initially shocked, Lloyd assumes that time works differently in Never-Realm than it does in Ninjago. He tries to get Zane to drop his staff but Vex says that Lloyd has come for the Scroll and takes it for himself. He fights against the Blizzard Warriors, jumping over Vex to get to Zane only for him to knock him back with his Elemental Powers. Vex announces his desire to kill Lloyd but intrigued by Lloyd's words, Zane orders that he'd be thrown into the dungeon instead. Vex reluctantly complies and Grimfax reflects on Lloyd's words.
Meanwhile, Cole, Jay, Kai, Nya, and Krag search for the Land Bounty and find themselves surrounded by Frost Wolves. Jay comes up with a plan which, much to everyone's chagrin, is to flee. The ninja runoff until Cole sees the Land Bounty and he and the others hide inside. Nya throws a fire extinguisher for Jay to zap and the wolves flee.
Lloyd finds himself in a cell in shackles made of corrupted Ice. He then hears a voice from a nearby cell and introduces himself to the prisoner, which turns out to be Kataru. Lloyd recognizes his name as that of Akita’s brother and he believes his sister is dead. Lloyd tells him that Akita really survived while stating she believed he was dead. Kataru explains that he wasn't killed by Boreal, but was taken prisoner as a prize for so long, he doesn't know how long he has been in the dungeons and has given up hope of escaping. Lloyd believes there is a way and tries to break free from his shackles. Vex appears and tauntingly claps for Lloyd's hopeful speech while telling him that his shackles block out powers. Lloyd retorts a warning to Vex that Zane will see through his lies. Vex believes otherwise, promising to deal with him and anyone else who'll oppose him, and leaves. Kataru believes that things are hopeless, but Lloyd tells him that Akita and his friends are coming and they will never give up.
Unfortunately, Cole contemplates giving up, seeing how Nya cannot get the Land Bounty to work. She removes parts of the Land Bounty, much to Jay and her brother's concern. Krag smells the wolves returning and he, Jay, and Cole fight them though badly outnumbered. Nya angrily slams at the console with her wrench and the Land Bounty reactivates, allowing the team to escape.
As Vex leaves the dungeon, he hears a noise but doesn’t see anything and leaves. It turns out Grimfax was hiding and heads to the dungeon. Grimfax reveals that unlike the rest of the Blizzard Warriors, he still has his free will and releases Lloyd and Kataru. He asks him if Zane truly was a good person, which Lloyd confirms and tells Grimfax that if he can get his scepter away from Zane, he will return to normal. The three join forces and Lloyd starts up a resistance against the Ice Emperor and Vex.
- Cole - Kirby Morrow
- Grimfax - Brian Drummond
- Ice Emperor - Brent Miller
- Jay - Michael Adamthwaite
- Kai - Vincent Tong
- Kataru - Cole Howard
- Krag - Brian Drummond
- Lloyd Garmadon - Sam Vincent
- Nya - Kelly Metzger
- Vex - Michael Kopsa
For the transcript of the episode, click here.
- Narrator: Nya
- This episode's title is based on the book titled A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti.
- This marks the second time Nya reads the title of an episode.
- Lloyd refers to the time he once put Kai's clothes in with Zane's, referring to "Can of Worms."
- Zane stating that he has been holding the staff for many decades causes Lloyd to believe that time passes faster in the Never-Realm, but in actuality, Aspheera sent him around sixty years into the past.
- Even though Zane knows himself as only the Ice Emperor, he still allows Lloyd to call him Zane and listens to his supposed "moments" he once had with him, displaying that he still has reason within his corrupted self. And despite Vex trying to destroy Lloyd, Zane chose to spare Lloyd in his dungeon.
- However, in "Once and for All," when Zane thought Akita was trying to steal his scepter, he called her "another rebel thief," implying that Zane thought Lloyd was lying to him at the time. In "Awakenings," when Lloyd calls Zane by his actual name again, the latter attacks Lloyd and says that wasn't his name.
- This is the third time Lloyd tries to reform someone, the first was Garmadon and the second was Harumi.
- The prisoner is revealed to be Kataru, who was taken as a prize by Boreal after the freezing of his village and didn’t know Akita was alive.
- When he mentions he gave up marking for how long he had been in the dungeon, it is possible that he ran out of space for the tally marks, for all the walls, and even the floor, are covered in tally marks.
- Despite the sails still destroyed, the ninja managed to repair the Land Bounty.
- Nya slamming the console to get the Land Bounty started was similar to when Kai slammed the controls of the Destiny's Bounty to get it to start in "Secrets Discovered," and again by Lloyd in "The Jade Princess."
- This episode marks the second time that Lloyd creates a resistance to stop an emperor, the first time being in the ninth season.
- Resistance music is played in the credits.
- During Lloyd's duel with the Blizzard Samurai, when he grabs the last warrior by the spear, the warrior's helmet and armor are both gray instead of maroon, making him look like Grimfax, but this is quickly fixed when Lloyd throws the warrior away.
- According to Zane, he had his scepter frozen to his hand once he took over the Never-Realm. However, in Akita's flashback in "The Last of the Formlings," he is shown without it.
For the gallery of the episode, click here.