|“Where there is light, there will always be shadow!”|
“Unless my light is bright enough!”
|— Overlord Dragon and Lloyd|
|"Rise of the Spinjitzu Master"|
|Season 2, Episode 13|
|Air date||November 21, 2012 (US)|
|Written by||Dan & Kevin Hageman|
|Directed by||Michael Helmuth Hansen|
"Return of the Overlord"
Rise of the Spinjitzu Master is the 13th and final episode in the second season of Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu, and is the 26th overall. It aired on Cartoon Network on November 21, 2012 in the United States.
A great darkness has fallen upon Ninjago as Garmadon's Super-Weapon has turned it evil but Lloyd and the Ninjas discover that light is more powerful than dark - and the final and ultimate battle is on.
Extended: As the Overlord transfers to Ninjago, the Ninja, together with an injured Lloyd, are guided by the robotic Falcon to the Temple of Light. Once there, they find an ancient mech that the First Spinjitzu Master used to fight the Overlord. With the arrival of the Ultra-Dragon, the group flies back to Ninjago City and find the city possessed and the Overlord atop a dark tower, morphed into his true Dragon-like form. The Ninja fight the Stone Army, but the ancient mech is destroyed by Nya and they are forced to fight on the ground. But they are saved by Dareth, who uses the Helmet of Shadows and gains control of the Army, sending them against the Overlord. Lloyd and the Ninja climb the tower, with Cole and Jay being infected by the Overlord with Darkness. Lloyd is forced to go on alone as Zane fights the two infected Ninja and Kai fights his still-enslaved sister. Facing the Overlord, Lloyd summons the Golden Dragon and his armor becomes golden, denoting that he has become the next true Spinjitzu Master. Lloyd and Dragon Overlord fight, with the Overlord saying that he can never be defeated, as Light is always balanced with Darkness. Lloyd finally allows himself to be consumed by the Overlord and unleashes a strong burst of inner light, dispersing the Overlord and purging his wicked Shadow from Ninjago and all its inhabitants (including Nya, Cole, Jay, and Zane). As the group gathers together again, Lloyd mourns the loss of his father, only to see him emerging from the rubble, purged of both the Overlord's Darkness and the Great Devourer's venom. As Lloyd, Garmadon and Misako have a private family reunion, the four Ninja vow that even with the Overlord defeated, at last, they will continue to protect Ninjago. The Ninjas and Nya come together, along with Garmadon's family. The episode ends with Sensei Wu and Kai looking at the sun rising above the liberated city.
Dark clouds gather over Ninjago City, forming a huge vortex in the sky. Dareth, Lou, and the others assume that the ninja have returned, but the Garmatron appears instead. Determined to protect the city, Dareth challenges the advancing tank, but the Overlord drives him off with a few shots from the tank's side-mounted turrets. As a corrupted Nya looks on and Dareth wonders where the ninja are, the Garmatron continues to fire shots into the city, spreading Dark Matter everywhere—atop the tank, massive wings emerge from the Overlord's back.
Back on the Island of Darkness, the heroes are in a depressed slump over their recent defeat. Dr. Julien bandages Lloyd's injured leg, Jay wonders if they'll see Nya again, and Sensei Wu admits to Kai that for once, he has no words of wisdom to give. Zane tells Jay that it's best to remember Nya in his heart, and not how she was. Lloyd then states that he couldn't remember he father any way, but Misako tells him that Garmadon loved him and it was just the evil that possessed him. Lloyd then rallies his friends, reminding them how they brought him from the path of evil to become the Green Ninja. He believes that there must have been a reason why they were chosen to carry on the legacy of the First Spinjitzu Master: they're ninja, and ninja never quit.
The ninja are heartened by the speech but realize that they still have no means of reaching Ninjago. Kai is preparing to swim across the Endless Sea himself when Zane sees the Falcon gliding down to meet him once more. Deciding that the mechanical bird wants to show them something, the heroes follow the Falcon in Kai's Fire Mech, back to the Temple of Light. Cole wonders why they have returned, but Misako finds an area of the temple resembling a picture in one of her scrolls.
When the ninja insert their Elemental Blades into the four slots around the room, the center of the floor opens up to reveal a large golden mech. Misako identifies it as the fighting suit used by the First Spinjitzu Master to battle the Overlord, but Dr. Julien notes that the eons have reduced it to a non-functional relic. Master Wu believes that Lloyd can remedy that—sure enough, the Green Ninja's presence in the cockpit restores the mech to its original state. Learning that the mech can fly, Misako quips that at least one of them can now reach Ninjago. On cue, the Ultra Dragon arrives, and the other heroes use it to accompany Lloyd back to Ninjago City.
However, Ninjago City is not as they remember; everything is shadowy, the people are apathetic puppets of darkness, and a massive tower dominates the skyline. Master Wu identifies the latter as the Garmatron, transformed into a fortress by the Overlord. Moving to the ground to get a better look, the ninja narrowly avoid being hit with a blob of pure darkness—atop the tower, a massive black dragon roars to the sky. Misako realizes that the Overlord has finally regained his original form, and the group makes an attack plan: most of them will draw the Overlord's attention with the Ultra Dragon, while Lloyd takes the Golden Mech to fight the ultimate evil head-on.
Unfortunately, the tower is guarded by Kozu—at his command, the Stone Army opens fire on the Ultra Dragon. Lloyd uses the distraction to advance on the tower by foot, cheered on by Dareth, who has managed to avoid the corruption. The Golden Mech breaks through the outer wall of the fortress and begins battling the Stone Army, only to be destroyed when Nya attacks it with a mobile defense turret. With the Green Ninja pinned down, the ninja jump off the Ultra Dragon to fend off the advancing Stone Army.
Seeing his pupils in trouble, Sensei Wu prepares to lead the Ultra Dragon into the battle, but Misako tells him that there are too many Stone Warriors to defeat. Another option presents itself when she notices that the Overlord is no longer wearing his helmet—she quickly explains to the other two that whoever wears the Helmet of Shadows controls the Stone Army. The older trio sets off in search of the helmet, only to see Dareth putting it on his head; back at the fortress, the Stone Army freezes moments before they can deliver the final blow to the ninja. General Kozu declares, "All hail the Brown Ninja!" and the Ultra Dragon lands in front of the bewildered ninja to allow Dareth to dismount. Impressed by the turn of events, Kai officially welcomes Dareth as a ninja before the group prepares their final push against the Overlord.
Dareth sends the Stone Army up the staircase surrounding the fortress, but Nya shoots them down with her turret. The Ultra Dragon draws Nya's fire long enough for the ninja to begin climbing the stairs but are forced to land when a shot clips its tail. Meanwhile, the ninja's numbers slowly dwindle due to their enemies' relentless assault; Jay and Cole are corrupted by the Overlord's darkness, Zane stays back to fight his infected teammates, and Kai attacks Nya's turret to keep her occupied, leaving Lloyd to limp up to the roof on his own. At some later point, Zane becomes is corrupted during his fight with Cole and Jay, but he is only seen watching the battle with his other corrupted comrades.
The Overlord turns his attention to the Green Ninja as he dons his mask and declares his intention to fight. The Overlord asserts that evil has won—Lloyd is alone, injured, and unarmed—but Lloyd charges his powers, saying that he will never give up and that he doesn't need a sword to fight. The Overlord bombards the Green Ninja's energy shield with a gout of dark fire, but Lloyd pushes back, dispelling the flames and rising into the air. His suit becomes golden as he finally unleashes his True Potential. Below, Misako comments that Lloyd "has become the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master," and Sensei Wu states that the true final battle has begun.
As the energy bubble fades, Lloyd floats before the Overlord, declaring "I am the Ultimate Spinjitzu Master!" The Overlord attacks, but Lloyd strikes back, knocking his foe off the roof and manifesting a Golden Dragon of pure energy to take to the air (much to Dareth's amazement). The Overlord snarls that he cannot be defeated—shadow will always exist alongside the light—but Lloyd retorts that his light will be bright enough to destroy the shadows. With that, the golden dragon tackles the Overlord, flying all around the fortress before the villain can break free.
Infuriated at Lloyd's persistence, the Overlord uses his ultimate attack, engulfing the Green Ninja in a sphere of pure darkness. Within the sphere, Lloyd and his dragon have spun around before being swallowed by a giant Overlord, but Lloyd charges his powers and overwhelms the ultimate evil from within. With a final roar of fury, the Overlord is destroyed, creating a wave of light that removes the darkness tainting Ninjago, and Ninjago is saved.
In the crater where the Overlord's fortress used to be, Kai awakens to find that both Jay and Nya are back to normal. The Ultra Dragon lands near Cole and Zane, and Dr. Julien wonders if they did it—in response, Dareth says they all did it. Misako and Master Wu congratulate Lloyd as he descends and dismisses his dragon, with the ninja vowing to be ready if the Overlord ever does try to return. Lloyd's mood quickly turns melancholy, however, as Misako tells him that everyone will miss his father.
On cue, a pile of rocks shifts, and a man about Sensei Wu's age emerges to call Lloyd. Recognizing the voice, Misako and Lloyd are stunned yet pleased-Garmadon has returned, completely purified of evil. Sensei Wu tells his brother that it is good to have him back, and Garmadon replies that it's good to be back. As the former villain walks off with his wife and son, Jay contemplates a friendly dogpile, but Kai tells him to let the family have their moment.
With evil firmly defeated, Cole tells his friends that they had quite an adventure together. Zane wonders if there will be others; Cole hopes so, as he enjoyed being a ninja, and he's not sure if they have any other skills. Jay objects to the contrary, and Kai agrees—they can apply the lessons they've learned to everyday life. Kai also notes that new challenges and enemies might emerge one day, and as long as there's something worth fighting for, there'll be a need for ninjas like them. Sensei Wu responds with a proud smile as he and his pupils look upon the sun-soaked city, at peace once more.
- Brad Tudabone - Kathleen Barr
- Cole - Kirby Morrow
- Dareth - Alan Marriott
- Dr. Julien - Mark Oliver
- Edna Walker - Jillian Michaels
- Garmadon - Mark Oliver
- Jay - Michael Adamthwaite
- Kai - Vincent Tong
- Kozu - Paul Dobson
- Lloyd Garmadon - Jillian Michaels
- Lou - Kirby Morrow
- Misako - Kathleen Barr
- Nya - Kelly Metzger
- Postman - Michael Adamthwaite
- The Overlord - Scott McNeil
- Wu - Paul Dobson
- Zane - Brent Miller
For the transcript of the episode, click here.
- This is the last episode to air in 2012.
- Just before Lloyd confronts the Overlord, Kai tells him that "There's only one Green Ninja." This is a reference to him having accepted in "The Green Ninja" that the role was not his destiny.
- The title of this episode is somewhat similar to the title of the first episode of the first season and the first season itself, "Rise of the Snakes."
- Lloyd refers to his beginnings as a would-be-evil-overlord and how the ninja turned him to the path of good (beginning at the end of "Never Trust a Snake").
- Lord Garmadon is finally purified of the Great Devourer's venom, which he was infected with as a boy (seen in Master Wu's flashback in "Tick Tock"). His purified form is wearing the black kimono that Wu wore in "Battle Between Brothers," albeit with pale purple writing.
- This is the first appearance of Lloyd's golden kimono suit.
- Although in this episode, Misako knows that wearing the Helmet of Shadows controls the army, she did not seem to know this in "The Last Hope", when she has the helmet but does not put it on to assist her escape.
- Though Zane was not shown turning evil as Cole and Jay were, and the Overlord was not seen sending down another ball of Darkness before corrupted Zane was seen, Tommy Andreasen confirmed this was not an animation error and that Zane had indeed been corrupted like the others, as he would have come to Lloyd's aid otherwise.
- Purified Garmadon has Wu's face without the beard and 3D mouth (instead having a mouth resembling Jay's). This face design is also used for "Tommy Wu" in the 2014 blooper reel. In the subsequent seasons, however, Garmadon has a slightly different face design, possibly in order to more easily differentiate Garmadon and Wu.
- Originally, this was the series finale for Ninjago, though this was changed following the continuation of the series through Rebooted due to fan demand.
- Near the end of the episode, Kai mentions in passing that the Overlord may return, not only revealing the latter's survival but foreshadowing the events of the next season.
- In original concepts for the ending, Master Wu, after seeing Misako and Garmadon reconcile, would walk away with the Overlord manifesting inside him as the screen faded to black.
- This is the final physical appearance of Dr. Julien. In Season 3, it was revealed that he died again, presumably of old age.
- This is the last canon physical appearance of the Ultra Dragon, but its fate was revealed in Season 9. It returned to the Realm of Oni and Dragons and was later killed by the Dragon Hunters, with its skulls then being placed on Iron Baron's throne. This was confirmed by the Hageman Brothers.
- The Overlord would be defeated at the same site in Season 3. Garmadon would also be defeated there in Season 9.
- This episode was the main focus of a behind-the-scenes video focusing on the voice-acting of the show.
- At one point, there was an idea to have Garmadon say "But I'm not" after Misako said "Every ounce of evil and venom is gone," but it was scrapped because it "sounds kinda creepy."
- The moment where Lloyd arrives at the top of the Garmatron tower and faces the Overlord Dragon is very similar to when the Iron Doom stands atop the Mountains of Impossible Height in the later episode, "Lost in Time." In both cases, the camera pans outward to show the villainous massive reptilian creature at high summit looming over the hero or heroes, showing how the hero or heroes are overpowered and have a very low chance at winning. The music in both moments is very similar as well.
- The Overlord says, "Where there is light, there will always be shadow," and Lloyd says, "Unless my light is bright enough!" In terms of real-world physics, this is inaccurate, because more light would simply create more shadows.
- When the ninja see that The Royal Blacksmiths have been turned evil, Lou is replaced with a second version of one of the other quartet members.
- When Lloyd was hit and climbs out from the mech, his cast momentarily disappears from his leg.
- In this episode, Kai is in the water, but in "Stiix and Stones," he is afraid of it.
- Kai, Cole, and Jay insert their Elemental Blades into the incorrect slots.
- They insert their respective Elemental Blades into the following slots:
- Kai inserts his blade into the slot with the Earth symbol.
- Cole inserts his blade into the slot with the Lightning symbol.
- Jay inserts his blade into the slot with the Fire symbol.
- Despite this, they still manage to unlock the Golden Mech.
- However, it could just likely be an animation error.
- They insert their respective Elemental Blades into the following slots:
For the gallery for the episode, click here.