EPISODE REVIEW: Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: “Ben 10,000 Returns” (Season 2, Episode 10)

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Once upon a time there was a show called “Ben 10,” which ended. This was followed by a really weak live action made-for-TV movie called “Ben 10: Race Against Time,” in which a one-shot villain named “Eon” did a bunch of stuff, and was defeated. It had Lee Majors in it, but apart from that….well, really even with that, it’s not terribly remarkable. Cartoon Network maintained that the movie was in continuity, which is to say it ‘really counted’ in the Ben Teniverse, though it contradicted lots of things from the original series, and has been contradicted by a number of things in subsequent ones.

Once upon a somewhat later time, there was another show called “Ben 10 Alien Force” which was also pretty popular, and ended, and this, too, was followed by yet another really weak live-action made-for-TV move called “Ben 10: Alien Swarm” (Review http://www.republibot.com/content/tv-movie-review-%E2%80%9Cben-10-alien-... ) which also didn’t really seem to fit the continuity, but wasn’t as egregious as the previous one.

Once upon a somewhat later time which is only a little bit ago by our time, a third Ben Ten series started, “Ultimate Alien.” This led rather unavoidably to Once Upon A Few Weeks Ago when the new series directly tied itself into the “Alien Swarm” movie, establishing that it is in continuity once and for all.

Once upon tonight they did it again with the first movie.

It’s Two-For-One Retcons tonight at Warners, ladies drink free!

PLAY BY PLAY

In the future (Next Sunday, AD), Eon appears, attacks 37-year-old Ben 10,000, is defeated and disappears. Professor Paradox shows up, and explains that Eon tricked Ben 10K. The two of them head back to The Present (This Friday, AD) where they arrive just in time to save Ben 10, Gwen, and Kevin. Team Ben-Now is being attacked by Eon and his ninjas, which, in a completely random moment of pop-culture reference, I’ve decided to treat as if they were Motown backup singers from the 1960s. Quickly dispensed with, Ben 10K and Paradox explain that Eon has been traveling from parallel world to parallel world, killing the Bens in all of them, though no one knows why.

Paradox decides the Bens need to destroy the artifact that allows Eon to travel between worlds, but this turns out to be a trap. Eon and the Eonettes show up again, and we get the normal whomparound stuff. This goes on for a bit, then Kevin and Gwen get curious and unmask one of the Eonettes to discover - bum-bum-BUMMMM - it’s Ben! They’re all Ben. Ian…excuse me….Eon hasn’t been killing him, he’s been absorbing him. But why?

He takes off his snazzy motorcycle helmet to reveal - tah-tuhm-tahhhhhhh - that he’s Ben too. Or possibly Ben 2. It’s hard to tell. As all of us in the room said, “Whahhhh?” It doesn’t make a lot of sense. Ben 10 ultimately destroys the portal, which destroys Eon, and returns all the Eonettes (“The Benettes”) to their own respective universes, which, Paradox informs us, will probably be fine now.

The End

OBSERVATIONS

This episode was written by the late Dwayne McDuffie.

Cosmic reboot ending. I hate those.

As I recall, Eon was the oldest being in the universe, predating every other form of life. He decided since he was the first living thing that he should get to rule subsequent things, and used his time travel powers to do that. Ultimately the Plumbers of Earth took him down, but took such high casualties that Lee Majors had to pretend to be Ben’s granddad, and they had to hire Robert Picardo as the school’s non-union scab principle. That’s cool, though, since I like Robert Picardo a lot. Anyway, so the Plumbers took such losses in the battle against Eon that they shut down the whole operation, and just chucked Eon in a tool shed or something. He escapes, tries to take over the universe, and then Ben kills him, or deletes him or sends him off to be one with the universe he so longed to rule, or maybe buys him a slushie. Again: It’s really hard to be sure. It’s a kid’s show and no one really wanted to actually *kill* anyone in it.

The noteworthy part of the above digression is that Eon was *not* Ben. Anyone wanna’ explain that one? I guess Ben travels back in time, before the rest of the universe, goes nuts, tries to take over the universe? Or not.

The real nice aspect of tonight’s episode was that they actually explained away some of the random continuity errors of previous shows. For example: The Ben 10,000 that Ben met in the original series? It wasn’t his own future, it was a parallel version of the future. The Ben 10K that we meet tonight *IS* from Ben’s own future, however. Thus we kill two birds with one stone: Ben doesn’t grow up to be a stiff, and Kevin isn’t evil in the future. Well, not in this future, anyway.

We’re also specifically told that the events of “Race Against Time” are a parallel world not connected to the timeline of Ultimate Alien, nor Alien Force. None of Team Ben remembers it, because it didn’t happen to them. Eon is the same Eon, however. This doesn't explain *everything*, such as the ending to the original series when Ben blows his cover, but it covers over a multitude of sins just the same, so I'm happy with it. Even if it's a cosmic reboot ending. Did I mention I hate those?

In the 2030s Gwen is president. She’s a shoe-in for a second term.

Ben 10,000 doesn’t physically transform. He’s always human, just with any powers he wants. In fact, he’s permanently in the form of “Ultimate Human,” which is logical, though I’m a little chagrinned I didn’t think it up myself.

Ben is given access to all the aliens he ever had in all the previous shows.

I really like Paradox, the Benteniverse’s cut-rate discount Doctor Who. I liked watching him freak out when he realized he’d screwed up. “I’ve been mislead!” (By whom?) and his nebulous warning was, as always, kind of interesting: “Beware the Beyond, Beware of George.” This obviously refers to “The Creature From Beyond” episode a month back, which involved “Old man George,” and the Forever Knights.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

I see no reason to assume we wouldn’t.

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