EPISODE REVIEW: Ben 10 Ultimate Alien “Creature From Beyond” (Season 2, Episode 7)

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There’s this old dude named “George” who’s in a rest home. He’s been there for 40 years, no one can even remember his last name anymore. He notices something odd about a coin he endlessly toys with, and walks out, after decades of being basically comatose. The guard is too shocked to stop him.

Meanwhile the Forever Knights - ach! Again with the Forever Knights! - are trying to open a 1700 year old vault sealed by The First Knight himself. This goes badly and people disappear. When Team Ben comes in, more Forever Knights blame Ben, leading to a useless fight. Gwen realizes that it wasn’t a vault, it was like a seal to keep a demon from another dimension from crossing over into ours.

A grudging alliance is formed, and they track the beasty to an alleyway where it’s eating a guard, sort of. The Knights use inappropriate force, and we get another useless fight while Ben protects the (Sort of) eaten hostage. The monster attaches itself to Gwen, however, and basically starts feasting on her mind. Kevin rescues her. The beast can’t attach to him, however.

The groups split up, and Team Ben tracks the thing - and it’s hostages, including the missing Knights - and start to fight it. The other Knights show up again, and there’s more mistrust and useless fighting. Having saved the day, and Gwen having re-entombed the beast, Ben et al get dissed by the Knights (“Yeah, yeah, yeah, next time we meet we’ll face your righteous wrath, we get it, now it’s late and I’m tired, can we please just go home? I really need some sleep.”)

As everyone parts, the Knight’s Squire, reveals he’s temporarily still in the control of the monster. Meanwhile, in the catacombs beneath the town, “George” shows up to inspect the broken vault/seal.

The End.

OBSERVATIONS

Despite the kind of useless fighting, this was a good episode, and Ben himself was pretty annoyed at the useless fighting as well, so there was some payoff there (“Look, it’s 3AM, I just hit my head, and you’re REALLY annoying me!”)

Kevin and Ben show a very real and kinda’ touching concern for Gwen’s safety when they realize the monster can still take her over without a direct connection. Ben manipulates her into a situation that protects her and keeps her out of the action, while allowing her to save face. Nicely done.

I presume that this episode introduces our running arc for the season.

We’ve met the Knights a lot since the franchise premier in 2006. Never a major massive heavy-hitting foe, they have consistently been inconsistently portrayed, with seemingly random leaders and rules, mostly due to authorial inattention. Tonight they finally explained/retconned that away: there are multiple groups of Forever Knights, each claiming to the One True One. The group we met tonight claims to trace its lineage back to “The First Knight.”

“The First Knight” is obviously George, and the monster (Which looked a bit salamadery) was obviously his questing beast. “Saint George and the Dragon,” get it?

Really this whole season has been pretty good so far. Animation is better, voice editing is tighter, sense of humor is a bit more wry. I like it.

Actual (minor) creep factor to the alien. Gwen says that the parietal lobe is where one prays or meditates. This is not strictly speaking true: The parietal lobe integrates sensory information from various parts of the body, knowledge of numbers and their relations, manipulaiton, and is involved with visuospatial processing. In short, it coordinates sensory inputs. Inasmuch as meditation or prayer take place in our brains, it's thought to be because of the relationship between the amygdala and the prefrontal cortex, but it's not tied to any specific section as such, just an interaction between two sections.

At one point the Squire says the vault is 2000 years old (Which predates Knights of the sort we see here, actually) and later they repeatedly say that it’s 1700 years old (Which also predates Knights).
I get that the Knights are bad guys, but they’re tech-runners. They’re smuggler/businessmen with delusions of grandeur, rather than killers and thieves, and they’ve made frequent reference to the code of chivalry that defines their behavior. And yet every time we see ‘em, they’re planning on screwing Ben over. So what is this code, exactly?

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

If you’re a conservative American, yes: Knights and Nobility are anti-American foppish crap, best to be dispensed with in an egalitarian society such as our own. If you’re a conservative Brit with a peerage, however, you’re going to be ever so offended…

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