EPISODE REVIEW: Ben 10 Ultimate Alien: “Revenge of the Swarm” (Season 2, Episode 6)

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There’s been a lot of debate as to whether or not the live-action Ben 10 TV movies fit the canon of the series. As of tonight, hey, whadya’ know, they do! Well, one of ‘em does, anyway.

PLAY BY PLAY

Flint and Lady Jaye take Zartan out of prison to help them find…oh, no, wait, that’s GI Joe. Over in Ben 10, Ben’s having bad dreams about Victor Validus, the bad guy from “Ben 10: Alien Swarm.” These quickly turn out not to be mere dreams: He’s being stalked by Victor, or perhaps Victors’ ghost. After one appearance, Ben finds an unmistakable Alien Swarm chip, which he uses as proof to convince Gwen and Kevin. As usual, they aren’t taking him seriously. (Seriously, why do they never take him seriously? It’s not like he *EVER* lies about this stuff, and they’re all superheroes. You’d think a degree of professional suspension of disbelief would go along with that)

Checking up on it, they find that Victor died some months ago. His daughter and Ben were friends in that vague, ill-defined “I like you, and we make out a lot, but you’re not my boyfriend” kind of junior high way.
Team Ben goes to the Plumber Academy to check in on her, only to find that she’s quit the school, moved back to earth, and is continuing her dad’s experiments into the incredibly unwise forbidden technology of mystery. So nothing bad will come of that, right?

She says the chip isn’t hers, and shows off her kerjillions of chips stored in a force field. She speaks of using them to change the world, create anything just by mere thought. So now we’re in your standard Forbidden Planet plot - she misses her daddy - and you’ve got the whole thing figured out. But you’d be wrong. I was wrong. Granted, that’s cleverer than what actually happens, but it’s still wrong.

Meanwhile, Ben has yet another frustrating attempt to sort of fix things with Julie, and it becomes increasingly apparent that Elena wants Ben, and Victor seems willing to kill everyone around Ben, but not Ben himself.

Ultimately it turns out that Ben didn’t kill the Alien Queen in the TV movie, she’s actually been living in Elena all this time, and she’s been stalking Ben because she, you know, wants him. Things go south, so she tries to kill him. Julie talks her out of it, so Elena kills herself by walking into the force field.

Ben: “Oh no.”
Julie: “Don’t feel bad. It wasn’t really her. The Nanites got rid of her a long time ago.”
Ben: “you’re wrong. There was enough of my friend left to save my life.”

As we fade to black, we see a quick shot of a pile of nanites assembling something. And the axis of evil aligned against the Joes continues to grow. But since that's in GI Joe Renegades and not Ben 10 Ultimate Alien, it's not really relevant. I don't know why I keep bringing it up. Sorry.

OBSERVATIONS

This is the first episode in three weeks to actually focus on Ben, and it’s a way-above-average one with a degree of emotional heft to it. Also, the Kevin stuff is all pretty funny, such as when he rips a janitor’s toupee off, assuming it to be a disguise, and that he got the idea from a TV show.

Gwen: “Tell me it didn’t involve a cartoon dog.”

Another great bit:

Kevin: “Women. You’ve got to play them off of each other in order to get them to…”
Gwen: [scowls]
Kevin: “….uhm…at least that’s what my friends say…”
Gwen: “What Friends?”
Kevin: “The…uhm…friends that…I…don’t….see anymore?”

How much must it cost to repair walls and stuff in Ben’s house? ‘Cuz they get broken *a lot.*

Speaking of which, does Team Ben get paid? They’re fully-authorized Plumbers, after all.

Didn’t care for Elena’s voice. Too sultry, just didn’t fit a 16 year old girl. Looked and acted nothing like her live-action counterpart, either.

Is it just me, or did the show look a bit Marvel-ey tonight? Victor looked a bit Doc Ock to me, and Elena/Queen was wearing a huge silly hat that screamed "Kirby."

This narrows down the canonicity problems, but doesn’t eliminate them: The first Ben 10 live-action movie still doesn’t fit the continuity at all. For that matter, the final episode of the original Ben 10 cartoon really doesn’t fit the continuity at all either.

WILL CONSERVATIVES LIKE THIS EPISODE?

I can’t see any real reason why not.

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