| Spoiler warning!|
This article contains plot details and spoilers for a current or future season.
|“Rip the fabric between realms! Oni, I call upon you! Connect me to . . . the Departed Realm!”|
|"Dread on Arrival"|
|Season 8, Episode 8|
|Air date|| May 23, 2018 (USA)|
March 10, 2018 (Australia)
|Written by|| Dan & Kevin Hageman|
"Game of Masks"
A civilian drives his car up to a set of traffic lights before noticing the other side is also a red light. As he was about to run it, the Crab Monster and Samurai X suit pass by him, to the police station.
Leaving the creature in the care of an officer, the Ninja see the Commissioner and ask for his help in rescuing Lloyd and stopping Harumi and the Sons of Garmadon. He points out that every time something bad happens, they come to him. He soon questions what they are dealing with this time as he lists all the things that have attacked the city. In his rant, he gives examples of all the times that they've needed his help, ending with a pirate genie. Kai asks in confusion why he mentioned a pirate gene, to which he replies that it could happen. Nya and Jay share a knowing look, but say nothing on the topic. Not wanting to lose his job like his predecessors, he calls the mayor to authorize the raid.
Meanwhile, Harumi and the Sons of Garmadon escort Lloyd up a wooden staircase. Lloyd tells her she won't get away with her actions, but Harumi doubts she will fail. She then reveals that before destroying the palace, she ensured that the Temple of Resurrection was not harmed. As the group enters the temple, Lloyd finds himself once again in the Royal Palace, this time in a small temple surrounded by a large moat.
Ultra Violet tells Harumi the Ninja have survived the attack of the sea monster and are now in the city. Harumi states that if the Ninja do come, she has something to keep them at bay, which is a captive Misako. Harumi states it was thanks to Misako that they were able to find and procure Toddler Wu. When Lloyd tells Harumi to release his mother as their conflict was between them, she coldly tells him there was never anything between them and has the heartbroken Lloyd and Misako locked in counter cells where, if one cell is raised, the other is lowered into the piranha-infested sea.
Harumi then reveals that for the ceremony to truly work, she'd need more than the Oni masks, but also a hair from each of Garmadon's living relatives, which she quickly procures from Lloyd and Misako.
That night, the police arrive at the area and the Commissioner demands they surrender. His request is denied as the Sons of Garmadon terrorize them with two of the Oni Masks. While the police distract them, the Commissioner lets Kai know and he picks up the others underwater before heading to the temple.
Harumi starts off the ritual by creating the portal to resurrect the evil side of Garmadon with the Oni Masks and a sliver of hair from the son, wife, and brother. Lloyd begs her to leave his father alone, to no avail. Meanwhile, the ninja, using the police's distraction, sneak into the castle. Harumi's gaurds, whom are stationed at the door, are watching in awe and not paying attention, allowing the ninja to sneak up behind them. After nocking the gaurds out, the ninja make themselves known, and engage Harumi's troops.
During the fight, the ninja are forced to juggle between putting Lloyd or Misako under the water, pulling one up for breath while the other is plunged into creature infested water. After a while, an idea occurs to Nya, who uses her spear to pin the gear on Misako's cage, keeping it in place, and allowing Cole to winch up Lloyd's cage. After being freed by Cole, the green ninja quickly joins the fight. As the ritual reaches its conclusion and the roof of the temple reshapes itself, the Ninja make an attempt to fight back using Spinjitzu and manage to stop the portal from opening; this creates a shockwave that knocks out Harumi and the Sons of Garmadon. The Commissioner and his forces storm the area to arrest the villains with a screaming Harumi being arrested by Simon and Tommy with Jay and Cole assisting some officers in the arrest of Killow when he tries to escape. As the members are taken away, an officer frees Misako, who hears an apology from her son for not seeing through Harumi, but she doesn't blame him.
Lloyd, hurt by the betrayal, also informs his mother that he'll never be so quick to trust someone again.
As the Ninja are praised by the police for their acts, Lloyd sees Harumi being put in the back of a transport van and stops a cop from closing the back doors so that he can speak with her. Seeing him, Harumi tries to manipulate Lloyd again, telling him that he was right and that this wasn't her. Enlightened by her betrayal, he immediately sees through the lie, and tells her to stop, using her previous words about her being the one who got away against her. Enraged, she tries to charge at him, but he coldly closes the doors on her, to her shock. Lloyd just watched as she's driven away.
Back at the temple, however, the candles light up with purple flames as the hand of Lord Garmadon breaks through the pedestal.
- Chopper Maroon - Sam Vincent
- Cole - Kirby Morrow
- Driver - Kirby Morrow
- Garmadon - Mark Oliver
- Harumi - Britt McKillip
- Kai - Vincent Tong
- Killow - Garry Chalk
- Jay - Michael Adamthwaite
- Lloyd - Sam Vincent
- Luke Cunningham - Michael Adamthwaite
- Misako - Kathleen Barr
- Nya - Kelly Metzger
- Police Commissioner - Michael Donovan
- Simon - Vincent Tong
- Toddler Wu - Paul Dobson, Caleb Skeris
- Ultra Violet - Maggie Blue O'Hara
- Zane - Brent Miller
- Ninjago City
- In Season 4, Master Garmadon sacrificed himself to defeat a cult that worshipped the Anacondrai. Ironically, in Season 8, Garmadon is resurrected by a cult that worships him—or at least his evil Lord form.
- The Police Commissioner returns in this episode, having not been seen since "Operation Land Ho!" in Season 6. As such, it's his first "true" appearance in the series, as the events of Season 6 were erased.
- He also mentions a "pirate genie," a reference to Nadakhan. It is unknown how remembers this because the events were erased and only Nya and Jay do. Although if "Decoded" is canon, then Zane, Kai, and Lloyd would have some memory. Zane would have a complete memory of it.
- Nya and Jay relate to Season 6 in this episode.
- This is a reference to the end of Season 6, with only both remembering the events.
- The Temple of Resurrection is revealed to have been constructed out of the remains of the Royal Palace.
- Misako returns in this episode, as Harumi's "insurance policy."
- It is also revealed that Misako was the one who found baby Wu before she was captured.
- Also, Cole says to her "Coming, Mrs. G," hinting that her last name is "Garmadon."
- For the ritual to succeed, a hair from the son, the wife, and the brother are required.
- This may be a reference to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire; in order for the potion of resurrection to work, a bone from the father, some flesh from the servant, and drops of blood from the enemy were required to resurrect Lord Voldemort.
- Ultra Violet's comment to Killow about how Ninja don't like being seen as somewhat similar to Chen's comment about the Destiny's Bounty, as they both state something obvious that other villains haven't really said or acknowledged.
- The two guards looking out for the Ninja while Harumi opened the Departed Realm are similar to Kapau and Chope.
- Garmadon returns in this episode. This is his first appearance in the present since his death in the final episode of Season 5, "Curseworld, Part II."
- This is the first appearance of Lord Garmadon in 57 episodes, as he was last seen in his lord form in "Return of the Overlord" (not counting flashbacks and pictures).
- The Ninja tamed the sea creature by using the same riddle Wu taught them during "Never Trust a Snake": The best way to defeat your enemy is to make them your friend.
- Harumi calling Garmadon "King of Shadows" is a reference to the episode of the pilot, "King of Shadows."
- This is the first time where the main villain is arrested immediately after their defeat.
- This episode marks the last Season 8 appearance of the Oni Mask of Vengeance and the Oni Mask of Deception, whilst the Oni Mask of Hatred would later appear in "Big Trouble, Little Ninjago."
- Unlike the other Season 8 episodes, the intro for this episode includes more brass instruments, as this episode is treated as the turning point of the season—either the Ninja win or Lord Garmadon returns.
- Killow laughs with his normal voice while wearing the Oni Mask of Deception after taking the Commissioner's megaphone. In a later shot when he is throwing police cars aside with the mask, he can be heard laughing with his correct demonic tone.