|“Where there is Light, there must always be Darkness! Unless my light is bright enough!”|
|— Overlord Dragon and Lloyd|
|"Rise of the Spinjitzu Master"|
|Season 2, Episode 13|
|Air date||November 21st, 2012|
|Written by||Dan & Kevin Hageman|
|Directed by||Peter Hausner and Justin Murphy|
"Return of the Overlord"
Rise of the Spinjitzu Master is the 13th and final episode in the second season of LEGO Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu. After a crushing defeat by the forces of evil, the Ninja struggle to regroup, making a last-minute discovery that may allow them to turn the tide and save the world from eternal darkness.
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 funk 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. However, Lloyd 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 Ocean 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 Robot, 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. Sensei 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. Sensei 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 General 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 is forced to land when a shot clips its tail. Meanwhile, the Ninjas' 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 too 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. 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 are 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.
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 really did it - in response, Dareth says they all did it. Misako and Sensei 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 shift, and a man about Sensei Wu's age emerges to call Lloyd. Recognizing the voice, Misako and Lloyd are stunned - 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 ninja 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 - Kathleen Barr
- Cole - Kirby Morrow
- Dareth - Alan Marriott
- Dr. Julien - Mark Oliver
- Edna - Jillian Michaels
- General Kozu - Paul Dobson
- Jay - Michael Adamthwaite
- Kai - Vincent Tong
- Lloyd - Jillian Michaels
- Lord Garmadon - Mark Oliver
- Lou - Kirby Morrow
- Misako - Kathleen Barr
- Nya - Kelly Metzger
- Overlord - Scott McNeil
- Postman - Michael Adamthwaite
- Sensei Wu - Paul Dobson
- Zane - Brent Miller
- Just before Lloyd confronts the Overlord, Kai tells him that "There's only one Green Ninja." This is a reference to his accepting he's not the green ninja. Three seasons later, the new main antagonist would be Morro, the Master of Wind and a prisoner of the Cursed Realm, who was convinced he was meant to be the Green Ninja in his youth.
- The title of this episode is somewhat similar to the title of the first episode of the 2012 cartoon series and the last episode of that season.
- 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 Sensei Wu's flashback in Tick Tock). His purified form is wearing the ceremonial kimono that Wu wore in Battle Between Brothers, albeit with silver 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.
- When purified, Garmadon's face is different to his face in Season 3 and onward. This is because LEGO had not yet settled on his design.
- Originally, this was the series finale for Ninjago, though this was changed following the continuation of the series through Rebooted.
- 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, Sensei Wu, after seeing Misako and Garmadon reconcile, would leave, with the Overlord manifesting inside him as the screen faded to black.
- When Lloyd was hit and climbs out from the mech, his cast switches from on to off his leg.