Ben 10 2016 Episode Review: Waterfilter

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    One other thing that I want to mention before I get into this review is that even though Tara Strong is back to voice Ben, there's just something about Ben's voice that just sounds off. With everything that we've seen so far, there are times when Ben doesn't sound like how Ben is supposed to sound. His voice sounds lighter in tone. Much like how Ben's reboot design makes him looks younger than his actual age, he sounds a little younger as well or something of the likes. Ben just sometimes sounds off to me. There are just times in the reboot where he doesn't really sound that much like Ben, even though this is the same original voice actress that helped define Ben in the OS.

    Review (contains spoilers):
    Like with Freaky Gwen Ben, this is one of those little better episodes. This one can be arguably good but I still consider it to be average, if not a little bit above average. Like with Freaky Gwen Ben, this episode had some good interactions between Ben and Gwen, even though there's a bit of a slip up where Gwen takes blame for something that she wasn't the cause of. Gwen basically wants to "filter" Ben so that he doesn't do anything stupid. To keep Ben from going out of line. Great, that's what Gwen is supposed to do. That's what's supposed to come standard to Gwen as a character. She's supposed to keep Ben from going out of line so that he can focus on more important things, such as being an actually good and responsible hero. Ben doing something stupid is what caused the trouble in the episode in the first place; not Gwen trying to keep Ben from doing something stupid so really Ben was just cleaning up a mess that he caused, regardless as to whether or not he knew about the Hydromander in Niagara Falls anyways. So yeah, that part I find to be a little slip up in the episode. Other than that, again, Ben and Gwen's interactions with each other was nice. However, considering all the other clips of the Ben 10 reboot that were shown, this whole "Gwen keeping Ben in line" thing is obviously not going to last as there are plenty of examples in the reboot that shows Gwen being just as careless, reckless, irresponsible, and immature as Ben so really, Gwen's attempts of acting as Ben's "filter" is pointless.

    I also did find the joke with the fisherman and his truck to be funny. I got a nice little chuckle out of that. However, while it was a little funny, at the same time, I find for it to work against the Hydromander monster as well. A giant sea monster comes out of the water and swallows a guy's truck yet that's the reaction that results from that. It makes the villain of this episode feel less threatening. Then again, the art style doesn't make the villains look so threatening anyways.

    I'm really not liking just how cartoonish this reboot is. This episode is one prominent example of this with the whole "Bentuition" thing that keeps popping up. Yes, it's a cartoon but Ben 10 had always had a more realistic approach with the art style and animations. This more cartoonish and comedic approach to Ben 10 is just so out of place for the series. It doesn't fit into Ben 10.

    Other than that, the action is ok and other than the "fisherman and his truck" joke, I found no other joke in this episode to be funny. It's overall just average, if not a little bit above average.

    Now let's compare this episode to the OS, shall I. In the OS, there was an episode where the trio goes to Niagara Falls called Back with a Vengeance. This reboot episode gives us just a mere sea monster. What did the OS episode offer? Ben unlocks the Master Control. Vilgax and Kevin team up against Ben. Epic and tense battle at Niagara Falls ensures. Ben, Gwen, Vilgax, and Kevin end up in the Null Void and we get to see the Null Void for the first time. Another epic and tense battle ensures. Gwen gets taken hostage and Ben becomes willing enough to surrender to save her. Ben and Gwen escape the Null Void with the Omnitrix while Kevin and Vilgax remained trapped in there. The end...yeah, Waterfilter doesn't hold jack shit at all over that episode from the OS.

    This reboot episode could also be seen as a remake of sorts to another Ben 10 OS episode, The Krakken, since that both episodes use the idea of Ben encountering a sea monster. The difference though is that in the OS, the Krakken isn't the villain of the episode but the poachers instead. The poachers stole the Krakken's egg and the Krakken just wanted her egg back because she's a mother and that's her child that was stolen. That's all and it makes a lot of sense too. Yeah, the Krakken causes havoc on the docks but you can understand why and so does Ben, which makes him look so much better as a hero and character when he stops the poachers and helps the Krakken get her egg back. It was a nice twist on things for the episode that really shows who the real monsters of the episode were and why. Like I said before, it was moments like that in the OS that gave Ben 10 a more realistic take on the world. Waterfilter just doesn't do that. Ben fights a sea monster Ben and Gwen interact with each other and...that's it. That's just...it.

    When compared to these two episodes from the OS, Waterfilter barely holds any ground, if not no ground at all. The Krakken and Back with a Vengeance does so much more in a much better way than this reboot episode. By comparison, they make Waterfilter look even worse (likely a lot worse) than the episode is on its own.

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