Ben 10 2016 Reboot Episode Review: Rustbucket RIP
Tactical Ochoa last edited by Tactical Ochoa
And here we have the episode that marks the return of Omniverse villain, Billy Billions. Uhhhh, why? Billy wasn't really such a good villain and was just forgettable in Omniverse. Well anyways, I'll get back to him later in the review.
Ben, Gwen, and Max are now visiting the town of Oldeville, which is very much a boring a lame town to be in. Did I mention another problem with Max where he doesn't tend to take Ben and Gwen to some really cool and interesting places...or at least not as often in the reboot than in the Original Series. Even Sparksville in Tourist Trap, which I'm guessing is what Oldeville is alluding to, was a pretty neat place to go to and Ben and Gwen did at least have some fun there. That was the thing about Max in the Original Series. He takes Ben and Gwen to some actually cool places, both fictional and non-fictional, throughout the series. It's not really that much of a case anymore in the reboot. In the reboot, Max takes Ben and Gwen to some pretty lame places to fit that awkward and lame grandpa characteristic of his in this show but it doesn't really work well considering that this isn't what defines Max in the Ben 10 series and it really works against him as a character.
While driving in town, Ben noticed a shop that's selling a platinum Sumo Slammer trading card and, of course, he really wants it. Once again, we get more animations that don't suit and fit the Ben 10 series such as Ben's face sticking to the RV's window while a "pop" sound is played out when Ben's face unsticks itself from the window. Of course, Max says no. Ben offers to use XLR8 so that it would only take a few seconds but Max still says no. With Ben and Gwen already being so bored of the town, Max gives Ben and Gwen the option to either go on the tour or clean the Rustbucket's tires without Ben using the Omnitrix. Ben and Gwen quickly opt for the latter. Once Max goes on a tour of the town, Ben takes the opportunity to transform into XLR8 and quickly go and get the platinum card. For some reason, the Omnitrix core just pops up without Ben pressing the button to make it do so. Ben also bribes Gwen with doing her chores for two weeks so that she could cover for him. Gwen is smart, wise, and responsible, huh?
It's at this point where we get introduced to Billy Billions. I'll go ahead and take this opportunity to talk about this villain. For the most part, Billy Billions is pretty much the same as he was in Omniverse...except for this. First are his motives. In Omniverse, Billy goes after Ben because Billy was jealous that Ben got all the attention and is also pretty much pissed off that Ben unintentionally sent Billy to Dimension 12, thus forcing Billy to spend a good few years fending off the robots that inhabited that dimension while also being stuck as a kid forever considering that Dimension 12 has everything frozen in time. That's a pretty good and reasonable motive for Billy being Ben's enemy. In the reboot, however, Billy just wants the platinum Sumo Slammer card that Ben got to first and thus rightfully owns. This little, annoying asshole got so desperate in wanting that freakin card so much that not only does he steal the Rustbucket but Billy takes things so far as to start intentionally wrecking up the town just because he didn't get what he wanted. Just for a card. A freakin trading card. And yeah, this really does make Billy such an annoying character in this episode as well. I get that this is supposed to fit into the whole spoiled rich brat thing with Billy but he goes too far with this. However, I would indeed be more forgiving and accepting of this though if Billy learns from his actions and mistakes. I would be more forgiving and accepting of this if Billy does look back at what he did and realized that he took things too far. Unfortunately and obviously, however, that's not the case. Overall, Billy Billions is less threatening and more unlikable in the reboot than in Omniverse. Omniverse managed to portray Billy Billions in a better way than the rebooted show did.
Let's continue with the plot. Ben, as XLR8, reaches the store first and gets the platinum card and then manages to make his way back to the Rustbucket before transforming back into himself and before Max returns from his tour. Somehow, Billy was able to track him down and, again, steals the Rustbucket and holding it for ransom until Ben gives him the platinum card. Interesting thing that I discovered from Twitter user, CN Confessions, Billy Billions' logo on his touch screen pad is the same logo used by Bitcoin. Ben goes after Billy as Wildvine while Gwen distracts Max to keep what's happened a secret. That's another problem that I had with this episode. It really undermines Max as a character and really makes him look so stupid as well as undermining Gwen as a character for thinking that all the ways at which she distracts Max would actually work. Unfortunately, it does work to such ridiculously stupid levels. If this was Max from the Original Series, knowing him, he would immediately notice something is wrong when Ben and Gwen gave fake laughs to his "Rustbucket getting stolen" joke, if not Ben and Gwen being so eager for Max to go onto the tour again. Why? Because he's Max Tennyson, the grandfather that had kept the Plumbers a secret from his family for so many years. He's a smart and capable character. The moment Ben and Gwen start behaving as if they're hiding something, Max would tend to quickly get suspicious of them in a heartbeat because, again, he's Max Tennyson. Think of it like this. For anyone that is a Metal Gear Solid fan, Max Tennyson is like the Colonel Roy Campbell of Ben 10, which is fitting considering that Paul Eiding voiced both characters and his performance as Roy Campbell could most likely be the reason why he was picked to portray Max in the Original Series. Overall, much like with Gwen in the episode Take 10, this episode does a pretty good job of undermining and discrediting Max as a character and making him look so stupid and oblivious here. I mean like christ, Gwen has Max running around with her hands over his eyes while lasers are being fired at stuff, explosions are going off, and people are screaming in fear of the chaos that's happening and Max still doesn't notice what's going on.
So Ben and Billy fight it out and eventually, of course, Ben wins. Max asked Ben what was going on and Ben remarks destroying Oldeville's oldest fire hydrant to defeat Billy (for those that haven't seen the episode while reading this, no, that's not how he defeats Billy). For some reason, Max wants to have a talk with Ben about this as if stopping a villain was a bad thing (no, he didn't know yet that Ben used the Omnitrix to get the platinum card). Apparently, according to Billy's parents (yeah, they randomly make an appearance in this episode), Ben is Billy's hero? Billy tries one last time to take the card from Ben, thus leading to Max to rip the card in half with the excuse of "caring is sharing". Just when I thought the writers couldn't do any more damage to Max. Ben got to that card first. He paid for it with his own money. Ben rightfully owns that card. What Max did was unfair for Ben even though Ben disregarded what Max told him not to do earlier. What should've happened instead is that Ben should've kept the card since that, again, he rightfully owns it. Then, Max should've berated Ben for not listening to him and berated Gwen for trying to cover for Ben. Remember when I said that Billy should've learned from his actions in the episode? This would be a good point for that where Max would pull Billy away and try to teach Billy that there are more things to life than a mere trading card. To reason with Billy into realizing how far over the line he went. Something like that. If Billy doesn't listen to that, at least Max tried to help him. Instead, however, the card gets ripped in half so neither Ben nor Billy wins, Billy swears revenge on Ben, and the episode comes to an end.
Overall, this episode ranges from mediocre to average. It's more of the same as what we've been getting before with the other episodes. The animations were, as usual, pretty stiff especially with the action scenes. This episode also provides the first appearance of Wildvine in this show and, much like with most of the other aliens, Wildvine's design just doesn't look good and, much like with Stinkfly, Wildvine's redesign looks very much generic, uninteresting, bland, and not alien. The action scenes don't hold up well either. The writing and storytelling, considering everything that I've been stating with this episode, of course sucks and was poorly done. The biggest kickers being how Max and Billy were portrayed as in this episode. Another bland episode and how many am I into now with these reviews? 10 episodes now? 25% of the first season? After this, I still have one more episode to make a review of as well...for now.
Edit: I didn't notice that the Sumo Slammer card was a free giveaway so Ben didn't buy it but it is still rightfully his.
Ben 10 Fan last edited by Ben 10 Fan
Great Review, Nice job!
Tactical Ochoa last edited by
@Ben-10-Fan Thank you