Ben 10 2016 Reboot Episode Review: Steam is the Word
Tactical Ochoa last edited by
Ok, another episode to review. Let's at least start with something that's good. This is the second time that Steam Smythe made an appearance in the Ben 10 reboot and fortunately, he's less annoying than in The Clocktopus. Still has some annoying aspects to him but that level's been lowered a little. Unless there's something that I also found to be good but I missed, that's pretty much it.
Despite this little improvement to Steam Smythe, they still pretty much screwed this villain up. One aspect of that are Steam Smythe's robots, which I find to work against the theme of his character because, well, they're robots that a steampunk themed villain is using despite his very strong obsession and views towards technology of the past compared to technology of today. There's also Steam Smythe's involvement of the plot of this episode that works against him as well.
In fact, the plot of this episode, much like with the other episodes, just works against the episode and the show itself because we continue to have poor and lazy writing that shows just how little Man of Action and the CN Studios writing team really care about this show. The main characters go to Clara Vista to witness the town digging up a time capsule that belonged to Nikola Tesla. For some stupid reason, Steam Smythe thinks that the time capsule contains, as I quote, "Nikola Tesla's ultimate power source" and he wants to use that power source to power his steampunk cannon up enough so that it would destroy Silicon Valley in one blast. Anyone here see what the problem is with this plot? Really, Nikola Tesla invented a power source with enough juice to make a steampunk cannon the equivalent of at least a small nuclear bomb in sheer power? I'm surprised Nikola Tesla didn't utilize such a power source to revolutionize technology back during his time. Even if Tesla really did make such a power source, why in god's name would he even decide to bury it in a time capsule? With that in mind and just how much they built up that very twist, I knew at an instant that that was not the case and that the time capsule would really just contain some of Tesla's more personal possessions. It's a freakin time capsule after all. It's an easily predictable and obvious twist that just goes to show just how stupid Steam Smythe looked in this episode. All of that just to set up a stupid and obvious joke. Why does Steam Smythe even want to destroy Silicon Valley? The episode doesn't really explain that very well. It's sad too that even Ben, Gwen, and Max fell for Steam Smythe's stupidity as well.
There are also more minor aspects in this episode that works against it as well. There's the one moment where Ben failed to stop Steam Smythe from stealing the time capsule. Despite moments like that having happened before plenty of times on this show, this is the one moment where Ben felt as his pride was damaged. It's a pretty terrible way of showcasing a softer, more genuine and emotional moment that doesn't deliver on what it was intended to do as well as pretty much ending as soon as it began. Also, apparently Steam Smythe's robots (which I'm guessing are made out of steel or iron) are apparently really fragile as Gwen and Max were able to easily dispatch them with nothing more than a crowbar and a wooden baseball bat. I was surprised that they were able to withstand a punch from Ben after the Omnitrix timed out. That would've been embarrassing.
Actually, there is one other thing about this episode that is also good. Ben's alien transformations do look better in this episode than before. For once, Ben does look more of as if he's actually transforming into his alien forms and less of just looking as if the Omnitrix is just putting a costume onto him. Granted, it doesn't look as good as the transformations in the Original Series but they do look better than in the previous Ben 10 reboot episodes.
In the end, we got another mediocre and poorly written and made episode with Steam Smythe's potential as a villain pretty much being wasted here. Maybe the episode can be considered arguably average as the villain does still have some charm to him considering his theme and most of his characteristics and personality fitting into that theme but yeah, the plot of this episode is pretty much what killed it's overall quality here.