My Biggest Issue with Goodbye and Good Riddance

  • Just a little something that I want to discuss. The Original Series episode, Goodbye and Good Riddance, is a decent what-if episode that peaks a little into Ben's normal, non-hero life. It opens up some nice potential into how Ben, and Gwen, would have to adjust living this double life of being both normal and heroes; potential that is brilliantly implemented into the Little Moments and Breaking Point fan-made universe. Granted, I think the reveal of Ben's secret hero identity at the end of the episode was too early to happen yet. There is one thing that bothers me the most about this very episode though. It's the fact that this is a what-if episode. A what-if episode that is confirmed at the very beginning to be a what-if episode and is thus confirmed (again, at the very beginning of the episode) to intentionally not be canon.

    With that being the established case, why? Why even make the episode in the first place if all it's going to be is just a non-canon what-if episode from the very start? Sure, the episode, Gwen 10, is also a non-canon what-if episode but at least it did something that was quite interesting to see. Although, granted, part of me does find the Gwen 10 episode to be pretty unnecessary as well but I guess I understand why that episode exist even though it's just filler. Gwen 10 did something that was more unique despite it intentionally being a what-if episode. With Goodbye and Good Riddance, however, after the intro segment, the episode immediately points out that it's nothing more but a what-if scenario that plays itself off as a season/series finale yet Secret of the Omnitrix is the actual, canon series finale of the Ben 10 Original Series. With this very much being the case, there's no point for Goodbye and Good Riddance to even exist. There's so little about that episode that even matters.

    What should've been done instead is that the episode should just not even air and not even be made in the first place or just make it canon. Again, Goodbye and Good Riddance is still a decent episode with some good potential. It just bugs me that it was always intended to be a what-if episode, which makes it very much an unnecessary episode to have in the series since that we have Secret of the Omnitrix as the actual series finale.

    If anyone has any thoughts of their own on this very topic here, feel free to leave a comment down below.

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  • Ben 10 Fans

    To be fair, for OS we didn't have Destroy All Aliens at the time, and it wasn't confirmed as a What If episode til later on when we had sequel series. This was originally to set up a whole new chapter for Ben 10 since MOA was currently planning the next series before they were replaced by the people who made Justice League.

    Race Against Time also wasn't canon because well.... that was obvious.

    I think this was just to give OS a proper finale before going into whatever might be the next series because you wouldn't wanna end it on some plot heavy two parter without a set up or proper finale. Honestly it was nice.

  • @ebomnitrix Except, as I said in my post, the episode establishes at the beginning after the intro that it's a what-if episode. The episode itself tells you that it's a what-if episode.

  • Meh, I wasn't too much into it either, but it was what was left to watch. I believe they made this episode so the series wouldn't be left on a "hiatus" (in quotes because I'm not sure if you can call this situation a hiatus). That way, fans don't tire from waiting, and would have something akin to a series finale until the real series finale is made. It's like when you make a fanfic and post an alternate outcome to it before posting the real continuation.
    I, for one, didn't really see a purpose either, but we got to see MoA's take on Ben's peers discovering his secret. And we had a brief idea of what Ben's parents look like (until later series changed their eye colors for no reason) and that Ben owned a dog (which makes the fact that he was terrible at taking care of Ship even worse)

  • @ungrateful-wolf Secret of the Omnitrix came out before Goodbye and Good Riddance. In fact, Secret of the Omnitrix aired around mid-season 4 of the Original Series after Big Fat Alien Wedding and before Ben 4 Good Buddy...which is another thing with the Original Series that I find to be really odd considering that Secret of the Omnitrix is the actual series finale. Also, Alien Force premiered 3 days after Goodbye and Good Riddance first aired.

  • @tactical-ochoa I know, I just meant "finale" as how the "summer vacation" plotline ends. We don't really know how Ben's identity reveal went if we don't watch UA and if we left on "Secret Of the Omnitrix", maybe some of the fans would've felt that the story is unfinished, incomplete without some sort of end and "Goodbye and Good Riddance" was a decoy end for the series until "Destroy All Aliens" comes out.
    Yeah, the airing is really messed up. It's like they were thinking ahead, but they did the mistake of airing the episodes in the same order as they wrote them

  • I think I basically agree with @Ebomnitrix. I will post here the same theories that I posted on reddit, just so other people can know my theories too:

    1. If you look at the Ben 10K timeline, Ben's and Gwen's identities are not a secret, so it's a safe bet to assume that the creators of the show, Man Of Action (MOA for short) always toyed with the idea of having the identities exposed. Maybe they wanted to end the OS with the reveal and explore it in Hero Generation (MOA's intended sequel for the OS). But it wouldn't fit with Cartoon Network's idea for the sequel, Alien Force (McDuffie's show), so maybe CN forced Man of Action to make 'Goodbye' into a what-if episode. Granted, a lot of things from the OS didn't fit with Alien Force - like Kevin's personality, or the Plumbers being a human organization - but most of these things were from earlier seasons, and probably Cartoon Network didn't decide to replace Man Of Action until much later, after all this had already been made.


    1. MOA wasn't sure if they would get a 5th season or not, so, if they didn't, ending the show on a high note, with the end of the summer and Ben's identity being exposed, was the way they wanted to go out. But if they did get another season with 10-year-old Ben, then they kept the door open to keep the "status-quo" so they made it "non-canon" as an insurance policy for themselves.


    Even though, I really dislike using "canon" and "non-canon", because the word "canon" is used as a reference to the UAF/OV timeline, and this timeline is currently discontinued, so today Goodbye and Good Riddance is just as "canonical" as UAF/OV (both are part of their own separate canons) The current . official canon is now in fact the Reboot with multiple video-games and toylines based on it (whether we like it or not) I think I'll also post my other thread here about it.

  • @tactical-ochoa said in My Biggest Issue with Goodbye and Good Riddance:

    @ungrateful-wolf Also, Alien Force premiered 3 days after Goodbye and Good Riddance first aired.

    So my second theory is definitely not valid. MOA was fully aware they wouldn't get another season. My first theory might still be true, though (Goodbye conflicted with Alien Force, and as a last minute change, CN made MOA turn it into a "What if" episode)

  • @csgt Maybe your theory is true. I say that it would also further reinforce my point that if the episode was always intended to not be canon with the rest of the Original Series, then the episode shouldn't have been made and released in the first place because of how unnecessary it was for the episode to exist.

  • I'll have to watch it again but I don't remember anything that said it was a "What if" or in other words an AU. I saw nothing to indicate that it wasn't supposed to be the finale. It would have been a great way to pick up with "Ben 10: Hero Generation" set a few years later.
    I think "Goodbye" was retconed as an AU because of all of the conflicts with AF...(Ben 10: POS)
    RAT was a good alternate end to the series. I'm not sure which I like better,
    Seems like Destory All Aliens was the alternate finale that would fit with POS.

  • @car54 In Goodbye and Good Riddance, after the intro segment when the intro theme is finished, you're treated to a comic book with the narrator basically giving the message that the episode is a what-if scenario.

  • It is officially a non-canon episode but only because of the existence of Alien Force.which obviously contradicts a lot of what happens in GBaGR.

    For me though, it is the canon ending to Ben 10 in my heart (following Secret of the Omnitrix), or at least the Ben 10 which Man of Action and the rest of the writing team were working on. I feel that it is just so much more satisfying than any other finale of the other shows. We see Ben's summer finally ending, a return to normality for him along with an introduction to his parents, Ben finally managing to destroy Vilgax once and for all, and his secret being revealed to the world. The Omniverse finale was decent but as cool as it was to see the creation of the universe, it lacks the personal connection to Ben and his growth which GBaGR does so well.

    I think that it was a fitting conclusion and I imagine that the sequel which the OS team were originally working on would've expanded on this and led up to Ben 10,000. I see Good Bye and Good Riddance as the original team showing their own ending to the series, even though it ended up being non-canon.

    I do believe that Ben keeping a secret identity would be better for storytelling purposes though, and I wish that Alien Force had actually done that before his identity was revealed at the start of Ultimate Alien.

  • @KineceleranGirl Well, assuming that the gas line explosion did indeed kill Vilgax. Vilgax has survived worse. He was once stuck onto a nuclear missile that was fired at his ship after all.

    Goodbye and Good Riddance I think can work as a good finale. Although, Secret of the Omnitrix works well enough as a series finale of the Original Series as well. I think I would've rather preferred for Ben to keep his secret identity for a while longer though. I don't think that aspect of Goodbye and Good Riddance made much sense and having Ben's secret identity be revealed at a later time would work better. Ideally when Ben transitions into Ben 10,000. Say around the age of 15 (the original age in which Ben supposedly made that transition) and during or after the Highbreed invasion could be a good point. Alien Force really should've centered on Ben's transition into Ben 10,000.

    I do think that Goodbye and Good Riddance, as well as Secret of the Omnitrix, were better finales than Omniverse. Omniverse's series finale felt like they were trying to do better by going bigger. You don't always have to go bigger though. Bigger doesn't always mean better. More doesn't always mean better either. Sometimes, less is more. I tend to appreciate stories and finales more when they're more personal over having bigger scale and I think Secret of the Omnitrix handled that personal element quite well, despite having a universe-wide threat being involved. To me, Secret of the Omnitrix's story gradually ended up feeling like a more personal and grounded story despite its premise.

  • Good Bye and Good Riddance is a fun episode and as just a final episode to the OS without thinking about any of the sequels, it is a satisfying conclusion. However I think that Ben having a secret identity in his home town was just too good an opportunity to pass up, and it's a shame that the writers barely touched on it.

    I personally think that the final episode of the OS should've been akin to GBaGR with the summer ending, but maybe not the unexpected return of Vilgax (which is never explained) or Ben's identity being revealed. It could've been a character-focused episode where they reflect on going back to normality, or something along those lines.

    Secret of the Omnitrix is easily my favourite thing to ever come out of the franchise because I think that they nailed the personal stakes and character growth for Ben as well as keeping the adventure and fun of Ben 10.

    Alien Force's finale attempted to be a more character-driven finale and it was interesting to actually see Vilgax achieve his goal and win, as well as Ben willingly sacrificing his Omnitrix for the greater good, but there are plotholes and things which don't make much sense. Ultimate Alien's finale is almost universally accepted as terrible due to a bad antagonist, the lack of personal connection to Ben as well as the lamest final battle. Omniverse's finale was at least more exciting but it didn't hit me as hard as either of the OS finales because again, we didn't get character-driven moments. I think that this finale would've been a whole lot better if there were moments between Ben and Rook to show how close they've grown as friends, or if the final antagonist was actually intimidating and somewhat relatable, and most of all if BEN HAD ACTUALLY SEEN THE CONTEMALIA AS GRANDPA MAX AND NOT MR SMOOTHY MASCOTS.

  • @coreofthesun The Mr. Smoothy mascots thing was certainly the biggest killer of that finale. It's one of the biggest examples of the show being too comedic. That's a noteworthy moment that really should've been taken more seriously but the crew, for some reason, decided to play it off as a joke. It really ruined the moment.

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