Defenders of Berk: Cast Out (Both Parts)

I’m a little sad.  DreamWorks Dragons: Defenders of Berk is over.  No more new Toothless cuteness for awhile.  But “Cast Out” was excellent and a great way to bow out.

The citizens of Berk come under attack from both the Screaming Death (the most frightful dragon the series has produced) and Dagur the Deranged.  I guess we should be thankful that Alvin the Treacherous died at mid-season, or he’d be adding to the chaos.

Part 1 (219)

Tuffnut prepares to take over Snotlout's stall at the Dragon Academy.

Tuffnut prepares to redecorate Snotlout’s stall.

During a training exercise, Snotlout disobeys orders (again), knocking Astrid unconscious and nearly killing her.  Hiccup grounds him.  Not one to take orders, Snotlout flies off with his dragon Hookfang to a small deserted isle—which he immediately names Snotland.

But is it deserted?  Snotlout spies a wrecked Outcast ship.  (I wish I knew how to capture screen shots, because there’s a lovely shot of Snotlout and Hookfang checking out the wreckage, with the sun low in the sky, highlighting the billowy clouds.  There’s a reason this series won an Emmy for animation!)

Snotlout’s idyll is short-lived, though.  The earth begins to quake, and the Screaming Death emerges, as ferocious as ever.  In the ensuing melee, Snotlout is knocked unconscious.  He appears to be doomed when he’s rescued by a mysterious figure.  Why, it’s Alvin the Treacherous!  I knew Alvin wasn’t dead!  (Although I’d begun to think he might be, fearing Mark Hamill—the voice of Alvin—was no longer available.)

Alvin the Treacherous returns Snotlout to Berk, and is immediately put in jail.  For treachery, of course.

Over dinner, Hiccup and Stoick discuss what it takes to be the chief.  Stoick says the decisions aren’t always easy; sometimes you have to weigh friendship against the needs of the tribe.

All the while, Dagur the Deranged (voiced by David Faustino) is plotting to capture the Night Fury.  We’re not exactly sure of his plan, only that it involves dragon root.  (In “A Tale of Two Dragons” we learned dragon root brings out the dragons’ aggressive nature, causing them to turn on each other and their riders.  Only Meatlug, Fishlegs’ Gronkle dragon, is immune to the stuff.)

Dagur and his men attack Berk, wreaking havoc with the dragons.  As Hiccup and the teens try to get their dragons under control, Stoick and company attack the Berserkers.  In the fray, Stoick is knocked down.  He’s captured by Dagur and dragged off to Outcast Island.

Oh, and Snotlout let Alvin out of jail.

Part 2 (220)

Gobber tells Hiccup a little of the history of Stoick and Alvin.  Alvin was not just a Berk Viking, he was Stoick’s best friend.  But something happened to cause Alvin to be banished.

Hiccup vows to rescue his father, and takes Alvin to Outcast Island on Toothless.  Hiccup hopes to use Alvin’s knowledge of his home to conduct a sneak attack. They enter via the underground tunnels.  Hiccup worries they might be patrolled by Dagur’s men, but Alvin says he has a man on the inside who’s ensured him they’re safe.  It’s Mildew!  I’d forgotten about Mildew!  Last season, Mildew lived on Berk.  He hated the dragons so much, he turned traitor to work with Alvin.  Now he’s relegated to feeding and caring for the dragons on Outcast Island.  Hiccup comments on the irony.

Alvin, Hiccup, and Mildew check out the Whispering Death's eggs.

Alvin, Hiccup, and Mildew check out the Whispering Death’s eggs.

Hiccup notices Whispering Death eggs.  The same dragon laid the eggs the Outcasts planted underneath Berk at the beginning of this season.  One of those eggs was red and larger than the rest.  Hiccup realizes the Screaming Death has been destroying the islands in the archipelago searching for its mother.  He forms a plan and sends a message back to Berk.

The Berk teens receive Hiccup’s message and prepare to lure the Screaming Death to Outcast Island with dragon root.  Actually, it’s Fishlegs and Meatlug who must do the luring, since only Meatlug can tolerate the dragon root.

Back to Outcast Island:  Hiccup and Toothless begin attacking the Outcasts, but are captured.  Toothless is caged and Hiccup is tied up next to his father.  Hiccup tells Stoick he has a plan, but is illusive in giving any details.  He says tentatively he’d prefer to just watch it unfold.

All the story lines come together rather quickly.   As Dagur is deciding what to rename Toothless, his men suddenly begin disappearing.  The Whispering Deaths are attacking from the tunnels below!  Alvin and Mildew arrive on the scene to free Toothless, Stoick, and Hiccup.  Stoick is aghast.  “Alvin, Mildew and Whispering Deaths?  That was your plan?”  “Did not see that coming, did you?” Hiccup replies.

Even more bedlam ensues with the arrival of the Screaming Death, followed by the teens.  Ruffnut is awestruck.  “It’s chaos on a level I’ve never seen before,” she says.  Tuffnut, too, is impressed “I know!  I want to live here!”  “Forever!” Ruffnut adds.

Hiccup’s  second phase works, although it does hit a few snags (by the name of Dagur).  Snotlout saves the day and the Screaming Death is reunited with its mother.  The Deaths fly off together.

It’s a peaceful ending all around.  Stoick and Alvin reconcile.  Hiccup does voice-over (the first of the season) about life on Berk with the dragons.  He ends with “We wouldn’t trade this for anything.  Would you?”

Finally, there’s less than 100 days until How to Train Your Dragon 2!  (Just in time for my birthday.  I couldn’t ask for a better present.)

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One response to “Defenders of Berk: Cast Out (Both Parts)

  1. Pingback: Back on the Dragon Train! | The New Stream of Conscience

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