BEN 10: ULTIMATE ALIEN “It’s Not Easy Being Gwen” Review

Ben 10 Ultimate Alien

BEN 10: ULTIMATE ALIEN “It’s Not Easy Being Gwen” Episode 29 – After watching this episode of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, am I the only one that is a little bit concerned that Gwen is on a fast track to a complete psychological melt down? If not now, then a few years from now, probably by the time she’s in college she’ll be in the middle of studying for finals when suddenly her last remaining strand of sanity will snap and she’ll end up running through the dorms with an old pizza box on her head screaming about an alien conspiracy. It seems to always happen to the really brilliant minds and as cool as Gwen seems to be about all the stuff she’s doing right now, she’s going to drive herself insane if she doesn’t take a break. No, it’s not easy being Gwen, but if she doesn’t take it down a notch she’s going to find herself in therapy for the next 20 years. As a matter of fact, she should probably be seeing a therapist right now.

The first thing I assume Gwen would talk about to her therapist would be her mother. Gwen’s mom has an unhealthy attitude towards the Tennyson side of the family and constantly seems to look down her nose at everything on her father’s side of the family. It doesn’t seem to matter that Gwen is half Tennyson and is as unusual as they are, she’s more concerned with keeping up appearances than embracing everything that Gwen is. Sure, she’ll have Ben over for dinner, but she won’t have him associating with her family in public because of the embarrassment it would cause. Gwen seems to be bothered by her mother’s attitude towards her dad and their abilities, but Gwen is too polite to fight about it and Gwen’s mother seems too busy to listen anyway.

At Gwen’s school we see Emily, Gwen’s doting friend. Emily obviously knows about Gwen’s hectic life and seems to be ready to play a solid supporting role without Gwen even asking for it. I cracked up when Emily was describing her terrible date with Ben where she ended up stranded while he ran off to fight. Emily knows all the complications that can arise when you’re friends with a Tennyson and even still, a part of me could understand how Emily would be upset that Gwen wouldn’t be there to support her. Emily does a lot without ever being asked but she seems to have to schedule her time with Gwen so I can see how that would be frustrating. Gwen of course, is spread so thin that she doesn’t realize she’s not able to be a perfect friend, a perfect girlfriend, a perfect student, a perfect daughter, and a perfect Plumber and as it is right now, she’s hanging on to all of those titles by a very fine thread.

I loved the battle that was fought to the sound of Emily playing Chopin’s, Fantaisie-Impromptu. It kind of made me want to watch other animated battle sequences to some of my favorite classical pieces and see how differently they might look without all the sound effects. When Gwen made it back to the end of Emily’s recital in time for the applause, I was happy that Emily felt that her friend was able to be there for her, but I couldn’t help feeling worried for Gwen. That girl needs to take a break.

I did like the interaction between Gwen and Kevin in this episode. It was nice to see a more casual and personal side of their relationship that didn’t revolve around an alien threat. Gwen brings up her concerns about Kevin never having finished school and offers to help him study for the G.E.D. and Kevin seemed receptive. I also liked that Kevin was concerned with how busy Gwen was and that he didn’t really approve of her taking on yet another project she had no time for. He did seem willing to help if she would have asked him for it, so that was nice.

This episode was a nice character-building break from some of the more recent episodes of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien. After watching Gwen go through a typical day, I have to say, I’m exhausted for her. She’s under-appreciated and carrying more than her fair share of the load for the people around her. She sets really high standards for herself but doesn’t expect the same from others. This episode actually made me like her and sympathize with her quite a bit more than I had previously. If anything, this episode of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien got me rooting for Gwen and I hope that we get to see her character develop from trying to be everything to everyone and into a more balanced person that’s not on the verge of a nervous breakdown.