BEN 10: ULTIMATE ALIEN “Moon Struck” Review

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BEN 10: ULTIMATE ALIEN “Moon Struck” Season 2, Episode 11 – We get very little screen time with Ben, Gwen and Kevin, in this week’s episode of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, but this flashback episode of Max meeting Verdona for the first time was a really interesting side step away from the main story line.

Seeing Max in the Air Force was a nice way to compare how similar Max and Ben were in their youth. Ben obviously picked up the stubborn streak in the Tennyson bloodline from his grandfather. Although Max is headstrong, he seems a little bit more respectful of authority than Ben might have been in the same situation, but that might just be because Max is quite a bit older in the flashback than Ben is now. Max gets chewed out for destroying the F104 and for insubordination, but ultimately his talent speaks for itself and is recognized for promotion by the higher ups.

Seeing young Verdona was interesting too. Gwen and Verdona share the same bright red hair and while I wouldn’t say they’re the spitting image of one another, they could definitely pass for sisters. Even in her youth, Verdona is confident, smart, funny and a little bit sarcastic. Even though she’s being hunted, Verdona has a calm sense of security in herself that is alluring and I can see why Max wanted to be around her. She’s the type of woman that might intimidate a lot of guys, but it takes more than confidence to intimidate a Tennyson.

I enjoyed the chase and the fight scenes with the Synthroid even though they were not your typical Ben 10: Ultimate Alien type of fights – there’s no Ultimatrix action and since Verdona had her powers mostly sealed, she wasn’t providing much more than telepathy either. I liked Max and Verdona working together telepathically to defeat the Synthroid and their final scene together with Verdona in her true form was sweet. With all the jokes about Skynet becoming self aware this week, part of me wonders if it really was just a coincidence that this week’s episode featured a sentient robot hunting down a young woman. In some scenes, it was hard for me to not see hints of The Terminator in the Synthroid that was after Verdona.

Tonight’s episode didn’t really feel like a standard episode of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien since there wasn’t much in the way of actual alien transformations. Still, I’m curious to find out more about Max and Verdona’s relationship as well as more about Max’s early time transitioning into work with The Plumbers. It made me think that the Max and Verdona story could totally pull off a spin-off series of it’s own although, it’s one of those things that might work better in a live action sci-fi format. Max and Verdona are more mature characters than our current Ben 10: Ultimate Alien protagonists and the alien technology available for Max in his youth would probably not be as advanced as what Ben has now. Still, I think they’ve got a really interesting story and I very much enjoyed this flashback. It had action, romance and humor neatly packaged into a nice little episode. Personally, I don’t know how Kevin slept through it!