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Ben 10: Ultimate Alien, Cartoon Network
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Caution: spoilers.

The third series in the Ben 10 franchise, this is set shortly after the second series, Ben 10: Alien Force. Ben is now 16, and he now has a car. And as seen at the end of the previous series, he replaced the Omnitrix with the Ultamatrix, which allows him not only to transform into any aliens stored in its database, but also to transform into each alien's ultimate evolutionary form. But in the first episode, a kid named Jimmy Jones, who is a fan of Ben's, puts information he's gathered about Ben on his website, including Ben's true identity. The news soon picks up on this, and this reporter named Will Harangue thinks Ben is a menace (either that, or a threat: you decide). So, Ben becomes worried that everyone in the world is going to hate and fear him as an invader, rather than a super hero. However, he still has his cousin Gwen, grandpa Max, friend Kevin, and girlfriend Julie on his side (though he does tend to take Julie for granted and act kind of like a jerk sometimes, so their relationship does have its rough patches). Anyway, in spite of Harangue's efforts, Ben does seem to have a lot of fans, now.

Aside from being famous, things pretty much continue as normal. We do learn that "all world governments" recognize the Plumbers' authority in matters involving aliens, in spite of the organization's existence being secret from the public. Also, there's some alien named Aggregor who had at some point captured five different aliens, who later escaped and crashed on Earth, then got separated. (Aggregor is an Osmosian, which means he can absorb powers. Kevin is apparently also an Osmosian, though I have no recollection of when or how we learned this.) Aggregor is now hunting the aliens who escaped from him. Ben and his allies try to stop Aggregor and help the aliens he's hunting, but ultimately they fail. Aggregor eventually absorbs all the powers of the five aliens, and Azmuth shows up to explain his motive: Aggregor needed their powers so he could find and assemble four pieces of the "Map of Infinity," which would allow him to travel anywhere in the universe. And he intends to use the Map to get to the Forge of Creation, to obtain a power that would make him unstoppable. So, most of the latter half of the season is a race against Aggregor to obtain the pieces of the Map. Of course, there are also stand-alone stories in addition to the major story arc. And then, when the heroes have their final confrontation against Aggregor, it really sets up a major change in the show's dynamic, which I don't want to spoil, but the last few episodes deal with a problem created by the way in which Aggregor was defeated. Which... I thought would explain something seen in an episode of the original series which was set in the future, but in the end, it... didn't. So it was a happier ending than I expected, but it left me kinda confused. Still... it was pretty good.

Then, toward the end of season two, there's another episode involving time travel, in which we once again see Ben's older self, Ben 10,000, as well as Professor Paradox. And we learn about cross-time, which explains certain discrepancies that had been bothering me. So now we don't have to worry about that anymore, I guess. But there are always plenty of other things to worry about. And um, I lost access to Cartoon Network in June 2011, so I missed a bunch of episodes. Looking at Wikipedia, those episodes are listed as being like the second half of season two, even though they debuted several months after the first half, so I thought this was going to be season three. But the important thing is that I missed it, whatever it was called. And there was later a fourth series, "Ben 10: Omniverse," of which I have seen nothing at all.


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