Reign Storm, Nickelodeon
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Early in the second season of Danny Phantom, there was a special hourlong episode called "Reign Storm," which sees the return of a ghost Danny had fought in season one, Fright Knight. This time he's serving the evil and superpowerful king of all ghosts, Pariah Dark, who had been sealed away long ago in the Ghost Zone, but who was now accidentally released by Vlad. Now all the regular ghosts fled the Ghost Zone in fear. The ghost king tries to set up a kingdom in Amity Park, so Danny will need help from both Vlad and Valerie in fighting him. Jack is also helpful. Oh, and I think this is when Danny finally gets people to stop calling him Inviso-Bill. Anyway, if at some point I get a chance to rewatch the episode, I hope to say more about it, and give it a rating. But it was definitely good.
The Ultimate Enemy, Nickelodeon
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Set in the second season, not long after Reign Storm. It begins ten years in the future. Valerie, as an adult, is making routine checks on the ghost shield that now permanently surrounds Amity Park. However, the shield is broken by Danny Phantom, now all grown up and evil, and having just acquired a new power: the Ghostly Wail. The Fright Knight makes a brief cameo appearance, now serving the evil Danny Phantom. This is all watched from the Ghost Zone by some weird ghosts called "Observants," who order another ghost, named Clockwork (the master of Time) to destroy Danny in the past to prevent this future.
Back in the present, it's time for Danny and his friends to take the Career Aptitude Test at school, which Danny is worried about because with all his ghost fighting, he hasn't had time to study, and he's worried about his future. Later, Clockwork sends some ghosts from the future to destroy Danny... but they fail, and Danny, Sam, and Tucker end up getting pulled into Clockwork's observation room in the Ghost Zone, ten years in the future. Clockwork himself fights Danny, who then escapes with his friends through a portal to Amity Park, where Danny ends up having to fight his evil future self. Sam and Tucker return to the present, but future Danny throws present Danny into the Ghost Zone, and takes on young Danny's form and returns to the past himself, to ensure his future comes to be.
Well, there's all kinds of stuff going on. At one point, Danny had accidentally acquired the answers to the test (during his fight with the first ghost Clockwork had sent), and was trying to determine whether or not to cheat. Mr. Lancer and Jazz both knew about this. And cheating on the test was supposed to be Danny's first step toward evil, apparently. But there was much more going on... Danny's family and friends were all going to die in an explosion at the Nasty Burger, and future Danny now cheated on the test in young Danny's place, and made sure everyone was at the fast food place for the explosion. He also mocked his parents for never getting the Danny Fenton/Danny Phantom connection. I enjoyed that.
However, Jazz managed to get a note to young Danny in the Ghost Zone in the future, which led him to Vlad, who explained more of what had happened that led Danny to become evil. Young Danny then returns to the present to fight his older self and try to rescue everyone. Of course, future Danny is much more powerful than young Danny, but... young Danny has recently acquired the power of the Ghostly Wail, ten years earlier than he should have. He manages to defeat his future self, but not in time to save his family. However, Clockwork shows up and turns back time so that no one dies, and Danny doesn't cheat on the test. Clockwork had known all this would happen all along, that it was meant to happen. Oh, and Jazz finally reveals to Danny that she knows his secret.
So... it seems Danny won't turn evil, but the evil future Danny now exists outside of time. For now he's sealed away in a Fenton Thermos, kept by Clockwork... but it does seem like he might escape someday for a sequel or something. Time will tell....
tek's rating: ½
Reality Trip, Nickelodeon
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Set near the end of the second season. School gets out for the summer, and Danny, Tucker, and Sam are all planning a road trip they want to go on. Danny wants to go to Space Camp, Tucker wants to go to a sci-fi and comic book convention, and Sam wants to go to Gothapalooza. Meanwhile, the Guys in White have Freakshow in prison, and interrogate him about something called the Reality Gauntlet, which has three gems, which each give the wearer a different power. Ultimately, the gauntlet has the power to control all Reality itself. (The whole thing is obviously a total rip-off of Marvel Comics' "Infinity Gauntlet.") Freakshow manages to escape with the gauntlet, and creates all sorts of trouble. And well, there are some fights between the good guys and the bad guys, and a race to find the gems, and the Guys in White constantly chasing after Danny as well. And the end is a total rip-off of Aladdin that anyone should be able to see coming a mile away. I'd definitely say this was by far the weakest of the Danny Phantom specials, but it was still alright, I guess.
Phantom Planet, Nickelodeon
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The final episode of season 3, and apparently the series finale. Hmmm, I suppose I should mention this has nothing to do with the band "Phantom Planet," though I have to assume the writers were aware of the band. And I can't help wondering if the title constitutes copyright infringement (though I also think the band may have stolen the name from Space Ghost, or something). But whatever, it's not important. In any event, it was an incredibly cool end to the series, with lots of major changes by the end. Which of course means the whole dynamic of the show would be somewhat different if they did continue it. You never can tell with shows like this, they could claim it's the end, and later come back with another season, or more specials, or something. It's been known to happen. And as cool as I think it'd be to see more in the future, I don't think I'd want a regular series after this, because... it's just a hell of an ending, even if it is also a whole new beginning....
Anyway. Vlad Masters is currently mayor of Amity Park, a development I was aware of from having seen the episode "Urban Jungle," but it surprised me at the time, because that episode aired prior to episodes which were set before it in the show's continuity... and I never got to see those eps anyway, but hopefully I will eventually. Whatever, I digress. "Phantom Planet" starts in space, somewhere around Saturn, I think. Vlad has a satellite out there, and a couple of his holographic A.I.s (who look like Maddie Fenton) discover an element called "ectoranium," which no ghost can touch. So Vlad hopes to mine it, to make anti-ghost weapons, to help him take over the Ghost Zone. But Danny, Sam, and Tucker show up to fight him, and manage to get back the Infini-Map, which I guess they had acquired earlier in the season, in an episode I never saw, and Vlad had stolen it from them. It was like a map of the Ghost Zone and showed where portals would open into the Zone. And stuff. Anyway, in the course of the battle, Vlad's satellite also got destroyed, and the explosion knocked an asteroid made of ectoranium onto a collision course with Earth, though no one seemed to notice this at the time. (I think the asteroid kind of reminded me of Brainiac's asteroid from some incarnation of Superman or other, I forget).
Later, back on Earth, Danny is fighting Technus, when suddenly a new group of ghost fighters called "Masters' Blasters" show up and defeat Technus themselves. They've been supplied with ghost-busting technology by Mayor Vlad Masters, as part of a plan to get Danny to give up his own ghost fighting. In a quick montage of ghost battles over the next few days or so, we see the Blasters constantly beating Danny to the punch, and they become very popular with the public. So Danny, despite the objects of his friends and sister, enters the Ghost Portal and deactivates his powers. The portal was destroyed in the process, which would very much upset Jack. But it would later turn out to be pretty lucky that Danny had the Infini-Map. But that's getting ahead of the story. For now, Danny's just looking forward to a normal life, but his friends are disappointed by this turn of events (which seemed a bit selfish of them, to me). In any event, after "Danny Phantom" stopped showing up, Masters' Blasters started charging for their services.
Meanwhile, the asteroid, which the media dubbed "the Disasteroid," was discovered, so everyone was very worried. Since it would, like, wipe out all life on Earth. Vlad funded a mission, on which Jack, along with the Blasters, set out on the newly built "Fenton Rocket," to launch missiles at the asteroid. But due to some devious trickery by Vlad, the mission failed. After this, Vlad announced to the world that he was actually Plasmius, and presented his plan to turn the Disasteroid temporarily intangible, while it passed harmlessly through the Earth. In exchange, he demanded $500 billion, and that every nation agree to make him absolute ruler of the Earth. They agreed, and he went back into space with Jack, to whom he revealed that Jack was the one who had infected him with ghost DNA, and that he intended to make Maddie his queen once he ruled the world. So Jack finally gets it through his thick skull that Vladdie is not his friend.
However, Vlad discovers that the Disasteroid is made entirely of ectoranium, so he can't touch it. He can't save the world, and now that he revealed the truth to everyone, he can never go back. When everyone finds out the Disasteroid can't be made intangible, Danny comes up with a plan of his own: to turn the Earth itself intangible, while the Disasteroid passed through it. Of course, he'd need the help of pretty much every ghost in the Ghost Zone, so he goes to round them up, but he's stopped by Skulker. Then all the ghosts attack him, and all their ghostly energy reactivates his own powers. He wants to explain his plan to them, but they won't listen, so he goes home.
Nevertheless, Danny and his friends haven't given up on the plan. Tucker explains the plan to the world, and leads a team to construct a device to channel ghost energy through cables which Jack and Maddie laid around the world. But Danny will still have to return to the Ghost Zone to try again to ask for help. Before this, he shares a pretty amazing kiss with Sam, and it's clear their relationship has changed forever. In the Zone, Danny explains to the ghosts that if the Earth is destroyed, the Ghost Zone will be destroyed along with it. So, they finally agree to help power the device, to save their own world.
Once the world has been saved, the ghosts return to the Zone, with Skulker telling Danny he'll never give up on hunting him. Meanwhile, Danny's secret is finally revealed to his parents, and to the world. Tucker becomes mayor of Amity Park, statues of Danny are erected all over the world, and Danny Phantom is likely to become busier than ever. Plus, Jack wants Danny to be his sidekick. But, of course, it all ends with Danny and Sam, a happy couple at last. Shippers rejoice!
Did I or did I not tell you it was a great ending to the series? Oh my yes, full of awesome from start to finish. And... I guess that's all there is to say.