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Welcome to The DRAGONS TV Recap! This is a Rotoscopers series in which we recap and discuss the DreamWorks Dragons television series!
Today, we will review and recap episode five (“Big Man on Berk”).
(WARNING #1: This recap/review will contain SPOILERS for episode five. Do not read if you haven’t watched this episode yet.)
(WARNING #2: Only spoilers for this episode can be discussed in the comment section. If I see spoilers from other episodes, you will be put on notice.)
Okay, so this was an odd episode. I was actually expecting something a lot weirder (and we may get that episode at some point), but an episode in which Fishlegs becomes a completely different person and Snotlout forms a super affectionate bromance with this person is very peculiar. “Big Man on Berk” (directed by T.J. Sullivan and written by John Tellegan) is not one of the best episodes of Race to the Edge, but it does make for a rather amusing and exceptionally oddball 22-minute buddy comedy (in which Christopher Mintz-Plasse does his best impression of Chris Hemsworth).
This time around, we are back on Berk as the riders have seemingly taken a detour to help the village get a Scauldron out of its fishing lanes. Their attempts are soiled when Fishlegs’ sudden allergies prevent them from doing so.
These allergies worsen as the Riders try to figure out what he’s allergic to and how they can cure him. After a few unsuccessful attempts from the twins, they take Fishlegs to Gothi, who proposes a surefire solution: to hypnotize him to sleep and trick his mind into thinking that he is not sick. But leave it to Snotlout to mess with the whole process, as he inadvertently gets Fishlegs to believe that he is a mighty warrior worthy of his friendship. Fishlegs comes to, but as a completely different individual: Thor Bonecrusher. Basically, Snotlout created the ideal role model (for him) and hilarity quickly ensues.
What I like most about this episode is that the character of Thor Bonecrusher gives Christopher Mintz-Plasse new muscles to flex in terms of his voice acting. Simply put, he gets to be the opposite of everything that Fishlegs is as a character, and boy does he take full advantage of it. It is also amusing to see Fishlegs move and act in very uncharacteristic ways. To see him do backflips through the air and, in particular, do parkour only adds to the amusement factor (especially as we never get to see Fishlegs be that agile or physical).
This change also brings some new character dynamics as well. Snotlout simply melts at Bonecrusher’s every move and becomes his #1 fanboy (along with the other citizens of Berk), but it doesn’t take long for things to get out of control. After his heroic actions, Thor Bonecrusher immediately starts to cause trouble when he steals Stoick’s axe from Gobber and runs off to the mead hall to share a made up story about how he nearly slayed a Scauldron (a holdover memory from Fishlegs). Here, he tells of his intention to kill the Scauldron when he meets it again.
Stoick is none too happy to see what he thinks is Fishlegs fooling around with his axe (and gets even more ticked when he’s called “overrated”). Hiccup intervenes and takes Thor Bonecrusher back to Gothi in search of a way to turn him back into Fishlegs. There, they find out that the only way Fishlegs can come back is if he is “frightened” back to normal. Just as they do, Thor Bonecrusher runs off with Snotlout (or Snotman, as he’s called by Fishlegs) on their way to face the Scauldron.
Again, a constant throughout Race to the Edge are the amazing visuals. We see them here of course, in a sequence in which the gang has to save Snotlout and prevent Thor Bonecrusher from killing the Scauldron. But one of the best things about this sequence is the way the camera is handled. The entire sequence takes place out at sea (during a storm), and director T.J. Sullivan uses several neat tricks (pulled from live-action) to showcase the reinvented water effects for the season. He even uses in-camera effects, such as water splashing on the lens as Thor Bonecrusher and the Scauldron dive into the sea for a second time.
After a while, Meatlug comes to his rider’s rescue, but the Scauldron quickly gives chase (with Thor Bonecrusher in tow). It is only when the Scauldron appears ready to blast Meatlug out of the sky, that Thor Bonecrusher is dispersed with and he goes back to normal as Fishlegs. It is also then that the Riders manage to catch the Scauldron and redirect it from Berk’s fishing lanes.
In the end, we find out that Fishlegs was not allergic to Meatlug, but to the wax on Meatlug’s saddle (which is actually Gobber’s ear wax). Snotlout says a tearful and affectionate goodbye to Thor Bonecrusher (and kisses a super confused Fishlegs on the cheek) before he cries into the horizon.
Again, this wasn’t a great episode and it didn’t move the story along that much, but it was an amusing trip that had us witness the other side of Fishlegs.
– When Tuffnut says (to Fishlegs when he’s itching), “Go deeper. See if you can draw blood.”
– I like that Astrid gets to be a bit more jokey and silly this episode (for obvious reasons).
– The twins trying to act like intellectual geniuses is definitely a shout-out to “The Eel Effect,” another weird episode from DreamWorks Dragons.
– When Astrid says (to Snotlout), “You’re alive. Yay us.”
– Seriously, if that wasn’t Fishlegs (as Thor Bonecrusher) doing parkour on his way to save a yak, then I don’t what is.
– Snotlout gets rather affectionate in his mourning for the “loss” of Thor Bonecrusher. There has been some debate over whether or not it was just a fanboy crush or something more. Either way you slice it, Snotlout had some hardcore feelings for Thor Bonecrusher and for all the tough guy bravado. He wasn’t trying hard to hide it throughout the episode.
– The face that Thor Bonecrusher makes when Hiccup calls him Fishlegs is priceless.
Video Recap #4
Thanks for reading! Check back tomorrow for the recap/review of Dragons: Race to the Edge episode six!
What do you think? What are your thoughts on this episode? If you have seen this episode, discuss it in the comment section below!
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes