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 eight (“Crushing It”).
(WARNING #1: This recap/review will contain SPOILERS for episode eight. 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.)
Over the past seven episodes of Race of the Edge, the writers have been careful to dole out small references and hints to certain elements in How to Train Your Dragon 2. There’s been nothing too obvious or too major…until now. Directed once more by T.J. Sullivan and written by a combination of different writers (Art Brown, Douglas Sloan, and Jack Thomas among them), “Crushing It” is the first episode of Race to the Edge to begin setting up the pieces that build toward How to Train Your Dragon 2 in a big way. In the case of this episode, we finally get the origins of Stoick’s second dragon, Skullcrusher (a Rumblehorn and the first dragon of a new class).
The episode starts off with the Riders having dealt with a rampaging Rumblehorn for quite some time. One night, one of the various traps goes off and the Riders collectively run out to investigate what they caught, only to find out that they caught Gobber instead. As it turns out, Gobber comes to Dragon’s Edge with an urgent message for Hiccup about his dad, Stoick (and its not what one would think). Apparently Stoick is in a rather irritable and restless mood as of late. Hiccup decides to go back to Berk to see why this is, while Gobber hangs back at Dragon’s Edge to help out the other Riders.
It’s not exactly stated out loud why Stoick acts the way he does in the first act. But, if you know anything about the history of his character, one could venture that it’s a number of things that contribute to his actions (possible midlife crisis?). Whatever the case may be, one thing that’s easily discernible is that Stoick clearly misses the thrill of being in the thick of the action (the fact the he still has Thornado’s saddle is also telling). Hiccup proposes a solution to the problem by having Stoick help out with the Rumblehorn problem back on Dragon’s Edge (which Stoick immediately accepts).
Back on Dragon’s Edge, Gobber’s attempt to stop the Rumblehorn (a massive rock wall) fails miserably and has Gobber’s… mental facilities bent out of shape. Hiccup, Toothless, and Stoick arrive (after being mistaken as an enemy). With the situation getting even further out of hand, Hiccup arranges a plan to have himself, Stoick, and several of the other Riders looking for the Rumblehorn while Snotlout and Fishlegs take care of Gobber.
During their search, Hiccup reveals that they have dealt with this dragon for a few weeks now and describes it as intelligent, elusive, and powerful (qualities that catch Stoick’s interest). They soon find a spot of trouble nearby and go down to investigate. Catching on to the fact that the beast can sense them, Stoick devises a way to draw the Rumblehorn out. The plan turns out to be a success, as the Rumblehorn reveals itself to Stoick and Hiccup for the first time. Can I just say that, for a supposedly scaled-down version of the dragon from How to Train Your Dragon 2, the model looks astonishing. Another tip of the hat to the animators.
Hiccup and Toothless try to net the dragon (to no avail). Stoick tries to stop the dragon by roping him in and tackling him, only to get yanked up in the air as the Rumblehorn flies off. In an amazing sequence Stoic plummets through the air (with the Rumblehorn in pursuit) and is saved by Hiccup and Toothless, who retreat back to the base. But the Rumblehorn picks up Stoick’s scent (from the rope) and follows.
The Riders meet back up to resupply and find the Rumblehorn when the dragon itself comes right after them. It doesn’t attack the Riders or their dragons, but it begins to charge toward Gobber. Hiccup and Toothless try to neutralize the dragon with one shot, but Stoick stops them as he realizes what’s actually going on. As it turns out, the dragon is trying to warn them about something. What is that something? It’s a massive tidal wave that’s headed straight for Dragon’s Edge! It may seem rather random that the focus shifts from the Rumblehorn to a humongous tidal wave that comes out of nowhere in the third act. But again, it’s an awesome visual feat the likes of which we’ve never seen in Riders/Defenders.
They begin to reinforce Gobber’s rock wall in the hopes that it will hold up against the wave, and luckily it does (with the help of the Rumblehorn smashing down a giant sea stack). The next day, Stoick flies on the back of the Rumblehorn as Hiccup and Fishlegs create the ‘Tracker Class’ subset for the Rumblehorn and others of its type.
Stoick and Gobber (now back to normal) arrive back on Berk. Stoick confesses to Hiccup that, while he may miss Thornado, he found a new equal in the likes of the Rumblehorn. He gives him the name Skullcrusher.
So that’s one element of How to Train Your Dragon 2 that’s set up. I imagine it won’t take us long to start knocking out all the other building blocks as well.
– Seriously, that tidal wave caught me off guard.
– Gobber’s remarks about dragons doesn’t seem to amuse Toothless.
– This was definitely a Hiccup and Stoick episode, as most of the screen time is devoted to them.
– Snotlout also isn’t amused that they agree with the notion of a Tracker Class.
– It looks like the twins were able to fix up the boar pit after Gustav filled it with rocks in “Gone Gustav Gone.”
– If you have any knowledge of what happens to Stoick in How to Train Your Dragon 2, this episode might be bittersweet in hindsight.
Video Recap #6
Thanks for reading! Check back next week for the recap/review of Dragons: Race to the Edge episode nine!
What are your thoughts on this episode? If you have seen this episode, discuss it in the comment section below!
Brandon is your average nerd with a love for nerdy things (games, comics, anime/manga, etc.). He also loves reading and writing and plans to be an author someday. For now, he writes with passion and curiosity about the world of animation. He lives with his family in North Carolina and is currently attending college.