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 12 (“The Next Big Sting”).
(WARNING #1: This recap/review will contain SPOILERS for Episodes 12. 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.)
“Have Dragon Will Travel” was a huge, insane episode with a lot of juicy turns and moving parts. So it makes sense that our next episode serves as a little bit of a palette cleanser. “The Next Big Sting,” directed by T.J. Sullivan and written by F M. De Marco, tones down on the ‘epic’ to focus on a smaller, standalone team episode.
Interestingly enough, we spend the first four minutes of the episode setting up another element from How to Train Your Dragon 2: Hiccup’s flight suit. In this episode of Race to the Edge, we are introduced to its very earliest design (with the other Riders in attendance). Called the Dragonfly One, Hiccup takes it out for a few test runs with varied reactions from the gang. Of course, things don’t go perfectly right off the bat (this is a beta design after all), but Hiccup does manage to achieve some level of flight (before he damages the wing suit).
This is all before we get into our main conflict, which features another dragon that the Riders have confronted before: the Speed Stinger. The last time we saw these dragons, they attacked Berk during an intense winter storm in “Frozen” (From Defenders of Berk). Now, the Riders are faced with a situation that is a little more complicated. When they hear a distress call from a dragon, they find a young, injured Speed Stinger who is separated from his pack.
Because of its injuries, the Speed Stinger can’t protect itself against other predators the way it normally would. This prompts Hiccup to find a way to nurse it back to health. He tries to get the twins to help secure it, but their way of helping only results in Ruffnut getting stung and partially paralyzed (an adolescent Speed Stinger isn’t as powerful as an adult Speed Stinger). After some help from Fishlegs and Astrid, Hiccup places the splint from the Dragonfly One on the Speed Stinger’s broken leg and they take him back to Dragon’s Edge (against Snotlout’s protests).
In the arena, Fishlegs resides over the Speed Stinger’s rehabilitation process, which goes over well (despite getting a paralyzed arm for his troubles). Snotlout still continues to argue against keeping the Speed Stinger (due to prior experience). Snotlout attempts to get the Speed Stinger thrown out, but only manages to agitate it to actively attack anyone (this is made worse by the loud noises and activities of the twins). Hiccup decides to pick up the argument with Snotlout at a later time as they all go to rest.
The next morning, Fishlegs takes the splint off of the Speed Stinger. Now healed, it happily begins to run around Fishleg’s dwelling. Fishlegs also makes the discovery that this particular Speed Stinger can run across water. As it turns out, the adolescent has webbing on its feet, which allows it to run through water as a means of travel (since it can’t fly). This is significant, as this is the first in-universe example of dragon evolution (and perhaps maybe a hint towards Toothless’ ‘evolution’ in How to Train Your Dragon 2).
It is also bad news for the gang, as it means that the adolescent’s pack is preparing to sprint across the ocean on its way to Dragon’s Edge. Meanwhile, Hiccup mulls over his second flight suit model (the Dragonfly Two) when the Speed Stinger is found out of its cage and is nowhere to be found. Surprising nobody, it turns out that Snotlout and Ruffnut planned to take the Speed Stinger back to its location. Unfortunately for them, the Speed Stinger brakes free of its binding ropes and starts stinging everyone, including Hookfang. They crash to the ground, where Hiccup and the other Riders spot them.
Their bad luck piles up even more as a pack of other Speed Stingers (summoned by the adolescent’s distress call) show up. At that moment, Snotlout decides to do something heroic for a change and grabs the young Speed Stinger to draw the rest of the pack away from the other Riders. But he can’t outrun them forever and before long, he is surrounded by the other Speed Stingers. Surprisingly, the adolescent begins defending Snotlout against the other Speed Stingers, revealing that it has bonded with the gang long enough to where it identifies them as its ‘pack’ and likewise has developed the instinct to protect them at any cost.
Hiccup does order Snotlout to leave before the young Speed Stinger realizes that it has to pick a side. The Riders begin to drive the Speed Stinger and its Alpha back to the shore via blast attacks and a large wall of fire created by a partially paralyzed Barf and Belch. Hiccup and Toothless face off against the Alpha Stinger and successfully drive him off (with Hiccup using the Dragonfly Two).
As the pack leaves, Hiccup sees the young Speed Stinger one more time and decides that it should be reunited with its original pack. The Riders (sans Snotlout) look on as the adolescent races across water to be reunited with the original pack.
Again, this is a fairly decent team episode that still manages to pack in a couple neat things, like dragon evolution and our first look at the flight suit’s earliest progress.
– Once more (with feeling): “The chicken is not amused.”
– One can tell that this is a breather episode, as there is not much action. What action there is also takes place on the ground (which is interesting).
– This is a “blink-and-you-miss-it” moment (sort of), but when Snotlout runs with the young Speed Stinger, we suddenly go into a shaky-cam view of Snotlout as he’s running away.
– We get to see the iconic ‘hand’ gesture that Hiccup does twice (sort of).
– For those who play School of Dragons, the plot of the episode mirrors a quest line where players have to rescue a young Speed Stinger and reunite it with its pack.
Video Recap #10
Thanks for reading! Check back next time for the recap/review of Dragons: Race to the Edge episode 13!
What are your thoughts on this episode? If you have seen this episode, discuss it in the comment section below!
Edited by: Hannah Wilkes