DD II Shrine
Episode written by David Caren and Larry Carroll
The episode begins with Chop (who
noticeably has a cybernetic arm) and Michael (the student of the Dragon
Dojo) carrying out some maintenance on the Dragon Cruiser.
Michael comments that the day that Chop built the Cruiser must have been
the proudest one of his life. Chop agrees that it was, adding that
it was also the day he became a Dragon Warrior. Impressed, Michael
asks how Chop accomplished both feats in one day, thus setting up the
flashback that is this entire episode.
“It was a dark and stormy night …” Chop opens.
The Shadow Warriors attempt to take over the Metro City
refinery. Billy, Jimmy and Tsunami are waiting for them, having
received a tip-off. The Dragons defeat the Shadows and send them
At the Shadow Dojo, Sickle tells a disgusted Shadow
Master that they don't have the firepower to defeat the Dragons.
Ice Pick states that for once, he agrees with Sickle. In order to
take over the refinery, the Shadow Warriors will need a powerful new
attack vehicle. Ice Pick continues that he has heard of a great mechanic
who can provide them with such a vehicle. The Shadow Master resolves
that he must have this mechanic.
Elsewhere, Marian, Billy, Jimmy and several cops have a
surprise for “Mike Pollard” (Chop, with only one arm). As Chop is
taking an early retirement from the police force, Marian, the Dragons and
the cops have all chipped in and bought him an auto-design centre with the
latest in automotive technology. Mike is not impressed. He
says that no one will take a one-armed mechanic seriously - he certainly
doesn't. Billy tells Mike that he's still the best designer and
mechanic in Metro City. But Mike storms out, slamming the door.
Later, Marian tells Billy and Jimmy that Mike was so
different “before the accident.” He was a top cop, a top mechanic,
and a driver that nobody could beat. Jimmy says that now, Mike is
“beat.” Billy replies that Mike is only beaten because he thinks he
is. Billy concludes that if one wishes to believe in something, he
must first believe in himself.
We then have a flashback-within-a-flashback: Mike, with
both arms and wearing a police uniform, is driving a police car in pursuit
of a speeding vehicle. A child skates into the middle of the
road and stops in Mike's path. Mike swerves to avoid the child and
his car rolls onto its side and then upside-down, finally crashing into a
telephone pole and exploding.
Mike then wakes up from what was obviously a nightmare.
He discovers a thin man in his house, wearing a suit, coat, hat and
sunglasses. The man identifies himself as “North,” telling Mike that he
works for a government agency. North has a business proposition: he
needs a new police attack vehicle design. Mike tells North that he's
not sure if he's the right guy for the job. North shows Mike a
cybernetic arm, telling him that with it, he could do anything.
North then takes Mike to a production facility fully outfitted with the
latest technology for Mike's usage during the project. Mike,
overjoyed, accepts North's offer, shaking North's hand with the cybernetic
one North gave him. As North leaves, he morphs into his true form:
the Shadow Master.
We then fast-forward to after Mike has finished the
design project. He demonstrates his new vehicle, the Stalker, for
North (and the viewer). The Stalker's speed, shielding and firepower
are all displayed. North is impressed and Mike says it was thanks to
the cybernetic arm. North then instructs Mike to build more
Stalkers. As we see the new Stalkers leave the production line, the
Shadow Warriors enter them.
Back at the refinery, Marian tells the Dragons that her
informant says that the Shadow Warriors are planning another attack on the
refinery for that very night. Jimmy is skeptical after what happened
the last time. Just then, the Shadow Warriors, in their Stalkers,
enter the refinery. The Dragons attempt to combat this new threat,
but are forced to retreat. The refinery falls under the control of
the Shadow Master.
Later, the Shadow Master announces to the media that
the Dragon Warriors must surrender to him by midnight, or he will ignite
all of the fuel in the refinery, burning Metro City to the ground.
At the Stalker production facility, Mike has destroyed
everything, ensuring no more Stalkers can be made. North arrives and
reveals his true form to Mike, saying he already has all the Stalkers he
needs. Mike attacks the Shadow Master, who yanks the cybernetic arm
off him and trashes it. The Shadow Master then throws Mike through a
window. He tells Mike that he'll keep what's left of the arm as a
memento, and Mike may keep his life as payment for services rendered.
The Shadow Master says it's a fair bargain for a useless weakling.
At the Dragon Dojo, Jimmy admonishes Mike for falling
for the Shadow Master's lies. Marian cuts Jimmy off, telling Mike
that he built the Stalkers and he can help find a way to defeat them.
However, Mike has no confidence without the cybernetic arm, and is plagued
by the Shadow Master's insults. Mike suggests that maybe he really
is “just a useless cripple.” Billy tells Mike that what matters is
how he feels about himself, not what the Shadow Master says. Marian
agrees that Mike's only real handicap is in his mind, and he has to
believe in himself.
As the Dragon Warriors leave, Mike notices some
broken-down cars and decides that maybe he can do something after all.
He tells Marian that he's going to build “a sweet little surprise” for the
At the refinery, the Dragon Warriors have come to
surrender. As they are surrounded by Stalkers, their situation seems
perilous. Suddenly, Mike arrives driving a newly-built Dragon
Cruiser. He starts destroying Stalkers left and right. Billy
and Jimmy join the battle, and soon the Shadow Warriors are on the run.
The Shadow Master, furious, plants a bomb on a large fuel tank. Mike
notices it and rushes up the ladder and across the bridge toward it.
The Shadow Master blasts a gap in the bridge, keeping Mike from reaching
With the Shadow Master and Mike on opposite sides of
the gap, the Shadow Master fires off both energy blasts and insults, but
is unable to harm Mike with either. Mike leaps across the gap,
hanging over the other edge by his one arm. The Double Dragons rush
up behind Mike. The Shadow Master tells them that they've run out of
time as we see the bomb's timer has less than ten seconds. Mike
swings up onto the bridge, grabs the Shadow Master's scythe, and hurls it
at the bomb, knocking it off the tank and onto the bridge. The
Shadow Master tells Mike that he can't do this. Mike declares
confidently that he can do anything. He picks up the bomb and
launches it away, where it explodes harmlessly in mid-air. The
Shadow Master flinches from the light of the explosion and disappears.
Later, in the Dragon Dojo, Mike adjusts his new
cybernetic arm (the one we saw at the very beginning), and is dubbed
“Chop,” Dragon Warrior.
Flash forward (or back) to the beginning (at the end),
as Chop concludes his story. He built the Cruiser, defeated the
Shadow, built himself an even better cybernetic arm, and became a Dragon
Warrior - all in one day. Michael says he can't believe that Chop
ever considered himself handicapped. Michael tells Chop that he
never thought of Chop that way, and would be surprised if anyone ever did.
Epilogue Message: Billy is teaching a class at
the Dragon Dojo. He notices that Michael seems inspired.
Michael replies that he is from Chop's account of how he beat his
handicap. Michael says that what you're like on the outside isn't
important - it's what's on the inside that counts. Michael resolves
to make the best of what he's got and not waste his time wishing he was
like somebody else.
Eddie MountainGoat's review: Another episode with
a positive message. It has obvious connotations towards the
physically disabled - I particularly liked the fact that Chop stopped the
Shadow Master's plan without the artificial arm, declaring “I can do
ANYTHING!” But the self-belief and self-doubt themes apply across the
board to all aspects of confidence (or lack thereof).
This is also a rare occasion where the epilogue-message
isn't just relevant to the plot of the episode; it's directly connected to
There are definitely better-written episodes than this
one. It begins the flashback with one of the most clichéd flashback
introductions ever. And there's no man-to-man combat. But it
has a meaningful moral value, and leaves you with a feel-good attitude.