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The Shadow Falls
Episode written by Phil Harnage and Sandra Ryan

     The scene opens in Metro City 18 years ago.  John Lee is running through an alleyway engulfed in flames while carrying a baby in his arms.  He is running frantically, trying to escape the spotlight of a helicopter above.  John flees safely to the Dragon Dojo where he delivers the baby to the Oldest Dragon.  He tells the Oldest Dragon that this one is named Billy and that he bears the mark of the Double Dragon on his chest.  His brother has been taken by the Shadow Warriors.  The Oldest Dragon guards Billy while John goes to look for his other son.
     Fast forward to present-day Metro City.  Two Shadow Warriors, Abobo and Willy, are launching a coordinated attack on an armored transport car from their helicopter.  Willy is extremely obnoxious and has a propensity for explosions that doesn't please Abobo too much.  Abobo reprimands him not to mess up because the new Shadow Boss is different and has powers he's never seen before.
     Below on the street we see Michael, a student at the Dragon Dojo.  He's riding around on roller blades when he notices the Shadow Warriors attempting to rob an armored car.  Michael heads to the Dragon Dojo where Billy is practicing with the Oldest Dragon.  Billy is extending some sort of green energy from his hand to break a steal beam in half.
     Michael arrives and warns Billy about the robbery, trying to persuade him to intervene.  Billy is reluctant at first, but the Oldest Dragon tells him he must protect the city.  The Oldest Dragon grabs the Dragon Sword from the mantle and hands it to Billy.  The Oldest Dragon says the Shadow has grown more powerful than ever and he can no longer contain it, but Billy can.  Billy is declared Dragon Master and heads off to stop the robbery.
     Billy arrives on the scene of the armored-car robbery where he rescues lone police officer Marian Martin.  He fends off the lower-level Shadow thugs, but Abobo and Willy escape with the cash.  Billy takes off afterward and Marian realizes that Billy is a Dragon Master, as does Abobo.  
     Back at the Dragon Dojo, Michael notifies Billy that the Oldest Dragon is gone.  In other words, dead.  Billy is feeling hopelessly lost at this point when Marian enters the room.  Marian offers Billy the chance to join forces with her and deputizes him as a special police officer.
     Abobo and Willy return to the Shadow Dojo where the Shadow Boss awaits in a rather foul mood.  Despite collecting the loot, Abobo and Willy lost five Shadow Warriors and the Shadow Boss won't tolerate such a disgrace.  They're given a second chance and a new plan.  The Shadow Warriors are sent off to rob the U.S. Mint.  Once again, they're stopped by the united force of Billy and Marian.  But yet again, Abobo and Willy escape.
     Back at the Shadow Dojo, the Shadow Boss is wondering what went wrong.  He reviews one of the headset cameras from a Shadow Warrior who got jumped when he spots Billy.  The Shadow Boss shows some surprise at the footage but devises yet another plan.  The details of this plan are not given.
     Billy, Michael and Marian are seen back at the Dragon Dojo.  However, somebody begins pounding on the front door.  The three answer the door and find Jimmy Lee dressed in his typical red outfit.  Before they can become properly acquainted, they have to run inside to seek shelter from an armored Shadow vehicle that is attacking them.  Once inside, Billy activates the dojo's security system, which chases off Abobo and Willy, who are firing on the dojo from their armored car.  
     With the Shadow Warriors gone, Jimmy explains his story.  He was kidnapped by the Shadow Warriors as a baby and held hostage until he was old enough to escape.  This comes as quite a shock to Billy, who never new that he had a twin brother.  Billy is also in for another shock.  During the assault on the dojo, a piece of exploding wood struck Billy in the arm, bruising his bicep.  The same bruise also developed on Jimmy.  Now that they are back together, they both suffer from the other's injuries.
     Jimmy suggests that Billy open a martial arts school (a weird statement considering that they're sitting inside a martial arts dojo) and teach local street kids.  They can call it the Double Dragon Dojo.  Jimmy also suggests that they enter a martial arts tournament to spread the school's name.  Billy reluctantly agrees and Billy, Jimmy, Michael and Marian head to a local tournament.
     Billy enters a match against the sensei of the Tiger Dojo, and due to his passive nature, he is reluctant to use any force.  The sensei provokes Billy though, and Billy proceeds to mop the floor with him.  During the match, Marian is radioed by police dispatch and ordered to report to the station immediately.  Jimmy decides to accompany her.  Once outside, they are captured by Willy and Abobo (who shows himself to be the actual voice behind the radio call).
     Billy wins the match, but his excitement is soon drowned out by sorrow due to the loss of the two people closest to him.  Back at the Dragon Dojo, Billy sends Michael outside to keep guard while he meditates.  Billy calls upon the mark of the Double Dragon, and his dragon birthmark emerges from his chest, glowing and flying in the air.  Billy asks the birthmark to lead him to his brother, and the birthmark leads Billy to the Shadow Dojo.
     Outside the Shadow Dojo, Billy is attacked by the shadow of the Shadow Boss.  Billy fights him off and receives a helpful hint from the Shadow Boss: what you see is what you get.  Billy tries to enter the dojo but it's solid as a rock and he can't find a door.  He remembers what the Shadow Boss told him and closes his eyes, enabling him to walk straight through the building's wall as if it was made of a very soft clay.
     Inside, Billy fights off Abobo and Willy, then releases Marian, who was chained to a post.  Billy runs deeper into the dojo in search of his brother when he confronts the Shadow Boss.  A fight ensues between Billy and the Shadow Boss with the two blasting each other and engaging in sword-to-sword combat.  The Shadow Boss uses disappearing techniques to gain the upper hand and blasts the back of Billy's hand, knocking his Dragon Sword away and leaving a mark on Billy's hand. 
     Marian arrives in the room retrieves Billy's sword, throwing it back to him.  Billy catches his sword just in time to block an incoming attack from the Shadow Boss.  The swords collide and the Shadow Boss gets knocked back by the energy blast from the blades' collision.  Billy quickly stands over the Shadow Boss points his sword at his throat.  He then asks where his brother is, and the Shadow Boss responds by saying "close."  The Shadow Boss holds up his hand and shows off a mark similar to the one Billy received during their fight.
     Billy removes the Shadow Boss's mask only to find Jimmy behind it.  Billy is shocked, but at the same time, he can't do anything about it.  Billy can't destroy Jimmy because of the code of the Dragon, and Jimmy can't kill Billy because it would mean his own death.  Billy offers Jimmy the chance to change sides but Jimmy won't accept the offer and disappears into the Black Flame. 
     Billy blasts the black flame and it causes a vortex that begins collapsing the building.  Billy and Marian escape as the Shadow Dojo implodes before their eyes.  The two walk away safely but Jimmy is still alive and fighting on the side of the Shadow.

     Dojo Master's review: The first episode is actually quite different from the rest of the series.  The Shadow Master and the usual band of Shadow Warriors are nowhere to be found.  This is the only episode where Jimmy appears in his all black Shadow Boss costume (except for the beginning of the Legend Continues) and Billy's Double Dragon birthmark is visible even though he hasn't transformed.  The voice acting and the dialogue for this episode are a little lame.  You'll be surprised how much Billy and Jimmy's voices change by the next episode.  It's a great setup for the second part but not nearly as good in comparison.  I can't imagine anyone actually being surprised about Jimmy being the Shadow Boss, but it is possible.  The fight scenes are somewhat enjoyable but the showdown with the brothers could have been a little better.

Rating: A-