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The Spirit in the Sword
Episode written by Doug Booth

     The scene opens with Dr. Linquist excavating the ancient Dragon Temple in Undertown.  He retrieves a large sword from beneath the dirt and radios Billy and Jimmy to let them know about the artifact.  The brothers receive the call above ground while driving around in the Dragon Cruiser.  They respond to the call and head toward Undertown.  However, Ice Pick is seen laughing in the background outside the Dragon Temple as he sends nameless Shadow Warriors to converge on Dr. Linquist.
     Billy and Jimmy arrive to find the Shadow Master and his cronies taking the sword away from Dr. Linquist.  However, Dr. Linquist puts up quite a fight and whacks a couple of Shadow Warriors with his shovel, causing them to drop the chest containing the sword (this causes the sword to fall out of the chest).  The Shadow Master then attempts to blast Dr. Linquist with his weapon, but Billy does a flying jump kick and hits the Shadow Master's weapon, causing the energy blast to miss.
     Jimmy then picks up the large, ancient sword and dispatches Ice Pick.  Billy dispatches a group of Shadow Warriors as well.  However, the Shadow Master aims his weapon at Dr. Linquist and tells the brothers to choose between him and the sword.  Jimmy quickly tosses the sword to Billy and then does a flying kick into a pillar.  The pillar then falls directly in front of Dr. Linquist and blocks the Shadow Master's energy blast.  The brothers then knock the Shadow Master down with a dual flying jump kick. 
     As the brothers continue fighting the Shadow Warriors, the Shadow Master blasts the sword, causing it to melt and warp.  The Shadow Master then begins breathing heavily as he notes that it took most of his power to blast the weapon.  The Shadow Master then disappears as the remaining Shadow Warriors retreat.
     Dr. Linquist says that it's a waste for a priceless Dragon artifact to be ruined like that.  But Jimmy says maybe not.  Before their eyes, the sword changes form to look like a metal dragon.  Billy says that even in defeat, the noble sword retains the spirit of the Dragon.
     Back at the Dragon Dojo, Chop is examining the sword's remains with Vortex nearby when he notes that the metal is indeed special.  Not only is it nonmagnetic, but it is impervious to sub-ionic forces (whatever that is).  He says it will make a perfect addition to the shielding for the Dragon Copter's center control module. (The Dragon Copter from the prior episode is shown in the garage with Chop and Vortex.  It has apparently been built since that episode.)
     Chop asks Vortex to pull out the blueprints for the Dragon Copter.  However, even with the blueprints right in front of him and the words "central control module" written clearly on them, Vortex can't seem to locate the central control module.  Vortex walks away as Chop looks confused.
     Vortex is then seen welding the metal to the Dragon Copter with the blueprints in front of him.  However, he says out loud that he doesn't know what he's doing.  But if tells Chop he can't read, Chop will boot him out of the shop.  Vortex says "how hard can it be?" and continues working on the Dragon Copter.
     The scene then cuts to Metro City where we see a large, public building with huge glass windows looking almost like a greenhouse.  Inside, a woman is giving a presentation to the mayor with Billy and other people present.  She describes this Metro Center and explains that it is designed to rejuvenate the inner city.  Billy will be providing classes to local kids, and there will be a school providing adult education.  Among other things, there will also be a state-of-the-art factory that can produce vehicles in record time.  The Metro Center was possible only because of a large donation from a Mrs. Chadwick, who is present.
     Mrs. Chadwick then notes that she is a birdwatcher, but for the life of her, she can't identify the type of birds circling above the glass windows.  At this point, Billy tells everyone that they must leave quickly.  However, the woman giving the presentation doesn't understand why they need to leave simply because of a few birds.  But we quickly see that they're not birds at all - they're Shadow Warriors flying on bird-shaped hang gliders.  The hang gliders are being escorted by a large helicopter with the Shadow Master onboard.  The helicopter lands on the roof and the Shadow Master tells everyone to secure the building, with Sickle securing the roof.
     The Shadow Warriors blast open a hole in the windows and fly through, taking out the guards.  As the Shadows swarm the building, Billy ducks inside a back room.  Ice Pick then begins reprogramming the Metro Center's central computer for the Shadow Plane.  At this point he spots Mrs. Chadwick and begins laughing.
     As Billy begins leaving the room he was hiding in, we see that he was staying with the people who were giving/watching the presentation.  Billy is is then attacked by Trigger Happy and Countdown, but he counterattacks and manages to knock them into a large water fountain.  As Billy tells his group to run far away from the building, the woman who gave the presentation tells Billy that Mrs. Chadwick isn't with them.
     We then see Mrs. Chadwick cornered by Ice Pick and a Shadow Warrior.  However, she's whacking Ice Pick with a keyboard while the screen above her shows the Shadow Master telling Ice Pick to bring this elderly woman to him.  Mrs. Chadwick then scoffs at the elderly remark and knocks Ice Pick down.  She then heads into the nearby room to find the Shadow Master waiting.  She drops her keyboard in shock as the Shadow Master thanks her for the Metro Center.  He explains that he's going to use the factory to build several Shadow Planes (the ones that were used in cyberspace in the prior episode) and become unstoppable.
     Billy is seen hiding in an air vent overlooking the Shadow Master's room.  He radios Jimmy to tell him there's a problem.  Jimmy is seen receiving the call from inside the Dragon Copter with Vortex and Chop.  Jimmy then says that this will be a great way to break in the Dragon Copter on its maiden flight.  As Chop begins telling Vortex to let the computer handle the tactical issues, the Copter begins to malfunction.  An image of a sword then appears on the screen where the control panel is located and says the problem is that he's no longer in the form of a sword and that some misbegotten whelp put him in a flying rickshaw - the wrong way no less.  The sword's chi is completely misdirected it says.
     As Chop asks Vortex if he followed the blueprints, Vortex stutters and says yes.  But Chop wants to know why the computer says it's all wrong.  At this point, the sword then says he is not a computer.  He says that he is Dao Lung, Dragon spirit of the sword of Chen Long.  Together, they vanquished many Shadows, and for him to now be imprisoned in a pony cart is a grave humiliation.
     After Chop and Jimmy explain the power of the Dragon Copter, Dao Lung apologizes and reconfigures the messed up circuitry, causing the Dragon Copter to resume normal functioning.
     Inside the Metro Center, Ice Pick has just built the first Shadow Plane.  As he's holding Mrs. Chadwick, he asks the Shadow Master if they can get rid of her.  However, she steps on "Mr. Toothpick's" foot and tells him he has very bad manners.  The Shadow Master then invites Mrs. Chadwick to be rewarded for her donation by helping them test out the weapons system.  Billy radios Jimmy from inside the air vent and tells him to hurry.
     Inside the Dragon Copter, Jimmy says to bust in through the dome, but the Dragon spirit says he has a better strategy.  Before he can explain it though, Jimmy says there's no time and he detaches Chop and Vortex's pods from the Copter.  However, Jimmy and Chop are quickly blasted by a turret that is being operated on the Metro Center's roof by Sickle and the Shadow Warriors.  Jimmy and Chop then crash through the glass of the Metro Center. 
     Inside the Metro Center, we see the Shadow Master sitting inside the Shadow Plane and calibrating the weapons system for testing on Mrs. Chadwick.  Billy finally has enough of this and busts out of the air vent.  He takes out the nearby Shadow Warriors and helps Mrs. Chadwick escape, standing in her place.  The Shadow Master then gets ready to blast Billy.  Billy begins dodging the Shadow Master's blasts, but he gets hit once and is forced to jump out the window, going into free fall.  Vortex is still flying overhead in the main portion of the Dragon Copter, and he tells Dao Lung to save Billy.
     A set of pinchers then opens on the front of the Copter and grabs Billy before he hits the ground.  As Billy thanks Vortex over his radio, Dao Lung speaks up over a loudspeaker and says Vortex is incompetent.  It was he who actually saved Billy.  Before Billy can figure out what's going on, they come under attack from the rooftop Shadows again.  Vortex then takes control of the Copter and flies around behind the Shadows, blowing up their separate copter and the rooftop turret as well.  Vortex asks Dao Lung what he thinks of that, but Dao Lung says with these weapons, he could have easily stopped the hoards of Genghis Khan single-handedly.
     Jimmy and Chop are then seen crash landing inside a park-like area of the Metro Center.  Chop is dazed from the crash.  The Shadow Master spots Jimmy on camera and says that he will be a far more entertaining target than Billy. 
     We also see Ice Pick walking Mrs. Chadwick down a hallway and calling her an old bag, but she steps on his foot and runs away again.  As Ice Pick gives chase, Mrs. Chadwick runs into the factory area and swings a mechanical arm into Ice Pick, knocking him down. 
     The Shadow Plane is then seen flying into the park area where Jimmy spots it and says "oh no."  As Jimmy runs from the Shadow Master's blasts, he radios Vortex and Billy to tell them Chop is out of it and he will be too if they don't help.  The Dragon Copter then flies inside the park area and Billy grabs hold of Jimmy from the front of the Copter.  The Shadow Plane then gives chase to the Dragon Copter as the Dragon Copter sets Billy and Jimmy on the ground.  Jimmy hands Billy his sword and they transform into the Double Dragons.  Vortex transform inside the Copter as well.
     Billy and Jimmy step into the crashed pods and head to save Mrs. Chadwick.  Dao Lung then senses a Shadow onboard the Shadow Plane and says there's finally an enemy worth of his blade.  The Copter then blasts the Shadow Plane, which crashes through a window.  Billy and Jimmy then reconnect to the Copter, and the Shadow Plane flies back in through the broken window, resuming its attack.  A chase ensues with the Dragon Copter pulling off a tricky maneuver.  The Shadow Plane then hits a wall and crashes into the ground.
     Before they can truly celebrate, however, the Dragons spot Ice Pick on a large screen holding Mrs. Chadwick hostage and telling them to surrender or else.  Yet again, the old woman steps on his foot and runs away.  The brothers then detach their pods again and head to save Mrs. Chadwick while the Shadow Plane resumes flight and begins attacking the Copter.
     Before Ice Pick can touch Mrs. Chadwick, the brothers step in and kick his butt, forcing him to flee on his hang glider.  Billy then spots the Dragon Copter on a TV screen, which is being hit by the Shadow Plane's blast.  The brothers jump back into their pods and head toward the Copter.  We then see Vortex ejecting from the Copter as it flies out of the building.  As the Shadow Master tries to blast Vortex, the Dragon Copter flies back in and rams the Shadow Plane. 
     However, this does not manage to stop the Shadow Plane, and the Shadow Master attempts to blast Vortex again.  The Double Dragons then arrive and fly directly above the Shadow Plane.  The Dragons open their cockpits, pull out their swords and use them to blast the wings off the Shadow Plane.  As the plane begins crashing again, the Shadow Master ejects via an escape pod/bike seen in the prior episode.
     Billy and Jimmy are still trying to locate Mrs. Chadwick.  We then see Vortex talking to the Dao Lung.  They have resolved their issues and are now speaking highly of each other.  The Dragon spirit asks Vortex why he screwed up his installation, and Vortex admits he cannot read.  Dao Lung asks how they can discuss the wisdom of the ancient Dragon Masters if Vortex cannot read their words.  Chen Long would say that with all the energy spent pretending to be what you are not, you could become you want to be 100 times over.  Dao Lung offers to help Vortex.
     Vortex then spots Mrs. Chadwick in the park area, and Billy and Jimmy head toward her.  She then says that this was the most fun she's had in years as the brothers look at each other in a perplexed manner.
     Epilogue Message: Vortex is inside the garage working on the Dragon Copter when he says he put everyone's life in danger by miss-wiring the Dragon Copter due to his illiteracy.  From a computer screen, Dao Lung then says that they weren't ever in any real danger because he was on board.  Vortex says that a new world has opened up now that he's started to read, and he feels better about himself.  As he calls himself an ace mechanic, he gets blasted by some steam from the Dragon Copter as Dao Lung makes a witty remark.

     Dojo Master's review: This is a bit of a strange episode.  During the first season, Metro City was almost always shown at night to give the impression of darkness, shadows and a general sense of evil.  However, this episode takes place entirely during a bright and sunny day.  Also, the episode tries way to hard to be funny with average people whacking Shadow Warriors upside the head using common household objects.
     Dao Lung is kind of interesting the way he reminisces about about vanquishing many Shadows, the way a retired general might reminisce about defeating enemies in previous battles.  However, he's just not that interesting as an onboard computer.  And the Dragon Copter just doesn't feel right.  How many vehicles do the Dragons need?  Why do they even have swords if they're just going to fly vehicles around and blast everything in an aerial dog fight or from their car?  At least in the first season, the Dragon Cruiser was used only to infiltrate a base, not to flat out win a fight and end the battle.
     This episode does get one thing right.  There is actually a lot of action as far as hand-to-hand combat goes.  And it's neat to see the Shadow Master becoming drained after using his powers.  After all, the Dragons couldn't use their powers endlessly, as the Dragon Claws showed in the episode "Shadow Khan."  But overall, I can just see how the show has changed greatly from the format of the first season.  There's no Oldest Dragon.  No Marian.  No Dragon Dojo (only the garage).  No Junior Dragons.  No Shadow Dojo.  There's no dark setting.  Everything is about vehicles flying through the air and blasting each other.  Overall, it's boring and a departure from what the cartoon established early on.

Rating: C-