Ben 10: Alien Force. Season 3 [2009-2010] 19 Episodes

Ben 10 has turned into a popular franchise for the Cartoon Network.  Following 4 seasons of Ben 10, we come to this, the third and last season of  Ben 10: Alien Force. We liked it as much as season 1.   Per episode it was more entertaining and less depressing than than season 2. However it lacked in the “ending” department.  Perhaps the producers did not worry about a comprehensive series finale with Ben 10: Ultimate Alien already in the works.

Although not really necessary considering the overall plot has not changed since last season, we will do our patented one sentence synopsis anyway:

We continue to adventure with part alien magical whiz kid Gwen, part alien metamorphic wise guy Kevin, and part irresponsible unlikable hero Ben as they continue to counter alien menaces, re-fight old enemies and right past wrongs – often at night.

In the future people will be able to select their eye color. We suspect there will be a run on green.

What? They actually made an “Alien-X” action figure? He was used only once in the whole series back in season one, and that was a frustrating experience.

Ben Tennison is unlikable you say?  Yeah.  They do it on purpose, supposedly fueling a triumphant changeover to responsibility in the end.  But that change came late, and when it did it was weak at best.  So we had to experience 18.75 episodes of lazy, indifferent, overconfident and unworthy Ben for a minimal (non) payoff.  Fortunately, the show is fun despite this and the supporting cast is thankfully strong.

Gwen is back, and gets a new outfit. Wow, that is a surprisingly decent martial arts pose.

Some of the plots were a little too contrived.  “Cute alien students travel to a small town regularly for spring break where they eat popcorn and then poop gold.”  Oh, feed them meat and they turn into monsters.  Yeah.  Whatever.  At least it was an episode that featured other people.  The feeling communicated by Alien Force has been that of an empty world in perpetual night.  It is as if no other people exist.  It makes the show feel a little small.

Speaking of small, 8 inch super genius Azmuth is back. Smart? Heck yeah. But he sure is ugly (and crotchety).

Chicks dig Ben 10. See?

Often the strength of the show is its varied enemies and plots.  The format is not overly formulaic.  However the drawback to this also occurred.  One episode hit us over the head with a particularly in-your-face anti-war message, and some left you with no denouement or a downer.  Additionally, there really was no season arc.  They could have used one.

Vilgax is back, and shows an even uglier form (not this one). He has become a series-spanning franchise arch enemy.  And guess what he wants?  Uh yeah, revenge. 

Speaking of uglier forms, Michael Morningstar is back (and still wrestling with a stubborn skin condition).

A series strength was some of your favorite guest stars return for appearances.  Captain Tetrax, Azmuth, Vilgax and everyone’s favorite time spanning professor, Paradox.   Max Tennison and the newbie plumber’s kids also make return appearances.  However, the Forever Knights were underutilized again.  Pity.  Fun group.

Do not forget villain Charmcaster. She wins the award for best “Bad-Guy Poses” again this season.

Professor Paradox is a strong character, and convenient for various plots. “Time travel is for immortals and fools. I seem to be the only immortal hereabouts. You do the math.”

A particularly good episode featured a terrible alternate future created when one of our heroes tried to alter the past.  It is a tired and overused science fiction plot… that never gets old!  Really.  Man of Action, the enigmatic creator behind Ben 10 must be a classic sci fi fan, because he peppers the series with bits of homage.  For example the verbal destruct code to the Omnitrix is also the one used in the original Star Trek in the late 1960’s.

Another broken alternate future. (This happens to the X-Men like every other month.)

The Moonbus spaceship from multiple episodes.

The Moonbus from 2001: A Space Odyssey.

We would have preferred if the series went somewhere this season.  The only person who experienced significant change was Kevin.  His mutation caused in the first episode is fixed at the end.  He avenges at long last the murder of his father by letting the killer apparently die.  That was mature, and is indicative that the show was not one for kids like the original Ben 10.  In the end Kevin got additional focus and has an emotional breakthrough.

Hey Ragnarok, in space no one can hear you scream. Oh, you’ll understand soon enough.

New alien form Wrath lived up to his name. Mostly entertaining (his shtick only got old once in a while).  And his breath is minty fresh!

The series ends with Ben getting the ultramatrix from his evil twin*; a weak (and convenient) set up for the next series.  This one closed on a note not equal to the dramatic season two ending. Still it is an interestingly designed series and well worth watching.

Yes the series ends with a group hug… in front of a fusion explosion? We do not have the heart to tell them they are now all sterile.

Check out our Ben 10 franchise takes:

Alien Force Season 1

Alien Force Season 2

Alien Force Season 3

Ultimate Alien Season 1

Ultimate Alien Season 2 (part 1)

Ultimate Alien Season 2 (Conclusion)

Ben 10: Destroy All Aliens

 

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8 thoughts on “Ben 10: Alien Force. Season 3 [2009-2010] 19 Episodes

  1. – * – EVIL TWINS: Yes we also know this is one of the most overused plot devices EVAR. Especially in science fiction.

    There is the less fun way to use it, that is someone who looks like the hero causes dissension amongst the good guys. We have never enjoyed those plots much.

    The other way is using the EVIL TWIN as a sort of equal powered arch enemy. One that can stand toe-to-toe with all the strengths of the hero. We enjoy those and Ben’s EVIL TWIN Albedo eventually fills that role well.

    =Ben Tennison’s EVIL TWIN Albedo=

  2. I have only seen bits and pieces of this newer Ben Ten, and while I am much more interested in these older characters versus the younger, the show has yet to fully grab me. Maybe the story line isn’t gripping or epic-oriented enough to pull in casual viewers like myself? But I will admit some episodes were fun to watch just on their own. Throw enough (tasteful) humor in the mix and I’ll usually sit down to watch anything.

    This take mentions the lack of responsibility in the main character. Hmm, that may have been one of the running problems I subconsciously have with the show. I want a strong hero, but one who is not a little kid in a big kid’s body doing big kid things. Er, does that make sense? I want him to be more like Grandpa. Leave the irresponsible things to Kevin, ha. I liked the Fortress’s addition to the new season poster. “Same Bad Attitude”, lol.

    Very good point about the overall dark mood of the show. Literally. All of those night episodes? It makes the show feel cramped and unreal. The viewers need to experience the daytime, people walking by, a few more normal human characters, how about your everyday school or mall scene? Maybe a bit contrived, but those things keep the show real too.

    From what I had seen of Professor Paradox he was indeed a fun character. He had some great lines, of which you wrote already. 😉

    I really did LOL when I saw the Moonbus comparison. Ha!

    Along with other comparisons, where did they steal Ragnarok’s design? I find it peculiarly similar to a legendary villain a short time ago:

    Oh my, that last picture on this take. The one with the explosion? The caption that went along with it: ha ha!

    Well, after reading this take I think I understand the show’s perspective better, and perhaps when all seasons have come to an end I may watch them for myself. Until then, thank you team at the Fortress for filling me in ahead of time in such a concise and humorous way.

    • The show certainly swerves into “epic” on occasion as Ben and Co. save the world. Like the Alien Force season 2 finale was stopping a huge invasion fleet. But we understand what you mean, and sometimes the stories can seem small or personal. Those might not be the best for grabbing new people.

      We understand too about the irresponsible hero. With Kevin already playing the rogue, that angle was covered. It fits on Kevin, what is Ben’s excuse?

      Now that you mention it, it seems Ragnarok and Destro have similar tastes in collars.

      We are glad you got a few laughs and insight out of our take – that is like a win win in what we shoot for.

      Alien Force is done and Ultimate Alien has begun. We may write up a take on its first season when it completes. We hope that series goes in a fresh direction.

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