The first season of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien had alot going for it. Several cool new aliens, like R'aad, were introduced. Aggregor was an interesting, intimidating Big Bad for the first half of the season, and even after losing much of that interest when he went Ultimate, he still got the job done. Charmcaster, after an incredibly stupid appearance early on reducing her to a totally unmenacing villain, rebounded with a focus episode giving her development, backstory, and even a change of heart. And of course there was Kevin's overdue Character Rerailment, finally reconnecting the wisecracking tech dealer with the sociopathic killer. But then came the finale. After angst after Wangst about how to deal with the once-again-villainous Kevin, after all the dark drama built up....a rushed conclusion brings Kevin back to normal, he and Gwen immediately get back to their horrid romance, he and Ben share a ridiculously brief apology for trying to kill each other, and it's as if nothing ever happened. Seriously, in the second season, it's not mentioned. The status quo is kept. BULL. SHIT. After all the crap Kevin pulled while insane, he goes free. After energy-raping Gwen, she takes him back. After all the serious fighting between them, the three Snap Back instantly and are friends again. After building up and advertising something epic and life-changing for Ben and the rest, absolutely NOTHING changes. This, my friends, is Jumping The Shark. And the second season proves this. Gwen has sunk into the depths of boring character-dom. Kevin has become so obnoxious that one wishes he had been killed. A threat is being built around idiots in armor, the MANY Filler episodes are boring and/or stupid, the Merchandise Driven aspect of the show has finally choked all entertainment out of it. Oh, and Charmcaster, one of the few characters with reason to care about, who was last left with the promise that the heroes would return to help her? She hasn't shown up; it hasn't happened or been mentioned, and when it does, it'll probably be boring and/or stupid as well. My guess is that the late Dwayne McDuffie had grown bored with Ben 10 at this point. Well, so have I.
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