Follow TV Tropes


Recap / Danny Phantom S 1 E 17 Maternal Instincts

Go To

Danny's new Arch-Enemy makes his first return in a Two Lines, No Waiting-style episode.

Eager to spend some quality time with her son, Maddie drags a reluctant Danny away from his planned weekend of training to a mother-son science symposium in Florida, only for an accident to force them to bail out of the plane in Colorado... right above Vlad Masters' cabin. When the two Fentons reject his sudden offer to move in with him, they find themselves battling a forest full of deformed, ghostly creatures.


Meanwhile, back in Amity Park, more of Vlad's "minions" besiege Fenton Works, forcing Jazz to suit up with her father to fight them off and reexamine her opinions about the ghost-hunting she's always loathed.

This episode provides examples of:

  • Anticipatory Breath Spray: When Vlad does this, Maddie backs out of her plan to "flirt our way out of this."
  • Bad People Abuse Animals: If you weren't sure Vlad was a bad guy from his introductory episode, the fact that he hunts wild animals, hangs their pelts as trophies on his walls, and then performs gruesome experiments on their ghosts to turn them into deformed abominations forced to serve him should surely qualify.
  • Blatant Lies: It'd be relatively easier to believe Vlad didn't expect Danny and Maddie to show up if he didn't have welcome baskets with their names written on them.
  • Advertisement:
  • Brick Joke: Danny jokingly suggests that Vlad get a cat. (The brick would come down 2 seasons later.)
  • Broken Pedestal: Up until now, Maddie has seen Vlad as an old friend of hers and Jack's. But after learning of his resentment towards Jack and infatuation for her, Maddie promptly decides taking her chances in the wild is better than hanging out with a creep like him.
  • Crazy Jealous Guy: We knew Vlad fit this from the beginning, but according to Maddie, Jack can be like this (though he was shown to be insanely jealous in an early episode, willing to pummel Mr. Ledger for merely talking to his wife at a school dance), which is why she asks Danny not to tell him about Vlad making moves on her.
  • Cryptic Background Reference: The "mistake" Vlad refers to in one scene is never explained. The line Makes Just as Much Sense in Context.
    Vlad: Oh, Maddie, you must be exhausted — carrying the weight of that mistake you made years ago.
    • Pretty sure the "mistake" is Maddie marrying Jack, not Vlad.
  • Distracted by the Sexy: Vlad checked how much time he had left until Danny's powers returned only a few minutes before Danny messes with the clock. However, thanks to Maddie, his mind was obviously on... a-hem other matters, so it's understandable if he wasn't thinking... very clearly.
  • Advertisement:
  • Drama-Preserving Handicap: Naturally, the Fentons have installed enough defenses against ghosts around their house to prevent things from ever getting this dire, but this time...
    Jack: You know, in retrospect, perhaps I shouldn't have gutted the Fenton Works ghost shield to make your mom's anti-ghost belt.
  • Hoist by His Own Petard: Danny beats Vlad with his own weapon.
  • How Do I Shot Web?: Danny's been trying to master the self-duplication power he saw Plasmius use when they met. Unfortunately, so far, all he's able to do is grow another head.
  • Hunting the Most Dangerous Game: Vlad has his creatures hunt a de-powered Danny.
  • I Lied: Vlad tells Danny to run, saying he'll give him a five-minute head start... only to instantly send his army after him. "Five minutes, five seconds..."
  • In the Blood: Jazz starts to accept that ghost-hunting is in hers.
  • Ironic Echo: Danny gets one of the most badass ones in the series here.
    Vlad: (to Danny) It has just short-circuited your powers for the next 3 hours. That's midnight. I tell you this because I've seen your grades, and I know you're bad at math. ... I'll give you five minutes before I send my minions to destroy you. ... Five minutes, five seconds, oh, apparently, I'm bad at math, too.
    Danny: I'll give you a five minute head start, Plasmius.
    Vlad: Really?
    Danny: Minutes, seconds — you know how bad I can be at math.
  • Mad Scientist: Vlad's revealed to not only be an inventor like his old college friends but to perform apparently very gruesome experiments on animals in his spare time.
  • Mama Bear: After Danny’s powers are disabled and he’s being chased by ghosts, Maddie uses all of her gear to singlehandedly defeat all of the ghosts to save her son.
  • Noodle Incident: The "Backwash Incident." Also, Jack apparently once accidentally sucked the house into another dimension.
  • Not Afraid of You Anymore: Vlad's ghost animal army turn on him as soon as he's weakened. As Danny points out they have no reason to want to serve the guy, it would seem the only reason they followed his orders was out of fear.
  • Papa Wolf: When Vlad sends creatures to the Fenton residence, Jack immediately goes on the defensive and uses his weapons to protect Jazz from them.
  • Plot Parallel: Watching their parents in action causes both Danny and Jazz to respect their mom and dad more.
  • Poor Communication Kills: A lot of Danny's strained relationship with his mom could be mended if he took the alone time opportunity to explain that he's a ghost (why he doesn't tell his dad is clearly established, but given that his mom is much calmer and wiser...), as well as what he knows about Vlad.
    • [It's not hard to imagine Vlad's schemes against Danny and his family would be much harder had Maddie told Jack what Vlad's really like.
  • Power Nullifier: 2 are introduced by 2 different inventors. Jack's Specter Deflector weakens any ghost who touches the person wearing it (or any ghost forced to wear it). Vlad's also invented a weapon called the Plasmius Maximus that cancels out Danny's powers for 3 hours (it's unclear if it would have the same effect on a regular ghost).
  • Prince Charming Wannabe: Somehow, Vlad got to believe that all he had to do to get Maddie to leave her husband and marry him was... ask her. No warning, no build-up. No points for guessing how that works out for him.
  • The Reveal: Maddie learns what Vlad's really like and how he really feels about her and her husband. Why he thought she would react to the discovery with anything other than complete and utter disgust is anyone's guess.
  • Sdrawkcab Name: The Dalv Group? Seriously?
  • Show Some Leg: Last minute aversion — Maddie accepts she's gonna have to do this to get Vlad to help them, but when the time comes, she can't go through with it and asks Danny to stall him instead while she looks for a phone.
  • Supernatural Repellent: The Specter Deflector.
  • Suspiciously Specific Denial:
    Vlad: Why, Maddie and Danny Fenton! What an amazing, unexpected, and totally unplanned surprise.
  • That Didn't Happen: Both Fenton parents make their kids promise to pretend their little weekend adventure never happened.
  • Too Clever by Half: Maddie is Crazy-Prepared with all kinds of ghost-fighting weapons and gadgets, but doesn't carry a cellphone on her. Later, she goes searching around Vlad's winter cabin looking for a phone, and is bummed that all she could find were mountain bikes, cars, and a helicopter. Then she realizes they can just fly the copter home.
  • When the Clock Strikes Twelve: Danny gets his powers back at midnight. He turns the clock back to make Vlad think he still has fifteen minutes before he's able to fight back.

How well does it match the trope?

Example of:


Media sources: