|Ninjago: Masters of Spinjitzu|
|Day of the Departed|
October 29, 2016
On the Day of the Departed, the Ninja hurriedly ride the Ultra Stealth Raider, Rock Roader and Titanium Ninja Tumbler through the Sea of Sand, en-route to the Ninjago Museum of History. On their way, Cole's arms begin to fade and he nearly crashes into the Raider Jet, but he regains control of the vehicle. Upon arriving at the museum, the Ninja obtain lanterns from the gift shop. While Jay is eager to partake in the festivities, Wu reminds them of the holiday's significance, as people remember fallen ancestors and cherish their families. Dr. Saunders arrives, greeting Wu and the Ninja before presenting the museum's new exhibit: the Hall of Villainy. The exhibit features life-sized mannequins of the major villains fought by the Ninja over the years, including Samukai, Pythor, Kozu, Cryptor, Chen and Morro, as well as a plaque describing the rare Yin-Yang Lunar Eclipse. Cole finds a painting of Sensei Yang, as well as the Yin Blade, which is on display. Cole calls out to Saunders and asks what the weapon is, but realizes nobody is paying attention to him. At that moment, Cole hears Yang's voice imploring him to "close the circle." The Ninja leave the museum to commemorate their ancestors. Realizing he's fading away as one of the departed, Cole takes the Yin Blade and sets off to settle his debt with Yang.
The Ninja divide for their own personal memorials: Lloyd and Misako commemorate Garmadon at the Corridor of Elders; Kai and Nya remember their mother and father at their blacksmith shop; Zane remembers his father in Birchwood Forest; Jay spends time with his mom and dad at their junkyard; and Wu goes to his old monastery to remember his father. Realizing everyone is out celebrating, Ronin decides to steal from peoples' homes. Cole arrives at Yang's Temple, which is still floating in the sky. Cole enters the temple and confronts Yang, who he attempts to strike with the Yin Blade but misses, instead smashing it into an orb. Consequently, the Departed Realm is opened, and the spirits of the Ninjas' old enemies escape while Cole is detained by Yang's students. The spirits possess five of the six mannequins in the Hall of Villainy, bringing them to life. Wondering how they've returned, the villains look to the painting of Yang, who says they can remain in Ninjago by slaying those who originally killed them. Pythor enters the museum and joins the villains as they discuss who to go after. Chen chooses to go after Kai and Nya, Pythor chooses Lloyd, Cryptor chooses Zane, Morro chooses Wu, and Kozu chooses Dareth, which leaves Samukai with facing Jay. Pythor proposes they gather reinforcements from the Hall of Sidekicks.
Cole is imprisoned in Yang's temple, being guarded by his students. Yang tells Cole of his history, explaining how he taught his students to master Airjitzu and shortly after he discovered the Yin Blade, which was claimed to be embedded with enough dark magic to imbue immortality. After testing its abilities on several plants, Yang tried testing it on himself, but its powers backfired, turning him and his students into ghosts while his temple became a decrepit structure. With the eclipse to his advantage, Yang intends to use the Yin Blade and open the Rift of Return to revive himself, while the revived villains will distract the Ninja so they won't thwart his plans.
As Kai and Nya wonder if they'll find out what happened to their parents, Chen arrives with Eyezor and Zugu, who are driving two Condrai Crushers. Chen uses his dinosaur mech to attack Kai and Nya, who flee on the Raider Cycles. Cryptor and three Nindroids confront Zane, while Samukai fights Jay as Krazi and Frakjaw apprehend his parents. Pythor battles Lloyd at the Corridor of Elders, remarking that he always intended to conquer Ninjago which was his reason for saving it. As the Royal Blacksmiths perform, Kozu and several Stone Warriors confront Dareth, who was responsible for taking control of the Stone Army. Unlike the other villains, Morro has no intention of revenge; he tells Wu of Yang's plan and they set off to reunite the Ninja. Cole is left alone with one of Yang's students. He manages to escape and begins making his way up through the temple, fighting the other students along the way. Yang makes it to the roof of the temple, where he begins opening the Rift of Return.
Kai and Nya are pursued by Chen and the Condrai Crushers. They manage to defeat Eyezor and Zugu shortly before Chen is struck by a missile, sending his spirit back to the Departed Realm. Ronin arrives at the junkyard with a mech he salvaged from scrap metal. Jay crushes Krazi and Frakjaw with a magnetic crane before shattering Samukai to pieces using a pair of nunchucks. Zane outsmarts Cryptor, who accidentally hits himself with his techno blade, vanquishing his spirit. Dareth finds the Helmet of Shadows and uses it to recontrol the Stone Warriors, commanding them to defeat Kozu. Pythor is cornered by Lloyd and Misako on the edge of Garmadon's monument. Realizing he can't win the fight, he jumps off and lands far below, then he hobbles away from the scene. Yang opens the Rift of Return, and he does Airjitzu to fly up and reach it. However, Cole emerges on the rooftop and pursues Yang, grabbing onto him as the two fall towards the temple.
The Ninja reunite at the museum, telling each other what happened before Wu arrives with Morro. The Ninja see him as a threat, but Morro proves his innocence by unveiling Yang's plan. Realizing Cole is missing, the Ninja journey to Yang's temple while Morro's spirit peacefully returns to the Departed Realm. On the temple's roof, Cole battles Yang, who tries to demoralize him. As he starts losing hope, Cole gains inspiration as the Ninja approach on the Bounty. His heightened vigor changes his arms to become rock-solid, which he uses to shatter the Yin Blade, allowing Yang's students cross through the rift and become human again. Yang is distraught, saying he failed his students and wanted to live forever so no one would forget him. Cole understands Yang's desire, but assures him that he'll be remembered as the creator of Airjitzu. Together, they ascend towards the rift, but Yang tells Cole someone has to remain in the temple as a ghost to be the "master of the house". Yang lets go of Cole, who crosses through the rift as it closes. The Ninja believe Cole is lost, but are astonished when they find he made it back and is mortal once more.
The Ninja and their allies gather around a fire outside of Yang's temple, which has been cleansed after the rift was closed. Jay admits he was scared during the event, though everyone is happy to be safe and reunited. Cole looks back to the temple and winks at Yang, who stands inside and winks back in return. Those surrounding the fire let their lanterns float into the night sky, concluding their celebration.
- Cole - Kirby Morrow
- Jay - Michael Adamthwaite
- Kai - Vincent Tong
- Nya - Kelly Metzger
- Sensei Wu - Paul Dobson
- Sensei Yang - Michael Donovan
- Zane - Brent Miller
- Lloyd Garmadon - Jillian Michaels
- Master Chen - Ian James Corlett
- Cryptor - Richard Newman
- Dareth - Alan Marriott
- Dr. Saunders - Michael Daingerfield
- Edna Walker - Jillian Michaels
- Ed Walker - Colin Murdock
- Kozu - Paul Dobson
- Misako - Kathleen Barr
- Morro - Andrew Francis
- P.I.X.A.L. - Jennifer Hayward
- Pythor P. Chumsworth - Michael Dobson
- Ronin - Brian Dobson (Uncredited)
- Samukai - Michael Kopsa
- The Royal Blacksmiths singing voice - Jeppe Riddervold
Several characters appear in the episode, but do not have voice actors. Three Nindroids, two Stone Scouts and two Stone Swordsmen all appear in the episode. Eyezor, Zugu, Krazi and Frakjaw also appear, yet do not have speaking roles, as well as Yang's students. Statues of Dr. Julien and Garmadon are also seen. Gayle Gossip makes a cameo in the crowd of people at the concert.
- The Departed Blades could be used by the villains to slay their enemies - Jay, Lloyd, Dareth, Zane, Kai, Nya and Wu. Due to the weapons' powers, using the blades to kill their arch enemies would allow the villains to be revived.
- The Ninjas' new vehicles - the Ultra Stealth Raider, Rock Roader and Titanium Ninja Tumbler, are heavily equipped with weapons, yet are never used to fight any villains in the episode.
- Chen, Cryptor and Samukai are all killed within one minute of each other.
- Day of the Departed was confirmed during San Diego Comic Con 2016 along with Hands of Time. During the event, the opening scene of the episode was shown to the audience.
- This is the first episode not written by Dan and Kevin Hageman due to scheduling conflicts with them writing Trollhunters. It was instead written by David Shayne.
- Day of the Departed does not have an episode number. The first episode of Hands of Time will be episode 65.
- On September 30, Ninjago co-creator Tommy Andreasen confirmed via Twitter that the spirits of the deceased villains will possess the museum mannequins. In doing so, he confirmed that Chen and Morro died when the Cursed Realm was destroyed, while Kozu was destroyed upon The Overlord's defeat. On October 8, he confirmed that the original voice actors for the villains will reprise their roles.
- This is the first episode to feature Samukai since Wrong Place, Wrong Time, Kozu since Rise of the Spinjitzu Master, Cryptor since The Titanium Ninja, Pythor, Zugu and Eyezor since The Corridor of Elders, and Chen and Morro since Curseworld, Part II. Some of these villains appeared within the last ten episodes of the season, while others, such as Samukai and Kozu, had not appeared in over forty episodes, which aired four years prior.
- The episode marks the first time that the term Skulkin is used in the show instead of skeletons.
- The statues of Morro and Samukai are the only ones that look exactly like their original forms. Pythor is wearing his Rebooted robes, Cryptor's printing is slightly different, Kozu looks completely different, and Chen doesn't have gloves.
- Nadakhan and the Sky Pirates do not appear, as Jay's final wish in The Way Back erased most of Skybound's events. The Sky Pirates are the only villain faction that does not appear (excluding the Serpentine and Captain Soto's crew, who have since allied with the Ninja).
- This marks the first time where Pythor has fought one of the Ninja since episode 31, Enter the Digiverse.
- In the special, Borg Tower returns to the Ninjago City skyline, despite being absent since Tournament of Elements.
- While holding up the head of the statue, Lloyd says, "You are still with me, dad!." Some of Garmadon's last words in Curseworld, Part II were, "Whatever happens to me, wherever I am - I will always be with you."
- In actuality, Yang doesn't ally with the revived villains. He only uses them to distract the other Ninja so they won't try and stop him from opening the Rift of Return. The focus of the episode is really Yang's conflict with Cole, while the return of the villains acts as a subplot.
- As Dareth is being chased by Kozu and the Stone Warriors, a person wearing a Lord Garmadon costume can be seen.
- Morro is the only revived villain to not seek vengeance, but instead redemption and forgiveness. This is likely due to the concluding events in Curseworld, Part II when he realizes the true meaning of being the Green Ninja. His claim of having "unfinished business" with Wu in front of the other villains was likely a ruse to hide his true intentions of helping the Ninja.
- Pythor allies with Yang despite having helped to save Ninjago before, and he goes out of his way to harm Lloyd; he is also the only villain to appear in the special who isn't either sent back to the Departed Realm, redeemed, or both.
- In Curseworld, Part II, Nya destroyed the Cursed Realm which consequently resulted in Chen's death. In Day of the Departed, Nya destroys the mannequin Chen is possessing using one of his own missiles - defeating him a second time.
- Each villain's choice of Ninja is due to a certain history: Pythor chose Lloyd due to "defeating" his father; Chen rose against Kai for turning Skylor against him, and Nya for destroying the Cursed Realm and killing him; Cryptor challenged Zane because of their technical relations; Morro had unresolved business with Wu, as he claimed; General Kozu targeted Dareth for stealing control of the Stone Army; and Samukai went after Jay, partly due to process of elimination, and also because he was the first Ninja to use Spinjitzu against the Skulkin and inspire the others to follow suit.
- The golden statue of Skales, which was previously seen in Winds of Change shortly before Morro possessed Lloyd, can be seen at the entrance of the Hall of Villainy.
- The Helmet of Shadows makes its return in this episode, having last appeared in Rise of the Spinjitzu Master. In its last appearance, it served the same purpose - for Dareth to control the Stone Army.
- This mark the last appearance of Cole as a ghost and the first appearance of him as a human since The Temple on Haunted Hill.
- In the shot where he comes back to life, Chen no longer has his Departed Jade Blade and black gloves, despite having both when he was a statue. As Yang said, he Departed Blades are needed for the villains to be resurrected, so in actuality Chen's lack of a blade meant he never had a chance of being revived.
- When Samukai is first seen at the junkyard carrying Edna, he's wielding two bone daggers. Yet afterwards, the daggers are nowhere to be seen, having been replaced by a bone axe.
- After being brought back to life, Cryptor's mannequin no longer has shoulder armor. The armor is absent all throughout the scene up until the last shot when Pythor proposed they go to the Hall of Sidekicks. This shot, as well as all the scenes after it, featured Cryptor with the armor on.
- During the credits, Paul Dobson is listed as having voiced Kozu and Pythor, but he only voiced Kozu. His brother, Michael Dobson, voices Pythor. In fact, both Michael and Paul were credited for voicing Pythor with their names sitting next to each other.
- The revived Nindroids, Stone Warriors and Fake Anacondrai were meant to have a green/ghostly appearance to them, but due to an animation mishap they do not.
- When the Chenosaurus' boxing gloves are replaced by buzzsaws, the gloves disappear in thin air.
- As Samukai does rock-paper-scissors with Kozu, Morro's statue can be seen on in the background, despite Morro being in possession of it at the time.
- Cole's Spinjitzu appears normal when the Ninja arrive at the museum, yet later, when he fights Yang's students in the temple, his Spinjitzu has a ghostly appearance.
- When the Ninja arrive on the Bounty and Kai says "we have to help him!", he and Lloyd were wearing their Jungle Robes.
- When Kozu jumps onto the stage, there is a Stone Swordsman instead of Stone Scout.