Dragons: Riders of Berk – “We Are A Family (Part One)” Recap
It’s Bork Week in Berk and all of the residents are celebrating in honor of Bork the Bold, a legendary viking who devoted his life to studying dragons and ultimately wrote the Book of Dragons. Gobber sets up a statue of Bork, who was his distant relative, only to have Mildew confront him about how a man like Bork was needed now more than ever, and that he was interested in acquiring the dagger Bork used to kill several dragons. Gobber informs him that they’ll be on display later on. Elsewhere, the Riders of Berk are practicing their dragon calls so that they can summon their dragons if they ever get separated, as well as preparing a parade for Bork Week, but the ordeal depresses Hiccup as he realizes that Toothless doesn’t have any other Night Furies to socialize with. His thoughts are cut short when he’s summoned to the great hall, where his father wants to see him. Back in Berk, Gobber is getting a chest out of the attic, along with the dagger that Mildew mentioned earlier. He intends to take it to the great hall, but is pestered by Mildew into putting the chest down and going outside to fix his wagon. As he does, Mildew looks at the chest and dagger gleefully. Later that night, Hiccup arrives at the Great Hall in order to meet his father, and is told by him that he is being entrusted with Bork the Bold’s personal documents. Hiccup is honored by the action, and proceeds to study them immediately, finding a note tucked in the corner that indicates that there is an island full of Night Furies. The next day, he flies off with the Riders of Berk in order to find it, eventually going inside of a cave to and finding a map while the other riders keep feral dragons at bay that were lured there by some unwisely performed dragon calls. Unfortunately for Hiccup, the commotion causes the caves to begin to cave in, but Toothless uses a form of echolocation to escape the cave, much to the surprise of all of the Riders. With the map in hand, Hiccup tells the group that they will fly to the island the next day, but after researching Bork’s notes, becomes convinced that the other dragons would only antagonize the feral Night Furies and flies off to the island alone. There, he and Toothless see another Night Fury, but it is soon revealed to be a fake – nothing more than bait for a trap – and the two of them are captured by Alvin the Treacherous and his Outcasts. Back at Berk, the Riders of Berk realize what Hiccup did and begin to make plans to fly to the island as well, which gets Stoick’s attention, but as he tries to figure out what happened, Gobber arrives to tell him that Mildew has moved out of Berk and took all of his stuff with him. Stoick takes the news grimly, seeming to put together what happened. Back at the island, Mildew arrives and mocks Hiccup over how easily he fell for the trap, and that he betrayed Berk because Berk placed too much faith in the dragons. Alvin tells Hiccup that if he wants to live, he will teach them all how to tame dragons for military purposes, and the lot of them sail off to Outcast Island.
I’ve often criticized this show for its lack of subtlety. Even when it had perfectly good plots, they made what was going to happen incredibly apparent to all but the most casual of audiences. This episode was no exception, as fans figured out the “twist” ending before the episode even premiered. The show did try to cover its tracks by implying that Mildew was merely interested in a dagger, and I hoped that would be the case, but I knew that the show wasn’t able to pull something like that off. So now we’re back to where we were some number of episodes ago, with Hiccup captured by the Outcasts. Will it end differently this time? Probably not. But if Alvin doesn’t get something that lets him start training his own dragons, then this show is going to have serious problems. At least Mildew should never be allowed back in Berk after part two, so we’ll be done with most of his idiocy. For now, I’ll reserve the bulk of my judgment until I see how this plays out.