|This article belongs to the Classic Continuity|
The Widening Gyre is the fortieth episode of Ben 10: Ultimate Alien.
The episode opens with a fade-in shot of a tin can floating in the ocean. Behind it, a cargo ship is sailing by with a full load. The people on the boat start to cough, while a man runs up to the captain telling him there's a very strong smell lingering, and nobody can figure out where it's coming from. Suddenly, they see they are approaching an island made entirely of trash. The captain tries to steer away, but the currents break off the ruder and begin capsizing the ship along with the cargo. A shipping container falls off, only to be caught by a giant garbage-like creature that emerges from under the ship, and drags the boat down into the ocean, leaving no survivors.
Ben is digging through his garage while Kevin is moaning about how Ben promised that they would do something fun, which Ben says they will after his garage is cleaned out. Kevin asks Gwen if she's ready to leave. She nods yes and they proceed as some government agents arrive and politely request his help.
Once at Colonel Rozum's base, he asks if they're familiar with the Pacific Garbage Vortex, to which Gwen provides an exact definition: "Approximately two-hundred billion tons of non-biodegradable plastics are dumped into the oceans every year. Currents collect this and untold trillions of other refuse into gigantic floating islands of garbage. The Pacific Garbage Vortex is the largest in the world (Twice the size of Texas to be precise)." Now for the last eighteen months, there's been something living on it that's turned it into a dangerous place where dozens of ships and hundreds of people have disappeared without a trace, including his sister. His two best agents he sent to investigate went missing too. When his bosses order him to shut down the investigation "officially," that's when he saw the need to ask the team for help; so that they could investigate "unofficially." Ben reminds the gang that he said they'd be doing something fun, and they set sail on the Rust Bucket 3.
Kevin is flying the Rust Bucket 3 over the ocean, searching for the garbage island. Ben can't figure out why something twice the size of Texas would be so hard to find, and speculates the current carried it away. Gwen immediately says so, since the currents are what keep it where it is. Kevin flies faster after finding a weak distress beacon to follow that keeps flocculating. He asks Gwen if she sees anything "like a life raft or something," and easily sees a giant island made of trash.
After they land on the island, the three of them look around, taking in the unbelievable phenomenon of a massive landscape made entirely of manmade scraps. Gwen explains that this all happens because people are careless about where they dump their garbage. Plastic is the only recyclable substance that doesn't break down over time. Instead, currents pick it up and carry it to one location, until it all collects into one giant mass. All Kevin can think about from this point is a cartoon he used to watch as a kid about these "5 heroes with the power to recycle and fight polluters." However, Ben and Gwen draw a blank, and proceed to investigate. In the midst of the garbage, Ben discovers, to his shock and disbelief, an autographed photo of himself. Gwen then suddenly spots a giant skeleton of a dead bird filled with plastic. Gwen says that many birds die from eating plastic which poisons them.
The thing that interests Ben most is the size of the bird, and (as if on cue) the team is attack by a flock of mutated giant seagulls. Ben transforms into Terraspin and takes down three of the birds before taking to the air as more fly in. While Kevin struggles to find something suitable to absorb, all the while joking about that old cartoon having a narrator, Gwen fights off the mutant birds until they gain the upper hand on Ben. He is knocked to the ground and the birds gang up on him and try to eat him.
The birds peck at Ben (but don't penetrate the plastron of Terraspin's shell), but he manages to blow them away and get back on his feet to continue the fight. Gwen shoots them and manages to scare them away. They manage to find survivors and the two agents Rozum sent, the no-nonsense professional Agent Locke and the overly dramatic Agent Bryson. They explain that the island is actually an all-devouring manmade monster created from illegal and accidental dumping. After discovering the enormity of the issue of the building garbage, the governments of the world combined forces to try to get rid of it. After illegal dumping was heavily enforced, they noticed that the garbage that was already there already took on a landscape of its own, making cleaning it all up impossible. They dropped a missile full of an experimental plastic-eating bacteria on it, but it didn't work as planned. The bacteria mutated along with the garbage, thus gaining sentience. Gwen deduces that it explains the giant seagulls and why the island seemed to be moving on its own. Ben explains they've also been searching for Rozum's sister. They have her, but she's badly injured and in need of a doctor. They all agree the best course of action is to leave the island immediately with the survivors.
Suddenly a deep mysterious voice from no determinable direction claims that nobody is leaving the island alive. The group is then attacked by a garbage monster that emerges in front of them, which pins the group down with garbage. The monster then demands more trash in exchange for the prisoner's freedom. Ben transforms into NRG to fight it while Kevin orders the agents to get the survivors onto the Rustbucket. The team try to hold it off, but the monster uses it's morphing power use the environment to it's advantage. It even tries to eat Kevin. After it absorbs enough trash into itself to grow tenfold, Ben orders a retreat since the sentient garbage monster has no apparent weakness.
Back at the Rust Bucket, the agents prepare to fly the survivors back to land and come back for the team in eight hours (six at the least). Bryson doesn't like the idea of the team staying behind, but Ben assures them they'll be fine, to which he doesn't believe. Gwen decides they need to flush out the monster and figure out how to trap it. Agent Locke contacts Ben about some unforeseen complications; the monster is approaching San Francisco on its own, and will arrive in minutes. When they realize that the island is moving towards land to acquire the garbage that it needs to feed off of in order to survive, the island transforms, revealing that the monster was the island itself the entire time.With the toxic ecological impact of the giant monster threatening the city of San Francisco, Gwen and Kevin take cover while Ben transforms into Way Big to challenge it to a showdown. The people on the Golden Gate Bridge take cover while the trash monster proves to be more formidable than anticipated as even Way Big can't hold it off forever due to its regenerative powers, so Gwen radios Agent Locke to help Way Big in the Rust Bucket III. The battle not only threatens the safety of the Golden Gate Bridge, but the monster even doubles its size. Things seem hopeless until the Rustbucket arrives with its missiles, however, the monster strikes down the engines and the ship crashes into the bridge and falls into the ocean. Thankfully, everyone survives when Gwen shoots up an energy field.
Way Big continues to vainly fight the monster with muscle until he sees that the water splashing at it's legs is breaking it apart. He then finally finds it's weakness: the only thing that can defeat the monster "is what created it in the first place." Way Big then starts running in circles around the monster and creates a huge water vortex. The cyclone lifts the trash monster off the surface and sends it into space on a collision course with the sun, thus destroying it for good. With Ben changed back, everyone stands on the Rust Bucket III which is still in the water, and Kevin improvises a narration from the old TV show he couldn't stop thinking about for the entire adventure. While Kevin goes to fix the engine, Ben wonders if that's the end of the garbage threat, to which Gwen replies "I hope so."
Meanwhile, a man throws a bottle into the ocean from the Golden Gate Bridge, and the bottle floats away and joins a larger pile of garbage while ominous music plays...
- The Rust Bucket 3 is shown to be fully repaired after getting destroyed in the previous episode.
- The team destroys a significant portion of the Pacific Garbage Vortex.
- Ben Tennyson
- Gwen Tennyson
- Kevin Levin
- Colonel Rozum
- Agent Locke (first appearance)
- Agent Bryson (first appearance)
- Government Agents (first appearance)
- Captain Calledose (first appearance)
Naming and Translations
|Hungarian||Megesz a szemét||The Grabage Eats Me|
|Portuguese (Br)||Redemoinho Supremo||Supreme Swirl|
|Spanish (HA)||El Tifón Devorador||The Eater Typhoon|
|Yuri Lowenthal||Ben Tennyson|
|Ashley Johnson||Gwen Tennyson|
|Greg Cipes||Kevin Levin|
|Dee Bradley Baker|| Terraspin|
|John DiMaggio|| Colonel Rozum|
|Vicki Lewis||Agent Locke|
|Bill Mumy|| Agent Bryson|
- The title of the episode comes from the first line of the poem The Second Coming by W. B. Yeats, "Turning and turning in the widening gyre."
- Kevin makes references to The X-Files and Captain Planet and the Planeteers, making this another episode to have a character refer to real life TV shows.
- The manner in which the garbage swallows up the ship in the beginning of the episode is similar to the way the Kraken attacks in the Pirates of the Caribbean series.
- Way Big rising out of water near a bridge to battle a giant opponent is similar to his appearance in Cosmic Destruction.
- The mutated seagulls have modified Anguirus roars, from the Godzilla series.
- This episode aired in Egypt on October 30, 2011.
- According to Derrick J. Wyatt, Way Big's enhanced speed was born from a glitch in the Ultimatrix.[DJW 1]
- The explanation behind the autographed picture of Ben in the Garbage Vortex could simply be from being blown away and ending up there. Since it is after all a piece of paper, it doesn't necessarily mean it was thrown away.