Day Post 9: Favorite Movie - The Ultimate Enemy
By this point in my posts, there really shouldn’t be a question as to what my favorite movie is. All of the movies have their moments, but the The Ultimate Enemy stands alone.
TUE has everything that Danny Phantom represents as a show. It has humor, quirkiness, family, teenage problems, and right vs. wrong. But TUE has more. It’s dark, it’s evil, and it shows that even the best of heroes can become villains.
What happened to Danny in an alternate timeline is a very real threat. Everyone in the world has cheated at some point in their lives (if you’ve ever played 7up, then you’ve cheated). Maybe not on the scale that Danny did by looking at the answers to the Career Aptitude Test, but on some scale. By finding the answers like Danny did, it was an opportunity that a lot of people wouldn’t turn away. Assuming the original events played out the same way they did in the movie, then Danny didn’t even steal the answers. They more or less fell right into his hands (or stuck to his back with fast food gunk, ew), and to any 14 year old, that’s tempting.
When Mr. Lancer discovers they’re missing, and overhears Tucker mention Danny “cheating,” obviously the teacher would assume Danny stole the answers. As any teacher would, Mr. Lancer meets with Danny’s parents to discuss what had happened. Why they met at a fast food restaurant is beyond me, I think the school would make more sense, but whatever. Sam, Tucker, and Jazz were also there for whatever reason. One thing leads to another, because I don’t think that fight took place in the original timeline, based on Dan’s actions, the Nasty Burger sauce blew up, and everyone but Danny died.
If everyone you cared about died, especially because of something that was your fault, imagine the guilt that would eat at you. Danny was so heartbroken and in so much emotional pain that he went to live with Vlad of all people. People can’t make the argument that he had no choice but to live with Vlad, but legally he would have gone to a relative, which would have been Aunt Alicia. Danny had to have chosen to go to Vlad.
Danny comes up with the notion that the only way to make the pain and guilt go away is to separate his human and ghost halves. “No more human emotions to tie you down.” Something goes wrong, and Danny’s ghost half turns on them, ripping out Vlad’s ghost half, and merging with it, creating the most evil ghost of all time.
And all of this stemmed from Danny cheating on a test. As extreme as it is, it’s honestly a very realistic turn of events. There is so much Danny learns from this encounter with his evil older self, and it all comes down to the fact that all of your choices have consequences.
I can’t rave about TUE without mentioning the ultimate enemy himself, that evil, jerky, puss pack alternative version of Danny. He goes by many names, Dark Danny, Dark Dan, Phantom, and Dan Phantom, which are the more common names he goes by, but as I have been referring to him as Dan Phantom so far, I will continue with that name.
Dan Phantom is my favorite villain because he is a true villain. Sure, Vlad is evil with his plans to kill Jack, clone Danny, take over the world, yadayadayada. And Skulker wants Danny’s pelt at the foot of his bed, or on his wall, whatever. But Dan is ruthless. He doesn’t care who he kills, as long as he’s enjoying it. Vlad wants to kill Jack, but he has feelings for Maddie, and doesn’t want to hurt her. Dan could care less about his parents, and would kill them again if he could, as he indeed tries to do in TUE. He has no conscious, and despite feelings for Sam that he had when he was younger, he has no qualms strapping her to the Nasty Sauce tank, condemning her, Tucker, and his family (and Mr. Lancer) to death.
The only reason he spares his younger self, who he outwardly despises and views as weak and pathetic, the only reason he keeps Danny alive is because he would cease to exist. Now that he exists out of time however, one wonders whether that is the case anymore. If Dan had returned in the series, and it has been said that if season 4 had happened before Danny Phantom was cancelled, he would have come back, I’m willing to bet he would have been even more ruthless. Why, Nickelodeon, WHY?!
There’s the fact of Danny fearing Dan in itself that appeals TUE to me. It adds another layer to Danny, and is another struggle that the hero within him must deal with. He is now constantly checking himself to avoid becoming that bleak future that could have happened, and he has a reoccurring fear that he could become evil again. Though these musings are never mentioned again in the series, it is certainly implied. Notice that Danny has never fought back or pulled pranks on Dash since TUE? I believe that last time was Reign Storm, which is the last time we saw Dash anyway (I don’t remember him being in Identity Crisis or The Fenton Menace). Someone please correct me if I’m wrong.
So as I’ve stated in an earlier post, I kind of have a thing for fanfics in which Dan returns. Again, they need to be done well, but you get the point. I wish I could have seen an episode with Danny’s reaction, but that is what fanfiction is for: to create the moments you wish existed.
I’m sure there is much more I could rave about for The Ultimate Enemy, but I’m sure you get the point. ^_^