Danny: Fine–destroy ghosts! But can you really take part in destroying a human?
Beware: Spoilers may follow.
The penultimate episode of the Danny Phantom series proved to introduce a couple of new things for the story and the characters involved. However with the series going right to the finale, following this episode it doesn’t follow through on any of them. But for what it is the various things involved in this episode are legitimately entertaining.
The story involves an unstable Danielle Phantom desperate to find her “cousin” Danny to find her a cure. Little does she know that her “father” Vlad Plasmius is tracking her down. Vlad is shocked to see that she has survived far longer than any of his other clones and is intent on bring her back to him so he can melt her down and study her remains as to why. To this end he recruits ghost hunter Valerie Gray telling her that Dani is out to kill him and promises her with a better apartment for her and her father if she brings Dani to him. When Valerie finds Dani, she learns of her relationship to Danny (who is her number 1 foe) and manipulates Dani into leading them to him to capture them both.
One of the interesting points of this episode is Danny’s argument about Danielle’s humanity. Dani may be a ghost but she is also a human and if Vlad kills her ghost half her human half will die too. Valerie sees herself as a human hero saving her fellow humans from ghosts and given this she cannot turn a blind eye to a human in peril. And it raises some important questions: There aren’t that many ghost hybrids in the show but to what extent are they ghosts or humans? What defines them as such?
Seeing Danielle return after the season 2 finale was also nice. Krista Swan does a good job of making her feel just as familiar as she was back then (as a different actress voiced her the first time). It’s also very nice to see how much Danny cares for Danielle despite her only being a clone of him. Even the two are in no way family, they still see each other as such. She gets to showcase some amazing action against Vlad towards the climax. However after she is rescued she simply goes her own way. There could have been so much more done with her, such as Danielle meeting the rest of the Fenton family.
Valerie’s character is yet another aspect that undergoes some significant development and could have used more exploration. Despite her hatred for Danny and other ghosts she does listen to Danny’s persuasion and their team up has a nice pay-off. Despite agreeing to let her retake him prisoner, she refuses but assures him that their rivalry remains. However now it seems they enjoy the thrill of the chase as opposed to a vendetta. Valerie returns to see if Mr. Masters is okay following their battle at his mansion and unknown to him, witnesses him transform into his ghost form. Upon learning the truth Valerie silently vows to hunt him. Both of these are impressive plotlines for her that are barely delved into any further.
D-Stabilized is an impressive episode by itself but being the penultimate episode it had several hanging plot threads that never got tied up and sadly presumably never will. It has a good characters and a nice premise but one that deserved much more exploration than it got.