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Team Astrid

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Team Astrid is the first episode of season 2 of Dragons: Race to the Edge. It was released on Netflix on January 8, 2016.

Overview

After an attack on Berk, Astrid trains a crew of backup Dragon Riders to battle back -- but no one can guess how soon the next strike will hit.

Plot

After patrolling around Dragon's Edge, Hiccup and Astrid notices that the Night Terrors are not present on their sentries as they serve vitally as their first line of defense. They then discover the Twins are using them to be pets, training them useless tricks. Astrid tells the group to stop fooling around with the Night Terrors as they will be susceptible for a surprise attack by Dagur, though Snotlout reminds her to feel secure as Dagur has not yet found their base, but Astrid says otherwise. Suddenly, a Terrible Terror mail arrives informing them that Berk is under attack.

By dawn, the Riders arrive to only find the scene of destruction at the village. Stoick informs Hiccup, Dagur's men only did a hit and run attack, sending arrows and boulders to the village at any random location, Stoick also adds that Astrid's house has become a victim of the attack. Astrid and Stormfly rush to see their home, all but in complete ruins but Gobber reassures her that her parents are safe as they were out Yak Racing, and that her house will be rebuilt. The villagers and the Riders all take action to repair the damages, Hiccup and Toothless meanwhile, volunteers to find Dagur, but Stoick informs him the style of attack was strange as only one ship did all the damage then left, Hiccup asks why attack for nothing, and he flies off to search for Dagur as the ship was last reported heading North.

Hours later, Hiccup and Toothless return to Berk at the Academy with no luck of finding Dagur, where also the Riders are settling in as they rest after a hard work of rebuilding the village. Astrid arrives grateful that her parents alive but still upset as the house she grew in no longer stands. Hiccup orders the Riders that first thing tomorrow they will return to their base to continue searching Dagur there, for now, Hiccup tells them to rest from their homes. Without a house, Astrid decides to sleep at the Academy, but to her surprise everyone was planning the same idea, regardless. As a result, they all rests at the Academy soundly, except for Astrid who at late hours at night, is still awake.

She gets off of her blanket and wanders through the village, where Stoick follows and joins her for a chat. Stoick knows that Astrid can't sleep as she cannot resist her gut, still feeling the need she could've done something to prevent what happened to her house. She asks Stoick how to make it go away, Stoick tells her she can't but what she can do now is to prevent it from feeling it again, after that Stoick joins her to check around the docks and throughout Berk for the rest of the night. At dawn, Astrid is back on the Academy still awake with no sleep. Hiccup informs her that she still has an hour before they leave and return to Dragon's Edge, so he volunteers to help her repack her stuff, but to his shock, Astrid decides to remain on Berk.

Hiccup asks when did she decide this, Astrid tells him last night after Stoick rejuvenated her with their chat. The attack by one ship has now made Astrid vow to never leave Berk defenseless ever again, but Hiccup tries to convince her to reconsider as the lost of an ally will make things harder for the group to cooperate as a team. But Hiccup agrees with Astrid as she tells him that she plans to assemble another group of Riders to act as an Auxiliary team to defend Berk and as reinforcements for the Riders. Snotlout volunteers to join as an instructor, but Astrid wants to do it by herself. Hiccup orders the rest of the Riders to return to the Edge and begin a search party for any sign of Dagur while Hiccup stays by patrolling the outskirts of Berk.

The Riders watch as several recruits fall in to be honorable Dragon Riders and converge on the Academy, among them is Gustav, Gothi, Sven, Bucket and Mulch. Snotlout begins to beg to stay and help Astrid instruct the recruits as he discovers that his father, Spitelout has also signed up, so that he could finally order him around, despite this Hiccup tells him he can't as he has to help the Riders search for Dagur. Astrid's training attitude unravels in a strict and brutal way, as she shows how the dangerous dragon training can be she scares many of the recruits, leaving only the aforementioned characters the only recruits who would risk everything to the training.

Astrid gives the remaining recruits brooms to act as their 'dragons' as they push through intense training involving flying formations and dragon positions. The slightest mistake results the recruit being responsible to drop and perform 20 push-ups as punishment. Meanwhile, after hours of searching the Riders fail to find Dagur due to hunger and head back to the Dragon's Edge, unaware that Dagur and his scattered men have been observing them to secretly study and triangulate their flight paths that pinpoints the exact location of their island, thanks to Savage keen observance, with the location of their island acknowledged Dagur plans a surprise assault. Meanwhile on Dragon's Edge, Snotlout and the Twins slack off from their duties to continue their search for Dagur, the Twins continue to play with the Night Terrors and Snotlout sleeps, leaving Fishlegs the only one to continue the search instead.

Hours later, the recruits have now gained the honor of riding actual dragons but now have to do even more intense training, Hiccup and Toothless watches as Astrid gives them their training, fly and attack the enemy by doing a barrel roll of their dragon and hit the enemy by any means necessary. Most of the recruits have done well of their performance to which Hiccup cheers, but Astrid still finds sloppy maneuvers of their actions marking it as a failure. When Gustav and Fanghook's turn comes up, they perform their training with excellence, but Astrid finds it as a 'lucky shot' and tells Gustav to do it again, their second time goes smoothly as well but Astrid slightly pushes the dummy target causing Fanghook to miss. Gustav finds it unfair but Astrid justifies it as it is the 'Element of Surprise' key to any battle, Gustav is punished and is forced to do 20 push-ups while the rest start over from scratch.

Hiccup realizes that Astrid will never finish the training if she continues to fail everything her recruits do. Hiccup talks with her, saying that her harsh training is making everyone fail giving her an excuse to extend her time to stay at Berk, Astrid turns her back and tell him his claim is wrong. Hiccup tries to make Astrid rethink her actions as she cannot be there to save her family every second and every day, Hiccup decides to return back to Dragon's Edge to check on the Riders and tells Astrid when he returns they have to set things out. When Hiccup arrives, he discovers that Dagur has recently discovered their base and has began a full-scale attack on the Edge and the remaining Riders retreat into the sealed Arena.

Hiccup and Toothless quietly sneak past Dagur's fleet and manages to regroup with the hiding Riders. Snotlout explains that Dagur caught them off guard as their Early Warning System aka the Night Terrors were unattended at their sentries, thanks to the Twins. Hiccup then plans to write a message to call for reinforcements on Berk, in the meantime they hold their base on their own. The next day, at the verge of Astrid's training at the Academy, Stoick and Skullcrusher arrives bringing word to Astrid that the Beserkers have invaded their base, they mount up for immediate rescue. Astrid's recruits asks that they volunteer and help them, but Astrid denies this and orders them to stay put to where they are.

Back on the Edge, Dagur's invading force begins landings on their shores and relentlessly charges at any direction. The Riders struggle to hold them back. Even when Astrid and Stoick arrives for help, their combat efforts to reinforce the defense against Dagur is short lived and Dagur continues to gain the upper hand on Hiccup. Fortunately, Astrid's Auxiliary Team arrives and effectively outmatch Dagur's invading armada. Gothi, Bucket, Mulch, Gustav, Sven, Spitelout, Stoick and the Riders altogether begin to force the invading Beserkers into a retreat. Dagur's ships begin to dwindle in numbers and Savage requests Dagur's permission for a full withdrawal or face capture. Finally, Dagur relents and orders the retreat.

At the Edge's arena, Astrid gathers the recruits informing them they have disobeyed direct orders from her and asks who is responsible, most step in and claim responsibility but all of them choose punishment by doing 20 push-ups. But Astrid tells them to stop, telling them what they did was not what they are trained to do, but despite all that, it was also brave and cooperative. Astrid finally names them as honorable Dragon Riders. Gustav, being the most experienced, becomes the leader of Berk's Auxiliary Riders and are dubbed not as the B-Team (Backup) but to be the A-Team (Astrid's). Proving that they can do their jobs, Astrid finally is relieved from staying at Berk to remain instead back on the Edge.

Before they return to Berk, Astrid gives the A-Team a strict warning threatening them with a severe punishment if she sees them slacking off or doing irresponsible and intolerable actions with their duties. As the A-Team flies off, Hiccup is notably happy for Astrid finally accepting Hiccup's advise and that now she has done measures to prevent the sick feeling of her gut from ever returning.

Transcript

The transcript for this episode is here.

Trivia

  • Before this episode was released, it was believed that the title would be Astrid's Team.
  • Stoick's speech to Astrid most likely references when his wife, Valka, was stolen by dragons in How to Train Your Dragon 2 and he was unable to save her.
  • The A-Team are actually a copy of the gang without Hiccup, as their dragons match up exactly.
  • Tuffnut stating that he trained the Night Terror to count by stamping its foot, as long as the answer is always three, is possibly a reference to Clever Hans, a horse who was trained to do arithmetic problems by stamping his hoof. However, like the Night Terror, Clever Hans wasn't actually counting, but instead observing the cues unintentionally given off by his owner and the crowd.

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