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Gunmar is free, Trollmarket is in peril, and of all creatures in our worlds, I chose you. Now, show them why.
Merlin to Jim

Unbecoming is the thirty-seventh episode of Trollhunters and the eleventh episode of Part Two.

Official Synopsis

Facing serious accusations from the Tribunal, Jim gets the chance to see what his life would be like if he'd never found the amulet.

Summary

Facing serious accusations from the Tribunal for his actions, Jim is sent back in time by the spirit of a previous Trollhunter, Unkar the Unfortunate, for a chance to see what his life would have been like if he had never found the amulet, and Draal is the Trollhunter. At first, Jim loves his new peaceful life, but it takes a turn for the worse. Can Jim get his life back and face up to his mistakes? Or will the world be doomed?

Plot

Jim is brought down to speak to Vendel and Usurna. Jim continues to insist that the whole thing is his fault. He'll face trial and if found guilty, the consequence could be death. If he surrenders the amulet to be destroyed, he'll be exiled and his life spared. Jim says there won't be a trollhunter that way, but Usurna says they've relied on Merlin's antiquated magic for too long. Jim's trial begins at dawn and he has until then to decide. He's put back in his cell.

Jim looks at the amulet and talks to Merlin. He throws it out and says he wishes he'd never picked it up in the first place. On the ground, the amulet is activated and a light flies up to talk to Jim. Unkar tells Jim it wouldn't be the first time the amulet made a mistake. He's there to offer Jim a second chance.

Jim wakes up to his alarm. He's surprised to see he's in his room instead of in the cage. He finds a note from his mother on her door as she sleeps behind it. He goes out into his garage and sees Toby there. Toby is upset because Jim promised to make him something special for lunch and hasn't delivered. Jim asks if Toby has no idea he's a trollhunter. Toby tells him he has to stop skipping breakfast. Toby leaves, saying they're going to be late for school and should take the canals. Jim remembers getting the amulet the first time and thinks he has a second chance. Jim says he wants to take the long way instead of the canals and takes off for school. As they ride over the bridge, they hear the final bell and Jim sees the amulet flashing in a pile of rubble below. He rides on.

Strickler lectures as Jim is bewildered at how everything is the same but not the same. He wants for him and Toby to meet up with Claire and talk, but Claire is just his secret crush, not an ally. Strickler comes up behind Jim and asks him a question, startling him. He answers the question and Strickler asks him for a word as the bell rings. Strickler tells him he seems distracted and he feels he needs to talk to Jim's mother.

Jim watches Claire admiringly in gym class. He goes to her and tells her they need to talk, which confuses her. Jim tries to convince her to talk to him by saying things he knows about her, including Enrique's name.

Jim tries to tell Toby about his other life. Toby doesn't believe him. Jim sees Steve bullying Eli and remembers what he did the last time. He got beat up last time, but if he doesn't intervene this time, he won't be Steve's target. Toby unwittingly draws his ire instead.

Jim and Toby walk home and Jim tries again to convince Toby. On the bridge, he sees the flashing and says he can prove it. He goes down and digs, but the amulet isn't there. Toby says he's going home to eat. Once he's gone, Unkar comes to Jim and Jim asks who has the amulet now. Unkar says he's just Jim Lake, Jr. He's gotten a second chance.

Jim wakes up another day. He gives his presentation in his Spanish class and gets an A+.

Jim wakes up on his birthday and gets his special birthday pancakes.

Jim goes through his life, without trollhunting, but also without Claire. Steve is Romeo in the play.

Jim sits on his step and thinks about Draal training him in his backyard.

Jim starts to get sad as he goes through his life. One night, he witnesses Strickler getting out of his car and realizes it's about Killahead Bridge. They're almost ready to release Gunmar. Jim stows away to get into Trollmarket.

Once he's there, he finds Blinky, who is scared of him. He explains to Blinky what happened with Unkar, but Blinky doesn't believe him. Jim learns that Draal is the trollhunter.

Jim gets out through a manhole and then goes to confront Strickler. Strickler attacks him. He tells Strickler what he knows and says he knows it because he was the trollhunter and he's lived it. Strickler finally believes him, but still wonders why he'd align himself with a trollhunter. Either way, it's too late and the invasion has begun. As they see an explosion outside, Jim tells Strickler they need to get to the museum. Jim gets a frantic call from Toby, who now believes everything Jim said. Jim tells him to find Claire and then get somewhere safe. Over the radio, they hear that there are attacks all over town. Strickler takes off for the museum. There are fires and chaos all over town. Strickler asks Jim what happened to him in the original timeline. Instead of answering, Jim takes a call from his mother, who is worried about him. He tells her to go somewhere safe. He tells her he loves her as the line goes dead. They keep driving and come face to face with Bular. As they try to escape, they're attacked again.

Jim wakes up and sees Gunmar. Strickler tries groveling, but it doesn't work. He tells Jim to get to the museum as he faces Bular and Gunmar.

Jim sees Steve being cornered by trolls and keeps running toward the museum. Jim finds Draal there, turned to stone. The amulet is missing. Jim sees it broken nearby. He tries to activate it, but it doesn't work. He starts crying and says he can't do it alone. He then says he's the trollhunter, amulet or not. He takes Bular's sword and prepares to go out to fight. Unkar tells him if he goes out, he will die, but Jim says he has no choice. Merlin then appears to Jim, saying the amulet doesn't make mistakes. He chose Jim. Now he has to show them why. Jim lifts the sword onto his shoulder and goes to face Gunmar.

Jim is suddenly back in the real timeline and picks the thrown amulet back up. His friends are there to escort him to the Tribunal. Usurna reminds him he could walk free if he surrenders the amulet, but he says he's keeping it because it's his. He'll face whatever comes his way. He goes to face the Tribunal.

Cast

Trivia

  • This marks Merlin's first appearance in the series (albeit as a spirit).
  • Bular briefly returns in this episode.
  • It is revealed that if Draal became the Trollhunter, he would’ve failed in stopping Bular and been turned to stone.
    • Of course, this also proves that Draal has always been worthy to wield the mantle of Trollhunter all along, even if Jim found it before him or not.
  • This episode is a parody of It's a Wonderful Life, which has been parodied in various films and television shows for years.
  • Title: "Unbecoming" is both a reference to Jim losing his status as Trollhunter (thus him not becoming the Trollhunter) and as a variation of the pilot episode(s) title "Becoming: Part 1 and 2" when Jim first became the Trollhunter. Also, "unbecoming" means behavior ill-suited. It is unbecoming of Jim to give into despair and want to abandon his duty as Trollhunter.
  • This episode was one of Aaron Waltke's favorites to write, as "it was such a wild challenge to retell the entire first season in a What If... story. And the performance at the end is so emotional and powerful."[1]

Gallery

Tales of Arcadia logo
Arcadia Oaks-pedia has a collection of images and media related to Unbecoming which can be found at Unbecoming/Gallery.
Trollhunters
Part One
"Becoming: Part 1"- "Becoming: Part 2"- "Wherefore Art Thou, Trollhunter?"- "Gnome Your Enemy"- "Waka Chaka!"- "Win Lose or Draal"- "To Catch a Changeling"- "Adventures in Trollsitting"- "Bittersweet Sixteen"- "Young Atlas"- "Recipe for Disaster"- "Claire and Present Danger"- "The Battle of Two Bridges"- "Return of the Trollhunter"- "Mudslinging"- "Roaming Fees May Apply"- "Blinky's Day Out"- "The Shattered King"- "Airheads"- "Where Is My Mind?"- "Party Monster"- "It's About Time"- "Wingmen"- "Angor Management"- "A Night to Remember"- "Something Rotten This Way Comes"
Part Two
"Escape from the Darklands"- "Skullcrusher"- "Grand Theft Otto"- "KanjigAAARRRGGHH!!!"- "Homecoming"- "Hiss Hiss, Bang Bang"- "Hero with a Thousand Faces"- "Just Add Water"- "Creepslayerz"- "The Reckless Club"- "Unbecoming"- "Mistrial and Error"- "In the Hall of the Gumm-Gumm King"
Part Three
"Night Patroll"- "Arcadia's Most Wanted"- "Bad Coffee"- "So I'm Dating a Sorceress"- "The Exorcism of Claire Nuñez"- "Parental Guidance"- "The Oath"- "For the Glory of Merlin"- "In Good Hands"- "A House Divided"- "Jimhunters"- "The Eternal Knight: Part 1"- "The Eternal Knight: Part 2"


References

  1. Aaron Waltke (August 17, 2020). Aaron Waltke answering questions on Discord. Tales of Arcadia Wiki Discord.
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