I have been using these review introductions to helplessly plead Disney XD to end the brutal beating they have been giving Tron: Uprising, but no more. I don’t need to plead with the evil network overlords to treat this show with respect, I need to plead with you, the audience, to watch it. The show speaks for itself and this week’s episode doesn’t slack in the slightest. Last week we were left with the knowledge that Abel not only knows that Beck is the Renegade, but has been an acquaintance of Tron for a long time.
Abel is still convinced that Beck needs to give up being the Renegade, so he sends him away on an errand to Pergos so Tron can’t talk to him for a while. While on his way, Beck runs into a colossal traffic jam due to an intense energy storm further up the road. Impatience is a cruel mistress and Beck takes off into the wild to go around the storm. Instead of finding a way to Pergos, he finds a strange crater with a mysterious monolith in the center. When he looks at it, he is sucked in and a mysterious figure grabs him from behind.
Tron goes to Abel to find Beck because Dyson has reappeared and is working on something secret. Since Beck is away and he doesn’t want him to have anything to do with Tron, Abel volunteers for the mission to investigate what Dyson is up to. Once he gets there, he ends up in the heart of whatever Dyson is building, and right before he’s captured, Tron shows up to save the day. Unfortunately Dyson escapes and reveals the weapon he’s been building, a colossal recognizer with a green glow very reminiscent of the corrupted programs from Tron 2.0.
Inside the monolith Beck finds a program with light lines all over his body and face, more detailed than anything we’ve seen before. He knows who Beck is and that he’s the Renegade, but he claims to be a friend. The monolith is a doorway into a pocket of compressed space where this program has been working on something to free the Grid from Clu’s oppressive might. He says that he and Beck are of like minds and wants to work together to make the Grid a better place.
The reveal of this mysterious program wasn’t that much of a shock, since Tron alluded to it earlier in the episode, but his creation was. “The Stranger” has permanently upped the ante in the Tron universe. The stranger was the first Renegade, Tron’s original protege that went off the rails. Out here in this compressed space he has been building a colossal weapon, powered by the energy storm, that will annihilate the Grid so they can rebuild something better.
Beck manages to stop the machine, but Tron and Abel only watch as Dyson flies his weapon away. “The Stranger” has brought doomsday weapons to the Grid and we’ve finally gotten the escalation that will transition this battle from guerrilla tactics to actual fighting and require the uprising to gain more members. The stranger didn’t die and now we have another opposing force that will come back (hopefully this season or, if there’s a miracle, season 2). This was a brilliant episode and is moving the plot forward faster than I would have thought. At the end, Abel realizes that Tron needs Beck, but Tron tells him that he needs both of them. Tron: Uprising is the best thing in the Tron universe and you need to be watching it.