With strong male and female roles, a heavy dose of science fiction and enough villains to keep the series jumping, these "Ben 10 Ultimate Alien" cartoon episodes are the ones to watch. Character development and plots that don't revolve around beating the villian du jour every episode makes for a cartoon that all ages can enjoy. Check out a cartoon that isn't all cute and fuzzy and give these storylines a shot:

"Girl Trouble"

Cousin Sunny comes to play and she's got her own kung fu grip. Having powers that match Gwen's, Sunny adds both silliness and trouble to this "Ben 10 Ultimate Alien" episode as her boyfriend shows up and together their relationship adds a dump truck load of hormone filled trouble to the storyline. If not star-crossed lovers, Sunny and Antonio are planet-crossed lovers so enjoy the visual when he first appears. A nice laugh filled episode where the plot trumps the action.

"Nor Iron Bars a Cage"

Ben and Gwen go looking for Kevin who, after touching the ultra matrix, isn't doing so well in the personality or the looks department. A cool space prison sets up the environment for Kevin to make allies of convenience with other inmates. Flashbacks take up a fair amount of this "Ben 10 Ultimate Alien" episode but work well as they give additional insight into how Kevin overcame his anger problems through his own humility and the help of a mentor. Not many kids' cartoons deal with adult topics like revenge and anger but this "Ben 10 Ultimate Alien" story does it without dumbing down the subject matter.

"Ben 10,000 Returns"

The classic bravado of saying you can hit someone so hard they'll land sometime next week gets a twist as the future Ben knocks a villain into the past. Sending someone back in time has to be the world's best pulled punch ever and it's an interesting play as a less mature Ben 10 has to deal with a villain that's quite a bit more powerful and experienced all because of a mistake his future self made. "Ben 10 Ultimate Alien" reveals that in the future, Ben has learned he doesn't have to transform to take on the alien powers and that speaks to a maturity and focus that will progress as the series continues, making the series even more interesting.

"Prisoner #775 is Missing"

A show about aliens needs to have Area 51 show up in it at least once or else it might lose any science fiction credibility it was working towards. Sure this is a cartoon but why not throw in a bit of reality, at least geographically, into the mix? This "Ben 10 Ultimate Alien" episode shows that even though it's a cartoon for kids, the writers don't make the adult characters cheap knockoffs or two-dimensional cutouts. Each adult that has more than a line or two has a distinct personality that reads as real instead of mere filler for the scene. Be wary of this story if you're allergic to a terrible German accent because it might just send you to the E.R.

"Hit 'Em Where They Live"

Ben gets sold out and his enemies don't pass on the chance to give him a stomping. A favorite just for the carnival setting and the fact that this show acknowledges the general terror and raw evil of the clown archetype, although that might be considered a very subjective viewpoint. A serious menagerie of villains helps to flesh out what Ben and company will be going against as the series continues forward.

-Matthew Langenfeld