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Off to the Races is the tenth episode of Skylanders Academy Season 3.
Dark Spyro has now grown to like his fellow Skylanders in spite of being evil, a change that is noticed by an angry Strykore when he makes a surprise visit. Strykore is losing patience on Dark Spyro's lack of progress on opening the Wumpan Puzzle Box, but the dark dragon tries to reassure his master by revealing that the box can only be opened by those who are true of heart which he lacks. Strykore nonetheless demands Spyro to figure out how to do it anyway, otherwise he'll be punished severely.
Meanwhile, Kaos is once again confronted with an escalating mutiny by the Doom Raiders, due to a lack of raids and dwindling resources. Fortunately, he finds a solution when his pirate ship crashes into a billboard, where an airship race called the Skylands 500 has a huge cash reward that will be offered to the winner. Kaos proposes that they enter and win the race, so he could resolve his crew's demands, the Doom Raiders reluctantly hold off their mutiny.
At the Academy, Kaossandra sounds the alarm and gathers Master Eon and the Skylanders for an important meeting. She opens up a Skylands 500 commercial where they discover that Kaos's recent entry and deduces that Kaos entered the race because of his continued failings as a pirate captain and if he loses, the Doom Raiders and subsequently Strykore will abandon him, leaving Kaos in the perfect opportunity for Kaossandra and the Skylanders to bring him to the Academy and rehabilitate him. Eon allows this and sets up the Skylanders on their objective to win the airship race with Jet Vac volunteering as head trainer. However Captain Flynn suddenly appears, overhearing their mission, and volunteers to be their coach, which Jet Vac objects. Master Eon proposes both of them serve as trainers, but they refuse. Spyro tries to stop their dispute by offering a seemingly heartfelt speech of working together but was also an attempt of opening the Wumpan Puzzle box but his actions does not merit him access.
Airships from all over Skylands begin arriving at the Skylands 500. Kaos is shocked to learn that the Doom Raiders have decided against their promise of giving Kaos another chance as they claim that the only way to win the race is to not have Kaos serve as captain, so they lock him inside his quarters. Jet-Vac confronts Captain Flynn and both seemingly agree to lead the team together. Meanwhile, below deck, Spyro desperately tries several attempts on opening the Wumpan Puzzle box by kindly complimenting and wooing it but to no avail.
The race begins and Flynn begins barking strict orders to the Skylanders on handling the ship, whilst Jet-Vac does a soft approach by motivating and supporting the team's actions. This unfortunately causes confusion among the Skylanders resulting in the Dread-Yacht falling behind the other racers. The Skylanders are divided on which of the two shows better leadership. Flynn carries on with his aggressive approach, putting the Skylanders into intensive work boosting the ship's speed and gaining a significant lead among the racers but this quickly exhausts the Skylanders and the Dread Yacht soon falls behind.. Jet-Vac decides to do his own leadership approach by positively reinforcing the exhausted Skylanders with rewards and ideas of fun, which quickly replenishes their energy and resumes working.
The Doom Raiders are fortunate since their pirate ship is leading the race. But with Kaos overthrown as captain, a power vacuum emerges when all of them desire the role of captain. Their dispute causes them to ignore Kaos's actions as he realizes he can use his powers to escape. He breaks free out of confinement and uses his powers to forcibly subdue the Doom Raiders. Kaos rejoices his successful retaking of the ship by unleashing a powerful dark magic shock wave that causes the Dread Yacht's stabilizers to malfunction.
Jet-Vac orders an immediate repair of the ship, but due to Jet-Vac's soft approach, the Skylanders don't take the situation seriously and their airship soon plummets. Flynn and Jet-Vac quickly blame each other's leadership for their situation, with Eruptor and Stealth Elf supporting both of them. Dark Spyro is the only one who speaks for a resolution, as their dispute over who has a better strategy is pointless and that they need to settle working for a solution altogether (this speech also does nothing to open the Wumpan Puzzle box). Flynn and Jet-Vac finally decide to lead together for real this time, which effectively brings the Dread Yacht back in the race, closing in on Kaos's pirate ship.
Kaos tyrannically orders the Doom Raiders to work by abusing them with his powers. Kaos orders the Doom Raiders to double their efforts when he notices that they are neck-and-neck with the Dread Yacht. However, an engine pipe bursts from the Dread Yacht and grinds them to a halt. Flynn requires a lemon-head screwdriver from below deck, which Spyro volunteers to acquire. But before Dark Spyro can leave with the tool, he gets another visit from Strykore, questioning his intentions as Dark Spyro keeps helping the Skylanders. Strykore tries to make certain Dark Spyro still desires the Skylanders' destruction, but the dragon's past experiences with the Skylanders changed him and becomes reluctant on the notion.
This confirms Strykore's suspicion that his lackey has grown soft. Seeing his master's aggression, Dark Spyro tries to reason with his superior, but their conversation is overheard when Stealth Elf steps into the room, concluding that Dark Spyro has been an evil agent for Strykore all along. Dark Spyro tries to change her mind, confessing that he's changed, but this only proves Strykore was right about him. Despite being heartbroken by her best friend's revelation, Stealth Elf sets off to tell the others. Strykore orders Dark Spyro to prevent her from doing so, but he refuses, causing Strykore to forcibly enhance Spyro's evil nature. Before Stealth Elf can warn everyone, Dark Spyro grabs and lifts Stealth Elf out of earshot and the two quickly battle to break free.
Without the tool required, Flynn is unable to fix the pipe in time as the Dread Yacht is now falling dead last in the race, leaving Kaos's pirate ship to become first place in the Skylands 500. Kaos celebrates and boasts his victory to his crew, oblivious to their intentions as the Doom Raiders declare that they no longer need of him after winning the cash prize, so they forcibly throw Kaos overboard.
Eventually Dark Spyro overpowers Stealth Elf by using his dark powers to trap Stealth Elf in an orb, which prevents her from teleporting and weakens her. As Dark Spyro stares at his best friend losing consciousness, he becomes shameful and is unable to finish off Stealth Elf. Dark Spyro decides to safely put a weakened Stealth Elf back on the deck of the Dread-Yacht, where the Wumpan Puzzle Box is nearby. Dark Spyro decides he has had enough of Strykore's mission and was about to throw the box overboard. However the moment he grabs it, the Wumpan Puzzle Box finally opens and releases the map as Dark Spyro's act of sparing Stealth Elf vindicates him to be "true of heart". However, Dark Spyro lets go of the map when he hears Kaos plummeting right above him, but doesn't crash when he recalls he has powers. Kaos quickly recognizes the Map to Arkus, rejoicing that Strykore can finally be proud of him and he ventures off. Dark Spyro tries to retake the map but Stealth Elf recovers and she knocks him out by surprise.
Dark Spyro hitting the floor out-cold grabs the attention of the Skylanders and they rush to the scene. Stealth Elf finally reveals to them that Dark Spyro has been working for Strykore, much to the disbelief of her fellow teammates.
- Master Eon
- Stealth Elf
- Pop Fizz
- Dark Spyro
- Chompy Mage
- Chef Pepper Jack
- Dark Spyro has grown to like the Skylanders.
- The Doom Raiders stage a mutiny against Kaos.
- Dark Spyro's refusal to destroy Stealth Elf unlocks the Wumpan Puzzle Box, but the Map to Arkus is taken by Kaos.
- The Skylanders discover Dark Spyro is working for Strykore and has been a spy all along.