Return to Cynder is the third episode of Skylanders Academy Season 2.
The Skylanders assemble for Master Eon as he introduces the Academy's newest recruit, Cynder, a young female dragon who enthusiastically desires to be a Skylander. The old wizard then enlists Spyro as Cynder's teacher in preparation for her admission tests.
Spyro begins Cynder's training by starting at combating simulated villains at the Colosseum. Cynder seems confident as she boasts about being an experienced fighter, but when she steps into battle, she barely puts up a fight and easily gets defeated. Meanwhile, Golden Queen announces her first evil plan for the Doom Raiders. Kaos eagerly anticipates of their scheme but to his disappointment, it only involves feasting at a restaurant and performing mediocre pranks such as tricking the waiter to deliver a birthday cake and ditching the restaurant without paying.
Spyro takes a more easy approach in Cynder's training by having her powers unleashed against a meek sheep, but Cynder is still unable to show even one of her abilities. Spyro finally questions her experience, leading Cynder to confess that she lied earlier about being a fighter as she never really executed her powers. This shocks Spyro but Cynder explains that she's been told of what her abilities are but she fears using them, by this, she claims that she won't be a Skylander. Spyro decides to motivate her in order to reveal her powers by angering her until finally she breathes out a powerful electrical burst at the sheep in a moment of rage. Cynder is fascinated of discovering her first power but is still nervous of using them for unnecessary harm. Cynder's training continues on, during one of her sessions, she executes another of powers, being able to momentarily turn into a shadow as to dodge an incoming obstacle.
Golden Queen gathers the Doom Raiders for another insignificant evil scheme which frustrates Kaos. However, he notices that Chompy Mage is not as ecstatic to her Queen's plans. Kaos gets him to confess secretly, that ever since Golden Queen's defeat with Kaossandra, she has gone soft but Chompy dare not question her leader's motives. This intrigues Kaos into a brilliant scheme with the Doom Raiders' leadership.
After many lessons, Cynder's training is beginning to pay off. In her latest lesson, she manages to zap Spyro with her electric burst, which seems to harm Spyro. But to both their surprise, Spyro feels nothing and asks Cynder to zap her again. She reluctantly does so and they discover that Spyro's scales are also immune to electrical bursts. Spyro becomes glad at steadily discovering each of the unique capabilities of his kind, but this upsets Cynder who seems to envy Spyro's state of not knowing his ancestors as compared to her. She explains to a confused Spyro, that her ancestor is "not like her". Their discourse is suddenly interrupted by an urgent call from Master Eon of another mission. Spyro invites her to join assuring Cynder she's now capable to combat real enemies.
A local diner is being ransacked by a family of Greebles who plan to steal all the diner's giddie meal toys. The Skylanders breach the kitchen and engages the Greebles. Cynder tries to negotiate with the Greebles peacefully to surrender but to no avail. Spyro orders Cynder to attack them instead with her powers, but Cynder's fear of harming them stops her from doing so, reasoning that the Greebles may not at all be bad despite the Geebles disapproving her claim. But Spyro frustratingly tries to convince Cynder that there are always two kinds of people: good and bad, and demands her to attack. This has Cynder suffer a meltdown, and in a blind rage, she delivers a powerful electrical burst throughout the kitchen. Spyro asks what troubles her. Cynder angrily reveals that she is the daughter of the evil Dragon King: Malefor, and because of Spyro's claims, believes she is born to be evil and can't change her ways. She unleashes another more powerful electrical burst and abandons the battered Skylanders.
At the Academy, Master Eon is shocked to realize that Cynder is actually the daughter of Malefor, having suspicions earlier but was blinded by his pleasure of having Cynder joining the Skylanders. He orders the Skylanders that they retrieve Cynder before she returns to the Cadaverous Crypts, Malefor's home. Spyro, knowing it was his fault he drove Cynder away after his statements on good and evil, apologizes to Master Eon but reassures him as the old wizard teaches the young dragon that he and Cynder must always keep their emotions in check.
Recently returning from their latest trickery, Golden Queen commences another one by prank-calling people at Skylander Academy, but Kaos interjects, suggesting she does instead "her" more evil scheme. Not wanting to let her lackeys know that she doesn't have one, she allows Kaos to run by it. Kaos claims that Golden Queen planned to prank-call and then transform the other person answering the call into gold through the phone. When she executes this, the Doom Raiders' confidence in their leader improves, and Golden Queen thanks Kaos for his idea. Unbeknownst to the Doom Raiders, Kaos plans to manipulate her leadership until finally they realize he's the true leader of the group.
At the Cadaverous Crypts, Cynder prepares to return home and succumb to her evil path. Spyro and the Skylanders arrive and he tries to convince Cynder to continue her training as a Skylander, explaining what he said earlier was wrong and that she has a choice to be good. Unfortunately Malefor arrives to greet back his daughter. The huge dragon quickly grows angry of Skylander presence in his realm and plans to devour them all. Spyro stands defiant at Malefor as he reveals that her daughter plans to be a Skylander. Malefor disbelieves this and asks Cynder if she'll be like her evil father, but Cynder remains silent. Spyro attacks Maleofr, but is easily overpowered by the evil dragon king. While being battered, Spyro shouts his apology to Cynder and tries to reaffirm her that her birth from evil does not mean she no longer has a choice to be good.
Malefor suddenly takes a closer look at Spyro and expresses his shock that his species is suppose to be extinct. Spyro asks more of what happened to his ancestors, but Malefor only explains that his species were his sworn enemies, that he was involved in the obliteration of his entire kind, and that Spyro is the only one remaining but Malefor plans to finish the eradication by incinerating Spyro with his flames. However, Cynder swoops in and uses her electrical burst to counteract her father's flames and incapacitates him. She finally declares her decision of becoming a Skylander to her father and she carries Spyro to safety. Malefor angrily lets her go, but tells her that her next return, she will no longer be recognized as his daughter but an enemy.
The next day, Spyro paces nervously as Cynder takes her admission tests, determining whether his teachings paid off or failed. When the doors open, Master Eon and Cynder seem to be distraught, and Spyro begs Master Eon to have Cynder retake the exam. But Cynder fools him, saying she passed, officially being the Academy's newest cadet. Spyro lets Stealth Elf and Eruptor go ahead into helping Cynder get situated into the academy. He then confronts Master Eon about information he gained on his ancestors from Malefor. Master Eon quickly dismisses Malefor's claims of Spyro being the last of his kind, when he recalls that "someone" left him when he was still an egg in the forests and that Malefor was just playing with his emotions. Spyro appears to be assured of by Eon and sets off to catch up with Cynder.
Master Eon watches Spyro leave and returns indoors in deep guilt, but his thoughts are then interrupted by Hugo, who has turned into gold, after answering a phone call.
- Stealth Elf
- Pop Fizz
- Cynder (debut)
- Master Eon
- Malefor (debut)
- Golden Queen
- Chef Pepper Jack
- Chompy Mage
- Broccoli Guy
- Team Spyro encounters Malefor for the first time.
- Cynder joins Skylanders Academy and becomes a cadet.
- A Greeble couple mention their child, something that would later play a role in Who's Your Daddy?.
Errors & Mistakes
- As soon as Cynder tries to negotiate with the Greebles, her face's model layer expands.
- When Master Eon explains about a dragon's volatile emotions, his helmet's horns have a lighting glitch that persists until the end of the scene.
- The episode title is a play on 'return to sender'.
- Blob Gnarley is a reference to "Bob Gnarly" or the Jamaican musician Bob Marley.
- The mall store Vampire's Secret is a play on the women's products store "Victoria's Secret".
- Cuckoo Clocker is mentioned as one of the villains fought by Team Spyro offscreen, though he has yet to make an appearance on the show.
- Cynder's slang during this episode is reminiscent of some of her lines in Cynder Confronts the Weather Wizard.
- Cynder carrying Spyro out of the Cadaverous Crypts near the end of the episode possibly references when he carried her out of Convexity at the ending cut scene of The Legend of Spyro: A New Beginning and the opening cut scene of The Legend of Spyro: The Eternal Night.