Johann: "Everything from glass trinkets to golden chalices, vanished. And the traders? Gone without a trace."
Hiccup: "You seem to be okay, Johann. Has anything of yours been taken?"
Johann: "Master Hiccup, leave it to you to find the silver lining in a dark, mysterious cloud."
   

"Sandbusted" is the second episode of Dragons: Race to the Edge, Season 5. It was released on Netflix on August 25, 2017.

Overview

When Hiccup is summoned to the Northern Markets to look into a curse that causes people to disappear, he is sucked down into a cavern of the fearsome Sandbuster.
  — DreamworksTV[1]  


Plot

Fishlegs visits a frustrated Astrid, struggling to find a matching bethrotal gift for Hiccup in recognition of their relationship reaching six months since their engagement. Fishlegs offers to help her as both know the enormous pressure to find a gift that suits Hiccup's reputation, however they are interrupted when Hiccup delivers urgent news from a distressed Trader Johann. The Riders gather their dragons to assist Johann's situation despite Snotlout disliking the dangers that entail every time they help Johann. Before embarking, Hiccup tries to take a moment to offer Astrid her bethrotal gift. Still lacking a gift, Astrid insists that they depart now for Johann to prevent Hiccup from revealing his gift. She continues to avoid him even during their flight by pretending to have Stormfly fly eratically, making it difficult for Hiccup to speak with her.

The Riders meet with Johann at the Northern Markets, where he informs them of an ongoing phenomena of various merchants and traders disappearing along with all they possess. Fishlegs believes this is to be the result of a rumored mystery known as the Curse of Tears, which is also known to make merchants and their valuables vanish. Hiccup considers it a possibility and decides to have the group scatter and investigate the markets for signs of the dissapearances. Fishlegs partners with Astrid to secretly explore the markets for anything worthy for a bethrotal gift, however, the Twins agree to accompany them to procure for items as well. The group encounter a shopkeep trying his best to sell what he possesses that fit what Astrid is looking for but to no avail. As a last resort, the shopkeep then sells them a treasure map that he claims will take them to the fabled Treasure of Tears. Fishlegs sees that this connects to the Curse of Tears, speculating that it refers to the vanished valuables of the merchants. Astrid, however, refuses to buy the map and see to its validity. 

Hiccup and Snotlout patrol another side of the markets. Snotlout swipes the bronze medallion from Hiccup as he suggests that Hiccup turn it into a necklace for Astrid to wear. Hiccup asks for Snotlout to return it but he holds it out of his reach, making it easy picking for Berthel to steal and runs away to his brother, Amos. Hiccup and Snotlout pursue him but Berthel and Amos manages to leave them confused by passing it back and forth with different people before heading into the woods. The two mount their dragons and spot Berthel passing it to Amos as he runs toward an empty beach. Just as they are about to catch up, Amos is nowhere to be found. Hiccup and Snotlout dismount and find that Amos's footprints stop just as he stepped foot on the sandy beach. Hiccup finds several leftover tear-shaped glasses on the sand. However, a  dragon tail suddenly emerges from the beach and drags Snotlout underground. Hiccup tries to pull him up and Toothless grabs hold of his rider's prosthetic but pops loose, leaving Toothless and Hookfang stranded at the surface. Some time later, Hiccup awakens into an underground lair, Snotlout is overjoyed when both find themselves surrounded by large piles of treasure. However, buried among them are decaying human skeletons which startles Snotlout. Hiccup has Snotlout to focus on finding a way out but has trouble standing up after losing his prosthetic.  Snotlout uses a leg bone from a human skeleteton as a substitute for Hiccup's prosthetic. As they formulate a plan before the mysterious dragon returns, they notice hardened glass spewed everywhere, also serving as blockage to the tunnels that lead to the surface.

Meanwhile, the Twins busy themselves acquiring weapons, armor and clothing that have Fishlegs wear that they believe is the perfect gift for Hiccup. Astrid is dissatisfied by their efforts and the Twins walk away in frustration. Astrid is beginning to feel that she won't be able to find a gift for Hiccup in time. Suddenly, Toothless and Hookfang arrive roaring their distress as Astrid realizes that their riders are in danger. The dragons lead them back to the beach where they last saw them. Hookfang and Toothless try to point out that they're underneath it but the Riders fail to understand. Fishlegs retrieves Hiccup's prosthetic leg, before being snatched by Tuffnut. Astrid is vexed but Tuffnut justifies that Hiccup promised to relinquish it to Tuffnut after his demise. This has Astrid piqued, lashing out at Tuffnut by taking the prosthetic and angrily asking if he wants it back, before making Tuffnut hear the word "tears" repeatedly that triggers him to cry. Ruffnut rebukes Astrid for the harsh and unfair treatment she gave to his brother, faulting him for her personal issues with Hiccup. Astrid tries to apologize but Ruffnut pushes her away. Ruffnut consoles his brother, asking him if he wants to see their new map. The map turns out to be the treasure map they were offered earlier. Fishlegs dugs up the tear-shaped glass, thinking the map may be worth a try.

Hiccup and Snotlout discover that Amos is trapped with them as well. The three form a truce to set aside their animosity and work together to escape. Hiccup spots his bethrotal gift from Amos's belt and quickly snatches it back. They find no luck in finding an exit and the three bicker over whose fault being trapped before being silenced as the wild Sandbuster dragon lurks nearby. Amos, consumed by fear, runs away that provokes the dragon to attck them. The Sandbuster's fire blasts get redirected each time it hits the sand and then hardens to form glass. They try their best to avoid the blasts as the dragon closes in. Snotlout gets knocked back against the walls of treasure by the Sandbuster's tail whip, where a loaded crossbow falls over and fires at the glass smeared tunnels at the roof and breaks a hole that allowed a beam of sunlight to shine at the Sandbuster's skin. Hiccup sees that sunlight irritates and burns the Sandbuster's skin and it flees by tunneling back in pain. Up above, Astrid leads the Riders per the map's instructions. She dashes forth when she finds holes at a designated stone formation in the map. Hiccup hears their approach and has Snotlout and Amos lift him up to view the glass covered ceiling in hopes someone will spot them. But when Astrid arrives, she finds the holes are sealed and deduces the treasure map was a lie. Hiccup is forced to give up looking as well.

Fishlegs comfort Astrid, sitting at a cliff, after the map failed to help them lead to Hiccup and Snotlout. However, Astrid glances back at the map and to the landscape around them and realizes the symbols in the map matches the landmarks in their view. In the map these landmarks all point toward a cavern in the distance. Astrid is certain this is there entry point to rescue Hiccup and Snotlout. In the meantime, Hiccup has Snoutlout and Amos stack up all the treasures into a structure for them to climb on to reach the roof, while HIccup finishes setting up a trap in case the Sandbuster returns. As they make their way up, the Sandbuster emerges to attack again. Hiccup jumps over numerous makeshift catapults that break open the other glass covered holes where the sun beams encircle the Sandbuster, essentially caging it. Hiccup rejoins Snotlout and Amos climbing back up. The Sandbuster repatches the numerous holes with his blasts and quickly brings down the stacked treasure. Hiccup's bethrotal gift rolls behind the Sandbuster. Hiccup quickly slips under the dragon to grab the medallion and use it to redirect the remaining sunlight against the Sandbuster. This draws it away from Snotlout and Amos, whom Hiccup tells them to run but Snotlout pulls Amos back as they cannot let Hiccup alone to die, but Amos points out they'll all die if they remain. Suddenly, a glass ceiling shatters as the Riders break through. The Sandbuster is overwhelmed allowing Hiccup, Snotlout and Amos to be rescued.

Johann informs the Riders that thanks to their discovery of the Sandbuster, the beach where the dragon resides is now known to merchants and vikings, preventing anymore lives and valuables to be lost. When Johann leaves Hiccup and Astrid alone, Hiccup is quick to finally have a moment with Astrid and has her stay. Hiccup reveals his bethrotal gift to Astrid, now turned into a necklace, and that it was the same bethrotal gift Stoick gave to Valka. Astrid can't help but appear upset which Hiccup notices, thinking she dislikes his gift. Astrid corrects him as she is actually awed by the thoughtfulness of the gift but explains her sadness by confessing she is clueless as what to give in return. But Hiccup insists there is no need for her to give anything back bcause in his view, being with Astrid is the best gift she had already given to him. 

While Snotlout playfully swings the heavy jeweled sword he acquired from the Sandbuster's lair, he looses his grip and the sword is thrown into the air before, landing near Hiccup and Astrid. Hiccup takes a close look at the sword and recognizes it to have been Viggo Grimmborn's own sword. Hiccup and Astrid are left with a mystery as to who could be responsible for bringing the sword at the Northern Markets.

Trivia

  • Snotlout takes a jab at the show's name, asking who would like to race him to the Edge.
    • This is the only time the show's name is ever referenced.
  • The episode "Edge of Disaster, Part 1" is referenced by Snotlout when he reminds Hiccup about what happened last time they got a Terror Mail from Johann.
    • This could also be a foreshadowing of Johann's true nature's reveal in "Sins of the Past".
  • It is mentioned that Astrid knows Hiccup better than Fishlegs.
    • This is most likely untrue.
  • The Sandbuster in the episode is similar to the treasure-guarding dragons in the books: the Monstrous Strangulator in How to Be a Pirate and the Monster of the Amber-Slavelands in How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel. Each dragon guards treasure underground. The Sandbuster is more like the Monster of the Amber Slavelands mentioned in How to Seize a Dragon's Jewel, because both dragons burrow underground, shoot glass, and drag victims into their burrows to rob/eat them.

Errors

  • Tuff is said to have a trigger since childhood, where he breaks down and cries whenever he hears the word "tear". However, he has heard it and even said it multiple times in the past without becoming emotional about it-
    • In "Breakneck Bog", Tuff says that Ruff slaps like a guy, and she slaps him to demonstrate. Tuff then says "I can't see through the tears."
    • In "The Flight Stuff", Snotlout addresses the other Riders, including Tuff, when he thinks he's about to die, and says he doesn't want any tears.
    • In "Dragon Eye of the Beholder, Part 2", Snotlout says within earshot of Tuff "Somewhere in the world a silent tear was just cried."
    • In "Have Dragon Will Travel, Part 1", Ruff asks Fishlegs if Razorwhip eyeballs are dangerous, to which Fishlegs replies it has "poisonous tears". Tuff then excitedly exclaims "Poisonous! I love it!"
    • In "Family on the Edge", Snotlout asks if Dagur is crying, to which Heather answers within Tuff's earshot "Yeah! Tears of laughter, at us."
    • In "The Longest Day", An Uncontrollable Euphoric Astrid comforts a Mood Swinging Snotlout who is crying while stating "Come on, Snotlout. Dry those tears. You're too handsome to be crying all the time."
    • And in the later episode "No Dragon Left Behind", Tuff says "tears" again in reference to recognising real tears as opposed to fake ones when Astrid starts crying at the thought of Stormfly dying.

Cast

Enemies

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References

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