Just a Minor Setback: “Attack of the Mousers”
19 February 2010 4 Comments
“So if I’m keeping your secret, what exactly is it? Who are you people–er…turtles–er…whatever?”–April O’Neil
Written by: Eric Luke
Original Air Date: February 22, 2003
Characters Introduced: Hun
Teaser Narrator: Michelangelo
Synopsis: April wakes up, only to find that indeed, she had been rescued from the mousers by four talking turtles, who have taken her to their lair to convalesce. After she calms down, the turtles’ rat master, Splinter, tells her their origin story: how he, once a normal-enough rat, watched as four normal-enough turtles and a canister of green ooze marked “T.C.R.I.” accidentally fell down the sewer, and how he’d decided to take care of them, cleaning them off and getting ooze on himself. Days later, Splinter explained, this ooze cause them to quickly increase in size and intelligence, until they had reached their current state.
After April is filled in, she decides to join the turtles in their assault on Stocktronics. With her help, they infiltrate Baxter’s building and confront him. Ever the creative mind, Stockman summons all of his mousers into the building, giving him time to escape, while the turtles, vastly outnumbered, resort to desperate measures in order to stop his robots, eventually winning the day by simulatenously activating all of their self-destruct mechanisms.
While the turtles and April celebrate their victory, Baxter Stockman, who did not manage to make a clean break, is taken to a familiar tower to explain his failure to The Man Whose Name We’re Not Supposed to Know Yet but is Clearly the Shredder.
Here we get the 2003 version of that scene–the one that’s appeared in pretty much every incarnation of the property: April’s first conversation with the turtles. Personally, I think this incarnation does a very good job with it (although, granted it’s not an easy scene to screw up), thanks in large part to some excellent acting on Veronica Taylor’s part. I also like that, in contrast to the first TMNT cartoon’s interpretation of the scene, which had the turtles wondering whether they’d ever let her go or not, this version of the scenes had them actually deciding to trust her.
Something I neglected to mention last week is that I absolutely love Scott William’s Baxter Stockman. He plays pompous egomaniac perfectly, which makes me sad that he hasn’t done any voice acting outside this show (a poster at Toonzone.net mentioned that he would have been perfect to play Mr. 3 in 4Kids’ One Piece and hell yes). It’s also obvious that the producers really loved him as well, since they wrote episodes for the character even after he’d stopped being a regular.
The writers do something here that I don’t recall seeing much: a split origin story. It speaks to the level of trust they have in their audience, particularly among its younger members who weren’t familiar with the franchise back then. It also reminded me of a bit of something I hadn’t really though about: when Splinter tells the rest of the story, he only does so to his sons. Does that mean that April and Casey never really learn about Hamato Yoshi? Maybe in Reflections, but I don’t really remember. Something to think about. Also, we get the second appearance of the T.C.R.I. canister, and again, I’m left wondering what people who didn’t already know about the series thought about it.
April looks really pretty in this episode, with some rather fetching poses, particularly in the initial scene.
And here we see Hun for the first time. Personally, he didn’t cause too much of an impression here, and wouldn’t until a few episodes down the line, when the writers showed that he was much more than just a musclebound thug. By the time season 3 rolled around, he’d become one of my favorite characters. It’s weird listening to him in this episode though; Greg Carey is obviously still trying to figure his voice out, and unlike the other characters, he has not previous incarnation to use as a guideline.
All in all, 4/5. Very solid episode.