TMNT (2012): “T.C.R.I.” (Spoilers)
2 March 2013 7 Comments
I can’t decide if the people
working on writing for this show are very, very cynical–rivaling the original toon in thinking that its audience won’t care about the substance of what they’re peddling*–or if they’re actually being more realistic than I am. In any case, I’m left wishing for Peter Laird’s editorial involvement–the show needs a person to tell them “do better”.
This episode, for example, is meant to bring together all of the various disparate elements that have been planted throughout the season, putting them into clear focus. And yet, it falls short at almost every point. The introduction of the TCRI building is played as big reveal, as an achievement, when the turtles have never expressed interesting in finding Kraang central, have never done anything that could be construed as an attempt to find Kraang central, and when Kraang central is, in the end, a more elaborate version of the buildings they’ve been hiding out in all season. It’d have been something if we’d seen the skyscraper in the Manhattan skyline in previous episodes, but even that is not the case.
Similarly, the reveal of April as the Kraang’s true target makes all the previous misdirection seem very, very clumsy, and makes already pretty stupid villains seem all the more so. I don’t recall if the idea that the Kraang had been kidnapping scientists before they’d taken Kirby was something the writers had actually established, or if it was something that sounded plausible and was taken as a given, but even so, the reveal raises far more questions than it answers–including some they can’t.
1) Just how is it that Kirby learned all he knows about the Kraang if he’s been kept a prisoner all this time, and has presumably not been allowed access to anything that would get him any information? It suggests some very chatty prison guards, except that as we’ve seen in “The Gauntlet”, the Kraang don’t in fact keep guards outside Kirby’s door.
2) Why the heck have the Kraang only made one subsequent attempt to capture April? They can obviously track her down, so what’s stopping them from creating a distraction to keep the turtles busy on one side of town, while another group sweeps in and kidnaps her? And if kidnapping her isn’t an immediate priority, then why the heck was she kidnapped in the pilot aside from “writers needed a plot”?
3) Just why is Kirby being kept alive and imprisoned and mostly intact? This one has several potential valid answers, but I’m still curious to what the show’s is.
I could go on, but I won’t .
My appreciation for this show tends to be vicarious–other people enjoy it, and I enjoy the fact that other people enjoy it. I’ve found that fans can take moments that I’m not fond of–like the overuse of Space Heroes, or Mikey’s Mikeyness– and turn it into something fun. What that means though is that plot-heavy episodes like this one and “The Gauntlet” before it, where moving things along is more important than the character bits, are especially unfun. It makes me pine for incarnations of the TMNT where the characters could be involved in adventures that didn’t necessarily involve the same few villains over and over again. Unfortunately, this incarnation is not one of those.
* This is not meant as dismissal of the importance of flash, or of the validity of enjoying the show based on that.