All the World in Two Shows
2 November 2013
(I will make this work.)
So Karai and Leo and robot Foot Soldiers, huh? Post your thoughts below.
Filed under TMNT (2012)
Tagged with Follow the Leader
This was strangely not offensive. While the episode still does all that horrible stuff that has by now endemic to the series–April is M.I.A.; the turtles don’t have anything but the most token of concerns for her or the Mutation Situation; we’ve got a retread of “turtles question Leo’s leadership”, and yet another cliffhanger saving the writers from actually having to deal with the emotional fallout of the revelation; in short–I think I might be becoming numb to it all.
* I have to hand it to Shredder: deciding that both mutants and robot Foot Ninja are both worth exploring is probably the smartest thing he’s done in the series.
* I do wonder, though, what the Kraang are getting from their continued association with the Shredder. So far this season it’s been all give and no take.
* Villains in this series need to learn: if you’re keeping someone captured in order to lure their loved ones into your base, and are not in actual communication with said loved ones, keeping the captives alive is strictly optional.
* Is anybody taking bets on how long these Foot Ninja remain formidable?
* Is it just me, or did the turtles succeed at something–getting that first mutagen canister–without screwing up in any significant way? Is that a first?
* I still like Karai. She is still the best thing about this series.
Also, as ridiculous as it was, I genuinely enjoyed Raph’s pigeonmaster moment. It’s the sort of ridiculous which didn’t require anyone being horrible, and hence it worked.
So Invasion of the Squirrelanoids and Follow the Leader were swapped, after all. I wonder why. I’m glad that they at least mentioned April in this one, but the fact that they didn’t give her a little attention in either episode, is disappointing. It’s season 1 all over again, and this trend is going from being frustrating, to straight up insulting. She’s supposed to be the key to everything, dang it (not that if she were a simple human with no “powers”, they would be excused)! I just want more April. 😦 And more interaction between Karai and April!
Regarding the Foot bots, am I missing something? Weren’t they just robots in Foot costumes? Why would they be more powerful than the Kraang droids? Am I supposed to believe that hyper-technological inter-dimensional aliens needed a few suggestions from (comparatively) primitive humans, to create better robots? >.> But I have to admit that I no longer enjoy the show enough to pay attention throughout the episode’s run and I don’t care enough to watch it again. So I wouldn’t be surprised if I did, in fact, miss something.
No explanation given. As far as I understand, the Kraang could have just created super-adapting Ms. Campbells at any moment, but didn’t, for reasons. No matter what the explanation though, the Kraang end up not looking all that bright.
I think that at this point there’s little chance that we’ll see April before the Casey episode, which…gosh, that’s frustrating. It’s gotten to the point where I sort of wish she’d be written out, so that I could at create a positive headcanon for her without actual interference from the show, and because I know that her friendship with the turtles will inevitably be rekindled. : (
It looks like the next episode is going to be the one with Mutagen Man, and from what I understand, that’s the one in which Casey makes his debut too. So, maybe we’ll see April next week.
And now I’m thinking, if the alien parody episode is supposed to follow the one where Splinter reveals the truth about Karai to Leonardo….why doesn’t it get addressed at all? I might be repeating myself, but every time I think this show can’t do worse, it proves me wrong. It’s actually kind of amazing.
It is, isn’t it? It’s gotten to the point where my ideal Christmas gift would be an interview with Ciro Nieli or the other people in charge, so I can find out just what their thinking is here. I mean, the original cartoon, at least, is perfectly in tune with the works of its era; this however, is however, is downright special. The writers clearly understand the dramatic significance of these reveals–otherwise they wouldn’t keep placing them at the end at the end of episodes–and yet over and over again, they end up deciding that no, it’s not something they’d rather not focus on, after all.
I think Invasion of the Squirrelanoids was aired a week earlier iin place of this episode because they wanted a horror movie themed episode for the week of Halloween. I guess it didn’t make much difference either way. The only hint of a follow on from the series premiere was the throwaway lines from Donatello and Raphael at the beginning. It was actually somewhat laughable how dismissive they were of April’s predicament.
Thankfully that was the most offensive part of the episode and it was gotten out of the way pretty quickly. Apart from that it was a pretty dull, inoffensive episode. I strongly dislike the idea of robotic Foot Ninja, but that’s a personal preference thing I suppose. Thing is, TMNT consists of two elements – goofy science fiction and ninja mysticism. The 87 show basically dispensed of all ninja elements and just went into the sci-fi mutant stuff. The 2003 show achieved a very strong balance, in my opinon, all coming together perfectly in the form of the Shredder and the Foot. This show appears to be heading in the same direction as the 87 show, with the relatively normal Shredder looking so odd surrounded by his mutant and robotic henchman. So yeah, robot Foot Ninja bugs me. But I recognize that’s only my opinion.
I also think it’s a mistake whenever a show deliberately points out that the enemy’s foot soldiers are ineffective. What’s wrong with having competent enemies that our heroes need to be wary of? Do the TMNT really need to be taking out vast armies of Foot Ninja on their own? (This is a problem with almost all TMNT incarnations). And you just know these robotic Foot Ninja are going to wind up as wholly ineffectual cannon fodder in an episode or two.
This is all compunded by the fact that Shredder seems to be building his troops up purely for the purpose of hunting down like five people, when he’s perfectly capable of taking on four of them by himself. Everything he’s done is for the purpose of catching ‘those blasted Turtles!’. Even the 87 Shredder had grander goals that would warrant some of his wacky schemes. This Shredder seems to combine a complete lack of ambition with no sense of proportion.
Anyway, those are my rather rambling, highly opinionated and perhaps unsubstantiated thoughts.
Hello again Gareth.
I would disagree with you slightly when it comes to the assertion that TMNT consists of only two elements. They’re the most prominent, to be sure, but part of the series strengths, I feel, is that there really is no limit to the sort of stories one can tell, and in fact, a lot of my favorite stories are of the sort that can’t be easily classified under either category. The 90’s Archie comic, for example, had a story titled “The Angel of Times Square”, featuring April’s encounter with an angel who has been held captive, and exploited, by a porn peddler, which is easily one of my favorites in all the franchise. I agree that the 4Kids toon had the best balance of the animated incarnations; this version, as you say, has focused almost exclusively on the sci-fi, which means it’s missing a whole host of opportunities.
Your point about the Shredder’s unsubstantiated need for all the troops he’s attempting to get is well taken. I get the impression that we’re meant to take his non-Turtles-related ambitions as givens, but given how much his characterization is defined by his single-minded attempts to kill the Tortuga Bros, it’s hard to give that idea much credit. What’s more, if the Foot Ninja are phased out, we’re left with a Foot Clan that is for all intents and purposes composed exclusively of the named characters, which is just weird. Technically, the same was more or less true of the original cartoon, but there, at least, things were mitigated by the fact that they weren’t really calling the Technodrome crew “The Foot”.
“Follow the Leader” was loaded with cliches, but I’m glad at least that Splinter dropped the bomb at the end of this episode, while I thought that the series would drag that reveal out for as long as possible, as bad cartoons will do.
I agree with you that Karai is the best character in the series. She’s dynamic, passionate, and seems to be the only character that has any real human feeling to her. In contrast, I’ve come to realize I don’t care much for this series’ versions of Splinter and Baxter at all.
(Though I’m curious as to why Baxter has a billboard in his name.)
I admit to having a huffy, “Wait, really?” to the presence of robotic Foot Soldiers. They pretty much were robots, for all they offered, but…it’s slamming really hard into the nostalgia and I really wish they would do something different.
I suppose one of the main problems I have with this cartoon, even though I’ve seen it happen in dozens of others, is that if an episode doesn’t directly concern the villains, they apparently sit around doing absolutely nothing until the heroes have need to confront them again. That the mutant squirrel episode was supposed to take place in airing order after this one only proves my point.
Hello again, Pterobat.
While I don’t think there’s any doubt that this Shredder’s adoption of Robot Foot Soldiers is in large part due to the fact that that’s what the original toon did (plus the fact, as true now as then, that they allow for more “explicit” violence) it actually reminds me quite a bit of Ch’rell, who in Turtles Forever also pursued both mutants and robots. Timing is everything, though: there, it made thematic as well as logical sense; here, it only works as long as one doesn’t ask questions. I have a question thought: do you think you’d think differently of it if the robots were a one episode thing, like the 4Kids toon did in “Rogue in the House”?
(Not that the robots there did much more than to spice up the action and let the show use a videogame design.)
As to your last point, I sometimes feel the show traffics in the worst of both worlds. On one hand, there is indeed the persistent feeling that characters don’t do anything when they’re offscreen–the fact that they follow their cliff-hangers with time gaps doesn’t help. On the other hand, there’s stuff like the Baxter billboard, which hints at interesting behind the scenes stuff that we won’t get–dollars to donuts that when the inevitable Baxter episode comes, he’ll just own the company with no explanation. We still don’t know anything about the military base that just happens to throw away super-evolving tech from the first Baxter episode.
I was disappointed by Leo’s brothers dismissive attitude towards him in regards to his leadership, especially since he “sacrificed” himself for them in the previous season. Testing his integrity as a leader is one thing, but downright ridiculing it is another. I know most would chalk it up to them being brothers, but I have never felt such a coldness in the relationships between the brothers until this series. Raph’s tsundere nature is being utilized quite a bit here and, while I feel it works to a certain degree, it’s often grating how dismissive he is of his brothers. However, at least we get to see his feelings (when he hugged Leo at the end). I have no clue how Leo, Don, and Mikey feel about one another and that’s unsettling to me because family and the strong bond between the brothers, their respect and trust, has always been something I’ve enjoyed. Even the OT turtles displayed some amount of affection for one another.
I am interested to see whether or not Leo will try to tell Karai who she really is or if he will tell his brothers and/or April. I feel like the writers might and should play up Leo having known there was something about her that reminded him of Splinter when they first met; that would explain why he tried to force “you’re an honorable, good person” thing on her…but that is probably just wistful thinking on my behalf.
I feel like I’m on a boat during a raging storm watching this series because the writing jumps around so much, pretending to have a consistency it is severely lacking.
Welcome DarthEmpress. Yay, more people from Tumblr!
About the turtles and Leo’s leadership: Yup. And it’s a shame, because the core idea–that the team may be better served by Leo taking his brothers’ unique fighting styles into consideration when leading them–is a rather strong one, if somewhat artificial-feeling (I can’t recall this being a feature of Leo’s leadership style). And yet, instead of seeing the four turtles work together to find solutions and improve, we see them do what they always do, which is to bicker like bickering bickersons until circumstances force them to stop bickering.
What’s more, the turtles’ attempts to undermine Leo are themselves yet another thing undermining the seriousness of the mutation situation (useful episode title, that). It makes perfect sense for Leo to want to focus on their training after their utter failure in the premiere, and the fact that he didn’t note that in the actual story makes me think that the writers either didn’t consider it and just had Leo being gung-ho about training because Leo, or that they did consider it and rightly realized that if Leonardo said that, his brothers would seem like asshats for not going along with it.
(Not that they don’t do that anyway, with their kvetching about having to clean up the mess they helped make.)
As for Leo and Karai…huh. That’s one place they could take it. While I don’t think the show could ever prove that what you suggest is the case, should they introduce that possibility, I could see Leo trying to convince himself that that’s indeed what he was in part feeling. I don’t think it’s any less problematic than what we have already, but it might be interesting. At this point I have no idea where they’re going with Karai. Sure, there’s a redemption arc in her future–although wouldn’t it be cool if there wasn’t?–but as it relates to her relationships with the Hamato clan and Leo in particular? Nada.
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