TMNT (2012) New Episode Open Thread (Spoilers)

Target - April O´Neil

“Follow the Leader” and “Mutagen Man Unleashed” have easily been my favorite episodes this season.  Not coincidentally, they heavily featured Karai and April, respectively. This week’s episode apparently focuses on both, so despite last weeks execrable episode and my complete contempt for Ciro Nieli, I have hopes for this one.

As always, post your thoughts, positive, negative, or meta-filled in the comments.

ETA:

[Content Note: Suicide]

What I liked:

  •  Casey and April are very cute together.
  •  Casey is charming, and has quickly joined Karai and April in my list of favorite characters.
  • The Robot Foot Ninja, when they move in inhuman ways and go from “incapable of standing up” to “skating in perfect unison provide some pleasantly unsettling moments.
  • The episodes passes the Bechdel Test.  Hooray, episode!

What I disliked:

  • WHAT WHAT WHAT the hell show why are you justifying Donnie’s stalking don’t do that ever.
  • I really hated that all it took for April to forgive and forget her very legitimate grievances against the turtles was being rescued by them.   Given that that’s essentially the whole plot of this episode…
  • Karai’s interest in April has apparently blossomed into something considerably less interesting.   I mean, I could get Karai being curious about why everyone seemed to want her.   I don’t get the hatred, except as a way to have the two girls be rivals to one another.
  • Is it just me, or is “Chrome Dome”‘s design basically a modified version of Bradford’s Foot uniform from his debut?
  • I still await the moment when Michelangelo simply stabs himself on the heart and kills himself, because he thought it seemed like a good idea.  It’d be perfectly consistent with his characterization.
  • So in two episodes, Casey has gotten two outfits, actual friends, and manages to have way less trouble with Foot robots than April with her actual ninja training?  And they were worried about making her “too powerful”?

The other stuff:

  • Not long ago, I asked just what exactly the Kraang was getting from their continued alliance with The Foot.  This episode provided a partial answer, as I realized that the Kraang has the resources to easily take over the Shredder’s organization.  I’m still not sure why they would want to, but it’s good to know that they’re not nearly as compromised as I initially thought.
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9 Responses to TMNT (2012) New Episode Open Thread (Spoilers)

  1. Ian says:

    The words, they do not exist.

  2. Mark says:

    So Karai just hates April all of a sudden? The perverse, affable edge to their interactions is gone? SIGH. It’s just a typical good girl vs. bad girl who hate each other scenario now; should’ve expected as much after Ciro Neil’s BS a few weeks ago.

  3. Ian says:

    One thing I noticed just now: this is the first episode where Leonardo faces Karai since the reveal. Absolutely nothing is done with that.

  4. DarthEmpress says:

    I’m kind of glad Leo didn’t reveal anything to Karai. I think it’s good that he’s keeping it between him and Splinter because Leo shouldn’t be the one to tell her…Splinter and Shredder should, in my opinion.

    I’m constantly baffled why episodes about April have to always include Donnie’s crush on her…I was hoping (yes laugh at my hope!) that this episode would heavily focus on April trying to be normal, like studying, avoiding Irma in school, showing how isolated she is at school, going home to an empty house (maybe her aunt works all the time or something), and so on. In the end, this episode turned out to be more about Donnie’s crush than about April…but I really, really enjoyed the scenes between her and Casey. I can tell a huge difference between their interactions and her and Donnie.

    I do hope our little ones watching this series don’t try to model their love lives after Donnie. I understand he means well, but…dear lord, I just have no more words on this because it’s a never-ending cycle…

  5. Gareth says:

    Oh god I hate this show. I’m sorry, I don’t really have anything constructive to say about this episode. It was a new low. Pretty much every scene was a “what the **** ” moment for me, and not in a good way. Every time I thought “Oh, it could be cool if they did this”, they did exactly the opposite.

    I remember being really positive about the idea of Donatello having a crush on April back when the show premiered. I thought it’d be a neat way to give Donatello some much needed characterisation and show love knows no bounds, yadda yadda. How wrong I was. Every thing Donatello does regarding April is creepy, stalkerish, possessive and fails to tell us exactly why the hell he’s so into her beyond her physical appearance and gender. He shows zero concern for her well being beyond preserving her for himself, and shows no interest whatsoever in her as a person, just as an object of his desire. And holy hell, I can’t believe Donatello tried to claim it wasn’t the fault of himself and his brothers that Kirby got mutated. It was their fault. It was not ‘just beyond their control’.

    You could give this show a pass and say it’s entirely catered towards very young kids, but it clearly isn’t because about 90% of the plot so far has revolved around romance. Why on earth is the romance so prevalent? I always thought one of the charming things about cartoons is that the romance tends to be implied and not thrust into the spotlight. It’s not shoved down the throats of uncomprehending kids (or at least kids struggling to relate to it), and for the older fans it’s open to interpretation. Not in this show though. This show is basically a blow by blow account of Donatello’s love life. [Mod Note: The last sentence in this paragraph has been redacted. Generalizations of communities are not welcome here.]

    And what a repulsive character Donatello really is. Putting aside his creepiness, his hyperbolic shrieking is even more than annoying that Michelangelo’s gleeful, suicidal incompetence. Incidentally, when Mikey first said “like a Turtle do”, I remember thinking, “Boy, I really hope that doesn’t become a catchphrase”.

    …On the plus side, Casey Jones is easily the least offensive character this show has to offer.

    And I apologize for my over-the-top bitterness.

  6. Ian says:

    DarthEmpress: I’m kind of glad Leo didn’t reveal anything to Karai. I think it’s good that he’s keeping it between him and Splinter because Leo shouldn’t be the one to tell her…Splinter and Shredder should, in my opinion.

    I don’t necessarily think that Leo should have tried to tell Karai about her parentage; I just think he should have reacted in some manner that suggested that the reveal actually happened.
    Insisting that he, not Donnie, would be the one fighting Karai might have been meant to do that, but I didn’t see it that way when first watching the episode–it took me hours before I realized: “hey, isn’t he supposed to know?”–it could have been shown before the reveal and I wouldn’t have batted an eye.

    I do hope our little ones watching this series don’t try to model their love lives after Donnie. I understand he means well, but…dear lord, I just have no more words on this because it’s a never-ending cycle

    This is my fear. I have been a Donatello, and while I can’t place all the blame for that on the media, it certainly didn’t help. I wish I had shows telling me that this stuff was wrong; instead I had stuff like Buffy the Vampire Slayer which argued that repeatedly slut-shaming, objectifying women, and acting entitled to their affection were not incompatible with being a good person. Heck, the fact that it was seen as a feminist show made things worse, since it added a veneer of added legitimacy to it.

  7. Acara says:

    Oh, I have one word: NRRRGGGHHH
    Okay, let’s talk about the princess character from the show. We begin the episode with her being mad at her teammates for forgetting her birthday which may have been a legitimate complaint is that didn’t result in her leaving them in the middle of the battle. Coupled with the fact that her leaving is brushed off because she has already done that several times, this frames her actions and feelings as being unreasonable overreactions. Given that Mutagen Man Unleashed portrayed the princess as April’s counterpart (just like how the geeky guy is framed as Donnie’s counterpart), I got a feeling from this set up that April’s feelings would be portrayed in the same way. And you know what, they did . The boys never take responsibility for their actions, saying that it was something beyond their control and then having her freaking apologize for not forgiving them. Because the show has already framed her feelings as being trivialized overreactions and silly April for not coming around sooner and realizing our precious boys weren’t at fault even though they admitted that they were too cocky in the Mutation Situation.
    I also hate how now so much of Casey is being tied up with this stupid love triangle. Donnie is the only turtle to react or even acknowledge the existence of him and how wrong is it that Raph hasn’t even interacted with him in any way? I don’t care if Slash is going to be Raph’s bro in the continuity; this is a character that is meant to be his extravagated counterpart and even debuted in Raph’s own Micro series. Yeah, Casey is better characterized then April was in her first two episodes, but he stills needs to interact with the other turtles just like how April needs to interact with the other turtles aside from Donnie. But we can’t have that because we got to have this stupid love triangle that eats up all their characterization.
    TV Tropes has the term Romantic Plot Tumor so can we just be honest and call it that now? Honestly, I don’t know what is worse, the stupid love triangle here or the one from Legend of Korra.
    And the thing is that it could make some sense for the turtles to want to keep an eye out for April because they know that Mutagen Man, the Foot, and the Kraang are after her. It could have been a great conflict to have the turtles wonder if they should leave her alone or continue to keep an eye out because they screwed up before with her father and they still care about her and don’t want anything to happen to her. April should have forgiven the turtles not because it was something out of their control, but because they were owning up to the fallout of their actions and she realized that they were trying their best to fix it and not let it happen again or something. Or something like that because I am raging too hard to really analyze how you should have salvaged this plot.
    Also, let’s talk about the Foot Bots. When they appeared in Follow the Leader I wondered if they were isolated units or synchronized information between them. The scene where a couple of the bots adapted to the ice, only to have another group also take time to adapt to it, suggests that the bots can’t transmit data between each other. If that is the case, then that means that once a Foot Bot is destroyed then so is all the fighting data it collected. So if the turtles destroyed all the bots in Follow the Leader and each Foot Bot begins with a clean slate, then that could explain why Casey was able to take them if they didn’t have the adaption data from fighting the turtles. Then I remember that some of the bots remained at the end of Follow the Leader and realize this is just a way to show how awesome Casey is because like you said, we can’t have overpowered females but overpowered boys are a-okay.
    …On a positive note, I do like the interaction between Casey and April. I’m not a shipper (or as much of a shipper as I was when I was younger) but given how he is so respectful and kind to her, I want to see more of this pairing than Donnie/April. Also, the fight scenes continue to be amazing.
    But other than that, NRRRGGGHHH

  8. Ian says:

    No need to apologize about being strongly about the show, Gareth. You’re welcome to be as vehement and critical as you wish as long as your criticism of the show remains purely about the show–unlike the segment I took out, which was about fans–you can be as critical as you wish.

    And heck, I agree with most of your criticism. If I’m not expressing my contempt for this show as angrily as I was before, it’s mostly because I can’t maintain that level of anger for long; nevertheless, it doesn’t make your or anyone else’s overt anger–or lack of it–any less justified.

    And because I’m a born contrarian, I’m going to push back a bit.

    I tend to think that my issue with the romance in the show is 90% about its quality, and just 10% about quantity. Could the time be better spent elsewhere? Probably–it’s certainly not where I’d spend it. That said, I’m not sure how much I’d complain if the time spent on the romance aspects if the romances where were executed. After all, this episode’s scenes between April and Casey, while arguably falling under the “romance” label, did quite a bit to flesh out Casey, meaning that romance doesn’t need to be just about that.

    Why is the time that is spent on it spent on it and not on something else? I’d suspect that part of it, again, comes down to the whole bit where the show is super-limited in what it can do. Romance scenes don’t require new characters or complicated plots, and thus are efficient ways to fill up the time.

    I will say, though, that I’m kind of miffed that it’s the Leonardo and Karai thing that has taken a back seat this season, since that one was the more interesting one of the two. I can understand why that’s the case, but it’s still disappointing.

  9. Ian says:

    Great point about the princess in Not!Voltron, and the April parallels, Acara . One thing to note here, as well is that, like Space Heroes‘ erased Star Trek‘s progressive elements–wither the Uhura and Sulu analogues?–This new show’s take on their princess character erases the fact that the original characters were, for their flaws, far more progressive than anything that was coming out in American shores at the time.

    While it’s rather inevitable that Casey will eventually interact with the turtles, I’m actually enjoying seeing him at the periphery of their world for a while. First, it means that any scene focusing on him is one that’s not focusing on the turtles. Second, I have no doubt that April will once again recede to the background once they all become one unit.

    More tomorrow; dead tired.

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