TMNT (2012) New Episode Open Thread (Spoilers)

But first, a plug: if you haven’t seen it, the first part of my visual history of April O’Neil series is up at my other blog.  Like the name indicates, it’s a look at the way the character of April has evolved over the years, which is something I think is rather interesting for a number of reasons.

And now that that’s done…

Slash and Destroy

Slash is one of those characters who got really popular during the nineties era of the franchise, and is now experiencing  a renaissance of sorts.  He’s already made several appearances in the IDW comic, and now he’s making his cartoon debut, where he appears to have been recontextualized as a mutated version of Raph’s pet turtles Spike.

While I’m not a terribly big fan of Slash–he’s always felt like a cool design in search of a character–and I’m especially not a fan of mutating Spike to get him, I kinda sorta feel this episode might turn out okay.  Raph hasn’t gotten a huge amount of focus episodes, and this one feels like the best-conceived of the lot.  If we can get something like what we got with Michelangelo and Leatherhead, then this episode might just turn out OK.

As always, post your thoughts, positive, negative, or meta-filled in the comments.  Also, a question: who are your favorite “other” turtles?  Turtles characters who are not Leonardo, Donatello, Michelangelo, or Raphael?

ETA: Post-Mortem:

Some have already called this episode the best of season 2, and I agree.   In fact, I was left wishing that this had been a two-parter, since this episode really deserved more space to breathe.  While the episode we got was quite good, I wanted to see the other turtles deal with Slash in a context other than a smackdown, and have the five turtles face off against an enemy before Slash turned on them.

Random Thoughts:

  • It irks me that the turtles appear to take a lab accident far more seriously than they do stuff like them botching the operation in the season premiere.
  • The series really needs someone on staff to point out obvious inconsistencies: just how is it that a three-foot drop is enough to cause the contents of a mutagen canister to spill at the beginning, while a canister that is subjected to far more abuse remains intact?
  • While I really liked Leo being forced to have tea with the little girl, the lead-up to that, I thought, was mostly superfluous, with the series of contrived coincidences leading the canister from point A to be B feeling a bit too contrived to be humorous.  I probably would have found it hilarious if I were seven, but I can’t imagine any other context where it’d be similarly funny.  The payoff was fantastic, though.
  • Neither Michelangelo nor Donatello did anything to annoy me this episode, which I think counts as a small miracle.  Please, writers, more of this.
  • No wait, there was the fact that Mike ruined Raph’s magazines, but even this wasn’t too bad, since it’s perfectly in character for him and he was called out on it immediately.
  • Just how is the Mutagen Tracker supposed to work, by the way?  How is it that is suddenly detects mutagen it had not detected before, and isn’t set off by the mutagen in the lair?
  • I find it incredibly curious that Raph had an interest in vintage martial arts magazines since he was nine. There’s a story there.

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9 Responses to TMNT (2012) New Episode Open Thread (Spoilers)

  1. Olivia says:

    Finally, no masks! They don’t look as weird as I expected.

    The awkward tea party was the best part of the episode for me. I loved the little girl and that she knew that Leo wasn’t ordinary, but it didn’t matter, so long as he played with her. I hope there will be fanart!

    About the lead up to that, what irked me most was that they made Leo an incompetent who was more concerned about what his brothers would say if he failed, than he was about keeping the mutagen from spilling on an unsuspecting victim. What the heck?
    At least there’s signs of actual life in New York. That was nice.

    I know Slash has always been an enemy (at least as far as I know), but I really hate that he turned out to be evil here. I’d have loved it if he merely disliked the other turtles on account of Raph’s rants (and then came around at the end), rather than being straight up evil because he can be. 😦

    Speaking of which, how many ferocious mutants on the loose are there now? And how much do you bet that the series is going to ignore that fact and not mention Slash until he’s relevant to the plot? On that note, though, I really hope that in the next episode Raph isn’t going to act like nothing’s wrong (I know, I know, what a silly thing to hope for, right?).

  2. Scott says:

    Slash being twisted and going after the other Turtles was the best part of the episode. I was wondering if he’d remain “good” at first and then turn evil in a later episode, but I think making him a villain right off the bat was a good decision. The dynamic he had with Raphael was also great because Slash didn’t want to turn on him at first, AND Raphael tried to save him after he fell off the building at the end.

    Also is it just me, or was this episode quite violent? Slash really was brutally beating the turtles the entire episode, and the lack of masks really hit that home. I think they were more badly beaten here (or at least Don and Mikey were), then in Season’s 1’s “The Gauntlet” against Shredder.

    And yes, Leonardo’s tea-time with the little girl was fantastic. Also does the little girl count as another female character? Ciro?

    I really dig this Slash. While Archie Slash is probably the best incarnation so far, this one only just debuted, and he’s a lot better than the IDW Slash who is just kinda brainless.

    On a lesser note, in 4kids I felt Dark Leo from Fast Forward was their incarnation of Slash.

  3. DarthEmpress says:

    I was really happy with this episode, and I think it’s easily the best of the season so far. I loved seeing all four of the brothers together at the end. I kind of figured Raph would chose his brothers over Slash, but I didn’t know Slash would beat up his brothers so brutally. I liked seeing the guys without their masks–kind of brought home the seriousness of the beatings because we’ve never seen them without them before. Slash was more intelligent than I thought he would be; I was expecting a more dim-witted creature just based on his artwork.

    Leo’s parts with the little girl were my favorite because they were so cute :3

    However, I have to wonder…just how many mutants who are pissed off at the turtles are running around New York? And just where the heck are they staying???

  4. Isaac says:

    I dunno. I thought the Leo chasing mutagen scenes were pretty good. I’m not entirely surprised that Leo works so well as a comic lead, but I’m glad he does. Leo always been a little more bent toward comedy than most versions of him – which I really appreciate.

    I really did like this episode in general though. Easily the best of the season – though it’s only competition in my opinion is Squirelinoids, and I think that says more about me than that does about that episode.

    Toward Scott’s point: we’ve seen a couple of one shot female characters before this. But unless the little girl turns into a recurring character (which I totally support), I don’t think we can really add her in.

  5. Ian says:

    Mutants on the loose? Let’s see, we have Snakeweed, Spiderbytez, Rockwell, the Rat King if you count him as a mutant, the Squirrels, the Newtralizer, and now Slash In other words, enough, or almost enough, to have a baseball team.

    And you know, I could be okay with this state of affairs, under different circumstances. If this weren’t the fate of practically all the mutants not affiliated with Foot. If the New York in the show didn’t feel so dang small, making their continued invisibility between episodes feel all the more implausible. If the turtles could be seen to care. If it were leading somewhere.

    What’s more, now that I’m thinking about it, I’m really rather surprised that such a surplus of mutants hasn’t yet resulted in a super-villain team-up of any sort between them. I think the tie-in comics may have had some, but I can’t be sure of that.

    Scott: On a lesser note, in 4kids I felt Dark Leo from Fast Forward was their incarnation of Slash.

    It’s not the first time I’ve heard this. I can definitively see why one would think that, but on the other hand, I can’t understand why one would think that, if you get my meaning. Are there similarities there? Sure, in the way any other antagonistic Ninja Turtle will inevitably share Slash’s defining quality of, well, being an antagonistic Ninja Turtle. I don’t, however, see the creators developing Clone Leo with the specific intent of having him be Slash.

    Isaac: Toward Scott’s point: we’ve seen a couple of one shot female characters before this. But unless the little girl turns into a recurring character (which I totally support), I don’t think we can really add her in.

    In what sense, though? I mean, she is most definitively a female character. If somebody specifically asks “will there be any new female characters?” you can point to her, say “yes”, and be perfectly accurate.

    (Although I can see why someone wouldn’t want to talk about her in detail, since “little girl” isn’t really the sort of thing one can build any hype on without completely spoiling the joke.)

    Which isn’t to say that her appearance does a whole lot to solve the show’s women problem. But as awesome as the little girl is, she is still nameless; her existence, in the larger context of the series, reinforces traditional gender roles; and, as you note, she plays a minor role that will likely not extend beyond this episode (although I wouldn’t be surprised if we see her character model used as part of the general crowd). Is she better than nothing? Yes. However, that’s still far, far away from optimal.

    Olivia: I know Slash has always been an enemy (at least as far as I know), but I really hate that he turned out to be evil here. I’d have loved it if he merely disliked the other turtles on account of Raph’s rants (and then came around at the end), rather than being straight up evil because he can be. 😦

    As much as I liked the episode, this would have been interesting as well. We could have had something like Slash not to kill the turtles as a favor to Raph, but deciding that he doesn’t want to be part of the family–he doesn’t want to feel like their pet.

  6. Olivia says:

    To clarify, my problem isn’t that Slash is an enemy. My problem is that Slash, who is Spike, is an enemy. Had he been a separate character, I wouldn’t care, but this episode pretty much told us that Spike has never been the little chill guy we’ve come to know. And I don’t like that.

  7. Ian says:

    @Olivia: Ah, I see. Thank you for clarifying. : )

  8. Scott says:

    Ian, you forgot about the Cockroach terminator mutant, also on the loose.

  9. Ian says:

    @Scott: Yup, I did. Thanks! : ) So enough for two basketball teams, then. What would be teams be like, though?

    ETA: I’m guessing the captains would be Slash and Rat King.

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