TMNT (2012) New Episode Open Thread (Spoilers)

The Kraang Conspiracy

In case it’s not immediately clear, that’s a dude behind the water tower, taking pictures of the turtles.  They are like, canonically bad at stealth.

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

Note: I would very much appreciate if y’all please refrained from referring to the April clone by its official name.  That shit’s grody.

ETA: My thoughts below the cut.

Finally, some answers.  I just wish they weren’t so disappointing, and they weren’t tied to an episode we’ve already seen several times before.  It’s probably my least favorite of the season, after perennial unfavorite “The Mutation Situation”.

  • Oh, April clone: you could have been so good.  I actually rather love the design, but…God.  The myriad issues with the name they chose for her and what they did to try and justify it deserve their own point, but long story short, the series does not seem to be in a rush to not be morally repugnant.
  • The turtles continue to be really bad at stealth.  I mean, consider what needed to have happened in order for Kurtzman to be able to photograph them.  He would either have had to tail them for the duration of the turtles’ two-hour training run, or the turtles are regular enough in their patterns to allow him to predict where they’d stop.  How in the world was Shredder ever unable to find them?
  • Like the initial “The Kraang are after APRIL” reveal, the revelation that they’ve been working behind the scenes for centuries feels like something that was given absolutely no thought beyond “this would make for a cool moment”.  It’d be one thing if the series were completely different; here, it just makes me wonder why the writers bothered.  It changes nothing!  It can change nothing, given that the show can’t leave Present Day, South Side New York!  All it does is make the Kraang feel even more incompetent, seeing as how they haven’t learned to blend in after centuries, and had a plan A that consisted of “mess with stuff, hope that the one magical DNA strand that may not ever exist shows up so that we can then fail to obtain it”.  What’s more, it raises one very important question that they can’t answer: why stay hidden at all?  Why not just use their superior technology to take over the planet and turn it into a giant lab that they can use to find the perfect DNA strand in relative comfort?
  • I can take April not being as skilled as she wants to be as a character and plot point.  I can take April desperately wanting to play a more active role in the turtles’ adventures.  I can’t take them both in the same episode, especially after the series has played her up as considerably more skilled than she was shown here, and especially after Casey fucking Jones has been shown to be ready for prime time since moment one.  Even then, it might still have been salvaged if they’d made it clear that April wants to do something–anything–to feel like she’s actually helping make progress in the search for a cure for her father.  But no, the series is more interested in making her a liability for kicks.
  • I get that they were going for Kurtzman–an old school reporter type–and I like the character fine, but really writers, couldn’t he have been way awesomer as a badass lady reporter?
  • The scene with the various April clones Zerg Rushthe turtles was creepy and effective.  In a better show, April seeing herself die several times–and her killing herself–would be an interesting development for the character.  Here?  I’d be surprised if it ever gets mentioned.

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

  1. Olivia says:

    I have no words this time. Finally there’s an episode that’s somewhat entertaining…and that happens. Even if they didn’t know the term was ableist, was it really necessary to use an internet meme for humor? That’s the best they can do?

    April…oh April. Officially the McGuffin Girl. And I can already see Donatello using the mutant/not human excuse to get her to like him and that really worries me. The Nice Guy gaining confidence is just what we needed.

  2. Scott says:

    Technically April is more like an X-men mutant now. She’s still human but just has powers. Perhaps she should contact Prof. Xavier?

    The actual episode was just the same routine Kraang plot done almost a dozen times already, just with another mutant fight at the end.

    Kurtzman was the most interesting part of the episode yet he only appears for like 5 minutes? I know he’ll show up again but it’s really weird they didn’t explore his character.

  3. Ian says:

    So it turns out that the writer of this episode, Brandon Auman, also wrote “The Mutation Situation”. THIS IS UTTERLY UNSURPRISING.

  4. DarthEmpress says:

    I liked April asserting herself and at least trying to fight well and be a part of the team (even though she should’ve had more sense about going into a Kraang facility since she’s what they’re after). There’s a lot of fans calling April a bitch for how she treated Donnie, but I must’ve watched a different episode because I found Donnie’s portrayal more appalling. I feel like the writers are trying their darndest to make Donnie the poor Nice Guy in this series. People are saying he isn’t babying her, but when he jumps in to save her and goes, “I’ll protect you, April!” with a big smile like he’s just waiting for her to say, “Oh thank you I love you so much darling!” then…I have to disagree. Give the girl some goddamn space. Help her when she asks for it. Stop being a whiny little jerk when your brother goes to help her instead of you and be thankful when both your brother and friend come back unharmed.

    I’m about ready to wash my hands of this show. I’m only looking forward to Casey Jones, his bromance with Raph, and the outcome of Karai’s story now.

  5. Gareth says:

    (This might seem unrelated but bear with me). The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles brand has sure undergone a lot of tone shifts over the years, from the initial super-dark and gritty comic, to the cheerful kid-friendly Fred Wolf cartoon, the somewhere inbetween first movie, the edgy 2003 cartoon – and now this show. What exactly is the tone of this show? Goofy, yes, but then it throws stuff in that would fit right in with the darkest incarnations of this franchise. The hideous April clone could easily be something you’d see in the original comics. The scene with the multiple Aprils is potentially nightmarish. But the disfigured April clone was played for laughs despite its disturbing design, and the multiple Aprils was dismissed without consequence. It’s similar to that episode where that Timothy got mutated. The episode was light-hearted, nonsensical and goofy – then all of a sudden an innocent and naive human was horrendously mutated. But the show lacks the gravity and depth of writing to deal with these things and immediately reverts to silliness. The Turtles just shrug it all off in their appauling nonchalance because the writers seem to have a deep-rooted suspicion of character development.

    On a more minor note, I think it’s fair to give kid’s fantasy TV quite a bit of leeway when it comes to constructing plots, but these are so so fabricated. As I was watching last week’s episode with a friend, he asked “Why is that one foot ninja so much harder to kill than the rest?” And of course the answer is “Because it’s the one that knows where their base is”. Similarly, April’s powers are so ill-defined, and come across as just being there to service the plot. Maybe there’s some master plan afoot that will explain exactly how it works, but I doubt it. Also, DNA does not work the way this episode implied – you don’t need to collect more of it after an initial sample. And how exactly does April’s DNA help with the mutagen? Just so, so, half-assed.

  6. Pterobat says:

    Well, I finally got around to seeing this episode.

    After a few good episodes on their own, the series reminds us of its put-the-plot-point-in-the-fridge-for-later attitude. April being wanted by the Kraang should have been a big deal from day one, but instead the series drops it for long long periods of time, and expects us to sit up and notice when it comes back.

    There should be some allowance for filler in between, but the show goes waaaaaay too long without dealing with its major plot points (See also Karai’s parentage) and then slams us in the face with them.

    This episode threw a lot at us in a short amount of time, and it left little impression. Again, it needed to be developed over a longer period.

    Being so exhausted from this badness, I didn’t care that the Turtles killed hordes of apparently sapient April clones. Cartoons just like doing that, and it’s harder to name a clone episode from a children’s show when they *didn’t* get slaughtered.

    The other character, whom I’d call “September O’Neil” would have actually been a pretty cool monster design on her own, and deserved longer and possibly to not be a failed clone. She was Silent Hill levels of creepy, and I can at least appreciate that.

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