TMNT (2012) Open Thread (Spoilers)

Fungus Humungous 01

Oh my gosh!  April!  In an episode occurring directly after a major revelation about her!  Could the series actually be –GASP!–following up on her development in a consistent manner?

(Answer: not really, since the episode that was actually supposed to follow “The Kraang Conspiracy” was apparently “The Good, the Bad, and Casey Jones”, which featured April in a more or less disposable role.  Still, progress of sorts.)

In any case, we have another monster episode, which actually makes me somewhat optimistic, since these generally turn out to be somewhat inoffensive.  Plus, mushrooms, and a non-zero chance that the episode will not be horribly ableist.

By the way, I realize I haven’t posted anything beyond the open threads for most than a month.  I’ve been working on stuff–the piece on “The Price”, and several fan fics–but right now, I’m spending time on a rather more time sensitive essay on something else.  Once that’s done, there should hopefully be a more steady stream of new material–including, yes, an essay on last episode’s fuckery with the April clone.

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

ETA: My thoughts on the episode below the cut.

It’s hard not to compare this episode with the 2003 series’ own “the turtles face their worst fears” episode, “The Darkness Within”, and to be honest, this doesn’t compare terribly badly with that episode.  While the strengths of that episode were mostly conceptual–lovecraftian hi-jinks!–“Fungus Humungous’ ” lie mostly in a handful of well-executed scenes, such as April and Casey’s initial moment of absolute ease around each other at the beginning, or the mushroom ballet, which was everything this Fantasia fan wanted from the episode.  That said, I wish the episode had been broader–something akin to Cowboy Bebop‘s “Mushroom Samba” or Star Trek‘s “The Naked Time”–since assorted random wackiness plays better to this series strengths, and might have avoided some of the repetitiveness of the various characters’ reactions.

  • Okay, I really don’t buy the final resolution at all.  While the basics are sound enough, the episode does a terrible job of setting up “breaking through the city streets” as a possibility, and doesn’t even attempt to explain how that might be possible.  In the end, it’s very lucky that the fungus wasn’t housed directly below a skyscraper or something.  Also, I might have visibly groaned when the various victims immediately got better as soon as the monster was defeated.
  • Grumble grumble Donatello grumble grumble April grumble grumble grumble Nice Guy grumble HATE.
  • The creators’ insistence on making the mutagen the cause for everything is baffling, and continues to be one of the more frustrating things about the show (along with all the other most frustrating things).  Just think of how much creepier the episode would be if the writers hadn’t attempted to explain the monster.

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

  1. Olivia says:

    Sooo is April only going to have psychic powers when it’s convenient? I don’t expect her to be immune to hallucinogenic fungi, especially the mutated kind, but one would think they’d affect her differently. This way it’s just lazy. But then, that’s nothing new and I don’t know why I keep expecting better from this show.

  2. Scott says:

    I don’t see what your complaint is, Olivia, it doesn’t seem like April has any control over her telepathic powers. This will probably change as the season progresses but right now I fail to see the complaint.

    Was a very funny episode overall, and the CG animation seemed really improved in this episode.

  3. Markus says:

    And of course, Donny’s greatest fear is that April will do the logical thing, see him for the creep he is, and break his poor little Nice Guy heart. Ugh!

  4. Ian says:

    I think the idea is that–and Olivia may confirm if she wishes–if April’s powers are triggered by trauma, like has been hinted, then being in a state of persistent panic because of not being able to escape or deal with your worst fear, would almost certainly qualify. Even if they didn’t manifest in a way that was immediately useful, it would have been a nice nod if we’d seen some sign of it.

  5. Olivia says:

    Exactly, and not just that: season 2 has established that she can sense imminent danger. But, conveniently, she didn’t feel the hostile mutated fungus in that dark tunnel and instead her attention was caught by a noise it made. And we all know that the scene was written like that, because otherwise she would have warned everyone, instead of investigating and triggering a chain reaction. We could have still had an episode, but the writers should have put more thought into the lead-up.

    But you know what, I wouldn’t even be that annoyed, if this was an exception, rather than the rule. It’s the same as when they justified April and Splinter’s absence in “Parasitica” with training exercise. The rat that never leaves the Lair is suddenly gone for an entire night, because having him there would have been inconvenient. Lazy.

    People can fill in the gaps with headcanons and theories and I’ve seen some great fanworks…but fandom meta should enrich the show, not be the glue that holds it together.

  6. Ian says:

    Ooh, that’s a good point! I’d forgotten about the whole Spider-Sense element to her powers, but yeah, if she can sense a regular person with no real hostile intent when they’re following her from afar, then something that is both clan-related and hostile would seem to be something she would definitively be able to sense.

  7. Olivia says:

    It makes me angry, because this is what Nieli meant when he said that April was too powerful. And with powers like that, I can see why it’d be hard to write her into plots and why they had to limit her screentime. Psychic characters tend to have the ability to foil the enemy’s plans with little effort. That’s kind of the point.

    But Ciro choose to make her that way! He CHOSE to have her not be a regular human. And because this show doesn’t seem to want to deal with what it sets up, when she does show up in filler episodes, her powers have to be either reduced to “barely there”, or outright removed. The result is that April is the most inconsistently written character that’s either too good, or a liability. And they have the gall to blame that on her gender?


    [Mod Note: Comment edited to fix typo, at commenter’s request.]

  8. DarthEmpress says:

    Ian, I love your grumble grumble comments lol my sentiments as well!!

    Also, Black Nerd brought up a good point in his review: why was April affected by the toxins when she wasn’t affected by the mutagen???

  9. Ian says:

    Thank you, for the compliment, DarthEmpress! 😀

    April being affected by the spores, I actually have no issue with. The hallucigegenic spores, as I understand it, were not something that the mutagen created from whole cloth, by the mutagen, but rather, something that existed to some degree in the fungus’ mutated state and was then super-charged. It’s like…have you ever seen Smallville? Early on in that show, everyone who had powers got them from Kryptonite, which on humans worked more or less exactly like mutagen does here. This did not mean, however, that their powers acted like Kryptonite against Clark.

    What’s more, it’s been established that mutagen offshoots–like the mutagen-laced water April got exposed to, the altered mutagen that gave Michelangelo his acne–has drastically different effects from the base mutagen, so Aprils immunity to one variation may not mean immunity against another (although it very well could be).

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