Tuesday, April 24, 2012

The Incredible Shrinking Turtles

Episode 7

It’s time to get settled into what the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have become.  The cartoonish mild nature of the show really debuts strongly with this episode.  I did find it fairly amusing as far as the humor is concerned.  Once you can accept the silliness it’s not too bad to watch.  Let’s put it this way if Bugs Bunny made an appearance it wouldn’t be a far stretch.  This is the start of a four episode long series about an alien power that has fallen to earth.  I do enjoy the connecting episodes up to this point.  It’s as if there is one long story but it gets broken down into individual portions.  Will that last though, we can only hope. 

Mutant turtles and aliens, does it get any better?
                The turtles are practicing their fighting techniques in a park, in broad daylight.  The ninja part of their name is blatantly ignored here, stealth, invisibility.  They don’t even war disguises.  Luckily this park is entirely empty on such a beautiful day, highly unlikely.  Michelangelo dresses up as Shredder and the others take him down when he attacks them.  Leonardo was totally shocked to discover it was his brother!  The green skin and orange bands didn’t give it away Leonardo?  All of a sudden an alien spaceship crashes into the park pond.  The military or media fail to respond or report on it.  I’m actually glad the military never showed, it can rally become stereotypical in a show when that occurs.  However April covering the mysterious landing would be an excellent way to include her into the episode more properly.  The turtles save this little guy from the bottom of the pond and bring him ashore.  Michelangelo thinks he looks weird so Donatello zings back with he probably thinks the same about you.  The alien is dying; perhaps oxygen is destroying his lungs?  It could be a million things for something not of this planet.  I have to admit my inner science fiction self is really liking the alien presence here.  The alien gives the turtles an alien crystal converger to track down and collect the three fragments of the eye of Zarnov.  What was this alien up to?  The alien claims the eye of Zarnov, when all together, is the most powerful force our planet would know.  To be transporting something of that magnitude is insane!    The little alien dies and vaporizes on the spot.  It’s apparent he died I suppose.

The man looks unstable Baxter.
                Shredder was being a true ninja and spy by hiding in the nearby shrubs listening to the whole conversation.  He is salivating over the idea of all that power.  If he gets that eye of Zarnov he could break free of Krang and have his own power.  Why was he there though?  I’d guess he has nothing better to do anyway considering the disposal of the turtles is all he thinks about.  He later contacts Krang with Baxter.  Baxter is eating an ice cream cone as Shredder forces him to hold the communicator while he speaks.  You can’t hold it yourself Shredder?  I suppose that’s why you have underlings to do the most frivolous tasks.  It’s really because he wouldn’t be able to use his arms to emphasize his points as well.  Krang isn’t impressed with this story of the eye of Zarnov and its supposed unlimited power.  He also probably smells some BS from Shredder to trick him into sending him his army.  Krang wants results and denies Shredder his foot soldiers.  Would those crappy robots really help much anyway?

Less pizza and more practice turtles, come on!
                The turtles get right to the chase of locating the crystal fragments.  Don’t they usually consult with Splinter about these big discoveries first though?  I remember they have previously always done that, perhaps they are breaking free of their master a bit?  The crystal converger leads them to some dock.  Shredder is following them at this time.  The fragment is on a garbage barge so the turtles hop in it.  Donatello however gets pulled into it forcibly by the crystal converger.  It seems when it gets close enough it acts like a magnet of sorts.  The turtles seemed a bit unwilling to search in the garbage, you live in a sewer come on, and the smells can’t be that different!  As they find it, Shredder swiftly swings in and steals it.  At last the turtles and Shredder fight it out as Shredder wins the contest handily.  The turtles weren’t sharp I’ll say that much.  Shredder says, “So much for the free ninja lesson.”  I love that one, a great insult on the dominance of the battle by Shredder.  He aims the fragment at the turtles and they shrink.  He is unable to finish them off as they scurry away.  He tries but just fails so I was pleased to see that.  I hate when he doesn’t when the chance is right there.

Seriously Splinter, shower much? Whew!
                The turtles make it back to the sewer den and inform Splinter of the situation, sparing no small detail ha-ha!  Splinter drags April into this although I’m not sure as to why, perhaps to be his driver?  Get your driving license Splinter!  They had to go to the docks to get the turtle van though since the turtles were forced to abandon it there.  That’s not shown however, they are just driving around in it suddenly looking for Shredder.  Meanwhile Shredder is shrinking buildings all over the city and collecting them up to impress his alien cohort Krang.  When he shows Krang his toy building collection it again fails to impress Krang.  He wants the turtles as proof not buildings.  Krang probably gets annoyed at Shredder doing everything except what he told him.  I still enjoy the lack of trust and bad spirits the two villains show to one another.  Baxter creates a cockamamie device called “Heat seeking Turtle Scope”.  It can track down the specific turtles they are looking for.  That’s insanely brilliant and to think a wacko invented it just now!

Bite sized turtle snacks!
                The turtles are shrinking faster than a cheap pair of underwear according to Raphael.  They get forced out of the sewers by rushing water.  They drift on a soap bar until they go down a storm drain that sends them into a pond area.  A fish nearly eats them but Baxter nets them.  Super impossibly efficient that he was in a boat to catch them in that situation.  Baxter you’d think would kill them for the past grievances they bestowed him but he returns them to Shredder instead.  Shredder puts them into a jar with air holes.  He wants to keep them alive to show Krang.  It’s clear his motives of just destroying the turtles have changed to simply getting his foot soldiers and other technologies back to earth.  I don’t quite agree that’s the best path to be on but at least you can see why he doesn’t want to kill them immediately anymore.

I gun smash you good!
                Splinter gets his psychic on as he senses the turtles nearby, he is quite adamant about the connection between teacher and student.  I’m glad in school I never had that going on with my teachers.  I wouldn’t want them knowing where I was 24/7, kind of weird.  They burst into the hideout Shredder is at and start the rescue.  Just before they did that Shredder was holing a crow bar, wow he resorts to that, ready to smash the turtles with a sickening Krang watching through the communicator.  I love the crow bar Shredder has; he’s like a common thug without Krang’s help.  No wonder he is so desperate to please that brain blob.  Splinter and Shredder tangle while delivering some odd dialogue.  It’s mainly Splinters counter verbal assault of “One who wears a metal mask shouldn’t use the word rusty.”  Huh?

The laws of physics say that..
                April doesn’t even have a camera but must not be worried about a story in all this, why not?!  Look at all this crazy stuff, an alien fragment, a giant rat righting a kitchen utensil, it’s all 6 o’clock news material.  She used to be so obsessed about getting her stories!  She finds the fragment on the ground, Shredder must have dropped it in the battle, aims it at the turtles and they return to their former sizes.  The breaking out of the jar was a bit awkward though, it was like rubber glass!  Baxter and Shredder take off down a passageway and Splinter stops the turtles.  Shredder also snatched the fragment off the ground, so I guess April threw it down once the turtles were their size again, why?  Imagine the power April!  Perhaps she was afraid she would shrink as well, who knows.  Splinter should have asked the turtles did they really want to shrink again if they caught up to Shredder.

                Splinter at the end surprises the turtles with bite sized pizzas.  I wonder why Michelangelo didn’t notice the weight difference when he was carrying them.  Well he isn’t the smartest turtle now is he?  It’s a good funny ending actually and this episode is decent enough not to be overlooked.  It’s rather funny and often enough to make you crack a laugh.  It’s silly but that’s expected at this point in the series.
Rating: 8 of 10
Links
Next Up: It Came from Beneath the Sewers – Coming Soon!