Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.1, E.3: “A Thing About Rats”

Welcome again to another episode of TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES! So far, you’ve apparently been into this as evidenced by the uptick in our web traffic so I hope to keep you coming back after today’s offering.

Season 1, Episode 3: “A Thing About Rats” Original Air Date: 12/16/1987

OK, so after the big fight from yesterday, we open with Splinter recovering at home. He’s pretty worn out and who can blame him? This was a lot of action for the old guy after years of sitting in a sewer meditating about being kicked out of Japan. The Turtles decide to go searching for the Technodrome so they can force Shredder to turn Splinter back into a human being. They’re incredibly thoughtful.

At this point, we cut away and are introduced to Baxter Stockman. Or – as I called him aloud while watching this – “Oh, shit! It’s that dude!” I completely forgot that this was a guy in this despite him being a black scientist who looked like Eddie Murphy’s Nutty Professor in the most recent movies. Intense google research has shown that apparently Baxter was always a black guy until this cartoon and was magically transformed into a caucasian. Now, that, I did not know. I wonder how much of an uproar that would have caused if we had the internet in 1987. Probably a fuckton.

Yeah…what? Oh, um…Baxter, yeah. So he’s a regular old Mr. Science and he’s developing Mouser robots that are specifically programmed to catch rats. He’s thinking he’ll make a killing selling them to pest control companies. He’s wrong. The pest control man refuses to take on robots at the expense of human jobs. He’s probably a union guy.

Shredder has some fucking HD surveillance cameras basically fucking everywhere and sees Baxter getting rejected by the pest people and decides to bring him in for a meeting to discuss business since he has a rat problem.Shredder has a new base set up in an abandoned mansion. Personally, I’d like to know who his real estate guy is that was able to hook him up with such a place in the middle of New York City. I’d assume Krang is the money guy on it, but Krang is also being a bitch about getting the new body that Shredder keeps putting off building so maybe he’s tightened the wallet for the moment. I don’t know. I don’t even know why I think about some of these things.

Shredder tells Baxter to build an army of Mousers and to make a master control so he can have them carry out his plan with the push of a button. It sounds like a lot of work, but apparently Shredder’s got a full-blown factory in the mansion and they’re able to pump out hundreds of these Mousers in like ten minutes.

Splinter is home meditating when he’s attacked by a bunch of the robots. He fights valiantly, but is close to defeat when the Turtles do the hot run-in, save him and destroy the Mousers. Each one has Baxter Stockman’s stamp on the bottom, so the Turtles do their best Sherlock Holmes impression and decide to go ask him some questions. Before doing that, they make a quick stop at April O’Neil’s apartment to leave Splinter with her and so she can use her computer to get Baxter’s contact info. Sure.

Baxter is released by Shredder after building all these fucking Mousers, but Shredder has him tailed by Foot Soldiers because the dude knows too much. Just as the Foot are about to make their move, the glass shatters and BY GAWD, THAT’S THE TURTLES’ MUSIC!

The Turtles save Baxter from being injured and destroy the Foot Robots. The persuade Baxter to give up Shredder’s location, but upon realizing how easy the Mousers were able to track Splinter the first time, they head back to April’s to find her and Splinter under attack from a massive wave of Mousers. Our heroes are able to save their friends and barely escape the apartment building right before it collapses because of the damage the Mousers caused. Let’s take a brief time-out here.

Repeat: “…right before it collapses”.

The entire fucking apartment building collapsed. Rubble. Down to the floor.


Neither the Turtles nor April show any concern for her neighbors. Emergency services are not dispatched. The News doesn’t even cover this catastrophe. There may be survivors in there. We’ll never know.

But April does provide a humbling word as she takes a look at the destruction where her home once was, “Boy, they sure don’t build them like they used to!”


With a dearth of dead innocents in their rear view, the Turtles focus on getting to the Mansion. Donatello attempts to control the Mousers using Baxter’s remote, but Shredder’s overrides the control. Michelangelo tries sneaking into the Technodrome, but is captured by Shredder who then sends the Mousers to combat the other Turtles and Splinter.

Krang saves Michelangelo because he’s a salty fuck about not having a body yet and tells him where the Master Control is located so he can save his friends from the wrath of the Mousers. Michelangelo baits Shredder into FUCKING SHOOTING at him and ducks out of the way so Shredder basically takes out the master control. Donatello is then able to use his remote to send the Mousers for the gas pipes. Everybody fucking bails as the mansion goddamn explodes and another building it brought to rubble.


Final Thoughts:

What in the greenest of fucks just happened here? There are definitely dead people. Probably lots of them. And nobody gives even the remotest of damns. Holy shit.

Beyond the scores of innocent lives probably lost, the show continues to roll along with a pretty good story and good fun. Sure, I got caught up on the building collapsing on  people, but that’s just me. Apparently, nobody else in the show seemed to care about that, so maybe I shouldn’t either.

Outside of that, this was another solid installment that advanced the story, introduced us to Baxter and introduced the Turtles to Krang who – up until this point – had yet to see/know of him.

I’m a fan and look forward to tomorrow. Grade: ***1/2*.

❤ Joe


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