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Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, S.1, E.5: “Shredder and Splintered”

Welcome back to another exciting edition of TMNT. Technically, this episode is the Season 1 finale and will send shockwaves throughout the universe for untold decades to come. The stakes are high. My cup of coffee is low.

I’ll be honest: I’m only awake right now because work was texting and I replied, “Tell me Monday at 9AM.” Being awake is awful in the morning. Which brings us to our season finale!

S.1, E.5: “Shredder And Splintered”. Original Air Date: 12/18/1987

Plot:

New Yorkers have been reporting Turtle sightings and April is tight that it’s not her story. Burne Thompson, April’s boss at Channel 6, is treating the Turtles as “the green menace”. A lotta Spider-Man/J. Jonah Jameson going on here. The Turtles assure April they’ll give her the full scoop once the Shredder is defeated.

Speak of the devil, Shredder beams himself into the Turtles’ TV to show off his new ray-gun that reverses the effects of the mutagen. The Turtles immediately jump up because they need that to turn Splinter back into Hamato Yoshi, but Splinter tells them to pump them brakes because Shredder could use it to also turn them back into regular turtles. He decides he must go and retrieve the ray-gun alone.

The Turtles head out the in the flying car the Neutrinos left behind to drop-off Splinter at the Technodrome as if it’s soccer camp, but the car runs out of gas or whatever the fuck you fill a flying space car with. Donatello gets an idea and runs off to Baxter Stockman’s abandoned lab to build something while the Turtles press on with getting to the Technodrome.

We cut to the Technodrome where Shredder is showing Krang the body he finally got around to building for him. It’s the most awkward fucking looking thing ever and I don’t know how this drawing got past creative at any level of the design-process. But Krang seems to be ecstatic with it and now he can be loaded into the stomach of this monstrosity where he can control the thing, so what do I know?

Before Krang can be inserted into the new body, he insists that Shredder insert a computer chip into it that can amplify molecules. Shredder is initially resistant, but says, “Fuck it, whatever” because he knows he basically has no say after getting schooled by the Turtles at every turn. Shredder installs the chip and braces Krang to the machine to begin the…fuck…the installation? The conversion? Whatever you call it, we get a Frankenstein-scene that shows the body showing some signs of animation and Shredder giving us the whole, “It’s alive…it’s aliveeeeeeeeeeee!”

The three remaining Turtles and Splinter arrive at the Technodrome triggering the intruder alarm and Shredder goes into a panic because Krang hasn’t fully recovered from the procedure.The Turtles make quick work of the Foot robots and Splinter slips inside the Technodrome in search of the Mutagen-reversal gun. He finds…almost too easily only to find that it’s a hologram and is then ambushed by Shredder and begins a hot ninja fight.

Krang has finally recovered enough and tries summoning his army from Dimension X through the interdimensional Technodrome portal, but is stopped temporarily by the Turtles. He then activates the molecular amplifier he had implanted in his body and expands to be the biggest fucking thing you or I will ever see. Seriously, he grows so much that he just start busting through everything whether it be the Technodrome or the street.

The Turtles have no fucking clue how in the hell they’ll defeat this, but Donatello finally shows up in his new creation: the Turtle Blimp which was created out of the Neutrinos flying car and spare parts from Baxter’s lab.

Brief tangent: when I was a kid, the Turtle Blimp was one of the coolest fucking toys. My brother and I wanted the ever-living shit out of this. And when we got it…yeah, we played with it for a bit, but were so disappointed that it didn’t float on its own that it got a permanent space in the toy chest rather quickly. But now, as someone with a deep appreciation for vintage toy collections, I love seeing how people display it as part of their TMNT world.

So Donatello shows up in the blimp and April and her news crew are tailing them so April can finally get her story. Donatello and Leonardo are dropped onto Krang’s shoulder and find a seam into which they can get inside to destroy the amplification device. The two narrowly escape as Krang is shrinking back to a normal size.

Krang calls Shredder for help, but he’s still fighting Splinter in a very even battle which is impressive considering the difference in weight class between the two. Shredder finally says to hell with the games and uses a device to lock Splinter inside an electric cage so he can run off to help Krang.

Splinter, ever the strategist, is able to pry a screw from the bottom of the cage and expertly throw it at a generator which disables the power and frees him. He heads toward the other battle to try to stop Shredder from using the anti-mutagen ray on the Turtles.

As he arrives, he finds Shredder about to do precisely that, but throws his walking stick like a spear and destroys the ray-gun. Shredder and Krang tuck tail and head back to the Technodrome as the Turtles thank Splinter, but are sad that he’ll never be human again. They quickly realize they can’t let the bad guys off the hook, however, and head back to the Technodrome to finish the job.

When they arrive, they find Krang and Shredder getting ready to bring Krang’s army from Dimension X through the portal. Donatello is able to think quick and reverse the power of the portal which begins sucking everything into Dimension X. The Turtles and Splinter realize what’s happening and run for the hills to complete a daring escape just as the Technodrome and everything inside it are drawn into Dimension X.

Krang is thrilled when he realizes what has happened as he sees his opportunity to reclaim his home, but Shredder, obviously is a tad on the upset side of waking up in that shithole from now on.

Back at the ranch, April finally does her big story on the Turtles, but public opinion is still split on them. Splinter uses his spidey-senses to deduce that they haven’t seen the last of Shredder which is a nice way to tease the next season.

Final Thoughts:

This was a high-energy, awesome end to an abbreviated introductory season. These first five episodes were awesome. As a mini-arc, the writing was entertaining, the animation was fun and the humor was pretty impressive and held up well after nearly 30 years. Since this is something I haven’t seen since seeing it originally as a kid, the memory refreshing was minimal and felt more like watching something for the first time.

With that said, I loved this and give the first season of this show ****.

Season 2 begins ASAP and will hopefully pick up right where this left off.

❤ Joe

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