Welcome back to the premiere of Season 2 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! When we left off yesterday, our heroes had banished Shredder, Krang and the Technodrome to the fiery hell of Dimension X to the delight of Krang and sorrow of Shredder.
Things have been kind of peaceful in New York since then as the only crimes left are the ones we’re used to like muggings and shit. Those are OK.
But where does that leave our beloved heroes in a half-shell? Only one way to find out…
S.2, E.1: “Return of the Shredder”. Original Air Date: 10/01/1988
Leonardo and Michelangelo are at the supermarket picking up the necessities when a couple of bad hombres storm the joint in a robbery attempt. The Turtles snuff out the threat fairly easily and the cashier comps their groceries as a thank you for saving her. Leo and Mikey slip outta there quickly before the cops show up. April O’Neil and her news team show up to the scene and get an interview with the cashier where she explains how the Turtles saved the day.
Meanwhile, in Dimension X (here to referred to as “DX”…I won’t do the Suck Its today) Shredder is whining about how losing to the Turtles was an accident and that Krang needs to send him back to Earth because he wants to rule Earth, not DX. If I was Krang, I’d send this dude back with the quickness just so I didn’t have to listen to his incessant moaning. Finally, Krang gives in and allows Shredder to return, but keeps Bebop and Rocksteady in DX.
April’s back in the newsroom where she’s trying to convince her boss, Burne Thompson that the Turtles are the good guys, but he ain’t having it. We find out that this is because Burne’s new girlfriend, Tiffany, hates turtles and those who sympathize with turtles. To be fair, I don’t blame him. Burne is a tubby, middle-aged man and – based on his wardrobe – ain’t making a lot of money, so to have Tiffany who’s probably around 20 years his junior and is definitely a piece has to be considered a score and quite frankly, I’d hate the Turtles for her too.
Shredder is walking around NYC and has a mugging attempted against him, but he stops it quickly and the realizes he’ll need to assemble a crew since Krang isn’t allowing him any of his minions. I assume he checks the yellow pages for “Corrupt Karate Schools” as he ends up at the “Slash For Cash Dojo” and immediately shows off his ninja skills and the trainees along with their sensei, Smash, fall in line immediately.
Shredder uses his new henchman to carry out crimes while disguised as turtles. They even cut promos to any cameras in the vicinity calling themselves “The Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang”. The public is quick to buy into their shitty costumes and sentiment is starting to get negative towards the real Turtles. He then frees Baxter Stockman from an insane asylum because…well, what criminal mastermind DOESN’T need a mad scientist on his team?
Baxter builds a new rat catching machine because it seems to be his specialty and, once again, Splinter is captured by the bad guys. The Turtles follow the trail and are led to the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang whom they beat in a rather one-sided affair before going to track down Shredder’s new hideout at the Slash For Cash Dojo.
Sidebar: what aspiring karate student signs up for lessons at a place called the Slash For Cash Dojo? Seriously. What in the fuck do you think you’ll possibly learn there? I’d really like to sit down and talk to the parents who signed permission slips for their kids to attend the Slash For Cash Dojo and train under master Smash.
OK, back from my tangent. So the Turtles arrive at the Dojo and find Splinter tied up, but there’s a battering ram booby trap that is going to flatten our favorite rat. Baxter drives into the suddenly spacious dojo in his rat-catcher mobile, but the Turtles fend him off and the machine takes the brunt of the battering ram just as Leonardo is able to free Splinter. Whew. That was a close one.
Shredder and Baxter escape and Krang chews out Shredder for losing again. He says he won’t be sending any help for Shredder until he proves himself. April arrives on scene and does a report detailing the events and saying that the Crooked Ninja Turtle Gang was a hoax and that the real Turtles are heroes.
This is probably the weakest of the six episodes thus far, but that doesn’t mean it’s bad. There’s a lot of nonsense to get through to get us set up for the ensuing season, but they seem to be able to do that within the first couple of minutes.
The show, despite still being in its infancy, continues to play to its strengths which are not taking itself too seriously and just having fun characters, fights and verbal interactions. The stuff between Shredder and Krang is great. Baxter plays the inferior henchman role incredibly well and the Turtles are distinct and unique from each other which keeps you from getting sick of them. It’s a pretty good formula.
So we’ve scratched the surface on Season 2! We will have to keep coming back to see what – if any – help Shredder can get from Krang who seems happy as a pig in shit in DX and how that will improve his chances of finally being able to dine on Turtle Soup.
See you tomorrow.