Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.3,E.2: “Turtles on Trial”

Welcome to another episode of TMNT. Yesterday, I was left underwhelmed by the Season 3 premiere and hope to have something change starting today. Seriously, the repetitiveness is getting tiring.

Maybe I got spoiled by the first couple of episodes. I don’t know. But the show is really stuck in the basic episode cartoon formula. I love He-Man, but essentially that’s all He-Man was too. Only difference is that He-Man was my jam so I can still enjoy those episodes. This one is proving to start being a bit difficult. Regardless, here we are, so let’s see what they have in store for us today.

S.3,E.2: “Turtles on Trial”. Original Air Date: 10/20/1989


The Turtles are watching some pro wrestling and their favorite is “The Terrible Turtle”. Mikey comes in and changes the channel to a show called On Trial which is hosted by a guy name Clayton Kellerman who I guess is supposed to be some kind of loudmouth-Morton Downey, Jr.-type. Kellerman HATES the Turtles and is vilifying the fuck out of them. April comes in with a box of human masks that she had her wardrobe team make so the Turtles can go to the surface looking like people.

In the Technodrome, it’s burning up because the cooling units are broken. Krang is lambasting Shredder for failing against the Turtles and not getting the parts to fix the air conditioning. Shredder challenges Krang to go to the surface and do it himself if he thinks he can do so much better. Krang thinks that sounds like a splendid idea.

The Turtles are trying out their new masks and go out for pizza with April. Things are going well until there’s a jewelry store robbery across the street. The Turtles peel off their masks and stop the burglar, but are then chased back into the sewers by an angry mob who doesn’t want their kind out in public with the good human people. Honestly? I blame the Turtles for this shit. Why in hell would you take off the masks when the whole point of them was to not attract attention. Seriously. That’s bush league. They deserve an angry mob chasing them after that. No sympathy here. Nope. Not from this guy. Nuh-uh.

Our green friends and April head back to the lair through the sewers lamenting that this is Clayton Kellerman’s fault. (Maybe a little, but don’t take off your masks then, assholes.) They ask April if she can get them on to his show so they can tell their side of the story. She thinks her boss will absolutely approve it because it’ll be big ratings.

Bebop and Rocksteady are watching some TV when a commercial comes on promoting the Turtles’ appearance on Kellerman’s show. Krang is ecstatic to see this and sets about selecting his weapons to destroy the TMNT live on TV. Krang assembles his crew and Shredder complains he’s not part of it. Finally Krang relents and tells Shredder he can be the distraction man and they head back to the surface in their Drill-Train.

Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady come up through the museum and the Turtles are forced to skip their scheduled TV appearance to go take care of the bad guys. It’s just the distraction Krang wanted as him and his rock soldiers are able to infiltrate a military weapons armory and hijack some kind of walking robotic T-Rex looking thing.

Unfortunately for the Turtles, the news is there covering the break-in at the museum  and is able to see them through the windows which is bad optics. “Optics” is the catch-phrase of the moment in all walks of life if you haven’t been noticing lately. It’s the new buzzword. But, it actually works here. The public sees the Turtles and it just further proves Clayton Kellerman’s point. Shredder is able to take April captive and is about to finally rid himself of the Turtles when Krang FaceTimes in and demands Shredder release the Turtles because he wants to be able to end the himself on live television in front of the world. The TMNT decide that they may as well do the show since they still have time and Shredder seems to be out of the picture.

April sets up a location in the sewers so they can be beamed in via satellite. Kellerman goes on the attack and the Turtles are no match in this verbal repartee. While they’re filming, Krang in his T-Rex robot attacks the TV studio demanding the Turtles come out to fight. They’re taken aback by the robot and Krang is getting some real good heat in the early stages of the match. During the battle, Kellerman is knocked out of the window. He’s saved by Mikey and seems to have a momentary change of heart about the Green Machine.

Krang’s robot short-circuits and the Turtles are able to take full advantage by tying a rope around its legs like an AT-AT until it keels over. Shredder grabs Krang and the bad guys drill back to the center of the Earth in their Drill-Train gimmick.

The day is saved, but there will be another battle another day. The Turtles group up and Kellerman thanks Michelangelo for saving his life, but lets them know that he will still continue to disparage them on-air because he has a reputation to uphold.

Final Thoughts:

A better flowing episode than yesterday. It may have something to do with Krang getting more screen time as he has a comedic side to him when he clowns on Shredder. I genuinely do enjoy Krang.

Still follows the same formula that I’ve been complaining about, but at least this was kind of fun today. We don’t have any direction going into tomorrow except that Krang and Shredder want to get the Technodrome out of the Earth’s core, but they have no real plan to do so. It’s all about the quick fix. That’s kind of disappointing, though, if they can still keep episodes light and fun, I suppose it’s not the worst thing.

I do, however, wish they could script endings better, though. Every episode’s conclusion seems to come off completely flat with no sense of finally overcoming the odds or anything. It’s the epitome of a flat finish where the crowd would let out a resounding whimper instead of an excited roar. Very weird because it’s not just here or there, it’s every episode. Lame finish, pizza celebration, credits. Woof.

I’m not too hopeful that that’s something that will improve as they’ve really shown no interest in writing an exciting final scene outside of the one episode where Baxter transformed into a fly. Coincidentally, that was easily the best episode of the lot up to this point and now we’re 20 episodes in. Oh well. Maybe I’m over thinking things and need to just accept it for what it is. We’ll see how I feel tomorrow.

❤ Joe

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