Welcome to another possibly not-so-exciting edition of TMNT. We are coming off possibly the worst episode of the show thus far and are stuck in cartoon-formulaic-episode hell. Shredder and Krang spend their time trying to steal the new weapon of the day that will allow them to escape the center of the Earth, but meanwhile they have these train-looking cars that drill up to the surface in minutes and then back down to the center of Earth when it’s time to go home, so getting back to the surface really doesn’t seem like a huge issue to me.
And they will drill fucking anywhere. They’ve come up in basements, alleys…wherever it is that is convenient. But when they drill back down, all of a sudden, the new hole they make floods with hot lava and then seals the hole so the Turtles are unable to follow. But of course.
So much of this show has become maddening. Everyday I keep hoping for something fun or new and come away disappointed. I’m trying to enjoy this show, but they’re not making it easy on me.
S.3, E.4: “The Maltese Hamster”. Original Air Date: 10/24/1989
Donatello is narrating the opening of the episode as a kind of old-school private detective. The Turtles are all dressed up in their trench coats to stay incognito while they check out a wave of bank robberies that are being carried out by your everyday mobsters, but with some heavy-duty weapons that had to have been supplied by Shredder.
While walking and talking with April, they pass an old antique shop with a statue of a hamster in the window that April falls in love with and must have. She buys the statue and Michelangelo tries haggling for an antique pizza maker, but the shop owner won’t budge on the price. He’s a quarter short. April has her statue delivered to her house while she goes back to work and the Turtles still walk around theorizing the robberies.
Michelangelo finds a quarter and runs back to the antique shop to get his pizza maker and finds two mobsters shooting up the place. They’re looking for the hamster statue April just bought and aren’t happy to hear that the shopkeeper no longer has it. Michelangelo tries putting a stop to the situation, but “The Butcher” (like the head of crime family) uses a special ray gun that ropes Mikey and holds him captive. They deduce that the rest of the Turtles must be nearby and head to the streets to trap the rest of them.
The remaining three get sick of waiting for Mikey and head back to the shop to get him only to find out he’s been kidnapped. They split up to look for him and Raphael finds the limo he’s being held in, but meets the same fate and is captured as well. Leo and Donatello meet back up and realize Raphael is now gone too so they run to the sewers to get help from Splinter.
The two remaining Turtles and Splinter head back to the antique district after figuring out that the mobsters must be looking for something that they should probably hope to find first. As they come out of the sewers, they find the wiseguys pillaging another antique shop. Splinter quickly realizes that they are no match for the weapons these guys have and tries to run, but him and Leonardo are captured. He implores Donatello to run and he does, but the thugs shoot at a building and cause Donatello to be trapped and covered in rubble.
He does dig himself out and decides the only place he can go is Channel 6 to find April. He lays out the story to April and thinks that the only place they could be is The Meat Rack which is The Butcher’s hideout masquerading as a bar. The mobsters are shown FaceTiming with Shredder. Shredder has apparently contracted these guys to track down the hamster statue for him and supplied him with a fuck ton of powerful weapons to do so.
April and Donatello are able to sneak into the backroom at the Meat Rack and confirm Shredder’s involvement, but get noticed. They’re able to get away and get to April’s place for a hot second when there’s a knock at the door. Her hamster statue is being delivered and Donatello quickly comes up with a plan.
Donatello finds out that there’s a recipe for a superfuel written on the inside of hamster and Shredder wants it to power his Technodrome to return it to the surface. He arranges a meet and trade with the mobsters for midnight at the docks.
Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady meet up there and Donatello hands over the statue in return for setting the rest of the Turtles free. Shredder, though, pulls the oop-de-oop and wants them destroyed, but Donatello planned for that. April was in sniper position and uses a ray gun to melt the statue in Shredder’s hands. Shredder flips and blames the mob because the Turtles don’t have weapons like that. While the two groups of bad guys argue, Donatello frees his friends. Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady escape, but the Turtles take solace in being able to capture the mobsters and hand them over to the police.
At least this was a little different! Sure, Shredder was still behind it all, but he was used very little in this episode and it was a welcome reprieve. The Donatello narration can get a bit annoying, but I was still happy to have it just to get out of the monotony that this show has become. I don’t think this is going to go down as a great episode by any means, but at least it left me with a better taste in my mouth than the last few.
Thanks for reading and continually coming back to follow these. See you tomorrow.