Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Animated Series: Season 1 Review: Page 3 of 3
After narrowing escaping being squashed inside of a room in the Technodrome reminiscent of the Death Star's trash compactor in Star Wars, the Turtles face off against some of the most impractically-designed robots in the history of animation. Predictably, the Turtles smash through the machines and eventually find Splinter tied up and suspended from the ceiling high above. Shredder appears, summoning his band of Foot Soldiers, and explains that he is solely responsible for their entire existence. He offers them a spot in his formidable army, but the Turtles strike first, slashing the Foot to bits, freeing their master and escaping to the surface. The gang stands off once more with Bebop and Rocksteady, a struggle that ends with the lugs being locked in a cage at the zoo where their animal halves used to call home. The Turtles return to their lair with Splinter and April, having won this battle in the first of many against Shredder and his resilient cavalry.
Episode 3, entitled "A Thing About Rats," Shredder enlists the services of failed scientist Baxter Stockman, whose prototype for a new extermination tool is rejected by Ajax Pest Control but happily received by Shredder. Stockman's contraptions, dubbed Mousers, are able to detect rodents nearby and eliminate them with ease, an invention which Shredder offers to mass produce in order to hunt down Splinter. The new team sets up shop in an abandoned house in the city and begin cranking out the Mousers on an assembly line, much to the displeasure of Krang, who again bashes Shredder for repeatedly denying his wishes for a new body. The Mousers ambush Splinter in the sewer, but the Turtles swoop in, defeat the 'bots and find Stockman's name plastered all over the critters. The guys track down the lackey and demands that he shut down the Mousers, but Stockman claims that Shredder now possesses full control over them.
Michelangelo sneaks into the scientist's secret laboratory in search of the Mousers' signal while the other Turtles confiscate Stockman's van full of advanced technological gadgetry and head over to April's to catch the reporter up with recent events. Once inside, Mikey is sabotaged and tied to a chair by Shredder, who then leaves the 'chuck-swinging goof alone while he attends to his Mousers. Krang steps out from the shadows and, in an attempt to undermine Shredder's latest floundering scheme to stop the Turtles, frees Mike and tells him where to find the computer managing the Mousers. Mikey steps up mano-o-turtle against Shredder, cleverly tricking his silvery aggressor into destroying the control panel with an erroneous blast from his ray gun. The Mousers disconnect just seconds before dismembering the Turtles outside, and Donatello reprograms them to go after Shredder. Shred-Head escapes once more, another failed effort to defeat his mutant enemies.
Baxter Stockman has been imprisoned for his association with Shredder's devious crime spree, a bit of information presented at the beginning of episode 4, "Hot Rodding Teenagers From Dimension X." The title refers to a trio of futuristic teens who pass through a portal into our world from Dimension X, Krang's former stomping grounds and a realm of all-out war-ridden annihilation. The portal is opened by Shredder in a desperate attempt to steal the ravaged domain's weapons to use against the Turtles, yet another act of defiance toward Krang's continuing pleas for a body of his own. After a misunderstanding leads them into briefly fighting one another, the teenagers, known as the Neutrinos, deny any allegiance with Shredder and join forces with the Turtles. A brawl breaks out when Krang's Rock Soldier battalion (headed by General Traag) takes to the streets, forcing the Turtles and Neutrinos to flee in their respective Turtle Van and flying Starmobiles.
Though they hate war, the Neutrinos agree that the devastation conquering their homeland shouldn't be permitted to spread to Earth. In the end, the Turtles help their new inter-dimensional allies wrangle the Rock Soldiers back through the portal, handing Shredder another loss against his sworn enemies. The Turtles regroup in their underground lair, Leonardo vowing that they will soon take Shredder out once and for all. Shredder finally caves to Krang's demands at the start of episode 5, "Shredder & Splintered," activating his grotesque colleague's robot suit, thus introducing us to one of the coolest villains of the entire series. Shred-Head interrupts the Turtles' TV time in the sewer with a video demonstrating his newest apparatus -- an anti-mutagen ray that transforms victims of the ooze's molecular meddlings back to their original form. His plan works, as the Turtles come for him again in hopes of securing the gun and changing Splinter back into Hamato Yoshi.
Splinter joins his sons for the climactic clash with Shredder, seeking to gank the ray while the Turtles stand off against Krang and his brand-spankin'-new android suit. A fantastic struggle takes place on the streets of New York City when Krang grows to tremendous size, ballooning until he would be able to scale the Empire State Building right alongside King Kong. The Turtles topple the killer brain from Dimension X with assistance from their Turtle Blimp, the modified Starmobile left behind by the Neutrinos from the previous episode. Krang unfortunately doesn't quite get out of the box during his first foray inside the suit, but Shredder gains the upper hand when he corners the Turtles with the ray gun pointed directly at them. Splinter makes a difficult split decision, smashing the ray with his staff in order to rescue the Turtles. Donatello then reverses the portal controls, sucking the Technodrome into Dimension X with just enough time for the good guys to escape.
With Shredder and Krang seemingly stranded in Dimension X, how could they possibly pose a further threat toward the Turtles? Be sure to check back next time for PixelatedPop's review of Season 2 of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Animated Series!