Review: Nickelodeon TMNT "New Girl In Town"

NewGirlInTowns

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On August 23, 1992 Mirage released the City at War comic books at Turtle Con. This was the beginning of the end of Volume 1 of the Mirage Comics but it was only the beginning for a character that would make her mark in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles history. Karai joined in as a warrior coming to fix the mess the Shredder made. She was then brought into the 2003 series, now as the Shredder’s adopted daughter, in the 2007 movie she was the shown leader of the Foot Clan, and IDW picked it up that Karai is also related to the Shredder. Karai is now a name that Turtle fans know. Which for Nickelodeon was a sure reason to bring her into their Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series. That brings us to the newest episode of the 2012 TMNT series “New Girl in Town”

The episode starts with Snakeweed on the run, the Turtles are chasing him down. Even though he’s running from this fight, he takes this chance to kidnap a pizza guy who crossed his path. Turning into an alley Leonardo realizes he should be cornered. Though when Leo gives his orders on how they’re going to take Snakeweed down, Raphael fights it. By time Leo gets his brothers to follow where he needs them, Snakeweed is gone with the pizza guy. Raph blows up, as he blames Leo for a bad plan. Tired of always fighting with Raph, Leo hands his leadership over to Raph as he leaves the group.

When I first saw Snakeweed I got excited inside. This is our first time seeing him since part two of “Rise of the Turtles”. At that point he was working for the Kraang and mutated in battle. Blaming the Turtles for his mutation. When the Turtles defeated him, it looked like he could've been killed. But his heart came back to life, so we knew he would be back. This return took longer than I thought. As my mind went into what this was going to be like when he returned such a chance for a strong character. Snakeweed hates the Turtles for his mutation, he’s got strong allies in the Kraang and a new power that will make him a threat. I could not wait to see where they were going with him in this episode.

Oh yeah, Leo and Raph’s fight... been there, seen that... oh Raph gets leadership, a new road. Hopefully something that will help make it so it’s not another repeat Leo/Raph anger in every episode. I loved Michelangelo’s reaction to the pizza guy being taken. And that they used the same pizza guy that was seen in part 1 of “Rise of the Turtles” who is based off of a young Ciro Nieli.

Leonardo’s anger is getting the best of him as he is taking it out on a building top. When Foot Ninjas show up, Leo turns to face them happy for the battle. The three were easy for him to take down, to his surprise though they were not alone. A female Ninja joins the fight, she uses blinding powder to get the best of Leonardo. Winning the fight, Leo thought he was a goner. Karai takes this moment to introduce herself and leaves him there.

I liked seeing Leonardo blow some steam. It’s clear in most versions, including this one that he has anger issues too. He just normally controls it better than Raphael. In the 4Kids TMNT series Leonardo did a scene much like this one with the episode “Shredder Strikes” Part 1. Where he is given an invite to join the Foot Clan by the Shredder. Nickelodeon is handling this different, having Karai meet Leonardo alone. Catching his attention. And leaving him. I like how she was handled. Not a big fan of her looks, though as I’ve learned with everything in Ninja Turtles history, if you don’t like someone’s looks just wait till the next reboot and you might like how they look there. In the meantime, see if you enjoy the personality.

At the lair Donatello is working out a map to find Snakeweed’s hideout while Raphael is pushing him to work faster. Leonardo comes in with his red eyes from the blinding powder, Michelangelo takes this as thinking Leo’s been crying. Raph goes at Leo asking where he’s been, as Leo deflects him not willing to tell. Don finds where Snakeweed’s lair is. As Don goes to say in front of Leo, Raph jumps in front saying that Leo is on a need to know bases.

Once again I enjoy how Nickelodeon is handling the Turtles. Don’s working, as Raph is being his aggressive self. Mike is just listening in, though when Leo shows up Mike is the one to acknowledge him first. And even takes time to notice Leo’s eyes showing a bit of concern even as he jokes by saying that Leo’s been crying. Though he’s right there to give Leonardo a hug. He is also the one asking for them to make up. While it didn’t happen, I do like that he’s trying to remain the heart of the family. Surprise Don didn’t react more, the threat of pain must of really got fear into him. He did not even say hi to Leo, he just stares blankly at him when he walks in.

Leonardo is watching his Space Heroes tv show as Captain Ryan is flirting with the enemy who turns against him. After Captain Ryan kills the girl, Splinter comes in seeing Leo alone. He asks where the others are, so Leo explains that he made Raph the leader. Splinter is angered by this, tells Leo why this is not his choice and sends him out to find his brothers.

When the Nickelodeon series started we were getting a lot of these one on one scenes between Splinter and the Turtles as they needed help. Though it slowed down these last few episodes, which worked well for me. So when I saw this scene instead of ‘oh here comes the daily lesson’ it was, oh cool a moment between Splinter and Leo! I enjoyed it with the character growth, the reason behind Splinter’s order, and just how much Leo clearly did not want to follow through. The animators and writers did a great job at bringing these father and son moment together.

Leonardo goes top side looking for his brothers, talking to himself out of anger of what’s going on. To his surprise Karai shows up, and the two of them get a rematch. This time Leonardo can see, and is keeping up with Karai. The two of them comment on each others fighting styles. As Leo feels the need to pull out his second sword for this battle.

This gives us more of a time to get to know Karai. During this fight I did notice one thing, Karai who is voiced by Kelly Hu sounds much older than she looks like she’s suppose to be. I could picture that voice on a woman in her mid 20’s to 30’s. Not so much the teenager she is trying to portray. The fight scene was good, but it did not have me on the edge of my seat. Best scene in the fight was talking about Shredder, I find it interesting that she thinks he needs a hobby. It sounds like she realizes he’s obsessed and unlike other evil versions of Karai, it’s unclear if she totally supports his obsession.

The other Turtles are heading through the sewers looking for Snakeweed’s lair. Michelangelo takes notes that this part of the sewer smells worse. As Donatello informs Mike about some sewer facts he gets back to reading his map leading them right into Snakeweed’s home. They find pods with people in them, as Don figures these are for fertilizer. Raphael orders his brothers to save the people, they do so and then a pissed off Snakeweed shows up.

This is a fun scene. I know that the Turtles are younger in this series and is still learning stuff. I also realize a lot of fans don’t like how dumb Mikey seems to be here, but I don’t feel like he’s being dumb just that he hasn’t really cared enough to learn before or pay attention. There’s plenty of times in my life where I know people have talked about stuff around me, but I didn’t really learn it until it was right in my face. We all still learn stuff everyday, and sometimes it’s things that others around us feel should be day to day knowledge. So I liked Mikey’s lessons and reactions here. I also like how smug Raphael is. Though are they sure there’s not more people in those other pods?

A problem I have with this scene is that Snakeweed started off in this show human. I want to know what got him to resort to using humans for fertilizer? Why is he not still with the Kraang? There just seems to be some missing details here that I do not know if we’re going to learn. He was a human that was already with one of the groups against the Turtles before mutating, why is he solo now? It disappoints me to think that these are now open questions. It’s not like he’s got a teaching program on how to turn humans into fertilizer. A little disappointed with this turn in Snakeweed’s character.

Leonardo is still fighting Karai as they share wits. It’s clear she is the better fighter and is toying with him. Leo points out that she could of defeated him on the roof top in their first battle but she didn’t. Her excuse is that he’s the first thing that did not bore her. After a few more exchange of words, she tells him to meet her at a skyrise so she can show him something and leaves Leo alone.

This is getting more amusing as I pointed out earlier the scene on the roof with Leo blowing off some steam reminded me of the 4Kids episode “Shredder Strikes” and now we have a member of the Foot trying to get Leo’s attention without being all hate. This here holds me, I like the idea of the Foot trying to recruit the Turtles. It is always interesting to see how the writers handle it. Though I still get distracted by the hairstyle on Karai I find the rest of her is not that bad in design. The voice still sounds too old for her though.

Raphael, Michelangelo and Donatello are fighting Snakeweed. This fight looks like it’s been going for a little bit as Don is thrown into a wall. And it seems that Raph is realizing he can not do his normal thing and only focus on how he’s going to take down the bad guy, but his brothers are relying on him to tell them what to do. He’s lost on what to do but does not want to look this way, the panic of losing along with the stress of leadership is getting to Raph. As he starts to second guess himself he freezes up seeing Michelangelo is hurt. Don gets Snakeweed tied up, and helps Raph carry Michelangelo out of this fight. As Snakeweed flings something onto the Turtles letting them know he’s coming for them.

This scene I like, while I hear fans say Raph would not freeze up like this I tend to disagree. The Turtles are younger here, and Raph has never had the pressure of “What do we do?” thrown on his head. While he wanted the leadership role he did not know what comes with it. He was not ready for it, as Leo did not feel he was ready for it in the first episode after he became the leader. Questioning if he was doing it right. Raph still has a lot of room to grow, and now that he’s seen what Leo goes through and can realize just how hard it really is to be a leader he can grow in a better direction to help the team. I personally loved this way of handling it. As I’m tired of Raph and Leo always fighting in most series and movies over leadership. Good to see someone come up with a new way to handle the lesson. In the original cartoon series Raph was not fighting for the leadership role, I hope this episode helps makes it so Raph will stop fighting for it now.

Leonardo goes to April, he has to tell someone of the girl he met. It’s clear as he starts to tell April about Karai that he likes her. At first April is excited for Leo until she hears that the girl is in the Foot Clan. At this point April is clearly against this. Leo tells April where he’s going to be meeting her, and that he thinks there’s good in her. April expresses concern as she retires for the night leaving Leo alone to think about this.

I really like this. Best April moment for me in the series now. I like how April is all there for Leo but then realizes how stupid he’s being. She’s got her foot down about who the person is by where she’s at. But she also cares for Leonardo enough to try and trust his judgement. I also like that Leo wanted to talk to someone, knowing Splinter would be mad he hasn’t found his brothers. He don’t know where his brothers are and they wouldn’t understand, he takes this to April. A smart move on his behalf, to not go alone without someone knowing where he is.
Karai comes in to see the Shredder. Shredder knows that she let Leonardo go. She tries to convince him that he escaped. Shredder does not believe this, though she says something that angers him as she points out that he escaped from him. Shredder warns her that the next time she sees Leonardo she must finish him. When she agrees to this, she calls him father.

Now we know that Karai is following the route of the 4Kids series, where she sees the Shredder as her father. We do not know if he really is her father or if he’s just the one to raise her. This is a nice way to show just how things are there for even those who see Saki as family. I notice that Fishface was not swimming around in his pool. A good and short scene that I’m glad they put in the show, this is proof that Karai is going against the Shredder’s wishes.

Raphael and Donatello return home with Michelangelo in arms. Splinter comes out and Raph confesses everything to him. Splinter orders Raph to find Leonardo, but Raph does not know where he is. Don chimes in on Leo’s location as he says April texted him. It then hits Don that April him a text which makes him very happy.

I love this talk between Splinter and Raphael. It brings the lesson full circle and I really do hope that this episode helps in character growth between Raph and Leo for a long time. Nickelodeon is handling this different. Yes it’s not what people would think of Raph in a tight spot. But I think they were doing this clever and am enjoying this new twist.

I’m going to leave the rest of this episode for those who see it. The big fight scene is coming up as well as the fact that Raphael needs to find Leonardo. What will happen with Karai? Will she follow her father’s order and try to destroy Leo, or work on her plan to try and get him to do bad? Find out by watching “New Girl in Town”.

Did you see this episode? What are your thoughts? Please share reviews, comments and questions below.

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Comments

Being a Raph fan i can say @ first when i saw that seen i thought they were doing it wrong, but after Raph said i can handle doing things for himself but not this, it made me realize that Raph is always better as a loner than a leader @ this time in his life. I also hope that with this story will help make more stories that show more growth in Raph & Leo.

This was one of my favorite episodes so far, nice review. I like how they brought Snakeweed back, I'd like to see them bring Spider Bytez back in a similar fashion (being in the episode while not being the main focus).

This is just what I'm thinking but my guess is that Karai actually are Miwa, Splinter's daughter. I don't think that any TMNT versions has mentioned that Splinter had a daughter before the whole story began but that's my guess.

Michele Ivey's picture

Heh yeah, been thinking that too. Gotta see as things span out ;)