Review: Nickelodeon TMNT "The Pulverizer"

ThePulverizer

In the original Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles we had an episode called “The Fifth Turtle” it was about a young boy who became a fan of the Ninja Turtles deciding to try and be a superhero himself.  His name was Zach, he dressed up like the Turtles, and was clever but was also very annoying. In that episode he got in the Turtles way, he found the Turtles home, and he ended up making friends with them.  Zach became a rescued characters through the series.  He was voiced by Rob Paulsen, dressed with the red mask, and remained a very annoying character in the show each time we put up with him.  So when I read about “The Pulverizer” episode my first thoughts went back to Zach, is Nickelodeon returning this annoying character to the screen?  Here is my take on the newest episode of Nickelodeon’s Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.

This episode starts off with a scene we do not normally see.  The Kraang all standing around a planning table talking about the power cell.  This is the thing that LeatherHead stole from the Kraang in “It Came From the Depths” the Turtles used it to power the subway train to escape from the Kraang and keep it safe in that episode.  Now the Kraang want it back. This scene is short, though it was still nice to see the inside of their base without them being spied on for a change.

We see the power cel getting closed into a box with a glass lid, by Donatello.  In the Subway the other three Turtles are sitting around waiting for Donatello. Michelangelo is complaining about his short attention span as Raph is grumbling that this better be worth it.  At that moment Don pulls ups in the subway train that they took.  Michelangelo does not take long to name it the Shellraiser.  All of the Turtles get in as Donatello shows them their spots, having Leo drive because he’s less likely to hit stuff just for fun.  Leo starts to drive the Shellraiser as Don explains the power source, though when he sees a dead end in front of them he wants to stop, Don tells him to keep going.  Don presses a button which opens up the street as the Shell Raiser pops out of the subway onto the street above, it’s street wheels come down so it can drive on the road.  The are Turtles excited about this feature.

This is one of the longest times we’ve waited for a Ninja Turtle ride to be introduced to the series.  The Turtle Van was in episode four of the original series “Hot Rodding Teenagers from Dimension X”.  The Next Mutation the Turtles had their number in episode 1.  And in the 4Kids TMNT series the BattleShell did not really appear until episode the fourth episode as well, “Meet Casey Jones”.  This is episode sixteen and we’re finally getting the main wheels of the series.  It’s clear the Turtles all like this new ride.  My favorite parts is when Michelangelo named it, and when Donatello explains why Leonardo is the driver.

The Turtles get their joy ride as Donatello turns on some metal music and Leonardo speeds through the streets of New York trying out the Shellraiser. Somehow getting up to speeds of over 100.   Having enough room on the streets to spin.  And not getting the attention of the cops.  Raphael gets Leonardo to stop when he sees some purple dragons.

This scene does not just seem pointless and a waste of screen time, it’s annoying and unrealistic.  We see cars driving down other streets, but with going that fast on the streets of New York City Leo did not hit anyone or anything?  The police did not get a call for reckless driving going on downtown?  Where are all of New York’s stop lights?  They were not being Ninja like at all, nor is their ride all that ninja like.  It does not look like anything else you see on the streets, it would turn heads and get attention from anyone who sees it.  The smartest time I’ve ever seen the Turtles have a ride was in the 4Kids series with the Turtle Taxi, that ride blends right into New York City.  My thoughts is that this is meant to sell the toy, giving the Shellraiser some more screen time so kids can see how much fun the Turtles have with their ride.

The Turtles stop thinking they’re going to fight the Purple Dragon till they see someone else stand up to them.  They watch as they go from curious, excited to disappointed with the new hero.  The Pulverizer has no fighting skills, and is beaten by the Purple the Dragons.  When the Turtles jump out there to help and stop the Purple Dragons from stealing whatever it was they had, the Pulverizer just gets in the way.  The Purple Dragons get away and the Turtles are upset at the Pulverizer.  He follows them back to the Shellraiser, though when Raphael turns him around and closes the door things go wrong. The Pulverizer’s headband gets stuck into the door and he goes along for the ride.

Dressed as a Ninja Turtle... wearing red... trying to fight crime.  Inspired by the Turtles. Gets in the way.  The only things different between the Pulverizer and Zach is he’s bigger, in both height and size, has dark hair, and does not share the same voice actor as the current Raphael.  It was clear the Pulverizer was just meant to be in the way in this fight.  It was painfully written that way to where the viewers will not like him.  This all reminded me so much of Zach.

The Turtles head back home, when they open up the ride they find the Pulverizer on the ground.  He says he blacked out most of the way.  The Pulverizer explains that he saw them when they fought Baxter Stockman in “I think his name is Baxter Stockman”.  After explaining the Pulverizer takes off to explore their home finding MetalHead.  He points out that this was the stuff the Purple Dragons were stealing.  Leonardo realizes they need to stop Baxter, he orders Donatello to fix the Shellraiser and take the Pulverizer home.  Raphael and Michelangelo goe with Leonardo to stop Baxter from whatever he’s up to.

“Fix the Shellraiser”?  Anyone else catch this?  When did the Shellraiser break?  What needs repairs?  I think I missed something.  I’ve gone back and watched this a few times now, don’t see it breaking.  Don’t hear anything about it being broken, until Don is told to fix it.  What are we missing here?  An excuse for Don not to go to this battle with his brothers is the only thing I can think of.  And it wasn’t even that good seeing as how they never said it how it broke in the first place.

Ok, rant over.  A few things I did like about this scene was when Pulverizer explained what he saw when the Turtles fought Baxter.  I loved that Don was the strong silent type.  It shows he’s got good memory, hopefully that will be useful at some point to make this character not to pointless.  I also love that when the Turtles were trying to find out why the Purple Dragons would steal Kraang Tech Don asks “Who do we know who would be interested in stolen evil robot parts?”  It hits Raph, Don and Leo at the same time as Baxter Stockman, but Michelangelo’s answer is what gets me to bust up laughing.

Baxter Stockman is working with the Kraang Tech as Fong is warning him that the Turtles know something is up.  Xever is tests his legs and is happy that they now work.  He wants the Turtles to come because he loves to stomp Turtles.

Much like I said in “The Alien Agenda” review, I am disappointed that Baxter could not get these legs to work on his own.  Though it’s good to finally see Fishface about to get into the action.  Still waiting to see why he’s a threat though.  He’s a fish out of water.

At the lair Donatello is working on the roof of the Shellraiser as the Pulverizer is playing with his bo staff.  Losing grip of the staff it goes flying at Don, he catches without flinching. Don decides to start showing him some moves as we learn that the Pulverizer wants to be a hero now and not take time to build muscles up.  Don shows him that he has to learning the basic as we see a montage of training scenes.  At the end of the montage the Pulverizer rolls into Splinter’s room, as Splinter learns about him and gets after Donatello for teaching this dufus their secret arts.  Don convinces Splinter to let him teach some self defense.

This scene is okay, as we get to see Don trying to teach a human.  Pulverizer clearly has no training and should not be trying to put his life at risk to save others.  Unlike Zach, he’s not trying to learn the right stuff either, he just wants the results.  The worse thing here is to believe that all this time Splinter did not realize that Pulverizer was there.  And now Don is not even trying to fix the Shellraiser anymore, even though he knows his brothers went off to battle.

Baxter Stockman is sitting in this seat with computer stuff around him.  The Turtles jump in telling him to stop what he’s doing.  As Baxter has Xever come out to fight the Turtles.  Leo makes a Sushi joke that pisses Xever off, which gets Michelangelo to speak up with the name of their new mutant foe, Xever is now Fishface.  The fight begins as Raph takes Fishface one on one, Leo and Mike just stand back watching.  Raph gets to the point where it looks like he could win, but Fishface bites him as they learn his teeth is venomous.  Raph is down, Leo runs to take over the fight as Mike goes to take care of Raph.  It does not take long for Mike to realize that Raph is not fine.

Is this the building where they fought Dogpound in “Mousers Attack”?  This new location is never explained.  Much like in “I think his name is Baxter Stockman” the Turtles just happen to find where they need to be.  Fishface looks cool as he jumps into action with how he can move so well in his new robot legs.  I love that Leo even gets a kick out of the name Fishface and Mike’s other answer for the second name he had in mind.   This is a fun scene with lots of action and a great introduction for Fishface to the series.

Donatello is still trying to train the Pulverizer.  Teaching the Pulverizer on how to take him down to the ground.  The Pulverizer is doing horrible.  Michelangelo calls Donatello’s T Phone and tells Don what is going on and that he has to get there.  Don asks the Pulverizer if he can drive.  The next handful of scenes is between the fight and Don’s ride to the fight scene.  Best watched for the awesome expressions, reactions and conversation in general that takes place.

I really did love this back and forth.  A lot of funny things are said and done here. My favorite would be about the pizza, though I really say you have to watch and listen for that scene to truly get the feel of it.  Greg Cipes did an amazing job at his voice acting there at just letting you feel his anger.

At the Foot Base, Mike has taken down everyone besides for Fishface as Fishface as now taken down Leo and is coming after Mike.  Once Donatello gets there, he as the Shellraiser take down Fishface then he cures Raph and realizes that the Shellraiser was damaged on the trip to the fight.  They have to get it back into hiding so the Kraang can not find it.  They should've left the Pulverizer behind, but instead he was brought for the speedy drive to try and get the Shellraiser underground.  The Kraang do not take long to get hot on their trail as a new fight starts up.

To learn about the Turtle’s first car chase with the Shellraiser, watch them go fist to fist against the Kraang.  The Pulverizer becomes trouble for their battle again.  And the Turtles loose something very important.  Watch the episode!  It’s a fun episode all around, even though it has an annoying character in it.  You get the Shellraiser at it’s best and worse.  You see Fishface in action.  And best of all you see a very sick and out of it Raph who gives us some real funny moments.

One of the fun things that Nickelodeon did for the fans this week that sort of hinted about Zach was sent out through Turtles vs. Foot.  They sent out artwork called "The 5th Ninja Turtle".  True this was not of Zach or the Pulverizer, but the title really did point back to the original series episode with Zach.  I found this as a fun little nod to do, even though it had nothing to do with the episode at all.

The Pulverizer is the new Zach of the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles series.  While Zach was younger, he was smarter and more in shape.  This does not mean that the Pulverizer will not take that road as well.  As we’ve seen with Nickelodeon they like to start their characters off at a weaker state so we can watch them grow into the characters we remember from the other series.  In time will the Pulverizer be more helpful for the Turtles?  We will just have to watch and see where it goes from here.

Did you watch this episode of the Nickelodeon series?  If so what do you think of the Pulverizer?  What was your favorite scene?  Please share reviews, questions and comments below!

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Comments

Awesome information! I can't wait to see this episode!

Would't be cool if we didn't see him until Season 2, and it turns out that he's Casey Jones? Like, if he trained for all that time and got in shape. I seriously doubt that it would happen, but I think it'd be a neat twist.

I gotta say that this wasn't one of the better episodes. It still is a good one but it has so many problems that are never explained (like you mentioned) what annoys me most though is the scene where Donnie has to choose between Pulverizer and the crystal. Since the crystak can bring the whole Kraang army to Earth would it certainly be a top priority to save the crystal first. Besides, I didn't really saw Pulverizer being in a really big minute and certainly could handle at least one more minute before being rescued.

So, I take it you didn't like this episode too much.

Michele Ivey's picture

Oh I liked the episode, I just did not like the plot holes. It bothers me that Don was left behind when they knew they were going into battle against Baxter to fix something that was not broken.

Though I love all the great moments in this episode like the full part between Mike and Don on the T-Phone... Mike getting after a sick Raph about pizza. Awesome! And last night I had to replay a part over and over again just to watch each of their expressions, because I loved how well it was done.

I just hope the series does not get into the habit of making up reasons for characters to be where they are, instead of putting some thought into it.

Yeah, I agree about how Donnie needed to fix the Shellraiser when it was not broken. Oh well, I guess they had to get the plot going somehow. What did you think of The Pulverizer himself? Did you think he was annoying and didn't like him, or are you looking forward to seeing him again?

Michele Ivey's picture

Someone claiming to be a writer replied to this review elsewhere and says that there was a line for the ride back that there was something wrong with the Shellraiser though it was cut. Not sure why.

With the Pulverizer I look at him as I did Zach, some what annoying but I don't hate him. I'd buy the toy... just as I own animation cels with Zach on them. But I don't want to see him in every episode. I'm hoping that he grows as a character, gets smarter. The fact that he said he was going to train before leaving them, was a good sign that he learned something in this episode So we'll see where he goes.

He also reminds of Carter from season 7 in the original show.

Michele Ivey's picture

I am very thankful he does not remind me of Carter. Differences. Carter never dressed like a Turtle, Zach did. Carter came in looking for a teacher, Zach came in wanting to be a hero. Carter had an annoying mutation side, Zach didn't. Carter could do everything each of the Turtles could do but better, Zach was his own annoying self. If you can tell, I didn't like Carter. This character is a lot more like Zach. Personally I hope that Nickelodeon never brings in a character to match up to Carter.

i Like the insides of the Shellraiser & how it has a good # of stations in it for each Turtle. i hope they make a toy that can open up the Shellraiser & we can see all the different & cool parts of this vehicle. i hope they don't make Casey Jones lame like they did the Pulverizer. Also did you hear about "CityFall"?

Michele Ivey's picture

yup, heard about CityFall, can't wait.

Shellraiser has one toy out right now that I need to look into, and then we got another toy coming out that will be RC in the Fall. I know the second one will not have the stations in it.