ReviewsTV/Cartoon Series

TMNT – “Heart of Evil” Review

The train kept rolling this week, as we got answers to many of the questions from last week’s episode. “Heart of Evil” showed us where Shredder’s heart has been all this time, who has it, and what it means to the larger crime channels of New York. We also received a larger show of the cracks forming between Kavaxas and Tiger Claw. There is definitely more to the Shredder’s resurrection than meets the eye.

We were also treated to a very different side of Donatello. Overall, there has been consistently good character studies in this show, and it’s really interesting to take a look at what Donnie becomes when he’s angry. Obsessed even. Pulling this out of the trauma he received from Don Vizioso the last time we saw him was a perfect opportunity. Turns out, Donnie can be a real badass when he has a really good reason. It had the extra effect of showing more cracks in Leo’s role as sensei, and we had a nice touching moment between them at the end of the episode.

Don Vizioso and his mafia continue to be interesting additions to the show. It’s a great foil to see how the normal criminal elements of the city react to ninjas and mutants and demon dragons. Still, Vizioso isn’t quite normal, which makes him a fun character. The constant eating, the M.O.D.O.K. like flying chair, and his exaggerated gangster speech all add up to a humorous send up of movie mafia culture.

The family also gave the creative team the opportunity(?) to show just how evil Kavaxas is. He was killing people left and right in the ambush scene! I’m definitely going to miss The Hammer. What a ridiculous character.

The whole episode was a triple threat battle for the heart of Shredder. Don Vizioso took it after Shredder’s death, as a show of power in the city. I enjoyed how his enforcers all thought it was gross that he just kept it on the table while he ate (which is all the time). Vizioso’s line about gaining the power of your enemy by consuming their heart, really made it sound like he was going to eat it, but apparently even he’s not that gross. The episode even joked about this later on with Bebop riffing on him.

It was also interesting to see just how the Turtles are trying to deal with Tiger Claw and Kavaxas. Normally, any reconnaissance mission the group does is just a way for the writers to get the heroes in  a place for a battle. This time, however, Raph and Mikey (of all people) were actually successfully spying on the bad guys. They never gave away their position! It’s hard not to feel proud of both of them.

No, this time the conflict came squarely from Leo and Donnie, and Donnie’s desire for revenge. I spoke to this a little before, but it really is fun watching these two bang heads. Donnie is angry, but his analytical mind is still there. He’s got a grudge, but he wants to get rid of the anti-mutant weapons. When Leo tries to get him to focus, he just looks at it as multi-tasking. It’s a different kind of anger than Raph, and it’s just another example of how well this show really gets each turtle. Plus, did you see that grin on Raph when Leo was scolding Donnie? That’s some comedy gold, right there.

There was also the subplot of figuring out how to stop Kavaxas. The fight over the seal was really well done. Kavaxas wanted the seal for his freedom. April, Karai, Raph, and Mikey, wanted it to try to control Kavaxas. Tiger Claw needs it to maintain control. It was a visually interesting fight, with clear stakes. Mikey’s injuries at the end only highlighted those stakes, and reminded us how formidable Tiger Claw is. Plus, it’s setting up April for a big moment down the line, when she finally figures out how to harness her abilities and the seal in tandem.

“Heart of Evil” was another solid episode in the Kavaxas arc. With Shredder’s revival at the end of the episode, the stakes couldn’t be higher. It’s obvious now that Kavaxas’ own plan relies on Shredder’s resurrection as well, and it will be interesting to see what actually steps out of that coffin. Will it be Super Shredder? The original Shredder pre-mutation? Maybe it’s a vessel for Kavaxas himself? Obviously there is power in Shredder, and Kavaxas has a great interest in it. “Heart of Evil” did a great job of boiling that interest, and setting us up for what will hopefully be an explosive episode next week!



Editor's Rating

"Heart of Evil" was another solid episode in the Kavaxas arc. With Shredder's revival at the end of the episode, the stakes couldn't be higher. It's obvious now that Kavaxas' own plan relies on Shredder's resurrection as well, and it will be interesting to see what actually steps out of that coffin. Obviously there is power in Shredder, and Kavaxas has a great interest in it. "Heart of Evil" did a great job of boiling that interest, and setting us up for what will hopefully be an explosive episode next week!

The Author

Dan Spitaliere

Dan Spitaliere

Dan Spitaliere is a sound designer and engineer, voice over artist, and a lifelong shellhead. He grew up on a healthy diet of Turtles movies, comics, cartoons, and toys, and can recite the first movie in its entirety from memory. He is excited to be a part of such a great team in the middle of this current Turtle Renaissance!

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  • Totaldrama Icequeen

    I thought it was funny how Tiger Claw fell for The Old Switcheroo. Never thought Donnie could hold a grudge like that. Freaking out and ready to see what the heck will happen now that Shredder rises once more


    Is it just me, or did we get that darker TMNT everyone’s been wanting? Cuz i freakin’ love it.

  • Elisa

    I really enjoyed the tension between Leo and Donnie. I felt it was very IDW-ish where we’ve seen the two of them butt heads over what should be a target or priority. And it makes sense, given Donatello’s brilliant mind, that he may have other plans different from Leo’s. Great episode! It was about time we got some Leo and Donnie moments! It’s been a while.

  • William Kerfoot

    One of the worst episodes of the entire series! And I’m not just saying that because I wanted the Shredder to stay dead. There are a lot more problems and most of them have to do with Donnie’s ill-conceived grudge.
    First of all, Don’s grudge against Vizioso has no credibility whatsoever! Sure, Viz and his goons put Don and Mondo Gecko (where was he btw? Ha!) in a tough situation, but both Don AND his brothers have been in a lot worse! Maybe if we saw Don having flashes back to that in, say, a commercial for a blender Mikey was watching it might have worked some.
    Then there’s Leo vs Don which started out so over the top with Don actually obtaining the plot device (ha!) only to have it taken away in an act of contrivance—something Leo had no right to take out on Don. In another act of contrivance, Don’s stealth moves are undone by a screw coming loose from the neon sign he’s hanging from. How cheap! As for Leo, he may function best as this episodes critic but not so much as Don’s conscience. Still, it opens up an interesting door that’s not fully explored. Three episodes ago, Leo got his revenge on Shredder in “Owari”. Now, even though I don’t buy the grudge, he’s trying to deny Don his own! It makes you wonder: are Leo’s concerns for his brothers psychological well-being genuine or are they born out of something similar to self interest? It would’ve been sweet to see Leo struggle to answer Donnie’s question of “How come you can have your revenge but I can’t have mine?”
    EVEN THEN, the grudge still wouldn’t work b/c of the character of Viz himself! The Don is a joke of a character who shouldn’t be taken seriously, even when his flying chair turns into a missile launcher. See what I mean? Usually a character like this would be in danger of becoming the next Boss Biggis (one of Batman TAS’ very few low points) but he ends up working as a knock on those Mafioso types in entertainment, from Don Corleone, to the Kingpin, to the Blob. So to have him be the central figure of Donnie’s grudge is a huge contrast and a big mistake! Plus, it’s not even Donnie’s grudge that did them in at the end but b/c the writers cheated! They cheated us into this non-sensical grudge in the first place, they cheated us out of a potentially interesting conflict b/w Leo and Don, they cheated the protagonists out of gaining an upper hand on the antagonists (that “hot potato” scene was also a disgrace—bless Mikey’s heart for trying, but the rest of them saw how TC used the amulet and yet they couldn’t?! It seemed a very contrived way for the ep to reach the conclusion it wanted), and they cheated their way into having Shredder be brought back into the picture. I can’t stand this episode! It didn’t deserve more than a 2!