ReviewsTV/Cartoon Series

TMNT – “End Times” Review

Just like that, the threat of a resurrected Shredder and an unleashed Kavaxas has been dealt with. Maybe it’s because this is the first mini-arc of the Tales era of Nick’s TMNT, but “End Times” felt a little rushed and tonally mixed. The first three episodes of the season had a deliberate pace, one that was familiar to the rest of the series. Suddenly, “End Times” put the whole arc into over drive. Shredder was revived (even the Turtles were surprised), Xever had abandoned the foot, Kavaxas is betraying Tiger Claw in order to rule the world, and everyone (good guys and bad guys alike) are teaming up.

It’s almost as if the first three episodes were created before the team knew the show was ending after this season. It definitely seemed like Kavaxas was going to be a big part of the whole season and, for life long TMNT fans, it must be pretty surprising to see Shredder not permanently resurrected. Yet here we are; everything introduced in the previous three episodes neatly tied up with a bow and an upbeat, almost season ending, ending. It’s a little conflicting.

The four episode arc was enjoyable overall. It’s always a pleasure hearing Mark Hamill voice act. We got some pay off for Leo seeing Splinter so much, with the whole family being reunited one last time at the end. The writers threw a curveball by having Mikey, not April, wind up being the one to control Kavaxas, much to the evil demon’s surprise. It’s always nice when they subvert our expectations like that, and it’s an added bonus for Mikey to get another heroic moment. There was also a nice Ghostbusters vibe throughout the end of the episode, with Donatello forging his own kind of proton packs.

Side note: Best line of the episode goes to Leo for explaining to Casey, “We just don’t trust you with anything that shoots anything, especially lasers!”

Moving onto the tone of the episode, while the themes remained dark, the tone itself felt way more silly. We’ll find out if this is a larger pivot for the rest of the season, or if this was just the way for the production team to keep it light for the audience. Being totally honest, Zombie Shredder was creepy, especially when Leo cuts his arm and head off and they make their way back to the body! The goofiness was ok in comparison (things like Mikey’s bubblegum dance to save the day were fun), but it still created a large shift from the previous three episodes, and even the previous season.

The more I think about it, the more the tone becomes a mixed bag. On one side you’ve got Leatherhead giving a booyakasha; on the other, you have Rahzar dying again (again!). For every Space Heroes: The Next Generation, there’s a Kavaxas caused apocalypse where all the dead are pouring out of the netherworld. I understand it’s to balance out the two, but whereas previous seasons used whole episodes as balance, or a couple moments within an episode, “End Times” felt like it was bouncing back and forth between constantly. Maybe this is just another side effect of the rushed pacing?

That being said, “End Times” was an enjoyable episode. It had the shows amazing fight sequences, a great send up to the Ghostbusters, the return of old (dead) enemies, and an actual reason for Splinter to return and see his family. And while the major threads of this arc were resolved, there’s still more to go on moving forward. We still have time to continue the exploration into April’s abilities. Leo is still struggling as Sensei, and the end of the episode really makes it seem like Splinter is gone for good this time. It will be interesting to see how our heroes cope.

All told, the Tales style has room to improve. Hopefully this was a test run for the new story arc organization, and we’ll get better pacing moving forward. With each tale focusing on a different theme/concept, and promises of a Usagi Yojimbo debut, the return of Renet, and a classic monster arc (think vampires, werewolves, etc), things are looking promising.

 

 

Editor's Rating

9.0
That being said, "End Times" was an enjoyable episode. It had the shows amazing fight sequences, a great send up to the Ghostbusters, the return of old (dead) enemies, and an actual reason for Splinter to return and see his family. And while the major threads of this arc were resolved, there's still more to go on moving forward. All told, the Tales style has room to improve. Hopefully this was a test run for the new story arc organization, and we'll get better pacing moving forward. With each tale focusing on a different theme/concept, and promises of a Usagi Yojimbo debut, the return of Renet, and a classic monster arc (think vampires, werewolves, etc), things are looking promising.
9.0

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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  • TigerClaw305

    It was a good episode, It’s also worth noting that, this episode marks TigerClaw’s final appearance in Season 5, which is also the last season of this series.

    • Ryan Blanche

      And you know this how? If so, that’s NOT very satisfying.

  • Totaldrama Icequeen

    Looking forward to the baby turtles episodes. Not excited for the monster arc.

  • Janusz Bolbotowski

    I love this Leorai moment in that episode.

  • newsball

    i can’t believe you guys didn’t throw the inside joke in on the tmnt movies, i was lmao, when mikey went i got to meet megan fox on the rooftop yo

    • danspitaliere

      Thanks for posting this! I totally forgot! It’s great that all versions of the TMNT get a nod in this show.

  • NUMBER ONE TMNT FAN

    Loved this episode!!!! This arc was awesome!!! Great review as well but you forgot one thing. THAT HILLARIOUSLY GREAT MEGAN FOX REFERENCE!!!!!!!! lol! 🙂
    By the way, would any of you happen to know when the winners of the Kevin Eastman Trivia and TMNT box giveaway will be announced?

    • Totaldrama Icequeen

      What trivia contest?

      • NUMBER ONE TMNT FAN

        the one they did after the kevin eastman livestream.

  • Totaldrama Icequeen

    Understanding. But I would like to know if Tiger Claw is reformed or not villain wise even though the Hamato and Foot Clans have declared a truce

  • William Kerfoot

    Another bad rating. This was a colossal disappointment beyond belief! When more effort is being put into referencing Ghostbusters and giving Ho Chan screen time (and I like James Wong btw), you’ve got problems!
    The first one, probably the smallest, is the lack of the Mutanimals. I don’t care what the problem is! For an episode like this, you’ve got to get Feldman, Kenny, and either Rist and/or Buckley all in that sound booth alongside Lurie and they didn’t do that.
    Next was the resolution. Like I said last episode, bless Mikey’s heart for the effort he showed but this is how they have him be the hero? He fixes it with bubble gum and out of the blue, he suddenly knows how to use it? Talk about contrived.
    Then there’s Xever telling the heroes the background of the cultists in a way that left me stunned! That should’ve been part of the background of either the first or the first two episodes of this multiparter! You don’t save that for the middle of the last episode and tell it from the POV of someone who wasn’t a witness! That drove me nuts!
    But the biggest to me is Tiger Claw! He started out with so much potential, and Ciro actually had a great idea for him (via the spotlight on TC video you can find on YouTube): make his goals lie outside the Foot and have him leave. Whether those goals were to become a protagonist, become an easy or uneasy ally of the turtles, it would’ve been great not just for him but the franchise. To be honest, this is a franchise that has been driven by its protagonists, largely b/c the Rogues Gallery is so dismal. They had their chance to jump start it in ELS but instead TC devolved into just another (and somewhat moronic) henchman. With this being his last episode, it’s too late for that! He should’ve either sacrificed himself in helping the heroes win, or have someone (preferably Karai) kill him. Say what you will about him shooting Shredder or fighting Bradford, none of those had the impact of him saving April and Casey from being gunned down by a Triceraton and giving them cover to run in AE Pt 2, or even his outburst at the end of that ep. If the end of the episode was supposed to convey that the character had redeemed himself at the end, that’s a joke! This ep shouldn’t have received more than a 5!

  • William Kerfoot

    In fact, I can picture them getting away with killing TC on screen. Nick has a light BS&P which has helped them get away w/ shows like Ren & Stimpy, Invader Zim, etc. Karai, at the end, would put her sword to TC’s chin, ask why he should walk away, and when TC doesn’t respond she jumps and swings her sword thus cutting to a black screen with that white sword swipe. From TC’s back, his head would start to fall and cut away to a close up of his front before we can see any blood or neck muscles, at that point his front would fall to the knees, and before we can see where the head is missing, we cut to Karai and Leo. Karai has already put most of her sword away before we can see any blood and she turns to a stunned Leo and says, “He made his choices.” And it’s true when you consider how both she and TC started out under Shredder, how both experienced uneasy loyalties towards the guy, and yet one stayed while the other didn’t. To have this happen would’ve been so more fitting than what we were given!