ReviewsTV/Cartoon Series

TMNT – I, Monster Review

“It appears your former adversary, Dr. Falco, has returned … and he now calls himself the Rat King”

Falco is back and trying to perfect his mind control.  Unfortunately, he has nothing to work with but rats, and they’re not cooperative.  An explosion that engulfs him, and the fire is laced with Kraang mutagen that amplifies his telepathic abilities toward rats.  Falco rebrands himself the Rat King and sets his sights on destroying humanity.

Meanwhile, the Turtles train with Splinter, and a coordinated assault gives them a slight victory.  However, the celebration doesn’t last, because April needs help.  Every rat in New York City has taken to the streets.  The teens rush to help, and after a couple of botched attempts, everyone makes it back to the lair.

While away, the Rat King connected with Splinter’s mind, and Falco preyed on the master’s insecurity.  Splinter fends him off and reveals his location to the Turtles.  They rush to stop the Rat King, and finally confront Falco and his new bodyguard: Master Splinter.

Splinter makes short work of his sons, but hesitates when Leonardo shows him a picture of his former family, which allows him to shake off Rat King’s control.  Splinter attacks Falco, but he gets away yet again.  Everyone returns to the lair, where Splinter thanks his sons, and reminds them that they still have a lot of training ahead.

TMNT I Monster Review

            There was a lot going on in this episode, and plenty was probably cut during post-production.  It was a good episode, but something was lacking.  The story had a lot of potential; it was a chance to give Splinter growth in a way that hasn’t been done before.  Instead, too much focus was on the Turtles.  Even though it’s their show, that doesn’t mean they have to be the center of every episode.  The supporting characters of this universe have been around long enough to warrant their own focus once in a while.

The new Rat King had to be explored most.  He needed to be established as a villain, and his story played out enough for some closure.  Considering how much wasn’t done with Falco this time around, he’ll be back.  The Rat King has a connection so precise that he can pick out rat brains over considerable distance, and his powers are enhanced when he looks directly at the target.  What wasn’t shown was how his appearance changed.  It could have been from indirect contact with the mutagen, but could simply be from living underground (implying that there was a significant time skip between the explosion and his assault).  There’s also a breadcrumb for future development, when Splinter is able to access Rat King’s mind, suggesting that Falco’s power is a two-way street that could be exploited.

The Rat King TMNT    There was a little development for the Turtles and April as well.  The Turtles use several types of ninja weapons, affirming that they are training in all aspects of ninjutsu, not just one area as was implied by the original series.  April was at Splinter’s mercy when Rat King gained control of him, and yet she was able to dodge his attacks.  So her own ninja training has likely progressed much further than anyone knew.

The biggest development should have been for Master Splinter, but it was a missed opportunity.  The audience was shown how little is known about his true power.  As Donatello said, “I just had a horrible realization.  He’s been going easy on us all these years.”  We now know that Splinter’s strength will only be realized during a battle with an equal.  After all, he blew the Rat King away using just two fingers.  The missed opportunity was not showing something new about Hamato Yoshi’s, like an interaction with his daughter that could have warranted the insecurity the Rat King preyed on.  Those scenes felt incomplete at best.  What should have been Splinter’s coming out party barely scratched the surface.

Overall, it was a good episode, but not great.  Every main character got something, but there were missed opportunities that may never be explored now.  Splinter deserved to have more, and the Rat King will likely prove a worthy adversary again.

 

Rating: 7/10

The Author

Justin W

Justin W

My name is Justin Wren and I love to write about the TMNT! I've been a big Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles fan since the late 80's. Back then, I would watch the original animated series and play with the Playmates toys all the time. I have been following the boys ever since I was a kid, and I'm very happy to see them back in the limelight after all these years. Needless to say, I'm proud to be a member of the team on this awesome TMNT Fan Site!

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