“I want to help you fight the Kraang.”
The turtles scope out T.C.R.I., waiting for a Kraang scout ship to come through the portal. Trouble arrives in a different form, however, when Karai interferes in their evening. Before the turtles have a chance to send her back to Shredder, a Kraang ship comes out of the building and attacks. Everyone runs for cover, escaping when the police show up.
While Karai reports the imminent invasion to Shredder, the turtles try to figure out how to locate and bring down the Kraang’s newest weapon. Donatello develops a radar system that they install around the city. As Leonardo places one of the beacons, Karai finds him again, but offers her help and an alliance against the aliens, admitting Shredder’s plans are shortsighted. Leonardo refuses, but his instincts tell him to give her a shot. Master Splinter warns him about trusting his actual instincts, rather than emotions.
The turtles take the Shellraiser back into the city, and find the ship. The Kraang chase down the vehicle, slicing into it until Karai shows up to help. She draws the aliens away, and Leonardo follows to return the favor. Bringing her back to the others, Karai proposes the alliance again, to which they agree. Karai guarantees she can get a weapon to bring down the Kraang, and Raphael talks the others into setting a trap for Shredder.
With his attention on the weapons, the turtles fire an electro-conductor at Shredder. Karai intervenes, and the Kraang show up again. Shredder faces off against the turtles and Karai leads Leonardo away. Upset that he would betray her, Karai guarantees that she will be his enemy from now on. Leo manages to get a missile launcher, taking the Kraang out the sky. Shredder falls in the water during the explosion, and Karai dives in after him. The battle over, Leonardo is disappointed with himself for betraying Karai’s trust, and knows that any hope they ever had of being comrades – or more – is gone.
The best way to guarantee that an episode is strong is to have a focused plot that progresses linearly, but works in a fair amount of humor and action. That was all here; the story didn’t bounce around between unnecessary characters and everyone had a part in getting from Point A to Point B. It was exceptionally well written, and clearly showed that everything is coming to a head soon.
The amount of character development in this episode was unexpected but amazing. It was all about the couples, and they were worked into the story in ways that made sense (including Donatello and April’s little moment at just the right time). There’s always been a sense that Karai isn’t evil, and being mature enough to understand how shortsighted Shredder’s plans are solidified that. She’s now guaranteed conflict with loyalties during the climax. Also, her relationship with Leonardo had grown stale, but giving it this kind of shot was unexpected. Betrayal is something for bad guys, so seeing it come from Leonardo showed that even the turtles are fallible. Both are torn between their loyalties and emotions. This was not the last for them, but there’s not likely to be any way to have a true friendship.
As romantic relationships are being foreshadowed (and pushed hard in this particular episode), it’s worth mentioning that neither of these two couples will ever work out. The nature of the show and network guarantee two human girls will never date giant animals. It’s fun to see these interactions because they allow the story to go in new, untapped directions. But at the end of the day, no one will be dating. Getting away from that started here with the wedge between Leo and Karai, and the same will happen for Donnie and April.
This episode was strong both in plot and character focus. It drew everyone together, gave a lot of attention to the relationships between characters, and helped to ready the main story for some sort of climax in the coming episodes. Whether Karai and Leonardo will ever truly be allies remains to be seen.