ReviewsTV/Cartoon Series

TMNT – “Parasitica” Review

“Hey Donnie, how big do you think one of those arthropods might be?”

 

The turtles are out on another Kraang hunt and unfortunately for everyone else, Michelangelo is bored.  They soon find a facility, though, but the Kraang are gone and the lab is wrecked.  Donatello notices that they must have been doing experiments on bees and wasps before something went wrong.  His impressions are verified when a giant wasp drops from the ceiling and attacks.

           

Using Mikey as a distraction, the others try and take down the wasp, but Mikey throws everything into chaos and gets Leonardo stung.  Having lost its stinger, the wasp dies, but something is amiss.  Leo’s personality changes, becoming protective and angry when they locate a mutant wasp egg in the wreckage.  Leonardo insists on taking it back to the lair, but Raphael has his reservations. The others are growing more concerned, so they plan on drawing Leonardo away from the egg to destroy it.

           

Night falls and Raph goes for the egg, but Leo has further changed into some kind of monster.  Raphael keeps him at bay, but soon Leo bites his brother, turning Raph into a protective zombie as well.  In the morning, Donnie and Mikey inspect the situation, and the two infected turtles turn on them.  Michelangelo manages to trap them while Donatello figures out that the wasp was a parasite likely eat its guardians when it hatches. 

 

Leo and Raph break out and attack again.  Mikey manages to tie up Leonardo, but Raphael escapes with the egg.  Donatello tries to find a cure, but soon realizes he too was bitten and infected.  Donnie works quickly on a cure, but doesn’t finish before he turns and bites Mikey.  Donatello and Leonardo join up with Raphael, and Michelangelo soon arrives as well.  While the others wait for the egg to hatch, Mikey springs his trap, injecting them all with the antidote he completed alone.  The turtles are all free of the wasp’s control, but the antidote knocks out the others, leaving Mikey to fight three newly hatched wasps.  He keeps them busy long enough to make it to the Shellraiser and for the others to wake up.  Together, they fend off the wasps, and Michelangelo uses the Shellraiser’s weapons to destroy all three, saving the day.

 

This was another episode that had a lot of story potential but failed in the execution.  It was clear early on that it would be focused on Michelangelo, and hints before its airing revealed that he’d be alone.  So why was that aspect withheld until nearly the end?  This episode could have been absolutely amazing if the energy had been ramped up early with the anxiety of Mikey having to hide from and then confront his brothers (with the reasons why explained in small flashbacks).  Mikey could have gone through a metamorphosis of his own – from terror, to calculation, and finally action.At least the episode did away with secondary characters temporarily, preventing all the jumping between plots that other episodes were guilty of.  There was one story, and while it was weaker than it could have been, it gained some strength through its focus.

 

Character development was also far from spectacular.  It’s great to have episodes like this where Michelangelo gets to prove he’s more than just a lovable buffoon.  But, like with New Girl in Town and Raphael’s character development, it could have been so much better.  A different way of telling this story could have shown Michelangelo using his spiritual focus to overcome fear, his wits to notice and obtain a cure, and his ninja skills to implement the answer.  It would have been the ultimate evolutionary episode for Mikey, taking him from comic relief to full-fledged ninja warrior.

 

Overall, it wasn’t a bad episode.  A single continuous story, and a focus on the turtles led to strong interactions.  But character growth and the story itself left a lot to be desired, and the elements for making it better seem like they were staring the writers in the face.  Why they were passed up, no one will ever know.

 

Rating: 6/10

The Author

Justin Bozung

Justin Bozung

Justin Bozung is a film researcher/writer based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. He has written for such print publications as Shock Cinema, Fangoria, Paracinema, Whoa, Bijou and Phantom Of The Movies' Videoscope.

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