TMNT – “Operation: Break Out” Review
“Newtralizer, is more like it!”
The turtles and April continue their training, and Raphael and Donatello are pitted against one another. Eager to impress April, Donnie strikes first, but he loses his focus and Raph gets the upper hand, winning the match. Donnie is embarrassed, and Raph’s teasing doesn’t help, but it all stops when April gets a strange encoded email. Successfully decoding the message, Donatello discovers a cry for help and a map from Kirby O’Neil. Hoping to impress April again, he heads off alone, but the others discover his intentions and go help.
Arriving at the location marked on the map, Donnie is attacked by Kraang soldiers, fending them off before falling down a secret shaft. Meanwhile, April is upset that she couldn’t go along, and her training starts suffering. Splinter works to hone her concentration, allowing April to hear a noise even the rat master cannot. She follows it, and wanders deeper into the sewers. Donatello works his way through the Kraang lair, and manages to release all the prisoners – including a dangerous new mutant with a taste for aliens.
The others arrive at the secret lair, and Michelangelo finds the entrance by accident, so they head down after Donatello, who is in serious trouble. The Kraang are aware of all movements, and the escaped mutant is stalking Donnie with intentions unknown. It soon makes a move, however, attacking Donatello and Kirby. Scared of their “newt” enemy, Donnie names the creature Newtralizer, knowing he’ll face Mikey’s chagrin. Newtralizer chases them down, forcing Donatello to hide in one of the prison cells until help arrives.
Still following the suspicious noise, April comes across Kraang soldiers searching for a communication device, which she procures first. Back in the Kraang’s lair, the other turtles come face-to-face with Newtralizer, and find Donnie in the process. Trapped in the control room, the turtles fight off all their enemies before escaping to the surface. Leonardo and the others battle Newtralizer while Donatello gets Kirby to safety. Finally reunited with her father, Donatello is given all the credit by his brothers, and earns April’s thanks. But things are not as they seem, as Kirby’s escape was planned, and the man was a willing participant.
There’s something about a Donatello episode that is guaranteed success. Again, the story was solid, giving Donnie a chance to be the hero instead of just the scientist. (Although, this story was done as much for its necessity at this point in the season as it was specifically for Donatello.) The character development was also excellent, especially with Kirby O’Neil apparent involvement in Kraang and Shredder’s plan. What will come from all of that is unknown, and the repercussions (and reasons) for her father’s betrayal will likely change April’s character drastically in the seasons to come. But no matter what, season’s end will be mind-blowing, leaving as many new questions as it provides answers.
It’s good to see a character like the Newtralizer join the cavalcade of mutants. So far, those mutated have either been incompetent villains or righteous heroes. Newtralizer operates in a grey area, and so little about hi is understood. It’s likely that he was a newt mutated into a humanoid, which means he probably has no real motivation for his actions other than instinct. But he’s clearly competent enough to use heavy artillery without discretion. So he may be friend or foe in his next appearance, which will most certainly propel the episode.
Overall, since the plot was focused almost entirely on one major aspect of the season, the episode could devote more time to its hero, Donatello. The growth that Donnie has shown in just this one season will be invaluable for the show in the future. The developments here were clearly meant as a setup for the finale, which certainly isn’t a bad thing, considering what’s to come. Chalk up another good episode for the latest incarnation, and bring on the battle to end all battles.