TMNT – “Mutagen Man Unleashed” Review
“What happened to you Pulverizer? Your turned into some kind of … Mutagen Man.”
After being picked on for his current situation with April, Donatello sequesters himself to work on a retro mutagen and help Kirby and Timothy. Unfortunately for Donatello, Timothy starts secretly drinking mutagen. Meanwhile, April is ready for a fresh start at school, and takes on extra credit tutoring a student named Casey Jones. So, while the boys practice their stealth training late at night, April is helping Casey in a nearby park. The lessons don’t go well, however, with Casey more interested in April than books, and Donatello looking on jealously.
While Donnie speaks with Master Splinter about his feelings, Timothy drinks yet another vial of mutagen, and sprouts gooey arms and legs, allowing him mobility again. The mutant takes off into the city in search of April. The turtles pursue him and try to track down April, who finds herself face-to-face with Timothy. Casey steps in to protect her, but he is dispatched fairly easily before April uses her ninja training to hold the mutant off. Before Timothy can unleash a final blow, however, Casey sweeps April up, and the two make a quick escape.
Raphael and Michelangelo come across the scene, and start battling the newly dubbed Mutagen Man. The others arrive, and they learn that Mutagen Man is no longer their friend, and only after April for himself. Fortunately, he runs out of mutagen, and can no longer move. The boys load him into the Shellraiser, but Mutagen Man refuels and escapes. The turtles intercept him, and to protect April decide he has to be stopped. While the others distract him, Donnie uses a failed anti-mutagen to freeze Mutagen Man solid. While the others celebrate, Donnie is feeling down on himself. But Splinter reminds him to never give up hope for what the future may bring.
During season one, both stories with The Pulverizer turned out to be two of the best episodes. So seeing him return, and seeing the next stage of his development was an excellent addition. However, his apparent feelings for April and his sudden hatred for the turtles seemed to be a bit uncharacteristic and unexplained. While it’s understandable that he’d be upset, there’s no indication that he had ever interacted with April, and it was understood that he still wanted to help the turtles. So to become an enemy like that didn’t really seem to fit with his story thus far. However, seeing Mutagen Man make a return was certainly worthwhile. He will definitely provide plenty more excitement for the turtles and April as the season progresses.
When April told the turtles she needed a break from them, it was hard to imagine that it would be anything significant. Because of the nature of the show’s audience, it seemed more likely that they would all reconcile within two episodes and go back to normal. So the fact that she is still holding a grudge, and shows no signs of letting up, definitely adds some weight to the situation, and makes it better.
It was also time for the introduction everyone has been waiting for: Casey Jones. It certainly wasn’t much of a welcome, though. So far, the audience has seen minimal skills, and only the hockey is a hint to what he’s capable of. But at least he has finally arrived, and his interaction with April is already what one expects from their early encounters. They grate on each other’s nerves, but there’s definitely some attraction there (although how could she get past the fact he’s missing like four teeth right up front?). What will come for them, and for the turtles? Only time will tell.
While this episode didn’t reach the gravitas of previous Pulverizer episodes, it was still an excellent addition. Like all the Donatello-focused episodes, a lot of different things were happening all at once, but it was never hard to follow. Battle lines have been drawn, new friends and foes have been introduced, and now it’s time for the turtles to cure the many innocent people affected by the mutagen.