TMNT – “Mikey Gets Shellacne” Review
“I sprinkled a little mutagen on my skin…”
Michelangelo is having a really bad day. After missing breakfast, he wakes up to find his entire body covered in a case of shellacne. A little examination reveals that he will soon be turned into a giant zit, and the worst part is that he did it to himself by rubbing some reject anti-mutagen on his skin to become a better ninja. Donatello runs some more tests, and Mikey has, at best, three hours before he explodes. That is, unless the boys can get a certain piece of equipment from the now defunct Kraang base. Meanwhile, Karai needs a tech expert at her disposal for the Foot-bots, and sends Fishface and Dog Pound to collect Baxter Stockman.
While exploring T.C.R.I. for the necessary equipment, the turtles encounter Stockman – who swiped exactly what they need. Before they can take it back, however, Dog Pound arrives and sweeps Stockman off somewhere. While the others try to figure out where exactly they went, Mikey comes up with the notion to check Stockman’s old lab. Sure enough, he finds Fishface and Dog Pound holding the scientist hostage until he turns them human. Unfortunately, Mikey’s stealth isn’t what it should be, and he is forced to battle off Dog Pound, dropping the mutant into a giant vat of mutagen.
Having changed yet again, Dog Pound has become faster and stronger – and is now called Rahzar. The other turtles arrive to help Mikey, but Rahzar is too much for them to handle. If not for some quick thinking from Michelangelo, their fate may have been sealed. He electrocutes Rahzar, and Donatello manages to knock out Fishface and Stockman. While the turtles make their escape, Karai arrives to collect her henchmen. Back at the lair, Donatello manages to cure his brother, but even in victory, the threats continue to mount for the heroes.
For an episode with a premise so seemingly innocent and uneventful, this story proved to be a shocking and exciting. So much was set up for the future, including the teased transformation of Baxter Stockman into Baxter the Fly. With the mutagen collar firmly in place, it’s only a matter of time before it breaks. Also, Dog Pound’s double mutation adds a significant new element to the bigger picture. If mutants can mutate again, how long will it be before Wingnut, the Squirrelanoids, Fishface, or any of the countless other mutants running amok come into contact with mutagen again, and become versions of themselves that the turtles can’t handle? For that matter, what happens if the turtles themselves are doused in another dose of straight mutagen? The results could be catastrophic, but the story could be epic.
Of all the surprises, though, was Dog Pound becoming Rahzar. Those in charge of this incarnation of the turtles have been great about their nods to the series’ past. But this was completely unexpected. Not only did they include a mutant from the movie, but they made him even more awesome than he was then. This Rahzar is strong, fast, and a fierce warrior. He’s already proven too much for the turtles, and he will likely only get stronger. Now his loyalty will be tested too, since he clearly doesn’t need to take orders from Karai. One also has to wonder as to whether Fishface will ultimately mutate again. After all, the show can’t have Rahzar without Tokka. However, going from fish to snapping turtle may be a bit of a stretch, so either the way that happens will have to be super creative, or they may have to take some liberties with the new Tokka.
Even when an episode doesn’t seem to be particularly exciting, this series somehow manages to keep fans enthralled. The new Rahzar and Stockman’s plight guarantee that great things are going to happen, and the turtles better be ready to deal with them. They better hope that their friends come around soon, or else the battle is just going to get more difficult.