TMNT – “The Kraang Conspiracy” Review
“This…doesn’t seem possible.”
The boys are in the middle of another rooftop training session, only this time April is with them. She’s taken aback by how long it’s lasting, and wants a real mission, but her complaint is interrupted by a psychic premonition of being watched. The five ninjas chase down an investigator named Kurtzman, who reveals to the heroes that he’s been researching the Kraang for some time. As it happens, the aliens have been on Earth for thousands of years, trying to perfect human DNA that can stabilize the mutagen in this dimension. They succeeded with April O’Neil.
Before he can tell them any more, the Kraang arrive with guns blazing. The good guys barely manage to retreat safely, and Kurtzman lets them in on the plan to break into TCRI and wipe April’s genetic code from their data banks. Try as they might to leave her behind, April follows the turtles into the action and they infiltrate a Kraang assembly. April can hear their thoughts, and Kraang Prime informs her minions that the experiment is right on track, and no amount of setbacks will stop them from moving forward. But the information stream is interrupted, when the Kraang notice their intruders.
The battle rages, as the heroes try to escape from TCRI, but in the midst of the firefight, April is captured. The turtles chase after her, only to wind up trapped in a prison cell by an April lookalike. Donatello manages to defeat the imposter, but the real April is nowhere to be found. They make their way to a giant room, which houses many of the same clones and a tank of mutagen, and find themselves face-to-face with a genetic reject. The clone monster attacks the others, while Raphael tries to save April. He’s of no help, though, but as her time seems up, April releases a psychic wave that paralyzes the Kraang and destroys the giant monster. Fighting through clones, the heroes manage to break out of TCRI, and are picked up by Kurtzman. Finally safe at the lair, Donnie figures out the truth about April O’Neil: Her DNA is half human, half Kraang, making her a mutant just like them.
This episode got a lot closer to what should have happened in Season One. There were a few times when April could have had her own episode, independent of the turtles, where major details of her existence were discovered. But every time, she still played a secondary role to that of the ninjas. Here, she was finally in a primary light – even if she did have to share the role once again. At least this time she was able to learn something useful while also developing her skills. It’s been a long time since April was given a chance to fight, which was certainly good to see.
However, it was a little odd that this was the episode chosen to reveal the entirety of her past and secret present. April’s connection to the Kraang has been building since Day One, and all of a sudden it’s thrown at the audience during an otherwise meaningless episode in Season Two? Something just doesn’t add up here. It almost feels like someone else said “Hey, let’s speed this up.” Or maybe this was the plan all along, and there’s something even bigger planned for later. Either way, it just felt … wrong to have this be the episode where the truth about April O’Neil was revealed.
Overall, it was an okay episode. The big news at the end was certainly an unexpected curveball, but the episode as a whole was nothing special. It’s probably safe to say that Kurtzman will be back, but who knows what role he will play. Let’s just hope that there’s more to April’s relationship with the Kraang than all of this (it would have been great to instead discover that even the turtles’ friend was just a clone of the original), because otherwise it feels really anticlimactic in a lot of ways.