“I-I can’t believe it. You’re telling the truth!”
Taking what Leonardo said to heart, Karai is finally questioning Shredder’s version of her adoption. But, before he can answer any questions, Tiger Claw returns from the belly of the Kraang worm. Shredder grants the mutant his chance at revenge, and sends Karai to help him in his mission. Meanwhile, the turtles are out enjoying an evening meal, but Leo is still brooding on when Karai will come around to the truth. While Karai and Tiger Claw search all the boys’ usual hangouts to find a way to destroy them, the turtles head back to the lair, but not before they make a sudden return to the gyoza restaurant for leftovers.
Upon arriving, they learn that Tiger Claw and Karai had been there, and that they’re going after April and Casey. The boys split up to find their friends, but they’re too late to stop Tiger Claw from pummeling Casey. Fortunately, Karai wanted to talk, and she seems to believe that Splinter is her father, much to Leonardo’s delight. They take Karai to the lair, where she activates a transmitter to lead Tiger Claw to her location. However, Splinter finally shows her the truth of his family, and she now truly believes him.
Remorseful about what she’s done, Karai and the turtles lead Tiger Claw away from the lair and to a meat packing plant, where they do their best to stop the mutant warrior. Tiger Claw easily beats all five back, though, and dangles Karai over a pit of impending doom (also known as a meat grinder). Frozen, the turtles can only watch helplessly as Tiger Claw takes Karai back to the Shredder, and out of their reach once again. Back at the villain’s lair, Shredder finally admits to Karai that HamatoYoshi is her real father, and then locks her up where she will not be a problem for him again.
This was the episode that everyone was waiting for. As interesting as the last few have been with their fun and excitement, ever since the Wormquake incident, fans have been dying to see the next act in the Karai drama (as well as what ever happened to Tiger Claw). Fortunately, the wait did not disappoint. Karai’s entire worldview was tested and shattered. She went from evil to “good” to evil to good in a matter of minutes, as she tried desperately to determine where her loyalties truly lay. The story was handled well, and even though its ultimate conclusion is still probably a long ways off, it was about time that the audience had this kind of payoff for their loyalty and their heartache.
Karai has been an interesting character from the very beginning. While most other incarnations have not explored her personality and back-story with any real depth, this version has made her a key component from day one. That has been a driving factor in her development, and what has allowed her character to take a natural progression towards the side of good. It would have been too easy to have her show up just a few times, do nothing in particular, and then drop this sort of bombshell. After all, the show is about the turtles, so why give her any sort of meaningful story. But the development of the secondary characters has been so good in this show that Karai – like many others – has been allowed to take a natural progression through many different encounters with her brothers. That’s what’s made her and her story so compelling, and what will keep it compelling for episodes and seasons to come.
This episode likely marked the turning point toward the climax this season, and everything moving forward will be directed at solving this problem. But that’s okay, because it was the right time to expose the truth and set up season two’s ultimate conflict. Only time will tell how the battle will play out, but fans are guaranteed that it’ll be totally worth the wait.