TMNT – “A Chinatown Ghost Story” Review
“You may now bow before your new master, Ho Chan.” – Ho Chan
While out on patrol for Karai, Donatello, April O’Neil, and Casey Jones come across Purple Dragons breaking into a museum. They rush in to stop the gang, but the bad guys manage to get away with an ancient knife that possesses an evil spirit within. Ho Chan was once a great martial artist before he was trapped in the dagger, and now that he’s free he can conquer the world. He gives the Purple Dragons the powers of wind, thunder, and lightning, and sends them to find lair from which he can stage his comeback.
Meanwhile, the turtles have regrouped, but are still pretty down about not finding any sign of Karai since her mutation. They decide to begin searching again, and head out to pick up April and Casey. But the new and improved Purple Dragons have been training, and Ho Chan senses that only April, a girl with very special powers, can restore his body. He dispatches the Dragons to retrieve the girl, and they return to the lair with both her and Irma. Ho Chan senses some sort of power in both girls, and wants to take it for himself.
But the turtles and Casey aren’t far behind. Arriving at the lair, they go head-to-head with the powered up Purple Dragons – who prove to still be no match for the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. However, Ho Chan has his eyes set on new warriors, and uses his magic to take control of Leonardo, Raphael, and Michelangelo. Left to fend off the possessed turtles, Donnie and Casey make a run for it, managing to hide and learn the secret of Ho Chan’s escape.
They head back to face the ghost warrior, but before they can even get inside, they must tangle with the other turtles. Donnie manages to hold his own until Casey unleashes their secret weapon: Pizza. With the others distracted, the two rivals in love head in to save April and Irma. Ho Chan is ready for them, though, and he’s succeeded in regaining his body. But his ego gets the better of him, and with the girls now free, April manages to run him through with the magic dagger, trapping him inside once again.
While it may seem like a misplaced episode that disrupts the flow of the season (especially with the season finale on the horizon), there is clearly more going on here than meets the eye. This is undoubtedly setting up something very important for the episodes to come (even if it’s not until next season). First, there’s another new villain to make a comeback. Second, apparently Irma has some sort of power as well. What it could be we can’t say for sure now. But apparently it was enough that Ho Chan was happy he didn’t discard her immediately.
The story itself was nothing special in terms of the larger plots at work in the show, but it was still fun. It’s always nice to take a break from the usual villains to bring in something unique to the rotation. There’s been a lot done with the science of the TMNT universe this season, but the mystical aspects still haven’t been explored with any regularity. More and more are they starting to be showcased, but still not enough. So it was good to see them front-and-center again.
This episode was a great way to build suspense and interest going into the final three. With only a few episodes left in the season, the real adventures are about to reach some sort of conclusion, and who knows what the implications of those will be. With so many different things to resolve, it’s likely to be three more episodes of nonstop action that leaves all fans with as many questions as answers. This may not have been the greatest episode of the show, but it did a great job in getting everyone ready for the final push – and for what’s to come next.