TMNT – “The Pig and the Rhino” Review
“No one can face the Bebop and the Rocksteady!” – Rocksteady
Steranko and Zeck have been mutated, and they are not happy. But, after trying to take their freedom from Shredder, both succumb to his power and agree to serve him. Their first task: Find Karai again. Meanwhile, the turtles have been searching for meaning behind Karai telling Leonardo about “comet.” So the team splits up to look for her as well. While out, Steranko and Zeck are not happy about the search, and decide to take revenge on the turtles instead of going after their target. Fortunately for them, Donatello and April are nearby.
Zeck manages to capture Donnie and April, and the pig and the rhino head after the others. Steranko encounters Raphael and Casey, and makes short work of the two, leaving only Michelangelo and Leonardo walking free. The two free turtle arrive at the amusement park and find Karai inhabiting the area. She runs from them, but the boys manage to corner her and make contact. Unfortunately, Steranko and Zeck arrive and scare her off. Mikey tries to distract the enemies long enough for Leo to free their friends, and gives them new names: Bebop and Rocksteady.
Bebop stops Leo from unlocking the van and turns the retro-mutagen on Michelangelo. Before he can fire, though, Rocksteady reminds him that it could turn them human; but a struggle and a surprise intervention by Karai cause the retro-mutagen to be destroyed. With Bebop distracted by Karai, Leo frees the others and the team splits up to take on their enemies and save their sister. Leo, Raph, and Mikey play keep-away from Rocksteady with the final vial of retro-mutagen, and manage to smash him into Bebop, putting both mutants down for the count. The final dose of retro-mutagen is used on Karai, but it has no affect. She knows her mind is slipping away, and so saying good-bye to her brothers Karai slips into the sea. However, Rocksteady and Bebop weren’t done with their mission, and when she surfaces again they capture and deliver her to Shredder.
Bebop and Rocksteady have returned to the TMNT universe and are ready to take the turtles down. They are as strong as ever, but with Zeck’s tricks in their arsenal, they are perhaps even more dangerous this time around. It was good to see that they had an episode devoted to their new abilities, but at the same time there was a backdrop of the larger plan/issue with the current season. So the Karai story advanced while still giving the audience a great taste of what Bebop and Rocksteady are capable of doing. The only problem now is what to do with all of these mutants in Shredder’s army. Are there going to be long droughts without some of them? Will the same mutants always be paired together?
The downside to this episode is that once again Karai’s story is being drawn out over so many episodes that it’s beginning to lose its luster. Every so often the writers have been doing things to change up Karai’s story slightly, but throughout the first two seasons her part started to get stale, and the same thing is happening now. As far as the audience knows, Donatello is the only one to create a retro-mutagen, so there’s a real possibility that she disappears for five or six or more episodes and then her next appearance is just for a failed retro-mutagen attempt. Something needs to be done to keep her interesting now that the mutant-to-human transformations have ceased.
Having old characters make a new appearance is always fun, and these two fan favorites are ready to make the show even more action-packed than before. As long as things don’t get too boring, and the story takes great turn with the battle for NYC, then Rocksteady and Bebop are bound to be great additions to an already great show.