TMNT – “Battle for New York” Review
“Yo, we can do this! We can save New York!” – Michelangelo
Michelangelo is being his usual self, and starts fooling around with Donatello’s laboratory. Fortunately, Donnie arrives before he can do any serious damage, but Mikey does manage to mix a drop of some insane concoction with the retro-mutagen, setting off a chemical reaction. But this is no ordinary reaction; it supercharges the retro-mutagen, making one drop so potent it can turn an entire vial of mutagen into retro-mutagen.
Though he doesn’t remember quite how it was made, Mikey’s gift is still going to use, and the turtles decide it’s time to break into Dimension X and save NYC. To help them, Donnie has a new invention, but first the boys have to stop the Kraang from mutating two innocent people. They’re able to take down a few of the aliens, but soon find themselves surrounded. Fortunately, help has arrived as Leatherhead, Dr. Rockwell, Pigeon Pete, and Slash step in to save the boys. Together, they four mutants have formed the Mighty Mutanimals, and they take the turtles back to their lair to meet their benefactor, Jack Kurtzman. Kurtzman explains what the Kraang are up to, including building a mutagen missile that will change the entire world. Everyone will have to work together to stop this threat, but they can’t seem to agree on anything.
While the teams bicker, the Kraang arrive at the hideout and in then ensuing battle Kurtzman is shot. Everyone retreats to the new lair, and the two teams finally realize they have to work together to make things happen. Unfortunately, the truce doesn’t last long, and the Mutanimals leave while Donatello unveils his previous invention for aerial attacks: The Turtle Blimp. Both teams arrive at the launch site, and the Mighty Mutanimals find themselves dealing with Kraang Sub-Prime. Meanwhile, the turtles drop in from above and Donnie gets inside the missile, but flying Kraang show up to ruin things.
Kraang Sub-Prime manages to fight off the Mutanimals and launch the missile, but Donatello puts all his brainpower to good use and reroutes it to the sun. The turtles escape the falling missile and glide back to Earth. With the two teams now working together, all eight mutants begin the siege of T.C.R.I. With the Mutanimals blitzing the building, the turtles enter the portal and head to Dimension X. However, the turtles lose their blimp as they find the mutated humans working as slaves.
Back on Earth, the Mutanimals are having trouble with the Kraang, and Slash is forced to choose between keeping the portal open and saving his team. Trapped in Dimension X, the turtles have to find a massive amount of mutagen to save all the people. Stealing a stealth ship to sneak on board a Technodrome, the turtles are intercepted by the Kraang’s new Draco-droid and crash onto the Technodrome. Once inside, the boys make quick work of the Kraang and commandeer the Technodrome. Meanwhile, the Mutanimals are able to escape captivity, and try to reengage the portal.
With the portal open and the retro-mutagen loaded, the plan heads into the final phase. Raphael unleashes the retro-mutagen, transforming everyone back into humans and teleporting them out of harm’s way. However, Kraang Sub-Prime has other plans for the boys, and while the others save the rest of the humans Leonardo holds off the enemy. With all the humans safe, Dr. Rockwell teleports the turtles back to the city and sends the Kraang back to Dimension X. NYC is back to normal, and the turtles now have a new team of friends to call on whenever they need help.
This episode seems long overdue this season, and probably would have fit better several episodes ago. When the turtles returned to NYC, there certainly was a lot that needed to be done, but perhaps not everything that happened in the interim was necessary. Seeing Bebop and Rocksteady was great, and dealing with Karai was okay, but this rescue mission should have been more pressing. Karai would have still been around after they were done, and Steranko and Zeck could be transformed later. A common thread for all three seasons so far has been trying to do too much all at the same time. If the show can spend six episodes with the turtles in a cabin in the woods without ever revealing what’s happening in the city, then it can also deal with the Kraang before handling Shredder, or seeing Karai’s story told to its actual end before getting back to the Kraang (not to mention that since the Kraang have been M.I.A. for a while now, the fact that such an important episode was happening seems a bit misplaced).
Now, that’s not to say that this episode was bad, by any means. It was a fantastic story and accomplished so much. Seeing the Mighty Mutanimals back in action was phenomenal; finally these mutations are paying dividends in the story. Not to mention that Irma/Kraang Sub-Prime, Dimension X Mikey, and T.C.R.I. all made return appearances. Seeing these characters/aspects return like this validates everything that has happened with the Kraang, and brought some sort of closure to the plotline thus far. It was fantastic to see it handled as a two-part episode, too (unlike “Return to New York,” which could have been made better with a second part).
The season has finally reached its midpoint, and like seasons past, there’s no telling where it will go from here. The major plot points seem to be resolved, so what could that mean for the rest of this season and beyond? Only time will tell, but certainly the battle for New York has only just begun.