With March Madness reaching its climax and basketball fever sweeping the nation, it’s no wonder that TMNT is taking a bit of a hiatus. Fortunately, season three has reached halftime, and so now is a great chance to look at what’s happened so far, what we know is to come, and what may still be around to surprise audiences as the season progresses.
The season got off to a bit of a slow start, with the first few episodes being horror movie tributes, though not a lot of training happening until the vision quest. It wasn’t exactly clear that the boys were learning anything during their exile, or that they were coming up with a plan to take back the city. While it was fun to go back to the show’s first season roots with multiple mutations and plenty of new characters, when a show is world building like this and has seemingly moved beyond the initial aspects, it seems like a bit of a step back. Now, it’s not necessarily a bad thing to go back to those roots, but right now it doesn’t seem like all of the new mutants are going to have an impact on the show in any meaningful way.
Of course, the same could have been said of other mutants the show introduced in past seasons, and yet we are seeing now that the fruits of the mutation labors are paying off with the introduction of the Mighty Mutanimals. Seeing that team get a second lease on life was very welcomed. Whether they will continue to play a role in this series remains to be seen, as does how many other members will join their ranks. One former Mutanimal member – Mondo Gecko – is set to appear later this season (voiced by former Michelangelo actor Robbie Rist).
As for other characters, it’s been great to see favorites like Bebop and Rocksteady make a comeback, which presents a unique opportunity for battles moving forward. Not that he needed it, but now Shredder’s mutant team is equal in strength to the trained ninjas fighting for the good guys. With four turtles, April, and Splinter going up against Fish Face, Tiger Claw, Rocksteady, Bebop, Rahzar, and Shredder, there is sure to be a battle royal sometime in the near future. How wild cards like Casey Jones and the mutated Karai play into things will certainly determine who wins.
Karai’s story will most likely take center stage for the remainder of the season. With Shredder currently working on his mind control formula (which certainly came out of nowhere), it’s unlikely that the overarching plot will focus on anything other than saving her and changing her back to normal. Of course, there will likely be plenty of one-off episodes interspersed with the action, but that’s to be expected with retro-mutagen creation so time consuming.
So what’s still possible for this season? With NYC saved and the Kraang invasion repelled, there’s still an issue of what the Kraang will do next. Did they really spend all that time and only mutate NYC? Or did they take the mutagen worldwide in small batches? If so, will the turtles have to do some traveling to totally defeat their alien enemies? Also, are there any side effects or fallout from the mutation? Certainly Shredder cannot run the city forever; eventually military or the Earth Protection Force will make another push into the city, which could put Shredder into a very precarious position.
Season three has only just begun to ramp up the action, and yet there’s no telling exactly what’s to come in the episodes ahead. If the show is going to maintain the level of energy it’s created, then the show will have to start building upon what’s already there and figuring out just how it would like the turtles to proceed. Will things stay more “realistic”? Or will the show venture off into the mystical? With any number stories to still build and develop, it’s sure to be a wild ride to the very end.