TMNT – “The Creeping Doom” Review
“The Creep and Snake Weed have combined into … Creep Weed!” – Michelangelo
Donatello is doing his best to reverse engineer the brain worm, when Michelangelo decides to bother his work. Of course, Mikey makes a mess once he sees Donnie’s trophy shelf, which includes the remains of the Creep. With Donnie off cleaning some chemicals from his hand and everything falling, Mikey manages not to break anything, but when a chemical on the workbench comes into contact with the Creep’s cracked jar, the ooze inside breaks free, reconstitutes itself, and starts absorbing whatever is nearby.
Meanwhile, the boys are training, but Donnie is distracted by his other work, and he finds his lab trashed. Mad at Mikey (and distracted by Raphael’s win during their training) and feeling a little under the weather, Donnie and April clean up. Unfortunately, the Creep finally makes his move, attacking Leonardo. While Splinter manages to keep his family safe, the Creep escapes into the sewer with Snake Weed’s claw.
The boys head out after it, but something is wrong with Donatello, who seems to be getting dumber while the Creep gets smarter. They find it in a small greenhouse, regrowing Snake Weed. While the others fight the new Snake Weed, the Creep handles Raphael. However, they manage to bait the two into a trap, and blow them sky high. Unfortunately, it’s not the end of the Creep.
Back at the lair, Mikey tries to come up with a cure to Donnie’s problem. Unfortunately, he just makes his brother even more stupid, and right when the monstrous Creep (now a Creep-Snake Weed hybrid) starts ravaging the entire city. Leo, Mikey, and Raph try to stop him, but soon the brothers are whittled down to just Michelangelo. Just when all seems lost, Donnie arrives on the scene, Mikey’s antidote having actually worked and reversing the brain juice’s effects. Donnie stops Creep Weed and saves his brothers, and they are able to take what’s left of the swamp mutant back to the lair for safekeeping.
The first few episodes of season three were very weak in terms of their relevance to essentially anything. Or, at least that’s what it had seemed like. While things seem to be a long way away from a team up with the Punk Frogs, the fact that the Creep made a comeback is pretty impressive. He was, by all accounts, and throwaway character, and instead came back at a critical moment in the season. He had some extended relevance this time around, and he was able to act as a real foe to the turtles, instead of just a temporary nuisance. (Giving a little extra brain power was a nice touch, too.)
Unfortunately, this episode seemed a little overdue. Something like this would have been much better placed around the midseason mark, and not almost at the end. The problem now is that there is very little time to deal with the fallout of the brain juice (both the cause and cure) and to figure out why things happened the way they did. Of course, that was also the weakness of this episode – there was zero explanation for what happened. If there’s one thing that will be true, though, the answers will come in future episodes. However, while time is spent dealing with the problems faced here, there will be even less time to deal with the larger issues still present this season, like Karai’s safety. Instead, it seems likely that Karai will continue to either be imprisoned or under Shredder’s control, or not a part of the team, since there is seemingly too little time left to adequately deal with all the wrap up that would need to be executed.
While it was one of the stronger showings since the hiatus ended, this episode was not without its issues and concerns. However, it did set the stage well for what’s to come in the next two episodes, even if the main conflict of those two installments isn’t known (and could be something very similar to what happened here). Only time will tell, though.