TMNT – “The Fourfold Trap” Review
“Greetings turtles. It’s time for us to play a game.” – Karai
Raphael wakes up to find himself in a mysterious room with no way in or out. Suddenly, heaters activate, causing him to pass out yet again. Meanwhile, six hours earlier Donatello finds his brain worm experiments hitting yet another dead-end. Frustrated and out of ideas, the boys start to argue, only to have Donnie storm off after April calls him out to talk. Arriving at the rendezvous spot, April alerts Donnie to the Kraang’s return and leads him into a warehouse, where something captures him.
Back at the lair, Michelangelo is playing with Ice Cream Kitty, when Donnie calls him out. When he gets to Murakami’s shop, Mikey scarfs down some gyoza, only to find they’ve been drugged. When the real April shows up at the lair without Donnie, things don’t start to add up. Receiving a text from Mikey, the remaining three head out to find out just what is going on, and end up at a warehouse where Karai – flanked by Shredder’s entire mutant warrior team – is lying in wait. Raph, Leo, and April are easily overwhelmed and taken prisoner.
Each turtle finds himself in a trap designed to destroy, and Karai wants Splinter to watch as his family falls. Splinter tries to save his sons, but must fight his daughter in order to reach them. Fortunately, the boys start to use the traps against themselves, and quickly break through all four, with everyone coming out safe and sound. As Splinter’s battle escalates, he is forced to use the healing hands technique as a last-ditch effort to save his daughter. Connecting, the brain worm hesitates, and Karai falls through a sewer drain into the depths below. While Splinter mourns yet another loss of his daughter, Karai crawls into a tunnel and spits the brain worm out of her body.
Things are finally proceeding at a more industrious pace, and certainly a lot will be happening with the remaining three episodes. However, this whole adventure seemed like much more of a letdown than it should have been. The trap idea would have been great, but would have worked better as a season finale thing. If the turtles had to overcome their traps individually, using skills they developed after their vision quest, then the whole season would have had a much better payoff. Of course, that would have taken more than 10 minutes, so save it for the finale. Also, the fact that Splinter’s healing hands seem to have done the trick was great for making that technique relevant again, but then what was the point of all these episodes trying to save Karai and find a cure and everything else that has ultimately led nowhere?
Given those two big problems, the episode was a letdown. It was such a cool concept, and would have been a great final battle for the season. Instead, it’s starting to feel (as it has to some viewers for a while now) like the writers are just so out of ideas that they can’t even decide how best to put it all together. If the Kraang return yet again to invade at the end of season three, then they really will be fresh out. Of course, that would explain even more why space is next on the show’s list of locations, since Earth seems to be tapped out for right now. Say what you will about the 2003 animated series and how gimmicky some of those seasons were, but they never failed to try something new and reinvigorate the series. Some more of that would be fantastic in the coming years of Nickelodeon’s current incarnation.
The end will soon be upon us, and with it the culmination of the hunt for Karai. Will she finally join her father and fight against Shredder? Or will she be forever lost, making the turtles’ first mission when the new season starts a continuation of everything for the last three years? Unfortunately, fans will have to wait a few more weeks for that, but soon enough all of those questions and more will be answered.