TMNT – “Arena of Carnage” Review
Bellybomb’s information from last episode paid off, because in short order the Turtles, April, Casey, and Fugitoid found themselves staring at the Triceraton mothership. Before getting to the mothership infiltration however, let’s give it up for that fighting game reference in the holodeck at the top of show! As stated in last weeks review, the references in this show are great, but this really put it over the top: Leo’s shoryuken, Mikey’s “Balloonality” (itself a reference to classic arcade game Dig Dug). Really fun stuff here. Hopefully they eventually pay off on the “new A-Team” of Raph and Donnie though.
This was a really fun episode, but it felt a little fast. A full episode could have been dedicated to the mothership invasion and the arena each. That’s not to say that what we got wasn’t good. Being outgunned and outnumbered, the Turtles best choice is to sneak onto the mothership, retrieve the first piece of the black hole generator, and get out. It was unfortunate that Casey and April had to be left behind, but like April said, they’re just not as stealthy as the Turtles. It also wound up being a good thing, since the Turtles get spotted pretty quickly, and after a brief struggle, get captured. Someone is going to have to rescue them.
That whole sequence was pretty wild. The Triceratons continue to overwhelm our heroes, they’re size and strength proving to be too much. The Turtles are going to have to find another way to fight them, and fast. Mozar is really brutal too. Can you get more villainous than throwing your prisoners into an airlock and slowly opening it to watch them suffocate? This created a cool moment where the Turtles show that their ninjutsu training isn’t only in physical strength, but in mind as well, slowing their breathing to account for the rapidly decreasing oxygen.
Luckily for our heroes (or possibly unlucky as Donnie points out later), the Triceraton Emperor Zanmoran stops Mozar from just dumping them out in space. Instead, he wants them to fight to the death in the Tri-Arena. This is, of course, a call back to other TMNT iterations, including the 2003 cartoon and the Archie comics run. The Turtles just can’t stay away from space arenas.
They start off by fighting the Spasmosaur, a giant tentacled and multi-mouthed beast, aided with information from their cellmate Zeno. After Donnie finds the weak spot Zeno mentioned, they defeat the Spasmosaur and move on to the next round. Their opponent turns out to be Zeno, because that is how these arena events work. He outclasses the Turtles, and even other Triceratons, towering over everyone in the arena.
With seemingly no way to beat Zeno, the Turtles appeal to his honor, and for his hatred of the black hole generator. He agrees to help them, and publicly insults Zanmoran, which results in a whole squad of Triceratons being deployed to stop the Turtles and their new friend.
Behind the scenes, while all of this is going on, Casey, April, and the Fugitoid set out to get the black hole generator piece. Fugitoid gets captured, but Casey and April manage to get the piece, dragging it back to the ship in one of those bubble/leash gadgets the Triceratons use.
Back in the arena, Zeno creates some space for the Turtles, who rescue Fugitoid by holding Zanmoran hostage! They escape, heading back to the ship. Halfway there, chased by Triceratons, they meet up with April and Casey, who are also being chased, and the whole group narrowly makes it aboard and escapes the Triceraton forces and the Mothership as a whole, leaving Zeno behind.
It was pretty wild seeing how far April’s powers have come. Not only does she use the Aeon crystal to help her open the door to the armory, but she also created a forcefield around herself as they jumped out the airlock. With any luck, April won’t become too dependent on the Aeon Crystal, as that episode showed that power can certainly corrupt.
With one piece of the black hole generator in hand, the Turtles and crew are off to find the next. While “Arena of Carnage” was a fun and fast paced episode, hopefully future episodes won’t be afraid to slow down a little bit and spend more time on interesting places and characters like the arena and Zeno.