TV/Cartoon Series

TMNT – “The Cosmic Ocean” Review

When your episode guest stars the voices of Peter Stormare, Ron Perlman, and Lucy Lawless, you know you’ve got a good episode on your hands. After a long hiatus, TMNT returned with a solid episode about getting the second black hole generator piece. It’s greatest strengths lie in how focused the episode was and it’s amazing art direction. If the oceans of Earth are one of it’s prettiest features, then it only makes sense that an ocean in space would be just as beautiful. Kudos to the art team for bringing such a great set piece to life.tumblr_o3yz5pSHC31tffylio1_540

The beginning of the episode answered one of my lingering questions from this season. How did Splinter end up in the holodeck? Was Splinter projecting his spirit from Earth? Did one of the Turtles program the hologram? It turns out it was neither of these. Hologram Splinter is a projection of Leo’s thoughts, as read by the ship’s computer. The other team members do think it’s a little weird that he’s communing with a hologram, but Mikey defends him, saying, “Leo just needs him more than ever. He’ll be ok.” In a way, the computer is helping Leo discover the confidence within himself, something that the real Splinter would definitely do.

IMG_2106-1-After Leo rejoins the team, Fugitoid takes them into the Cosmic Ocean, the previously mentioned set piece, and home to the planet Veruna and the Daagon, another race the Utrom trusted with a black hole generator piece. Fugitoid describes the Daagon as an honorable race, one committed to helping the Utrom and the galaxy. Of course, this means the Daagon immediately attack the team, subduing them until Fugitoid produces a sigil of the Utrom. With this token of peace, the Daagon take the team to their ruler. Little do the Turtles know, someone followed them into the Cosmic Ocean; the bounty hunter Armaggon.

The throne room of Veruna is where we meet Hiidrala, voiced by Lucy Lawless. Hiidrala is Supreme Ruler of the Daagon and Lawless did a great job of bringing that royal flair to the character. I’m continually amazed by the direction of this show and their ability to create such diverse alien life. Hiidrala and the Daagon are unlike any other race we’ve met before. They have an edge to them that is normally reserved for villainous characters in shows like this. Hiidrala is intimidating and commands presence. Her title is Supreme Ruler, not Queen, a title that implies IMG_2109-1-strength, as opposed to lineage. I feel she’s one of the best “in charge” characters the show has created.

Hiidrala informs the Turtles that in order to receive the black hole generator piece, they must prove themselves to her, and the only way to do that is to face Cthugga. It was funny to see the team so confident at first. They have faced all manner of beast, so it makes sense that they would go into this feeling pretty good. It created two great moments for the episode; a funny one where we see the team gloat that they can handle being eaten (it’s happened before), and an awe-inducing one when they get to see the sheer size of Cthugga. He’s massive! So big, even Armaggon is scared by it.

IMG_2101-1-Speaking of which, as the team made their way to Cthugga, Armaggon attacked, taking Leo hostage. He forces the team to push forward to Cthugga, so that he can take the generator piece, and subsequently get revenge on the Turtles. Cthugga scares them off though, and the ship is soon boarded by Daagons who capture Armaggon and bring everyone back before Hiidrala.

This is where the episode kicks it into high gear. Armaggon called for back up and none other than Lord Dregg shows up to help. I wasn’t expecting to see a big showdown with Dregg this episode, and he proved to be quite formidable. He would have killed Hiidrala if not for Leo taking a literal bullet for her. Getting “Big Space Battle #2” in this episode was great, but the best part was watching Hiidrala summon Cthugga, who overshadows the palace and easily dispatches Dregg and Armaggon, swallowing them whole!

The battle now over, Hiidrala thanks the team for helping to defend her planet, especially Leo who saved her. Their willingness to jump into battle to protect others impresses Hiidrala and proves their honor and worthiness. And with that, the Turtles gain the second piece of the black hole generator.

Of course, not even space Cthulu can keep Dregg and Armaggon down, and the episodes ends with their escape from the monster’s clutches.

“The Cosmic Ocean” was a fun episode, filled with action, character development, and some great references. I loved the shout out to Ray Filet in the episode, and we got both a Star Trek AND a Star Wars reference, pretty much back to back. The episode benefited from a great pace, a focused story, and beautiful art direction. It’s great the show was able to come back with such a strong episode, and let’s hope it can keep this momentum rolling.tumblr_o256ynK9Xj1uuxhjio1_500

The Author

Dan Spitaliere

Dan Spitaliere

Dan Spitaliere is a sound designer and engineer, voice over artist, and a lifelong shellhead. He grew up on a healthy diet of Turtles movies, comics, cartoons, and toys, and can recite the first movie in its entirety from memory. He is excited to be a part of such a great team in the middle of this current Turtle Renaissance!

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