TMNT – “The Power Inside Her” Review
In the comments of last weeks episode, one of our readers stated their concern that the show might be getting too dark and wondered if the show might lose some of its core audience – children. I posited that the show was just finding it’s line and probably wouldn’t go much further than what it had during “The Super Shredder” and “Darkest Plight.” “The Power Inside Her” just proved me wrong.
That’s not to say that “The Power Inside Her” wasn’t a strong episode. It really was. Circling back to April’s addiction to the Aeon Crystal, we got a powerful episode that focused on the apex of that addiction. Let’s think back to when April received the crystal. The Turtles, Casey, and April landed on their home planet that had been consumed in darkness. After being attacked by giant bat-like creatures, the crew found themselves at an ancient pyramid. After scaling the pyramid, they saved the day by replacing the Soul Star artifact at the top of the pyramid, cleansing the planet of the darkness. The bat-like creatures were actually the Aeons, and ancient and powerful race, who gifted April the crystal for saving them.
Well it turns out the crystal held the spirit of one of the original Aeons, who had been slowing taking over April’s mind as she used the crystal to augment her abilities. April wasn’t just dependent on the crystal, she was losing herself to it. And that’s when things got really crazy. April completely succumbed to the Aeon, named Zal-Naron, who made it her mission to cleanse the Earth, starting with New York. The Turtles, Splinter, and Casey kept trying to help April, but she proved too powerful.
Watching Splinter and Raphael get twisted into torturous positions was difficult enough, but the scariest part of the episode happened when Zal-Naron obliterated Donatello. Donatello, trying to save April and ultimately his own life, pleaded with April to overcome the Aeon, but in the moment April wasn’t strong enough. With a flash of his skin, skeleton, and organs, Donatello exploded. Just writing that feels gruesome. It’s hard to believe that this was, of all things, in a Nickelodeon cartoon. The description feels more like the non-canon Image Comics run.
Now Donatello was revived at the end of the episode. April used the last of the Aeon Crystal (she broke it trying to escape its hold on her) to reform Donatello from the “quantum smear” she reduced him to. But it was still hard to believe the whole episode. April/Zal-Naron was on a tear, force choking people, throwing them around like rag dolls, and twisting them into awful shapes. Hadn’t Splinter gone through enough in the last couple episodes? Blowing up Donatello was just the icing on the horrifying cake.
A couple side notes:
-Rahzar is apparently still alive! No idea how he survived getting crushed by a train, but the episode wisely glossed over that. Besides, April just crushed him with a dumpster anyway, so hopefully Bradford has a couple more lives saved up.
-One of our readers asked about the crews’ space weapons and where they were. Casey pulled out one of his space hockey pucks, and Donatello brought back his space staff again. I guess the writer’s were on the same wave length!
-Shredder’s henchmen are collecting all the mutagen they can get their hands on, in order to maintain Shredder’s super form. I wonder what happens when they run out of mutagen? I’m still trying to figure out why Tiger Claw would seek out Kavaxas in the upcoming episode. Maybe it’s to save Shredder from his mutation?
“The Power Inside Her” took yet another turn down a more mature path for Nick’s TMNT, touching on the topic of addiction and its fallout. More than that though, it felt like a crazy “What If?” episode, where a possessed and super-charged April tore through the ranks of friend and foe alike. You have to wonder how April will deal with this moving forward, and how this will impact her relationships with the Turtles, Splinter, and Casey. The episode ended on a positive note, with April breaking the control of the Aeon Crystal and forming better control over her powers, but after what happened, things can’t be the same moving forward.