TMNT – “Monsters Among Us!” Review
With fun fight scenes, a visually interesting time battle, and heightened stakes, “Monsters Among Us!” was a fun wrap up to the monsters story arc. While it did fall into the trap that many time travel stories do (their jaunt through time was largely pointless, save for befriending Frank), this episode paid off by trimming down the important bad guys and centering the battle against Dracula and Savanti.
Savanti and Dracula make an interesting pair. Both have aims at conquest, yet both are smart enough to know they need the other. While they did turn on each other this episode, they quickly realize their plans are futile without the other. It was actually a welcomed twist that the pair didn’t turn on each other at the end of the episode. Dracula was defeated by the combined effort of the Turtles, not some treachery by Savanti.
The episode had other twists as well, some more expected than others. Of course, Mikey was able to reach Frank, and overcome the brainwashing by Dracula. Frank proved to be the turning point in the battle, and it earned him a trip into the future by Renet at the end of the episode. More surprising was Donnie being turned into a vampire by April! April’s line, “You’re mine, Donnie!” is a nice little nod to fans who ship them, although I’m sure that’s not how Donnie imagined things going…
Focusing on Dracula was really smart. He’s such a popular character throughout fiction, it makes sense to build him up as a big bad. He defeated the Mummy pretty much in an instant. Considering our heroes spent an entire episode fighting the Mummy, only to be defeated, it showed how impressive Dracula is. He dominates the minds of all the monsters. In a way, he is really the one who controls the monster army, not Savanti. But he needs Savanti to use the time staff.
Vampire Raph proved to be more fun this episode. His hypnotizing of Mikey was humorous, while his theft of the time staff was, visually, sufficiently spooky. The character design of all the monsters was really good. The vampires were creepy, even though they didn’t keep their human forms like April and Casey. The werewolves looked cool, and seeing Donnie as a vampire with that gap in his teeth was great. The creative team really knocked it out of the park.
Ultimately, our heroes prevailed, defeating Dracula to release all the monsters, and Renet beating up Savanti to get the time staff back. Not sure where Savanti stands, since he was seemingly eaten by a dinosaur, but I don’t think we’re going to see him in the last arc of the series anyhow. It was cool to see Renet and Mikey’s relationship grow. These are nice little flourishes the show has added for the characters.
“Monsters Among Us!” proved to be a satisfactory conclusion to an entertaining Tale. It’s not the best the series has put forward, but it was fun, visually interesting, and who doesn’t like a themed episode to get you in the mood for it’s corresponding season. With interesting villains, fun fight scenes, and strong character work, “Monsters Among Us!” delivers on the steady track record we’ve come to expect from this show.