Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987) Review – It Came From Beneath the Sewers
I love a story arch that connects a season.
It makes sense that some things would carry over to the next episode. Sometimes an entire quest to find space fragments can’t wrap up in the span of 23 minutes. It Came From Beneath the Sewers continues the story line laid out in the episode before it, but works from two very different ideas.
The turtles are hunting the shards of the Eye of Sornoth dropped by the mysterious space alien in the previous episode. April wants to report on it, but seems to realize that not everything is a story, finally. The mission has become more important than the news.
Krang, however, is increasingly upset with Shredder as he brings him back to Dimension X. Shredder is filled with excuses and proclaims he “lost” the turtles. Krang doesn’t stand for this and sends him back to our Dimension with coordinates for a crystal shard.
The turtles and the Shredder are honing in on the fragment, which ends up at a carnival. Michelangelo is great at carnival games and, in the world without disguises, the turtles get taken in for the sideshow act. Eventually, they track the crystal’s location. It was picked up by 2 young boys. April insists that $3 can buy off the kids. In the 80’s, $3 still wasn’t enough. April needs to look elsewhere for more cash. Shredder steps in and tries a new approach. He just robs the kids.
Shredder brings the crystal back to his lab. Baxter Stockman has become more of a blithering idiot than in the 1st season. He has gone from genius to worthless in 3 episodes. Shredder’s previous trip to Dimension X leaves him with mud on his boots. The crystal interacts with the mud to create a plant creature big enough to wreak havoc on the city.
The crystal is no longer important in this episode.
The plant creature is destroying the city and even breaks in to the turtles lair. The turtles continually hack and slash their way through the city taking out any vines that come their way. They reach the center where the head has giant sharp teeth and a dozen eyes. The plant is able to take them out a few times.
Shredder actually lures the turtles to him with a note. It was as simple as signing a note from “April” and they came running. I don’t know why he doesn’t try this more often. Just when they back Shredder in to a corner the plant creature reappears to save him. The turtles need to find a way to take out the plant for good.
Without spoiling the end of the episode, it’s bad. This is an instance of something in a cartoon that probably wouldn’t hold up today. I wish they took a smarter approach, but it could be a sign of the times. Even something like plant killer or a “it’s allergic to turtles!” would have been better. It’s a small blip in the episode, but still a blip.
The episode has a lot of action and some funny bits, but still suffers from the time period. I love that it connects a storyline to other episodes, but it feels disconnected. The turtles have a 1 track mind and can only focus on one thing at a time. It’s still a fun episode featuring a mutant creature. But we still havent been introduced to any new, classic villains or characters. Hopefully it’s just a small piece of a better overall story.