“Never liked the name Spike. Call me … Slash.”
It’s all fun and games at the lair, until Michelangelo ruins some of Raphael’s stuff. In a fit of rage, Raph and Spike confront the others about their screw-up’s. As if to prove his point, Donatello creates a bad batch of retro mutagen, sending explosions throughout the lair and almost hitting Spike. Furious, Raph takes Donnie’s last vial of mutagen and storms off. It doesn’t take long for Master Splinter to call him out to help clean up, though, and as Raph slams his bedroom door, the vial spills. Upon his return, Raphael comes face-to-face with a brand new mutant: Spike.
Spike convinces Raph that the two of them should form a new ninja duo, and as the others head off to track some mutagen, Raphael and his partner Slash gear up for a smack down of their own. As miscommunication causes the mutagen to slip away, Slash abducts Donatello. In the confusion, Mikey meets the new mutant turtle, but Slash wants Raph to make the “right” decision and beats Michelangelo to a pulp to sway is new partner. Raphael and Mikey escape and locate Donatello, but Slash is on their trail.
As Leonardo grabs the mutagen, Raph confronts his former pet. Slash quickly gets the upper hand, even with Donnie and Mikey helping as best they can. But in the middle of the melee, Raphael learns a valuable lesson about where his loyalties truly lie, and how much he cares about his siblings. Leonardo finally makes his way back, but even he doesn’t stand a chance. Finally, Raphael launches one last strike, which sends Slash plummeting to the streets below. Unfortunately, the mutant turtle escapes, leaving Raphael mourning his loss, but happy to be spending time with his brothers.
It’s always fun when characters from the past come back in new, interesting ways. Slash is no different. Last time, he was Rocksteady and Bebop’s creation, and now he’s Raphael’s best friend. His introduction was unique and interesting, but his reasons didn’t make much sense. He was clearly showing some sort of affection for his former master, but why exactly he needed to kill the other turtles was never really explained. That seems to be a recurring theme this season, which would lead one to believe that there’s a plot point at work to be explained in detail later.
That point extends to most of the mutants seen thus far. There’s still the question of why all these new mutants are deranged and angry and arguably evil, when the turtles themselves were mutated by the same ooze, and yet turned out good. While their upbringing might have had something to do with that, there’s also then the question of why these four were able to grow up naturally, while all the other mutations happen nearly instantaneously. After all, Spike went from being six inches to six feet in a matter of minutes. Again, all of the questions revolving around the mutagen seem to be lacking explanation for a reason. So there’s hope that it’ll all be explained later.
It’s good to see another Raphael-heavy episode, too. The last one that sticks out was Karai’s introduction, when Raph got to play leader. That wasn’t a particularly good one for him, so having an episode focused almost entirely on the hot-head certainly showcased some character growth. Learning how to deal with his brothers is no easy feat for someone who blows up at the drop of a hat. But Raph learned a valuable, while also getting to use his own adept skills to take down a big, bad mutant.
Overall, it was another excellent episode. The holes in the plot are starting to get larger as the season passes, but since they are the same holes growing larger, it’s likely an intentional omission that will be explained at some point. Raphael clearly hasn’t been slacking in his training, either, but it’s a shame he had to use it on his best friend. Unfortunately for the turtle, Slash will be back – and madder than ever.