“The Evil of Dregg” diverted attention away from the main conflict of the season in exchange for pouring on the feels on our dear friend Raph. While it’s a little frustrating to not see the fallout from the Turtles losing two of the three pieces of the black hole generator, the “kidnapping” of Sal Commander was a good reason for a diversion. Finally getting to see Dregg on his home world and at full strength was also a treat we’ve been waiting for all season.
Of course, the real core of the episode was watching Raph respond to being betrayed by Mona Lisa. These two literally star-crossed lovers were forced into a huge test of their relationship, when it’s revealed late in the episode that Sal and Mona were forced into setting a trap for the Turtles, when Dregg threatens to invade their homeworld of Salamandria. We know Sal and Mona to be honorable characters, so of course they would sacrifice their friends to save their people. Dregg being the villain that he is, once the Turtles and Casey are captured, turns on Sal and Mona, and plans to go through with the invasion anyway.
But let’s go back to Raph for a little shall we? Man, was it weird seeing him so despondent. You would think Raph would burst into a rage at having his heart broken, but in fact, he just can’t take it. It destroys him, and it’s probably the most emotional moment we’ve seen of Raph since his movie counterpart bellowed “Damn” through the sewers at the kidnapping of Splinter. You can tell his brothers were expecting him to go crazy too. They needed him to. It was like the episode was setting up that Raph’s rage was really the only thing that could get them out of such a mess. Or so they thought.
Raph does save the day, but it isn’t because his anger overwhelms him. Rather it is Mona Lisa’s apology and declaration of love that sends him into a righteous fury. This isn’t dopey smile Raph. This is 100% confident, full of life Raph. It’s an interesting twist on the “with love I can do anything” trope, since Raph embraces that love and kicks ass!
There was some good humor in this episode as well. Donnie’s whole arc this episode, from his grotesque space bee sting, his happiness at recovery, he reaction to April’s kiss, and of course his straight up cockiness for his bug spray invention. It may have taken 1 whole episode for him to feel lost in space and regain his confidence, but at least his new attitude pays off with some fun and brash moments. Timid Donnie is interesting, but cocky Donnie is a blast. That’s what made the movie version so good. He’s smart, knows it, and enjoys it.
Let’s not forget Casey either, who got a kick out of how Sectoid 1 resembled some metal album covers back home on Earth. Gotta love his excitement any time they face off against Armaggon as well. I’d also be remiss if I didn’t mention the Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy reference April brings up; “The Explorer’s Guide to the Universe.”
“The Evil of Dregg” brought back two of this season’s secondary big bads, Dregg and Armaggon, and gave the Turtles a true challenge. Between set pieces like the giant Scorponoid, to the betrayal of Mona Lisa and Sal Commander, the challenges were both physical and emotional, and this gave the episode a well rounded feeling. Raph and Mona’s relationship has been a real treat this season, and it’s great seeing one of our boys happy, especially Raph. There was great action too, and seeing what Raph can do when he feels full of support was a lot of fun. Cue “The Power of Love” for our friend!
What did you think of the episode? Is Dregg a worthy villain for our crew? Should he be the real big bad? What’s with his robot head? And detachable other head?!? Does he know more about the black hole generator than he’s letting on? What do you think of Raph and Mona Lisa? Let us know it all in the comments!