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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Episode 1.05 'I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman' Review
by Gregg Katzman on
Michelangelo takes center stage in yet another hilarious and very entertaining episode.
The brand new Nickelodeon show had an excellent pilot, managing to strike the perfect tone to please both new and old fans. The Turtles feel familiar, but the new look, side cast and sharp humor gives the program a fresh feel to it. So, has the CGI take on the Turtles been able to hold up since the 1 hour premiere? Thankfully, the answer is yes!
This week's episode places a key focus on Michelangelo and a much more comedic version of Baxter Stockman... or as Mikey eventually calls him, the "Stockmanpod." Bringing back classic franchise characters always delivers a nice dose of nostalgia and he is indeed loosely linked to T.C.R.I., so there's potential for him to play a bigger role in the future. Executive Producer Ciro Nieli is a big fan of the Mirage comics, so I'm certain we'll be seeing even more familiar faces soon enough.
The orange masked turtle's disruptive skateboarding in the lair causes Splinter to ground the team. It's especially amusing to see how Mikey's antics can be contagious and result in the entire team being dragged down with him. In their boredom, Donny uses some stolen military technology to create a "tpod" (turtle ipod!) and, as expected, Michelangelo is the first one to give it a listen. Unfortunately for him, he suffers a heavy dose of polka music before switching songs. When he does finally switch to a tune he likes, the resulting dance sequence (and his teammate's observation of him) is pretty funny stuff. A song or two later and the team disobeys Splinter and leaves the lair -- despite Leonardo trying his best to be the boy scoutish leader. His over the top effort to be a brave leader is sure to induce a few laughs through the episode, especially as Raph calls him out on it.
Enjoying the freedom of the surface, the team randomly stumbles upon the classic character, Baxter Stockman. He's sporting a rather shoddy armor and is seeking revenge against his former employers. He has a wounded ego and he's simply tired of being tossed around his whole life. It's just too bad he's about to undergo yet another defeat. The Turtles swiftly humiliate him and toss him in the garbage bin (which will soon become an on-going theme). However, Mikey says he can't be trusted with nice things, and that holds true as he leaves the advanced tpod behind. This seemingly harmless music player then give Stockman one heck of an upgrade, and so begins the team's struggle in defeating the massively powerful villain.
Once again, Splinter's advice proves to be hysterical as he often delivers somewhat mixed messages which tend to go over their heads at first. "The first rule of being a ninja is do no harm. Unless you mean to do harm. Then do lots of harm!" Mikey has the spotlight here, but each character has a moment for their personality to shine. Raphael once again thinks punching stuff will solve the problem, Leonardo oozes cheesiness as he finds inspiration from a poorly written cartoon, and Donatello displays his intellect and has a few entertaining acts of frustration with his immature brother.
While the action is never brutal (come on, it's a kids show after all), it still manages to be incredibly fun. It's highly stylized and a blast to watch each character take on Stockman... only to be tossed around. Their first battle against the upgraded villain is absolutely the highlight of this episode. It kicks off with a really funny scene where Stockman struggles to come up with a villainous name (ironically an area where Mikey excels). Personally, I thought "Captain Punch You Hard!" was a great choice. Anyway, the battle itself is a nice mesh of impressive skill (from Leo), jaw dropping strikes (from Stockman) and hilarity as part of the armor latches to Leo's head as he runs around like a madman.
'I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman' is yet another impressively enjoyable episode. I'll confess that I was skeptical at first about the show (it looked geared towards only a younger audience), but thankfully it is consistently proving that initial opinion wrong. It's surprisingly well written, hilarious, action packed, and best of all, makes me feel like a kid again. It's a good time and I absolutely recommend checking it out.
Next week: Metal-Head and more Kraang speak!