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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Episode 1.07 'Monkey Brains' Review

Donatello once again takes center stage as he fights for April's affection and gets humiliated by a mutated monkey.

We're now seven episodes into the new show and it hasn't let me down yet. 'Monkey Brains' is yet another entertaining episode filled with plenty of laughs -- mostly courtesy of Mikey -- and quite a few cool action sequences.

This week's episode dives into Donatello's hopeless crush on April and the Kraangs very slow moving plot surrounding the mutagen. Donny creates a hugely complex algorithm on how to overcome his awkwardness and successfully chat with April. If you're also a fan of 'The Big Bang Theory,' I imagine Sheldon's friendship algorithm will immediately come to mind. His prep time is used wisely as the chart works and he goes off with April to check out a scientist's disappearance.

Naturally, it's connected to the Kraang and before they know it, they're face-to-face with a giant psychic monkey (for reals). Donny views this as his chance to be a knight in shining armor, save April from the seemingly evil creature and look awesome doing so. Simple task for a ninja, right? Unfortunately, things don't go his way and he suffers a hilarious and relentless beating from the angered primate.

Simply viewing this as a kids show really isn't giving the program the level of praise it deserves. The humor is surprisingly sharp at times (the guinea pig comment from Mikey) and the team has done a great job recreating the familiar universe. While no major changes happen in this episode (except for the addition of T-phones), it's still a 22 minute overdose of fun.

Seeing the turtles train is always a good time, and Donny sparring with Mike was especially amusing considering their drastic differences in tactics. The sequence with the monkey was a brutal delight, but the real treat here was the final fight. Stepping into a psychic's mind during combat was handled incredibly well and was pretty stunning to watch. In my opinion, this was one of the best action sequences the show has offered to date. The solution to overcoming the scientist's advantage was obvious, but it managed to string together Splinter's lesson quite well.

While this was certainly a solid episode, I can't help but feel like it's filler when compared to the overall plot. The story with the Kraangs or Shredder hasn't moved forward and that's something I've been wanting to see more of. We know Kraangs are using human scientists and experimenting with mutagen, but we still don't know why or even where they're from. This is something we're sure to find out sooner or later, but it's taking awhile to get there.

We know Shredder wants to investigate his longtime foe's reappearance, but he hasn't done anything except for send two men to check it out. Furthermore, this is now technically the second episode revolving around the purple Turtle. Donny is my favorite, but we've now seen everyone except for Leonardo have a story focusing on their character. I'd love to see their leader get more focus before moving on to Splinter/Shredder and the Kraang. Sure, we've watched him mimic his amazingly campy cartoon and struggle to keep authority, but unlike the others, he's never had an entire plot surrounding him.

Overall, the show is moving the primary plot points at a slow pace, but that hardly matters since each chapter has been more than thoroughly entertaining. If you're enjoying the reboot so far, odds are you'll love this episode as well. And if not... well, there's always the IDW comic for you to enjoy.

27 Comments
Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Damn, I need to catch up on the last 2 episodes

Posted by Mbecks14

I've fallen so behind on this show! o.0 I need to catch up!

Posted by Destinyhero20

I do love this new TNMT :)

Posted by deadpool25mm

Its a nice show.

still waiting for Young Justice and GL..

Posted by k4tzm4n

@deadpool25mm: They'll be back in January.

Staff
Posted by Twentyfive

TMNT is awesome. Donny is the best!

Posted by Lurkero

It seems weird that the show is not really developing a significant plot, but that may be because I am used to watching shows like Young Justice that try to balance 3-4 plots at a time.

TMNT is still fun to watch so not many complaints here. Filler episode or not.

Posted by BoyWander

I don't know how I feel about April becoming a Kunoichi. I liked her as their support and it'd just be strange to see her running on roof tops with the others. Oh well. I'm going to assume she'll get a yellow mask, but I wonder what weapon splinter will give her.

Also that monkey's eyes kept popping out of his head… I didn't like that.

Posted by Lvenger

This show has grown on me. I was unsure at first but now I quite like it. Still not a patch on these Turtles though:

Posted by mattwing87

@Lurkero said:

It seems weird that the show is not really developing a significant plot, but that may be because I am used to watching shows like Young Justice that try to balance 3-4 plots at a time.

TMNT is still fun to watch so not many complaints here. Filler episode or not.

I think they try to keep it easy for kids to follow

Posted by thespideyguy

@Jonny_Anonymous said:

Damn, I need to catch up on the last 2 episodes

Same with me.

Posted by modunhanul

Mikey was hilarious in this episode. Well, he is always funny though. I like him.

Posted by Ms. Omega

Another great episode loved it.

Posted by sweetesttoaster

I hate Donatello's voice. It gets very annoying. Other than that though its a great show.

Posted by HellionVulcan

Haven't watched it yet so i didn't read much so i wasn't spoiled but i love the show so far .

Posted by pingclang

I have to say that every episode I fall more in love with the show. It's nice to see the nods towards other turtles shows and to the comics that they put in now and again and also the morals it teaches give it a good amount of heart. Absolutely love the show and this week`s episode was no slacker. I agree that it is time to advance the story some though, I'm ready to see the brothers four take on Shredder, though that may be a while.

Posted by k4tzm4n

@pingclang said:

I agree that it is time to advance the story some though, I'm ready to see the brothers four take on Shredder, though that may be a while.

Agreed. I'm in no rush to necessarily see them battle, but I'd like to see that plot progress a bit. Hopefully we get a Leo focused episode and then it gives us more on the Kraang or Shredder part. Regardless, I'm loving the show, so it's a really minor criticism.

Staff
Edited by Mezmero

This show is still amazing though it's a bit jarring to have 2 Donatello episodes in a row. I must say the introduction of the tPhone is a nice little call back to the turtle phones from the old cartoon. I'm pretty stoked to see how April does as a kunoichi. She would be kind of a lame support character if she went through the rest of the season without being able to defend herself. The voice acting is crazy good as usual and I love the guest spot of Jeffrey Combs as the villain. There was also a very interesting action sequence near the end. I've got my fingers crossed for Casey Jones sooner rather than later.

Posted by BiteMe-Fanboy

Sorry, I cannot get into this show.

Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus

Awesome wrap up!

Posted by TheHeat
@modunhanul said:

Mikey was hilarious in this episode. Well, he is always funny though. I like him.

I love Mikey!
Posted by RoTheKid

TMNT has kept me "sane" since Young Justice and GL has been on hiatus! But the show is good so it makes up for the hiatus! :)

Posted by KRYPTON

I agree Kraang and Shredder's story needs to be acknowledge a bit more, we can only hope that all these other stories are building to that one or more episodes eventually. Other than that the series is still awesome

Edited by Guardiandevil83

I love this show!!! Also. Am I the only one who feels like this show is a prequel to the 2007 cgi film? Because April is a kenouchi in that as well. She assist the Turtles along with Casey Jones on assaulting that Immortal guy's headquarters.

Online
Posted by Deranged Midget

Even though the story never progressed in this episode, it made up for it with it's brilliant humour and I like the focus on Donatello as of late. Very good episode and great review.

Moderator
Posted by k4tzm4n
@RedheadedAtrocitus@Deranged Midget: Thanks! 
 
Very happy to see how much love the show is receiving.
Staff
Posted by SlickyMike88

I'm fine with April having a ability , but if they turn her into a ass kicker i'm tuning out. That was my BIG complaint when it came to the TMNT(2007) movie , I like the fact that's she¨s normal and can defende herself . Just play with her strength's , and that does not have to do with her fighting:P