"The enemy of my enemy is my bro."
Leave it to Michelangelo to be the wise one in the show's mid-season finale. That's right, this is the last episode before the Heroes in a Half Shell go on a winter break (fret not, they'll be back early 2013), and thankfully, it's a good one!
'It Came From the Depths' introduces the massive and fearsome Leatherhead. This rebooted take on the mutant is sporting a very similar origin story to his classic counter-part. Essentially, he's a pet baby alligator flushed into the sewers by his owner's parents. From there, he's abducted by the Kraang and taken to Dimension X for experimentation. It's a traumatizing experience and Leatherhead eventually breaks free, teleporting back to Earth and taking the Kraang's battery for the portal with him. Now the Kraang are searching for him and the Turtles are afraid of him... all of them except for Mikey, that is. He convinces the team they need to befriend him and, much to everyone's surprise, Master Splinter agrees.
First and foremost, I love the comic book style segments for origin stories. They look fantastic and play out in such a fresh, unqiue and engaging manner. Watching Leatherhead tell his origin story doesn't feel tiring or slow the pace of the show. In fact, it does the opposite. The stylized scene was one of my top moments from this episode.
And speaking of top moments: SPLINTER FIGHTS! I got goosebumps and had such a goofy smile plastered across my face as Splinter told Leatherhead to back away from his family. Luckily for us, the large enemy didn't and Splinter took him down like a boss. Odds are you'll cheer (literally or just on the inside) during this amazingly awesome fight. Leatherhead's got size and strength on his side... but that doesn't matter when you can't even touch your enemy. Man, this has me so pumped for the inevitable Shredder vs Splinter showdown!
I'm going to sound like a broken record here, but yet again, the program delivers exceptionally good action and comedy. The script is sharp as usual and not a full minute will go by without something impressive happening. Raph's aggressive attitude was particularly funny here and Donny's consistent punishment was especially amusing.
Despite being a mid-season break, we weren't really left with a cliffhanger of any kind. I can tolerate that, though, considering this show has been top-notch with every single episode. However, one thing about the conclusion did spark my curiosity. We know the Kraang commonly refer to one another as such, although I couldn't help but feel like they were referring to a leader with that final bit of dialogue. Is it possible we'll see General Krang down the road? I certainly hope so!
The first half of season one has come to an end and I'm pleasantly surprised by how good this show is week after week. Don't shrug it off just because it's lighthearted or you're not a fan of the animation. If you do that, you're seriously missing out on a brilliant reboot that can be enjoyed by fans of all ages. It's abundantly clear the creative team is passionate about the franchise and I can't wait to see what they have in store for us in 2013.
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. His Saturday mornings just won't be complete until the show returns.