Everything has been leading up to this hour-long episode, friends! It's been a long ride getting here, but we finally get some answers to big questions we've been asking and we're hit with a big reveal, too. It of course wouldn't be an episode of Nick's TMNT without plenty of laughs and action along the way. So, was it a gloriously epic finale? For the most part, yes.
The finale is pretty much broken into two separate stories. The first revolves around the Kraang finally making their move. The aliens open a portal and bring Kraang Prime (voiced by Roseanne Barr) and the (flying) Technodrome into our world. They aim to terraform Earth so they can turn it into their new home and naturally, it's up to the Turtles to make sure this doesn't happen. Meanwhile, Splinter attempts to end his rivalry with Shredder once and for all.
Splinter's side of the narrative is pure awesomeness. You know how seeing Splinter in action is beyond phenomenal? Well, we're treated to an overdose of that. We see Splinter showing off against everything from assorted ninjas to Dogpound and Fishface to, of course, Shredder. There's just something special about seeing Splinter take action. He's always so composed and tries his best to avoid using his talents, but when he's forced to, it's stellar and jaw-dropping. The confrontation between him and Oroku Saki is absolutely worth the wait and the cast and crew did a superb job including the raw emotion between the two. There's a twist we've all seen coming for quite some time, but it's still presented in a great fashion. Truthfully, this side of the story is so gripping and engaging that I was slightly bummed out whenever the episode cut back to the Turtles/Kraang side of things.
There's a fair amount of sharp banter and laughs along the way, but this episode was definitely focusing on delivering big action sequences. There's a super cool scene of the group preparing to head out and seeing Raph gear up was particularly exciting. Having him then pet Spike before he leaves was simply too adorable and a nice reminder of how this show can go from badass to heartwarming at the flip of a switch. I wasn't the biggest fan of the glider sequence, but their battle inside T.C.R.I. and then within the Technodrome was certainly a good time. Leo using Donny's gun and then slicing and dicing? Raph completely unleashing against one Kraang? The (brief) return of Metalhead? All hugely amusing stuff which kept a smile on my face. I especially love the quick shot of the group on the ledge before they jump into action. This program always manages to sprinkle in some seriously cool shots of the team looking rad and I always adore them.
There's been a lot of mystery surrounding April and what makes her unique. Unfortunately, I don't think the reveal lives up to the hype. It's quickly explained and there's not a whole lot to it. It kind of feels glossed over, really. And while Kraang Prime certainly looks cool (those teeth and lips are wicked) and I dig the nod to the earlier design with the head, I find this whole side of the hour-long finale to be the weakest part. It's a shame because I think the Kraang are hilarious (and they certainly have an enjoyable line or two here), but overall, it was just kind of formulaic and easily resolved without any strong twists and developments. Also, I was surprised to see we were hit with Leo's lesson twice. The first time was good enough. Sure, we knew what would happen, but it was still an effective scene. Having that play out again (but in a slightly different manner) just seemed a tad redundant to me. Very minor gripe: the celebratory dancing went on for too long. It was heartwarming at first but then felt like it dragged a bit. But hey, maybe kids out there are dancing along with the scene and if so, I hope they had a blast.
Despite those complaints, this was still a super fun episode filled with lots of cheer-worthy moments and some solid lines. I'm sure we all saw the Shredder/Splinter twist coming a mile away, but that didn't make the segment any less epic. I walked into the season as a total pessimist and I'm leaving as a die-hard fan. I have extremely high hopes for the second season and I can't wait for the show's return!
As for my favorite bit of banter:
Leo: "Why didn't you tell me there's a force field?"
Donny: "Well, because I wanted us to fail. OBVIOUSLY I DIDN'T KNOW!"
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