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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season One Finale Review

The Turtles attempt to foil Kraang's plot to take over the world and Splinter finally confronts Shredder!

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!"

Love the Turtles? Chat with Gregg about it on Twitter!

42 Comments
Edited by RedheadedAtrocitus

Ahhhhh can't look! Gotta wait and see, but I'm so excited for the finale!

Posted by judasnixon

Ha ha ha ha ha....... Raph got Rob liefeld out.

Posted by Aeroman

i find it surprising that nickelodeon is doing a better job on handling action cartoons like tmnt and korra than cartoon network

Posted by Ms. Omega

This was great finally getting to see Splinter throw down was epic.

Posted by EnderWiggin

Splinter is a boss

Posted by StMichalofWilson

Cool finale

Posted by kriminal

the twist, is that supose to happen? im a new turtle reader, started at issue 13, and have scene all 4 movies. but i think the twist is from the show only but not sure.

Posted by HushoftheWind

@aeroman: hopefully the success of Turtles and Korra will light a fire under CN's a$$ and we'll get a weekly Toonami again. i was thinking Toonami could air around 8-10pm then adult swim could come on.

Posted by NightFang

Can't wait for season two.

Posted by Dark_Guyver

Such a great episode. And holy crap!! I didn't know Krang Prime was Rossanne Barr. She did a really good job. Now the long wait until season 2. Good thing we have the fantastic IDW series to hold us over till then.

Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

Ahhhhh can't look! Gotta wait and see, but I'm so excited for the finale!

Posted by Sharpshot

This episode was so cool! I love Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles! "Starts humming theme song in head"

Posted by krspaceT

Wait, seeing as Karai is Miwa....if Leo did date her, would that be incest?

Posted by IronAngelX

WHA!!! I thought Operation Breakout was the last episode and I am so relieved now that there are two more episodes to watch because that one didn't feel like a season finale lol

Posted by The Stegman

"At least we aren't stupid aliens!"

Burn Michael Bay, buuuurn!

Posted by 2cool4fun

@aeroman said:

i find it surprising that nickelodeon is doing a better job on handling action cartoons like tmnt and korra than cartoon network

Well that`s cause CN canceled there 2 best shows ( young justice, & green lantern ) to replace them with Teen Titans Go & Beware The Batman :(

Posted by DEGRAAF

What was Leo's lesson?

Posted by RoTheKid

@k4tzm4n Yeah, I really digged the episode as well and I agree with most of your review. The April "revelation" left me saying, huh?? She has a line to the universe??? And yes, the Splinter/Shredder twist was predicted here a while back and everyone saw it coming. Also, it was great seeing Splinter and Shredder fight. I don't remember them fighting in the 80s cartoon nor the 90s one. I could be wrong, but I really can't recall them fighting. The fight in last night's episode was pretty epic.

Finally, I rather enjoyed the dance scene in the end. I couldn't stop cracking up! :)

Good review, Gregg!

Posted by k4tzm4n

@rothekid: Thanks!!!

@degraaf said:

What was Leo's lesson?

When it comes to a mission this important, the leader must be willing to do whatever it takes... even if it means his own life.

Staff
Edited by Sawcesome

"It is quiet...precisely the right amount of quiet."

Edited by Jonny_Anonymous

@degraaf: Splinter telling him what matters most is that they stop the Kraang even if it means sacrificing themselves.

"At least we aren't stupid aliens!"

Burn Michael Bay, buuuurn!

Haaa do you think that was intentinal?

Ya know in all the TMNT media Michelangelo is always my favourite but I think Splinter is starting to take his place, I used to see him as just the "badass teacher" but he's actually got so much more depth to him.

Posted by Mutant God

The voice of Kraang sounded to me like a mix of Frieza (from Dragonball Z) and Montana Max (Tiny Toon Adventures).

When I saw the dancing at the end it reminded me of the live action movies and at first I thought they were going to rap.

Posted by danhimself

I'm happy for those people who didn't see the twist with Shredder and Splinter coming like ten episodes ago because I'm sure that would have been an awesome reveal had I not seen it coming. I kind of wish that they had done something more with Leo staying in the Technodrone...like give us a cliffhanger till next season or have him captured by the Kraang which could lead up to them developing Slash or something...I was getting really excited for the cliffhanger of him being gone between the two seasons and then he popped up and it was kind of like "ugggghhhhh"

@k4tzm4n just a quick note...Raphael's pet turtle's name is Spike not Slash

Edited by The Stegman

@the_stegman said:

"At least we aren't stupid aliens!"

Burn Michael Bay, buuuurn!

Haaa do you think that was intentinal?

Ya know in all the TMNT media Michelangelo is always my favourite but I think Splinter is starting to take his place, I used to see him as just the "badass teacher" but he's actually got so much more depth to him.

I don't know if it was intentional, but that's the first thing I thought of when I heard it, heh.

Posted by k4tzm4n
Staff
Posted by danhimself

@k4tzm4n: I wouldn't have if I hadn't thought about it during the episode....I heard somewhere that Slash is going to be in the next season so I immediately thought of Ralph's pet turtle then he came running into the lair and said his name and ruined it for me

Posted by Lvenger

The only real bad thing about this episode was that horrible dance at the end. Oh and April's reveal being lackluster. Aside from that, it was an excellent episode that had loads of great moments, action and a solid plot. Very nice review Gregg!

Edited by danhimself

@krspacet said:

Wait, seeing as Karai is Miwa....if Leo did date her, would that be incest?

they're completely different species and the Turtles aren't really related to Splinter

Edited by Master_Thief

Did you here

Slash is gonna be in season 2 as a mutated spike and be best friends with raph

Edited by X_SOLDIER

I absolutely LOVED the finale.

Even though I saw the reveal with Splinter & Shredder coming, it was still fantastically delivered, and seeing the two of them fight was just everything I'd hoped for - ESPECIALLY Splinter's approach to the base and taking out the Foot Clan like they were nothing. I'm greatly looking forward to see how the developments between them plays out during Season 2. This whole season has been leading up to giving us the best elements of the '03 series along with a new awesome version of what older fans remember from the classic Turtles. Seeing the Technodrome ending up at the bottom of the ocean has me giddy, especially the prospect of seeing the unified relationship between Shredder and the Kraang, along with Baxter Stockman (and using the Mousers to project holograms was awesome).

As for April, the reveal seems a little weak at first, but it has pretty significant implications that got me crazy excited for things to come. Let me explain why.

Kraang Prime says, "Your mental energy is uniquely attendee to this universe. Once Kraang gains this ability, Kraang will transform your world into a world for Kraang!!" It seems to hint that its transformative ability of the mutagen isn't JUST a genetic fusion that they're still in the testing phases of. That property of the mutagen just seems to be a stepping stone on a much larger scale for what they're attempting to achieve. They don't yet understand some intrinsic property of our universe that will allow them to use their technology to completely change all of Earth into a Dimension X-like world. Since April is immune, she represents this element that they don't understand about this universe, and is therefore immune to the current iteration of the Kraang mutagen.

However!

What made this reveal REALLY exciting, and way more excellent than what I was hoping for, is that the Kraang are investigating the properties of our entire universe. It's been revealed a while back that there's going to be a crossover with the classic-era Turtles during Season 2, and after this reveal, it looks like this is because the Kraang are looking at some sort of technology that's probably similar to what was seen in Turtles Forever and capable of affecting entire planets or universes. The idea that the Kraang are here with the intention of building a new Dimension X, and not just hybridizing Earth creatures with their ooze is something that I'm really excited for - especially because it throws in the possibility for a suddenly tense relationship between Shredder and the Kraang when their goals don't align after building a strong partnership (which again, reminds me of the situation with the Classic Turtles).

All in all, I'm 100% stoked to see where Season 2 goes with all of this.

Posted by Perfect 10

just saw it and i agree the turtles part was kind of weak. i think they are stretching the april storyline out (cause they dont know what else to do with her) so that is why they didnt explain in detail what her gift is other then the very vague mental energy and connected to the universe (the force anyone?). splinter was so awesome, he made shredder look like a chump. i thought he was suppose to be this huge threat but splinter could have taken him done on his lonesome a while ago. i wish he would have planted a seed of doubt in karai before he left: "you are miwa, it is what your mother and i named you" then escape. sadly that makes karai and leo brother and sister :( guess that romance isnt going anywhere then.

Edited by TigerClaw

I really enjoyed the season final, I'm looking forward to the 2nd season.

Edited by KillingJoke3230

I gotta tell ya , Nick has done a phenomenal job with the franchise. Its no City Fall , and its not supposed to be. It's crazy special to pass on and share something so rad w/ my kids. I dance to the song , laugh at the shtick , and love every minute. Only one gripe , Booyakasha !

Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows

I loved the shift Splinter took in his battle tactics. He went in full on ninja, but when things started to turn he added in all of his rat abilities to regain the winning edge.

It was a great episode all around, tho the cop-out sacrifices twice was a bit too much.

Posted by HushoftheWind

man that dance scene at the end was the icing on the cake, especially with Raph and Leo donig the Kid and Play that was the best

Posted by CaseyJones

Man did I love this finale. It's been a fun ride this season.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

I was pretty disappointed that we either still don't know why April is so special, or we do know, and it's a dumb reason. I can't tell.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

Damn Splinter is a BAMF!

Posted by Vaeternus

Man did I love this finale. It's been a fun ride this season.

You must be excited for next season ;) Casey's coming.

Great finally, you know the Kraang will be back.

Shredder officially got his butt kicked once Splinter got serious

Karai being Miwa was a big reveal but some of us anticipated this.

Thought they were going to leave it hanging with leo missing but didn't, interesting.

Casey I'm looking forward to seeing.

Posted by CaseyJones
Posted by venomoushatred1001
Posted by Vaeternus