Posted by k4tzm4n (39496 posts) - - Show Bio

After a two week break, the best animated show around makes its triumphant return and it has yet to disappoint me. Honestly, I feel like a broken record reviewing this show -- it consistently delivers sharp comedy and ridiculously enjoyable action, and there's only so many ways I can praise it. This week, Dexter Stockboy... er, Baxter Stockman, is fed up with the way he's being treated by all of the mutants, so he lures them all into his maze of DOOM (sorry, couldn't resist)! Naturally, this forces an uneasy alliance between the Turtles and Dogpound & Fishface. Good times follow.

As always, the show tends to kickoff with a big laugh or joyous action scene, and "Baxter's Gambit" is no exception. Seeing the two sides prepare to attack the Kraang did a superb job building the excitement. Then, when the clash finally began it was super fun to watch. There were so many cool moments to enjoy here, but my personal favorite was seeing Donny's display of agility as he danced around projectiles before taking down a Kraang. And it's impossible not to love Mikey as he screams and kicks all kinds of butt. Impossible I say! And that's just the tip of the Turtle iceberg when it comes to action, too. The various "...of DOOM!" obstacles were a blast and the final battle -- as usual -- was amazingly exuberant. Plus, Raph's shuriken toss was an 11 out of 10 on the awesome-ometer.

While the episode does nothing to move the overall narrative with the Kraang forward, it does a brilliant job juggling an absurdly amusing plot with the Turtles and a solid development with the bond between April and Splinter. The discussion over his daughter and how she would be April's age now of course feels like a very strong connection to Karai and I'm sure we'll see more of that in the coming episodes. Witnessing April slip-up with various weapons wasn't a gut-buster or anything, but it was a cute segment with a somewhat heartwarming conclusion. Plus, I always welcome a chance for Splinter to drop our jaws with his skill. Splinter's always the voice of reason so it was rather adorable to see April one-up him when it came to needing a weapon. The best weapon is the mind, eh?

April: "When was the last time you saw someone hit a guy over the head with their mind?"

Splinter: "...True. Let's find you a weapon!"

Additionally, it was nice seeing Splinter's earlier lesson come into play in the final moments. It was definitely a fitting way to conclude the connection between Raph and Fishface.

"Total Turtle takedown!"

Once again the show continues to deliver big laughs. From Mikey's astute observation ("Careful, guys, this may be a trap..") to Baxter screaming at them to stop using teamwork, this show never fails to put a silly smile on my face. And in the end, isn't raw entertainment what these shows are all about? The series may be moving at a slow pace when it comes to Shredder and the Kraang's ultimate plans, but it's a constant source of levity and that's something worth praising. Even if an episode technically is filler, it's still time very, very well spent.

My only small concern with this one is the treatment of Dogpound and Fishface. Having villains make an impressive debut and then turning them into total jobbers is such a common trope. They're still capable of holding their own, but based on how things have been going since their mutated debut, I fear they'll eventually be turned into incompetent buffoons like Bebop and Rocksteady. That would be a real shame because both are legitimately interesting characters and -- while we already knew the basic details -- I loved seeing Xever's origin play out in the comic book-esque style. I understand having them able to take on the Turtles by their lonesome isn't something that should happen consistently and would indeed get repetitive, but hopefully they'll be a little more formidable down the road.

Packed with strong action scenes, a consistent flow of laughs and decent character development, "Baxter's Gambit" is yet another episode of pure fun. But what did you think about this episode, Viners? Speak your mind below!

Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine and IGN Entertainment. This is the part where he shamelessly plugs his Google+ and Twitter page in hopes of getting a new follower or two.

Staff
#1 Posted by BlueLantern1995 (2448 posts) - - Show Bio

While not the best episode it is a good one. I see a great future for this show though they have yet to even come close to the quality of the 2003 Turtles show. If any show has the potential to be the best show on today its this one(its close but not quite there yet).

#2 Posted by MyFavoriteViltrumite23 (73 posts) - - Show Bio

Baxter is now arcade of TMNT

#3 Posted by Deranged Midget (17599 posts) - - Show Bio

As already mentioned, this isn't the best episode to date but it's one of the most enjoyable. The sheer quality of the animation of voice acting continues to impress with each episode and I can't even begin to express how funny this show is. Simply put, it's a TMNT fan's dream.

Excellent review k4tz!

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#4 Edited by The Stegman (23818 posts) - - Show Bio

The Comicvine review...OF DOOM!

#5 Edited by TheHeat (451 posts) - - Show Bio

Poor Dexter...lol

#6 Posted by KRYPTON (1891 posts) - - Show Bio

Baxter Stockman has the worse villain backstory ever!

The Comicvine review...OF DOOM!

Was going to say that

#7 Posted by Dark_Guyver (2309 posts) - - Show Bio

I think this has to be the best animated series of TMNT!! Don't get me wrong, the 2003 version was pretty good. But there is something about this version I just can't get enough of.

Online
#8 Edited by The Stegman (23818 posts) - - Show Bio

I think this has to be the best animated series of TMNT!! Don't get me wrong, the 2003 version was pretty good. But there is something about this version I just can't get enough of.

It really is the best. My only small complaint is that Splinter is a human turned into a rat rather than a mutated rat.

#9 Posted by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

I remember before this series came out so many people were upset and claimed it would suck. I don't see many of those comments anymore. lol

Fantastic review. :]

#10 Posted by r3d_rob1n (541 posts) - - Show Bio

Does anyone else get the feeling that this show is setting up Karai to be Splinter's lost daughter?

#11 Posted by dondave (36124 posts) - - Show Bio

Good Episode

Does anyone else get the feeling that this show is setting up Karai to be Splinter's lost daughter?

Yep

#12 Posted by Perfect 10 (1009 posts) - - Show Bio

love's april's new weapon. just wish she had two then she could use them like staves when closed or throw one at an enemy and still be armed. oh well still cool. kitana time!!!!!!!!!!!!

#13 Posted by The Lobster (1505 posts) - - Show Bio

@xanni15 said:

I remember before this series came out so many people were upset and claimed it would suck. I don't see many of those comments anymore. lol

Fantastic review. :]

I love when I find people who complained about something before it came out and then the thing they complain about comes out and actually turns out to be good. Like on IMDB so many people complained about the Jokers look in The Dark Knight before it came out and then I caught one of those naysayers trying to fly under the radar and say he always loved the make-up idea when it finally came out.

Nothing is more satisfying than making those kind of people eat their words. If they didn't judge a book by it's cover, then they wouldn't be put in that situation. Some people never learn.

#14 Edited by Xanni15 (6758 posts) - - Show Bio

@xanni15 said:

I remember before this series came out so many people were upset and claimed it would suck. I don't see many of those comments anymore. lol

Fantastic review. :]

I love when I find people who complained about something before it came out and then the thing they complain about comes out and actually turns out to be good. Like on IMDB so many people complained about the Jokers look in The Dark Knight before it came out and then I caught one of those naysayers trying to fly under the radar and say he always loved the make-up idea when it finally came out.

Nothing is more satisfying than making those kind of people eat their words. If they didn't judge a book by it's cover, then they wouldn't be put in that situation. Some people never learn.

lol, me too. If they're really outspoken I might even cap a screen or two to really put them in a bind.

/owned

#15 Posted by RedheadedAtrocitus (6885 posts) - - Show Bio

Such a great episode! :)

#16 Posted by Deadknight (630 posts) - - Show Bio

@dondave said:

Good Episode

@r3d_rob1n said:

Does anyone else get the feeling that this show is setting up Karai to be Splinter's lost daughter?

Yep

I'm kind of expecting that as well.

#17 Posted by Master_Thief (774 posts) - - Show Bio
#18 Posted by Ms. Omega (4426 posts) - - Show Bio

This show never fails to impress me.

#19 Edited by NICKXH (235 posts) - - Show Bio

Wait a minute. Wasn't there an episode from the 03 series called Bishop's Gambit? As much as a fan I am of TMNT. I am not so keen on this new series. Only seen the first two episodes and they dont quite seem to do it for me. I just find it a bit juvenile and stupid.

#21 Posted by Soothing_Sounds (1718 posts) - - Show Bio

I don't really think they're starting to become jobbers, i just think the team is starting to become much better, while Dogpound and Fishface(before they were mutated) were in the near prime of their skills and abilities.

#22 Posted by joshmightbe (24876 posts) - - Show Bio

I'm still not completely impressed with the animation style but everything else about the show is great

#23 Posted by Beast_in_the_Shadows (427 posts) - - Show Bio

By show of hands, who here is REALLY hoping he turns into a fly soon? I know I am lol.

#24 Edited by ccraft (5179 posts) - - Show Bio

@krypton_ said:

Baxter Stockman has the worse villain backstory ever!

@the_stegman said:

The Comicvine review...OF DOOM!

Was going to say that

I don't like this version of Baxter that much either, I prefer the IDW version.

#25 Posted by The Stegman (23818 posts) - - Show Bio

@ccraft: the IDW version is literally the exact opposite lol.

#26 Posted by ccraft (5179 posts) - - Show Bio

@dark_guyver said:

I think this has to be the best animated series of TMNT!! Don't get me wrong, the 2003 version was pretty good. But there is something about this version I just can't get enough of.

It really is the best. My only small complaint is that Splinter is a human turned into a rat rather than a mutated rat.

I thought it was mutated human, then mutated rat (IDW) , and mutated human again (TMNT 2012) Right? I might be mistaken.

#27 Edited by ccraft (5179 posts) - - Show Bio

@the_stegman: IDW version of Baxter is a bad*** genius, that doesn't have a problem talking down too General Krang! He's a cool character in IDW's series.

I have only a few problems with the show, but who doesn't? I like it enough to catch up on the series. Only watched a few episodes and it was pretty good.

LMAO I cracked up when Mikey said "A very wise frog once said "It isn't easy being green" 2003 episode 3

#28 Edited by Mezmero (919 posts) - - Show Bio

Still loving this show. I'm getting a bit worried that Casey Jones might not exist in this universe. The weapon training segment was pretty funny but I think a morning star would make a terrible weapon for any ninja. Tonfas and nunchaku seem more reliable for your bludgeoning needs. I was not expecting April to get the weapon she got from Splinter. I was thinking something simple like a Wakizashi but this could be an interesting development. Loved the interaction between the turtles and the Shredder thugs. These 2 are starting to grow on me as suitable Bebop and Rocksteady surrogates. At least they're not complete dumbasses yet. The voice acting is consistently good every episode. Can't wait to see more.

#29 Edited by k4tzm4n (39496 posts) - - Show Bio

@mezmero said:

Still loving this show. I'm getting a bit worried that Casey Jones might not exist in this universe. The weapon training segment was pretty funny but I think a morning star would make a terrible weapon for any ninja. Tonfas and nunchaku seem more reliable for your bludgeoning needs. I was not expecting April to get the weapon she got from Splinter. I was thinking something simple like a Wakizashi but this could be an interesting development. Loved the interaction between the turtles and the Shredder thugs. These 2 are starting to grow on me as suitable Bebop and Rocksteady surrogates. At least they're not complete dumbasses yet. The voice acting is consistently good every episode. Can't wait to see more.

Rumor is he'll appear next season.

Staff
#30 Posted by foxhound421 (2 posts) - - Show Bio

I haven't seen this episode yet, but this incarnation of the TMNT has quickly become my favorite. The art direction is top-notch, the action is fantastic (I LOVE how the Turtles' eyes go white when they're in 'the zone'), it's actually funny, and the overarching story lines are a great re-imagining of the original characters. My kids (2, 5) and I (31) watch TMNT every chance we get. Some people say that cartoons are a dying art form, but shows like this and Adventure Time are proving otherwise.

#31 Posted by jason_g (11 posts) - - Show Bio

Love this show. So thankful it's not on cartoon network.