Comic Vine Review

21 Comments

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #203 - Follow the Leader Review

4

Karai captures Leo and has new and improved Footbots study his every move. How can his brothers hope to defeat them when they know everything Leo knows?

"Follow the Leader" once again jumps into Leonardo's struggle over commanding his brothers, but given the amount of stress the team's under as they try to locate dozens of mutagen contains across the city, it's understandable this element would pop back up. Meanwhile, Karai utilizes robotic Foot ninjas who are basically like Taskmaster -- they can pick up new moves immediately after seeing them. As expected, these two narratives quickly cross paths and the result is a lot of fun.

Seeing as the Foot are robotic this time around, this means the Turtles don't need to hold back at all with their weapons. Yes, that means Leonardo decapitates and impales, Raphael goes all out and rips off heads, so on and so on. The action is brutal and full of energy in this episode, but what makes it particularly full of win is the fact it focuses on what makes each character unique. The differences between how the brothers act in combat goes well beyond what weapon they're holding, and this chapter does a commendable job illustrating that. It's neat seeing Donatello's vision as he calculates where to toss ninja stars and seeing Mikey flip around as Greg Cipes screams is always a joy.

Leo feeling adrift from his brothers is a familiar concept, but like stated in the review's intro, it works in this specific conflict. The writing between the Turtles remains solid, witty and, most important of all, is still heartwarming at times. The banter in general is amusing and, while there wasn't one huge laugh, it was consistently entertaining. Plus, it wouldn't be a true episode without a few gags from Mikey and thankfully there's a good one or two in here (monocle!). This is a spoiler-free review, but it's worth noting the overall story takes a big step forward and ends on a note that is sure to keep you anxious for what's to come.

The pigeon part's a bit too random and out there for my taste. It was funny, sure, but wouldn't it have been great to see them use their stealth and agility to avoid the cameras? Also, Karai's lines felt formulaic compared to the rest of the script. And, is it just me or would have Leo have been totally fine if he let go of the ledge and landed on his feet? It seemed like it was only a couple of stories at most, and considering how these dudes are always flipping up and down buildings, it didn't appear like a big deal for him. Lastly, the cliffhanger sort of feels like it ended on that specific part to appeal to brand new viewers (aka people who didn't know Karai's Splinter's daughter). Personally, it would've been a bit more gripping if we saw Leo's reaction before cutting to the credits. Yes, we're talking about an extra few seconds or so, but seeing as we already know what Splinter said, it would have been engossing to see a reaction from someone who doesn't know (Leo).

With a sharp script, strong character moments and plenty of cheerworthy and awesome action scenes, "Follow the Leader" is yet another episode which goes to show why this program is so darn lovable. Young or old, Turtles fans of any age should have a blast with this one. Now it's time to see where things will go with that cliffhanger!

21 Comments Refresh
Posted by Aeroman

yeah we all saw that coming

Posted by Emequious_Swerve

Still waiting for Casey Jones...

Posted by Dark_Guyver

Yep, bring on Casey Jones!

Edited by The Stegman

Karai needs to die, I'm sick of her.

Posted by Rixec

Am I the only one that noticed the references to the original animated series (trench coats) and the second live action movie (go ninja go ninja go!)?

Edited by The Stegman

@rixec said:

Am I the only one that noticed the references to the original animated series (trench coats) and the second live action movie (go ninja go ninja go!)?

I noticed that, the show is sprinkled with cute little Easter Eggs like that.

Edited by fables87

Still waiting for Casey Jones...

Same here! Maybe add Usagi Yojimbo too!

Posted by Lvenger

A really fun episode even if some events were predictable for astute viewers. I loved the robotic Foot Soldiers being able to adapt as they seemed to be a reference to the 80s robotic Foot soldiers that were utterly useless. Except these guys aren't.

Karai needs to die, I'm sick of her.

What, why? She's not that bad of a character.

Posted by Sawcesome

I thought the pigeon bit was a nod to how they broke into the TCRI building in the 2003 series.

Posted by The Stegman

@lvenger: Karai is like that annoying little sister (ironic metaphor, I know) who keeps showing up acting all immature and being a mild inconvenience. Either kill the turtles or leave them alone, enough games.

Posted by baneofdemon22

This was the best episode of the season thus far. It hasn't been bad, but I was starting to loose interest. The first season was great, and once they start getting deeper into the story line, I'm sure I will really like it. I'm happy with the different direction the show is taking from other interpretations.

Edited by Lvenger

@the_stegman: Oh that. I guess so but this is still a kid's show. The Shredder keeps threatening Dogpound and Fish Face yet lets them live despite their incompetence. It has to be restrained somewhat.

Posted by Wolverine08

Dope episode.

Posted by ptigrusmagus

Seems like this is the best comic related cartoon out right now.

Edited by Vaeternus

Karai will turn on Shredder at some point once she finds out the truth.

Edited by ThorBoy

Casey is in the opening credits

Posted by k4tzm4n
@rixec said:

Am I the only one that noticed the references to the original animated series (trench coats) and the second live action movie (go ninja go ninja go!)?

Nope!

Moderator
Posted by w0nd

I feel as if the turtles learned this lesson two other times...especially donnie who faught the guy who could predict the future lol

Posted by HushoftheWind

The pigeon part's a bit too random and out there for my taste.

That wasn't random at all. It was call back to when Raph used a pigeon in the season 1 finale ep Showdown, to distract tcri camera. Its also a reference to how to the turtles broke into the tcri building in the original mirage comics, issue 4 iirc.

Posted by k4tzm4n

The pigeon part's a bit too random and out there for my taste.

That wasn't random at all. It was call back to when Raph used a pigeon in the season 1 finale ep Showdown, to distract tcri camera. Its also a reference to how to the turtles broke into the tcri building in the original mirage comics, issue 4 iirc.

Yes, I'm aware of the meaning behind it, but randomly pulling it out of his shell and then it calling an army to block the others is, like I said, too random for my taste.

And yes, it's #4 where he takes the picture and uses one pigeon.

Moderator
Posted by ReverendHunt

@fables87 said:

@emequious_swerve said:

Still waiting for Casey Jones...

Same here! Maybe add Usagi Yojimbo too!

Miyamoto Usagi will not be appearing in this or any future TMNT production, as he is not a TMNT character. Stan Sakai has stated that he only let him appear in previous incarnations because Peter Laird was his buddy.