"Money is no object! ...Leo, can I borrow some cash?"
The latest episode of Nick's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles puts a well-earned spotlight on the always lovable Michelangelo (who's voiced by the equally lovable Greg Cipes). Mikey's always full of energy and levity, but he's tired of not being treated seriously and the end result puts him in a very dangerous scenario and with only hours to live. While most episodes spell out the lesson and then have it come into play later on, this episode changes the formula just a tad and instead offers a pretty heartfelt remark from Splinter in the conclusion. In a totally unexpected move, Mikey isn't the only character getting the limelight in this one: Dogpound is also the subject of plenty of attention and understandably so. Xever may loathe his appearance, but he's still fast and agile. Bradford? The poor guy turned into a massive and somewhat clumsy brute.
First and foremost, this episode delivers some huge fan service. I won't spoil any of it for you, but I will say fans of the original movies (particularly the second) will be especially pleased with one of the developments. The status quo for a certain character is changed big time and it leaves me wondering how they'll move forward with the individual. Meanwhile, fans of the original cartoon and everything since then should appreciate a certain remark made about another character. As of right now, it's unclear if that's just a jab to please the fans or if that'll actually occur.
Seeing as this episode puts some extra focus on Dogpound, you can bet there's some fun action here as well. I was afraid the dude was going to reach fodder status. Characters like that usually make a formidable debut then go downhill quickly. That happened once or twice with Bradford, but this episode shows the big guy's still a huge obstacle for the team. Watching the Turtles clash with him never gets old, especially when you throw Mousers and Fishface into the mix.
As with every other episode, there's always some hilarious creativity with character's exaggerated reactions and thoughts (most notably with Mikey), but this time around, I was really impressed with the directing. There were two scenes in particular which had extended shots and the end result was, simply put, really, really cool to watch. I also love how they always manage to include slow motion at just the right time. It's never an abused method and always used at just the right moment to make things particularly epic.
Some of the jokes felt a bit redundant this time around, but despite that, there's still some good laughs to be had. It is an episode revolving around Mikey, after all. Ultimately, though, this episode is all about engrossing us in the struggles Michelangelo and Dogpound face. It may not be the funniest episode, but it's still a great time which is driven by these two individuals. The plot with the scattered mutagen containers doesn't progress at all, but the creative team still sprinkles just enough development to keep the overall narrative moving forward and successfully avoids making "Mikey Gets Shellacne" feel like filler. Another Saturday morning, another rather awesome episode. This show has yet to disappoint.