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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #212 - Of Rats and Men Review

4

The Rat King is back and he has an army of mutated rats with him!

Nick's Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles does a great job making sure each character receives a whole lot of love. Every turtle has had numerous episodes revolve around them, but Master Splinter hasn't been given quite as much focus as his sons. Don't get me wrong, he's by no means neglected in the program. They've done a fine job giving the mutant a whole new mythos and solid appearances in a majority of the episodes, but it's not every day he's the focal point. Because of that, "Of Rats and Men" is a nice change of pace as the Rat King makes his return and, of course, this puts the spotlight on Master Splinter as he tries to fight the villain's influence over his mind.

The creative team has made it more than clear they love to sprinkle elements of the horror genre in the show and this episode had a great "classic horror movie" vibe to it -- it almost feels like it could be titled "Invasion of the Killer Rats!" Everything from the flashes of the Rat King's horrific face and glowing eyes to the vast and haunting underground setting just oozes an eerie atmosphere. It's never "scary" (although it could be for very young viewers), but it's appropriately creepy throughout. It's also worth noting that the conclusion with the villain is kind of an easter egg to the Mirage comics. Oh, and the chase scene and the fight itself in the end? You can't hear it, but I'm giving a slow clap. Great stuff.

To balance the Rat King's more serious scenes, the episode introduces what is quite possibly the best mutant ever: Ice Cream Kitty (voiced by TMNT co-creator Kevin Eastman). It's simple: you're either going to laugh like a crazy person at the character's scenes or you're going to think it's just plain weird. It's a twisted scenario (stray cat is literally melted and becomes a... blob of ice cream), yet with Michelangelo's heartwarming interactions and some of the Kitty's "action scenes," it turns out to be a blast and full of hilarity. I think Casey Jones' days as the new teammate are numbered now that Ice Cream Kitty is here.

And speaking of Casey, the dude that loves to scream "goongala" gets a good amount of attention. It is an episode about giant rats, after all! Not only does Jones get to show off the various weapons on his bike -- which is a very fun and well-directed sequence -- but he also gets the chance to step up and face his biggest fear. And it's never followed-up on, but Irma has a slightly bigger role here and, with everything that goes down, I wouldn't be surprised if she's able to connect the dots between Casey and April's link to all that's going on sooner rather than later.

The Rat King loves to monologue. Some of this is obviously needed (e.g. elaborating about his new plan), but at times it felt like a bit much. Also, the ending is very abrupt. In fact, it's so sudden that the credits begin to roll on the bottom of the screen during what should be a cheerworthy action scene. It's still very, very awesome, but having the credits pop up at that point was somewhat distracting. Maybe if the Rat King's amount of speeches were trimmed they could have had a little more room for extra closure in the very end.

"Of Rats and Men" is yet another hugely entertaining episode. Sure, the Rat King loves the sound of his own voice a little too much, but there's a strong spotlight on Splinter, an enjoyable classic horror vibe and some crazy fun bits with Mikey and Ice Cream Kitty. This is yet another Sunday morning where it's great to be a TMNT fan.

26 Comments
Posted by Master_Thief

Loved this ep!!!

Posted by Dark_Guyver

Was really hoping the cat at the beginning of the episode would become some sort of version of Old Hob. But this was still a good episode. If I could just get Old Hob and the Punk Frogs to show up I'd be in heaven.

Posted by NightFang

Ice Cream Kitty was creepily cute.

Posted by Chrisgonzo2010

Maybe if Don tries for a cure and tests on Ice cream kitty, it could equal Old Hob

Edited by tigerkaya

Best ep. yet. I was hoping for the cat to be Klunk though.

Posted by k4tzm4n

Also, you can watch all of The Manhattan Project via the website and I strongly recommend you do!

http://www.nick.com/videos/clip/tmnt-997-full-episode.html

Staff
Posted by iceslick

@k4tzm4n: Thanks for the link Gregg! Me and my bf are gonna watch it now. Good review by the way, I agree the credits were a bit too distracting in my opinion. Because I thought it was gonna lead to a two-parter because of that. But since it didn't it kind of felt it abrupt too quickly. Mikey eating or making out? with the ice cream kitty was ridiculously gross! (Lmao) I wonder if he would stop eating diary products if he eventually feels bad for the kitty. That means no more Pizza! Because of the cheese, lol.

Posted by BeautifulTemptress

I adore this episode. Especially the scene with Michelangelo.

Posted by Ms. Omega

Another great episode.

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Posted by Lurkero

The writers are doing a good job of bringing some of the characters around for a second time. I wonder if this is some grand buildup for the reappearance of Shredder's group.

Posted by Deadknight

I'm kind of wondering when we'll see Bradford again though, since his second mutation hasn't gotten much screentime yet.

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Posted by Jonny_Anonymous

@k4tzm4n This is one of my favorite episodes so far (it's not as good as The Good, The Bad and the Casey Jones tho, it's my all time favorite) the Master Splinter scenes were all excellent and I'm really enjoying Irma making appearances and I know you werent to keen on the Rat King monologues but I think Jeffrey Combs is a fantastic voice actor and I enjoyed hearing him cut loose. I really do hope Ice Cream Kitty = Old Hob though since that cat has made about 4 or 5 cameos in other eps so far.

Posted by w0nd

Having fun with this show. Oddly the Nick website put the 1 hour episode up to watch, for next week...not sure why.

Posted by Avenging-X-Bolt

i sadly missed this episode.

Edited by GeekyEverAfter

Lol another weird, but awesome episode! My favorite part is when Casey overcomes his fear of rats and kicks that mutated rat's a**! I also really like what there doing with Irma she's becoming a cool character.

Edited by AmazingWebHead

Is it weird that I was more freaked out by the Ice Cream Kitty than the giant mutant rats?

Oh, and will Donnie just make that damn retromutagen already? It's been like half a season now!

Also, I noticed Irma tends to babble a lot. Kind of like Donnie. Huh. ;)

Posted by AllStarSuperman

Ice cream kitty was hilarious

Online
Posted by GBandit

I only watch this show because im a fan but I believe it could be so much better if it wasn't a kids show.

Edited by The Stegman

Sooo, do the citizens of New York just ignore all the strange mutant animals that attack the city on a regular basis?