Christopher Yost has the honor of writing all about Tiger Claw's return! This episode isn't just about the cool new villain, though. This week's chapter also juggles a very important plot: Karai's search for the truth.
First and foremost, I have to praise the episode's big action scene between Tiger Claw and the team. There's a heavy emphasis on stealth and the way it's directed is both brilliant and badass. It's a nice reminder of how fearsome the group can be, even in a show that needs to appeal to all ages. Then when the melee begins, it's superbly fast and doesn't slow down one bit. It was a ridiculously pleasing scene and has some memorable bits. You can't help but love when they utilize slow motion at just the right time, too.
The Wrath of Tiger Claw also does a solid job juggling each of the main characters. They technically aren't the primary focus in this story, but they still get plenty of time to shine and deliver some dialogue which rings true to each of them. I never found myself laughing out loud like I have with other episodes, but Donatello, Casey Jones, and Raphael do have a few very amusing lines. Sometimes characters can get left behind as the focus shifts to someone else, but this one definitely does a nice job making sure each of them have at least a moment or two in the spotlight.
The Karai plot has the potential to bring major change to show's universe, so to watch it finally take some big steps forward was very satisfying. Seeing as we've known the truth for so long now, it takes away a bit from the emotional hit the development is meant to deliver. Still, it's exciting to think about what these developments will produce and it generated a nice little bit of wisdom from Master Splinter.
The explanation behind Tiger Claw's return is given the "comic book" storytelling treatment and it's an exciting way to convey just how much this guy has really been through. It's so fun when they get to expand this universe and this gave us a nice little tease of where he's been and what he's had to endure. This style of storytelling tends to be reserved for origin stories, but it was a great fit in this case. Additionally, Tiger Claw plays a game of cat and
Casey mouse with Casey Jones and it's thoroughly enjoyable. A fight between these would would obviously be all kinds of unfair, so it was exciting to see Jones stay on the move and try to remain just out of reach. Although, it was a little odd how one scene cut from Casey apparently having no means of escape to him once again being on the run.
The Wrath of Tiger Claw is a hugely entertaining experience. Thanks to some clever directing and a nice variety of action scenes, the episode's consistently enthralling and never really slows down. The laughs may not be as strong as some of the other episodes, but it's still a big dose of fun and produces some major plot development.