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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #222 - Vengeance Is Mine Review

5

Master Splinter tells his sons not to rescue Karai, but Leonardo decides to disregard his father and still move forward with the plan.

Several of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles' previous episodes have focused on Karai's story, and this week's episode, Vengeance is Mine, makes some exciting developments with the character.

First and foremost, this episode is thrilling. There's some strong character-driven moments, but the action is frequent and tons of fun. The bit with Tiger Claw on a bike is without question one of the coolest and most memorable things this show has yet to produce. It's -- as the older Turtles would say -- totally radical, dude. There's some great melees and a few moments where stealth shines, but what makes this all so entertaining is that it's not action just for the sake of action. There's a lot of emotion behind each of these encounters and you can really feel the tension behind each of these conflicts. It's not just, "we need to stop them from *insert scenario that you know will never happen here*!" There's a massive amount of drama in these fights and it's definitely felt. Unless you've read spoilers early, this is a story that'll keep you guessing about what'll come next.

There's some stellar shots in this episode. It's clear this team loves to have characters strike a pose in front of a gorgeous and bright moon, and, you know what? It almost always looks impressive and they're often shots that would be worthy of being turned into a poster. On top of that, the animators did a great job making us feel the emotion with these characters. From Shredder's face to the look of raw hatred in Splinter's eyes, the pure emotion these characters are experiencing is more than transparent.

The Turtles don't get too much focus, but that's okay because the core of this conflict revolves around Karai, Shredder, and Splinter. The attention given to who this characters are and what makes them unique is terrific. They're juggled quite well and each have more than enough time in the spotlight. There's a heartwarming bit thrown in there and we're once again treated to a more humanizing look at Oroku Saki. It's a much appreciated change of pace for the character. Additionally, there's no way I could possibly forget to mention the Shredder/Splinter conflict is given even more depth! We're shown an extended look at their origin story -- which is once again presented superbly with a dark, comic book-ish tone -- and it adds a little more weight to their tale. There isn't a mind-blowing development here but it's just enough to add to the dynamic and make this universe feel a little more unique.

Now, that's not to say the heroes in a half shell don't get a fair amount of time on the screen! Leonardo's dilemma over the scenario is front and center, Donatello's intellect is given a moment to shine, and Michelangelo is consistently hilarious. It's never enough to take away from the dire nature of this narrative, but it is just enough to make sure the episode is fun. You can't help but smile whenever he sticks his tongue out at his enemies. "Aw yeah, son! Never underestimate the water balloon arm!" Raphael doesn't get much attention, but his initial operation with Leo is quite cool and his reaction during the training session is definitely amusing.

The negatives are all very minor. There's one bit that felt unnecessary (thunder and lightning to make Shredder's statement appear more ominous). I love how badass Karai is in a few spots, but it was a shame they followed it up by having her ineffectively jab Tiger Claw in the stomach during their second fight. After their first encounter, you'd think she'd know she needs to go for kicks to the face -- you know, attacks which work. Now, I'm not saying she should obliterate Tiger Claw -- not by any measure -- but it would have been great to have those awesome dodges followed-up by an equally awesome melee. And speaking of melees, it was a bit of a bummer that the big showdown was cut short so soon. Once that catchy music gets going, you can't help but feel pulled into the scene and love every second of the action. But then its conclusion felt a little abrupt. Still, there's some very cheerworthy moments in there. Last but not least -- and I can't hold this against the show itself -- it was pretty disappointing to have the big twist spoiled for me so long ago. I don't seek out spoilers, but people tend to forget to use spoiler warnings when talking about leaks and upcoming plot twists. So, please try to be a little more careful about that next time.

This week's episode is easily one of the best from Season 2. It's packing basically everything you'd want from an episode of TMNT. There's a strong focus on the importance of family as Karai's story takes some major steps forward and it's loaded with character-driven moments. On top of that, the action and comedy is a total joy. There's so many thrilling set pieces and, even though this episode takes some strong emotional turns, there's plenty of laughs to enjoy, too. This episode is a perfect example of how this show can appeal to fans of any age.

37 Comments
Posted by Vaeternus

Interesting episode. Think leo has a hard on for Karai lol.

Posted by Lvenger

Wait did the bit with Karai get spoiled for you before the show aired? Damn I'm sorry about that. As someone who didn't know about the big twist, that was quite the shocker. Made for the cherry on top of an all round excellent episode.

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Posted by danhimself

the twist wasn't spoiled for me but it's one of those things that you could see coming a mile away and I've got to say that I was hoping for something better....Karai's mutatated form looked ridiculous

Edited by k4tzm4n

@lvenger said:

Wait did the bit with Karai get spoiled for you before the show aired? Damn I'm sorry about that. As someone who didn't know about the big twist, that was quite the shocker. Made for the cherry on top of an all round excellent episode.

Yup! It's okay, the scene was still executed really well. I love how Shredder's mind is completely clouded by hate and anger. Even when something is blatantly his fault, he twists it and directs his rage at the people he loathes. And that look Splinter gave him before the rubble fell between them was so intense. He FINALLY gets his daughter back and she's once again taken from him by the Shredder. Yeesh.

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Edited by Lurkero

I would definitely watch a TMNT motion comic in the style used in the show. They manage to make it work so well and it is never overused.

I know this is an all ages show, but I can't help but notice the missed opportunities to eliminate an enemy that occur. Tiger Claw at his most vulnerable and the turtles shove him aside while saying "this isn't over." It gets annoying when Tiger Claw can look like the biggest threat the turtles have encountered and still have everyone walk away healthy.

I thought Karai was smart. She couldn't defeat Tiger Claw and her first action is to return to possibly fight Shredder and his minions at the same time? What was the point of her finally feeling like she belonged with the turtles only to leave them to fight alone? Characters make stupid decisions all the time but Karai's decision didn't seem fitting for the character.

The direction they are taking with Karai seems weird. I was hoping that she became an anti-hero type character who was conflicted because she didn't quite fit in with good or evil, but her mutation makes it seem like her motives will be mostly antagonistic. I guess I just have to wait and see.

I guess the voice actor for Baxter Stockman wasn't present for that last episode with him. I thought Stockman couldn't speak anymore.

"Why do you insist on hurting me?" - Says the vengeful murderous tyrant who has lied to his "daughter" since she was born.

"How did you get past Tiger Claw?" "They didn't!"

Posted by Lvenger

@k4tzm4n: Yeah it was hard hitting stuff to say the least. The emotional tension was over the edge on this episode. And once the season finale comes round, blood is gonna spill between Splinter and Shredder. Or the cartoon equivalent at least.

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Edited by k4tzm4n

@lurkero:

I know this is an all audience show, but I can't help but notice the missed opportunities to eliminate an enemy that occur. Tiger Claw at his most vulnerable and the turtles shove him aside while saying "this isn't over." It gets annoying when Tiger Claw can look like the biggest threat the turtles have encountered and still have everyone walk away healthy.

Their objective was 100% getting Karai to safety. I had no problem with them bolting right when the opportunity presented itself. I get where you're coming from, though.

I thought Karai was smart. She couldn't defeat Tiger Claw and her first action is to return to possibly fight Shredder and his minions at the same time? What was the point of her finally feeling like she belonged with the turtles only to leave them to fight alone? Characters make stupid decisions all the time but Karai's decision didn't seem fitting for the character.

She was raised by the Shredder -- a man whose mind is 150% clouded by rage and anger. Upon discovering the full details of the truth, her desire for revenge overcame everything else. She wanted to kill Shredder and nothing else mattered. I chalk it up to how he raised her -- to be arrogant and full of anger.

The direction they are taking with Karai seems weird. I was hoping that she became an anti-hero type character who was conflicted because she didn't quite fit in with good or evil, but her mutation makes it seem like her motives will be mostly antagonistic. I guess I just have to wait and see.

Agreed. Only time shall tell!

"Why do you insist on hurting me?" - Says the vengeful murderous tyrant who has lied to his "daughter" since she was born.

I don't expect Shredder to have a fair perspective on anything relating to the Turtles and family. His mind is so distorted and focused on hatred. As Splinter said to Raph in the 1990 movie, "Anger clouds the mind. Turned inward it is an unconquerable enemy." In my opinion, Shredder's beyond logic when it comes to these situations. He refuses to take responsibility and will always point the blame elsewhere. I mean, he put Karai in that spot and cut the chain, yet he still blamed others. Overall, how do you feel about the episode?

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Posted by TheAcidSkull

Dat ending. Great Ep.

Wait is THIS the season finally? o_O

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Posted by Lvenger

@theacidskull: I don't think so. The last season had 26 episodes and we haven't gotten to The Technodrome/TMNT robot we saw in the last episode's ending. There's still some stuff with The Krang to do.

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Posted by danhimself

@lvenger said:

@theacidskull: I don't think so. The last season had 26 episodes and we haven't gotten to The Technodrome/TMNT robot we saw in the last episode's ending. There's still some stuff with The Krang to do.

from what I've heard there are still more episodes this season but they haven't released the titles of them yet...we may be in for a short break between this and the next episode

Posted by Lvenger

@lvenger said:

@theacidskull: I don't think so. The last season had 26 episodes and we haven't gotten to The Technodrome/TMNT robot we saw in the last episode's ending. There's still some stuff with The Krang to do.

from what I've heard there are still more episodes this season but they haven't released the titles of them yet...we may be in for a short break between this and the next episode

Ugh not another break. At least the toy sales for this series are good because the long breaks were exactly what Young Justice suffered from.

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Posted by StMichalofWilson

There should be a crossover between TMNT and Gargoyles(though that is never going to happen). Shredder and Demona would team up because they have a lot in common.

Great episode btw

Posted by danhimself

@lvenger said:

@danhimself said:

@lvenger said:

@theacidskull: I don't think so. The last season had 26 episodes and we haven't gotten to The Technodrome/TMNT robot we saw in the last episode's ending. There's still some stuff with The Krang to do.

from what I've heard there are still more episodes this season but they haven't released the titles of them yet...we may be in for a short break between this and the next episode

Ugh not another break. At least the toy sales for this series are good because the long breaks were exactly what Young Justice suffered from.

as long as it's a short break then I don't mind....I think Nick is making a killing off of this series since there is a ton of merchandise for it so I don't see it disappearing abruptly anytime soon...plus that was Cartoon Network and WB's fault...Nick seems to actually care for the shows that it puts on and promotes them which you never saw any promotion for Young Justice or Green Lantern

I'm hoping that after this break the last however many episodes are all one big story

Posted by Lurkero

@k4tzm4n

Their objective was 100% getting Karai to safety. I had no problem with them bolting right when the opportunity presented itself. I get where you're coming from, though.

Karai would have instantly been safe if Tiger Claw was killed before they ran away. I understand why they don't do that in the show, but the opportunity was right there. A quick slice-and-stab from Leo would suffice.

She was raised by the Shredder -- a man whose mind is 150% clouded by rage and anger. Upon discovering the full details of the truth, her desire for revenge overcame everything else. She wanted to kill Shredder and nothing else mattered. I chalk it up to how he raised her -- to be arrogant and full of anger.

Karai's personality seemed to be changing. I get that she was raised by a vengeful Shredder, but she should have also known how to be tactical. If anything her experience with Shredder should have taught her that it is preferable to have others assist you with your vengeance. Shredder has left the lair like 3 times. Karai is smarter than that and she had just lost twice to Tiger Claw. Defeat should have been fresh on her mind, but shows would be boring if characters always made smart decisions.

I don't expect Shredder to have a fair perspective on anything relating to the Turtles and family.

My comment was meant to be a sardonic observation. The writers have done well making sure Shredder is not viewed as rational

Overall, how do you feel about the episode?

I like the main direction of the episode and the show, but small details like Karai mutating and characters like Tiger Claw being menacing yet ineffective can sometimes be bothersome. How many more times will Shredder threaten his minions with death only to give them new objectives after they fail?

I am still hoping that the last few episodes move towards Dimension X.

Posted by Draku28

I don't know what is going on up here in Canada, but for some reason both Nick and YTV are not even airing the new episodes of TMNT :( .

Posted by Golden Cod

Damn that was a punch to the gut at the end. I guess I should have seen it coming though. Whenever something good happens to heroes on a show it's just to set us up for heartache :(

Edited by NightFang

Man, even the Utrom Shredder (Ch'rell) treated Karai better than this version and he tried to kill Karai twice.

Posted by Ostyo

Leo probably isn't gonna be attracted to her anymore.

Mikey's poor arm... D:

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@k4tzm4n: If hope she doesn't become a villain. What do you think?

@ostyo said:

Leo probably isn't gonna be attracted to her anymore.

Mikey's poor arm... D:

Boyscouts are always, ALWAYS attracted to the villain types.

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Posted by Ostyo
Posted by TheAcidSkull
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Posted by Ostyo

@theacidskull: Yeah, when he's passing through her digestive tract. :P

Posted by TheAcidSkull

@ostyo said:

@theacidskull: Yeah, when he's passing through her digestive tract. :P

Don't worry man, in time I'll get to tell you I told you so :)

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Edited by Ostyo
Edited by GeneralTekno

Yep; what I LOVED about Shredder here was his inability to accept something as his fault.

He's deluded to the point where he is completely incapable of seeing that he's to blame for ANYTHING - he only blames others but never accepts any responsibility for his own mistakes himself.

It's a very telling character trait that enhances him given it's been consistent so far.

Posted by BlackLegRaph

More depth to Shredder this episode. As cliché as it is, his hate will be his downfall.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

"Is this a rescue or a romantic comedy?" LOVE that line.

I also like how we get so much more backstory on Splinter and Shredder's feud.

And yay, Chromedome is back!

So Karai is now a snake-lady. Creepy.

Interesting episode. Think leo has a hard on for Karai lol.

Ya THINK? Wait, what kind of anatomy do the Turtles even have? Wouldn't his shell get in the way?

Posted by Vaeternus

@theacidskull: Not Superman lol haha(that I know of) Batman though yes lol(though not sure if I'd call him a Boyscout)

"Is this a rescue or a romantic comedy?" LOVE that line.

I also like how we get so much more backstory on Splinter and Shredder's feud.

And yay, Chromedome is back!

So Karai is now a snake-lady. Creepy.

@vaeternus said:

Interesting episode. Think leo has a hard on for Karai lol.

Ya THINK? Wait, what kind of anatomy do the Turtles even have? Wouldn't his shell get in the way?

Yeah, not sure how I feel about the Karai change....just hope she retains her humanity and memories. Still, I don't blame Leo for that, but Shredder...what idiot puts his own daughter or someone he loves in front of a mutagen tank? Leo I know he tried to save her but the fact that Shredder put her in that situation. I think they're going a little overboard now with the mutants in this version of TMNT IMO lol. I'm still pissed cause i missed the episode where Karai found out Shredder wasn't her father, and he apparently locked her up? :(

Posted by TheAcidSkull
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Posted by Vaeternus
Posted by AmazingWebHead

@vaeternus said:

@theacidskull: Not Superman lol haha(that I know of) Batman though yes lol(though not sure if I'd call him a Boyscout)

@amazingwebhead said:

"Is this a rescue or a romantic comedy?" LOVE that line.

I also like how we get so much more backstory on Splinter and Shredder's feud.

And yay, Chromedome is back!

So Karai is now a snake-lady. Creepy.

@vaeternus said:

Interesting episode. Think leo has a hard on for Karai lol.

Ya THINK? Wait, what kind of anatomy do the Turtles even have? Wouldn't his shell get in the way?

Yeah, not sure how I feel about the Karai change....just hope she retains her humanity and memories. Still, I don't blame Leo for that, but Shredder...what idiot puts his own daughter or someone he loves in front of a mutagen tank? Leo I know he tried to save her but the fact that Shredder put her in that situation. I think they're going a little overboard now with the mutants in this version of TMNT IMO lol. I'm still pissed cause i missed the episode where Karai found out Shredder wasn't her father, and he apparently locked her up? :(

They did imply a retro-mutagen possibility, but yes, way too much mutating.

Posted by Vaeternus
Posted by AmazingWebHead

@amazingwebhead: Yeah, lol exactly. That's true, retro mutagen.

Too bad they didn't get any of the mutagen in Baxter's lab to make some.

Edited by Vaeternus

@amazingwebhead: yeah lol but im sure donny can think of something like he did with reversing aprils father.

Posted by AmazingWebHead

@vaeternus said:

@amazingwebhead: yeah lol but im sure donny can think of something like he did with reversing aprils father.

Here's hopin'

Posted by Vaeternus

Yep :)