Topping last week's episode 'The Gauntlet' is going to be a huge obstacle for this show. While this week's episode, 'Panic in the Sewers,' doesn't manage to become my new favorite, it's yet another solid entry in the first season of this surprisingly superb program.
Whoa there, Radbrad! Looks like someone has been juicing. It appears Chris Bradford's mutation has made him grow a significant deal over the past few weeks and the result is a refreshing take on the character. He was already an intimidating powerhouse, but now he's a team buster capable of swinging vans like they're baseball bats!
The Turtles definitely lucked out this time and it makes me wonder how they'll handle him in the future, especially if they begin to include more Foot Ninjas and possibly even Xever. Speaking of Xever, I'm very curious to see how his mutation will turn him into a threat. Shredder knows the Turtles are in the sewers, so maybe he'll have Xever swim around New York's oh-so-lovely underground.
As usual, Mikey delivers the laughs. While the water balloons prank isn't up to par with his other antics, it still put a smirk on my face. The real laughs came from some of the other banter, though. From arguing over a bad smoke bomb toss to April going "rogue," there was a good chunk of sharp writing scattered throughout this week's episode.
The dream sequence was a brilliant way to open the episode. The fight with Shredder was jaw-droppingly good (that combo on Raph was insane!) and the way it ended was impressively creative. The fear of Shredder humiliating the Turtles and decapitating Leo really helped us understand Splinter's immediate paranoia and the vastly increased pressure he placed on the team.
While this was a good episode, I do have some complaints. I felt as though the vehicle chase was a bit dragged out and not as thrilling as it could have been. The action in this show is always top-notch and a fast paced scene like that should of had me on the edge of my seat. Unfortunately, it didn't. Also, why'd they let April scout the top of the building? Once their pizza plan failed, why didn't they head to the rooftop themselves? After all, they're the ones effortlessly leaping across the New York City buildings on a daily basis. Meanwhile, how did Shredder not spot the girl wearing bright yellow? She was totally within his line of sight up there. Oh well.
Bradford's size also appeared to fluctuate at times. In the final scene he seemed much smaller, but I suppose that's understandable because it allows Shredder to appear far more intimidating. I wonder if Shredder will actually stand by his threat because we all know Dogpound is sure to eventually lose again. Shredder offing one of his minions would be a surprisingly dark and daring move for a kids show.
Oh, and that Purple Dragon guy (you know, the lanky one) is painfully dense. How many times do the Turtles need to embarrass him before he realizes he's completely outclassed? But hey, bad guys like him aren't exactly the brightest of the bunch.
'Panic in the Sewers' isn't one of the best episodes this season, but it's still a lot of fun and is sure to keep you laughing. One thing's for sure, even the "weakest" episodes are a blast and have me hooked.