It's the return of Dexter Speckman! Wait, I mean Baxter Stockman. The classic foe is back and he brings his signature invention with him: mousers! I'm happy to report that 'Mousers Attack!' is yet another fantastic episode in this shockingly good animated series. While this entry might not deliver as many gut-busting laughs as prior episodes, the chemistry between the brothers steals the show and there's plenty of stylized action.
Greg Cipes makes Michelangelo so darn lovable and heart warming. You might think the goofy Turtle is stupid, but that's not how I see him. Instead, I view Mikey as an innocent and positive thinking dude. That makes it even more hilarious when he realizes an insult is tossed his way ("Thanks!... I mean, hey!").
We all know Leonardo and Raphael are better combatants than Mikey and Donatello, and that takes center stage here. Splinter sees a rift growing between Leo and Raph because of their competitive nature, so he instead forces them to team up against Mike and Donny... or as they're humorously called in this episode, the B-team. While this does bring Raph and Leo closer together, it unfortunately comes at the expense of the B-team's pride. This forces the "A and B-team" to go their separate ways when they try to recover April's cell phone. This naturally brings them into conflict with Stockman and his mousers as well as Dogpound and the Purple Dragons.
We're treated to yet another smile-inducing appearance of Leo's favorite campy cartoon. The retro and silly take on Star Trek shows that all teammates have a purpose... even if it's just to serve as a human shield. While this gave me a good laugh, it seemed a bit too arrogant and insensitive for Leo to be fine with implying his brothers are merely fodder. I thought he might at least try to reassure them that they're important, but instead he went back to enjoying that CGI pizza.
Did anyone else catch Dogpound scream "Oh, yeah!" as he smashed through the wall? I'm starting to think the creative team loves Kool-Aid because that's the second time they referenced it! The first time was way back in 'I think his name is Baxter Stockman.' And while we're on the subject of Dogpound, the poor guy is already beginning to lose his reputation. Raph didn't have much trouble taking him on all by his lonesome and even Donny got a sweet hit on the mutant. Then he had a less than formidable retreat as a few Mousers chomped on his tail. Hopefully they're not slowly turning him into a joke. He's an interesting character and legitimately fearsome. It would be a shame to turn him into a jobber, especially after that fierce battle in the last episode.
'Mousers Attack!' might not have the best action or comedy this season, but it's an excellent look at the chemistry and key differences between the four brothers. Season 1 of TMNT is still going strong and this show has yet to have a bad episode. Unfortunately, there's only 1 episode left before the mid-season break!
Gregg Katzman is a freelance writer for Comic Vine & IGN Entertainment. He really, really, really wants the ringtone used in this episode.