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ComicsAlliance Reviews ‘Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles’ (1990), Part One

Chris Sims: Welcome to ComicsAlliance’s ongoing series of in-depth movie reviews and the start of another round! When we finished up our first set on the ’90s independents, we let you, the readers, vote on what we’d sit through next, and the result was our closest contest yet. In the end, though, the Punisher, classic comic strips and fighting games all fell before the unstoppable might of Turtle Power.

Matt Wilson: So thanks to you guys we’re spending Super Bowl Sunday like any red-blooded American would: watching anthropomorphic turtles named after renaissance artists eat pizza, fight ninjas and talk to a giant rat.Chris: I have sincere doubts that we even need to bother explaining the background on this one, but since we did it for Batman, we might as well. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles were created in 1984 by Kevin Eastman and Peter Laird, and promptly became the weirdest thing that has ever been the single most popular franchise in the entire world.

Matt: Much of that popularity can be attributed to the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon show, which debuted in 1987 and really, really played down the violence and sometimes-dark tone of the original comics in favor of surfer lingo, pizza eating and merchandising. Lots of merchandising. So a lot of people were surprised, toy manufacturers included, at how gritty this movie ended up being. To the point that no toys were produced for it.

Chris: That’s really surprising, given that TMNT toys were a juggernaut that kept Playmates in business for years. As to the grittier tone, you could say that it did its best to go back to Eastman and Laird’s original vision, but since that vision was essentially sitting at a kitchen table doing a parody of the most marketable ideas in comics (the Teenage Mutants of X-Men and the Ninjas of Frank Miller’s run on Daredevil), it’s hard to say. What really matters is that the TMNT caught on with kids in a huge way, had a huge part in shaping both the Black-and-White boom of the ’80s, the ’90s speculator boom and the rise of creator-owned comics, and continues to be hugely popular almost 30 years later. And in 1990, this movie was the only thing an eight year-old Chris Sims wanted to see.

Matt: Oh, me too. I was a TMNT fanatic at age 7, and I recall this being one of the first movies, along with Who Framed Roger Rabbit, that I demanded my mom take me to go see, and that I may have actually been too young for. That said, I wore my FHE VHS of this movie out. It’s among the most-watched movies of my childhood, right up there with Superman III. But speaking of Eastman and Laird, part of why this movie goes back to the tone of their work is likely that the project predates the cartoon. It’s an adaptation of the comic, for the most part. The problem is no one would finance it until after the explosive popularity of the cartoon. By that time Jim Henson, who I’ll note didn’t much care for the violence in the movie either, was getting involved.

Chris: Yeah. Henson ended up making the suits for the Turtles, which is probably why they still look pretty decent even by 2013 standards. That guy’s ideas have some legs to ‘em.

Matt: They really do look great. And Splinter’s puppeteer was none-other than Kevin Clash, known for a long time for being Elmo, now known for…less good things.

Chris: You’re probably in a better position to look back on this one than I am, since you watched it so much as a kid. My jam was the sequel, Secret of the Ooze, which we’ll be getting to later this month, and the only thing I really remember from this movie is Casey Jones calling guys “punkers” and the immortal line “Regular… or menthol?

Matt: They definitely made toys for the kid-friendlier sequels. Anyway, I can’t believe you don’t remember the “damn” that changed my whole world when I heard it.

Chris: One more thing before we jump in: I’m really curious to see how this movie holds up. Roger Ebert actually gave it a decent review when it originally came out, but he also called it “nowhere near as bad as it might have been, and probably is the best possible Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle movie,” which is certainly a backhanded compliment.

Matt: He basically nails it, though. This movie is better than it had any right to be, particularly considering that the director, Steve Barron, had only really done music videos before, and afterward did an excessively creepy version of Pinnochio and Coneheads.

Chris: Well, let’s see how it all holds up, and whether this is indeed the best of all possible TMNT movies. Without Ernie Reyes Jr. involved, how can it be?

Matt: He was Donatello’s stunt double! Even when we don’t see Ernie Reyes Jr., we can feel confident he’s with us.

Chris: Our story opens with a news report from a curly-haired April O’Neil, informing us that New York is being held in the grip of a “silent crime wave” perpetrated by ninjas – evil ninjas. And it only occurs to me now that this movie is the reason I was literally afraid of New York City when I was a kid.

Matt: She isn’t just curly-haired. That is the early 1990s encapsulated in a hairstyle. It’s hilarious how not-terribly-dated the effects in this movie are, and how much they make up for it with hair and clothes. Anyway, all the silent crimes are really neat: First we see young Danny, in one of his many Sid Vicious t-shirts, steal a wallet. Then a whole truck gets robbed. Then an old lady’s TV set. Finally, we see the actual Foot Clan. And they’re not robots! They’re actual dudes! This blew my young mind.

Chris: I love the casual reveal that all these normal looking kids are passing their stolen goods to actual ninjas.

Matt: As far-fetched as that is, and as irrational as your fear may now seem, New York definitely had a different air about it in the 80s and 90s. This was playing up real fear of an often overblown but certainly serious crime problem in the city at the time.

Chris: Yeah, but it didn’t hurt that until, like, 2010, my knowledge of the city came entirely from TMNT, Marvel Comics and Rumble in the Bronx. I guess I should probably be afraid of Vancouver.

Matt: Or North Carolina, which is where the majority of this movie was shot. (I knew my young tar-heel heart felt a real connection to it.) April wraps up her report and heads home from the station. And as a woman walking home at night, she obviously gets mugged immediately.

Chris: I actually do like that she just kind of stumbles on part of the Silent Crime Wave. Like, she’s not targeted for reporting about it or getting to close to the truth, there’s just so much crime going on that she literally cannot walk 20 feet without running into a gang of toughs ripping monitors out of a news van.

Matt: I like how she was giving her report in the middle of the day a minute ago and now she’s walking home at night. This means she was on TV for like six hours.

Chris: To be fair, there is some incidental dialogue about her “working so much.” Maybe all the other reporters in New York were covering the Bad Dudes and their daring rescue of the president. Ninja Crime was a big story back then.

Matt: Half the newsroom would be on those stories. The other half was covering ghosts and the busting thereof. A sai crashes into the lone streetlight above the alley and some unseen assailants beat up the muggers and tie them up. The cops show up and help April, who picks up the sai while a masked face looks on from a manhole.

Chris: I love that April just did this big report on how there are no witnesses or evidence of these crimes, and then immediately decides that she should just straight up remove some evidence from the scene. Some… ninja evidence.

Matt: Sais are cool, Chris. I’m just going to say it: Raphael had the coolest weapon. That’s right. COOLER THAN NUNCHUCKS.

Chris: Wow. What’s it like to be so objectively, demonstrably wrong?

Matt: I wouldn’t know. Down in the sewers, the turtles, who are shown in the shadows before finally coming into view after the title card, celebrate their victory over the muggers as they do, with catch phrases. The slow reveal of the turtles is pretty great. A lot of times, this would be to hide bad effects, but here it’s really just to show how well they stay out of sight.

Chris: Well, I’m sure the shadowy sewers didn’t hurt anything when it came time to cover up the seams in the costumes, but like we said, the suits look good. I love that Donatello winks as he’s cracking jokes, although I don’t quite get the joke of using “Bossanova” as a synonym for “awesome.” Is he saying that their ninja activities are as good as the second-best Pixies album?

Matt: Wait, are you saying it’s better than Surfer Rosa? Are we going to disagree more in this review than we ever have? What struck me about this as a kid is how the turtles don’t match their established personalities, at least as defined by the cartoon. Seeing Donatello and Leonardo act basically the same as Michelangelo threw me for a loop. And Raph being more sullen than sarcastic was…it was affecting. (If you can’t tell by how I’ve modeled my adult demeanor after him, Raphael was my fave.)

Chris: See, that’s weird, because I actually like how defined their personalities are right from this early in the movie. Leonardo’s the one who stops himself from using slang when he talks to Splinter, Donatello’s the guy making weird highbrow references to alternative rock, Mike’s obsessed with pizza, and Raphael is high-strung and moody. I really like how hard he flips out and starts confessing that he lost his sai, because it’s such a great teenage-end-of-the-world thing. But to be fair, I haven’t watched the cartoon since I was a kid, so all I have to go on is the party dude/cool-but-rude axis.

Matt: It’s still there, but Donatello was definitely more nerdy in the cartoon, and Leonardo was more serious. He ends up maturing to that point in the movie — we’ll get to it — but it always made me scratch my head as a kid. And none of them ever really got down about anything in the cartoon. Though I’m sure there were some additions to the movie to appease cartoon fans, you can tell this is certainly more of a take on the comic, where that end-of-the-world stuff was played up much bigger.

Chris: After a lecture from Splinter about the art of invisibility, Raph stomps out with the excuse being that he’s “going to a movie,” which none of his bros pick up on even though he just shouted “I CAN GET IT BACK!” at their sensei. Mike orders a pizza and Don skateboards through the sewer to join him to wait, doing some pretty sweet Rodney Mullen manuals along the way. The thing I really like about this bit, though, is that there’s a shot where Mike pokes himself in the mouth with a popsicle stick while he’s chatting with Don:

Chris: I’m sure it was unintentional and more a product of the fact that it’s hard to have hand-eye coordination when you’re in a latex turtle suit, but it actually really humanizes the characters. Mike’s distracted and talking and looking up at the sewer grate, so of course he’s going to miss his mouth. It’s something a real person would do, and it’s the kind of thing you can only really get when you’re doing practical effects like this.

Matt: Sometimes accidents make things better. Donatello’s worried about Splinter’s comment that he won’t be around forever, but Mike’s pretty concerned about the pizza arriving on time, which leads to the ever-memorable “Forgiveness is divine, but never pay full price for late pizza” line, which I loved as a kid but now kind of find to be a real dick move. The thing I really notice now is how the delivery guy is from Domino’s, even though the marketing tie-ins for the movie were with Pizza Hut. This is something that would NEVER EVER happen now. Also: You’re in New York City. Domino’s, guys?

Chris: Maybe all the Famous Rays guys were sick of having to drop slices down a sewer grate. Also worth noting: The Pizza Guy is the dude who’s in the Michelangelo suit for the rest of the movie. Mike’s screwing himself out of three bucks.

Matt: All the actors in the suits make bit appearances in the movie out of costume, which is really cool. For instance, the guy in the back of the cab that hits Raphael in a bit was the guy in the Raph suit.

Chris: Do they all interact with their counterparts like that? Mike arguing with Mike, Raph hitting Raph with a cab?

Matt: Nah, the Leonardo guy’s just a gang member. The Donatello guy has a scene with April.

Chris: Not to be confused with Donatello voice actor Corey Feldman.

Matt: Which, again, gets to the whole personality thing: Why in the world was he not Michelangelo?

Chris: Because Michelangelo doesn’t need star power to be awesome. He has nunchucks, the ninja weapon so rad that they were banned in England until 2003.

Matt: I have tried using nunchucks, and for 99 percent of people, that’s actually for their own good. The turtles and Splinter engaged in pizza-based antics in the sewer while topside, Raph casually stops a mugging. He’s not the only vigilante out doling out justice: Casey Jones is attacking some guys in a park using hockey-based legalese until Raph stops him.

Chris: One of the things I love about this movie is that Raph is just straight up wearing a coat and hat and nobody notices he’s a six-foot green monster. This happens in cartoons and comics all the time – going back to bashful, blue-eyed Benjamin J. Grimm – but seeing it in a live-action setting is just delightful.

Matt: Yeah, it’s only after his hat comes off in his fight with Casey — Raph isn’t a fan of his methods — that Casey notices something weird about him, and at first he just thinks he’s a “punker.”

Chris: I think he’s reacting more to the fact that Raph’s wearing a red mask than that he’s a gigantic turtle.

Matt: He thinks he has green face paint on. Speaking of stuff on faces; Another sign this is a comics adaptation rather than a cartoon one is that Casey’s mask comes off pretty much immediately. Also, he’s not a sociopath.

Chris: His mask that’s ostensibly meant to be a hockey mask but looks more like a Punisher logo with eyebrows.

Matt: It’s exactly the comics/cartoon design. It’s great! I’m really pleased that so much of the memorable dialogue from this movie still holds up. Raph’s “You’ve got to know what a crumpet is to understand cricket,” when Casey pulls out the cricket bat is still a terrific line.

Chris: It really does! The bantering and posturing of the fight is great, and when Raph takes off after Casey and jumps over the cab, that exchange holds up too. “What was that?!” “Looked like a giant toitle inna trenchcoat. You’re goin’ to La Guardia, right?”

Matt: Then Raphael screams “Damn!” so loud apparently all of Manhattan hears it. A ninja turtle cursing was something seven-year-old Matt really had to come to terms with.

Chris: I love how angry Raphael gets at being called a freak, too. Looking back, this movie really has a better handle on teen angst than you might expect.

Matt: Raphael returns to the sewer, still missing a sai, to find Splinter waiting on him. Splinter offers some Zen teachings regarding anger along with some character info we didn’t really need. But it’s nice to hear.

Chris: I do like this bit, but it definitely does oversell “Raph is the coolest turtle! He faces his anger alone as a lone wolf who fights alone!” just a little too hard. It stops just short of having Splinter tell him “Raphael… you are cool, but rude,” which I’m pretty sure would’ve netted this screenplay an Oscar.

Matt: It’s true. Raphael was kind of the de facto main character in the early comics. It was only with the cartoon that Michelangelo became the One You’re Supposed to Like.

Chris: The next day, April talks to her boss, who looks like the dad from Alf but sounds exactly like Michael Ian Black, to the point where it’s actually a little disconcerting. It turns out he’s also Danny’s dad and, presumably, the source of all those Sid Vicious t-shirts.

Matt: This scene confused me as a kid. April’s boss being introduced at her house made me think he was something else — a boyfriend or something. Even now, I think it’s a little weird for a boss to bring his son and come to an employee’s apartment to talk, even if he is worried about her being mugged.

Chris: Especially when his kid is taking money out of her wallet the whole time. Danny, you are A Bad Son. April ends up at a press conference, hassling the Chief Sterns (because he’s very stern, get it?) because he refuses to investigate rumors of Ninja Crime. Meanwhile, the Turtles are watching this in the sewer (where they get surprisingly good reception), leading Michelangelo to start making out with his television.

Matt: It’s odd that they got a Jackie Gleason impersonator to play the police chief, isn’t it? And with April’s super-90s hairstyle, how can Michelangelo, the 90s-est turtle, not be into her? Someone who’s not so crazy about her hair or her interest in the big crime wave, however, is Shredder, who does the opposite of kissing his TV (or bank of TVs). He throws a knife right at it!

Chris: A knife that sticks in the TV and cracks the screen without breaking it, which at this point is the worst special effect we’ve seen. And, you know, considering that we’ve seen dudes in turtle costumes doing karate at Casey Jones, that’s actually pretty impressive. April ends up getting chewed out by Sterns, but as she leaves, we find that Raph is watching her, holding a copy of the New York Post with a headline that could literally run on every single issue of the New York Post:

Matt: But now it’d be about the Post itself rather than the crime. April heads into the subway, where she’s attacked yet again, but this time by the real-deal Foot Clan guys, with their weird bee eyes and everything. The lead ninja (who is the Donatello suit actor and must hate his own face or something, because he’s masked again) delivers “a message” and slaps her across the cheek.

Chris: I’m not gonna lie: When he says he has a message, holds out his hand, opens it up to reveal that it’s empty, and then slaps her as she’s looking for whatever she thought he was holding? That is kind of hilarious. It’s like Dave Chapelle as Rick James hilarious.

Matt: If only he had punctuated it with “Ha-haw!” and a pithy comment about cocaine. April pulls out Raph’s lost sai and tries to attack the mob with it, but it’s quickly knocked away. Then she starts hitting them with her purse. That does not work. Luckily, Raph is there to grab up his lost sai and wail on the dudes long enough to pick the now-unconscious April up and carry her down the subway tunnel to safety.

Chris: I’m a little unclear on why Raph decides to take her back to the lair, but I guess the surface of Manhattan is just too dangerous and full of Ninja Crime to be a good place to store an unconscious woman. Either way, it gives us the pretty great exchange where Leo asks “Are you crazy?!” and Raph shoots back a super-sarcastic “Yeah, Leo, I’m crazy, okay?!” He does not have time for these stupid questions.

Matt: April wakes up and quickly convinces herself that this is all a dream — a pretty sane reaction, honestly. Splinter brings her back down to earth by telling her a story about a pet rat that learned ninjitsu from his owner and magic green goo that makes animals bigger and smarter. Clearly it can’t be a dream, then! This story is too real!

Chris: I remember there being a few different origins for Splinter. In the cartoon, he was a mutated human, which explains the accent. If he was just a rat who somehow learned karate and then mutated into a rat-person and learned to talk once he was in New York, then I guess he’s just affecting that “Japanese” accent, which makes him kind of racist. Not cool, Master Splinter. Not cool at all.

Matt: He was still born in Japan. I think it’s fine. The turtles accompany April back home, where April offers them frozen pizza in exchange for low-rent Stallone impressions. Actually, Michelangelo’s Rocky impression is so bad, and April loves it so much anyway, it’s pretty endearing.

Chris: Can I go ahead and confess that I am deeply uncomfortable with Mike and April’s budding romance? I just… Sexual attraction between teenage turtles and grown women was not something I was prepared to deal with when I got out of bed this morning.

Matt: April will have a new, human love interest soon enough. This movie pushed the envelope of violence, but there were boundaries even it wouldn’t cross. After an evening of fun and cliched Jimmy Cagney impressions (and I credit this movie to me knowing who James Cagney even is), the turtles arrive home to find the place ransacked and Splinter gone. They lose it, and we get a great look at just how expressive these costumes can be. The emotion they can put into those rubber faces is really something, especially given how often we’ve seen human actors (cough Pam Anderson cough) accomplish so much less recently.

Chris: It’s surprisingly effective, too! Having a dude (or turtle) screaming “NOOOO!” is about the most cliche thing you can do, but the camera spinning around Raph as he freaks out, Leo dropping his swords and Don just sinking to his knees is pulled off really nicely.

Matt: Yeah, it’s a mix of the camera movements and the expressiveness of the faces/bodies. The dialogue is cliche, but you can really feel the anxiety, worry and anger. Ebert wasn’t kidding: We are talking about great, emotive acting and direction in a ninja turtles movie.

Chris: And dire consequences of heroism, since it was Raph saving April that led the Foot back to their sewer lair playset.

Matt: Right, we didn’t mention it, but there was a shot of a foot soldier following Raph back to the HQ. The turtles go back to the only place they know to go: April’s, where they crash on the floor. Meanwhile, Chief Sterns, who is a really hands-on chief of the NYPD, calls up April’s boss to talk about Danny, make some threats. So wouldn’t you know it, Danny and his dad show up at April’s the next morning to tell her to back off the crime wave story.

Chris: He’s pretty half-hearted about it. He just kind of gently suggests she take a vacation, he never actually tells her he’s killing the story, or even threatens to. Meanwhile, the Turtles are practicing the ancient art of invisibility by hiding under tables and in bathtubs. It’s a pretty fun scene, but nothing compared to what we get next.

Matt: Yes. We are introduced to what I believed to be heaven at the time: A giant indoor skate park filled with arcade games. Sure, it’s the base for a giant, ninja-themed criminal organization, but that’s a minor detail.

Chris: You mentioned earlier that director Steve Barron would go on to do a version of Pinocchio, and there is no way that wasn’t inspired by this scene. This is straight up the ’90s version of the carnival where kids are turned into donkeys in that story, only here it’s rad teens being turned into ninjas. There are kids smoking cigars, busting out tricks on skate ramps, girls dressed like Poison from Final Fight… They even have cigarettes! Regular… or menthol.

Matt: And yet the one arcade game prominently featured is NARC. This may be a criminal organization, but say no to drugs, kids! Shredder’s right-hand-man, Tetsu, metes out some tough lessons, teaching a young student to never let his guard down around an enemy, when the Foot’s version of a school bell (a big crash cymbal) rings, signifying the arrival of Shredder. His costume is really good.

Chris: The costume works surprisingly well for basically being Cartoon Shredder translated to real life, but the best thing about it might be that Tetsu’s entire job – besides, you know, kicking children in the face – is to be the guy who carefully pulls Shredder’s cape behind his shoulders so it won’t get caught on his spiky epaulets.

Matt: Shredder’s costume is actually a little bit sparklier than I remember it being, but, you know, he’s a supervillain. He’s got a sense of the theatrical. He even acknowledges that he’s wearing a metal Darth Vader helmet, telling all the little delinquents, “I am your father.”

Chris: He also refers to his juvenile delinquents as a family of outsiders that’s been rejected by society, offering them the chance to become ninjas. So basically he’s a Juggalo.

Matt: Ahead of his time. We see that Splinter’s being held prisoner in pre-teen heaven while Shredder cryptically tells the kids their new enemies are the turtles. Danny, who caught a glimpse of one at April’s, pipes up from the crowd.

Chris: Meanwhile, the Turtles are back at April’s house lusting after her on television, and my face looks like this: :(

Matt: April makes a shout-out to Raph after causing some trouble for her boss. She calls out Chief Sterns on TV for not believing her theory that the crime wave is linked to an ancient ninja clan (what a goof, this chief!), which leads to an immediate, angry phone call. Honestly, though, if someone was on TV talking about crime sprees being linked to ninjas, Jon Stewart would dedicate a whole day to pointing and laughing at that person.

Chris: You say that, but Matt. She spoke to Japanese immigrants. Her story has clearly been fully sourced.

Matt: “The Japanese-American Association of New York: We Are All Ninja Experts”

Chris: At the apartment, Raph wants to go beat up the Foot Clan and rescue Splinter, but since their only lead is April – and they’re unaware that they themselves have become targets – Leonardo says that they have to wait for the bad guys to make the next move. This doesn’t sit well with Raph, so they argue and he storms out because he’s a rebel lone wolf loner who walks alone.

Matt: This is the first whiff we get that Leonardo is the leader in any respect. He’s mostly just fallen in with the other guys on stuff up to now. Raph goes up to the roof and makes a spectacle of himself (even I can’t defend that), to the point that both the Foot and Casey Jones, who is on another rooftop fixing a radio, take notice. As the other turtles and April talk and watch cartoons, he kind of barely holds his own against about 20 guys at once.

Chris: He’s pretty easy to like, though. He’s outnumbered, but he fights them off pretty well, and “Oh, you guys must’ve read the Abridged Book of Ninja Fighting” is a solid quip. Same goes for Donatello and Mike watching a cartoon version of The Tortoise and the Hare, and Mike shouting a frustrated “Just ninja kick the damn rabbit!”

Matt: They’re likable fellows, those turtles. At least in this movie. Raph’s gone so long that April has time to show the other turtles around her dad’s old antique shop and come back up just in time for him to come crashing through a skylight, followed by an army of foot soldiers. It looks threatening, but Mikey and one of the foot soldiers take a minute to engage in a Chuck-off. A silly, but fun moment.

Chris: Silly, yes, but pretty darn impressive that the guy playing Mike can whip some nunchuks around that well while wearing a gigantic rubber turtle costume. It manages to not be awkward at all, which is a testament to how well they were designed.

Matt: The fight that follows continues the tone, with the turtles doing a Wheel of Fortune gag and joking about sushi while April’s home is destroyed. It’s a nice touch that you can tell the turtles have the most fun when they’re fighting. A little insensitive of them to not really care about all the damage they’re doing, or allowing to be done, to their new best friend’s place, though.

Chris: I think when you live in a literal sewer for 13+ years, you get kind of used to your place being a little trashy.

Matt: But we just got that scene where April talked about all the sentimental value this place had for her, though. So it’s kind of a foregone conclusion that not long after Tetsu and Casey each show up, a foot soldier chops the wrong wire an starts an electrical fire.

Chris: Can we talk for a second about how they crash through the roof into a part of the antique store that has piñatas hanging from the ceiling? Are those antiques? Are they vintage? Have they been carefully pieced back together from birthday parties in the late 1800s?

Matt: They’re made of the same stuff as Fabergé eggs. Very rare. I want to point out how gruesome the foot soldier who starts the fire burning up is. I never even thought about it as a child, but it’s rough!

Chris: Adding insult to injury, April’s phone rings during the fight, and it’s her boss calling to fire her for reporting about the Foot. And in another gag that actually holds up pretty well – or at least as well as an answering machine gag can hold up in 2013 – the cord snaps right as the guy says “I know this is a blow -” and bonks a Foot Ninja right on the head.

Matt: April’s boss is just a fountain of dramatic irony in this call. The “blow” thing, and he’s firing her while her house is on fire. So many levels.

Chris: Eventually, the Turtles, April and Casey escape through a secret passage (?!), barring it from the other side and leaving the Foot Ninjas and Tetsu trapped in the building to burn to death, because the Ninja Turtles do not f**k around. April’s pretty upset about her antique shop burning up, and while I don’t want to blame the victim, maybe she shouldn’t have stocked it with old piñatas and stacks of newspapers.

Matt: And Danny, who sicced the Foot on the place, looks on with guilt. What exactly did he think was going to happen?

Chris: “Hey, I should probably tell this dude who is literally covered in knives that I thought I saw something weird when I was over with the nice lady who works for my dad.” Bad son status: confirmed.

Matt: Things look bad for our titular reptile heroes. Splinter’s been captured. Their new home is ashes. And April’s got no outlet to take on crime with her words. Can they defeat Shredder and get their sensei back? Will they ever return to those happier days of coming up with Confucianisms about pizza? Check back next week and we’ll all find out!

Chris: Cowabu – Wait Matt do I say it now?

Matt: Gimme a break.

Chris: Okay, next week then.

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