After a hiatus, TMNT is back, and saw the return of Dr. Victor Falco! This time, he seems to form a telepathic link with every rats in New York, including Splinter! Does this mean he can control Splinter?!
So the episode began with Dr Falco who was experimenting on rats. It turns out that during his last encounter with the Turtles, he managed to save a little sample of mutagen, all to improve his psychic abilities. However, due to the lab are filled with street rats, some of them chew over a wire, which falls to Falco and creates an explosion, disfiguring him. However, it appears that his psychic ability has increased to the point where he can control them. Controlling rats. How amusing.
Meanwhile on their training session, the Turtles form a plan to attack Splinter, and as expected, Splinter counterattacks every move they got. Luckily, Leo managed to land a successful hit on Splinter, but just when he’s about to apologize, Splinter retaliates. Splinter tells Leo that Leo always hesitated just when he got an opportunity, and that makes him vulnerable. As Splinter went off to meditate, the Turtles are amazed at Leo, and wonders if one day they can surpass Splinter. The sparring with Splinter is really good, I just love how it the slow-mo works in the fight. Even if Leo managed to land a lucky hit on Splinter, Splinter’s moves suggest that the Turtles are very far away from surpassing him.
Later, Falco hides below the sewer, with his appearance now looking malnourished and he now spots a plague doctor costume, begins his plan to dominate New York by replacing them with street rats. The ‘attack’ succeeded, with over millions of rats have been invading NYC. April who was caught in the ‘rat storm’ seeks the turtles for help.
Even with millions on rats on his steed, Falco fears that they might not be a match to the Turtles (obviously). However, he claims that there is one rat, who was once lived as a human, and seeks to make this rat his bodyguard. This rat is none other than Splinter, the Turtles’s sensei! Because he’s a mutant rat, Splinter could hear Falco’s thoughts, and desperately tried to fight it off.
This worries the Turtle, but before they can do anything, they got a call from April. Because Splinter claims that he’s okay, the Turtles rushes over to the scene to help April, and I’d like to note that this is the very first time the Turtles venture into the streets of NYC in broad daylight! Even Mikey claims it was beautiful! And as for them being seen by pedestrians, the civilians are currently suffering from the ‘rat storm’, so they wouldn’t probably notice the presence of the four mutant Turtles.
When the Turtles rescue April, I’ve noticed that is probably the first episode where the Turtles actually kill a lifeform. Because the rats are vermin, and they had to handle lots of vermin, the Turtles just use bigger objects to smash the rats. Granted the animators makes it look like the rats are flying upon being hit by the object, but honestly, the Turtles KILLED the rats. And since they are street rats, I guess that wasn’t count as violence, unless PETA wants to intervene.
They managed to save April (with Donnie grabbing her from falling), the Turtles try to figure how the rats are loose. Donnie thinks that there must be some source that was controlling all of the rats from NYC. After hearing the word ‘all of the rats’, the Turtles realized that Splinter might as well becomes a victim too.
And he is! While the Turtles are away, Splinter deals with Falco who enter his mind to persuade him to join the clan. He tries many personal things such as labeling that Splinter is cast away from society, and lost his loved ones. If you wondered on how Falco knows Splinter’s past, he’s a telepath.
The Turtles rushed to Splinter’s aid, only to find him sleeping. The Turtles tried to poke him to make sure if he wasn’t controlled, and choose Mikey to do it by using Donnie’s staff. I’ve noticed that when Mikey were about to poke Splinter, he accidentally triggers the bladed attachment of Donnie’s staff, which I found it amusing since I thought they FORGOTTEN it. And now the only thing I’m complaining is when we get to see Donnie uses it properly in action.
After poking Splinter several times (which Mikey enjoyed), Splinter woke up and tells the Turtles what happened in his mind. After barely able to overcome Falco’s control, Splinter tells that Falco now gains the ability to control rats, and calls himself the Rat King. This fact angers Mikey (!) because it’s usually him who names the bad guy, and that the name Rat King is pretty stupid. Yeah I agree, but Rat King is from the comics, so I can’t really complain here. Thanks to Rat King forming a telepathic communication with Splinter, the latter was able to found Rat King’s hideout. After Splinter experiences more mental pain, the Turtles rushes over to confront Rat King.
During the trip to Rat King’s ‘castle’, the Turtles are ‘attacked’ by a swarm of rats, but they managed to find the doorway to Rat King’s hideout, only to see that it was guarded by the rats. Also, Mikey keeps on bragging about the lame name of the Rat King, claiming that he has some better names than that, like “Ratzilla” and “Verminator”. Luckily the Turtles noticed that there’s some explosive barrels and blows it, KILLING a small amount of rats again! Looks like the animators didn’t even care for the rats!
Meanwhile, April who was taking care of Splinter, gets attacked by Splinter, who is now under full control from the Rat King! Before Splinter could maim April’s face, Rat King calls over him. April calls the Turtles who just confronted the Rat King to inform them about Splinter’s disappearance, and surprisingly, Splinter appears before them! Splinter is now totally under control by the Rat King, as he thinks that he belongs with the rats. Like it or not, the Turtles must face him no matter what. I liked that they didn’t waste time convincing Splinter not to attack them, instead they draw weapons to fight him!
Because this episode so far lacked a decent fight for the Turtles, they decided to feature a Splinter VS the Turtles, for real! As expected, the fight is epic as the Turtles are getting beaten up by Splinter easily, and honestly I think Splinter was able to beat them faster than Shredder did. Maybe it’s because the Turtles are hesitating, and the fact that Splinter actually uses his full potential in this battle.
With the other three Turtles getting pwned, Leo is the only one left and had an epic sword fight with Splinter. As expected, again, he loses. But before Splinter could kill him, Leo pulls a photograph of Splinter’s human past, to remind him that he is Hamato Yoshi, and he is the father of the Turtles. However Splinter is still under control of the Rat King, so he’s not convinced that easy, and went ahead to slay Leonardo.
Suddenly, Splinter dashes to Rat King and quickly beats him, with a powered epic poke! Now that Splinter is safe, the street rats carries the unconscious Rat King and took him away, and Mikey took the liberty of calling him “Count Ratula”, only to admit that they just have to use Rat King. Back to the sewer, Splinter is very proud of the Turtles, especially Leonardo, although they are still far from defeating Splinter in combat.
Overall, a decent episode. Honestly this episode would’ve been boring due to how they tried to make this episode is like a horror movie, but the action scenes involving Splinter makes up for it. Hey at least we get another Leo-focused episode, although he shares this with Splinter. Now when will we ever get to see a proper Leonardo-focused episode?! Regardless, this episode is a good return from the hiatus.