TMNT 2012 S01E18: Robo-Roach


After the events of TCRI, we get a filler that’s meant to promote toys and that’s pretty much all they did. Promote a new ride and some action figures, and threw a Kraang plot, and you got this episode!

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If this is a movie and I’m Rotten Tomatoes or Metacritic, I would give this movie a mixed review. This is because the action scenes are great, but the plot is so-so. Basically the Turtles must stop a Kraang plot to drill the Earth’s core while fighting a mutated cockroach that’s happened to be Donnie’s pet cockroach! Basically the cockroach is the main problem that I have in this episode, which I will go through.

Surprisingly after the events of TCRI, the Turtles are still relaxed. I wonder how did April take the news about her being targeted by the Krang. But that’s not the main concern of the episode, as neither April or Splinter appeared in this episode. And also, because the episode featured Donnie’s pet cockroach, I thought this would be a Donnie-focused episode, which if it would then I would say “Not again”.

Thankfully, the episode is focused on Raphael. Raphael, despite being a tough guy, actually has a fear of cockroaches! Well, we all have our embarrassing fears, such as mine with the Predators. So what’s with Raph’s fear got anything to do with the cockroach being mutated?

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The cockroach are equipped with small webcam and functions as a spy to the Kraang’s TCRI. It worked, as the Turtles found out that the Kraang are plotting to use a laser drill to make a lava fountain at Earth. Why dig the Earth? I don’t see anything that’s related to pollution aside from the smoke. In case you don’t remember the Kraang breathes on poison gas, which is why they set foot on Earth, to pollute it and make it their home.

However, thanks to Raph, Donnie accidentally loses control of the cockroach and it fell to a pool of mutagen. I forgot to tell you that Donnie did install some controlling device to the cockroach, even if they didn’t state it. Otherwise why would the cockroach obey Donnie’s command like a dog? Anyways as expected, the cockroach mutates.

Surprisingly the Turtles, especially Donnie react normally when they found the mutated spy-roach (as Mikey would call it) when they accidentally hit him with the Shellraiser. Here’s another problem that I have with this episode, it’s the return of the Shellraiser. We all know that the Shellraiser feeds on the the Kraang power cell that was recently stolen and deemed forever lost? So how did they get it back to function? I’m guessing Donnie has found a way to use normal generators, similar to how mankind has found a way to save electricity.

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Anyways, they found out that the mutated spy-roach is actually the very first mutant that’s a fusion of organic lifeform and inorganic things, thus transforming the spy-roach into a cyborg mutant. The cyborg part only boost his strength, as it’s a cockroach natural ability to be resilient. I mean hey, they can withstand a nuclear blast right? But the main problem with the cockroach is that they try everything to defeat him, yet he survived and keeps tracking them. Yeah, they tried using aerosol, blowing a gas tank (even though it’s accidental) but to no avail.

It is then when the Turtles confronted the Kraang to prevent them from stealing a diamond lens to power up the laser drill, they found that Raph is terrified by the creature, and caused them to fail the mission. Raph did admit that he’s afraid, something that surprised me. Well, I guess it’s because everybody knows it’s his fault.

Now that the cockroach has been taken care of, briefly, the Turtles went to sabotage the Kraang’s plan. However, the cockroach tracks the Shellraiser again. How did he keep tracking them? This is because Donnie did program a homing signal to the cockroach so that it might find its way home, and now its way home is the Turtle’s door to death! Turns out that the homing signal is a video of Raph attacking the cockroach, which sums up one thing: The cockroach is angry at Raph for trying to kill him. Like Mikey said, it’s really bad considering that Raph’s fear is angry at him!

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When Leo cuts the cockroach’s saw, that’s got to be one of the rare moments where you actually see blood. Although technically, it’s not blood, it’s slimy excrement. Cockroaches have that. Anyways Leo uses Raph as a bait to fight the cockroach, and all Raph did is run away like a pussy, and he didn’t realize that the monster stepped through a cement! Thinking that the cockroach is defeated, Raph boasts like usual, only to realize that the monster actually evolved. Yep, the cockroach just digivolved. And I really liked the scene where Raph is scarred like a pussy and Mikey scares him. One of the reason why this episode doesn’t suck, entirely.

I have to admit, the cockroach’s second form is really hideous even if the wings look cool, but still, that’s the reason I give this episode a mixed treatment. It’s just so ugly, but it catches the theme perfectly. But still, having an ugly but tough as hell enemy is really, really weird to me.

Nevertheless, they went to stop Kraang’s plan. The cockroach kidnaps Mikey, forcing Raph to overcome his fears and handle the cockroach, while the others make their way to the Kraang’s drilling site. I understand what Leo and Raph thinking. Leo thinks that Raph wanted to face the cockroach to prove he’s not afraid, but Raph thinks that he need to face the monster because he’s afraid. Basically, Raph doesn’t want to let his fears consumes his brother. Aww what a caring brother!

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This is when the episode redeems itself, the way Raph handled the mutant and save the day! Yeah the others are basically useless from this point because Raph steals the spotlight with the Stealth Bike! The bike is stored below the Shellraiser and don’t ask how they did it, because Donnie can do anything when it comes to inorganic things. I really loved the bike. It’s basically a Bat-Pod made for the Turtles, and it even has a ‘Stealth Mode’ that provides a shield for the rider and the bike looks like a turtle shell when viewed from above.

Because the monster is too hard to take out even with the Stealth Bike, Raph decided to ram him and stop the laser drill. But not before dealing with the cockroach with hand-to-hand combat first. I liked how Raph takes on the cockroach with hand-to-hand, even biting the opponent! But, he used the laser drill to destroy the cockroach, and destroy the machine to stop the drilling to save the city from turning into a lava beach. Yeah, Raph alone saved the day. That fact redeems the episode and why I gave it mixed review instead of negative review.

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However, the cockroach are not completely destroyed, as unbeknownst to the Turtle there are one egg that’s left. Come to think of it, no one actually died so far in the series. The only casualties are machines and the rats from the Rat King episode.

Because he saved the day, Raph boasts that he overcome his fears and he’s no longer afraid of cockroaches, until Mikey claims that he put one in his shell, causing Raph to turn into a pussy again.

Overall, like I said, it’s a mixed episode. But give it a watch, because the climax scene is really great starting with the debut of the Stealth Bike. It’s just that the cockroach is just too annoying to be the Monster of the Week. And the fact that it will return makes me hate it even more.


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