Sunday, November 30, 2008

TMNT: City Under Siege

Another episode of TMNT: Back to the Sewers aired this week, City Under Siege. After a brief opening where the Shredder stalks Hun & the Purple Dragons, the Cyber Shredder's first action in the real world is to . . . hack the city mainframe. It seems like an odd choice for the only recently corporeal Shredder. The boys in green quickly realize what's going on, thanks in no small part to Foot Clan emblems showing up on every available computer and tv screen. They whip up a countervirus, but it has to be delivered in person within minutes. After a romp through the berserk city, the turtles and Casey battle the Shredder while April uploads the countervirus. Michalangelo knocks the Shredder into powerful transformers (electrical transformers, of course) through improvization, harkening back to an earlier training session with Leonardo. Khan and the foot clan run off, having added basically nothing to the episode. The Shredder, apparently dead (yeah, right), manages to activate his cyber manipulator spike and connect back to the internet.

Overall, a disappointing outing. After spending a half dozen or so episodes trying to get to the real world, Shredder's first physical plan is to immediatly go virtual. He tries to literally brand the city with his symbol, leading one to wonder what exactly he sought to accomplish. Remember that this is basically a backup copy of the Ultrom Shredder, who's overriding ambition was to get a space ship and conqure/punish the other Ultroms. This much exposure would only attract attention to himself while his empire remains weak. Hun's confrontation with the Shredder still feels odd - Hun was always loyal to the Ultrom Shredder and only ever fought the Demon Shredder because he had little choice in the matter. And Michalangelo's 'improvization' attack, as opposed to Leonardo's chess-like preplanning, didn't seem to tie thematically into the episode or season story arc in any way. Finally, though they've been fighting the Shredder in the Cyber world for some time now, this is their first encounter with him in the real world. Because of that, it makes their defeat of him seem relatively easy and undercuts his threat. I enjoy the series and like the setting much more in Back to the Sewers than Fastforward, but the series direction seems lacking. I hope they improve with later episodes.

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