Welcome back to another brand new TMNT episode recap! Don’t get your hopes up with this becoming a regular thing, but I do have another recap blog here for you today despite yesterday’s snoozefest being a battle to watch.
Real talk, do all these “classic” cartoon series suck? Like, I grew up on this shit, it all holds a very big place in my heart, but man this is terrible. Big blessings to the parents who had to put up with this shit playing nonstop in their houses just to appease kids like me.
Some episodes have to be good, right? We’ll keep hoping for that. Like today! With a title like “Turtles At The Earth’s Core” you just know that gaggles of characters are going to be boiled in hot, liquid magma! Exciting!
If that doesn’t make you want to keep reading, nothing will. But you should still do so anyway just to be sure.
S03E10 (Ep. 28): Turtles At The Earth’s Core
Original Air Date: October 6, 1989
Shredder and the Technodrome have been gone, but the Turtles are prepping just in case he ever returns to put NYC in peril again. Splinter’s breaching constant vigilance and, on cue, NYC begins having an earthquake. Is the Technodrome back?! The Turtles head to the surface to check it out and…it’s a fucking dinosaur!!!!
It’s probably not, but it looks like a goddamn brontosaurus just traipsing around NYC. The Turtles decide they have to follow him because it’s apparently tough to track a goddamn dinosaur by simply looking up a…oh my god, it actually is. The dinosaur turned the corner and fucking disappeared. Michelangelo was in hot pursuit be he apparently lost it behind some hedges and then he almost disappeared because there’s an enormous fucking crater in the ground and he’s hanging on to the edge for his life while the dinosaur…who the fuck knows…it goes home or something.
Listen: as someone who loves dinosaurs, I can tell you this much: if dinosaurs are still around, they live at the center of the Earth. I’m not going to say why or how much or how long…just trust me.
We actually cut to the center of the Earth where Shredder is holding court with Bebop and Rocksteady over why they sent a goofy-ass peaceful dinosaur to the surface instead of a fucking T-Rex. Here’s a fucking question: if you can get to the surface, WHY NOT JUST GO THERE YOUR FUCKING SELF?!
Weren’t the baddies like banished there? Shouldn’t they be plotting a big return to exact revenge?! If I got banished to the center of the Earth, you know damn well I’d be working day and night to return with a fucking bang! Everyone would be on high alert. Picture the Joker on parade in the 89 BATMAN with “Trust” by Prince playing.
Get ready. That’s what it’d look like if I ever return.
OK, so Shredder gets a FaceTime from Krang about hurrying the fuck up with grabbing some crystal from the Savage Land because he’s got science to do, but Shredder is just as big a buffoon as Bebop and Rocksteady so of course we’re going to be here a while.
The Turtles finally show up in this land all aboard the Turtle Blimp because we got toys to sell here and that Blimp was one of the coolest fucking vehicles I ever saw as a kid. Don’t believe me?
The Blimp gets popped immediately by an evil pterodactyl and the Turtles and April befriend that goofy non-brontosaurus that they met in New York and begin searching out the heels. Krang sees this on his surveillance camera from the Technodrome and sends a whole squad of Rock Soldiers (who are Foot Soldiers in like archeologist hats) to throw some obstacles in the Turtles’ way.
Of course, the Turtles find their way around the henchmen and track down Shredder and friends just as they’re retrieving the crystal from the top of the mountain in this prehistoric world. Shredder temporarily evades capture and brings the crystal to Krang while the Turtles follow in hot pursuit because Donatello hypothesizes that the crystal provides life to all creatures in the lost world. But of course.
Once found, the Turtles’ dino friend calls more of his fellow dinosaurs to help break through the titanium armor of this makeshift Technodrome so they put a stop to Krang’s experiments and retrieve the crystal. One of the dinos smashes Krang’s equipment and the crystal soars through the air until scooped by Donatello. We then get a brief sequence of hot potato before Leonardo finally secures it for good and the Turtles slam through the bad guys to return it to the top of the mountain.
The dinosaurs are so thankful that they help the Turtles repair their blimp using some hot tar so they can return home, but not before getting some final quality time in where that nasty pterodactyl returns, picking up April and soaring through the air as she hangs helplessly to give her a memory that will terrify her until the end of her days while everybody laughs.
This shit makes no sense. I’d like to say that I can’t believe this show was popular, but it’s actually pretty standard fare for the time. If you read/followed my work, you know how much I love Masters of the Universe, but if we’re being real, that original series by Filmation is also pretttttttttty rough to go back and watch. Obviously, the nostalgia is strong which allows TMNT to continue to be an enormous IP today, but the quality of the recent cartoon series has been upped considerably as well. Check out those reviews I did about the Halloween-themed episodes of the Nickelodeon TMNT series in the archives (or – to make it easy for you: here, here, here and here) if you just want a peek into how the writing for these characters has evolved.
So yeah, it’s definitely hard to watch 31 years after the fact, but it’s good to know that the presentation has improved in the iterations that followed.
Main Man Standings:
This hasn’t hit that evolution though. This sucks. Single Main Man. One star.
Comments & concerns?