Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.2,E.8: “Invasion of the Punk Frogs”

Welcome to the Sunday edition of TMNT! We’re coming off what’s been my favorite episode thus far in the series and I’m fired up to get going today.

Quick programming note: check out the new episode of the podcast where we discuss SpaceJam, Legends of The Hidden Temple and The Simpsons 600 marathon on FXX. It may be my favorite episode we’ve done thus far. Find it on iTunes, Soundcloud, Stitcher and Google Play. Also, subscribe and review and all that fun stuff! All those things help us get the word out, so if you can do such a thing, it’d greatly appreciated by Gomez and I.

When we last left off, Baxter Stockman had been turned into a mutant fly and may have been vaporized by a machine of his making. Shredder also was able to convince Krang to send him Bebop and Rocksteady from Dimension X so he finally has a bit of a crew assembled. Let’s see if this helps him against the Turtles.

S.2, E.8: “Invasion of the Punk Frogs”. Original Air Date: 11/19/1988

Plot:

Shredder’s new plan is to get Krang to send him a canister of the Mutagen so he can make more mutant to use to fight against the Turtles. Krang thinks this is a great idea, but there’s currently an ion storm in Dimension X that may interfere with the portal. Shredder says they have to try it.

Well, the ion storm does indeed fuck with the delivery and the canister ends up in a swamp in Florida. Shredder is tight AF and gets dressed in his best Don Johnson-like threads to head to Florida to recover the Mutagen.

Shredder gets to Florida with the quickness and finds the canister, but is dismayed when it’s completely empty. He does, however, find a group of four frogs who’ve been transformed by the Mutagen and convinces them that he’s a swell guy and brings them back to NY so he can use them against the Turtles.

Bebop and Rocksteady are causing a little havoc around NYC to keep the Turtles busy, but they get called home by Shredder since he basically went to Florida and back in what feels like 10 minutes. When they get to the lair, he introduces them to their new co-workers: Attila the Frog, Genghis Frog, Rasputin the Mad Frog and, finally, Napoleon Bonafrog. This is exactly what it’ll be like when I have kids. Baby Skeletor, Baby Mike Piazza, Baby Honky Tonk Man, etc. Solid names.

Bebop is worried that the frogs will get their ass kicked because the Turtles are trained ninjas, but Shredder puts his fears to rest when he says he’s already trained them. So now he’s gone to Florida and back AND trained the frogs in martial arts in no time whatsoever. OK. He has the frogs rob a bank to test them and the news reports that it was the Turtles that did it so now the city is on high alert to rid themselves of the Turtles.

Shredder FaceTimes Krang because he needs more Mutagen, but Krang says the last batch was the last of it. He gives Shredder the recipe, though, and Shredder sends the frogs to steal all the ingredients. The Turtles get the iggy that the Frogs are breaking into the lab and head that way to stop them. They face-off, but the Frogs are able to use a distraction and get out of Dodge before any real battle can take place. They’re really teasing the heat to build the drama here.

It’s worth noting that the Frogs are having ethical battles within themselves over all this stealing. They know it’s wrong, but Shredder’s been so nice to them, they just accept that he knows best and go along with it.

There’s one more chemical needed for the Mutagen and the Turtles have April track it down for them. The Turtles catch up to the delivery truck and – sure as shit – the Frogs are there to stop it and get the chemical. Just as they’re about to rumble, the NYC Anti-Turtle Task Force comes rolling through in a fucking tank and uses an ice cannon to freeze the frogs before turning it on Turtles. Raphael is able to knock the ice cannon off track which gives the Turtles the chance to hightail it out of there, but not before taking the frozen Frogs with them.

On Splinter’s direction, the Turtles are told to show trust to the Frogs and they melt them free of their icy confines. After a brief moment of tension, Splinter is able to act as peacemaker and the Frogs realize that Shredder has been lying to them the entire time. The two groups of mutants then hatch a plan to foil Shredder for good.

The Frogs returns to Shredder and tell him that, although they weren’t able to get the chemical, the overheard the Turtles saying that they’d hide it inside a prison where Shredder wouldn’t be able to find it. Shredder loves good intel so he immediately sets out to retrieve it.

Shredders busts into what he thinks is the storage room in the prison only to find out he’s been double-crossed! But, at that very moment, the NYC Anti-Turtle Task Force shows up and throws the sting into chaos. Shredder uses a crystal ball to disguise Bebop, Rocksteady and himself as Task Force cops and they escape leaving the Turtles to deal with the real cops.

The eight mutants head back to the sewers where the Turtles give the Frogs a map on how to get home to the swamps of Florida. They’re very thankful because they miss swamp life. Michelangelo offers them a pizza to tide them over on their trip, but the Frogs HATE pizza. The Turtles can’t believe that anybody would hate pizza and the Frogs turn to head home.

Final Thoughts:

Fun episode here. The Frogs were a weird touch, but I kind of remember Genghis Frog being a thing. Does he come back at some point? I feel like he does. I don’t know. Maybe I’m making that up.

The Frogs had these weird southern accents that – as someone who lives in Florida – I dunno, they weren’t very good. Although, I also don’t hang around the swamp areas so maybe they’re accurate in those parts.

I was always under the assumption that Shredder had created the Mutagen and here, he needs the recipe from Krang to be able to cook up some more. It makes me wonder why Krang was so dependent on Shredder to build his body. I guess he just needed a pair of hands to put it together, but Shredder had always been portrayed as a regular old Mr. Science in addition to a martial arts master so this kind of threw me of. Didn’t take me out of the episode or anything, but there we are.

So, it seems that – at least for now – we’re off the multi-episode story arcs for a bit. Since the Eye of Sarnath was destroyed, Shredder’s plans haven’t carried over much. In this episode, Baxter Stockman didn’t even make an appearance after his huge role in the prior episode. Kinda crazy.

Either way, still a fine episode and looking to see where we go next.

❤ Joe

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Thanks for reading, folks.

Daily Cartoon! Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles S.2,E.7: “Enter: The Fly”

Welcome to the Friday edition of our special meet-ups to discuss the classic TMNT series! Thanks for coming! It’s been a good week here at Car JoeMez as we’ve gotten back into the swing following the Thanksgiving weekend and have been keeping up with not only this, but we’ll have some super sweet podcast action coming at you ASAP!

I know you’re not supposed to play favorites, but I really think our next episode which should be out tonight is our best yet. We were cracking up the entire time and I’d expect nothing less from you, our faithful audience. Thanks for continually coming back whether it be here or with the podcast as our listens have skyrocketed over the last couple of weeks. You certainly know how to make a girl feel special.

Enough niceties for now, let’s watch a cartoon!

S.2,E.7: “Enter: The Fly”. Original Air Date: 11/12/1988

Plot:

The Turtles are up in the blimp floating around NYC because April passed along a message saying Shredder was spotted on the roof of the World Trade Center. Yikes. Fifteen years later and it still makes you squirm when seeing the WTC.

The Turtles get close and see Shredder up there with Baxter Stockman as they’re testing out a new piece of equipment that is supposed to set a force field around the towers. Baxter forgets some nerd shit, though, and his machine kind of backfires. The bad guys spot the Turtles, pack up and run off because they can’t risk losing the equipment.

Shredder and Baxter are next seen on a garbage barge because that’s where Krang decided to set up the trans-dimensional portal because he thought it’d be hysterical to see Shredder up to his knees in garbage. Shredder begs for help and gets Krang to agree to finally send him Bebop and Rocksteady back, but SURPRISE there’s a catch! The portal is finicky and one person must be sent back to Dimension X to assure the portal doesn’t fail. Shredder is all too excited to throw an unwilling Baxter to Dimension X because of all his recent failings. Bebop and Rocksteady are returned to Earth and Shredder hatches a plan to strike the Turtles at their weakest point: April O’Neil.

Cut to April at her desk at Channel 6 and she gets a flower delivery. Irma sees this and immediately goes into her, “I wish a man would send me flowers” gimmick that she does. Let’s talk about Irma for a second.

OK, so she’s not exactly your classic cartoon scorchcake, but am I wrong thinking that there’s a lot of potential here? Put the hair down, some nicer clothes and a little eyeliner and I think we have a potential SHE’S ALL THAT winner. Sure, her voice is annoying and her constant yearning for a man is off-putting, but she could probably look really good with a little work and – with that seems to be low expectations for men – would probably be all about you if you put in some effort. I see no reason that her and I wouldn’t have an awesome time getting some apps at TGIFriday’s and getting to know each other before maybe going to see whatever the new Will Smith movie is. Just thinking aloud here.

But I digress.

April assumes the flowers are from the Turtles and heads to the sewers to break up with them because they’re from different worlds. Apparently, 1988 is still a rough time for interracial relationships. Also, how fucking jiggy does this chick think she is that she’s ready to let down all FOUR of them? C’mon, honey, you walk around in an unflattering yellow jumpsuit everyday. Sure, one, maybe two of them are into you, but all four? That’s some ego you’ve got there.

Splinter answers the door, immediately recognizes the plant as dangerous and throws it in a trash can. He asks April if she’s inhaled the petals’ fragrance and she faints as she’s answering in the affirmative.

Meanwhile, Baxter is not adjusting well to life in Dimension X. Krang makes no secret that he has zero use for him and has his guards throw Baxter in a giant X-Ray type machine. What looks to be a common house fly is shown to also get locked in and, once the machine is turned on, I guess the DNA of the two is mixed

baxterfly

and we get…

baxter_the_fly

…ta-fucking-da. Baxter is now a fly man. As opposed to the Fly Girls from “In Living Color”.

art-of-easing-history-hip-hop-fashion-style-1990-fly-girls-in-living-color-bike-shorts

But Baxter must have taken a page out of their book because he’s ready to do what he wants to do…in living color. What is it that Baxter wants to do? Well, go back to Earth, for starters. He grabs a laser from the weapons bin and opens the portal from Dimension X. Krang and his guards attempt to stop him, but Baxter is able to hold them away with his laser and get through the portal quickly thanks to his new fly form which he is having no problem whatsoever adjusting to. Good for him.

The Turtles return home to see Splinter caring for April and he informs them that her condition is grave because of the plant she was sent. Splinter knows how to make an antidote, but needs a special leaf that would be nearly impossible to find in New York. Thankfully, Raphael knows about a greenhouse uptown that deals in rare plants so they go check out the merchandise.

Krang hits up Shredder on FaceTime and explains the whole Baxter situation. You know, supposed to get vaporized, but this pesky fly got in and cross-mutated him. Regular fucking Tuesday.

Baxter is shown flying through the city where he is swearing revenge on his enemies. He just so happens to see the Turtles on their way to the greenhouse. They get into a tussle, but the Turtles escape through the sewers and, though Baxter laments them escaping, he promises Shredder won’t. The Turtles don’t know that it was Baxter, but Donatello thinks he’s kind of familiar.

Baxter goes looking for Shredder and is shot out of the sky by Bebop and Rocksteady. Shredder sweet talks Baxter and convinces him that this transformation was all the Turtles’ fault and that they were friends the whole time. Baxter’s all like, “Riiiiiiiiight, the Turtles. Because we fight them together!” You don’t just give up on your friends, bro. Unless they make you take a not-even-that-embarrassing picture at a wedding. In that case, you delete them for laughing at you.

The Turtles get to the greenhouse and – what luck – they get the last Gazai bush in the Western Hemisphere. April better appreciate the fuck out of this after she was ready to break up with all of them. Even though – at no point – has it even been suggested that she’s a Mormon with four boyfriends.

Baxter locates the Turtles and Shredder, Bebop and Rocksteady join him for a sneak attack! They’re able to escape to the Blimp and get away from the fight, but Leonardo drops the plant needed to cure April. Shredder patches into their TurtleCom frequency and FaceTimes the Turtles to challenge them to a fight if they want their plant back. It’s obviously a trap, but c’mon now, this is the last Gazai plant in the Western Hemisphere. What choice do they have?

They meet at a junkyard where they’re immediately ambushed. Shredder’s big plan is to push the Turtles back until they get in range for that device he was playing with at the beginning of the episode which is supposed to…I dunno. Kill them, I guess. I mean, that is his end goal, right? Well, it doesn’t matter because, just in time, BAH GAWD! THAT’S MASTER SPLINTER’S MUSIC!

Splinter comes speeding through in the Turtle Van firing lasers at the baddies and interrupting Shredder’s big plans. The Turtles are able to grab the plant after it’s knocked from Shredder and Baxter – in an attempt to get it back – gets caught in that force field thing and looks to have been vaporized.

Splinter is able to revive April and they celebrate with a new pizza creation from Michelangelo that is topped with the remaining leaves of the Gazai plant. Babyface go-home.

Final Thoughts:

Yo! This episode was dynamite! Action! Drama! Laughs! This was a packed 22 minutes of animation and I loved it. I didn’t realize Baxter became the fly so early on in the series. But I remember him being significant as the fly so it’s just my memory failing me.

No bullshit, I loved this episode. The endings on these are kind of whack, but it’s gotta be left open for tomorrow’s battle so it’s not like it ruins it or anything. I’m totally interested to see what happens with Baxter since I’m sure they didn’t just kill him off at the end there. Unless they actually did, in which case, I really don’t remember this show for shit.

Either way. Looking forward to tomorrow’s episode. Have a great weekend, all!

❤ Joe

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