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.
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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
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.
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.
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Thanks for reading, folks.