We’ve been looking at it in the opening credits for months, but now the turtles finally have the turtle van! Okay, so they’re calling it the Shell Raiser, and it’s made of Leatherhead’s old train car, but we all know it’s the turtle van! So huzzah! The boys now have a vehicle to cruise around in and totally avoid getting tickets from the NYPD!
That being said, the vehicle itself is powered by the power cell the turtles took from The Kraang, which the aliens want back so that their “true mission” can begin. With only a few more episodes left in the season, one can only guess it involves opening the portal to Dimension X and letting the invasion begin. If I was going to speculate. Which I just did. Anywho, when Donnie shows his brothers their sweet new ride, they rightly question the use of the power cell since The Kraang can track its energy signature, but Donnie has wisely placed it in a lead-lined box so he can regulate the output, keeping the levels below detection. Man, lead is like the greatest metal ever! It blocks the energy of pretty much any alien crystal. I can’t believe other aliens haven’t considered the properties of lead before, but thankfully our dinky little planet has a one-up on all of them!
So the boys decide to go joy-riding – because that’s what you do when you’re a teenager with access to a car – when they come across the Purple Dragons stealing Kraang tech. Ready to give them another turtle smack-down, a new player joins the game – The Pulverizer (voiced by Roger Craig Smith). Believing they’ve found a kindred vigilante, the turtles observe The Pulverizer, but quickly find out that he’s just a teenager in a turtle costume devoid of any skill whatsoever. It’s then up to the turtles to take care of the Purple Dragons, but the over-enthusiastic actions of The Pulverizer prevent them from stopping Fong, the gang’s leader, from getting away with the Kraang tech. Turns out that The Pulverizer is just a fanboy inspired by the turtles to be a hero after watching them fight Baxter Stockman in his Kraang tech-enhanced suit way back in “I Think His Name is Baxter Stockman.” He wants to join the turtles, but they have more pressing matters to attend to, like figuring out why the Purple Dragons would be stealing Kraang tech. Unfortunately, in their need to avoid the cops, the boys unintentionally, but literally, drag The Pulverizer back to their lair. This should serve as a lesson to all of you that cranking the music up in your car can only lead to bad things.
Stuck with The Pulverizer for the time being, but still committed to investigating the theft of the Kraang tech, Leo, Raph, and Mikey go in search of the one person who would know how to use the stolen goods – Baxter Stockman – leaving Donnie to babysit their unexpected visitor. Donnie, knowing The Pulverizer is going to try and be a hero despite a total lack of capabilities as a fighter, takes it upon himself to give the kid some training. The others, however, confront Baxter but end up facing their old enemy, Xever – I mean, Fishface. Fresh out of the water, Fishface has some new legs, new moves, and a venomous bite!
The fun of an episode like “The Pulverizer” is in seeing all the pieces come together in a way that seems predictable, yet still maintains the integrity of the characters. The Pulverizer, from the moment we meet him, is a screw up and we know he’s going to get in the way at some point that’s integral to the plot, but we can’t deny that his heart is in the right place. This is a kid who is inspired, who wants to be a hero, yet lacks the training to do so. It’s a nice homage to Zach from the ’87 cartoon. Oddly enough, it’s Donnie who becomes his teacher, however briefly. You’d almost think Leo would be the one since it would parallel his growth as a leader, but Donnie also makes a lot of sense since he’s fairly level-headed and the one on the team most familiar with the technical aspects of ninjitsu training. There’s also the ongoing theme of the turtles taking responsibility for their actions in the wake of their first outing above ground in the pilot. Ever since they started going to the surface, the turtles have been quasi-responsible for the creation of other mutants, inadvertently introduced their enemies to each other, and have made the barest of dents in their promise to find April’s father. So, for another episode to end on a bittersweet note of failure, hopefully the next victory is a big one.
That, or it was all a convenient set-up so Donnie would be separate from his brothers, need to get to them in a timely manner, and reveal the location of the power cell to The Kraang. Either way, it still works.
- “Man, what is taking so long? Donnie knows I have a short atten – ooh gum!”
- Shell Raiser! I love it! I know it’s totally designed to sell toys but it’s still awesome! Also a nice nod to the 2003 cartoon’s over-use of shell as a replacement curse word.
- Too many things to like about how the turtles interact with The Pulverizer
- “Donatello! Does this thing belong to you?”
- Xever – I mean, Fishface – can walk! And kick ass!
- “Thanks, magical unicorn.”