May 29, 2018
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles “Rust Never Sleeps” (part 2 of 2)
Sure enough, everyone has a good laugh, until Michelangelo notices the running lights on the walls are flickering on and off.
Cut to New York City, where April gets a wire about Paris having blackouts. Which, admittedly, is news, but nothing we in the States would ever hear about. April senses something’s up, however, and convinces her boss that it might be “a secret space launch”, and all the other stations will be all over it. Um, cities have power failures all the time. I doubt even the Parisians are making that big a fuss over it. I know she’ll eventually be vindicated, but I’m starting to get the impression that maybe April’s a little paranoid.
Back in France, the Turtles are using the Eiffel Tower for a jungle gym, never even remarking that just one week earlier, they had to stop it from being sucked into another dimension by a giant magnet (even though most of the Tower is made up of non-metallic substances).
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Having decided that investigating the blackout would be boring, they monkey around the Tower for a while. Splinter’s packed them French toast for lunch, because “When in Paris, do as the Parisians.” As the Parisians what? Do? Sit? Bathe? Complete their sentences? Also, I happen to know that French toast is an English invention. I’m kinda weird like that.
Meanwhile, April, having gotten across the Atlantic Ocean in record time, investigates the local power plant. The stereotypically French manager gives her a whole lot of shit, but she browbeats him into letting her check his “computerized records”. How exactly is she supposed to use a computer if the power’s out?
April goes over a large stack of papers (which hardly seem computerized), and determines that the blackout originated in the “artists’ quarter”. How could she figure this out when the people who work at the power plant couldn’t? Oh yeah, she’s an American in Paris. Why am I even asking? The manager’s even standing off to the side eating cheese the whole time.
April decides the right course of action would be to head into danger alone and unprotected with no weapons and not tell anyone where she’s going. This is a sound plan. She walks in on Shredder expositing about his plan (or rather, the basic gist of it, because we still have no idea how a rust beam is going to help them conquer the world), but she gives herself away by sneezing, just as Shredder says his plan is nothing to sneeze at. Which was actually a little clever, but not much.
They tie her to a cross-shaped statue with sharp edges (why yes, she does free one of her arms with ridiculous ease), and spend so much time trying to figure out how to work the rust beam that April has ample time to contact the Turtles. However, as often happens, her communicator gets destroyed just before she can give her location.
Their plan uncovered, the bad guys unplug the ray and threaten April, saying they might kill her. It’s nice to know Shredder doesn’t always feel the need to resort to violence.
While the Turtles stand around the sewer and talk about how they should save April, Rocksteady and Bebop hijack an ice cream truck and mount the rust ray up top. This, of course, is met with no resistance from the driver or his customers, who seem to have disappeared between frames. Wait a minute, since when do ice cream trucks operate at night? Did we learn nothing from Southland Tales?
Donatello intercepts the most cheerfully blasé police report ever, and then they just happen to come up from the sewer in the same spot as the ice cream truck. The rust ray takes out most of their weapons, meaning that just like last week, it’s up to Donatello and his wooden staff to save the day.
Honestly, you’d think they were writing for little kids.
The Turtles drive around in their van, trying to get a bead on April’s communicator, until Donatello determines the Eiffel Tower, being a radio antenna, might make things easy for them.
Bebop and Rocksteady shoot at the Tower with their ray, prompting Michelangelo to quip:
Michelangelo: Who you gonna call?
Everyone: Rust Busters!
Everyone: Rust Busters!
Leonardo and Rafael take advantage of the fight to steal back the ice cream truck and look for April. Though, how an ice cream truck that doesn’t have their computers will help them is anyone’s guess. Why couldn’t they just take their van? Sure, it got hit by the beam, but the exterior being rusty shouldn’t really prevent the engine from running. Do the writers even know what rust is?
We cut to Shredder and Krang, where we finally learn the guts of their plot: by making the Eiffel Tower collapse, they’ll blackmail the world’s governments into helping them bring the Technodrome to Earth.
Guys, the French hate the Eiffel Tower. The average Parisian thinks it’s an eyesore. Guy de Maupassant used to eat at their restaurant every day just so he wouldn’t have to look at the damn thing! If you collapse it, they’ll probably send you a gift basket.
And the rest of the world? Do you think the USA would really care if France lost a tourist attraction? Or Japan? Or Australia? Or, hell, Spain? Spain wouldn’t care, and I’m pretty sure their tourism department’s motto is “Spain: When France is Full.”
Leo and Raf locate Shredder by driving around and looking for a place with lights on (why didn’t they just do that earlier?). They rescue April and defeat Shredder by (get this) shutting off the lights. Shredder escapes, but sneaks aboard their ice cream truck as they drive back to the Eiffel Tower.
The Tower’s on the verge of collapse, but Michelangelo saves it by… getting Rocksteady to shoot off an important support beam. Which… somehow works.
The ice cream truck arrives, and Shredder hurls a few, um, boomerangs, I guess, at the Turtles, only to miss and hit Rocksteady. Michelangelo gets a hold of the beam and hits Shredder, causing his entire body to freeze in place, despite the fact that very little of his outfit is actually made of metal.
The bad guys escape, and Donatello fiddles with the machine to unrust the Tower. Guys, oxidation does not work that way! You know how they keep the Tower from rusting? By painting it!
Either way, the story ends, Michelangelo suggests they go out for pizza, and everybody laughs.
What, exactly, was the point of this episode? It was poorly written, it made no sense, and they already wrung all the novelty out of a French location the last time they were here, which was in the episode that immediately preceded this one!
Still, it wasn’t as bad as Ninja Turtles: The Next Mutation.