Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Recap And Review – Season 3, Episode 17: Meet Mondo Gecko


The current Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles animated series has done an excellent job reviving and updating characters from the 1987 series. For example, the new versions of Bebop and Rocksteady are alright in my book.

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This week’s episode might put that golden touch to an even sterner test. Mondo Gecko seems like someone who is rooted to the time period from which he first sprang. Is he going to work in the 21st Century for anything more than reminding us of slang we’d rather forget? Let’s “Meet Mondo Gecko” and find out.

Turtle-Powered Recap: We start as we have before, with Crognard and friends on the run from some traps. The barbarian falls into a pit of spikes, but he’s fine thanks to his mystic pecs.

Despite that bit of awesomeness, Michelangelo finds himself bored. The rest of his brothers and friends are no help: Leonardo and April are training, Raphael is playing with action figures, and Donatello is busy working on more retro-mutagen. Only Casey wants to hang out, and the two buddies go skating. To their surprise, they encounter a skateboarding lizard. Mikey considers calling him Rad Lizard and Skatermander before settling on Mondo Gecko. Only the lizard himself doesn’t like that name, and he looks like he’s going to fight them over it.

As it turns out, he’s just kidding. Introducing himself as Jason, a pro skater (not really, though), he explains that about a year ago, he was skating with his pet gecko, Lars, when he was hit by some strange ooze. After his parents kicked him out, he ended up on the streets, though he claims he also shreds with his metal band, Savage Bliss. He also likes saying, “Cowabunga,” but Mikey and Casey prefer their own catchphrases. Oh, and he can lick his own eyes with his tongue. Casey doesn’t trust him, but Mikey feels responsible for him since it was technically the Turtles’ fault he was transformed. I kind of think the Kraang were involved too, no?

Back at the lair, April and Leo are both worried, but Donnie wonders out loud what kind of trouble Mikey and Casey could get into. Famous last words!

Casey almost falls as he skates with the mutants, and they also see thieves taking some stuff from a nearby building (though Mikey buys their story about helping a friend move). They’re members of the Purple Dragons, and Hun is with them. He asks for a rematch with “Hockey Boy” and proceeds to beat the crap out of Casey while Mikey is occupied with the other gang members. Mondo tries to lend a hand, but his fighting skills are nil, and Hun tosses him off the rooftop.

Mikey saves him from being splattered on the street, and he and Casey try tag teaming Hun. Even that doesn’t go so well, but Hun ends up slipping on Mondo’s skateboard and falls off the building into a dumpster. As they go through the Purple Dragons’ haul, Mondo Gecko finds $3000, and he reasons that he can keep it since it came from the criminals’ “personal stash.” A mortified Casey says he doesn’t hang with criminals, and he takes off after leaving a note for the cops (on the forehead of one of the thieves). He’s ambushed on the street by an unseen figure, while Mikey tags along with Mondo to see his home.

The other Turtles are now officially worried since Casey’s phone tracker is offline. Donnie says he can still track Mikey, even though he’s not answering his phone.

In a part of the sewers Mikey has never seen before, Mondo says he’ll introduce the turtle to Mr. X, the person who’s been taking in mutants. Only as Admiral Ackbar would say, it’s a trap: Mikey is captured in a steel cage, and Mr. X is revealed to be Xever, a.k.a. Fishface. Though Mondo protests, Fishface plans to use Mikey in a race to the death tonight. Also, Casey is already there, so we know who jumped him.

April and the Turtles hear a police radio call that put them on the right track. Meanwhile, Mondo tries freeing Mikey and Casey after being overcome by regret, but he’s caught in the act, and all three of them end up having to race immediately. The fourth contestant will be Fishface himself, which panics Mondo, who says Mr. X is the fastest skater alive. Mikey calls a huddle so they can plan strategy. Yes, I just typed that.

When the race begins, we learn why Fishface is so fast, as he has rocket-powered skates in his robot legs. Our three heroes have to deal with numerous traps that Xever activates after skating past them, including magnets, pools of piranha, arrows shooting out of the walls, and more. An oil slick gives Mikey and idea, and he spins around rapidly before hurling Mondo ahead. The extra momentum helps the gecko catch Xever and clothesline him with his skateboard.

Mikey skates ahead but Fishface recovers quickly, and it looks like it’s going to be the two of them battling for the win. Alas, Casey (who got stuck in a trap for a bit) skates up and uses his slap shot skills to propel Mondo into the race, and the lizard uses his tongue to barely get to the finish line first. The audience, which is made up of most of Shredder’s mutant, is disappointed, and the other Turtles arrive to prevent Fishface from taking out his frustration on the other racers — and Mondo Gecko from getting killed, since he tries to attack Xever himself. Fishface gets what’s coming to him when he stumbles back into his own traps.

April thinks Mondo is cute until she sees his tongue, and the gecko asks Mikey if he can say “Booyakasha,” to which Michelangelo agrees, though only if he gets to say “Cowabunga!” I guess that’s coming full circle.

Favorite Moment: I’m pretty sure Crognard says that he can live without survival, which is a very Crognard thing to say.

Final Thought: Definitely not my favorite episode, yet it was a pleasant enough break from the overall season arc. I will say the writers once again came through with a good updating of an old character, even if there isn’t really as much to Mondo Gecko as there is to some of the others. The race sequence was entertaining and well done, so not bad overall, though I’m anxious to see what new developments await next week with regard to Karai.

Next: Previously on TMNT: Clash of the Mutanimals

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