Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Recap And Review – Season 3, Episode 18: The Deadly Venom


Even though the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have accomplished a lot this season, returning to New York to free it from the Kraang, they still haven’t been able to help Splinter’s mutated daughter, Karai. Now in the hands of the Shredder once again, Karai might be in more trouble than ever.

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That’s because Shredder has actually been successful in developing a mind control serum with the sole aim of getting Karai back on his side. Could he already have succeeded on this front? We’re about to find out in “The Deadly Venom.”

Turtle-Powered Recap: Remember that brain worm Baxter Stockman has been using to administer the mind control serum? He uses one on Karai, and he declares the operation a success. Shredder wants proof, so he orders Karai to attack Rocksteady. No ill effects, it seems, as she easily defeats him. Shredder is pleased with Stockman’s efforts, but it’s time to put the serum to the ultimate test: he wants Karai to destroy Splinter, the Turtles and their human allies.

Leonardo and Splinter are training with wooden swords. Leo gets the upper hand but hesitates to press his advantage, causing his sensei to ask him to fight his hardest. While the other Turtles watch, wondering if Splinter has fully recovered from his wounds at the hands of Slash, Leo is able to win the bout. He’s surprised when Splinter utters a mantra that makes his hands glow, which he reveals is called “the healing Hand” technique. He also begins teaching it to Leo.

Leaving a movie theater ironically playing “The Six Deadly Poisons,” April frets that a night out didn’t clear her mind of her worries. She also thinks Casey is ignoring her, but as they part, he reveals in his own unique way that he was listening the whole time.

Later, April has a nightmare about being chased by a giant snake. She awakens to find snakes in her bed. Always a bad thing.

And … she gets bitten, as Kirby frantically brings April to the Turtles. Meanwhile, Casey is on bike patrol when he’s ambushed by a squad of Foot Bots. His bicycle is packing quite a bit of weaponry, and he’s able to fight off the robots, but Karai is leading them. They’ve never actually met, and while Casey fights her to a standstill early on, things change when she breaks out her snake arms. He gets what he thinks is a pleasant surprise when Karai kisses him, but that was just a way for her to administer her venom up close. Paralysis and unconsciousness soon follows. Karai says she’s going to poison all the Turtles one by one.

It turns out Casey did get off an S.O.S., so Leo sends Michaelangelo and Donatello to check it out. They find Casey barely coherent, and on the way back to the lair, Mikey discovers he’s been bitten, and steels himself to suck the poison out from bite marks on … yep, Casey’s butt. Alas, other snakes are hiding in the van, and their attack causes it to crash.

Splinter says he has an ancient anti-poison mantra that might be able to help April. Leo gets a call from Karai, demanding that he bring Donnie to face her if he wants to see his other brothers again. Though Kirby is frantic, Leo asks him to stay and help Splinter while he and Donnie depart. With quiet allowing him to focus, Splinter recites the mantra and announces that it has at least stopped the poison from getting worse.

Leo and Donnie try to infiltrate the Foot hideout by water, but they immediately start feeling woozy. Karai has used her venom in the water too, and it can be absorbed through the skin. Though they last long enough to confront Karai, both Turtles quickly fall.

When they come to, Karai tells Leo and Donnie that in an hour, they’ll both be dead. Leo begins to perform the mantra, and he recovers enough to free himself, take out some Foot Bots and tell Karai about the brain worm. She’s not hearing it though, and Leo is still too weak to really fight her, quickly getting bitten again.

After Kirby says he wants to take April to a hospital, Splinter says that the venom has no cure. In a cool scene, we see both Splinter and Leo performing the mantra simultaneously, with Leo using it to heal himself. To Karai’s astonishment, it not only shakes him free of the poison, the extra focus allows him to easily KO her snake arms and clobber her as well. April looks like she’s recovering too, but as Leo gathers Casey and his brothers, he turns to find that Karai has retreated.

Back at the lair, Splinter and Leo do a group healing mantra to cure the others. Casey says that snake bites are the worst, though Mikey figures he’s been bitten by much weirder and worse things. Donnie notes that Shredder is in control of Karai, so she shouldn’t be blamed for the attack.

That doesn’t make Leo feel better, as he tells Splinter that he failed to save Karai. The sensei believes they might still be able to save her again, and he expresses his pride for Leonardo learning how to tap into a power that few martial artists could achieve. His brothers arrive to reinforce that point, with Raph saying that none of them would have been able to pull off what Leo just did solo. A rare smile appears on Leo’s face as he says that maybe today was a win after all.

Favorite Moment: This one was a no-brainer. Leo’s mastery of the mantra and his three-shot KO of Karai showed him in a light we haven’t seen him in for a while, maybe since he was injured last season. Awesome stuff.

Final Thought: Any frustration I felt over the Karai storyline getting extended even further was balanced out by the action and drama in this episode. Every now and then the sci-fi elements of this series overwhelm the ninja aspects, so it was cool to see them more in balance here. You just wonder if we’re going to have to wait until the fall for a resolution to the Karai situation, but I’m guessing I already know the answer to that.

Next: Previously on TMNT: Meet Mondo Gecko recap and review

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