Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Recap And Review – Season 3, Episode 19: Turtles In Time


I feel like I might have heard the title “Tutles in Time” somewhere before, don’t you? I’m not ashamed to say I had to turn to trusty Wikipedia to look for it, and there it was, in all of its Super NES glory. I don’t remember that game as well as some of the other Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles appearances in video games, but I’m sure I must have played it some back in the day.

Speaking of not remembering, it’s been more than two months since we last saw our favorite ninja brothers in action, so I’m not certain I can even recall what subplots are still going on. Hopefully it’ll all come back to us together. Let’s go get lost in time!

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Turtle-Powered Recap: Apparently just as much time has passed for the Turtles since their last new episode as for us, because as Leonardo looks out over the city hoping for a sign of Karai, his brothers tell him he needs to let go. Michelangelo proudly declares that he’ll never get stuck on a girl the way Leo has for Karai or Donatello has on April, because he’s devoted himself entirely to ninja-ing. I sense foreshadowing!

Indeed, the girl who catches Mikey’s eye literally falls from the sky in the form of Renet. She’s an Assistant Time Master in Training from the 25th century, where the boys are the Turtle Warriors of legend known for saving the world multiple times. Donnie is skeptical, then excited, but that feeling quickly fades when Renet reveals that she’s being followed by an evil freak who wants to control all of time and space.

Savanti Romero, the freak in question, shows up a moment later, looking quite a bit like Hellboy except with his two horns intact (and sans the giant fist). He wants the time scepter that Renet has in her possession, and while the Turtles’ frontal assault fails, Renet is able to send him into the past. Donnie demands an explanation, and he gets a doozy. Renet works for a time master named Lord Simultaneous, who created the time scepter: a piece of tech so powerful in can control time and even reshape reality. She stole it and planned on luring Romero to the site of his historical defeat by the Turtles … except she’s already messed that history up by banishing him herself. I think my usual time travel headache is coming on. When “Lord S” comes looking for Renet, she decides to head into the past to hunt down the demon, followed by Mikey and (eventually) his brothers.

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Though Renet attempted to send Savanti millions of years into the past, he actually ended up in 980 AD. The knights there mistake the Turtles for orcs, and a brief fight breaks out that includes Leo winning a bona fide joust. Renet is able to convince the knights that the boys are “friendly goblins from the Western Realms,” but Romero soon finds them and traps them in a time loop. Renet is able to deduce what’s going on and punch her way out with her energy knuckles, earning her a hug from Donnie — and him some dirty looks from Mikey.

Everyone mounts up to ride after Romero, but their route takes them through an “uber-creepy cemetery,” and Savanti arrives to show off another one of the scepter’s powers, reanimating the dead. Renet and the Turtles get the best of a legion of skeleton warriors, but they simply reassemble after being defeated. It looks like this cool fight might go on a while, but Leo convinces everyone to get back on their horses, and the skeletons fall to pieces when they reach the edge of the cemetery, so it just kind of … ends.

Romero is sitting around in his tower, trying to figure out exactly how he wants to achieve his victory in his own time. He knows the Turtles are coming and easily foils their assault by rewinding time before trapping them in time bubbles again. Renet has just one weapon left, a single entropy dart that she intends to use to destroy the scepter. When Donnie points out that they will never get home if she does, she uses it to free everyone instead.

The final battle begins in the mechanical gears of the tower, with the scepter bouncing around and Romero showing that he also breathes fire. Raphael gives our heroes the upper hand by smashing the time controls on Savanti’s wrist, and Donnie grabs the time scepter and sends the villain away. Renet says she’s 96 percent sure that’s the last of him. Lord S shows up to tell Renet she’s grounded (her father, maybe?), and she agrees to return after dropping the Turtles off in their own time. Mikey asks if the two of them can kick it in the future sometime, and she responds with an “I’d love that!” and a kiss on the cheek that has him smitten. See? Foreshadowing!

Alas, on the return trip to the 21st century, time interference separates the Turtles from Renet. They land near something that looks like modern day Japan, but the brothers are quickly surrounded by red ninjas, and Leo thinks they’re in big trouble. To be continued … next week, even!

Favorite Moment: When they first land in medieval times, Mikey whispers something to Renet, and she says it’s possible. The time scepter gives them the costumes they wore in the Season 2 episode “Mazes & Mutants,” which look like this:

It’s a fun callback, though it doesn’t really accomplish Mikey’s goal of helping them blend in. But I bet you knew that already.

Final Thought: This was a fun one-off with the chance of turning Savanti Romero and Renet into recurring characters, as well as another example of how the writers can skillfully weave in both comic book and previous cartoon elements and make them feel like more than just nostalgia trips. The final scene was a bit ambiguous — as in, it’s not clear whether the Turtles actually made it back to the 21st century or are in an alternate timeline of some sort — so there’s a chance this was the beginning of a proper arc. We’ll have to wait and see, and fortunately not 10 or 11 weeks this time.

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