Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Recap And Review – Season 3, Episode 23: The Fourfold Trap


Now we’re getting down to the nitty gritty of Season 3. The Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles have risked their own lives in order to save Splinter’s daughter, Karai, who has been brainwashed to serve Shredder instead.

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With just a few episodes left in the season, they’re arguably as close as they’ve ever been to getting Karai back, but she’s still in enemy hands and not in her right mind. Will they have a breakthrough this week? Well, since the title of this episode is “The Fourfold Trap,” it doesn’t sound promising. Let’s find out!

Turtle-Powered Recap: Raphael wakes up in a cell with no windows and no doors, unsure of how he got there. Bricks on all four sides slide to reveal heating elements that make the room hotter, and Raph collapses.

Six hours earlier, we see that Donatello’s efforts to synthesize a brain work antidote are not going well. He’s understandably frustrated, and Splinter tries to see things philosophically as he says that even if he can’t get his daughter back, he at least has four wonderful sons.

Tensions between the Turtles boil over as they argue about the need to save Karai, with Donnie seeming especially stressed. He gets a call from April saying she wants him to meet her immediately, and despite Leonardo pleading with him to stay, he departs. Splinter  warns his sons that they need to unite and work as a team.

April tells Donnie that she’s discovered some Kraang, but when he enters the purple room she’s in, the door slams shut. As Admiral Ackbar once famously stated, it’s a trap.

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Back at the lair, Leo promises Splinter he won’t give up on Karai, and he asks his sensei if maybe the healing hands mantra from the ancient scrolls could help her. Splinter thinks it could but is unsure if he has enough skill to utilize it for that purpose.

Ice Cream Kitty is beating Michelangelo at some kind of collectible card game when he gets a call from Donatello mentioning a special new pizza gyoza that he can sample if he hurries to Murakami’s place. Alas, it turns out to be poisoned … or rather, dosed with chemicals to knock him out. As Mikey says, it’s delicious but evil.

The real April shows up at the lair and immediately raises the suspicions of Splinter, Leo and Raph when she reveals she never called Donnie. When a call from Mikey comes in, they all discuss the possibility of a trap, and April convinces them that she should go along to investigate.

We don’t have to wait long to find out what’s going on. Karai set the traps with the help of a voice changer rigged up by Baxter Stockman and some holograms created by his Mousers. Now that she’s got them all in one place, she also reveals her help: Bebop, Rocksteady, Fishface, Rahzar and Tiger Claw. With the numbers against them, Leo tells April to run and warn Splinter, but she and the remaining Turtles are soon KOed.

That returns us to the present, with Raph now remembering what led to their imprisonment. Karai taunts the Turtles in their individual traps; Leo faces a whirling assortment of katana blades, Mikey is tied down under a toilet about to flush mutagen on him, Donnie is wired into a virtual reality game that will zap him with electricity if he makes the wrong move, and Raph is in the heat room.

Splinter answers the cheese phone back at the lair and hears April on the other end, followed by Karai. She says the only way to save the Turtles is to fight her to the death.

As the Turtles discover their cells are close enough to hear each other, Spinter infiltrates Shredder’s compound through the sewer, defeating Rocksteady and an incredulous Bebop. He also takes out Rahzar, and while Fishface grabs him while he’s swimming through the moat that surrounds Karai’s control center, he’s able to defeat him as well. Splinter kicks ass is the moral of this story.

After tossing Tiger Claw into the drink as well, Splinter confronts Karai. He tries words first but has no choice about defending himself. Meanwhile, Donnie deduces that all of the trap rooms might be wired together. That revelation inspires Leo to ride the whirling blades down through the ceiling of Raph’s cell, where he uses one of the swords to stab out the controls making it hotter.

April picks her handcuffs while Karai goes full Snake in her fight with Splinter. Mikey is pulled out of the way of falling mutagen just in time, and he in turn rescues Donnie from his deadly video game.

Splinter tries the healing hands mantra on Karai, telling her he loves her right before he strikes. It inertially seems to have no effect, but it zaps the brain worm after a short delay. Karai might be okay, but Splinter is unable to keep her from falling into the moat, which has had its drain undone during the fighting. It’s an agonizing moment as Splinter gets so close to his daughter before seeing her spiral down the drain.

The Turtles arrive just in time to save Splinter from an attack by Tiger Claw, who escapes on a jetpack. Splinter feels they may never see Karai again. Leo tells him that the lesson that has stuck with him is to never give up, and they head for home.

In a particularly unpleasant epilogue, we see Karai spit out her brain worm, which roars since it’s not dead. Hopefully she squashed that thing!

Favorite Moment: When Mikey is facing the mutagen, he wonders what he might turn into if he gets transformed again. He shrieks when his thought is of a female Turtle. Venus de Milo, anyone?

Final Thought: Not sure I’m too thrilled with a final resolution to the Karai situation getting teased and then pushed off yet again. That’s happened multiple times this season, and it’s starting to get old. That being said, this was a tight, dramatic episode utilizing a classic deathtrap framework. It’s also always cool with me seeing how formidable Splinter can be, and his fight with Bebop and Rocksteady was lots of fun. So a mixed bag, but not one without a good variety of entertaining scenes.

Next: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3, Episode 22 Recap: The Creeping Doom

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