Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Recap And Review – Season 3, Episode 24: Dinosaurs Seen In Sewers!


Perhaps the one classic element from the original Mirage comics we haven’t seen yet on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles is the Triceraton Empire. No worries though, as we were promised the Triceratops-esque aliens back at Comic-Con, and today, they arrive. Or at least one of them does.

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But look at me almost venturing into spoiler territory without warning. I say almost, because the title of this episode, “Dinosaur Seen in Sewers!” kind of gives it away. Let’s see how the Turtles deal with more aliens in their lives.

Turtle-Powered Recap: Slash and Dr. Rockwell of the Mighty Mutanimals are investigating reports of a “dinosaur man” in the sewers that has been making the tabloids. Unfortunately for them, it’s real, and it’s spectacular. Sorry, that was something else. The rather large and confused Triceratops walks on two legs and rants about crushing them all, easily taking out both Mutanimals.

Our heroes, minus Raphael, are sitting down to watch the final episode of Crognard the Barbarian on VHS. It features Crognard against a mighty five-headed dragon that just … eats him. The end. The Turtles can’t believe that’s how the series ends. Meanwhile, Raph is suspicious they’ve watched it without him while he’s on Shredder patrol, though he has to drop that debate when he’s startled by a psychic distress call from Rockwell.

Meeting up with the Mutanimals, he’s alarmed that something could KO Slash with one blow. Is it a mutant? Slash thinks it’s an alien, and despite warnings from his two injured friends, Raph sets out to find it alone.

The rest of the Turtles are still in disbelief about Crognard, though they hit some fan sites to confirm the ending they saw was for real. Michelangelo doesn’t understand the psychic message they get from Rockwell, mistaking it for a narrator (funny, that), but all becomes clear when the Mutanimals arrive in the flesh. At the same time, Raph catches up with the Triceraton. still ranting about needing orders and destroying the Kraang, and he’s about to crush Raph under his very large foot …

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Until Raph gets some last-second inspiration and tricks the confused alien into thinking he’s a Triceraton commander, that is. The other Turtles are gathered to meet Zog, and the brothers seem as surprised to learn there are still Kraang around New York City as they are to see a large dinosaur alien. Raph tells them Zog has been taking out secret Kraang bases for months as he can track them down, and his constant coughing and semi-incoherent rambling is because he needs more nitrogen to breathe.

The foursome follows Zog as he finds another base, and the Kraang are definitely scared of the Triceraton. With Zog’s help, they make quick work of the Kraang, but the overenthusiastic Zog smashes all the equipment in the base before Donatello can track other Kraang locations. A portal opens up, and Raph, still able to command Zog, orders him to go through it. Leonardo and Donatello are concerned, but they all follow and find themselves just outside the Statue of Liberty.

Yep, the Kraang are using Lady Liberty as a base too, attempting to open up a large gateway back to Dimension X. Leo has a plan that requires precision, but Zog charges into the fray. Free-for-all it is. Also, Kraang butt cannons, how I missed you!

During the battle, Zog gets trapped in an energy bubble, but Raph is able to corral him and ascend to the crown of the statue while the other Turtles take out the remaining Kraang. Once there, Zog finds his equipment, including a device that allows him to breathe and clears his head. Unfortunately, that’s bad for Raph who gets blasted unexpectedly and knocked out.

His brothers find him just as he’s coming to, while Zog is busy climbing to the very top of the statue to activate the beacon he’s been talking about. During the inevitable confrontation, Zog says that he dislikes Earth-dwellers because of their lies and trickery, whereas the Triceraton Empire is built on loyalty and honor. His beacon is supposed to call his fleet to wipe out the planet since it’s infested with Kraang. So I guess the enemy of my enemy isn’t necessarily my friend?

It’s half fight/half debate on the head and torch of the Statue of Liberty. Working together, the Turtles are able to destroy the beacon, and Zog ends up clinging to the outside of the torch by one hand. Alas, he chooses death over accepting help from Raph, plummeting to his apparent doom (though we never see him land). Well, at least the Turtles disabled the beacon in time!

Except the epilogue shows that they definitely did not. A Triceraton fleet discovers the signal coming from the undeveloped, backwater world called Earth, and it sets a course to invade …

Favorite Moment: When the Turtles are inside the crown of the Statue of Liberty, there’s graffiti on the wall that reads, “Venkman was here.” Great movie reference, or the best movie reference? And kids, if you don’t know what I’m talking about, you need to see this.

Final Thought: One of my favorite episodes of the back half of this season. It was tightly paced, offered a good blend of action and humor and introduced the Triceratons. Plus the Crognard bits felt like commentary on the unsatisfying ending of certain TV series. The only thing that is kind of off-putting is the way that the Triceraton invasion feels like it’s being shoehorned in at the very end of this season. I haven’t seen the Season 3 finale yet (it’s already available online), so I’ll reserve judgment until I do, but with most of the longer arc dealing with the return to New York and the struggle over Karai, throwing the Triceratons in at this juncture is like a giant curveball. It’ll have to be one heck of a final hour to tie everything together.

Next: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 3, Episode 23 Recap: The Fourfold Trap

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