Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 4, Episode 5 Recap And Review: Riddle Of The Ancient Aeons


It’s a sad fact of life, but live action shows aren’t the only ones that get a winter hiatus these days. That means we’ve gone nearly two months without a new episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which is definitely not ideal.

Fortunately, our forced break from the Heroes in a Half Shell is over, as we resume Season 4 with episode 5, “Riddle of the Ancient Aeons.” It’s a race between the Turtles and the Triceratons for the first piece of the black hole generator, one that’s complicated by the unusual nature of the world on which the fragment is found.

Sounds like fun, so let’s get to it!

Turtle-Powered Recap: We begin not in space, but on the rooftops of New York City. Leonardo sees Splinter and runs to him, but Donatello interrupts and says Fugitoid wants them on the bridge. Ah, it’s a holodeck. Bummer.

The Triceratons, led by Mozar, have found the black hole generator fragment. Fugitoid has too, hiding his ship in an asteroid belt to avoid detection. April’s psychic powers tell her something is amiss on the world below, but as our heroes launch a smaller ship protected by a cloaking device to head to the surface, Fugitoid assures everyone that it’s a paradise planet.

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Or it used to be, with the cyborg admitting that he’s occasionally wrong. April gets a sense of pure evil, and Donnie says all of the flora and fauna are strange. Michelangelo has a bad encounter with the local wildlife and worries about space rabies. Fugitoid says the world used to be a vast garden with no technology, and that its guardians, an ancient race called the Aeons, must have fled.

As they continue to explore, Mikey and Raphael begin to squabble, as do Donnie and Casey Jones. One gets the impression that the world is warping their thoughts, but they’ve got other problems too. Namely, flying demon bats and the fact that the Triceratons have landed.

On top of that, Donnie’s sensors are scrambled by whatever is affecting everything else on the planet, and the group discovers its been going in circles. Casey and the Turtles finally melt down and start fighting each other, forcing Fugitoid and April to forcefully break them up. The demon bats make another pass, and this time the Turtles are spotted. A melee erupts, but the brothers still can’t cooperate, and amid the chaos, Mikey’s faceplate gets smashed …

Only serendipity, the atmosphere is breathable! The demon bats are written off, and April confirms what anyone who’s watched a sci-fi or horror movie already suspected: the world itself is warping everyone. Another, larger wave of demon bats arrives, and Fugitoid says everyone needs to run.

The aliens finally turn back when our heroes arrive at a strange statue. It’s a depiction of the Aeons, one that seems to calm Leo and Raph down as they surprisingly hug out their differences. Mikey points out that it’s also … pointing somewhere?

The Triceratons are having trouble with their instruments as well, though they get a reading from Fugitoid. Mozar orders his troops to track the cyborg instead.

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Our heroes arrive at a vast alien temple, and Leo displays some foresight of his own when musing that he bets it’s filled with booby traps. There’s a riddle inside, one that Fugitoid says is about the Soulstar returning to its rightful place and restoring the light of the Aeons. While everyone puzzles over that, Casey’s impatience sets off a saw blade trap right out of an Indiana Jones movie, and it ends up disarming Fugitoid — as in cutting one of his arms off. Get it? Disarming? Ha!

Anyway, the Turtles discover the fragment of the black hole generator, but Donnie is concerned that it appears to be on an altar. The Triceratons arrive soon after, easily winning a fight between the two groups and caving in a tunnel to ensure their escape. While Leo hopes for a secret door, April gets a psychic flash and finds a button. Pushing it drops part of the floor away but also reveals something valuable: the Soulstar of the Aeons. Fugitoid says it contains the power of life itself, and April says she instinctively knows it needs to be placed back atop the temple.

But the demon bats are out there, hassling both the Triceratons and the good guys. Despite their enemies escaping, April says it’s more important to put the Soulstar in place, because they should be saving all worlds, not just Earth. After a multiple lateral play worthy of Duke-Miami (but without the blocks in the back), the Soulstar ends up with April, who manages to place it into a receptacle on the temple’s peak just before she gets dive bombed by six demons.

The effect is instantaneous, with the world getting transformed back into lush, vibrant vegetation. The demons are bathed in light, revealing they are actually the Aeons. Restored to their true form, they admit that the Turtles saved them from themselves, as the Utrom entrusted them with one piece of the generator, but they became entranced by its power, worshipping it and allowing technology to corrupt both them and their world. A subtle environmental message there, perhaps?

As a gift, the Aeons give our heroes a sliver of the Soulstar, which the aliens say will bring them both luck and power. Back aboard Fugitoid’s ship, Leo says they can still catch the Triceratons, and Donnie mentions that he guesses anyone can be corrupted by too much power. Which is why the final shot of April examining the Soulstar sliver is a little troubling …

Favorite Moment: Think Raphael has overcome his dislike for outer space given the Season 4 status quo? Think again.

After the first encounter with the transformed Aeons, Raph says, “Now we’ve got demon bats and Triceratons to deal with. I hate outer space. So, so much.” That pretty much says it all.

Final Thought: It would have to be a pretty boring episode not to seem great after so much time off, but “Riddle of the Ancient Aeons” really did a nice job driving the season’s overall story arc forward while presenting a fun half-hour of its own. Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles alays does a nice job taking common genre tropes and mixing them together, which is what we got here with the corrupt world, outer space temple and a race against time against enemies hunting the same thing. This was also a great April episode, her best chance to shine so far in Season 4, and it’s hard not to like that.