Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 4, Episode 7 Recap And Review: The Arena Of Carnage


Now we’re picking up some steam in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 4. While there have been some fun episodes since the Turtles headed to space, it’s time to start getting serious about their primary mission, which is beating the Triceratons to the scattered pieces of the black hole generator.

In “The Arena of Carnage,” our heroes are going to have to take the fight directly to the warlike aliens since they’ve already acquired the first piece. Can they pull off a daring space heist without anything going awry? The title of this episode suggests that no, they won’t. But hey, “Arena of Carnage” doesn’t like that bad a place, right?

Well, let’s hope for the best here.

Turtle-Powered Recap: Leonardo and his brothers are down to test some new upgrades to the holoroom. As they fight some of their old mutant foes, Michelangelo chides Leo for doing Street Fighter impressions when it’s obviously a take on Mortal Kombat, which he demonstrates by doing a “Balloonality.” Their fun is cut short by a summons from Fugitoid, who says they are closing in on the Tricertaton mothership.

A plan is quickly hatched that involves the Turtles boarding via one particular airlock in the stealth shuttle. The humans will have to stay behind, and while Casey Jones is ticked about missing the action, April O’Neil points out that they just aren’t as stealthy as the Turtles — though she says she’s getting close.

Despite Donatello’s admission that he’s unsure about the shuttle’s cloaking device, they board with no problem. The trouble starts soon after, when they are discovered and quickly overpowered by Triceratons. Even retreating to the airlock is no good.

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Admiral Mozar decides that if the Turtles want the airlock so badly, that’s what they’ll get. Without their helmets, of course. Mozar orders the airlock door opened slowly so he can see them suffer, but Leo is able to calm his brothers, and when Fugitoid locates them, April recognizes what they’re doing as an ancient breathing technique Splinter taught them to use less oxygen.

An angry Mozar opens the airlock door the whole way, but the Triceraton emperor appears via hologram and demands that the execution be stopped since the Turtles amuse him and might make for good sport. Our heroes are almost sucked out into space, but the door slams shut just in time.

Alas, it’s out of the frying pan into the fire as the Turtles are taken to the Tri-Arena, where the emperor says they will fight for his entire race’s amusement. The Turtles find that there’s no way to escape their cell, though Mikey is able to bond over food with the prisoner in the adjacent cell, who tells them the creature they are about to fight is invulnerable except for a white spot on its flank. Thanking him, Mikey asks his name and the prisoner states that they can call him Zeno.

The boys are introduced to the packed Tri-Arena as the “Adolescent Alien Warrior Terrapins,” and the Spazmosaur is unleashed to face them. It’s all eyes, mouths and tentacles, though Donnie is able to find the white spot and hit it with his staff just before he becomes lunch. The fans are upset, reacting like an old school WCW crowd by pelting our heroes with garbage. The emperor is impressed, though he’s quickly occupied by something else as Fugitoid and the humans are spotted sneaking aboard the mothership.

About that … they have to split up, and Fugitoid is quickly captured since the Emperor wants him alive. Back in their cell, Zeno tells his story. He’s a Triceraton that was found to be a traitor since he spoke out against using the black hole generator. The Turtles are told they’re up again, and Zeno says he thinks he knows who they might be fighting next. You don’t think …

Yep, it’s Terrapins vs. Zeno, who turns out to be a mammoth Triceraton with a giant hammer that sort of looks like an oversized Mjolnir. The emperor has Fugitoid watch from his personal box, promising to set the Turtles free if the professor completes the Heart of Darkness for him.

Meanwhile, April and Casey find the generator piece and approach it after its guards wander off to watch the arena battle. April surprises Casey by using her powers to mentally open the door to the room where the piece is secured, and she explains that the shard they got from the Aeons helps her focus her powers. So she’s like this show’s version of Jean Grey, I suppose.

As they run from the returning guards, the Turtles are having their shells handed to them by Zeno. Mikey and Donnie make a plea to him, saying that they’re basically on the same side. That works, as Zeno hurls his hammer toward the royal box, announcing that the Turtles are honorable creatures. The emperor sends troops into the arena, but Zeno is able to fight them off as the Turtles head for the emperor’s box and threaten to do him harm unless Fugitoid is released.

A frantic chase ensues, ending when the Turtles and Fugitoid literally run into April and Casey near the airlock. April opens the airlock and our gang is sucked out into space — and April’s powers manage to protect them so they can float a short distance to the waiting stealth shuttle. Wow.

Safely warping away aboard the main ship, April asks where the next piece of the generator might be since they already have one, but Fugitoid is too busy doing his own version of Mikey’s favorite catchphrase.

Favorite Moment: In terms of comedic value, the opening scene was pretty sweet, especially if you know your fighting games well enough to appreciate the references. For sheer awesomeness, though, I’ll have to go with April saving the whole group at the end by floating them through space to the escape ship. Not sure she even knew she’d be able to pull that off.

Next: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Season 4, Episode 6 Recap: Journey to the Center of Mikey's Mind

Final Thought: A nice balance of action, suspense and plot as we learned a little more about the internal workings of the Triceratons, which don’t always appear to be completely harmonious. Zeno could be a helpful long-term ally in the Turtles’ quest, assuming he managed to stay alive. I’ve still got concerns about April’s powers, wondering if she’ll eventually find them too intoxicating or overwhelming. Finally, one big question that’s been on my mind throughout Season 4: Why don’t the Turtles simply destroy the parts of the Heart of Darkness? Wouldn’t that prevent it from being used on the Earth or anywhere else?