→ May 17, 2015Warning: Full spoilers from the episode follow.
Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cut right to the chase this week, diving straight into Karai’s mind control subplot. While it was a bit odd that they skipped over how Stockman was able to turn Karai human again — or at least reverse the degradation of her mind — it was good to see the kunoichi back in full force again, even if she was fighting on the side of evil this time. She also apparently retained her snake/mutant powers, which I guess still needs to be resolved. Until then, however, “The Deadly Venom” put Karai’s abilities to good use.
Besides Karai, the most notable development this week was the addition of Splinter’s “Healing Hands” technique, which was first introduced in a clever training session between Splinter and Leonardo. I especially liked how this directly tied into Splinter’s injury from Slash in the episode before last (a nice continuity touch). This also set the stage nicely for the technique to come back around later in the episode.
Karai’s venom spree was also a fun storyline, thanks to the variety of different ways she was able to capture members of the team. I was particularly fond of Karai and Casey Jones’ first meeting — something I didn’t even realize we hadn’t seen yet until Casey mentioned it. Between Casey free-styling about himself (“Eweh, eweh, Casey Jones!”), destroying a group of Foot-bots, free-styling again, and getting venom-kissed by Karai, there was a lot to love about this sequence. I also got a kick out of Casey’s incoherent mumbling to Raph and Mikey, and Mikey saying, “I think he’s asking you to kiss his foot. You better do what he says!”
Another odd thing about this episode was how Splinter conveniently had a “poison-draining mantra” for April’s snake bite. I couldn’t really tell if this was a deus ex machina or just a variation of the Healing Hands technique. Either way, the combination of Splinter and Leo reciting the phrases in tandem, in two separate locations, was a really cool visual.
Speaking of which, the showdown at the abandoned subway station was another fun set piece. Leo seeing Donnie’s head turn into a pineapple was pretty hilarious — so much so that I was hoping it would stay like that for the rest of the fight. Of course, Donnie didn’t last long anyway, which left Leo to fight Karai by himself. This scene in particular was a big moment for Leo, who not only held his own against the uber-formidable Karai, but also proved himself as a capable healer. Hopefully we’ll see that skill play into future storylines, maybe even as part of healing Karai.