“Everybody relax, I’m here.”

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-Long time no see, Turtles fans! TMNT is back with its second season premiere, and it’s a goody!

-Share your thoughts on this week’s episode, or on whatever, with me @TheKoalaMask

-Also, don’t forget to like and share and tumble and dry and all that stuff! GIVE ME VALIDATION!

 

WARNING: SPOILERS TO FOLLOW

Get out of here, “Community!” TMNT is the new King of Pop Culture References/Tributes. This week’s triumphant return episode after a thousand year break was an amazing tribute to the beloved “Big Trouble in Little China.” And to make things another million times awesome than that already is, none other than James Hong was brought in to voice the Lo-Pan inspired villain, Ho Chan! Without a doubt, Hong’s witty dialogue and one-liners pretty much stole the show.

The show begins with April, Donnie and Casey out searching for Karai. In case you forgot, in the last episode, a thousand years ago, Karai was turned into a mutant snake transformer ninja. And she’s gone rogue. Casey and Donny are, as usual, trying to impress April, this time with their mad roof jumping skills. It’s funny to hear April have to tell a professional ninja to keep it down. Nice work, Donnie.

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They don’t find Karai, but they do interrupt the Purple Dragons trying to steal some ancient Chinese dagger from a museum(?) for Steranko (the future Rocksteady?). April, Casey and Donnie, ACD(C), put a stop to the Dragons’ thievery and give them a bit of a beating. Donnie and Casey’s little rivalry over April allows the Dragons to escape, with the dagger! Oh, they also destroyed everything in the museum. I’d put that one in the “lose” column. I really liked the way April handled herself against the Dragons. She’s becoming a real badass fighter. Nice training, Splinter!

In an alley, the Dragons accidentally activate the dagger, which unleashes…Lo-Pan. No, I mean Ho Chan. And he’s immediately awesome! “I said bow!”

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Ho Chan, an ancient sorcerer who’s been spending the last thousand years or so stuck in a dagger, gives the three Purple Dragon members the powers of lightning, thunder and wind, and the awesome nicknames, Moron, Numbskull and Stupid Idiot. In return, all they have to do is serve their master and find him some young gals who can help him change from a ghost into a human again. Basically, you are now watching Big Trouble in Little China.

Ho Chan sends the Bad Weather Trio to kidnap April, who he magically senses is the girl he needs to return himself to his physical form. They end up taking April and Irma. You can guess which one Casey is more worried about.

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Ho Chan teases that Irma has some kind of special power, and no, it’s not the power of the third wheel. I’m looking forward to finding out just what’s so special about Irma.

In the lair, Splinter is sad Karai is missing, and Leo is sad that Splinter is sad that Karai is missing, and that’s about it for the Karai storyline this week. Casey gets the Turtles together to go save April, and Irma I guess maybe.

The Turtles fairly easily take down the Bad Weather Trio, but Ho Chan then transfers their powers to Leo, Raph and Mikey, and is now able to control them. Donnie and Casey get away before getting wasted by the Bad Weather Turtles.

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Casey and Donnie come up with a plan to distract the bad weather turtles with PIZZA. What else? After a short tussle in a twister, the plan works. While Leo, Raph and Mikey are fighting over pizza, Donnie and Casey go save April and Irma, who are getting their life-force sucked out by Ho Chan, or something. It’s weird.

The battle between Ho Chan and the good guys was really fun. Ho Chan and Casey have a great little fight that switches from Casey’s and Ho Chan’s POV. That was really nicely done. “Everybody loves GIANT HANDS!” In a great Lo-Pan/Jack Burton homage, Donnie throws the dagger at Ho Chan, who catches it using REFLEXES. So great! In the end, it’s April’s quick reflexes that allow her to swipe the dagger and brutally shove it into Ho Chan’s guts, which sends him back into the dagger for another thousand years or whatever. Pretty full on stabbing by April. I’m a little (pleasantly) surprised that Nickelodeon let them get a way with that.

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The final scene of Donnie hurling the Ho Chan dagger into the ocean was beautifully animated. I truly hope Ho Chan’s threats of returning aren’t empty. MORE BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA, PLEASE!

Final Thoughts

“A Chinatown Ghost Story” is a super fun, silly, standalone episode, and a wonderful tribute to a fan favourite movie. There were so many wonderful little things that made it great. James Hong as Ho Chan, the BTILC-esque music, April becoming a real buttkicker, the Irma-isn’t-a-completely-useless-third-wheel-and-might-actually-be-interesting tease, and of course, GIANT HANDS! The fantastic animation should also be noted. Casey and Ho Chan’s POV fight seen looked really cool, and that final scene on the dock was simply beautiful. If you love “Big Trouble in Little China,” this episode will rock your socks off. If you’ve never seen it, it was still a really fun standalone episode. Hopefully, the show will now refocus on the Karai storyline, which was somewhat neglected in this episode. We shall see next time. As for this episode, we really shook the pillars of heaven, didn’t we, Wang?

Burton, out.

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