“The class is Pain 101. Your instructor, is Casey Jones.”
For anyone unlucky enough to have missed the last few episodes of Nick’s TMNT series, Casey gets you up to speed via some angry inner monologue. He wasn’t part of the main battle during the Kraang invasion and he’s not too happy about that. So to make up for it he hits the streets of New York in an overzealous attempt to stop crime that puts him against the Purple Dragons. A group that is usually a pushover for Casey and the Turtles but this time their new leader, Hun, makes it known that he is NOT to be taken lightly. To make matters worse, some teasing from his friends only fuels his anger and he decides to go after the big ninja himself, Shredder! A task that any sane person would stay away from. But this is Casey we’re talking about.
An episode of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles that focuses on Casey Jones might raise an eyebrow or two. However, this series has been so much fun that you’d be silly not to give it a look. This episode in particular was just a great way to not only slow things down but get back to seeing Shredder as the central villain. Not only that but we get the introduction of Hun whose character design doesn’t resemble any past interpretation but that of the legendary Bruce Lee! Not only in looks but in fighting style and voice which just makes his presence on the screen a very cool experience. So when he soundly defeats Casey it’s just a scene that you wouldn’t mindwatching several times over.
What’s even better is that this episode isn’t filled with Casey just decimating Shredder’s forces in unbelievable fashion. He’s still that untrained, scrawny kid that goes in without thinking and hockey sticks swinging. But he does have a lot of heart and that helps make it more fun when we get the classic Casey and Raph team up. The rest of the Turtles do show up and provide some of their much enjoyed humor and action. Mikey is being Mikey which is always a highlight of the show and the rest of the guys are pretty excellent as well. Though it’s still a bit odd to hear Seth Green as the voice of Leonardo instead of Jason Biggs.
As Casey’s investigation progresses he finds out that Shredder’s plans for the New York criminal world are already underway. So by the time the Turtles arrive we get one of the show’s great fight sequences with plenty of fun and martial arts action. Mikey finds out how many kicks to the face Rahzar can take while Leo trades slices with Shredder. This was probably the weakest part of the episode because regardless of all of the bravado we know that Leo isn’t taking down the Foot Clan leader in this episode. Casey also gets a rematch against Hun while Donnie finds an inventive way to stall Shredder’s plans.
Casey vs The Underworld is another fun episode in this third season and the cliffhanger hints at greater things to come! This is probably the best interpretation of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles aside from the comic from IDW. The animation style might have taken some getting used to but the writing, comedic timing, and action has made this one of the best shows on television. The writers honor the core material but have made it new again and given depth to some of the weakest characters in the franchise. We’ve been given a full scale alien invasion, family conflict, the Mutanimals, and the addition of some of the best mutants to come along in this franchise over the years. So if you still haven’t watched this show but call yourself a fan then you need to hurry and get caught up!