|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 TV series) episode|
|Original airdate||November 13, 2016|
|Written by||Randolph Heard|
|Supervising Producer||Ant Ward|
|Directed by||Sebastian Montes|
|Voice Direction||Andrea Romano|
|Supervising Director||Ben Jones & Ciro Nieli|
Darkest Plight is the twenty-first episode of the fourth season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the 99th episode of the series overall.
The Turtle team hunts for their Sensei, but soon realizes they are being hunted as well.
- April O'Neil (Mae Whitman)
- Bebop (J.B. Smoove)
- Casey Jones (Josh Peck)
- Donatello (Rob Paulsen)
- Elite Footbot
- Karai (Kelly Hu)
- Leonardo (Seth Green)
- Michelangelo (Greg Cipes)
- Raphael (Sean Astin)
- Rocksteady (Fred Tatasciore)
- Splinter (Hoon Lee)
- Super Shredder (Kevin Michael Richardson)
- The Rat King (Jeffrey Combs) (hallucination and skeletal remains)
- Tiger Claw (Eric Bauza)
Continuing from the events of The Super Shredder, as Shredder and Splinter plummet into the abyss, Shredder manages to land on a metal I-beam while Splinter bangs his head on several more before finally reaching the bottom of the abyss.
Back with the Turtles, Karai, and April, they manage to escape Bebop, Rocksteady, and the Elite Foot-bots and return to their lair. Casey arrives and learns of Splinter's fate, and fully supports the rescue effort the Turtles make to go find Splinter. While Mikey goes looking for Splinter, the rest of the team will protect him from Shredder and his goons.
As for Shredder, as he climbs back to safety, Tiger Claw helps him up, then is horrified upon seeing Shredder's left hand in its current state, and warns Shredder that any more mutagen could be dangerous. However, knowing that Splinter is still alive, Shredder wants Zeck and Steranko to remain in the under-city and look for him.
As for Splinter, as he comes to and places his leg in a makeshift splint, he discovers to his disbelief that Victor Falco is still alive. As Falco taunts him and tries to convince him to fall back under his control, when Splinter refuses, Falco covers himself with rats to assume a more monstrous, rat-like form to devour Splinter.
As for the Turtles, Donnie and Mikey descend with their grappling gear to find Splinter, leaving Raph and Casey to deal with Bebop and Rocksteady. Leo, April, and Karai remain behind as April senses Super Shredder and Tiger Claw's approach, and flee for the surface. Under orders from Super Shredder, Tiger Claw goes after April and Karai to bring Karai back alive to Super Shredder, Tiger Claw fights Leo, April and Karai, knocking Leo off the roof and almost kills April, but Karai defends her and assumes her mutant form to knock Tiger Claw onto some power lines, electrocuting him and knocking him out. Leo is separated from the girls to face Super Shredder alone, who knocks Leo out into the street, causing a panic amongst the innocent civilians, before attempting to crush him between his hands. Luckily, April and Karai arrive to help, with April using her psychic powers to try and beat Super Shredder herself. During the fight, after Super Shredder is smashed into a building by a fuel tanker truck, he tosses the truck towards Karai, but April is able to catch it with her psychic powers. After some struggling, April's Aeon crystal soon gives her the strength to succeed, causing her eyes to glow a bright blue and smile almost malevolently, before she tosses it aside. However, it leaves her too fatigued to help Leo as Super Shredder prepares to kill him. However, Karai pleads with Super Shredder to not do this, trying to convince him to do something good with his life instead of be consumed by his vengeance. Touched by this, Super Shredder tries to apologize to Karai, but it was all a ruse as Karai punches him in his mutated heart, leaving him weakened and in need of mutagen once more. Tiger Claw quickly arrives to retrieve Super Shredder and prevent Karai from pursuing, while Karai gives up the chase to help April get Leo back to the lair for medical attention.
Meanwhile, Casey and Raph are able to defeat Bebop and Rocksteady, while Splinter is able to overpower the rat monster when he nearly succumbs to his feral instincts, until a vision of the Turtles and Tang Shen allows his humanity to retake control, leading him to soon discover that it was all a hallucination brought on by his fever, as he soon discovers Falco's skeletal remains, and is then rescued by Donnie and Mikey.
Back at his hideout, Super Shredder demands a larger dose of mutagen to stabilize his condition, but Tiger Claw tries to stop him, saying that any more could destroy him, but Super Shredder overpowers Tiger Claw, pins Stockman to the control panel, and forces him to administer another dose. Tiger Claw can only watch in shock and fear as Super Shredder lets out an enraged scream as the mutagen strengthens him once more...
- This episode officially confirms that Victor Falco perished following his defeat at Splinter's hands in Of Rats and Men.
- Just as the 2012 TV series episode City at War has loose connections to the Mirage TMNT 1992-1993 comic arc City at War, Splinter's story in the episode loosely follows Hamato Splinter and the Rat King's story together from the comic arc, with some differences.
- In Mirage's City at War, Splinter injures his leg after returning to the abandoned silo previously seen in I, Monster. In the TV episode, Splinter's leg is broken following his aerial battle with Super Shredder.
- In Mirage's City at War, Splinter is trapped inside the silo for two months with the Rat King has his only companion; they debate, and the Rat King gives Splinter advice. In the TV episode, Falco attempts to tempt Splinter into falling into his control yet again, abandoning his humanity forever.
- In Mirage's City at War, Splinter eventually becomes seriously malnourished and close to starvation, and the Rat King advises him to eat their only other living companions in the silo—non-mutant rats. Splinter initially refuses, but when he realizes how much he actually fears being eaten by them, he starts killing and eating rats raw, and the Rat King congratulates him for choosing survival over taboo. Splinter considers the Rat King to have been his teacher during their time together, but by the end of City at War it is clear that Splinter's experience has still left him psychologically scarred. In the TV episode, to get Splinter to abandon his current life, Falco tempts him to eat a rodent for strength, which he not only refuses to do, but never changes his mind about as Mirage Splinter eventually did. (Depictions of cannibalism are seldom permitted in TV-Y7-rated television shows.)
- Both in the comics and in the episode, Splinter discovers not only that the Rat King is dead, but has been dead for a long time, raising questions about the true nature of their time together during the events of the story. In Mirage's City at War, the corpse is found with the same shuriken used by Leonardo to kill him in Mirage's I, Monster. In this TV episode, a rat is found in the eye socket of Falco's skull.
- While trying to fight off Falco's grasp over his mind, Splinter flashes back to the events of the first episode of the series "Rise of the Turtles", at the part where Mikey brings out the algae and worm cake. When Leonardo asks "What's the frosting made out of?", Jason Biggs, who was voicing him at the time, was dubbed over with Seth Green.
- This was the second of three episodes rebroadcast in a 90-minute feature-length arc entitled Powers Unleashed. This arc first aired on December 4, 2016.