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|“Splinter No More”|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (1987 Cartoon) episode|
|Original airdate||November 26, 1988|
|Written by|| Michael Reaves |
"Splinter No More" is the fifteenth episode of the 1987 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoon series. This episode of the show was written by Michael Reaves and Brynne Stephens. It originally aired on November 26, 1988, in syndication, during season 2. It is available on the DVD box set released on April 26, 2005.
Michelangelo arrives at the Turtles' New York City sewer lair with pizzas, and since Splinter does not like pizza, he brought their master a sushi tray. A downcast Splinter says he is not hungry, and leaves. The Turtles speculate about why he seems so depressed; Raphael suspects he's worried about Shredder's next plan, but Leonardo believes Splinter is depressed because he is a rat and he misses being human.
Donatello has an idea: use the remnants of the mutagen that transformed them to turn Splinter back into a human. A tearful Splinter tells the Turtles that he has dreamed of becoming human again, walking the streets and feeling the sun. But as a rat, he has other abilities which help him. Leonardo points out that as a human, Splinter can go up and see what Shredder does. Splinter agrees.
Donatello sprays Splinter with the solution, and he transforms back into a human being, Hamato Yoshi. But as he goes out for a walk, the Turtles begin to feel depressed and anxious, worried that their master will leave them forever.
April is doing public service announcements at an a local library when she spots Bebop and Rocksteady. She tips off the depressed Turtles, who rush to the library to confront Shredder. The masked villain is currently researching "the key to other realms," a spell that will open gateways to other dimensions. The Turtles are knocked unconscious by Shredder as soon as they arrive, but Leonardo wakes up before Rocksteady and Bebop can harm any of them. The two mutants flee the library, but Donatello is able to deduce Shredder's plan from a page left behind - he's seeking an underground temple used by a an old cult, which will allow dimensional travel if the spell is spoken at midnight.
Meanwhile, Yoshi discovers that the humans above are not as courteous as he is. He takes a walk in the park, hoping to find some peace, only to be attacked by masked thieves. But as he prepares to fight them, he feels strange and the thieves run away. The mutagen spray is wearing off, and he's slowly transforming back into a rat. Desperate to get back to the sewers, he dashes into traffic and nearly makes it to a manhole, only to be cornered by a mob of angry humans.
Krang warns Shredder that he must be careful about speaking the spell, because misspeaking it will result in a portal to the wrong dimension opening, and "there are dimensions far worse than this one."
The Turtles are still deeply depressed about the idea of losing their master for good, and the possibility that he'll choose a human life over them. They shake off their problems temporarily to focus on finding the underground temple, and ask April to give them a videotape of an old report she did on abandoned subway tunnels.
As the police approach, Yoshi races down into the subway and manages to hide for awhile. He is nearly run down by a train as he fully transforms back to his rat form, and sadly reflects that "Yoshi is gone, and only Splinter remains. So be it."
As Shredder approaches the temple, he asks Krang to send his Neuro Scrambler, which produces a frequency that will turn the Turtles against one another. When the Turtles come near Shredder's Neuro Scrambler, they act strangely, suffer headaches, and eventually begin to fight each other with lethal aggressiveness. They only start to come to their senses when April asks what Splinter would say if he saw this. Her words remind them of their master, and give them the strength to resist the Neuro Scrambler. April hears the device whirring and the Turtles immediately destroy it.
Shredder arrives first in the underground temple, and sets up Bebop and Rocksteady as guards with their stun guns. The Turtles and Splinter both approach from different directions as he prepares to start the spell, but the Turtles are stunned unconscious.
At midnight, Shredder begins reading the spell, but Splinter interrupts with a cry of "Stop!" at a crucial point, and the portal opens to some other dimension, allowing a tentacled horror to enter the chamber, snatching up Shredder, Bebop, Rocksteady and April. The portal closes, meaning that there's no way to keep the monster out of Earth's dimension. The Turtles lure the creature towards the columns supporting the temple, causing it to collapse and kill the creature.
Back in the sewers, Splinter tells the turtles that he saw how badly many humans treated each other, so he is fine with being a mutant and doesn't miss being a human anymore. Splinter also insists that if Donatello's experiment had worked, he would not have been able to go underground again in time to stop the Shredder, and his students would have died.
- Michael Reaves and Brynne Stephens
- Leonardo (Cam Clarke)
- Donatello (Barry Gordon)
- Michelangelo (Townsend Coleman)
- Raphael (Rob Paulsen)
- Splinter (Peter Renaday)
- April O'Neil (Renae Jacobs)
- Irma Langinstein (Jennifer Darling)
- Shredder (James Avery)
- Bebop (Barry Gordon)
- Rocksteady (Cam Clarke)
- Krang (Pat Fraley)
- First Thug (Pat Fraley)
- Second Thug (Pat Fraley)
- Third Thug (Pat Fraley)
- First Cop (Cam Clarke)
- Second Cop (Rob Paulsen)
- Large Blonde Man (Pat Fraley)
- Cab Driver (Peter Renaday)
- Turtle Lair
- Public Library
- City Streets
- Central Park
- City Subway
- Abandoned Subway
- Channel 6
- City Sewer System
- Shredder's Hideout
- Subterranean Temple
Home media releases
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Volume 2
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Complete Classic Series Collection
- The monster from the unknown dimension, which dies off-screen, is one of the few living organisms who die in this cartoon.
- This is the first time we see Splinter in his human form since the pilot episode.
- The cult being from the 1920s and the tentacle alien monster see to be references to the fiction of H. P. Lovecraft, who wrote of horrifying alien creatures with tentacles.
- When Splinter fully reverts to rat form after hiding at the side of the subway track he is seen without his shirt and tie but gains them back briefly when tracking down Shredder's incense.
- After Donatello restores Splinter back to Yoshi he is seen with a bare chest under his kimono, but instantly gains a shirt and tie in the next shot.
- After Leonardo throws his katana at the radiator to pour hot steam on Bebop and Rocksteady, he is seen getting up with both katanas on his back, but the one his threw earlier is seen back in the radiator when the fight is over.
- When the taxi cab that Yoshi hailed drives off it is seen against the roadside pointing diagonally in the middle of the road.
- Donatello's Turtlecom is coloured grey in the second shot of it through the Turtlevan windshield.
- When Raphael wonders if Splinter is okay, he is seen with Leonardo's katana.
- When April is talking to Donatello at Channel 6, her Turtlecom is drawn like the Turtles and Splinter's version.
- Donatello's right wrist band is missing when he hands the subway map to Raphael.
- Leonardo's belt buckle is missing when he is lying unconscious on the pile of books at the beginning of Act 2.
- When Leonardo tells April to meet them at the Cornelius Building, Donatello's Turtlecom is coloured grey.
The theme in this episode is existential, and deals with racism (how many people fear different things) and how many people treat each other in everyday life. Many consider it a "sad episode" because Splinter fails to become human again, though he seems to contentedly accept his existence as a rat at the end.