|“Tale of Tiger Claw”|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2012 TV series) episode|
|Original airdate||February 12, 2017 (US)|
|Written by||Mark Henry|
|Directed by||Sebastian Montes|
|Voice Direction||Andrea Romano|
|Supervising Director||Ben Jones & Ciro Nieli|
Tale of Tiger Claw is the twenty-fourth episode of the fourth season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and the 102nd episode of the series overall.
- Alopex (Minae Noji) (Debut)
- April O'Neil (Mae Whitman)
- Bebop (J.B. Smoove)
- Casey Jones (Josh Peck)
- Donatello (Rob Paulsen)
- Leonardo (Seth Green)
- Michelangelo (Greg Cipes)
- Raphael (Sean Astin)
- Rocksteady (Fred Tatasciore)
- Tiger Claw (Eric Bauza)
- Chompy Picasso
- Karai (flashback)
- The Kraang (flashback)
- Splinter (Hoon Lee)
- Super Shredder (Kevin Michael Richardson)
- Baxter Stockman
- Dream Beavers
- Ho Chan (indirectly)
- Mona Lisa (mentioned briefly)
At the hideout where Super Shredder and his lackeys have taken up residence, Super Shredder talks to Tiger Claw via a M.O.U.S.E.R.S. hologram, demanding Tiger Claw find Karai for him as he's unable to do much else until Stockman finishes stabilizing the mutagen so Super Shredder will no longer be vulnerable to his mutated state falling apart at critical moments while fighting Splinter and the Turtles. Though Tiger Claw argues that it's been months and Stockman is not done yet, Super Shredder does seem to care how much longer it takes before he's able to fight the Turtles again at full strength and not hold back this time.
After the conversation ends, Tiger Claw is interrupted by Rocksteady and Bebop, despite asking for Bradford and Xever, who are on guard duty. As Tiger Claw speaks to Rocksteady and Bebop, he is suddenly struck by a vision of a very fast, very agile figure charging down the streets of Manhattan. When the figure gets close enough to make out the face of a fox and the amber eyes it has, Tiger Claw immediately prepares to head out with Rocksteady and Bebop to deal with this figure.
At their lair, the Turtles and Casey are fighting Splinter, who is able to use his intuition, even when drunk, to out-maneuver all of their attacks, suggesting they practice more to be as good as April, who shows just how in tune she is as she handles her tessen fan with her psychic powers flawlessly, before dropping it as she suffers a premonition involving Casey. Shortly thereafter, the team heads out on patrol.
As Mikey and Leo patrol in the Party Wagon, they spot the figure Tiger Claw envisioned rush past them, warning Raphael and Casey, who pursue the figure to a museum. Just after the NYPD officer on security detail leaves one of the rooms, the figure enters to retrieve a pair of sickle-like blades, only to be confronted by Raphael and Casey. The figure, a young mutant fox ninja named Alopex, manages to disarm Casey of his weapons, only to be tasered by him. In retaliation, she manages to scratch Casey with the weapons, but before she can do the same to Raphael, a vision she suddenly has causes her to ignore Raphael and head outside, only to be face-to-face with who she was really after: Tiger Claw.
As she and Tiger Claw battle, with Tiger Claw furious to find that his severed tail is now being used by Alopex as a trophy belt, Rocksteady and Bebop's support forces Alopex to abandon the fight and flee, nearly running April and Donnie off the road when they arrive in the Patrol Buggy. After regrouping with Raphael, Casey, Leo, and Mikey, Raph saves Casey from being hit by a falling air conditioner, and the team returns to the lair to investigate the blades that Alopex took from the museum.
The blades, it turns out, are the Cursed Blades of Vengeance, and hence their namesake, anyone that is so much as scratched by the blades are struck with a curse that renders them facing death at every opportunity. Casey at first doesn't believe it until several incidents in Donnie's lab convince him the curse is real and he needs to get rid of it. The only cure is to pass the curse back onto Alopex by wounding her with the blades, and the team set off to find her.
Meanwhile, as Bebop and Rocksteady ask about Alopex, Tiger Claw explains his backstory to them: He and Alopex are siblings. When they were still human and young children, a portal to Dimension X opened up on their playground. Curious to where it went, Tiger Claw and Alopex went in, only to be captured by the Kraang and experimented on, mutating them into their current animal-human hybrid states of a tiger and fox respectively. They managed to escape back to Earth, but fearing what their friends would say if they saw them in their mutated states, Tiger Claw and Alopex fled and found work in a circus, using their newfound mutant abilities to wow the audience, but it soon grew old, and they began to work as assassins in the criminal underworld. However, unable to bear being a criminal and her mutated state any longer, Alopex turned against Tiger Claw, and during a fight between them, she managed to sever Tiger Claw's tail and escape. However, thinking that the wounds he delivered to her were fatal and Alopex would not survive them, Tiger Claw forgot all about her, but now that he knows she's still alive, he will be the one to attain his vengeance, not her.
Meanwhile, the Turtles and April try to bear with Casey being cursed as the Shellraiser is nearly wrecked when it is T-boned by a garbage truck, before finding Alopex again. Casey is forced to avoid everyone's attacks thanks to his curse, before April manages to subdue Alopex long enough for the Turtles to try and convince her to hand over the Cursed Blades so they can save Casey, but Alopex refuses, revealing that she and Tiger Claw are siblings, and she won't give them the chance to help Casey until she takes her vengeance on her brother first. After managing to force April to release her from her psychic grip with a kunai, Alopex escapes to find Tiger Claw.
She finds him waiting on a rooftop, but thanks to Rocksteady and Bebop looking out for her, Alopex is soon captured in an energy net generated by a M.O.U.S.E.R., allowing Tiger Claw to take the Cursed Blades from her and prepare to take his vengeance on her. Thankfully, before he can, the Turtles arrive to save Alopex who, out of honor, agrees to help them free Casey from his curse and destroy the Cursed Blades. Once April manages to disarm Tiger Claw of one of his blasters, she uses it to freeze one of the blades, before it shatters upon hitting the side of a building. Casey manages to grab the other one after the Turtles, April, and Alopex protect him from anything that could kill him first, be it their weapons or Super Shredder's men, and once April blasts it with Tiger Claw's commandeered blaster, Casey shatters it, freeing him from the curse once and for all.
Tiger Claw soon is bested by Alopex and she has her kusarigama across his neck, preparing to decapitate him and attain her vengeance, but realizing that he's the only family she has left, Alopex shows mercy and lets Tiger Claw go. However, Tiger Claw does not honor his sister's showing of mercy, and attempts to shoot her in the back with his remaining blaster. Alopex senses her brother's intent, and before Tiger Claw realizes it, Alopex has chopped off his right hand in retaliation for his little backstab attempt, much to the shock of the Turtles, April, and Casey. Alopex then warns her brother to be thankful it was only his hand and not his life before she disappears to the rooftops once more. Rocksteady and Bebop rush to their comrade's aid, help him to his feet, and carry him to safety. The Turtles choose not to go after them.
Back in the lair, the Turtles relax and Casey celebrates no longer being cursed, but they all know they still have a valuable ally now in Alopex, as she makes her way across the rooftops of NYC, knowing that the Turtles will be there to help her along with her helping them when the need arises.
- This episode aired on December 17th in South Korea.
- The remark of Raphael comparing Alopex to Mona Lisa is a hint at the fact that the Alopex of the IDW comic series is that Raphael's girlfriend.
- Alopex is voiced by Minae Noji, the actress who voiced Tang Shen in the episode "Tale of the Yokai", and who portrayed Karai in the 2014 reboot film by Paramount.
- When the Turtles catch up with Tiger Claw and Alopex, Raphael shouts to Tiger Claw "Back off, Tony!", referencing Tony the Tiger, the mascot of the Kellogg's breakfast cereal "Frosted Flakes".