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|“The Search for Splinter, Part 1”|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episode|
Donatello is the eye in the sky.
|Original airdate||October 25, 2003|
|Written by||Greg Johnson|
|Supervising Producer||Lloyd Goldfine|
|Frederick U. Fierst|
|Supervising Director||Chuck Patton|
|Story Editor:||Lloyd Goldfine|
- Donatello (Sam Regal)
- Leonardo (Michael Sinterniklaas)
- Michelangelo (Wayne Grayson)
- Raphael (Frank Frankson)
- Splinter (Darren Dunstan)
- April O'Neil (Veronica Taylor)
- Casey Jones (Marc Thompson)
Main Locations, Vehicles and Accessories
- Foot HQ
- The Shredder’s Throne Room
- The Sewer Lair
- NYC Streets, Rooftops and Sewer Tunnels
- The TCRI Facility
Leonardo: The roar of the crowds, the smell of the greasepaint, the death defying thrill of the high-wire. Trust me, this is no circus and if you think it's tough for a Turtle to walk a tightrope, try four. If we fall, we're pavement paint, but if we make it, we just may finally find our missing Master Splinter. We also might learn the answer to a secret that's plagued us our entire lives—how and why we became Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.
In the Turtles' lair, April informs the guys that she's been unable to find any clues as to where Master Splinter may have disappeared. Raph is pounding away on a heavy punching bag and loses what's left of his cool - the angry ninja draws his sais and cuts the bag open, and then declares that he's tired of sitting around and it's time to go out searching. Everyone heads out separately to cover more ground. Mike uses the Sewer Slider to explore the tunnels beneath the city, while Raph scours the streets on the Shell Cycle. Donatello uses his hang glider to check the rooftops, April searches the junk yard in the Battle Shell and Leonardo prowls the streets.
Raphael doesn't find any clues regarding his Sensei, but he does spot a thug car-jacking an innocent citizen. The ninja turtle chases the stolen vehicle through the city streets, dodging numerous debris that the thief crashes into in attempt to throw his pursuer off the trail. Eventually Raphael catches the criminal and pulls him out of the car, but before he can give the thief a beating, the other three Turtles arrive on the scene and tell their brother to lay off the hood and get back on track. Reluctantly, Raph lets the punk go as police sirens grow louder. April pulls up in the Battle Shell and our heroes take their leave.
After their fruitless search of the city, the Turtles decide the mysterious Guardians may know something about Splinter’s sudden disappearance from the rooftop after the defeat of Shredder and the Foot, and the whacked-out Baxter Stockman. The TMNT hatch a plan to lure one of the Guardians back to the scene of the crime, Shredder's rooftop palace.
Their plan works and a Guardian drops in to see why the Foot symbol has been relit. Mike has made a dummy of the Shredder that the Guardian mistakes for the real thing and cuts down. The Utrom protector discovers that he's been tricked as he eyes the dummy and Mike emerges from the shadows chuckling. The Guardian isn't amused and draws his blade on the mutant. The other Turtles surround the Guardian and demand to know where Master Splinter is. The man tells them that he can't answer their questions. Mike plants a homing device on the Guardian's sword just before he disappears in a cloud of smoke. The TMNT follow the man back to a plain looking building in the city. April arrives in the Battle Shell and everyone climbs inside.
Donatello uses a remote controlled "turtle cam" to enter the building. At the front desk we see a large logo for TCRI. When the guys see those letters, they realize that they're the same that were on the mutagen container back in the lair, the one that slimed them with ooze and caused their mutation! Don tries to steer the turtle cam to the security room to try to override the building's systems and allow our heroes to investigate, but the camera is destroyed when a man wheels a cart out of the room the small remote robot was trying to enter. April wants to know what they'll do next, and Leo states that they must investigate the TCRI building. The team heads back to the sewer lair to make plans.
Assuming the building holds some answers about Master Splinter, with the help of April and Casey, the Turtles develop a plan to break in to the TCRI facility. The plan calls for Casey to create a diversion that allows April to sneak into the central security system room and provide the Turtles guidance about how to get into the facility.
April enters the building and claims to have an appointment with famed TCRI mogul, Mr. Mortu. The guard states that Mortu doesn't make appointments with people, and April pretends to lose her temper. Just then, Casey comes storming into the lobby with a toaster, posing as an irate, and insane, customer. Jones does his bit and starts busting up the lobby, getting the two security guards to concentrate on him. April then slips unnoticed into the security control room and communicates with the guys via Shell Cell. At firs, O'Neil is boggled by the advanced technology in the room, but she quickly figures out how to get inside the system.
After the TMNT fail to break into the TCRI building by using air ducts on the roof (they were fake) and cutting through a window (the glass wouldn't cut), April discovers an air vent on the side of the building. The vent is hidden by a holographic image.
Casey continues smashing up the lobby and the guards finally lose their cool. They seal the doors and windows with armor and then their eyes begin to glow white. The female security guard grabs Casey's bat and breaks it in half. Jones gets nervous and radios the TMNT that things aren't going too good, but Raph tells him to keep distracting the guards. Casey isn't confident that he can keep the ruse up for much longer...
Donatello suspects the opening April discovered may be booby-trapped with hi-tech security measures. However, before the brainy ninja can verify his suspicions, Mikey pops his head through the hologram and into the vent. Sure enough, Michelangelo triggers a trap that sends a bolt of energy out of the ventilation shaft. Mikey pulls his torso out of the hole in time, but the force of the blast causes him to lose his hold on the side of the building. Mikey falls and Don tries to catch him, but the falling Turtles' momentum is too strong and both brothers begin to plummet towards the ground, nine stories below!
(Donny holds a pigeon puppet in front of the camera)
- Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles #4 was the basis of this episode and the next one.
- This marks the first time the Utroms are revealed in the flesh.
- First appearance of the TCRI building.
- April claimed to come from TMNT University (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles).