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5 out of 5
“The Lonely Mutation of Baxter Stockman” is the 16th episode of season 2 and the 42nd overall. In this episode, Shredder decides to douse Baxter with mutagen as punishment for his many failures and for not having any decent ideas. Baxter, after having the mutagen make contact with him turns into a half human/half fly mutant!
Meanwhile, Donatello finally perfects the retro-mutagen but can only get two vials of the antidote. He intends to use it on April’s father Kirby and Splinter in an attempt to return them to their human forms. The Turtles, along with April and Casey set out to find Kirby but Baxter-fly gets in the way. Meanwhile, Rahzar learns that the turtles have the retro-mutagen that could turn him human again and sends his Foot-bots in to steal it from the Turtles. It all escalates into a sky high battle above the city between the Turtles, Kirby, April, Casey, Baxter and the robotic Foot Soldiers!
--Some spoilers below--
I complained about last week’s episode because it felt like a throw away episode, but this week they turned it around completely! A wildly action packed episode that introduces new mutations and also closes the chapter on some of the existing mutants! I was grinning from ear to ear while watching this one! In addition to all of the cool elements of this episode, there are some really neat little references to the potential future of this show. Towards the beginning of the episode when Baxter is talking to Shredder about future ideas for mutants he has a picture of a duck in a hat and bomber jacket with the description “A. Duck” scribbled underneath, possibly hinting that Ace Duck from the 80s toyline and series could soon be showing up in this series as well! Also, when Shredder prepares to release the mutagen onto Baxter, in a last minute panic, Baxter yells out that he has big plans to create an army of mutant pigs and rhinos. Any fan of the 80s show should know what that means! In addition to new character art released on Playmates website of Bebop and Rocksteady re-designed, it seems like they may very well be on the show soon! My only confusion in this episode is that Donatello promised Mutagen Man (in an earlier episode) that he would be the first person that they turn back, but he isn’t thought about once after Donnie perfects the retro-mutagen. Perhaps it’s an oversight, perhaps it’s because Mutagen Man is frozen and thawing him out pre-maturely could harm him or maybe it’s because it just doesn’t fit with the storyline that they’re working on.
Regardless, it’s episodes like this one that remind me just why I love this incarnation of the Turtles series! It’s without a doubt the best yet and I look forward to seeing where they go from here!!