|Within The Woods|
|Season 3, Episode 1|
|Airdate||October 3rd, 2014|
|Prev. and Next|
A Foot Too Big
Within The Woods is the first episode of Season 3 and the 53rd episode of the series overall. It aired on October 3rd, 2014.
"A 24 hour nightmare of terror!"
After having narrowly escaped from the Shredder and the Kraang, the Ninja Turtles, April, and Casey all take shelter at April's family farmhouse up-state to recover and figure out how to stop the Kraang. The Turtles deal with not having Splinter around and the possibility of Leo not making a full recovery, all while a mysterious creature stalks the gang.
The episode opens with April writing in her journal about the Kraang's invasion of New York City. She notes that the Turtles, Casey, and herself were left with no choice but to leave the city after their failure to prevent the invasion, Master Splinter from being tossed down a drain pipe by the Shredder, and Leo from being seriously hurt by the Foot Clan. As April writes and narrates about the last three months that they've spent at her family's old farmhouse, it is shown that most everything there is progressing well. Donatello and Casey have gone to work in the barnhouse, where Casey has spent time repairing a dilapidated truck and Donnie has built a lab in which he's worked on medicine for Leo. Meanwhile, Mikey has been doing chores all around the property. Raph has devoted his time to keeping a vigil over the unconscious Leo, who is now confined to a bathtub filled with water that keeps his body hydrated.
The Turtles (minus Leo), April, and Casey spar in the front yard of the farmhouse. It's not long before Donnie and Casey start to recklessly fight eachother on the ground. April breaks up the fight and tells the two that they've been acting like caged animals. Casey and Donnie reply that they've just been ''blowing off some steam'', to which Raph agrees, saying that everyone here has the right to be frustrated because of their defeat at the hands of the Kraang... and the fact that turtles don't feel as at home in a country farmhouse as they do in the sewers. Mikey then pays homage to Splinter by saying (in Splinter's voice) that they should accept the hand that the universe has dealt them. Raphael maintains that they have nothing to accept, as Master Splinter is gone and Leo might never wake up, meaning that the universe has dealt them a terrible hand.
Back in the farmhouse, Mikey starts to watch another cartoon ('Crognard the Barbarian') that he's found an addiction for, but this is cut short when Raph summons his brothers, April, and Casey upstairs, where Leo is still lying down in the bathtub. Everybody notices that Leo has woken up, so they bring Leo downstairs, where Donnie looks him over and analyzes his physical condition. Leo is astonished when he hears that he was unconscious for three months, but April reassures him by saying that they were all comforting him during his 'recovery' and that Raph was going to great pains to keep an eye on him. Leo is now talking in a much deeper voice than he was before and Casey wonders about this, only for Donnie to explain that Leo has sustained damage to his throat... and almost everywhere else on his body. Donnie then unveils a small flask filled with medicine that he somehow reverse-engineered from a batch of Mutagen. After Donnie makes Leo swallow some, Leo confesses that the medicine tasted like something that should come out of him - not to go into him...Raph gives Leo a pat on the back and tells him that the first thing they'll do tomorrow is train, promising Leo that he will be back on his feet in no time.
At the crack of dawn, Leo and Raph head outside and come across a small stream that Raph tries to encourage Leo to cross. Even with a walking stick to aid him, Leo has trouble finding his balance and is still very weak after having been struck by the Shredder, so Raph encourages Leo to find a way across the stream so he can regain his confidence. Leo takes another swig of his mutagenic medicine from the glass flask that Donnie gave him, but then starts to feel nauseous because of it and drops the flask, falling to his knees and vomiting into the dirt all of the medicine that he's swallowed. Raph and Leo start to walk back to the farmhouse where Leo can rest, but little do they know that the Mutagen in Leo's vomit has sunk down into the ground below and has affected a large portion of vegetation that manifests itself in a mutant.
Later, back in the farmhouse, Leo talks to the others and vents his thought that Splinter may not be gone for ever, as he was one of the greatest ninja masters in his century. Meanwhile, Mikey is about to start watching his new favorite cartoon again, but all of the electricity in the farmhouse goes out all of the sudden. Casey is not at all pleased about this, but Donnie calms him by saying that it is only a blown fuse - something that he can fix with ease. Soon, however, the fire in the fireplace goes out and Raph heads out into the forest with an ax to chop up some wood kindling. Once Raph is outside, he hears some rustling behind him and worries about it, only to notice a passing deer rummaging through the leaves. After the deer runs away, Raph wills himself to stop being paranoid, but he is then engulfed in many plant-like appendages that manage to cover his mouth as he starts to scream in terror.
Back in the farmhouse, every one is starting to worry about Raph not returning, so a feeble Leo mantains his leadership role and splits up two search teams to go out into the woods and look for him. Donatello is relatively dissapointed when Leo decides to pair April and Casey up for one search team, but Donnie swallows his pride and heads out with Mikey. April asks Leo if he is also coming with them, but Leo replies that he had better stay behind because of his weakened state and the fact that Raph might return to the farmhouse. Under the night sky, Casey and April head off in one direction, while Mikey and Donnie take another. While walking in the woods, April tells Casey that, when she was young, she was always afraid of the forest they're in because she thought that things were going to creep out of nowhere and eat her. Casey assures her that nothing is out here, but he then howls playfully and April backhands him. After Casey asks April about her indifference to him ever since they left New York, she angrily responds about everything they have lost. Her speech is suddenly interrupted when she gets a dependable feeling that something is watching them. Meanwhile, in a different part of the wilderness, Donatello is trying to clue Michelangelo in on what might happen with two teenagers when they're together in the woods. Mikey is uncertain about what Donnie is implying and, when Mikey spots two nearby squirrels, he quickly diverts his focus to his fear of them...
Seconds later, the two turtles come across a forest clearing and, in the center of it, is a small cabin that has its only door opening and closing. Donnie and Mikey go inside to investigate and notice tons of gardening tools and a small shrine built around the flask of medicine that Donnie had made for Leo. Just when Donnie seems to have figured out the mystery relating to the shrine, Mikey covers his brother's mouth and motions to a large mass of breathing, plant-like material lying on the ground. This 'pile' of grass wakes up, revealing itself to be a mutant plant that chases the two turtles out, until the vines holding it bound in place and stop it in its tracks. Once out of the cabin, Donnie realizes that the mutant plant-like creature is wearing Raphael's mask, and deduces that the beast is Raphael in an infected and transformed state. Mikey suddenly gets engulfed in a vine-like trap, while Donatello, screaming for help, gets cornered by the monster ('the Creep') seemingly responsible for Raph and Mikey's abrupt capture.
Hearing Donnie's screams for help, April and Casey immediately rush to where he and Mikey might be. April soon finds herself alone, however, and looks behind herself to see Casey being held up against a tree by the creature that had Donnie cornered. After April frees Casey, he and April are able to fight back hard and manage to knock off the sack (stolen from a scarecrow) on the monster's head that it was using to hide its own face. However, the mutant soon throws Casey against the trunk of a tree and this knocks him out, allowing the creature to temporarily claim Casey's hockey mask as its own. April then starts to run away from the vile swamp mutant, but the creature's rapid strides are too much for April to handle. Meanwhile, back at the farmhouse, Leo is out in the front yard trying to balance himself with the use of his Katanas, but this is cut short when April slowly walks out of the wilderness, boggling Leo. April quickly falls over and shouts out to Leo for help, just as she is grabbed on the heel by the mutant and dragged into the darkness. With injuries seriously slowing him down, Leo doesn't nearly make it to April in time, but he is forced to venture into the woods to find her and the others.
Back in the cabin in the woods, Donnie and Mikey awaken, hung by vines, to the plant-like version of Raphael. After they are able to calm their frantic brother down, the newly named 'Creep' comes in with his new catches (Casey and April) and then approaches Raphael, who whimpers like a dog. Grabbing Raphael by the head, the Creep quickly starts to suck all of the Mutagen out of Raphael and into himself, which every one else painfully watches. Once all of the Mutagen in Raph has been drained, the Creep opens up his hand and only Raph's red bandanna and the remnants of his physical form drop to the ground. Mikey spits out his outrage and is about to become the Creep's next target when Leo shouts out from outside the cabin, making the Creep walk outside to face him head-on.
Leo nervously draws his Katanas and fights the Creep with all the strength he's got. However, the Creep knocks away one of Leo's swords and knocks away Leo himself, before gaining possession of his other sword. As the Creep approaches Leonardo to put an end to his life, the blue-masked turtle desperately grabs his walking stick, which he had tossed on to the ground earlier so he could fight the Creep, and impales the Creep's head with it. With the Creep immobilized for the moment, Leo limps into the cabin and immediately notices what is explained to be Raphael's plant-like body lying on the ground. After Leo cuts his team members free, however, the Creep returns to destroy them. Despite attacking the beast with all of the tools in the cabin, the Creep reforms himself and stalks toward Leonardo, who backs up toward the shrine. The Creep stops in his advance and Leo figures that it is because of the glass flask with the medicine in it. Waving it at the Creep, Leo tosses the bottle of medicine to the others in a dangerous game of "keep away". Mikey grabs it last, but the Creep ensnares him with vines and then trudges forward to retrieve his 'treasure'.
Suddenly, Leo pounces on the Creep from behind and shatters the flask of medicine with a pitchfork, while Casey and April emerge from the cabin with chains and tie the Creep on to a tree, with Casey reclaiming his hockey mask. Their foe contained, Leo looks over to Donnie and asks him if there is any hope of Raph being saved. Donnie replies that he doesn't know, leaving every one depressed. The next morning, Raphael wakes up fully restored in the barn and, after April puts his mask on him, he is told about the whole adventure. Donnie was able to extract all of the Mutagen from the Creep with an IV tube and pumped it back into Raph's body, which reduced the Creep to the muck and slime that it originally was. Raph is told that the process took up the whole night, and is surprised when April tells him that Leo never left his side.
Turning to face his blue-masked brother, Raphael smiles at Leo and Leo does the same, saying that it's time for them to heal up and move on because they have a city to take back. Mikey cheers at the idea and they all retire in the house. Meanwhile, in the barn, the jar with the remnants of the Creep inside of it glows and cracks slightly, implying that the plant-like beast might soon return.
"We must accept the hand that the universe has dealt us." - Splinter by proxy (Mikey)
"But life must go on...." - Splinter by proxy (April)
- "I'll never forget the time we left New York City. The Kraang defeated us. Leo got badly hurt. Master Splinter is gone. We lost. We had nowhere left to go, so we came to the old farmhouse I grew up in, miles away from the city-- a place we can all be safe in. The first thing we did was take care of poor Leonardo. Raphael keeps a constant vigil over Leo, waiting for him to wake up. Michelangelo goofs around a lot, but he does ton of chores around the house. But, mostly he goofs around a lot. Donatello built a lab in the barn, trying to create a mutagenic medicine to heal Leo. And then there's me, April O'Neil. I spend most of my time training with the Turtles, and writing in my ever-expanding journal. I miss New York, my sensei, my dad. Hopefully Leo will recover and we can all go home soon, if there's even a home to go back to. But life, as Master Splinter would say, must continue on." ~ April O'Neil
- "Give me back my family, freak!" ~ Leonardo
- "Master Splinter's gone, Mikey, and Leo may never wake up. The universe dealt us a terrible hand." ~ Raphael
- "So, why does he (Leo) sound different?" ~ Casey Jones
- "He's sustained damage to his throat, pretty much everywhere else for that matter." ~ Donatello
- "You've got to be quick if you wanna be hangin' with the ninjas, daaawg!!!" ~ Michelangelo
- "What happens when two teenagers who like each other go out into the woods alone?" ~ Donatello
- "Aah, they get eaten by squirrels!" ~ Michelangelo
- "*Breathes heavily in pain* Get on your feet, Leo. Stop whining and get up!" ~ Leonardo
- "You had us worried sick, Leo. Raph barely slept." ~ April O'Neil
- "Donnie worked all night to save you (Raph). Leo never left your side." ~ April O'Neil
- "*Looks up at Raph* That's what brothers are for. We gotta heal up, Raph. We have a city to take back." ~ Leonardo
◾The beginning of the episode is based on Mirage's True Stories as well as in the 1990 film as: ◾April opens the episode by drawing the turtles, writing about how they arrived to North Hampton and describing the situation. ◾Leo is put in ice inside the tub as Raph watches him. ◾Donatello and Jones appear working inside the barn, but this time only Casey is working on the old truck as Donnie is doing some experiments. ◾The next scene shows the turtles training. ◾Raphael's plot in this episode is similar to the Mirage volume 1 story arc Down to the River, River Hymn and Old Man River, where Raphael had some of his mutagen sucked out of him by a river leech (later named Bloodsucker), which caused the leech to mutate and Raph's mutation to become undone. Bloodsucker succeeded in finding Raph and sucking out the rest of his mutagen, changing Raph into an ordinary turtle and Bloodsucker into a sentient creature. Eventually, the creature's mutagen is transferred back into Raph, who changes back to normal. The primary differences between that story and this episode are: ◾The creature, Creep, is river scum, not a leech like Bloodsucker. Creep was initially mutated by the mutagen-based medicine Donatello gave to Leonardo to help him heal. The medicine nauseated Leo and he vomited it onto the river bank and dropped the rest of the bottle. Bloodsucker's initial mutation was caused by drinking from Raph directly. ◾When Raph had his mutagen sucked out of him, he turned into a plant, not an ordinary turtle. ◾Donnie transferred the mutagen from the captive Creep back into plant-Raph to turn him back into normal. In the Mirage story, unmutated turtle Raph sucked the mutagen out of Bloodsucker directly to change both of them back to normal.
- Starting with this episode, Leonardo is voiced by Seth Green. The in-show explanation for this is that Leo sustained damage to his throat.
- This episode makes several references to the movie "Friday the 13th".
- The Creep's overall brand reads "Vorhees", much like "Voorhees" the last name of Friday the 13th's killer.
- This episode features piano-type music throughout.
- The Creep wears a hockey mask just like Jason Voorhees from the movie.
- Jason wore a sack over his head once.
- When Mikey gets tangled in vines and Creep shows up with a bag on his head, if you listen very carefully, a sample of the theme song from Friday the 13th is played.
- Ironically, there is a film called Within the Woods that has to deal with four teens staying at a cabin, in woods that are supposedly cursed.
- An eight minute preview of this episode was shown at selected Wal-Mart stores at 2pm on September 27th, 2014.