Everything comes full circle (in more ways than one).
Warning: Full spoilers for the episode follow.
As the final spacefaring episode of TMNT, “The Ever-Burning Fire” brought the Turtles’ six-month voyage to an exciting close — albeit in near-identical circumstances as when they started. But the great thing about this entry was how it brought in both the Triceratons and Lord Dregg into the race for the third black hole generator piece. Plus, it introduced a new Tokka, who was one of the Six Great Cosmic Monsters of the Universe, and the final fragment’s guardian.
This episode was nothing if not action-packed, starting with the showdown between the Turtles and Lord Dregg. I have to admit, I was a little surprised to see Dregg back so quickly after his defeat in the previous episode, but I kind of like how his non-demise has become an ongoing joke at this point. (“Man, finally! Dregg’s harder to squish than a cockroach!”) It was also a nice touch having Dregg work for the Triceratons, at least for a time.
On the lighter side of things, “The Ever-Burning Fire” debuted Chompy Picasso as Raphael’s new pet — definitely one of the cuter creature designs we’ve seen (which are few and far between on this show). In addition to serving as a nice replacement for Spike/Slash, the clever twist that Chompy was actually Tokka’s offspring was a fun reveal.
Speaking of which, how about that Tokka design? Time and again it seems the animators and artists continue to top themselves in terms of how much detailing and scale they can push on the series, and this week’s Tokka was no exception. And with Rahzar now a separate evolution of Dogpound, it was likely we were never going to get Tokka in the traditional sense, so this Kaiju-sized behemoth was a great way to incorporate him — or her, I should say. Although, if the writers wanted to be extra cruel, they could potentially mutate Chompy at some point.
The climax here was also pretty thrilling, as Dregg made off with the fragment himself. (I was really glad Fugitoid mentioned that the lava wasn’t hot enough to destroy it, as I wondered that exact thing as the piece was falling.) And the Triceratons igniting a freaking dying star was definitely a dazzling way to end things. Normally I would say Dregg seemed to finally meet his end getting sent out the airlock, but I’m hesitant to say he’s truly gone given his track record. I guess time will tell!
As for where this episode left off, I couldn’t help but feel the Turtles’ grand adventure through space was all for nought, considering they were pretty much in the exact same position they were in at the end of Season 3. However, it’s important to note a few key differences. First, there are presumably twice as many Turtles now, since “Trans-Dimensional Turtles” suggested the past Turtles are still on Earth. Also, I’m curious about Mozar’s subordinate saying he discovered something that Mozar will find “amusing.” That’s not to mention the fact that Tokka could still be out there in space, along with several other allies that could potentially pop up to help the Turtles.
In any case, I can’t wait to see how they resolve this storyline and start the next phase of Season 4. Exciting stuff, for sure!