|Rise of the Turtles|
|Original broadcast||September 29, 2012|
|Directed by|| Michael Chang|
|Written by|| Joshua Sternin|
|Next episode||Turtle Temper|
Rise of the Turtles is the two part first episode of the first season of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles. It originally aired September 29th, 2012.
Deep under New York City, the Turtles are sparring in the Lair; Leonardo against Michelangelo, and Raphael against Donatello. Leonardo and Raphael win their respective fights and then duel each other, with Raphael coming out the winner. Splinter says they all did very well, and humbles Raphael for gloating about his victories.
Later Splinter and the Turtles celebrate their Mutation Day over a meal of algae and worms, and Splinter tells the story of how they became a family. One day while he was still human, he bought four baby turtles at a pet store. A strange man bumped him on the street, and sensing something "off" about him, decided to follow. He found the stranger exchanging a canister of mutagen with another strange man. Suddenly a rat screeched, giving away his position. The strange men attacked and a fight broke out, with the canister breaking in the process. Splinter and the four baby turtles mutated, and they kept the broken canister ever since.
After the story ends, Leonardo asks Splinter if they can go to the surface now that they're all fifteen. Splinter refuses at first, but after some more pleading he agrees to let them go that night. Before going out, Leonardo watches his favorite show "Space Heroes", mimicking the characters' poses and dialogue exactly. Raphael makes fun of him, but Leonardo wants to be a great hero just like Captain Ryan from the show. Then Donatello and Michelangelo join them and they prepare to leave. Splinter sees them off with many words of caution, but especially warns them to stay away from people.
Once on the surface, the Turtles are fascinated by the city. Soon they happen upon a pizza delivery boy. Raphael scares him away, but a pizza box falls off his bike and lands on the ground. The group moves from the street to the rooftops where they are less exposed, taking the pizza with them out of curiosity. Michelangelo volunteers to taste the strange food first. Not only is it safe, it's delicious, and the turtles soon devour the whole thing.
After more roof hopping, Leonardo decides it's time they went home, but Donatello spots a teenage girl on the street with her father and is immediately smitten with her. Suddenly a van pulls up in front of the two humans and a lot of strange men approach them. Leonardo is reluctant to disobey Splinter's orders to stay away from people, but the other three go anyway and he is forced to follow.
Just as the girl is about to get thrown into the van with her father, the Turtles come to her rescue, but they keep getting in each other's way during the fight. The girl is also just as scared of them as she is of her attackers. Just when Donatello starts to gain her trust, Michelangelo accidentally hits him in the head with his nunchucks. Then they both get knocked down, the men take the girl, and the van drives off. Donatello chases after them with Leonardo and Raphael.
Michelangelo starts to follow them but is confronted by one of the bad guys. When his nunchucks prove useless, he tries to run but ends up cornered in an alley. He swings blindly at his attacker with his kusarigama, and is shocked to find that the man is actually a robot with a brain-like alien in his torso. After a brief struggle with the alien, Michelangelo catches up with his brothers and tells them what he saw, but they don't believe him.
The Turtles go home in shame, where Splinter scolds them for their failure to work together that let the bad guys get away. He decides they still aren't ready for the surface world and considers training them for another year, but Donatello objects that the innocent people who were kidnapped can't wait that long to be rescued. Splinter agrees that they must be saved, and says that in order to fight more effectively as a unit the Turtles need a leader. Leonardo volunteers for the role, but his brothers argue about it. Splinter chooses Leonardo, much to Raphael's frustration.
Back on the surface, Leonardo leads the group to stake out a building with the same logo that was on the kidnappers' van. He believes that one of the bad guys will show up for them to interrogate if they wait long enough. Two hours pass, and just as Raphael complains that they're wasting their time, the same van from before pulls up. As soon as the driver gets out the Turtles surround him, but he surprises them with a laser gun and drives off in the van. The Turtles take to the roofs and the chase is on.
Eventually Leonardo uses a throwing star to pop one of the van's tires, causing it to crash. When the Turtles get closer to investigate, a canister of mutagen rolls out of the back of the van. They recognize it as the same kind that mutated them in the past.
Continuing where Part 1 episode left off, the Turtles are standing by the crashed van wondering over the mutagen they just found. Leo reasons that the kidnappers they're after are somehow connected to their mutation fifteen years ago. Mikey continues to insist that said kidnappers are alien robots, and tries to prove it by pulling off the driver's face, but the man (named Snake) is just an ordinary human. When The Turtles interrogate Snake, they learn that he works for The Kraang, that they have been kidnapping scientists, and are planning to take them out of the city that night.
The Turtles have Snake take them to the Kraang's lair, which is heavily guarded. As Leo, Raph, and Donnie argue about how to free the hostages, Mikey accidentally lets Snake escape. The Turtles chase after him, but when Leo and Raph find his hiding place, they decide to trick him instead of capture him. Leo makes a fake plan to use Snake's van to drive into the enemy headquarters, knowing that Snake can hear him. The Turtles then return to the lair to gear up.
At the lair, while the Turtles prepare for their mission, Leo asks Splinter why he chose him to be the leader. Splinter says he must discover that on his own. Then Leo voices his fear of failing to Splinter. Splinter says failure is something every leader must be prepared to face and tells him the story of his greatest failure: his last battle with his rival Shredder, which ended in the losses of his wife Tang Shen and their child Miwa.
Later, Snake and the Kraang are waiting for the Turtles to show up. As Snake expected, the van comes speeding toward the building and explodes in a fiery crash. A canister of mutagen flies out of the van and splashes Snake, causing him to mutate. Meanwhile, the Turtles use the crash as a distraction so they can sneak into the base unnoticed.
Once inside they find the place full of alien robots, proving that Mikey was right all along. They fight their way through the enemy lair until they find the cell where the girl, April, and her dad are trapped. Just as they get the doors open, more robots come and carry them off. The Turtles give chase but are stopped outside by the now monstrous Snakeweed. Leo, Raf and Mikey stay and fight him (and more robots) while Donnie goes to rescue April and her dad, who are taken to a helicopter.
Donnie grabs onto the helicopter as it takes off. While he struggles with the Kraang, April falls out. He has to let go to save her, allowing the Kraang to escape with her father. They go back to join the other Turtles, where Leo has come up with another plan to defeat the robots and Snakeweed. They taunt the Kraang into shooting at a power generator, and the explosion covers their escape. The Turtles take April to her aunt's apartment and vow not to rest until they rescue her father.
Back at the lair, Splinter praises Leo for his success. Leo thinks he understands why Splinter chose him to be the leader now, saying that he sensed in him a true warrior's spirit that would forge them all into heroes. Splinter, however, says the real reason was simply that Leo asked to be the leader. Then Mikey interrupts, saying that they made the news. The anchorman on TV reports that there are "Ninjas in New York" after police found one of their shuriken.
Meanwhile, in Tokyo, Japan, Shredder sees the same news report and recognizes the symbol on the shuriken. He believes that Splinter is training a ninja army in New York and decides it's time to pay him a visit.