Recap / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 S 4 E 16 Prodigal Son

Leonardo returns to New York, only to find the Lair destroyed and his family missing. As he follows their movements he must piece together what happened and find his brothers and Master Splinter.

This episode provides examples of

  • Badass Boast:
    Leo: So, you are the new Shredder.
    Karai: [putting on the helmet] Yes, and I am your doom!
  • Big Brother Instinct: "Stay away from my family!"
  • Call-Back: Leo decapitates the Oroku Saki statue, just like he decapitated the Shredder's exosuit in "Return to New York Part 3".
  • Continuity Nod:
    • A minor one occurs between Leo and Mikey's cat, Klunk. In "Dragons Rising" Klunk approaches Leo in a friendly manner, but Leo is spiraling into Knight Templar-hood, and abruptly ignores him. In this episode, when Leo finds a sleeping Mikey, Klunk initially spits and snarls at Leo. Now that He's Back to his old self, the turtle's face softens and he strokes Klunk gently, at which point the cat realizes who he is and purrs appreciatively.
    • Leo references the events of "City at War, Part 3", when he fought alongside Karai, and told her she was nothing like the Shredder because she understood honor.
  • Curb-Stomp Battle: Leo effortlessly defeats Karai due to him being focused and her being consumed with revenge.
  • Good Colors, Evil Colors: A very subtle one occurs with Karai. Normally she wears pink lipstick, but for this episode she wears red lipstick, symbolizing her crossover into evil when she believed she's killed the Turtles. After Leo defeats her the next time we see her she's gone back to the pink lipstick, showing she's not so evil and such a threat anymore.
  • He's Back: When Splinter looks into Leo's eyes he can tell that his son is his old self once again.
  • He's Just Hiding!: In-Universe. Leo's reaction to Karai's claim that the other turtles and Splinter was dead.
  • Jerkass Fašade: Raph admits to Leo that he was worried that the others didn't make it, and he's relieved when told they did. Once at the new lair, though, he cops an uncaring attitude to save face.
  • Last-Second Chance: Before departing, Leo offers Karai one.
    "I'm granting you one last chance to do the right thing, Karai. Don't waste it."
  • Mythology Gag: Leo cutting off the head of the Oroku Saki statue. In the original Mirage comics, that's how Leo finished him.
  • Not So Different: Karai times two. Leo chastises her for lacking honor (like the Shredder) and for being distracted by anger (as Leo was).
  • Once More, with Clarity!: When Leo tracks his sensei and brothers, flashback scenes show again the attacks that "killed" them and how did they survive.
  • Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Defied. Leonardo goes after Karai—not to kill her for what she's done, but simply to beat her and warn her to never try to harm his family again.
  • Shout-Out: Mikey makes a reference to The Wizard of Oz when Leo finds him.
  • "The Reason You Suck" Speech: Leo to Karai during their fight.
    "I remember when we first met, Karai. We fought side-by-side, and I said you were nothing like your father. I thought you understood honor, but I was wrong. You're exactly like him. You understand nothing!"
  • Trail Of Breadcrumbs: Leo tracks down his family by following their footprints, the wreckage of their vehicles and the items they leave in their wake.
  • Worthy Opponent: Karai is rather impressed that Leo was able to infiltrate her headquarters.
    "Security is very tight and yet here you are undetected."