Recap / Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2003 S 4 E 5 I Monster

The Turtles and Casey have gone to an abandoned suburb to train, but quickly discover they're not alone. As the darkness closes in, The Rat King starts to play a very twisted game with our heroes...

This episode provides examples of

  • Adaptational Badass: The Rat King. In his first comic appearance, he didn't have any major fighting skills; he relied on vantage points. This version is the Slayer from last season—a Super Soldier that can take on all five heroes at once and survive all kinds of punishment.
  • Adaptational Villainy: In his first comic appearance, the Rat King only menaced the Turtles and Casey because he sincerely believed they were other monsters trying to take his territory from him. Also, he only fed dead or dying animals to his rats before the heroes came along, whereas this episode implies he's been feeding them humans for some time.
  • Authority Equals Asskicking: Leo's the only one of the group who can face the Rat King one on one.
  • Ax-Crazy: The Rat King
  • Badass Boast: "They fled by now, but I will haunt their nightmares for many days to come. I am the monster they will never escape! Everything fears me! Everything except... the rat."
  • Bandaged Face: The Rat King
  • Batman Gambit: Faced with multiple foes, the Rat King runs. He gets them pursue him into a massive feeding area for his little friends.
  • The Beastmaster: The Rat King uses hordes of rats to attack the Turtles and Casey
  • But for Me, It Was Tuesday: Leo finds the Rat King's moves familiar, but without proper context, he can't tell from where.
  • Clone Degeneration: The Rat King
  • Flashback: The Rat King repeatedly experiences flashes of his creation and prior encounter with the Turtles.
  • I Am a Monster: The Rat King asserts this in his opening monologue and is proud of it.
  • Mythology Gag: Since the episode itself adapts the Rat King's first appearance, his monologues are lifted pretty much wholesale from that issue.
  • Nightmare Fuel Station Attendant: In his final monologue, the Rat King expresses certainty he'll haunt his foes' nightmares for many days to come.
  • Not Quite Dead: The Rat King is presumably devoured by his rats, but the ending reveals he's still alive.
  • Oh, Crap!: The Rat King when he looks at a shuriken and remembers facing the Turtles before.
  • Rage Breaking Point: Leo's anger this season comes out, as he has enough of the Rat King and fights him one on one.
  • Save the Villain: During their fight, Leo tries to push the Rat King out of the way of a building collapse.
  • Shout-Out: The name of the episode comes from the title of the Rat King's first appearance in the Mirage comics, but that title was a reference to Isaac Asimov's novel, I, Robot.
  • Suddenly Voiced: In his first appearance as the Slayer in "Bishop's Gambit", the Rat King didn't speak. Here, he speaks in the Cold Open and at the end of the episode. He also laughs and lets out a Big "NO!" at one point.
  • Swarm of Rats: the Rat King repeatedly tries to take down the Turtles by using hundreds of hungry rats
  • Taking You with Me: The Rat King tries to drag Leo down to the rats with him.
  • Tempting Fate: Casey notes they're just rats and asks how bad they could be. Mikey points to the bones lying on the ground.
  • The Unreveal: Inverted. To the characters, the Rat King is practically a Giant Space Flea from Nowhere, and they're left with only questions about this adventure. The audience, however, quickly learns he is Bishop's lost super soldier.
  • You Dirty Rat!: Whilst Master Splinter normally subverts this trope, this episode plays it very straight with the rat hordes, even giving the rats evil red eyes.