EPISODE THIRTY NINE
“Return to the Underground”
Written by Marty Isenberg
Original Air Date: March 6, 2004
Supervising Producer: Lloyd Goldfine
Producers: Gary Richardson, Frederick U. Fierst, Al Kahn, Norman Grossfeld, Thomas Kenney
Supervising Director: Chuck Patton
Story Editor: Lloyd Goldfine
Donatello (Sam Regal)
Leonardo (Michael Sinterniklaas)
Michelangelo (Wayne Grayson)
Raphael (Frank Frankson)
Splinter (Darren Dunstan)
Quarry / Sydney (human counterpart)
Stonebiter / human counterpart
Razorfist / human counterpart
Spider monster / human counterpart
Ram horn monster / human counterpart
Insectoid dragon monster / human counterpart
Scorpion tail monster / human counterpart
MAIN LOCATIONS, VEHICLES AND ACCESSORIES:
Intro: Donatello narrates as we see the Turtles in a cavern deep within the earth. While his brothers hold down a struggling figure ensnared in nets, Don pulls a large hypodermic needle out of his tech bag. The figure struggles free, revealing itself to be Quarry, who spits acid and attacks!
Act 1: Open on Donatello examining some of the underground crystals that the Turtles found in Episodes 13-15, trying to find a cure for the people who had been turned into monsters by the Foot geneticists. Exhausted after having been up for days, he falls asleep and dreams of the underground city where the monsters now live. Quarry, in her human, is in the dream and gives Don a clue – “hear the crystal.” Waking up, he finds that the clue works – the crystals react to sound and turn into liquid when exposed to heavy sonic bombardment. Donatello hopes to use the crystalline liquid as an antidote serum to cure the people of their mutation.
The gang decides to head underground to help the monsters. Don leads the team to his lab, where he unveils his latest creation, the Turtle Tunneler. This vehicle can burrow straight down into the earth via a huge, front-end drill. The guys pile into the snazzy new ride and tunnel their way back to the underground city. However, once they arrive, they discover that the crystal “moon” that had floated above the underground city the last time they were here is gone!
Act 2: Not only is the crystal moon missing, but the underground city is now populated with dangerous mutants. The crystal moon, Donatello reminds us, was the only thing that allowed the monsters to return to their human forms – without the moon, they all reverted to their hideous forms. The Turtle Tunneler is attacked by the spider and insectoid-dragon mutants. Don tunnels through a wall and escapes the monsters, but once they arrive on the other side, two more creatures lift the vehicle up and toss it over the ledge, where it plummets into a river of lava far below!
The Turtle Tunneler safely emerges from the molten rock (Don notes that the vehicle is lava-proof), but the guys are stalked by monsters as they make their way inside the city. The Turtles disembark and locate the still-frozen body of The Entity (see Episode 15). Donatello removes the crystal from the pedestal and a wall mysteriously opens up to reveal a hidden area. The Turtles enter the room and find more bodies being held in stasis fields – apparently the Entity was lying when he told the TMNT that he was the sole survivor of his race. The guys hear approaching creatures and Don uses the crystal to close the door, but it doesn’t hold up to the assault and crumbles away. In leaps Quarry… but she’s not happy to see the Turtles!
Act 3: Using the weaponry encased in their tech packs, the Turtles shoot concussive stun blasts at Quarry while Donatello prepares to inject her with antidote serum. Raph manages to pin the menacing mutant to the ground and Don injects her with the cure. Thankfully, Quarry reverts back into her human form and introduces herself as Sydney. We learn that the people who were forced to live underground grew tired of their life and decided to try to create their own antidote. The group needed more crystals to study, so they used explosive geodes in effort to knock some shards loose from the moon high overhead. Unfortunately, the “bombs” were too powerful and the blasts that they created caused the crystal moon to fall into the lava bed! This event plunged the underground city into darkness and everyone returned to their monstrous forms.
Don comes up with a plan to raise the crystal moon out of the lava. He will use the Tunneler to tie a crystal cable around the moon, and then the others can use the explosive geodes to topple a tower in the city. As the structure falls, it will pull the cable and raise the moon – so it will act as a gigantic winch. Sydney rides with Don in the Tunneler to navigate their course as the rest of the team surrounds the base of the tower with explosive geodes. Sydney leads Don directly to the crystal moon and he begins to wrap the cable around the giant gemstone. Meanwhile, the other three Turtles find themselves face-to-face with numerous mutants and spend their time dodging and repelling attacks. Eventually the spider mutant manages to capture them in its weird webs!
Act 4: Don and Sydney tie-off the crystal moon as the ship’s heat shields begin to fail. Donatello radios his brothers to set off the explosives – but the others are still “tied-up”. Leonardo manages to cut out of his cocoon and frees his brothers, as the mutants close in on them. Mike uses his tech-pack’s grappling ropes to swing away from the threat and set off the explosives. The tower falls, pulling the cable, which drags the crystal moon out of the lava! Donny’s plan worked!
The crystal moon’s power begins to work immediately, and the monster mutants revert to their human forms. Leo radios Don to tell him the mission was a success – but there’s no answer! It looks like Don and Sydney couldn’t escape the lava before their shields gave out. Mike, Leo and Don walk over to the lava, afraid that they’ve lost their brother – but the molten rock begins to bubble and the Turtle Tunnel er comes shooting out! Don and Sydney have survived!
The brainy ninja and his assistant then get to work on the crystals that they’ve recovered and make enough antidote to cure everyone. The TMNT then lead the people back to the surface, arriving topside just as the sun is setting. Sydney looks at the sky and sheds a tear of joy to see such a beautiful sight. She thanks the Turtles and the humans make their way into the city.
The TMNT begin jumping down the open manhole cover, but before Don can dive in, Mikey pops out and says that while Donny can sometimes be a pain in the shell, he’s proud to be his brother. Donatello leaps into the hole with a huge, satisfied grin plastered on his face.