EPISODE THIRTY FIVE
“The Ultimate Ninja”
Written by Michael Ryan
Original Air Date: February 7, 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)
April (Veronica Taylor)
Casey (Marc Thompson)
MAIN LOCATIONS, VEHICLES AND ACCESSORIES:
The Brooklyn Bridge
The Battle Shell
The Gyoji’s “war paddle”
Intro: Leo narrates as we open mid-episode, mid-crisis with Leonardo grasping a precarious hand-hold on a cable of the Brooklyn Bridge. A strange menacing figure with two katana blades approaches him and severs the cable, sending Leo on a long fall away from the camera…
Act 1: Open on a strangely costumed man appearing on a New York City rooftop. He pools some water in one of his hands from a dripping fountain, using it to create a sentient “water mirror”. The man asks to be shown the one he seeks, and a face appears in the mirror… Leonardo’s face! The man then tells the water mirror to lead him to his quarry.
Cut to Turtles’ lair. Leo is at a mirror brushing his teeth. We learn that April is living with our heroes, something that’s getting under Leonardo’s skin (since her laundry is hanging all over the bathroom and getting in his way). Leo approaches Master Splinter, wanting to discuss the living situation, but he discovers that April has been brushing out Splinter’s fur and the Sensei is delighted to have her around. Leonardo decides to drop the issue and heads to the main room of the lair. Raphael is sitting on the couch watching the local news broadcast about increased gang violence and getting upset. Donatello is examining the hover cart that April and Casey used to escape the T.C.R.I. building. Mikey is in the kitchen making popcorn is preparation for “Movie Night.” Casey arrives with a western entitled “Rio Gato”, which features a story about a young gun slinger seeking fame by taking out a respected sheriff, a tale that parallels what is about to unfold in respect to Leo and the strange man hunting him. Once the movie is completed, Mikey complains that he’s still hungry and thus the gang heads out in the Battle Shell to get some ice cream.
Act 2: Our heroes are in an alley eating ice cream. The Turtles doubt the veracity of the western’s story, sighting that the kid had more skills than the Sheriff. Splinter surmises that the Sheriff may have won because he fought for honor and integrity while the young gun slinger fought for selfish goals, or perhaps it was just a movie that required a happy ending. As the guys continue to talk, the mystery man arrives and throws a dagger at the back of Leonardo’s head. At the last moment, Leo spins and catches the blade. The knife has a tassel on its end that Splinter recognizes. Everyone takes defensive positions, and the otherworldly ninja emerges from the shadows. The man explains that he had come here to battle the Shredder in order to claim the title of Earth’s mightiest warrior. However, Leo had beat the fellow to the punch when he defeated Shredder in episode #23. Thus the ninja has come to challenge Leonardo to a duel. The Turtles and Casey form a defensive position beside Leonardo and Raph tells the warrior that anyone that messes with Leo is messing with him as well.
The visitor looks surprised and states that this is against the rules – Master Splinter looks at him and acknowledges that he’s aware of that. The Turtles are surprised that Splinter seems to know what this crazy dude is talking about. The strange ninja pulls a small paddle drum out of his cloak and uses it to summon an even stranger figure – the referee Gyoji – a masked, transparent figure that floats in the air, sitting in the lotus position. The Gyoji forms a force field around the group and tells Leonardo that he must choose; if he refuses the challenge, his allies’ lives will be forfeit, but if he accepts the challenge, they will be spared. Splinter tells his son that he must decide on what to do, and Leo states there is no choice – he has to accept the challenge. The Gyoji nods and the visiting ninja promises Leonardo that he will be defeated. Splinter walks up to the Gyoji and demands “full observance,” which is granted, although the weird ninja isn’t happy about it. The Gyoji then creates a puddle of water that Leo sinks into as if it were quicksand. Raph rushes to try to help his brother, but he arrives too late and Leo is gone. The Gyoji creates a large water mirror that will broadcast the battle to come.
Leonardo arrives in Central Park and the visiting ninja sneaks up behind him, preparing to attack!
Act 3: Leo isn’t caught unaware and the fight begins. Leo’s swords flash while his foe favors the spear-like kusari-gama and his tekko kagi, a steel-clawed glove. Leonardo gets the best of his adversary, who jumps onto the roof of a passing truck and escapes. Leonardo leaps into some trees and quickly catches up with the vehicle and launches an attack against the ninja. The battle is intense, and neither seems to maintain the upper hand for long. Unfortunately Leonardo’s katanas get stuck into the truck’s roof and he must leave them behind as his foe retreats to the top of the Brooklyn Bridge.
On the top of the bridge, the alien warrior begins to win the fight by using a questionable tactic, blowing green dust into Leonardo’s face. Back in the alleyway, Raphael accuses the ninja of cheating. The Gyoji notes the charge, but Raphael isn’t satisfied, he demands intervention. The Gyoji ignores the red-faced Turtle, which enrages Raph all the more and he leaps at the referee. The Gyoji states that interference is unacceptable and he surrounds Raph in a personal-sized force field, trapping him. Splinter approaches his son and tells him to calm down – watching the duel is difficult, but that is their role. The rules state that all charges are considered at the end of the battle, not during. The Sensei then approaches the Gyoji and demands the familial right of attendance. The referee grants this and the force field ball surrounding the group melts into the ground and reemerges on the top of the Brooklyn Bridge where the skirmish is taking place. By this time, Leonardo has regained his feet and the tide of battle has turned in his favor – much to everyone’s joy.
Unfortunately, Leo’s situation changes quickly. The alien ninja kicks Leonardo towards the edge of the roof, and then rushes him. The warrior delivers an open-fisted blow to the Turtle’s chest, which forces him over the side and he begins to fall!
Act 4: Leonardo manages to grab onto some cables to stop his descent, but the ninja leaps down and cuts them. Once again Leo plummets towards the river far below. Fortunately, during the battle Leonardo managed to gain possession of his foe’s tekko kagi (clawed glove). The Turtle is able to stop his fall by stabbing the glove’s blades into the concrete bridge support – which slows his descent and eventually stops it – not too many feet from the surface of the water!
On the top of the Brooklyn Bridge, the warrior claims victory and proclaims himself to be the Ultimate Ninja. As the man gloats and congratulates himself, Leonardo makes it to the rooftop and informs the fellow that he hasn’t won yet. This time Leonardo wastes no time disarming his quarry of his swords and then uses them to pin the man’s head to the ground. Unable to move without risking severing his head, the Ultimate Ninja surrenders and the Gyoji proclaims Leonardo as the victor. The force field around the others fades away and they rush to Leo’s side, congratulating him. Splinter tells his son that he is very proud of him, and gives him a hug.
The Ultimate Ninja turns out to be a sore loser. The villain pulls out some more green dust, but this time he uses it to create a nasty mystical dragon that attacks our heroes. Before the beast can cause any harm, it is cleaved in half! As the green smoke clears, we see a gigantic warrior standing with a single blade. The Gyoji bows and welcomes his “Majesty”. We learn that this gargantuan figure is actually the Ultimate Ninja’s father, the Ultimate Daimyo. The Daimyo explains that his people had visited the Earth long ago, and had been treated like gods. Before they departed, the Daimyo’s kinsmen had taught those humans who were deemed worthy the mystic fighting art of Ninjitsu. The giant then reprimands his son, admonishing him for fighting without permission and without honor. The Ultimate Ninja cowers before his father. The Ultimate Daimyo then turns to Leonardo and congratulates him on his honorable victory. Leonardo smiles and then the majestic warrior uses his powers to summon Leonardo’s lost katanas (that had been stuck in the truck’s roof way back in Central Park). The Ultimate Daimyo and Leo bow to one another and then the mighty warrior and his companions melt into a puddle and are gone.
Our heroes began the long walk down the bridge on their way home. Raphael asks Master Splinter to explain what just happened, and the Sensei replies: “Patience. When the time is right, all will be made clear.”