|Season 3, Episode 3|
|Airdate||October 17th, 2014|
|Prev. and Next|
A Foot Too Big
Buried Secrets is the third episode of Season 3 and the 55th episode overall.
"Mother knows best."
The Turtles discover a lost Kraang scout ship under the house and find April's lost mother. However, Mikey has his suspicions that April's mother may not be who she appears to be and, even though no one believes him, they soon learn that Mrs. O'Neil is actually a Kraang creature.
While cleaning up the farmhouse olympic style, the Turtles, April, and Casey manage to locate a trapdoor on the floor that Mikey discovers after he is accidentally pushed down the stairs by Casey. April is caught off-guard by the trapdoor, commenting that she never knew there was a basement in the farmhouse. After Leo wonders what could be down there, Raph remarks that there is only one way to find out before opening up the trapdoor with his Sais. With Leo going down first, the other team members follow his lead and inspect what (at first) appears to be a completely empty basement. Upon further looking, however, the team comes across the startling sight of a Kraang Scout Ship!! Donnie approaches the dusty hovercraft and it only requires a brief glance for him to determine that it has been resting in this very spot for dozens of years. With April striving to find out why this craft is here, Donnie opens up the ship and the team steps inside it to learn more.
Once inside, they find what seems to be a stasis beam and spot the silhouette of a person encased inside it. Despite Donnie's warnings not to touch anything, Mikey backs up and accidentally strikes a switch with his elbow, which causes the stasis beam to open and release whoever stands within it. As the containment unit opens and the smoke in it clears, April gasps with recognition as the familiar form of her long lost mother awakens to the living world and stumbles out. Mrs. O'Neil screeches at the sight of the Turtles and, when she notices April, she is greatly startled as well. Before the Turtles and Casey know it, both women pass out in their arms, the shock being too much for them to cope with. Later, after both April and her mom awaken, April pours her a cup of tea in the living room and, despite still feeling unstable around the Turtles, Mrs. O'Neil takes a deep breath and begins to explain the story behind the Kraang Scout Ship. According to her, the inactive (presumably crashed) Kraang ship was actually where it is now before the farmhouse was even built. One day, April's great grandfather ventured into the basement and came across the ship, awakening a group of Kraang within it in the process. The Kraang repaid the great-grandad for their reawakening by holding him captive and experimenting on his entire bloodline extensively, altering its future and causing April to become valued by the Kraang after her birth, as they came to realize that her modified genetic code could perfect their Mutagen in this dimension. After April's birth, it became clear to her mother and father that she was very special. Before long, the two plotted to escape the farmhouse with her, but an army of Kraang arrived there. Kirby managed to drive off to New York City in the Party Wagon with April inside, while April's mother was captured and put into stasis. When April's mom finishes explaining the story, she hugs April tightly, proclaiming that they can finally be a family again... sans April's dad. April's mom wonders where Kirby is and, while Casey lets slip that he got turned into a mutant, Leo dismisses this and fabricates a tale that Kirby traveled to a safari in Puerto Rico and won't be returning for a while. Casey and the Turtles seem pleased with the happy reunion between mother and daughter, save for Mikey, whose 'turtle vibes' start going off the charts. His intuition doesn't trust April's mom and, later that night, when she and April are relaxing on the swinging bench outside, Mikey appears from behind a bush and locks eyes with April's mom before swinging his Nunchuks at her.
April is completely puzzled by this unexpected assault and pins Mikey as her mother runs away, screeching in fear. Mikey is about to explain what little reasoning was behind his sudden attack, but April doesn't want to hear it and immediately goes rushing after her mother. Mikey follows her in order to make amends, but is stopped at the farmhouse doorway by Raph, who immediately takes Mikey into the barn to reprimand him in front of the others. Under the heat of an intense light, Mikey gets yelled at by his brothers and Casey for attacking an innocent person. Mikey explains that he doesn't trust her and that she is 'all kinds of wrong', but when his brothers mention instances when he's told outlandish things to them (such as the time he said tiny elves stole his Nun-Chucks and replaced them with mozzarella sticks, and the other time he said that he and Ice Cream Kitty entered a break dancing contest), it's clear that the only way Mikey will make every one believe him is to somehow prove he's right.
Later, April finds her mom outside, trying to drown out the shock of Michaelanglo's assualt by reflecting on the pleasant memories of her and April in the past. Clutching her daughter's hands, Mrs. O'Neil says that both she and April should just drive off from the farmhouse, leave those 'freaks' behind, and start fresh. April is reluctant to do this because the Turtles are like a second family to her and have had her back for a long time, so she wouldn't want to live her life without them. This prompts April's mom to leave her daughter with two choices - either be with her real family or her turtle family. As her mom walks away, April thinks deeply about this.
Later, in the farmhouse kitchen, Mikey is upset that no one ever believes him and plays around with Ice Cream Kitty, spraying the top of his head with whipped-cream when the feline mutant suddenly begins to growl and hiss, directing Mikey's attention to a nearby open window. Stepping closer to get a good look, Mikey sees April's mom sneaking off into the woods and acting suspicious. With 'encouragement' from the Ice Cream Kitty, Mikey walks out of the house and silently follows her. While walking into the woods, 'Mrs. O'Neil's' head swivels and reveals a grotesque-looking face that makes Mikey shudder in fright. Stopping by a pond, Mom unscrews the lid on a canister of Mutagen (that she likely stole) in her arms and is about to pour it into the pond water when Mikey uses his Kusurigama chain to latch on to the vial and drag it away, causing some of the Mutagen to pour on the ground. Mom calls Mikey a fool, though also comments that what Mikey suspected all along is true - she is a servant of the Kraang with the aim to capture April and deliver her to her masters to please them. Now that Mikey knows the full truth, however, 'Mrs. O'Neil' refuses to let Mikey reveal that truth to the others.
Mikey screams as he is set upon and attacked, only for the scene to switch to the inside of the Kraang Scout Ship, where Donnie has burdened himself with looking over data from the cryotube's computers to see exactly what happened to Mrs. O'Neil when she was kidnapped by the Kraang. During the middle of his research, Mikey enters the craft and surprises Donnie, but April then shows up as well, asking Donnie if he has seen her mother hanging around anywhere. Donnie denies having seen her, while a strange-acting Mikey assures April that her mom is probably all right, and that he will help look for her later if she wants him to. April immediately shoots down Mikey's offer for assistance, still upset with the orange-masked turtle for his previous actions. Once April has left the scene, Donnie finally returns to his work, only to discover a shocking secret about the true nature of Mrs. O'Neil. However, before he can go inform his brothers of the important discovery he's made, 'Mrs. O'Neil' herself appears suddenly, slams the laptop that Donnie was using into the floor, and attacks Donatello with her Kraang-like arms.
Minutes later, Leo arrives and sees Donatello standing perfectly fine in front of the Kraang ship's computer screens. Thinking he had seen April's mom come in here, Leo asks the purple-masked genius whether he has seen her or not, to which the turtle quickly answers with a no. Leo is hesistant to accept that response, particularly when he notices the shattered laptop lying on the floor. Knowing that Donnie would never readily do that to technology, Leo quickly makes up the excuse that he was mistaken and turns around to leave, but Donnie sprouts Kraang-like arms from the sides of his body and thrusts them in Leo's direction. Quickly taking out one of his Katanas to slash one of Donnie's incoming arms, Leo loses his balance and drops to the floor, only to catch a glimpse of the Kraang-like Donnie. Pushing himself to escape, Leo manages to reach the nearby staircase, but his injuries severely slow him down, and one broken stair seals his fate. Up in the living room, watching a Halloween show, Raphael hears Leonardo's screams and immediately rushes downstairs to aid his brother from what seems to have been a tough fight.
While panting, Leo quickly explains to Raph that Mikey was right, and that April's mom really is some type of alien creature. Believing his brother, Raphael tugs out his Sais, asking Leo if he knows where the creature is. Leo responds 'here', indicating that 'Mrs. O'Neil' has somehow shapeshifted into him and had done the same with Mikey and Donnie. Fighting for survival against a now Kraang-like 'Leo', Raphael manages to cut himself free from his false brother's Kraang-like arms and escapes by using a smoke bomb to disappear. Meanwhile, outside, Casey and April are both seated on the swinging bench in the front yard as April tells Casey that her mother is planning on leaving tonight, too mistrustful of the Turtles to stay. Mom wants April to come with her, but April has no clue if she should go or not. Casey is unhappy about Mrs. O'Neil's fixed desire, but understands if April really wants to leave with her mom. Just then, Raphael comes running out of the farmhouse, fiercely panting for breath. He quickly tells Casey and April everything that Mikey had told them before was right, which the two immediately disbelieve. April's 'mom' then comes out of the house, alarming Raph, causing the turtle to take a defensive position with his Sais. He demands to know what she's done with his brothers, but 'Mrs. O'Neil' keeps on walking forward. Dubbing her the 'Mom-Thing', Raphael gets ready to attack, but April then steps in to stop him and gets grabbed on the wrist by her mom, who starts to pull her away. When April cries out for her 'mother' to let go, 'Mrs. O'Neil' turns around and reveals her true face to April before attacking.
'Mrs. O'Neil's innocuous human form quickly transforms into a giant, grotesque, and mutant-like spider creature, which immediately horrifies April, Casey, and Raph and chases them in the direction of the barn. Casey manages to get his hands on the ax imbedded in the tree stump outside and makes a dash into the barn with it, along with April and Raph. Casey helps Raph barricade the barnhouse doors so that Mom-Thing can't follow them in. However, the blockade does little to stop the monster, as it simply burrows underneath the barn and soon bursts inside. Her head then bisects, making her look even more freakish and, when Raphael asks for options on how to stop her, April's refreeze idea quickly gets replaced by Casey's crazy stunt to flash fry. The electricity from a nearby power box inflicts some damage on the monster, but not enough, so Raph and Casey decide to tackle the Mom-Thing head on and try to hack it into pieces with the ax. This effort fails, as both guys get caught in a massive visceral suction tube protruding from Mom-Thing's body and get pulled into it.
Standing alone, April is now faced with the horror of the creature she had believed to be her mother, which cajoles her to unite with it and all of the others it's swallowed (Mikey, Donnie, Leo, Raph, and Casey). When April refuses, the creature's suction tube latches on to her, but April resists the creature's pull and her mental powers get the better of her when the situation escalates, blowing up the Mom-Thing into slimy chunks. All of the Turtles and Casey that Mom-Thing swallowed are released and remain alive and well. Later, back inside the Kraang Scout Ship, Donatello reveals the truth on what he found out about the creature. The creature that April destroyed was nothing more than an extremely dangerous Kraang inflitration experiment that utilized a combination of Kraang and Mrs. O'Neil DNA, along with retaining many of Mrs. O'Neil's memories. Since this creature that the Kraang created proved to be dangerous to them, they put it in a deep freeze in the stasis beam, wanting it to remain in there forever.
Leo convinces his brothers to save this discussion for another time, as April is disenchantedly sitting on the floor and feeling like she has lost her entire family all over again, even though the being she destroyed really wasn't her mom. Leo then offers a hand to get her back up, telling her that she shouldn't lose her hope and to trust him on that. Mikey also cheers April up by saying that she doesn't have to be sad, as the Turtles have now become her temporary family. This touching moment is ruined not long after, however, as Mikey brags to his three brothers due to being right about 'Mrs. O'Neil's strangeness. Donnie stops this bout of gloating when he rememebers Mikey having mentioned something about a little Mutagen being spilled in the woods. Raph then questions Mikey as to where the spilling happened, but Mikey doesn't remember the exact location and Leo fears that this will all lead to disaster. Meanwhile, near the pond in the woods, a band of frogs with the Mutagen on their heads carelessly hop around, unaware of the changes that will soon reach them...
- The episode is inspired by John Carpenter’s The Thing as April’s mom turns out to be more than what she seems.
- Raphael calls the creature "Mom Thing" as a nod to the movie title itself.
- The scene where her monster head splits in half was taken directly from the film.
- This episode makes several references to the internet horror game "Slender".
- The creatures Donnie and Leo turn into is similar to the game's main antagonist "Slender Man".
- The episode takes place in the woods in an abandoned farmhouse. In the game "Slender: The Arrival", the first 2 chapters take place in the woods in an abandoned wooden home trying to find some information.
- The Flashing Jack-o-lantern Raphael's watching on TV is a reference to the Silver Shamrock commercial and jingle from the cult classic Halloween III: Season of the Witch.
- The brand of whipped cream Michelangelo was using on Ice Cream kitty was "Realli Whip" a reference to the real life brand Reddi Whip.
- When Leo is washing the window he keeps repeating "Window cleaner on, window cleaner off." as a nod to The Karate Kid's "Wax on, wax off.".
- Mrs. O'Neil/Mom Thing was voiced by Renae Jacobs, who voiced 1987 April O'Neil.