Return to New York
Season 3, Episode 9
Shredder Elite2
Airdate January 25th, 2015
Writter Ciro Nieli
Director Alan Wan
Prev. and Next
Vision Quest
Serpent Hunt

"Return to New York" is the 9th episode of season 3 and 61st overall.

"Through the fire."

Official Description

When the Turtles return to the city to search for Master Splinter, they discover that the city has fallen into ruins with no civilians in sight and the overrunning of the Kraang.


Michelangelo is watching Crognard the Barbarian at the farmhouse when the show is suddenly cut off by an announcement from news anchor Carlos Chiang O'Brian Gambe. He reassures citizens that the situation in New York is being contained and that the military is not yet allowing civilians into the walled off city. However, the anchor's speech is quite robotic, and Mikey points out that he sounds a bit Kraang-y. April comments that the Kraang may have the rest of the world fooled but not them and then asks Leo what the plan is. Leo says that they will drive to New York in an upgraded Party Wagon. According to Donnie, the upgraded Party Wagon will be more maneuverable than the Shellraiser, have more weapons, and get better gas mileage. The Turtles, April, and Casey quickly get to work painting, adding weapons to, and improving the Party Wagon according to Donnie's blueprints, with an awesome result. The team then prepares to depart to New York City.

Michelangelo speaks with Ice Cream Kitty about going home while Donatello bids farewell to Dr. Cluckingsworth. The Turtle Racer is hooked onto the back of the Party Wagon, and the team departs down the driveway with Casey driving, bound for the city. As they approach the city, Leo lays out their plan: they will park by the blockade sealing off NYC, sneak past it, and track down Master Splinter and Karai before freeing the city. April quickly adds that they should also find her father. The team is then blinded by a bright light, forcing Casey to stop the vehicle. The group is encountered by members of the Earth Protection Force, one of whom makes Casey roll down his window and reminds him that no civilians outside of the city are allowed in. Meanwhile, the Turtles stay hidden in the back. Casey agrees not to go inside and as the Earth Protection Force soldier walks away, April points out a Kraang mind control device on his nape and believes that the other soldiers have them as well. The soldiers then aim their blasters at the Party Wagon, but Casey puts down its armor and floors it, managing to break through the blockade sealing off NYC as the soldiers discharge their weapons. Once in the city, Raph accuses Casey of making this risky move, but Casey responds that his choice was the right one.

On the streets of the city, the situation is dire. Kraang crystals are everywhere and not a single human is in sight. Donnie wonders where everyone is while Mikey wonders if the Kraang mutated every last person in the city. April feels the presence of a few hundred people in a city that had millions in origin. Just when Mikey remarks that they haven't yet run in to any Kraang, the aliens appear before them in an alley. Our heroes then test the effectiveness of the Party Wagon's brand new equipment. In the right rear side door, there are hidden slots for shooting breath mints and soda that sting the eyes of the Kraang. Donnie and Mikey fire the mints and the soda while Raph fires a bomb situatated on the top of the vehicle, which puts off a noxious odor. With the Kraang incapacitated, Casey runs them over and drives to a secret entrance to a subway tunnel that Donnie made when he built the Shellraiser. Donnie uses a sort of remote to open up this entrance and the team proceeds through it.

Stopping on the subway tracks, the Turtles, April, and Casey emerge from the Party Wagon and move silently down the tracks. They come upon an abandoned subway station with Kraang and Mousers staking it out and manage to evade them narrowly. Donnie asks April if she can use her powers to locate Splinter, as she has done it once before. April reflects on what Donnie told her earlier about Splinter's mind not being one with his body and says that this could mean that he's insane or unconscious or in an even worse position. However, this statement does little to deter Donnie from finding him. Michelangelo suggests seeing if he's at their old lair and so they do. Mikey, April, and Casey stay back as Leo, Raph, and Donnie check it out. The lair is for the most part a mess, with pieces of Kraang droids and other objects strewn all over the floor. Leonardo looks inside the dojo and Splinter's room, and the only thing that he finds there is another mess. Meanwhile, Raphael and Donatello spot a surveillance orb belonging to the Kraang in the living room. Scanning, it detects Raph and Don and goes into attack mode, firing at the dojo as the two turtles have no choice but to stay still and hide. Fortunately for the turtles, the orb doesn't claim their lives but the life of an unsuspecting rat passing by. With no sign of Splinter, Leo, Don, and Raph silently exit the lair and return to the others.

Leo reports that there was no sign of Splinter and that the Kraang have put some device in the lair to deter them from moving back in. Mikey wants to take it down and move back in anyway, but Donnie explains that this is not such a great idea. It is then that April senses Splinter (seeming different in her mind) close by and successfully leads herself and the others to him. Splinter is different, wearing no kimono and fighting less gracefully than usual, against some Mousers. The Turtles attempt to reason with him after he attacks them and Casey. Splinter eventually calms down, but a Mouser nearby regains its equilibrium and lets out a shrill cry, alerting a legion of Foot-Bots to the scene. The robots are quite numerous and, to make matters worse, Splinter escapes the grip of the Turtles. The Foot Bots manage to stun him with a taser and capture him, taking him back to the Shredder's lair as the Turtles follow.

In the throne room at the Shredder's lair, we see the Shredder seated, pondering a picture of himself alongside a human Karai. Tiger Claw enters, voicing his displeasure over the Kraang's presence and the fact that the Shredder has made no move to stop them from mutating the entire Earth and all of humanity. The Shredder tells Tiger Claw to watch his tone, commenting that he intends to destroy the Kraang when the time is right so that New York City can belong to the Foot. Intent on finding Karai, the Shredder orders his feline henchman to continue the search for her. The Foot Bots then arrive with the deranged Splinter, who struggles to escape. The Shredder is unsatisfied with the mental state of his enemy, denying Tiger Claw's request to put the rat out of his misery and ordering Splinter to be taken to Baxter Stockman. In the center of the scientist's lab (beneath the Shredder's lair) is now a spherical tank of Mutagen and on the sides of it are numerous habitats and enclosures in which Stockman can carry out his experiments. Splinter is put in one of these enclosures, and the Shredder orders Stockman to restore Splinter's mind so that he can fairly finish him off. Stockman agrees.

Having trailed the Foot-Bots, the Turtles, April, and Casey find an underground entrance hole to Stockman's lab, and Donnie easily opens its lid after defeating some Foot-Bot gaurds. They then spot a threatening shadow and what they believe to be the Shredder at first turns out to be a miniature clone of him. The Turtles laugh at this clone, but they quickly stop laughing when it attacks them and proves to be quite an opponent. Eventually, the team members proceed through the entrance hole to the lab and close the lid on it, shutting Mini Shredder out. Once rid of this thing, they descend into the lab, quickly finding Splinter contained within an enclosure and opening it with ease. April believes that there has to be some way to reach him, and Casey recalls when she reached the Turtles in their dreams and believes that she could do something similar to Splinter. Donnie concurs with this, as based on his telepathy research, it might be possible. Just then, Stockman-Fly arrives and fights the Turtles, but is no match for them and is defeated. He then opens a cell door and from it emerge three mutant Shredder clones; the Mini Shredder from earlier, Shiva Shredder, and Claw Shredder. Each turtle is paired up in battle with one of these mutants, aside from Mikey, who continues to go after Stockman-Fly. Meanwhile, April manages to reach Splinter and make him remember his fight with the Shredder. Unfortunately, Splinter mistakes Casey for the Shredder and jumps on him. The vigilante barely has time to stun Splinter with the taser built into his hockey glove.

After Mikey has again defeated Stockman-Fly, he accidentally sets off an alarm indicating to everyone in the throne room of the Shredder's lair that Splinter has escaped. Meanwhile, Splinter rises and attacks April. Pressed against a wall, she transmits memories into his mind of the Turtles, which finally bring him back to his senses. Seeing that his sons are struggling against the mutant Shredder clones, he comes to their aid, defeating the clones gracefully and mercilessly. With the clones defeated, the Turtles run to embrace their master, but their reunion is interrupted by the arrival of the Shredder and his troops. The Shredder is pleased that Splinter now thinks like a man again, as he will be able to feel the Shredder's blade at his throat. Splinter prepares to fight, but Leonardo holds him back. Our heroes retreat, returning to the subway tracks and driving away in the Party Wagon. Tiger Claw then appears on the roof of the vehicle, but he is shortly knocked off by a flamethrower hidden in the head of a deer.

In the Party Wagon, back on the streets, the Turtles are wondering where they will now live. Donatello proposes an abandoned power plant or a subway tunnel, but Michelangelo has a better idea: an Antonio's Pizza pizzeria! Everyone is satisfied aside from Raph, and Casey is ready to return the city to normal. April is eager to find her father, as she knows he's out there... somewhere. She feels that he is right next door yet has a vision of him in Dimension X in which he is working alongside other mutated people.

Splinter's Wisdom

"Homes are transitory. What matters is that we are all together."



  • The episode's title is the same title as the original Mirage Comic's "Return to New York" story arc.
    • It is also the same name as a 3-part episode of the 2003 TMNT TV series.
  • When the turtles explain they need a new hide out, one of Donnie's ideas was an old subway station. This is a reference to the 1991 film, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: The Secret Of The Ooze.
  • As Raphael finishes the art on the wagon, he wrote Venus, which is the name of a female turtle from 'Next Mutation', Venus De Milo.
  • The Elite Shredder were creatures who originally debuted in the Mirage Comics as well as the 2003 series.


  • When Splinter jumps on top of Casey Jones in Baxter's Lab, his hood is removed. But after electrocuting him, Casey stands up and his hood is on.


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