The Manhattan Project
Season 2, Episode 13-14
Airdate March 14, 2014
Writter Brandon Auman
John Shirley
Director Michael Chang
Alan Wan
Prev. and Next
Of Rats and Men
Mazes & Mutants

"The Manhattan Project" is a two-part episode in Season 2 of the TMNT 2012 TV Series. Both of these episodes aired on television on March 14, 2014, although they were also released nearly two weeks earlier on the site


Official Description[]

While earthquakes rock New York CityLeonardo considers asking Splinter for help while facing the Shredder's new fearsome disciple Tiger Claw.

Plot Synopsis[]

This episode opens with KaraiRahzar, and a few Robot Foot Soldiers all tracking down the Turtles and pausing to spy on them from behind a billboard. Rahzar comments that the Shredder did not authorize Karai's little operation, but Karai demands him to be silent, reminding him that she is the one in charge while her father is on his 3-month journey. She then tells him that, if they are successful in ambushing the Turtles this time, they may both receive some credit for once. We then cut to the Turtles, who are leaping from rooftop to rooftop, until Leo pauses and starts to sense that something is amiss. Mikey then notices a squirrel chewing on an acorn nearby and humorously wonders if it is a potential spy. Suddenly, the Foot Clan strikes and, while Rahzar and the Footbots immediately start to target Raphael, Michelangelo, and Donatello, Leonardo duels with Karai, which he seems to do frequently. During the vehement exchange of sword clashes, Leonardo tries to disclose what the Shredder has kept from Karai - that Splinter is her true father and not the Shredder. Karai, falsely bent on revenge and caring little for what Leo is saying, comments that the only thing she's interested in is for Leonardo to beg for his dear life. Suddenly, a tremor interrupts the two's intense conversation and catches everybody off guard. Leo is able to push Karai out of the way of a falling brick tower, but the tower hits the rooftop and Leo gets covered in bricks. The others quickly make haste to free their brother and discover that he has no grave injuries, but, as it turns out, the villains have already escaped from the rooftop, which makes Leo upset, as he had the opportunity to change Karai's viewpoint by talking to her one on one.

Back in the Lair, Donatello is showing the others that he has been graphing the recent earthquakes on his computer. He notes where their primary epicenter is located. He has also noticed that his monitor is picking up strange energy readings underneath the location of every tremor, leading both him and Raph to believe that some form of Technology may very well be responsible for every one of of them. In the Dojo, Leonardo approaches his sensei, informing him that he tried to tell Karai about the truth in order for her to venture over to their side for a change. Master Splinter tells him that, if he were living in Japan, 'a face full of Nunchaku' is the punishment that he would get for opening his mouth whenever he wanted. Despite this, Splinter does commend Leonardo, saying that his heart is in the right place, and he begins to think that, at this point in time, Karai should be told the truth. Leo also suggests telling Donnie, Mikey, and Raph. Unexpectedly, Splinter listens to Leo and explains to the other three turtles that, ultimately, during the Shredder's state of deep fury, he found Miwa near the fire that broke out and purposely took her away to raise her as his own child and train her to become a stubborn, ruthless, and deadly assassin. Donnie, Mikey, and Raph seem to have a very hard time believing that Karai is their sister in a way, and Splinter seems to understand them all too well. He then says that the truth will have to be revealed to Karai, even if their telling her could have the consequences of something much like an earthquake.

Meanwhile, at the Shredder's hideout, Karai, Rahzar, Fishface and Baxter Stockman are all discussing when the Shredder will possibly be arriving with his new 'secret weapon'. Rahzar mentions that he's heard the 'secret weapon' was originally mutated by the Kraang when he was a human child, decades ago. Suddenly, the automatic doors open and, as the Shredder enters, all of the Foot-Bots arrange themselves in lines and bow their heads. Approaching his throne, the Shredder turns to Rahzar, grimly commenting on his new form. He then informs his men that he has just found a new lackey - "The most feared warrior in all of Asia", in his eyes. Then, a menacing mutant tiger (Tiger Claw) enters the room, leaving expressions of surprise on the faces of the Shredder's pupils. Karai refers to Tiger Claw as a freak, resulting in him pulling out a gun and aiming it at her face, leading Fishface to put an end to the confrontation in the works. As Fishface goes to fetch Tiger Claw a libation, Karai peruses Tiger Claw, noticing a stub of a tail on his back and asking what happened to it. Tiger Claw says that a rival sliced it off and that, one day, he will find it and make that person pay dearly. Telling Karai to treat her brand new ally with lots of respect, the Shredder comments that Tiger Claw will be his new second-in-command. Karai is appalled by this, saying that she is fit for that position. The Shredder then sends Tiger Claw and Karai out to find/abduct Splinter and the Turtles, ordering Karai to follow Tiger Claw's every order. 

Elsewhere, Casey and April are exploring the rooftops in the city, keeping a sharp eye out for any occurring crime. April then hears and spots the Kraang down in a secluded alley way, however. The aliens are all in a single file line stepping into some type of portal, one by one. Casey and April jump down and Casey immediately attacks the final droid that is about to enter. However, this proves to be nothing but a simple distraction so that April can come up from behind and defeat the droid with her Tessen. April then instinctively presses a button in the middle of the piece of Tech, causing the apparent portal to dissipate and the piece of Tech to fall straight to the ground. April remarks that they should bring it back to Donnie for him to carefully investigate. Casey asks why they can't just take it to a real laboratory, with April's response being that Donnie is way ahead of most scientists.

In the Sewer Lair, Donnie inspects the Tech, and April shows him the button to activate/deactivate the portal. Donnie is immediately intrigued by this, as expected. Raph then decides to make the reckless move of jumping right into the center of it, and this also prompts Casey and April to join him, leaving Donnie to follow. Mikey joins them as well and, thus, Leo is reluctantly forced to do the same. Right after they all go through, however, another earthquake makes Donnie’s lab rattle a little bit, and some falling debris hits the top of the portal and causes it to deactivate itself, leaving the team members stuck on the other side...  

Upon entering, everyone is very interested by the countless number of portal doorways, along with the surprisingly impressive views of what seem to be other dimensions. Leo then tells his team to start searching for a way home, and they begin to do so, but the entire group pauses when Casey spots the 1987 incarnations of the Turtles, himself, and April in one of the portal views!!! They then spot one of the several portals that go all the way back to Dimension X, the infamous home of the Kraang. However, a few large Biotroids randomly come through this doorway and start to attack the Turtles aggressively. They prove to be very strong foes (alot like they were in "The Mutation Situation"), but the team works together to slay several of the droids. However, the last remaining droid manages to knock Leo, Raph, and Mikey through a portal when their backs are turned, transporting them into a garbage dumpster in some alley way in the center of Manhattan. They are relieved that they are back in their home town, though Leo is upset that the others are still trapped where they just were. Meanwhile, Tiger Claw and Karai are staking out the alley ways and, luckily for them, they find the Turtles in the alley that they just appeared in. Tiger Claw briefly reminds Karai of their plan before jumping down and stopping the Turtles in their very tracks.  

The Turtles are surprised at Tiger Claw's appearance and ready their weapons but this comes to an end when the tiger menacingly introduces himself and begins to fire his two modified revolvers at the Turtles. He is surprisingly powerful, and the Turtles find themselves overwhelmed by his artillery very quickly. Because of this, Mikey says to his brothers that they should take to the high ground and they do just that, but Tiger Claw uses his jetpack to follow them to the rooftops. Meanwhile, Casey, April, and Donnie manage to grab on to the very last Biotroid and push it right into one of the portals going to Dimension X. However, several Kraang (whom are forcing an odd worm creature through an exit with a bunch of stunners) are fully aware of the threesome that are spying on them, so they send another large squad of ordinary Kraangdroids through a portal to confront them. The Kraang demand the trio to surrender, much to Casey's reluctance. They then have them brought into a New York City subway through a nearby portal.  

Meanwhile, the Turtles are still being fired upon while fighting a tough battle against Tiger Claw. At some point during the chaos, Raph is unfortunately pinned down with a net that Tiger Claw lets loose from one of his weapons and, after that, all of them become incapacitated. Tiger Claw then jumps at the opportunity to seize one of Mikey's legs and picks him up, threatening to drop him down a very long chimney (this was seemingly wrecked by one of the earthquakes). The other two turtles gape in shock when they see that their little brother is about to perish. Obviously, Leo would never allow something like this to happen and demands to have a choice of some sort. Leo is immediately given the chance to call his Master Splinter and ask for assistance. Leo does this, but Raph tells him that Splinter might get trapped. 

In the Lair, Splinter answers his son's urgent call and tells Leonardo not to worry, as he will be on his way. Simultaneously, Tiger Claw has finished tying up the three turtles with rope, and, being tired of waiting, claims that their lives will end here and now. He then begins to push them very slowly toward the side of the chimney, and Mikey uses this moment to apologize to Raph for having eaten his very last slice of chocolate-pepperoni Pizza...Just when all seems lost, Splinter arrives on the scene and tells Tiger Claw to set his sons free. After having a short conversation with Splinter in Japanese, Tiger Claw starts firing freeze-rays at Splinter with one of his weapons, but Splinter dodges all of the attacks. Splinter then jumps down to the platform where Tiger Claw is, but the latter moves out of the way by using his jetpack. While being shot at, Splinter manages to weave through the blasts and uses his cane to launch pieces of brick at Tiger Claw. This does actually knock him off-balance for a second, but he then takes his large sword out of its holster and claims that he will now slice Splinter into nothing but bite-sized morsels....

Meanwhile, April, Casey, and Donnie are still being led by the Kraang to a location that hasn't yet been revealed. Casey then falsely says that the Kraang told them that they were going to be fed, but April corrects that the Kraang probably told them that they'll be fed to something. Casey, not willing to have such a brutal thing happen to him, decides that they shouldn't just sit around anymore and abruptly outmatches one of the Kraangdroids behind himself. April and Donnie then join in on the action as well, and Donnie manages to break a sewer wheel with his staff, causing a bunch of toxic fumes to engulf the Kraang, immobilizing and subduing them. The trio then successfully escapes through a door, which leads them into a large, wide, and short tunnel, which Donnie claims were mainly used in the 19th century. At the very end of the tunnel, a gargantuan creature, along with a bunch of Kraang, come into their view. April then quickly takes note of the fact that the Kraang are attaching tubes to the giant, imported worm so that they can 'milk' it for Mutagen Ooze!!! Donnie then quickly comes to the conclusion that this process is exactly how the Ooze is created; the idea disgusts all of them. However, unbeknownst to them at first, a smaller worm is sitting right behind April and, after Casey whacks it with a hockey stick, the Kraang are alerted of their presence. The Kraang then release one of the creatures (known as the Kraathatrogons) and it begins to attack Donnie, April, and Casey all at once.

Meanwhile, dozens upon dozens of ninja shuriken and other weapons are being passed between Splinter and Tiger Claw in their duel. During the fray, Tiger Claw manages to destroy Splinter's cane by slicing it into pieces, but this does little to stop Splinter, as he starts avoiding Tiger Claw's attacks and gains a sheer advantage when he seizes his opponent's sword. Splinter then starts slowly pushing Tiger Claw toward an edge of the building with open-fisted strikes to pressure points near his chest and torso. Master Splinter aims the sword directly at Tiger Claw, intending to finish him off, but, just out of sight, Karai is holding a blowgun in both of her hands and she fires a dart out of it, managing to hit Splinter in the back of the neck. Splinter reacts to the attack by pulling out the dart, but the poison reaches him and he begins to loose his balance and falls over, sprawled on the ground. Karai then appears from behind a corner and stands over Splinter, smiling at her victory. All that Splinter is able to say is "MIWA..." before falling unconscious. Karai then turns her attention to a desperate Leonardo, who tells her to spare the life of her real father. However, a wary Karai views this only as a way to get Splinter out of harm's way, but Leo tries to assure her that it isn't. Having heard enough of him, Karai raises her sword and is about to deal the finishing blow!

Part 2:[]

Karai prepares to slay Leonardo once and for all, but her attack is blocked by one of Tiger Claw's weapons. Tiger Claw reminds her that the Shredder wants to have the pleasure of eliminating the Turtles himself. Karai reluctantly agrees, and the two then begin to approach the paralyzed Splinter. Splinter quickly stands up, however, and shoots a few of his several remaining ninja stars at the ropes binding his sons, which ends up freeing them. He instructs his sons to flee, just as he is kicked back down by Tiger Claw. Leo does not want to leave his sensei for dead, but Raph tells him that they have no other option but to come back for him later. Tiger Claw quickly begins to chase them, but Mikey uses a Ninja Smoke Bomb to make their escape. So, both Tiger Claw and Karai feel the need to take an unconscious Splinter back to the Shredder.

Meanwhile, under New York City, Donnie, April, and Casey are frantically running away from the Kraathatrogon. Casey does manage to slow the creature by throwing a paint bomb down its mouth and into its palate (only distracting it briefly). After making a sudden change of directions, Donnie spots a nearby sewer ladder and climbs it, telling both April and Casey to grab on to his Bo. April quickly grabs on and, after she is secured, Casey tries to grab onto Donnie’s Bo as well. However, the Kraathatrogon comes up, swallows him whole and quickly wiggles away. Needless to say, April and Donnie get hit with a wave of melancholy.

Back at their Lair, Leo is putting a wrap around one of the wounds on Mikey's arm. Raph then blames Leo for getting Splinter involved in the situation to begin with. Leo responds that he had but no choice. With a 'vehement' little speech on behalf of Mikey, he convinces all of them that they must rescue Splinter since they know the exact location of the Shredder’s lair. The Turtles then steel themselves and gear up to save their sensei. Donnie and April soon reach the surface. April still feels increasingly sad about the loss of Casey, and she tells Donnie that they will need to stop those Kraang worms at any cost. Donnie agrees, and says that they must go visit the one and only person who knows more about Kraang than anyone: Jack Kurtzman. So, they go to his apartment and explain the terrible situation. However, as it turns out, Kurtzman already possesses tons of photos and knowledge regarding the worms and he has dubbed this Kraang scheme “The Manhattan Project” as well.

In the Shredder's lair, Tiger Claw pours a small pail of water on the shivering Splinter, which wakes him up. The Shredder then enters the scene with Karai at his side. He instructs Rahzar and Fishface to leave the area for the time being. Afterward, he immediately approaches Splinter and purposely tries to get on his last nerve by remarking that he's grown to be 'a wretched rat-man only waiting to be put out of his misery'. Splinter makes a retort that at least he is not one to wear a mask and hide what little humanity they have left. The Shredder says that Splinter is the sole reason he donned his helmet. The Shredder then extends one of his gauntlet blades and prepares to kill his mortal enemy. However, Karai halts this horrible action.

The Shredder asks why she would dare to try and stop him, to which Karai replies that executing a sworn enemy while the latter is poisoned and chained is just improper. She then recommends allowing Splinter to perish with the slightest bit of honor and in a combat situation. Tiger Claw ends up siding with Karai on this one. Thus, the Shredder offers Splinter one last chance to inhale and exhale before fighting with him. Splinter asks Karai why she chose to help him. Karai responds that he might have just looked like he was so pathetic. He then mentions how Karai has the same spirit that her mother had, which frustrates her. After Karai tells him that he has destroyed tons of lives, Splinter faintly says that it was Oroku Saki. However, Karai doesn't hear his words as he says them while he's passing out.

Meanwhile, Kurtzman tells April and Donnie that he hasn't the slightest clue of how to stop the colossal worms, but he does know that the worms can be 100 ft. long and that the Kraang will sometimes climb onto their backs and ride them around by pulling on their antennae. Donnie then sees that there is a can of salt sitting on the table that's in front of him and comes up with a possible, yet strange idea. Donnie simply says the word "Salt" out loud, but before April can ask what he means, she receives a call from Casey, who reveals that he is inside of the worm's digestive tract, but, nonetheless, is still unharmed. April promises that they will be at his aid very shortly...

Meanwhile, Leo is climbing up the side of the Foot Headquarters with the usage of Tegaki. After destroying a couple Foot-Bots that were put on guard, he successfully gains entry into the building and jumps down several platforms until he has reached his sensei. However, the throne room is then lit up with dozens of orange lights at the sidelines, and this is when the Shredder appears from behind his throne. Just when Leo is about to pull out his twin weapons, Tiger Claw (along with the two other mutants and Stockman) appears and twists his arm, disarming him and knocking him onto the floor. The Shredder then aggressively asks Leo where the other three Turtles are, but Tiger Claw, using his very keen sense of smell, says that he senses no one else in the area. The Shredder then breaks the bindings around Splinter's arms, removes his own cape, and instructs Leo to watch in horror as the retribution with Splinter is finally carried out to the end.

In spite of being poisoned, Splinter is actually able to avoid several of the Shredder's attacks, but Yoshi is then kicked hard in the torso, sending him flying a good length of the way across the room. The Shredder then picks him up and is about to put him out of his misery for CERTAIN when yet another earthquake occurs, catching the Shredder and his henchmen off-guard; to which the weakened Splinter takes advantage of by striking the glass floor Shredder was standing on, causing him to fall through it and into the water below. Not only that, but our heroes then enter, armed with some handy fire crackers, which they actually use to distract the villains' attention and escape the building with their sensei. Having got out of the water, a furious Shredder demands Karai and his henchmen to pursue their enemies.

Meanwhile, April and Donnie find their way back underground and Donnie begins to use his staff to bang on the railroad tracks, creating a vibration that he hopes will attract the worm. This plan ends up working, and the worm quickly arrives on the scene. Donnie then reveals that he has been carrying a bag with cans that are filled with salt. April asks why he is planning on using salt, and Donnie explains that little molecules from salt can actually seep into the worm's blood cells and slow it down a bit. April then throws a can of salt right near Donnie and he responds by hitting it with his staff, causing the can to fly right at the worm's face and it hits its mark. This simple process is repeated again and again and again until, finally, the worm is stopped and it spits out Casey. However, problems are long from over; They all come to realize that the Kraang still have an absolutely enormous Kraathatrogon in their possession and could simply release it at any given time...

Meanwhile, the other Turtles are still escaping with their sensei. However, they are secretly followed by Tiger Claw, Rahzar, Fishface, and Karai yet again. The bad guys and the heroes then engage in an inevitable face off, but Splinter conceals himself while he rests and meditates, desperately trying to get all of the poison to leave his system. After a little while, this does ring true, and just when Tiger Claw is about to finish off Leonardo with his bare hands, Splinter bravely steps in, grabs the mutant by the arm and then drops him to the ground. The Turtles are elated when they see that their master is back in action. The team then vows to conclude the face-off.

Back with Casey, April, and Donnie. Donnie plans on trying to reverse the polarity of the portal in the room, while both Casey and April successfully pose as diversions. While Donnie pries open the puzzling piece of Technology, April comes up with a good idea: Climbing on the back of one of the worms and guiding them around by tugging on both of their antenna, which Kurtzman had mentioned. This actually works, and she soon orders the worm to go up to the surface (exactly where our heroes are engaged in yet another large battle). Another earthquake ends up causing Karai to fall off the edge of the building (though she survives) and Splinter feels that he should save her, but Tiger Claw steps on his tail and completely prevents him from doing so. The worm - along with April and Casey on it - then emerge by busting through a manhole cover. Everyone is quite shocked to see this, but Tiger Claw is not and is still intent on eliminating Splinter....

After being knocked out of the battle briefly, Tiger Claw jumps right back in, though Splinter punches him in the chest multiple times and Tiger Claw's jetpack then seems to malfunction, causing him to fly backwards into the mouth of the Kraathatrogon. Elsewhere, Donnie has managed to reverse the portal's polarity and everything (i.e. the worm, April, and Casey) starts flying towards it and into it. However, Donnie shuts it down at the last possible second and both April and Casey are saved. On the rooftop, all of the team members regroup and Splinter is proud that all of his sons were courageous in the face of battle. The Police are then shown down below as they investigate the giant hole in the ground.

Every single one of the Turtles is pleased that they have succeeded in their own right this time. Raph is motivated to wonder where Karai could have run off to, while April still cannot believe that such a wicked person is Splinter's daughter. Splinter thinks that Karai will believe the truth some day, but that is her own choice to make and she must accept things on her own time. Unbeknownst to them, Karai is sitting behind the billboard that's near them. She listens to the gossip and, with a dejected look on her face, seems to question the morose attitude that she's been having. The team then celebrates their victory, while Mikey curiously asks where that giant worm could have gone. The scene switches to the world of the 1987 series, where the four Turtles are up on the rooftop eating slices of Pizza in front of the Channel 6 building. Just then, one of the Kraang worms emerges in the middle of the street and starts to chase people, causing mass panic. All of the Turtles observe this, thinking that 'the pesky Shredder and Krang' must be behind this. They then vow to take down the 'creepy crawler' - and then get yet another well-deserved Pizza. They jump into action with their famous, classic catchphrase: "COWABUNGA!!!"

Character Debuts[]




  • The episode is titled Wormquake. But in the episode it says that it is called "The Manhattan Project". It is unknown if this is an error or not.
  • The title is a reference to the NES Ninja Turtles video game, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III: The Manhattan Project.
  • When Karai questioned Tiger Claw as to the whereabouts of his tail, he used the pronoun "he" to describe his rival. The rival would later be revealled to be Alopex, a female red fox mutant, in Season Four's Tale of Tiger Claw.
  • It is revealed that Splinter has a "Cheese Phone" which the Turtles use to call him when they are in serious danger. This gag is an reference to the Bat Phone of the 1966 Batman television series.
  • The Portals in the underground complex bear a resemblance to Stargates, especially how when the portal closes, a water-like effect occurs.
  • The classic Turtles make brief appearances in this episode. This is the first time the original Turtles voice actors of the 1987 show have reprised their roles in over 20 years. In the crossover Turtles Forever, the '87 Turtles were voiced by 4kids actors.
  • There are several references to Frank Herbert's "Dune" and more likely the 1984 movie adaptation by David Lynch in this episode such as the Kraang riding the worms like the Fremen. Donnie hits the rail with his Bo-staff in order to attract the worm with vibrations like the Thumpers the Fremen used to attract the giant Sandworms of Arrakis. The "demise" of Tiger Claw being devoured by the Kraathatrogon is also a direct homage to the way Baron Vladimir Harkonnen gets swallowed by a Sandworm after being poisoned by Alia and his gravity belt malfunctions. The Kraathatrogon themselves share very familiar physiology with the sandworms of Arrakis such as their mouths and inner rows of sharp teeth.
  • This episode had many character debuts.
  • Mikey, Raph and Leo never saw the Kraathatrogon.


  • Leonardo's voice sounds different when he tells Karai, "Your real name is Miwa."
  • During the scene when Shredder tried to finish Splinter, Baxter Stockman's collar with the Mutagen Ooze is gone.
  • Another error occurred when the Turtles, April, and Casey were looking through the portal to Dimension X. The screenshot with April and Mikey is reversed. You can tell because the 5 on April's shirt is backwards, April's hair is swung to her left, and Mikey has 4 freckles on his right cheek and 5 on the left when it should be the other way around.
  • In the scene where the gang are fighting the Biotroids from Dimension X, Leo slices the first Kraang's Biotroid suit apart then stands on the Biotroid's chest. However, in the next scene, you can see that the Biotroid is laying on the ground face down, instead of face up.
  • In the ending credits, Townsend Coleman is credited as voicing the 80s Donatello, when he actually voiced 80s Michelangelo. And Barry Gordon was credited as voicing the 80s Michelangelo, when he actually voiced the 80s Donatello.
  • Tiger Claw mentions Alopex when discusing his tail with Karai but he calls her a he.

Splinter's Wisdom[]

  • "All these continue to deceive yourself. And everyone around you." To Shredder.
  • "You have your mother's spirit. So fierce and scared." To Karai.


The Manhattan Project/Transcript