|“Same As It Never Was”|
|Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2003) episode|
|Original airdate||March 19, 2005|
|Written by||Michael Ryan|
|Supervising Producer||Lloyd Goldfine|
|Frederick U. Fierst|
|Supervising Director||Roy Burdine|
|Story Editor:||Michael Ryan|
"Same As It Never Was" is the seventy-third episode of the animated series Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, which originally aired on March 19, 2005. It had 5.17 million views on the 4kids website as of 2008.
- Donatello (Sam Regal)
- Future April O'Neil (Veronica Taylor) (debut)
- Future Hun (Greg Carey)/Stockman (Scott Williams) (debut) (death)
- Future Karai (Karen Neil) (debut) (death)
- Future Leonardo (Michael Sinterniklaas) (debut) (death)
- Future Michelangelo (Wayne Grayson) (debut) (death)
- Future Raphael (Frank Frankson) (debut) (death)
- Mega Shredder (Scottie Ray) (debut) (death)
- April O'Neil (Veronica Taylor)
- Foot Police (debut)
- Future Utroms (debut)
- Utrominators (debut)
- Karai Legion (debut)
- Michelangelo (Wayne Grayson)
- Leonardo (Michael Sinterniklaas)
- Splinter (Darren Dunstan)
- Raphael (Frank Frankson)
- Ultimate Drako (Ted Lewis/Marc Thompson)
- Future Splinter (debut) (grave only)
- Future Donatello (debut) (mentioned)
Karai: Attention servants of the Shredder, your Lord and Master will now address you.
The Shredder: For those of you who are still living under the illusion that you will have freedom, know this: My armies have exterminated the last pockets of resistance and I now control the entire planet. The traitorous Utrom scientists I have captured are completing a colossal transmat device. With it, I will send forth my armies and enslave the stars, one world after another. There is no hope. There is only the Shredder.
Karai: Remember, the Shredder is always watching.
Don calls April and tells her about their adventure on the medieval Europe. Suddenly, Ultimate Drako appears with the Time Scepter. The Turtles and Splinter make for the scepter but they are frozen by it. Vowing revenge, Ultimate Drako promises to teach the Turtles and Splinter "the meaning of suffering beyond Time and Space."
We follow Donatello as he lands in an apparently abandoned version of the lair. Except for the Tunneler, a motorized driller the size of a bus, the lair is completely trashed. Confused, Donatello makes his way outside where the Foot Gestapo immediately try to arrest him. Donatello complies until he notices Shredder's emblem on their uniform and prepares to face them. A shadowy figure then intervenes, and the Foot turn their attention at the more aggressive figure. After he kills most of the Foot, the shadowy figure turns out to be Michelangelo, who is missing most of his left arm. He appears to be much older, and immediately asks Donatello where he's been, confusing him for the Donatello of his time, who apparently disappeared over 30 years ago making it taking place 2035.
Michelangelo then takes Donatello to see Splinter. On the way there, Michelangelo explains that Shredder had won and that the entire planet was now under his control. He further explains how Donatello was the glue that held all the other Turtles together. Once he disappeared, the other three didn't get along as well and drifted apart. When they arrive Donatello is heartbroken to see Splinter's grave. Their master had sacrificed himself trying to save his sons. He tells Michelangelo he has a plan to defeat Shredder but he would need the help of his brothers. Michelangelo considers that a tall order, but goes to someone he feels can get them all together again. They arrive at a secret Resistance base where April is the leader of a Rebel army. April is overjoyed to see him and tells Donatello that both Splinter and Casey knew he would come back. Donatello asks where Casey is. April's expression turns solemn, as she looks to a picture of Casey on the wall implying the worst. Realizing that the Shredder's tyranny must end, Donatello then asks April if she can bring back Leonardo and Raphael. She then sets up a meeting between the Turtles.
Leonardo, who's heavily scarred, and Raphael, who's missing his left eye, arrive first, each surprised to see/encounter the other. The years apart haven't cooled the bad blood between them, Raphael blaming Leonardo for abandoning Splinter and leaving him to die. Before their scuffle becomes too violent, they are stopped by Donatello. He tells his brothers he has a plan to defeat Shredder but Leonardo and Raphael are pessimistic, having been beaten several times before, even having lost Casey in battle. Donatello convinces them and they set their plan in motion. Hun arrives where is confined to a wheelchair with Baxter Stockman's brain jar attached to his shoulder (they are in this state presumably due to one of Shredder's punishments) as they plan to join them.
We see Karai, Shredder's daughter, updating her father on their plans (they have almost completed the transmat that the Utrom slaves are building) and revealing that Donatello has returned: Shredder orders him to be brought in, 'with or without his head'. Shredder doesn't have to wait long, as immediately after he speaks the Tunneler erupts from the ground floor and the Turtles jump into battle. Most notable is Donatello, wearing an exo-suit to challenge Shredder himself.
The Shredder, having appeared in shadows until now, reveals himself to be ensconced in a far larger battle suit then his present version, with his Utrom self located in the proper head spot in a Shredder helmet, while Karai unleashes an army of robots, called Legions, to destroy them all. Shortly into the battle, Hun jumps out of the Tunneler (to Stockman's panicked, furious objections) and pleads with the Shredder to rejoin him, which gets him crushed by the Shredder's giant foot. While Donatello battles the Shredder, the other Turtles fight the Legions. Michelangelo buys Donatello time and takes down several Karai Legions, but ends up surrounded by several mechs and is the first killed. Leonardo faces Karai, who beats her but just as he's to deliver the finishing blow, a Karai Legion distracts him and Karai cuts him with her sword, killing him. Raphael, in a fit of rage, attacks Karai and although he is able to land a couple strong blows, she kills him too. April appears and shoots a missile at Karai, killing her in turn.
With all his brothers dead, Donatello is nearly defeated as well, with Shredder appearing to just be toying with him. He pins Donatello in front of the Tunneler and prepares for a final blow, when Donatello explains the whole attack was strategized for Shredder to be at that precise position. He then pushes a button and chains come flying out of the Tunneler, wrapping around Donatello's exo-suit and the Shredder's. Donatello slips out of the exo-suit just as the Tunneler's energy drill appears, the chains pulling Shredder's Utrom body into it and tearing him to pieces.
Reflecting on this alternate future, Donatello sees their victory as Pyrrhic and the whole experience as a nightmare; April tells him that it was a nightmare but he and his brothers gave them back their future. Just as Donatello begins to collect his thoughts, he begins to shift through time once more, leaving April behind to rebuild her world and reminding him that there is always hope. Outside, the sun rises for a new day on New York City.
Donatello: Mikey! Your... your arm! What happened to your arm?
Donatello: Where are all the people?
Raphael: What the shell are you doing here?
Donatello: its done.
- This episode is known amongst fans as the darkest and saddest episode of the 2003 series.
- At the beginning of this episode, we see Donatello's point of view seconds before the events of "Reality Check" when Ultimate Drako appears and separates the Turtles and Splinter across time and space.
- There are several references in the episode to plot points from the Archie and Image TMNT comics: Raphael wears an eyepatch (like his future counterpart in the Archie Future Turtle trilogy and the version of Raph from the Image Comics run), Michelangelo lost an arm (which is what happened to Leo in the Image Comics run), and Donatello's exo-suit is a reference to the cyborg Donatello from the Image Comics run as well. Even the 1987 show had a similar episode, "Shredderville", where Shredder ruled New York City with no Turtles to oppose him, which turned out to be just a bad dream the Turtles had.
- Angel is mentioned leading a resistance army like April, fighting the Shredder's forces someplace else.
- The opening scene is similar to the set up in the book Nineteen Eighty-Four by George Orwell with large telescreen like structures with the Shredder's face and the quote "The Shredder is always watching".
- Deaths in this episode:
- Splinter (died protecting his sons from the Foot many years before) (Offscreen)
- Casey Jones (died fighting the Foot) (Offscreen)
- Hun and Baxter Stockman (stepped on by the Shredder, literally)
- Michelangelo (killed by the Karai Legion)
- Leonardo (slashed in the back by Karai)
- Raphael (slashed across the stomach by Karai)
- Karai (blasted by April's Missile Launcher)
- Shredder (shredded by the Turtle Tunneler)
- In the scene following Karai's attack on Leo, the side of the eye holes on Raph's mask, which is sewn shut, switches from left to right. Moments later the error is fixed.
- This episode is ranked #7 on the TMNT Top Ten.
- After Raph falls on Leo's dead body, Karai stares at them with a sad look. This shows that she still cares for Leonardo and she was regretful of not only killing Leo but his brother Raph too, despite them being enemies over many years.
- During the final attack on the Shredder, April's suit and Mini Missile Launcher she had, resembles Rambo (Sylvester Stallone).
- The Utrominator would again appear in Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles Smash-Up as a playable character. Though it features a similar backstory, mainly that it's an Utrom controlled by the Shredder, there are notable differences, such as the video-game version not having wings, having it's arm functions mirror-swapped, and starkly different head coloring.
- In Turtles Forever, one of the screens Shredder displays to the classic and Modern versions of the TMNT shows that the world of Same As It Never Was has somehow survived despite Don's time travel. This makes it no longer an alternate timeline, but a parallel universe and thus, a part of the TMNT multiverse.
- This episode has its own fanmade intro here using the original Japanese song, Danzai No Hana, or Guilty Sky as it is called in English.
- This episode is very similar to the Teen Titans episode, How Long Is Forever?, where Starfire is sent twenty years into the future by a villain named Warp, and during those twenty long years, the Titans slowly drifted apart.
- This episode also makes Donatello the only turtle to travel through time, rather than a different dimension (all four turtles will experience time-travel beginning with Fast Forward).
- Raphael almost looks like Thor from Marvel Cinematic Universe who has lost an eye.
- Although Thor lost his left eye but gets a prosthetic eye as a replacement, while Raphael lost his right eye.
- This is the first episode when the title of the episode is in a thicker font instead of the thin font in the past episodes.