Signs from the Future
The three movies can be seen as the turtles’ journey to self-realization in becoming true agents of revolution. The first movie represents their birth and their creation; the setting in which revolution will be staged with the formation of the next generation of revolutionaries, the youths that were redeemed through the turtles’ accidental struggle with the invisible forces of capital society.
As Charles (April’s Boss) Narrates:
“I don’t get it, Danny.” “I make more than enough money to provide for both of us and you’re stealing. Why?” “I don’t know.” “You don’t know?”
The success to capital is precisely its factor of excess enjoyment. What exactly “drives” us? What is it that we truly desire? Use value/Exchange value = Value. The youths of the FOOT are converted not through coercion or force so to say but the very inverse, they were given everything that they desired, they were allowed to do anything they wanted without inhibition under the supervision of the FOOT. Because there is a god, everything is permitted. “He alone, who owns the youth, gains the future.” – Adolf Hitler
As Danny (Dan, Charle’s son) Narrates:
“April, here.” “What’s this for?” “It’s something I owe you. Trust me.” “Dad!”
The redemption of the youths; identity restored where capital drive is no longer needed maintain the self as an autonomous subject. Debt and cost of actions acknowledged, “god is dead” and it is within our domain to fully take moral and ethical responsibilities for our actions. We must put our “trust” back to your youths, to all of us, to do the right thing in the end.
As the Chief of Police Narrates:
“I want some answers.” “What in God’s name happened out here tonight?” “Somebody better talk to me.”
The one who knows, the one who censors, the one who prohibits, the one who questions, is also the one who allows the transgressions. The ending of the movie alludes to the true enemy behind the scene. Even with Shredder defeated, the whole organization of the FOOT still lies completely out of reach and unexplained or confronted. The audience is left with an inconclusive answer, and one never really knows if the actually checked out the warehouse that was mentioned and no actually arrests were made for further questioning. Capital lies out of reach, without form, without face.
The second movie “The Secret of the Ooze”, the explanation of their creation reveals not where and how the turtles were created (the audience knows this a priori in the first movie, the turtles came in contact with a radioactive mutagen), but the true secret of the ooze is the concept that there is no big Other within society; the very secret holding them back from becoming true revolutionaries (continues from the redemption of the youths). The scene in which the turtles’ confront their assumed creator, the scientist responsible for the creation of the mutagen leading to their biological and evolutionary superiority, explains that it was all just a freak accident that has no other meaning; breaking the news to them that the big Other doesn’t exist, the insurrection will not come.Donatello (known to be the most intelligent of the turtles) confronted with the existential crisis refuses to let go of the big Other, at this point Splinter with his beyond human wisdom, much like Lacan’s explanation that God is dead, consuls Donatello explaining, “Do not confuse the specter of your origin with your present worth my sons.” Knowing the truth about the truth changes nothing, fate now lies within their choosing, the insurrection will not come, they must choose their own reason to exist and be morally and ethically responsible for their actions.
As Master Splinter Narrates:
“These last hours have been spent pondering many questions. Some are the very questions of our origin. The sewer. Our transformation. But the answers have always remained hidden in the past veiled by a shadow too deep to penetrate until now.” “A light from the present reaches back to illuminate that shadow. You have never seen this, but know what it is.”
The incomplete Master confronts the lack of knowledge in order to bring forth the revolution. There is however signs in the present that can access the past to determine the future, the theme that would be explored to its full potential in the third movie.