Splinter: "Explain further."
Michelangelo: "Destruction good. Humanity bad. Wipe 'em all out, I say!"
That Mikey. He sure can make a compelling argument.
I'm watching Reality Check and it's such a silly little episode; almost a filler ep, since Mikey's actions don't directly impact the overarcing plotline - we see things happen to Mike and find out later that it was all part of Leo's ongoing effort to rescue him, but Mike himself is mostly just bumming around pretending to be a super-hero.
At the same time, it's really kind of an interesting storyline. Yeah, the superpowers thing is gratuitous, but I really like AUs and the various possibilities. The idea that there's a universe out there where Splinter raised his sons to be footsoldiers in his bid for world domination, and that they eventually turned on him, is really kind of intriguing. They don't seem to think of 'The Sliver' as a father at all, though when they talk about Splinter they seem to genuinely mourn him. Michelangelo just goes along with the whole thing with remarkably little hestitation at leaving an alternate version of his father to die. But then, The Sliver really is very far removed from Splinter in every way that counts except one: The Sliver wanted his sons back at his side. So, yeah. Interesting.
And then there's Same As It Never Was in which, part of the same arc, Donatello is catapulted 30 years into the future to a time where Shredder conquered the world. It's really very dark and the bit that I liked best is the sheer desperation his brothers show when they get him back. Michelangelo is almost angry at Donatello - showing him things he knows will hurt him without any warning, such as Splinter's grave. You get the impression that Mike is punishing Don for coming back unchanged as much as he's punishing him for having left. Raph and Leo, on the other hand, who were in the past far more inclined to hold a grudge than Mike, don't demonstrate any such emotion. They're happy to see him, though very confused as to where he's been and why he's still fifteen. Raph hugs him, for God's sake.
We get a little bit of explanation for Michelangelo's behavior; after Donatello vanished, everything fell apart. Shredder started winning more and more fights because the guys were grieving and fighting amongst themselves. When Shredder attacked them at home, Splinter died defending them and the three of them had no way to save him. It's implied that they left while he was still alive, that he told them to leave him behind. That's gotta suck. Then Raph and Leo each take off on their own and Mikey's effectively lost three brothers and a father. After Donatello comes back and asks Mike to help him get everyone together again, Mike has to go to April to get ahold of Leo and Raph, indicating pretty effectively that he doesn't know where his brothers are or how to get to them.
So it's safe to say that Mike was probably pretty bitter about being abandoned, and maybe even resentful of Donatello. Raph and Leo were so broken up over losing Donnie that they turned their backs on Mike, but as soon as Donnie comes back, they're willing to make amends and be a family again.
Now, in canon, we have enough evidence of how close these guys are and how they interact, to make some conclusions. First of all, the guys are very close, so it's certainly possible that losing Donnie really messed them up - especially since they never knew where he went or if he was alive or dead. And Leo and Raph are not good at emotional stuff, tending to bottle things up and deal with it on their own, so it's very likely that they weren't able to cope with Mike's emotional state on top of their own grief. Leo and Raph also tend to take things out on each other, a habit we see a lot of in the first season, where they more or less use each other as punching bags while they work through their issues. With Splinter and Donnie gone, and Mike a mess himself, there wasn't anyone to referee or point out that they were just hurting each other, so they crossed a line they'd always managed to avoid before.
I doubt Raph and Leo consciously abandoned Mike so much as they just couldn't cope themselves and had to get away.
I doubt Michelangelo was unhappy Don came back, although the circumstances probably made him a little resentful. We probably can't blame him for that; thirty years of pain and loss and anger and Donatello got to skip out on all of it, showing up again just as they'd all lost hope and digging open old wounds.
Things that happened after Don left:
Michelangelo lost his arm.
Raphael lost his eye.
Leo was blinded.
Shredder conquered the world.
That's a whole lot of suck to have to cope with.
And then there's Donatello's side of the story, where between one heartbeat and the next everything he's ever known has been destroyed, and he's stuck coping with it. He has no way back, no way to prevent this, and as far as he knows, this is the time and place he's going to be trapped in for the rest of this life. And then he goes and gets everyone killed.
Okay, not exactly. But he comes up with a plan to take down Shredder and the guys go along with him and one by one get themselves killed. Karai kills Leo and Raph and Michelangelo gives his life to buy Donatello a chance to complete the mission. This scene would have been a little more effective if the screenwriters had phrased things a bit differently ("My poor, poor brothers?" Please. The guys just saw his family massacred, and that's all he can say?") but can you imagine the nightmares he's going to have now that Leo's rescued him and he's back in his own time?
Still, I think future Mike's emotional state and personality was the most interesting part of that episode. It was something I could see Mike becoming, under those circumstances.
I take cartoons too seriously, don't I?
Ask me about the metal state of Urameshi Yuusuke during the Toguro fight. I dare you.
28 days till TMNT.