Everyone is talking about how obsessive and stalker-like Donnie is being, but you have to remember they are teens that have been stuck in the sewer! Normal boys that age are still figuring out how to treat girls. The turtles have been stuck in a sewer all of their lives, so that does not help the situation later. Donnie is not a bad guy for being obsessive like, he is just a clueless teen with room to grow just like his other brothers.
I don’t have a problem with Don being an obsessive stalker.
I have a problem with him not learning that his actions and obsessive thoughts about a girl he’s only shown he likes due to her appearance are disturbing. Hopefully, the writers will show him acknowledging this and growing from it.
I think he has grown to like April for more than her appearance. I mean sure the first thing he said was “That’s the most beautiful girl I’ve ever seen” but there has to be an initial spark that drew him to her in the first place. He cares about her deeply and is learning how to behave around her.
I saw that someone also commented on this in regards to his “aggressive behavior” whenever someone else (usually Casey) gets “in the way” and I still attribute that to his inexperience with people in general. April is special so he feels like he has to hold on to her tightly. And he is learning how to “share” her with others as seen in Wormquake, he just doesn’t like it.
That’s just my quick little opinion on this.
That’s one of my issues - we haven’t been shown anything in regards to Don liking April beyond the very first time he saw her. I don’t see them really working on projects together for fun (it would’ve been nice to see them studying together, maybe show that Don helped April improve in trigonometry) in their downtime or training together. I wish the writers would go that extra mile to show us the extent of their relationship and explore why Don likes April. So far, I only understand Don’s feelings in terms of his familial isolation and need for acceptance, but those are less April-specific and more geared towards Don himself.
They absolutely need more bonding time shown onscreen (for all the turtles and April, really), But Donnie has also admired her for her interrogation methods when she’s wearing her stealth hoodie (she’s so COOL), so it’s more than just her looks, and they’ve been shown to be doing (offscreen) science things together on two occasions at least — while working on the sewage analysis (and she had to want to be there — the show’s been very good about establishing that when she doesn’t want to do something ,she has no problem saying no), and while working on the Kraang orb (April’s the only one in his lab when it goes off and the way the dialogue is framed implies to me that she’s not just arriving — she’s been there a while doing something).
So it’s *implied* that they spend time together being science nerds. I just wish they’d SHOW it.
The problem with the show when it comes to relationships is that a lot of the time, it relies on implication — this was the whole problem with the “April quitting the team” arc at the start of season 2. Aside from Donnie’s obvious misery after April left, we didn’t see or hear any concern from the other three that she was gone, or even that they cared aside from two lines - one from Raph, cheering Donnie up, and one from Leo about how her phone was still off.
The show, though, is pretty clear both in what it shows and what it implies is between Donnie and April. They’re basically best friends, and Donnie’s crush is barely even a factor most of the time. It’s there, and it probably always will be, but for now, their friendship comes first. He doesn’t crowd her, he doesn’t beg for attention anymore like he did back in early season 1 (put your biceps and your goosebumps away, child).
They’re science nerds, like Fanta said, and he’s a fan of everything ELSE April can do, too, not just that she’s pretty (look at how he moons over her after she throws Karai down the stairs!). It’s also implied that they hang out (the photograph of them on the swing), and that she looks to Donnie for acceptance in her training — she’s pissed when he trashes her skills.
Donnie’s the one April texts about Leo and Karai, the one April’s nicknamed and turned into a blingee disaster on her T-phone. She trusts him with her open e-mail inbox. He’s the one April calls when she’s in trouble and it’s important to note that this all comes from April. Donnie isn’t blowing up her phone. He’s given her a cute ringtone. That’s it.
This even goes as far as physical affection. Save for two instances, Donnie’s never initiated anything — and one of those instances, he was rejected (The Alien Agenda). All hugs and kisses come from April, unexpected and unasked for.
As for the point about Donnie learning from his mistakes… he has been. Constantly. [This awesome piece of meta] that theherocomplex wrote goes into a bunch of detail about the way Donnie treats April and should honestly be fandom required-reading.
As for Casey and “sharing” April, I thought the show was pretty clear that all of Casey’s initial interactions with Donnie bred dislike even putting their crushes aside: Casey left April alone in the sewers while she was drugged up and afraid (their rule is no turtle left behind and there’s no reason this wouldn’t extend to April), Casey dragged April through the Kraang portal (the Kraang really want April’s head on a pike), Casey made cracks about Ice Cream Kitty eating Donnie’s rat father, and Casey is another Raphael, the brother that Donatello notably gets along with least out of the other three.
Their interactions show Casey firmly on the aggressive with Donnie (throwing out gaptooth as a personal attack for literally no reason) — Donatello is on the defensive until the end of The Manhattan Project/Wormquake! because Casey puts him there. Casey puts him down, often in the same ways Raph does — and sometimes a little more insidiously (Donnie’s not a “real scientist”, he said to April, in a effort to steer her away from talking to Donatello).
Donatello may be threatened by Casey, but Casey is the one who actively treats Donnie like a threat.
Neither one of them behaves perfectly when it comes to their crushes, but again, like theherocomplex [said], if you want to call Donnie creepy, or a stalker, or anything else, you need to take a good hard look at the rest of the show.
They’re all teenagers. They’re all idiots by default. But Donnie likes April for more than just how she might look in a jumpsuit.