Sunday, January 29, 2017

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 34: Where There's Smoke, There's Fire

Previously, on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the Power Rangers were on television to tell the world how important education was.  Their appearance on the Harvey Garvey talk show was cut short as Lord Zedd turned one of the cameras into a monster.  They quickly subdued the monster and kept Angel Grove safe.  Bulk and Skull missed their chance to unmask the Power Rangers because of the fight.

The next episode seems like it will be, as the kids say, lit.  That’s because it has something to do with fire.  Get it?  Lit?  Fire?  Anyway, hopefully it will alleviate some of the burning curiosity I have about the characters’ backgrounds.  We’re far enough into the series that they should be able to flesh out the characters and make the audience care about them.  Let’s get into the episode.

Season 2, Episode 34: Where There’s Smoke, There’s Fire
Angel Grove High School chose Aisha as the new school fire chief.  She took the job too seriously, becoming bossy and obsessive.  Tommy said he could drop of flyers at the mall and Aisha told him to go to the gas station and library as well.  Ernie said he would fix potential fire hazards within the week and she demanded he do it right away.

The bossiness seeped into the Power Rangers side of the story as well.  Tommy, Adam, and Rocky were in the park fighting putties.  They fought some before the monster showed up, and then morphed up to fight some when the monster started lighting the park on fire.  When Aisha, Kimberly, and Billy were called to help, Aisha told the other two to stay in the Command Centre and went off by herself.  She started fighting the putties alone while Adam, Rocky, and Tommy stood by wondering what she was doing.

Zordon teleported everyone back to the Command Centre and told Aisha that she had to be a team player.  She couldn’t do everything alone, and she couldn’t just boss people around.  He then sent everyone into battle where they Zorded up and fought the giant-sized fire monster.  They beat it pretty quickly with their sword.

Bulk and Skull, meanwhile, were trying to find a fire.  They thought that the Power Rangers would arrive wherever there was a fire.  When they found a fire, the two teens were so scared that they ran into the lake.  That got them kicked out of the Wannabe Firefighters.

The fights were fairly entertaining, particularly when Aisha tried to take over.  Every time one of the other Power Rangers was fighting, she would jump in and kick the putties away from the Power Ranger and fight on her own.  It involved some interesting choreography.  The other fights weren’t much, but that one brought the episode up.  There was still entertainment in the other two fights, they just didn’t have the same kind of memorable moments.

This wasn’t the most important episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but it did give insight into Aisha’s personality.  The problem with Zack and Trini in the earlier episodes was that they didn’t have flaws.  There were no problems with the character’s personalities unless the bad guys had caused them.  Trini was always nice and pleasant.  Zack was always the cool best friend.  They had no reason to grow.  With the new characters, the writers have introduced negative aspects to their personalities.  Adam has confidence issues, which have been shown in multiple episodes.  Now Aisha gets her flaw of being obsessive.  She will overdo things just to prove that she can do them right.  She’ll push other people away in order to accomplish her tasks.  It’s something that the show hasn’t shown so much, and it’s refreshing to see these complications come up.

That’s not to say that they feel completely natural.  There was no real transition from Aisha’s normal, fairly pleasant personality.  It was like flicking a switch between her being friends with everyone and her bossing everyone around.  The show is definitely improving in the character work, but still needs to find a way to pace out the writing.  The audience needs to be eased into the flaws so that they can relate to what is happening or sympathize with the characters’ growth.  It is a show aimed at children.  It should feel real when it comes to the emotions so that the kids are better able to learn the morals of overcoming the issues.

Another episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has come to a close, and so has this post.  Aisha learned an important lesson about letting other people help her.  Now we’re going into another episode that might lead to some more important Power Rangers material.  Either that or it will be another standalone episode that will give a new layer to the characters.  We’ll find out next time.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 33: Lights, Camera, Action

In the previous episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Rocky just wanted to have fun.  He forgot about his duties as a Power Ranger.  He danced around the battlefield, putting everyone’s lives in danger.  He was under a spell from Lord Zedd.  It eventually got broken and the Power Rangers defeated a monster based on a pachinko machine.  It was an episode that wore its Japanese influences like a badge of honor and it was better for it.

I have no idea what to expect from the next episode.  I’m hoping that it goes into some movie based places.  The title makes me think that it might.  At the same time, I would like it to help Rocky become a full character.  I want to know who he is.  It should also further Bulk and Skull, since they have been becoming better written characters.  We’ll find out what’s in store as I dive into the episode.

Season 2, Episode 33: Lights, Camera, Action
Aisha gave a presentation in Mrs. Appleby’s class about the power of television.  It was relevant to what was about to happen.  The Power Rangers would be on the Harvey Garvey talk show that night to talk about how important education was.

Bulk and Skull were excited because they were going to sneak backstage and execute a plan to reveal the identities of the Power Rangers.  They were going to drop bags from the rafters of the set onto the Power Rangers heads, then pull off their helmets.  They couldn’t figure out the right bag to drop, though.  At the end of the episode, Bulk and Skull got a week of detention after being late for class.

While the Power Rangers were on the Harvey Garvey show discussing how they defeated Pudgy Pig, Lord Zedd created a monster from one of the television cameras.  The Power Rangers cut their public appearance short to take on the monster and the putties that it came with.  They teleported to the park to fight.

None of the fighting was all that good.  There was an early putty fight that involved the Power Rangers defeating a bunch of putties easily.  The same thing happened when they left the talk show.  They took down the putties in no time.  The giant monster battle wasn’t much more exciting.  The big difference was that it happened during a sunset.  The monster ran at the Megazord with a sword.  The Megazord dodged the attack, did a quick slash of its own, and killed the monster right away.  Tommy was busy fighting Goldar, but Goldar fled before anything could happen.  Nothing stood out as all that entertaining.

There was nothing important about this episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  The story wasn’t moved forward.  No new fighting aids were introduced.  Bulk and Skull did not reveal the identities of the Power Rangers.  Everything at the end was exactly as it had been at the beginning.  Even the introduction of Harvey Garvey and his talk show doesn’t mean anything to the show as the character and show never return.  It was as standalone as an episode could be.

The only thing that happened in Lights, Camera, Action that felt special was a letter that came from Jason, Zack, and Trini.  Ms. Appleby read the letter to the class.  The three former Power Rangers said that the only way to achieve world peace was through education, and that the Power Rangers had done a good job by telling everyone how important education was.  It was the first time that the three former Power Rangers had been mentioned by name since they left the show.  There will be another mention later in the season, but the characters won’t return.  Except Jason.  He’ll be back.  We’re a long way away from that, though.

That’s the episode.  Lights, Camera, Action is now behind us.  What’s ahead?  That’s an interesting question.  Hopefully something that moves the story forward or lets us know more about the characters.  Standalone episodes are nice, but this one was too standalone.  There should be some growth, even when the episodes are meant to keep everything the way it is.  Maybe there will be growth in the next episode.  We’ll find out soon.

Saturday, January 14, 2017

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 32: Rocky Just Wants to Have Fun

Last time we left the Power Rangers, Bulk and Skull had figured out who they were!  But they forgot quickly after, because of an accident that happened when they saved the Power Rangers from a monster.  Why did Bulk and Skull save the Power Rangers?  Well, the monster erased the Power Rangers’ memories, and Bulk and Skull were the only people left to execute the Power Rangers’ plans.  It was a big episode for Bulk and Skull.  It helped put them in a better light for the second time in the past handful of episodes.

Now we’re onto an episode about Rocky.  He’s the least fleshed out of the new characters and it’ll be nice to get a little bit of insight into what makes him Rocky.  We know that Adam has some confidence issues, and we know Aisha’s personality.  Rocky is sort of a blank slate.  This episode should change that and give him something that the audience can latch onto.  We’ll get that and more in…

Season 2, Episode 32: Rocky Just Wants to Have Fun
Rocky and Billy were in the Angel Grove Youth Centre studying advanced math.  Ernie unveiled his newest purchase.  It was a pachinko machine.  He let Rocky try it.  Rocky thought it was a lot of fun.

Lord Zedd took that as inspiration for his two step evil plan.  The first part was to cast a spell on Rocky that would make him only want to have fun.  He would ignore anything that wasn’t fun.  It took him out of the Power Rangers team.  The other part of the plan was to turn the pachinko machine into a monster called Pachinko Head.

The Power Rangers met Pachinko Head in the park after fighting putties on a playground.  It was a lackluster playground fight.  While they attempted to smack talk the monster, Rocky ran back and forth like a goof.  He didn’t want to fight.  He just wanted to have fun.  The monster quickly turned everyone, except Tommy, into pachinko balls.

The big fight at the end started with Tommy on his own with the White Tigerzord as Alpha-5 attempted to turn the rest of the Power Rangers back into teens.  Rocky was the first one saved, with the fun spell broken.  He got his Red Dragon Thunderzord and headed into battle.  When the rest of the Power Rangers were saved, they joined him.  The Megazord was able to quickly kill Pachinko Head.  Then came the next phase of the attack as Serpentera showed up, only to lose its power and leave.

Bulk and Skull spent the whole episode thinking that Ernie was a Power Ranger.  Skull had done some research and figured out that every time the Power Rangers were saving the world, Ernie had the day off.  They stalked him, only to find out that while they were watching him, the Power Rangers saved the world again.

Technically, this episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers was a Rocky episode.  The difference between this one and the two Adam episodes is that this one didn’t give any new insight into Rocky.  It didn’t show us a new side of Rocky.  He was under a spell cast by Lord Zedd that made him want to have fun.  That isn’t Rocky’s normal personality.  He’s usually there to get the job done, regardless of how fun it is.  This episode could be seen as an anti-Rocky episode since it goes against everything that has been established for the character.

Bulk and Skull, meanwhile, had one of their better storylines.  The show has been taking the time to work on how they write these two characters.  They’re still the bumbling comic relief, but there has been more care put into the two characters to give them depth.  This episode had them do their typical bumbling thing.  Yet, it showed the pair as slightly more intelligent than they have come to be known.  There was an actual reason behind their plan.  Instead of some crazy contraption that would direct them to the Power Rangers, Skull had done homework.  He had researched the past Power Rangers events to figure out where to look for the Power Rangers.  This storyline wasn’t an afterthought.  There was thought to it, both on the part of the writers and the part of the characters.  It was a nice new layer to Bulk and Skull that the series should keep up.

That does it for this episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  Another monster has been defeated.  Lord Zedd will have to regroup his forces and try again.  Perhaps he’ll try in a movie kind of setting.  The episode title Lights, Camera, Action sure makes it seem that way.  We’ll find out next time.  See you then.