Thursday, January 23, 2014

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 1, Episode 34: The Green Candle, Part I

I’ve always been the person who goes into Mighty Morphin Power Rangers enjoying the fun that happens on screen but hoping for more depth.  I love the multiple episode story arcs because they bring that depth to the story.  There are higher stakes, more emotional moments, and additional fun.  They use the arcs to go all out on what the show is.  The people behind the show make these the better episodes that I look more forward to.

In Green with Evil, we were introduced to Tommy Oliver and the Green Ranger.  This is a character that has become a big part of the team, and has helped them to win many a fight against the monsters that Rita Repulsa sent down.  Now, with The Green Candle, we’re seeing his powers being put in danger.  He may lose them and no longer be a Power Ranger.  It’s a fight to keep a friend on the team.  It’s a struggle to keep Rita from slowly weakening the Earth’s defenses.  Will the Power Rangers be able to keep Rita from succeeding in her evil plan, or will they lose a Power Ranger?

Episode 34: The Green Candle, Part I

Rita Repulsa is up to no good again.  But this time she has an idea more dastardly than ever before.  She has taken some magic wax that Tommy touched while he was under her control, and she has made a large green candle with it.  When the candle melts the entire way down, Tommy will lose all of his power and no longer be the Green Ranger.

Meanwhile, Zack is showing Tommy how to pick up girls because Tommy is nervous about asking Kimberly to the dance.  Zack fails miserably with a girl, but Tommy is going to try with Kimberly anyway.  He takes her for a walk out by a pond and as he’s about to ask her, Goldar and a bunch of putties show up.  They all fight for a while before Tommy is kidnapped and taken to that alternate dimension from the Green with Evil episodes.

In Tommy’s absence, Rita sends a shape shifting Cyclops monster to Earth to attack.  The Power Rangers must deal with this immediate danger and leave Tommy to fend for himself.  The Cyclops becomes the Dragonzord and the only way for the Power Rangers to fight it is in the Megazord.  The fight for a while until Tommy eventually escapes and joins them with the real Dragonzord.  The Cyclops gets defeated.

Tommy realizes that he is weak and when he asks Zordon about it, Zordon tells everyone about how the candle holds the Green Ranger’s power.  They all get depressed because this might mean the end of Tommy as a Power Ranger.  The episode ends with Goldar laughing about the situation.

Like I said, the story arcs tend to have the bigger stakes.  It’s not only about Rita sending monsters to Earth.  It becomes about the livelihood of the Power Rangers, and the threat feels more dangerous than the typical episodic monster.  It feels like there can be big consequences to the overall show.  These are the episodes where you can feel changes happening.  In Green with Evil, it was the addition of Tommy and the Green Ranger.  This time around, it might be the loss of Tommy.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers never ceases to amaze.  Perhaps I find myself disappointed in the depth of some of the episodes, but I am never anything but in awe of certain aspects.  In many cases, it’s the integration of the Japanese footage, which is well done.  In the case of this episode, I’m amazed by the continuity.  Whereas most episodes are fairly self-contained, this one made reference back to the origin of the Green Ranger, and managed to build upon that for the storyline.  If Mighty Morphin Power Rangers did that more often, the show could improve beyond the mindless fun that many of the episodes are.  I’m sure it won’t happen because it’s a children’s show, but a guy can dream.

That’s it for this episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  I’m only halfway through The Green Candle.  There’s still one more episode to come.  I hope you’ll return to read my thoughts following that episode.  I enjoy watching the show and writing for it.  Whatever the quality of the writing is, I still enjoy doing it.  It’s a fun thing to do.  I’ll be back soon.

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