Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 1, Episode 36: Birds of a Feather

In the previous episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Tommy Oliver lost his powers, Jason received his power coin, and Tommy left the team.  It was a tense episode that caused a change for the series.  How big would that change be?  The next few episodes should show what Tommy’s departure means for the Power Rangers.

In the first episode after Tommy’s goodbye, Jason has had to step up to be even more of a leader for the team.  Not only must he be able to lead the team as he did before Tommy’s arrival, but Jason must also do the duties of the red and green Power Rangers at the same time.  He has become one man doing the job of two.  With Rita Repulsa always topping herself in terms of ways in which to threaten the Earth, overextending Jason’s abilities might be the downfall for the Power Rangers.  It probably won’t be.  I don’t think the show is ready, at this point, to get into deeper themes like long term exhaustion.  But it would be interesting if this became something important.  I would love to see the loss of Tommy have an effect on Jason outside of losing a team member.  It would show some depth to the writing.

The first episode after The Green Candle does not show much depth or character moments.  Instead, it’s a typical monster story for the show with a somewhat interesting twist.  The loss of Tommy doesn’t affect what is going on in any real way.  The episode is just a normal episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that.

Season 1, Episode 36: Birds of a Feather

Rita Repulsa has a new monster to send to Earth and it will be the toughest monster for the Power Rangers to defeat so far.  The monster is called Hatchasaurus.  No, I’m not making that up.  Hatchasaurus is a cross between a bird and a dinosaur.  It is powered by Cardiotron, a compurized heart thing that can revive it every time it dies.

Meanwhile, Zack is training some kid for a fighting tournament.  He’s teaching martial arts through dance, as he had done way back in Itsy Bitsy Spider.  He promises to be there for the kid’s tournament battle against a bully sent by Bulk and Skull, but must slip out with the rest of the gang when Zordon tells them about the threat that Rita has sent down to Earth.

Of course the Power Rangers go out to stop it.  Of course they kill Hatchasaurus.  Of course they don’t kill Cardiotron, and Hatchasaurus comes back from the dead.  That’s exactly how it should play out, isn’t it?  The Power Rangers must fight Hatchasaurus a second time and they must defeat Cardiotron while they do it.

The newly reformed, stronger Hatchasaurus begins to overpower the Megazord, so Jason calls in the Dragonzord.  It doesn’t work though, because the Dragonzord gets a binding spell put upon it, rendering it useless.  Jason decided to make a final stand by jumping into the mouth of Hatchasaurus and fighting Cardiotron from the inside.  I’m not sure how it happens, but being inside Hatchasaurus gives Jason the strength to give the Dragonzord the strength to break the binding spell and free itself. 

The Zords destroy Hatchasaurus, sending Jason one on one with Cardiotron in a field.  Jason’s power sword glows red and the Dragonzord flute dagger glows green as he runs at Cardiotron and destroys it.  The day has been saved.

The gang goes back to the Youth Center where Zack’s buddy is going up against the bully.  He sweeps the leg and wins, in an anti-Karate Kid style match.  Everyone is happy and the episode ends.

That’s the plot.  No, seriously.  That’s what happened.  Hatchasaurus, Cardiotron, jumping inside a giant bird, glowing weapons… It all happened.  It sounds insane, doesn’t it?

As you can see, Tommy’s departure didn’t make much of a difference over the proceedings.  Everything was business as usual, albeit more insane business.  I’m hoping that as future episodes play out, we see the effect that the loss of Tommy has upon the Power Rangers.  After making the Green Ranger seem like such an important part of the team, it seems strange that losing him hasn’t changed much.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a show that I always enjoy, but always hope for more from.  I don’t know if it will ever be more than a monster-of-the-episode show.  I would like if it did though.  I’ll try to come back soon and tell you if the next episode does anything to improve upon this episodic nature.  See you then.

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