Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 1, Episode 38, A Bad Reflection on You

When I watch Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, something I look forward to is a good episode that can drive the overall story of the series forward.  That hardly ever happens because the show is episodic rather than serialized.  So you have to look at the individual episodes to figure out whether or not the show is progressing well enough to be considered good.

A big part of the different episodes is the villain.  Besides Rita Repulsa and her usual entourage of Goldar, Scorpina, Squatt, Baboo, and Finster, there are the monsters of the episode.  The best ones are a formidable threat rather than something to simply fight for fighting’s sake.  They raise the stakes and make the situation tough for the heroes.  These villains are more realistic, in the sense that the idea behind them isn’t ludicrous.

In the episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, there was a good villain.  It was a villain that I imagine could have worked in a multiple episode arc.  For whatever reason, the writers decided to make it a one episode story.  Perhaps the next two episodes will show why, since I am about to get into another two episode arc.  But this isn’t about those episodes.  This post is about the one I just watched.  Shall we get into it?  I believe we shall.

Season 1, Episode 38: A Bad Reflection on You

Rita Repulsa has concocted a new plan to try and take down the Power Rangers.  She has enlisted the help of a monster named Twin Man.  Twin Man is a samurai made of mirrors that can disguise itself as whatever it wants.  It can also change putties into other things.  So, of course, Twin Man becomes Jason and the Red Ranger while four putties become the rest of the gang and the other Rangers.

The plan is this: The anti-Rangers will go to Angel Grove High and tamper with the water fountains.  This will get the gang a detention sentence, which happens during school hours for some reason.  I don’t understand why detention wouldn’t be after school.  Having it during school means that they don’t go to class and don’t learn.  Whatever.  While the gang is in detention, Twin Man and his group go off the wreak havoc upon Angel Grove as the Power Rangers.

Jason, Kimberly, Zack, Billy, and Trini are stuck in detention with Bulk and Skull when they hear about what is happening in the city.  They cannot become the Power Rangers because of Bulk and Skull being near so they come up with the idea of a magic trick.  Zack says they can disappear, but the bullies must close their eyes and plug their ears and count down from ten.  That’s when the gang transforms into the Power Rangers and head to the battlefield.

The battle goes down pretty easily.  Each of the Power Rangers pairs off with their evil counterpart.  There is a bit of confusion at one point but they manage to overcome the evil doers and take them all down.  They didn’t even resort to the “No, I’m the real one!” trope.  It was a miracle.  The last of the evil Power Rangers left standing is Twin Man.  He tries to attack in his natural form, but the Power Rangers put their weapons together and blast him away.  Bye bye monster voiced by Bryan Cranston.

Bulk and Skull decide that they are going to rat out the gang for disappearing.  They go into the hall to get the principal who comes into the classroom to find the gang has returned.  The principal gives Bulk and Skull another detention for lying.  And the episode ends.  Credits.

Now, I think Twin Man and what he does would have made for a great arc that could have played out over multiple episodes.  It could have been like a Mighty Morphin Power Rangers adaptation of the movie Invasion of the Body Snatchers.  Doubles of each member of the gang showing up one at a time, ruining their reputations and the reputations of the Power Rangers.  It would have been gripping and possibly could have changed the landscape of their lives.  It is wishful thinking and all.  I get that.  I just think that more could have been mined out of this episode to make a three or four episode arc that meant a lot to the series.

It was still an enjoyable episode and one of my favourites that didn’t push things forward in a major way.  It had a good villain, it had some decent work for Bulk and Skull, and it didn’t need to go with the big, ridiculous Ultrazord stuff to cap off the episode.  It kept things small scale and that was nice.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is a show that I find it hard to not enjoy.  The cheesy high school antics and the fun action help to keep it entertaining.  There are many more episodes to go in the Mighty Morphin Power Rangers saga, and many more Power Rangers series to come after that.  I’m excited to be here writing about it.

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