Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 1, Episode 41: Rita's Seed of Evil

As I’ve gone through the first season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, I have grown to appreciate the amount of time that the writers have spent building up all of the characters.  They will take entire episodes to focus on certain characters, or they will display something about a certain set of character that will lead to the viewer connecting with them a little bit more.  Even without the threat level growing progressively as the series advances, we get to learn about the people we are watching and grow to love them.  The good characters and the bad characters.

This writing even flows into the supporting characters every once in a while.  Though the supporting characters are primarily used as the comic relief of the series, sometimes they get an extra amount of screentime to showcase themselves.  That was the case in the episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that I’m about to write about.  Bulk and Skull got a little extra time to show that they aren’t just characters that take pies to the face.  They didn’t get to be much more than that, but they did get to be a tiny bit more.

This is only a small part of the episode.  The rest involves the Power Rangers, as any episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers would.  And I’m going to tell you all about this episode’s adventure right now.

Season 1, Episode 41: Rita’s Seed of Evil

As part of a school project, the gang is going to plant trees in Angel Grove Park.  It will not only help their grades in school.  It will help the environment by giving some foliage to recycle the air with.  As one of the characters said (I don’t remember who, it was 3am when I watched this episode and I was tired) with the rate at which the rainforests are being destroyed, every tree helps.  With the aid of Billy’s super growth liquid, the trees should be healthy in no time.

Bulk and Skull will not stand for this.  In their boorish way, the two of them decide that they will take credit for the trees and get the good grades for themselves.  As they go to tamper with the trees, they notice someone else tampering with the trees.  It is Squatt, who Rita has sent down to plant some seeds in the park.  Bulk and Skull run away and hide in a portable toilet.  Yeah, that happened.

The gang ends up fighting a bunch of putties in the park before being informed by Zordon of Rita’s plan to grow the evil Octoplant.  Jason goes to investigate the seeds and gets tangled up in a bunch of tentacles.  The rest of the Power Rangers show up and free him.  Then they end up fighting more putties because there’s nothing like a good old fashioned fight with putties.

Octoplant blooms, the Power Rangers fight it with the Megazord, Octoplant dies.  That’s it, right?  Nope.

Let’s go back to Bulk and Skull for a bit.  The entire time that the Power Rangers are going through the Octoplant thing, Bulk and Skull are in the port-a-potty.  They got themselves locked inside and spend the majority of the episode trying to get someone to let them out.  As the fight with Octoplant comes to a close, a truck picks up the port-a-potty and drives away with it.  Bulk and Skull are still in it.  When the show goes back to the school, Bulk and Skull come into class late and are reprimanded for it.  Even though they were stuck in a toilet, they are in trouble for being late to school.  The end.

There were a lot of Bulk and Skull antics throughout the episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  Though the Power Rangers still had a monster and a fight to deal with, the episode was primarily a showcase for Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy to showcase their comedic traits.  The close quarter nature of it left the comedy to a mostly vocal and facial nature rather than their typical slapstick physical style in the show.  It was a nice contrast to what I normally see out of the two of them in any given episode.

The way that the writers help to highlight specific actors or characters in certain episodes is one of the many delights I get out of watching Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  The episodes in themselves might not be influential over the story, but they help to give the show’s audience a better connection to the people in the show.  It’s something that matters a lot, even if it doesn’t push the show forward into new territory.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers could use some serialized elements.  Yet their episodic style helps to give layers to the characters and performances that gives the show a more rounded feel.  And since there are still a good seven episodes before the next multiple episode story, I’ll take what I can get.  I still enjoy the show without a building story.  It’s still fun and addictive.  It still has good action that is pleasing to my eyes.  I still like the people involved.  I still like the show.  In the end, that’s all that matters.

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