Sunday, April 17, 2016

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 4: The Wanna-Be Ranger

When we last left Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Lord Zedd was suffering from his first defeat.  The Power Rangers obtained their ThunderZords and used them to finish off the piranha monster.  Lord Zedd blamed the rest of the moon base inhabitants for his loss.  Except for Rita Repulsa.  She was floating around space in her dumpster singing drinking songs.  Bulk and Skull, on the other hand, are still going to be a menace to the Power Rangers.  They decided that they will unmask the Power Rangers and let the whole world know who they are.  That’s where we’re at.

Now we are into the main stretch of season 2.  The opening three episode arc has concluded, and the next episode is likely to be a standalone story.  I’m okay with that.  After the introduction of so many new elements to the series (ThunderZords, Lord Zedd, new putties), it’ll be a nice chaser.  This episode’s title makes me think that there will be an imposter on the loose in Angel Grove.  I could be way off base with this assessment, but watching the episode is the only way to know.  There likely won’t be any major changes to as the opening three episodes set everything up already.  We’ll see as we watch…

Season 2, Episode 4: The Wanna-Be Ranger
The episode started with the only bit of high school type stuff in it.  The gang was playing basketball at the park when Zack showed up in a baboon costume.  He said it was for a young family member’s birthday.  It felt out of place but was worked in later.

At the Command Centre, the gang found out that Zordon was going to disappear for a while.  That left Alpha 5 in charge.  Alpha took the opportunity to help a lost child in the park.  This crossed over with Bulk and Skull who were walking through the park.  In their only appearance of the episode, they screamed when they met Alpha 5 and ran away.

Lord Zedd chose the baboon costume as his newest monster.  The baboon monster was able to take the form of any Power Ranger.  It used this power to try and convince Alpha 5 to take it (as Billy) to the Command Centre.  Alpha realized that the monster was not Billy and started a self-destruct timer.  The monster then pretended to be Zack and tricked Trini and Kimberly into a putty ambush.  This was when the Power Rangers realized something was amiss.

Most of the Power Rangers storyline involved fighting the monster in various locations.  It pretended to be Trini, Jason, Tommy, and Zack again.  They kept figuring out who was really the monster.  Finally, the monster grew and they pulled out both the Dragonzord and the Mega ThunderZord to defeat it.

The fights in the episode were nothing special.  The most notable thing was that the big monster footage was Zyu2 footage, meaning that anything with the baboon monster was filmed with the season 1 Power Rangers costumes and Zords.  But the current season of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers introduced the ThunderZords.  Editing was done to make it look like the Mega ThunderZord was fighting the baboon monster, even though there were no shots that they shared.

This was a self-contained episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, as I predicted.  It had no lasting impact on the series as a whole.  The team didn’t change.  Bulk and Skull didn’t unmask anyone.  Zordon left but returned quickly.  Everything is exactly the same at the end of the episode as it was at the start.

There were a couple weird moments that stood out in the episode.  The first was that the Power Rangers were still using their dino morphers.  Having been upgraded to ThunderZords, I expected their morphing segments to be changed to suit the new Zords.  That’s not the case.  It makes sense because they’re still wearing their dino suits.  It just felt odd.  The other strange thing was the mirror that helped defeat the monster.  I didn’t mention it earlier, but while trying to fight the baboon monster, the Power Rangers discovered that it couldn’t impersonate someone else while looking at its own reflection.  Kimberly pulled out a mirror.  When Billy used the mirror later, it was a mirror with the triceratops symbol on it.  Why did Kimberly have a mirror designed for the blue ranger?  It made no sense.

The next episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is called Putties on the Brain.  That seems promising.  I enjoy the fights with putties, so it should be entertaining.  You’ll find out how good it is when the next post goes up.  See you soon.

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