Sunday, May 15, 2016

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 7: The Green Dream

Previously on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the high school kids were joining extra-curricular clubs.  Some chose the volleyball club.  Some chose the hip hop kido club.  Nobody joined Kimberly’s horticulture club.  This allowed Lord Zedd to use Kimberly’s jealousy to harm the Power Rangers team.  The only way to fix this was to have Kimberly’s best friend Trini come to her aid.  They worked together, mended their broken friendship, and defeated Lord Zedd’s newest monster.  It wasn’t the best episode.

This episode looks like it will be a step up from the disappointment of the last one.  The title alone says the episode is going to be about Tommy Oliver.  Tommy is the most interesting character.  He has had the most changes throughout the time he’s been around.  He was a villain, then he joined the team.  He eventually lost his powers as Rita Repulsa melted down the Green Candle, but would regain some form of them.  He is currently suffering from his power draining away with every fight.  This episode will likely address the problem and push the character forward into his next stage of his Mighty Morphin Power Rangers existence.  Let’s see how it goes as we watch…

Season 2, Episode 7: The Green Dream
The episode opened with the high school storyline.  Bulk, Skull, and Tommy were in class.  Miss Applebaum assigned an essay about any subject.  It was due at the end of the week.  Tommy could not focus on the assignment, however.  His mind was stuck on nightmares he had been having of losing his powers.  The essay never got resolved, but the Tommy stuff was resolved with a hopeless feeling that he would permanently lose his powers.  Lord Zedd would make sure of that.

Bulk and Skull decided that they would write about the secret identities of the Power Rangers.  They had a contraption that would direct them to the Power Rangers.  Luckily for the gang, Billy created a device that scrambled frequencies, and it led Bulk and Skull to the wrong people.  That was it for those two in the episode.

Lord Zedd’s plot involved Tommy’s nightmares.  He used them to control Tommy’s mind.  The newly evil Tommy stole the Sword of Power from the Command Centre and gave it to the monster of the episode, Robo Goat.  The control was then broken and the rest of the episode devolved into fighting.

Earlier in the episode, there was a putty fight as Tommy tried to fight off a horde of putties in the park.  It was a fairly simple fight.  A few kicks, a few punches, and Tommy being kidnapped.  That fight led into his possession.  After the Sword of Power was given to Robo Goat, Tommy fought to get it back.  It was a one on one martial arts battle that ended with Tommy being thrown off of a cliff.  He would survive, but the loss would hurt him more than physical pain.  The rest of the Rangers arrived to save the day.  They fought the monster, with Jason having a short solo battle with it.  Then it grew and they brought out the Mega ThunderZord.  They overcame the Robo Goat after being knocked down and having their control systems damaged.  They killed the monster.  The end.

The Green Dream was the most emotional episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers that part of a specific arc.  It took Tommy and used his backstory to build to an ending sadder than most.  In twenty minutes, the episode highlighted the different parts of the Green Ranger’s career.  He was evil, just like his series introduction.  His struggle to keep his power has been a big part of the late first season and early second.  At the end of the episode, Tommy sat on the school stairs with his girlfriend Kimberly and his best friend Jason.  Those are the two other Power Rangers that really mean anything to him.  And why were they there?  They were comforting Tommy in his hopelessness.  He is going to lose his powers and they can’t stop it.  This is like when he was written out of the first season in The Green Candle.  Everything in this episode had similarities to his backstory.  That attention to detail made the episode work.

As with any good episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, there were a few strange moments.  The first is the wirework used in the fight between Tommy and the putties.  The series has relied on punches, kicks, and flips for these fights.  The one in this episode had Tommy flying sideways through the air kicking at a putty.  It was clearly a use of wirework, which I don’t remember being featured before this point. 

Another strange thing came in the form of the Sword of Power.  Tommy took it, gave it to Robo Goat, then fought and lost trying to get it back.  Jason later battled with the monster.  While the monster was holding the sword, it disappeared and Jason said that Zordon teleported it back.  Why didn’t he do that earlier? If he had done that while Tommy was fighting, he might not be so down in the dumps at the end of the episode.  Everything could have been resolved quicker and the Power Rangers could have been back to their normal lives.

Finally, the Mega ThunderZord was damaged by the giant Robo Goat.  It fell over and the control system was too damaged to function.  Jason called for Tommy’s help.  This is normal for Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  They’ll get in trouble, call for help, and get out of it.  This time the help didn’t come.  Tommy’s powers had been reduced so much that he couldn’t call on the Dragonzord.  It wasn’t a problem though.  Billy immediately fixed the controls of the Mega ThunderZord and the Power Rangers won.  Why was any of that necessary?  We knew that Tommy’s powers were reduced to almost nothing.  It seemed like filler to pad out the runtime.

This was a solid episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  It was one of the best that standalone episodes.  It had resonance with the characters, ended on an emotional beat, and moved the overall story of the show forward while being self-contained.  It’s everything you could want from Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  If this is a sign of what’s to come, I am excited for the future.  The next episode is The Power Stealer, so it looks like the threat to Tommy is going to remain a fairly large part.  We’ll see if that’s the case.  See you next time.

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