Thursday, July 28, 2016

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 14: Missing Green

Last time in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Tommy lost his powers.  He was no longer the Green Ranger.  He used the end of his powers to defeat the snail monster that was terrorizing Angel Grove and to stop Lord Zedd from creating the Dark Rangers.  It was a noble sacrifice.

Now the Power Rangers have to deal with losing a teammate.  Jason David Frank is still in the show, so he’s still going to play a part even without his powers.  Unlike when the Green Candle happened, he will still be around.  At least for the next episode.  The episode deals with Jason’s guilt over Tommy’s powers being taken away.  It could be a solid character building episode, with the show once again moving in the right direction.  The show is becoming serialized.  It is allowing the events of episodes to have meaning and consequence.  That’s progress.  Let’s see where we end up with…

Season 2, Episode 14: Missing Green
Jason was the main focus, having his guilt over Tommy’s powers being taken away as the core story.  It drew back to the Green Candle episodes when Jason had to choose helping the Power Rangers save Angel Grove over helping Tommy to stop the candle from burning out.  Jason was preparing for a karate tournament but his guilt was keeping him from focusing on winning.

Kimberly decided that she, Trini, Zack, and Billy needed to go find Tommy so that Jason could deal with his feelings.  They set out on a journey to Tommy’s uncle’s cabin.  On the way, they encountered Goldar and were trapped in another dimension with candles of their own.

Bulk and Skull followed the Power Rangers after hearing Kimberly say something about a ranger.  They were still trying to uncover the real identities of the Power Rangers, so this was another attempt to figure things out.  When Goldar arrived, they tried to take a picture of the Power Rangers, only to be foiled by a bird nest falling on them.

The main story was Lord Zedd’s plan to destroy the Power Rangers.  He was inspired by Rita Repulsa’s green candle to make candles for Zack, Trini, Kimberly, and Billy.  Goldar trapped them in another dimension as their candles burned and it was up to Jason to save everyone.  There were solid fights, starting with Jason fighting putties.  It was one of the best putty fights this season with Jason going all out to get past them.  Then he went up against a monster created from the karate tournament trophy.  It was Jason’s ThunderZord against the giant monster.  For the final fight, Jason battled Goldar in the other dimension.  He overcame Lord Zedd’s general and managed to get all of the Power Rangers’ powers back.  He finished the episode by winning the karate tournament.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has used its second season to show how well it can build lasting storylines.  Through the Green Ranger power arc, they brought in a throughline that had a meaning.  This episode continued that trajectory by continuing the Tommy story without having Tommy interact with the characters.  It was about the repercussions of actions made in the past.  Jason dealt with guilt he had from an event the previous season and how that single decision meant the end of Tommy as the Green Ranger.  The show came into the second season with a better idea of story structure and continued to keep that going with this episode.

Another thing in this episode will have a lasting impact.  That was the appearance by Tommy at the end.  It wasn’t such a big deal for this specific episode, as it was Tommy telling Jason to believe in himself.  But there was something different about Tommy.  He was wearing white clothes.  He was no longer wearing the green that we know him for.  The white clothes are representative of his return as the White Ranger.  That hasn’t happened yet.  They’re setting it up.

The only other important thing to note about the episode is the strange way that the candles came about.  Lord Zedd was inspired by Rita Repulsa.  However, he never got their DNA.  Rita needed some of Tommy’s DNA to make the green candle.  Without that, her plan never would have worked.  For whatever reason it worked for Zedd without DNA.  He was able to make the candles, and they had an effect on the Power Rangers.  It seems rather strange that the show can bring in solid serialized elements but forget their own continuity.  Sure, it was over twenty episodes ago, but it’s still strange.

It’s time to wrap up this Mighty Morphin Power Rangers post.  Orchestral Maneuvers in the Park is the next episode and I have no idea what to expect.  I’m looking forward to it.  The show has been getting better and I’m excited to see whether the improvement continues or if the show will backtrack into its old episodic ways.  I’ll catch you on the flip side when I come back with the next episode.

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