Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 19: Two for One

Season 2 of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has been interesting.  It has focused on Tommy and his powers.  The season began with Tommy’s Green Ranger powers wasting away, and that storyline was followed by the introduction of the White Ranger.  Tommy’s new White Ranger role got him promoted to the team leader.  Along the way, the Power Rangers made new friends in Richie and Curtis, while Bulk and Skull tried to discover the team’s true identities.

Now we come to a new storyline.  During the making of White Light, three of the actors went on strike and were subsequently let go.  Austin St. John, Walter Jones, and Thuy Trang parted ways with Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  This meant that the show had to scramble to find replacements for them, and had to find a way to make it seem like the actors were still around until the new characters could take on their roles.  A lot of editing tricks were used to make it seem like the actors were still there, such as body doubles, recycled footage, and deleted scenes.  The lead up to The Power Transfer is going to be an interesting saga in Power Rangers history and we’ll be taking the first real step with this episode.

Season 2, Episode 19: Two for One
Kimberly was preparing for a date with Tommy.  She met Trini at the Angel Grove Youth Centre to talk about the date while waiting for Tommy to finish his martial arts training session with Jason.  Trini lent her some lipstick, which she put into a weird looking see-through plastic purse that she borrowed from her mom.  Kimberly really likes the something borrowed part of a relationship.  After Tommy went home and changed clothes, the two of them went to the park for some fun times.

Bulk and Skull were also in the park.  Bulk’s cousin had created a Power Ranger detector.  It worked like a metal detector, except instead of finding coins and scraps, it would point out where any Power Rangers were.  Of course, Bulk and Skull made mistakes and they didn’t find the Power Rangers.  They walked right out into a lake with the detector, coming out the other side and detecting a bunch of children.  The water probably did more harm to the detector than good.

Lord Zedd disrupted Tommy and Kimberly’s date to throw his evil plan into action.  He sent down putties and stole the purse to create his monster.  He actually created two monsters.  Pursehead (greatest monster name since Pumpkin Rapper) was created from the purse and some lipstick monster was created from Trini’s lipstick.  The Power Rangers had to take down both monsters.  They got a two for one monster deal.  Hey, look.  That’s the title.

There were a few fights that livened things up.  The first was the putty fight.  For the first bit, Tommy and Kimberly worked together, helping each other spin around and fight off bad guys.  Then they split up to kick putty butt.  Not too much happened, but the teamwork was nice.  Then there was the fight with Pursehead.  The monster was able to freeze people and it wasn’t until Billy and Trini created a device to unfreeze the Power Rangers that it could be defeated.  Tommy used his talking sabre to defeat it while the other Power Rangers went to help Jason with the lipstick monster.  For that fight, they got their zords, put them in battle mode, and Jason’s Zord used its spinning staff to kill the monster.

One big change to Mighty Morphin Power Rangers happened in Two for One.  That change was the opening credits sequence.  The opening credits changed to show Tommy as the White Ranger.  All evidence of the Green Ranger was removed and replaced with White Ranger.  Other material was removed and replaced with White Ranger footage as well.  One thing stood out, though.  With the exit of Jason, Zack, and Trini looming ahead, a lot of their footage was taken out.  In between the Power Rangers’ actor credits and the credits of Bulk and Skull, only three morphing sequences were shown.  They were Tommy, Kimberly, and Billy.  The people behind the show clearly knew that those were the three Power Ranger actors staying and chose to only show them.

Two weird things stuck out in Two for One.  The first was the fact that Kimberly was borrowing her fashion supplies from other people.  She borrowed the purse from her mom and she borrowed the lipstick from Trini.  It seems odd that someone so conscious of her looks wouldn’t have stuff of her own to show off.  She seems like the kind of person who would have everything she needed to keep herself looking as best she could.  The other thing was one shot during the putty fight.  Tommy kicked one of the putties so hard that it rolled backward up the hill.  This kind of action has become more prominent the longer Mighty Morphin Power Rangers has gone on, but the editing was very noticeable.  It was clear that the stuntman had rolled down the hill, not up.  They had obviously reversed the footage.  As the putty rolled up the hill, the dust of his impact disappeared.  The more he rolled, the less dust there was.  It’s not too weird, but it is quite obvious, to the point that I wanted to write about it.

That brings this post to a close.  Two for One was a standard episode that only started the disappearance of Jason, Trini, and Zack in the opening credits.  That will change soon, as the actors became unavailable for filming.  We’ll find out how big of a factor that becomes as we move forward.  The next episode is called Opposites Attract.  I wonder what we’re in for.

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