Tuesday, May 30, 2017

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 39: Rangers Back in Time, Part I

In the previous episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, the team of heroes went up against a team of fishy monsters that Lord Zedd had sent to the beach in Angel Grove.  Each of the monsters had already fought and lost against the Power Rangers.  When the team of monsters was subdued once again, Lord Zedd sent down another monster that the Power Rangers quickly defeated.  It was a wet and wild episode of fishy happenings.

Now we’re moving onto part one of a two episode arc where, I believe, the Power Rangers end up becoming children.  It’s one of multiple times that this happens throughout the series.  More importantly, this episode will be the turning point as the show becomes more serialized and multi-episode arc based. For the rest of season two, at least, there will be more multi-episode stories than standalone episodes.  Let’s begin our journey into the ever growing and ever changing Mighty Morphin Power Rangers with the next episode.

Season 2, Episode 39: Rangers Back in Time, Part I
The class project at Angel Grove High School was for the students to bring in childhood pictures and discuss their past.  It was like a show and tell session and a time capsule put together.  Everyone participated in it.  Even an unseen student who told a story about horse riding did the assignment.

The project gave Lord Zedd an idea that has been his best plan yet.  He used the Rock of Time to reverse time and send the Power Rangers back to their childhood, with no memories of being Power Rangers.  He then turned someone’s camera into a monster and attacked Angel Grove.  That’s the whole story.

One big fight occurred in the episode when putties went to Angel Grove Park to terrorize the child-aged Power Rangers.  Most of the fight involved the children trying to run away from the putties.  One of the kids picked up a ball and threw it at the putties.  Eventually, they relearned that if they hit the Z on the putties’ chests, they would destroy them.  So that’s what they did, with the ball.  Even Bulk got in on destroying the putties.  The other confrontation wasn’t much of a fight.  The monster showed up and immediately trapped the children in a picture.  That was the end of the episode.

There were many notable things about this episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  It only feels right to begin with time travel being added into the show.  Never before has time been altered within the world of the Power Rangers until now.  It will become an important aspect of the show moving forward.  Later in season 2, Kimberly will go back in time to the Wild West.  In season 3, the characters will once again become children, leading into the Mighty Morphin Alien Rangers arc.  There’s even an entire season of the show, Power Rangers Time Force, which heavily uses time travel.  This science fiction concept will become increasingly more important in the stories of the Power Rangers.

With that said, the way that time travel was implemented for the first time in the franchise was absurd.  It was the same sort of time travel that happened at the end of Superman: The Movie.  The rotation of the Earth was put into reverse and that caused time to go backwards.  That would in no way change how aging works.  It would instead cause crazy natural disasters and riots throughout the world.  The idea of reversing the direction that the world spins is a good evil idea because of the repercussions that it could have.  Death and destruction should be things that Lord Zedd desires.  But no.  He simply reversed time by doing it and his plan will surely be foiled in the second half of the arc.  That’s too bad.  The stakes could have been great.

As for the Power Rangers becoming children, there was a reason for replacing the actors with child counterparts.  At the time that the episode was being filmed (which was the final episode produced prior to The Power Transfer, I don’t know why the order was like that), a movie was also being filmed.  Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie was set to be released between the second and third seasons.  It meant that the actors needed some time away from the show to film their parts in the movie.  Replacing them with children was a good way to keep the characters around while the actors could go off and work on the other project.  So, that’s the background behind the episode.

Being part 1 of the story meant that there was no real resolution.  There was a good callback at the end by having the children end up in photographs, much like the photos they had been showing off in class.  The next episode will pick up with the Power Rangers children in their dire situation and have them somehow grow up again and fight the monster that Lord Zedd sent to Earth.  It’ll probably turn out well, but we don’t know for sure yet.  We’ll find out next time.  See you then.

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