Thursday, July 6, 2017

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 47: Best Man for the Job

Previously, on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Tommy went into battle against… Tommy.  The Return of the Green Ranger saw Rita Repulsa call upon The Wizard of Deception to create an evil clone of Tommy.  Tom Oliver had all of Tommy’s skills, and the powers of Tommy’s old Green Ranger self.  The rest of the Power Rangers team was sent back to a colonial times version of Angel Grove and had to survive until they could be saved.  It all ended well as Tommy saved the past, present, and his friends.

Now we’re onto another story about the Power Rangers.  The title doesn’t give away too much and it only lasts one episode.  What will happen with the Power Rangers this time? A monster will show up.  They’ll fight it.  And then they’ll leave Rita and Lord Zedd frustrated.  That sounds about right.

Season 2, Episode 47: Best Man for the Job
Angel Grove held a school election and the Power Rangers decided to get in on the action.  Billy suggested that Tommy run for school president because of his leadership qualities.  Aisha recommended Kimberly for the position because the best man for the job isn’t always a man.  Sometimes it’s a woman.  In the end, Kimberly won the top spot on the school council, and everyone was happy.  Except for Bulk.

When the school election was announced, Bulk thought it was the perfect opportunity to find the real identities of the Power Rangers.  He was going to win the election and gain access to the student files.  For some reason, he thought that the identities of the Power Rangers would be in the files.  He ended up losing in a landslide.  Bulk only received one vote: his own.  Even Skull voted for Kimberly.

Lord Zedd didn’t come up with the evil plan in this episode.  Rita instead devised a plan that would get Tommy and Kimberly to be intensely competitive with one another.  The two teens would be at each other’s throats the entire episode.  Then Rita would steal Saba and take control of the White Tigerzord, thus bringing danger to Angel Grove and the Power Rangers.  It was a good plan that backfired because of friendship.

Two big fights helped to accentuate the story.  The first was a putty fight, like usual.  There was a blending of comedy and action that isn’t usually seen on the side of the Power Rangers.  They would be in the middle of kicking putty butt, and then Tommy and Kimberly would begin arguing on the battlefield.  It was a reminder of Rocky Just Wants to Have Fun and his distraction from the fighting which, though dumb, still made for some fun.  It wasn’t as serious or threatening a fight as usual, but was still a fun one to watch because of the way the comedy worked.  The other major fight was the battle between the White Tigerzord and the Thunder Megazord.  It had some strange editing, the reasons for which will come up later, and some sword fighting.  It wasn’t as strong as other recent Zord battles, yet it was still fun to see the Zords go into battle against each other instead of fighting monsters.  It always feels like a bigger threat to have the weapons of the good guys being used against the good guys.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers came off of a solid three episode story with a standalone episode that was okay.  It wasn’t the worst that the show has ever had, but it was nowhere near the strongest.  The show slipped back into its old ways with this one.  Lord Zedd had been a major threat for the entire season.  He was much darker than Rita Repulsa ever was, giving monsters that felt dangerous.  You always knew that the Power Rangers would come out on top.  However, with Lord Zedd, it was always a tougher battle.  They lost the Green Ranger along the way.  They had to be saved by Bulk and Skull at one point.  With this episode, it felt like we went back to the ultra-cheese of the Rita Repulsa era.  The scope was bigger, for sure.  The threat didn’t feel as big, though.  Her plan was to get Kimberly and Tommy competitive with one another.  That’s barely breaking up the team.

What was closer to breaking up the team was the fighting.  The putty fight had Tommy and Kimberly focusing more on arguing with each other than fighting off the bad guys.  It would be the Zord fight that would be more destructive.  It is always bad to have the Power Rangers going up against their own Zords.  In The Return of the Green Ranger, we saw the White Tigerzord go up against the Dragonzord, then we saw the Thunder Megazord go up against the Dragonzord.  This episode saw the Thunder Megazord fight against the White Tigerzord.  There was something special about the fight that wasn’t the basic idea of it being a bigger threat than usual.  The scene was shot with American footage.  This was the first time that Mighty Morphin Power Rangers had filmed their own footage for a Zord battle.  In season 1, when the show ran out of battle footage, they called upon Toei to film more footage, leading to the Zyu2 footage and the dumber than dumb storylines that came with it.  This time, they went out on their own and filmed a Zord battle to fit the show’s needs.  It made for a stronger story, even if it was dumb.  The American filmed Zord battles would become a fixture in the series moving forward, happening at least once a season.  They would never be the norm, but they would come back throughout the show.

Best Man for the Job wasn’t in the top tier of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, but it did its job as a breather between the multi-episode stories that the show was giving near the end of the second season.  It would have been nice to have a thread of continuing story in there, but I’m not going to complain too much.  The show has been stronger as of late, and with the end of the season coming up, it should bring some good stuff.  Here’s hoping that the next episode is some of that stronger stuff.

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