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.

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 6: Bloom of Doom

Last time on Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Zack and Billy had putty on their minds.  They put on glasses that made them see their friends as putties.  They didn’t know whether they were fighting friend or foe when real putties attacked.  At the same time, a monster grown from the class iguana terrorized Angel Grove.  Bulk and Skull were trying to find out who the Power Rangers were by matching voices to tape recordings.  And Tommy once again drained his powers.  It was action packed and fun.

This episode will probably be the same.  There is sure to be action, since the show uses action scenes from its Japanese counterpart.  I’m not entirely sure what the action will be.  It will likely have something to do with a flower.  Hopefully there will be more of Bulk and Skull trying to figure out who the Power Rangers are.  That storyline is entertaining.  It’s an improvement over what they were doing last season.  But the episode will likely be self-contained, since it is not a Part I.  There probably won’t be too much that moves the overall story forward.  There’s only one way to find out if my predictions are correct.

Season 2, Episode 6: Bloom of Doom
We began with the high school storyline.  The teens at Angel Grove High School were getting their extra-curricular activities on by joining different clubs.  Zack had his hip-hop kido club.  Trini had her volleyball club.  Kimberly wasn’t doing well with her horticulture club.  She couldn’t get anyone to join.  Even Bulk and Skull were getting people to sign up for their unsolved mysteries club.

It’s this lack of club signer uppers that inspired Lord Zedd.  He put a spell on a cactus and sent a disguised putty to the Angel Grove Youth Centre to put it onto Kimberly’s table.  When Kimberly touched the cactus, she gained an attitude that turned her against the other Power Rangers.  Lord Zedd is all about breaking the team apart from within.  He also created a flower monster to attack the city.

While all of this was happening, Bulk and Skull ran around with their unsolved mysteries club trying to unmask the Power Rangers.  They used their tape recorder to capture people’s voices so that they could compare them to the voices of the Power Rangers.  When they were about to reveal the voices on their cassette tape, they realized it was too dirty and wouldn’t play properly.

The Power Rangers fought putties before battling the Bloom of Doom.  They morphed up for the putty fight.  Because the putties were the new kind, it was American footage.  They kicked putty butt before the Bloom of Doom arrived.  It took Kimberly to an inter-dimensional warp.  Only Trini could save her, since they are best friends.  When the Bloom of Doom and Kimberly came back, they were quick to kill the monster with the power blaster.

This was another self-contained episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers.  Nothing about this episode will have a lasting effect on the series.  It ended where it started.  The episode was fine, if a little quick with the resolution.  They barely fought the monster.  I prefer the putty fights, but if you’re going to have a monster, they should fight it for more than five seconds.  Even when it took Kimberly away, it didn’t really do anything but stand there while she was scared about being somewhere other than Angel Grove.

I’ve already hinted at the weirdest thing in this episode.  Everyone kept saying that Kimberly and Trini were best friends.  I can’t remember anything in the series to support that claim.  Tommy and Jason seem like best friends.  That is evident throughout the series.  But if Trini is anybody’s best friend, she would be Billy’s best friend.  They seem to understand each other better than anyone in the group.  They’re usually together.  And Trini tends to be Billy’s translator when he talks about smart, scientific stuff.  I have never seen anything that would make me think Trini and Kimberly are best friends.

That’s another episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers down.  It was okay.  Perhaps the next one will be better?  It looks like a Tommy episode, so it should be.  Tommy has always been an interesting character.  From his introduction to his disappearance to his re-introduction, the guy has been a great addition.  I’ll see you next time when I delve into The Green Dream.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: Season 2, Episode 5: Putty on the Brain

Previously in Mighty Morphin Power Rangers, Lord Zedd was defeated again.  This being only his second defeat, it’s not too big of a deal.  He still has time to defeat the Power Rangers.  In his second outing, he turned a baboon costume into a monster that could take on the form of any Power Ranger.  The problem was that it would lose its disguise if it saw its own reflection.  The Power Rangers used this weakness to defeat it.

What will Lord Zedd try out in this episode?  It’s looking like he’s going to use putties to do his dirty work.  I’m fine with that.  I like the putty fights more than the Zord fights anyway.  It’s nice to see the Zords every once in a while, but the putty fights feel more varied.  They are exciting because they have different settings and different combinations of moves.  I’m excited to see what the putties do in this episode.

Season 2, Episode 5: Putty on the Brain
There were a few bits and pieces of high school storyline sprinkled throughout this episode.  Billy and Zack were working on some sort of experiment and needed dark glasses to protect their eyes.  Bulk and Skull were feeding the class iguana.  That’s about it for real high school storyline.

Why were Bulk and Skull feeding the iguana?  They were found by Miss Applebee while searching the school for the Power Rangers.  It’s nice to see that this story is a continuing part of the season.  This time around, the pair have a tape recorder and are trying to match the voices of their peers to the voices of the Power Rangers.  At the end of the episode, they also try to get the iguana to sniff out the Power Rangers.  The first plan isn’t so bad.  The second one is terrible.  They don’t find out who the Power Rangers are.

Lord Zedd’s plan for the episode (spoiler alert: it failed) was to get the dark glasses to change Billy and Zack’s sight.  They saw the other Power Rangers as putties.  They could not distinguish between their friends and their enemies.  Then Lord Zedd created a monster from the class iguana.  His plan was to tear the team apart from the inside then use this destruction as a distraction while his monster attacked Angel Grove.  It’s a pretty good plan that didn’t work.

The Power Rangers had to deal with the repercussions of Lord Zedd’s plan.  After Zack and Billy tried to fight Kimberly, Jason, and Tommy in the school hallway, they tried to find a way to break the spell.  When Angel Grove got attacked, their temporary plan was to morph because when they suited up, Billy and Zack no longer saw them as putties.  They ended up fighting the iguana monster and defeating it.  Then they solved the sight problem without Billy or Trini’s scientific expertise.

The fights in the episode ranged from good to meh.  As I expected, I enjoyed the putty fighting.  I like watching the American actors doing their martial arts, especially on playgrounds.  The first big putty fight was on a playground.  An added layer to the fight was the possibility that Billy and Zack could end up attacking one of their friends, not knowing which putties were them.  A later putty fight had the Power Rangers in their suits.  It wasn’t as good as the earlier fight, but tried some new things.  The Power Rangers jumped super high, flipped on and off boulders, and there were some bigger falls than usual.  When the iguana monster showed up, there was a fun little fight where Zack and Billy used an ice gun against the monster’s fire breath.  But it was followed by a short, unexciting fight between the Mega ThunderZord and the giant monster.

There wasn’t a whole lot of change brought about in Putty on the Brain.  The episode was fairly self-contained, only adding one minor thing to the Power Rangers’ arsenal.  The ThunderZords had a quick moment in their battle mode.  I don’t believe that had been shown previously.  They had appeared and immediately joined into the Mega ThunderZord in any of their previous appearances.  The battle mode version didn’t really do anything.  It flew around for a bit before changing into the Mega ThunderZord.  But we know it exists, and that’s something.

In the episode, a few weird things stood out.  During the final battle section, Tommy said that he had to stay behind and get recharged.  We never saw him get recharged and he never joined the fight.  Why even mention getting recharged?  Why not just say he didn’t have enough power?  Earlier in the episode, when the iguana was being fed by Bulk and Skull, they buried it in Cheerios.  I don’t know if that’s animal cruelty or not.  It was buried in food, so maybe it liked that.  But the standout weird thing was the power that the glasses had.  Billy and Zack saw the rest of the Power Rangers as putties, but they didn’t see each other as putties.  You might think that the power was only meant for the two of them, so it wasn’t going to make either of them look that way.  However, Bulk and Skull put on the glasses and began to see Billy and Zack as putties.  How come Billy and Zack didn’t see each other that way?  It makes no sense.

The next episode of Mighty Morphin Power Rangers is called Bloom of Doom.  I’m not entirely sure what the episode will be.  It’ll have something to do with flowers.  The title makes it seem that way, at least.  It doesn’t have a Part I attached to it, so the episode will probably be self-contained once again.  I’ll let you know more about it next time, when you come back to read about more Power Rangers fun.