Thursday, March 24, 2011

Power Rangers Season 2 Episode 18 - White Light Part 2

So, we have another new monster on the loose, Bulk and Skull have found Rita's dumpster, and Zordon and Alpha have shut down the Command Center, leaving the Rangers on their own. But who cares about any of that, THERE'S GONNA BE A NEW RANGER! OMIGOD OMIGOD OMIGOD! Who is he? What does he look like? What Zord will he have? Let's not waste any more time speculating and find out!


We pick up where we left off as Billy watches Zordon and Alpha work on the new Ranger. He runs off to tell the others, making enough noise that I'm surprised Alpha and Zordon didn't overhear him. On the moon, Zedd gloats about his minor victory due to the Rangers' retreat and promises to finish them off next time he sees them.

We cut to Billy's lab where he tells the group about the new Ranger. Surprisingly, the Rangers aren't exactly receptive to the idea. For one thing, Zordon and Alpha kept it a secret from them. Another problem is that they don't know who it is. Kimberly questions why they didn't just give Tommy the new powers, considering he was already a member of the group. Plus, they're all friends with one another and mesh better as a team. But Jason says that they need a new Ranger to help in their fight against Zedd, and that Zordon must have a reason behind what they're doing, so they come to terms with the idea.

After Alpha and Zordon work on the new Ranger some more, we see Bulk and Skull try and fail again to open the dumpster. Skull suddenly gets an idea and they head to see Ernie, for some reason. After they leave, we see that Rita's actually starting to open the dumpster herself. This probably won't end well.

Back at the Command Center, we see that Zordon and Alpha are finished and have reactivated everything. They contact the Rangers and they teleport to the Command Center. Once there, Zordon gives a speech about the Green Ranger's powers disappearing and them needing a new, more powerful Ranger in his stead. They selected a candidate and granted him these powers. Zordon then introduces the newest member of the team, the White Ranger.

A light suddenly turns on from above. The White Ranger slowly descends from above, almost god-like in essence. The suit is amazing, a perfect combination of white, black and gold, making him look very regal and exactly as important as he should be. Zordon then tells him to reveal his true identity. He slowly unclasps his helmet and pulls it off.

Kimberly: *faints*

Holy shit! Who could make Kim faint like that? Is he so incredibly handsome that women literally fall just by looking at him? Who is this guy?

Tommy: Guess who's back?

Oh, hey, it's just Tommy, that's what all the-A-BWHA?!

Yes, the White Ranger is Tommy, meaning he's a full-time Ranger again. Are you really surprised? He has a tender moment with Kimberly as the group celebrates their savior's return.

Zordon: Are you pleased with the new leader of your team?

Whoa whoa whoa whoa whoa! What's all this about Tommy being the leader now? Where did this come from? What about Jason? No, don't just grin and be OK with it, man! Say something! He knocked you out of your position on the team! He didn't even have the decency to forewarn you! Stand up for yourself!

Jason: Uh, Zordon, I thought I was the leader? Weren't you going to clue me in to this anytime soon?

Zordon: Eh, who cares, you're gonna be leaving the show in a few episodes anyway.

Jason: Wait, what?

Zordon: Er, I mean....peace conference. You'll be going to a peace conference. Yeah.

So yeah, Zordon apologizes for being secretive, then goes on about Tommy's new powers are even greater than before and can never leave him. Alpha explains that Tommy will control the new White TigerZord, and will control it with a talking sword by the name of Saba. Oooooookay. But yeah, Tommy's back! Woo!

Meanwhile, Bulk and Skull have what they need to open the dumpster: a giant can opener. I'd comment on the ridiculousness of this, but I'm more curious about where exactly ERNIE found something like that! Zordon catches wind of this, as well as the returning Scarlet Sentinel. Problem is, the Zords were apparently damaged in their last battle and need repairs. Billy and Trini teleport away to repair them, Zack, Jason, and Kim are assigned to stop Bulk and Skull, and Tommy's off to fight the monster. Tommy calls for the morphing sequence, even though he's already morphed. By the way, in case you care, he takes his old position as the first to go, he has a white background instead of green, and calls out "TigerZord" instead of "DragonZord".

Jason, Kim, and Zack arrive and find Z-Putties swarming around, so they start fighting them. Meanwhile, Tommy arrives and immediately summons the White TigerZord. It looks pretty damn cool...until it randomly falls over. OK. By the by, Tommy is a LOT more expressive in the Sentai footage this time around. That would be because his counterpart is a kid. Yeah, Super Sentai did the whole "kid as a Ranger" thing long before Turbo did. Make of that what you will. Oh, and Tommy has a new theme, which is basically just his Green Ranger theme, except with "White Ranger" placed in over the parts with "Green Ranger". Creative.

After that bit of randomness, the three fight more Z-Putties while Tommy successfully enters his White TigerZord. Or rather, he rides on top of it for a bit first before entering. I guess old habits die hard, huh? The TigerZord then roars so hard it actually sends Scarlet Sentinel flying back a bit. Wow. He then converts the TigerZord to Warrior Mode, which is just it standing upright, back legs becoming legs and front legs and head becoming arms and chest, a new head popping up. Also, Tommy has ANOTHER theme while in the TigerZord, "White Ranger Tiger Power". I'm willing to bet someone edited that so it only said "White Power". And if they didn't before, they certainly will now that I suggested it. Anyway, the White TigerZord fights Scarlet Sentinel for a bit, Tommy asking Saba to make it "follow his every move". Why not just tell him to make it punch and kick at the right times? Also, Saba doesn't say much, beyond compliment Tommy on his awesomeness.

After more Z-Putty fighting, Tommy grabs an orb from the back wall and uses it to make the Zord shoot fireballs out of its chest. Yeah, the wall behind Tommy has a bunch of orbs with Japanese symbols on them that make the Zord do things. How much you want to bet we won't see him use this that much? Sentinel summons AC and DC which turns the tide against Tommy. He ejects from the TigerZord, which causes Zordon to make some adjustments to the ThunderZords. For what, we'll see in a moment.

Jason summons the Red DragonZord and it transforms into its Warrior Mode. It then rides on the White TigerZord (now back in its regular mode), which works for a little bit, but not long. The other ThunderZords are then summoned and combine with the TigerZord to form the MegaTigerZord. The Lion forms the shoulders and backplate, the Unicorn and Griffin form the legs, and the Firebird wraps around the TigerZord's right arm. It also spontaneously gets a new helmet. It shows off its finishing move, which is to shoot the Firebird at them, turning it into a flaming projectile. It blasts through all three monsters, finishing them off and leaving the MegaTigerZord and the Red DragonZord Warrior Mode to pose.

Back with Bulk and Skull, they eventually give up on opening the dumpster. Of course, right then, Rita gets out, though still small. She then calls the duo a human Squat and Baboo, and they faint. Hey, that's a pretty devastating insult! Of course, the Rangers arrive and immediately place her back in the dumpster. A little later, they wake Bulk and Skull back up, while demorphed, of course, and act like nothing happened. Meanwhile, Zordon sends the dumpster back into space, where Rita will never return....for now, anyway.

We cut to the Juice Bar, where the group are celebrating Tommy's return, who is now wearing white, of course. Richie then walks over, apparently having won a martial arts trophy. Whoopee. He demonstrates, which causes a cake to go flying into Bulk and Skull. The two immediately decide "screw this", and leave. Tommy's glad that things haven't changed in the three episodes he's been gone, group laughs, episode ends.


As far as a two-parter goes, this one was pretty good. The first part worked well as the setup, and the second part was simple awesome in its reveal. The most popular character is back, he has new powers, meaning new suit, new Zord, new everything. And since he's using a Dairanger costume now, that means he can actually fight the monster without it looking like a choppy mess. Though I'm still surprised there was no problem with Tommy suddenly becoming the leader. Overall, well done, and worth your time.


Here's the new White Ranger. I actually like the little bit of unintentional continuity here as it looks a bit like the Green Ranger suit.

Here we have the new White TigerZord...

...and here's its Warrior Mode.

Finally, the ultimately awesome MegaTigerZord. Which, for some reason, doesn't get used that much. I think.


Unfortunately I can't find a sequence of the White Ranger morph alone. You'll have to wait until later after...well, you'll see.

The White TigerZord converting to Warrior Mode.

The MegaTigerZord transformation.

Power Rangers Season 2 Episode 17 - White Light Part 1

Last time, we got an episode that was so bad it was offensive. Or rather, it was so bad because it was offensive. I could list all the reasons why that episode was so bad, but I'm in a bit of a rush, so let's just get to why we're here today. Another two-parter called White Light. Yeah, three episodes after we finished with our last two-parter, in which Tommy was written out of the cast, we get another one. Still, the multi-parters are usually (emphasis on usually) important and pretty good, so I guess I can't complain. Let's see what all the fuss is about.


So we start off at the Juice Bar, and it seems like business as usual. Billy and Trini are hanging out at the bar, Bulk and Skull have another plan to find the Rangers' identities that they don't explain, Richie is being useless, same ol' same ol'. Kimberly then comes skipping in, literally, as she tells Billy and Trini that she got a letter from Tommy saying that he's coming home at the end of the week. Seriously? What happened to him being written out? Are you guys capable of letting this guy go? Well, to be fair, the plan was originally to write Tommy out so Jason David Frank could go on to star in the Power Rangers spinoff, VR Troopers. And don't bother asking me about that show, I literally know nothing about it. Fans, however, kept writing to Saban to keep Tommy in the show, so I will give Saban credit for actually listening to the fans. Anyway, they run off to tell the others and prepare a surprise party.

On the moon, Zedd catches wind of Tommy's return and isn't too happy that he just won't stay away. He mentions that he has some sort of plan, though what, we don't find out. Back on Earth, we see Jason and Zack playing football with some random no-names. Oh, and Curtis too. The others arrive and tell them the good news, Zack mentioning that it's been way too quiet lately.


We then cut to the Command Center where Zordon and Alpha mention something about a secret mission. They then shut down the computers and teleport into a secret chamber to prepare. This is smart right here. We don't know what they're talking about, but the fact that they have to shut down the entire Command Center to prepare, essentially cutting them off from the Rangers and the world as a whole indicates that this is pretty big.

Zedd suddenly senses that Zordon's disappeared, which leads to some explanation as to how the Power Rangers' powers work. Their morphing abilities are tied to some energy force called the Morphing Grid, and any Ranger, no matter how or where they get their powers, draw energy from this grid. The Grid's power is maintained by the constant battle between Zedd and Zordon, which fans have extended to essentially mean the battles between good and evil, which is an explanation I like more than just those two. Either way, Zedd sees Zordon's disappearance as a sign of weakness, so he decides to make his next monster, as well as hatch a plan to turn Tommy evil again. He zaps some statue of a fist and calls it the Scarlet Sentinel, though it doesn't actually turn into anything yet. Right.

On Earth, Bulk and Skull are hanging around the last spot where the Rangers were, waiting for them to arrive. Skull wishes that they got some sign that they were on the right track. God apparently decided to fuck with these guys, as a meteor crashes nearby right then. Don't worry, it doesn't cause widespread destruction from the impact, it just freaks people out a little bit. Jason and Billy run off to find out what it is, but Bulk and Skull have already done the same.

And just what was this meteor?


Yep, the dumpster that Zedd trapped Rita in way back in the first episode of this season has crashed on Earth, just in time for Bulk and Skull to find it. Bulk thinks this is the sign they're looking for, and somehow the dumpster will lead them to the Power Rangers. If they only knew. They grab the dumpster and head for Skull's dad's workshop, just as Jason and Billy arrive to check it out. They find nothing, leaving them confused.

The confusion continues when Zack comes across the fist statue from before, which is now dripping with this green jelly slime for some reason. He goes back and brings Trini and Kimberly to check it out, confusing them as well. It gets worse when they try to contact Zordon, but don't get a response. They contact Jason and Billy instead, who teleport there. Billy makes the brilliant conclusion that....wait for it....Zedd is behind it! No wonder Billy is considered a GENIUS!

But, since the monster isn't ready yet, Zedd sends down some Z-Putties to occupy the Rangers for a bit. A fight starts and....ugh, was it really necessary to redub them while they're unmorphed? Now it's even more obvious as to what's going on! Anyway, after that, they decide to try and contact Alpha and Zordon again.

Meanwhile, Bulk and Skull arrive at Skull's dad's workshop and get to work on opening the dumpster. Back with the group, they still don't have any luck contacting Zordon, so they decide to just teleport to the Command Center themselves and see what's going on. After they leave, we discover that the fist statue has a glowing mask on the back of it. Or maybe it's a face, as eyes behind the mask open. Creepy...

Meanwhile meanwhile, we cut to somewhere else as we see Tommy taking a swim. *insert gratuitous shirtless shot for the girls here* Suddenly, he starts flashing random colours and disappears. Uh, OK. Did Zedd grab him? Well, he doesn't flat out say he did, just that things are going "according to plan", and that the monster is almost ready. Why the ambiguity? Well, you'll see why soon enough.

At the Command Center, the Rangers see the place practically abandoned and wonder just what the hell is going on. Billy spouts some technobabble and grabs a CD that'll apparently tell them everything. The Rangers then teleport to Billy's lab. While Bulk and Skull work more on opening the dumpster, Billy discovers the hidden chamber in the Command Center where all the power is currently being focused. Before he can figure out just why this is happening, Zedd activates the Scarlet Sentinel and has it attack. The Rangers morph and head out to fight it.

After the Scarlet Sentinel (which now has the additional name of Nimrod, for some reason) wipes the floor with the Rangers, Zedd makes it grow and the Rangers summon the ThunderZords in response. After forming the Thunder MegaZord, the Rangers promptly get their asses kicked by Scarlet Sentinel some more, especially after it summons its assistants, AC and DC. Uh...the whole Scarlet Sentinel being named Nimrod is one thing, but why are its assistants named AC and DC? Is there any significance behind it? Is it just for an AC/DC reference? What's the point? Anyway, Billy escapes from the MegaZord and teleports to the Command Center for help.

After Bulk and Skull work on the dumpster a bit more, we see Billy wandering around the Command Center, looking for Alpha and Zordon to get help. He opens the secret chamber he discovered and heads in. After going through some tunnels and such, he spies on Alpha and Zordon, and the episode ends when he discovers just what they're working on: a new Power Ranger.


Well, the first part of this wasn't anything big-HOLY SHIT A NEW POWER RANGER! That's all this episode was, one long build-up to the fact that they'll be introducing a new Power Ranger. If you look at it as that, it's done well. Nothing is explained right away, leaving fans wondering just what's going on, and then when the reveal happens, fans are instantly excited. Now, for the big question: who is it? Find out next time!


From left to right: AC, Scarlet Sentinel, and DC. I still don't get the significance of the reference.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Power Rangers Season 2 Episode 16 - Beauty And The Beast

Last time, we had a ridiculously long title, two bad actors for the price of one, and a plot that was just barely held together by the gimmick of bringing back old monsters. Which in and of itself wasn't done very well and went by way too quickly. I have to admit, I don't have very high hopes for this one, but let's dive in anyway.


So we start off at the Juice Bar with Kim and Billy, Kim showing off a mirror she has. Turns out Tommy won the mirror for her at a carnival, which causes the two to mope about Tommy leaving the group. Geez, we just managed to do one episode without mentioning Tommy! One! It's like they don't want to write him out of the plot!

On the moon, Goldar mentions how the Rangers are distraught over Tommy's departure (geez, was he THAT important?), so Zedd decides on his next target. He chooses Kimberly, but he has a strange interest in her. He mentions that he's "intrigued" by her courage, so he chooses her to be his queen?! Whaaaaaaaaa?! Where did this come from?! Since when was Zedd even remotely interested in having a queen at all, let alone one of the Rangers?! I mean, yeah, Amy Jo Johnson is smoking hot, but this goes completely against Zedd's personality! It's almost like they toned down the seriousness of his character because some people were complaining that he was too scary for kids! I mean, it's just a hunch.

Back at the Juice Bar, Kimberly's still moping over Tommy, so she decides to see a fortune teller named Madam Swampy. Wow. It's like they weren't even trying with that name. By the way, I love how Billy tries to discredit fortune telling because he's a scientist and all. Yeah, monsters that grow to enormous sizes, an evil sorcerer who is looking for world domination, and a group of superheroes in multi-coloured outfits mentored by a floating head in a tube is perfectly believable, but fortune telling? Psssssssh. They leave and Bulk and Skull enter, Bulk getting the obvious idea of using the fortune teller to discover the identities of the Rangers, so they quickly head for wherever the fortune teller is.

Somehow, Bulk and Skull get there first. OK, whoever is playing Madam Swampy is instantly a better actor than the entire cast combined, solely because she was able to call herself Madam Swampy without bursting into hysterical laughter. That's talent. And her talent is wasted because her character is the subversion of the mystical fortune teller that's only out for money that's now become a stereotype in itself. Just let it die, guys. Let it die. Anyway, she gives them some map that will apparently lead them to something good, though what it is, I can only begin to guess.

After Zedd talks more about wanting Kim he sends Goldar down to turn her evil. He teleports down to Earth as Kimberly arrives at Madam Swampy's little hut. After Kim gets yanked around like a helpless damsel in distress and not at all like a Power Ranger, Goldar tosses some magic dust in her face that knocks her out, allowing Goldar to grab her and teleport away. Kim dropped her bag with the mirror during the fight, so Zedd decides to use the mirror for his latest monster, Mirror Maniac. Why does that sound like a bad comic book supervillain in itself?

We cut to Zack and Billy rollerblading in the park, the only important bit of dialogue being that Jason's fishing in the mountains with his uncle. K. Zordon contacts them and they meet up with Trini at the Command Center. Zordon fills them in on the plan to make Kim Zedd's queen, as well as they apparently can't break the spell, or track down the cave that Kim's being kept in. Well, nice knowing you, Kimberly. Hope you enjoy being the sex slave for a skinless sorcerer from Hell of another planet.

Zedd then sees the Rangers rollerblading, so he sends some Z-Putties down to fight them. Turns out the rollerbladers, however, are Curtis and Richie. Wait, so Zedd mistook these two for the Rangers? HOW?! He knows their secret identities and knew them from day one! How do you screw that up?! And did we really need to see these guys AGAIN?! Anyway, Zordon catches wind of what happens and the Rangers decide to split up, Billy and Trini going after Kim while Zack handles the Z-Putties. What about Jason, you ask? According to Zordon, they can't contact him because he's too far into the mountains.

....are you fucking SHITTING ME?! You mean to tell me that the LEADER of the motherfucking POWER RANGERS can't be contacted by a superpowerful Oz ripoff just because he's too high in the mountains?! Saban, are you purposely trying to piss people off with all these lapses in suspension of disbelief?! Or was this the best excuse you could make for why Austin St. John couldn't appear in this episode? Anyway, Billy and Trini morph and the three teleport away.

So, despite being unable to find the cave before, Billy and Trini find it no problem. At this point, I really don't care. They fight some Z-Putties near the cave while Zack takes care of the other Z-Putties unmorphed. Once that's done, Billy and Trini head in...oh son of a fuck, they switched Trini's voice too! And why did they purposely give Richie an open vest to wear?! Are they pretty much just giving up on him and letting him be eye candy for the girls?! Why is this episode pissing me off so much?!

We cut to the cave where Kimberly wakes up from the sleep dust, only to meet up with Goldar, Squat and Baboo. Yeah, remember when Squat and Baboo did stuff? Me neither. Goldar tells her that she will now be instructed on being an evil queen, and gives her an outfit to wear....that looks exactly like Rita's.


As it turns out, Goldar's spell didn't work in the slightest, but Kim decides to play along anyway. This leads to her doing a startlingly incredible Rita impersonation. Seriously, it's so accurate I would think she did the real voice, except I know she didn't. It's so good that Goldar even thinks he did the spell TOO well. Points to Amy Jo Johnson for being awesome. Billy and Trini arrive and...

.....what in the fuck is up with Trini's voice? Did they get the new voice actor to purposely sound Asian?! I don't know if you guys can tell from the few clips I've shown you, but Thuy Trang has no accent at all. So why did they make the voice actor have one? Saban, why are you making me question you?

Anyway, they escape and Zedd sends the Mirror Maniac down to attack the city. Alpha contacts the trio, explains that both Zack and Jason are already there, even though they couldn't contact Jason before, so Kim morphs and the rest join the fight. They fight some more Z-Putties while the Mirror Maniac...stands on the sidelines and critiques the fight. Wow. I have to admit, the fight is decent, but nothing special. Then again, I just came off of seeing The Protector starring Tony Jaa, so I may be a bit biased.

Anyway, Zedd makes the Mirror Maniac grow, which somehow breaks its center mirror, I don't even care anymore, so the Rangers summon the ThunderZords and form the Thunder MegaZord. They fight, Mirror Maniac doesn't do diddly dick, Thunder MegaZord finishes it off, please let this end. Zedd of course blames everyone except himself, whatever.

Back at the Juice Bar, Kim can't find her mirror, apparently not realizing she just fought it. You'd think she'd catch on, since Zedd turning important objects into monsters has become his M.O. Actually, it wasn't destroyed as Curtis returns it to her. Bulk and Skull arrive, having followed the map, and running right into the group. Ironically enough, they immediately believe Swampy to be a fraud, since there's no WAY these guys are the Power Rangers. As it turns out, the map was actually a cross-promotional bit between Swampy and the Juice Bar for free muffins or something. Group laughs, episode ends, thank the almighty LORD.


So hey, I don't know if you can tell, but I HATE this episode! The plot made no sense when you consider Zedd's character, the fact that he couldn't tell the Rangers from two boring side characters is just stupid, the fact that they couldn't contact Jason because he was in the mountains is even MORE stupid, WHY DID THEY MAKE TRINI'S VOICE ACTOR SOUND ASIAN, and it was just overall bad. The only shining moment in this episode was Amy Jo Johnson's uncanny impression of Rita. Hunt down that one clip on YouTube or whatever, but otherwise, avoid this one at all costs.

So, hopefully the next episode will be better, tune in next time for...another two-parter?! Didn't we just finish with the last one?!


Mirror Maniac actually makes me realize something: all of the Dairanger monsters so far have a theme with a singular eye. Why is that?

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Power Rangers Season 2 Episode 15 - Orchestral Maneuvers In The Park

Last time, we wrapped up the Tommy storyline as best as could be done, while enduring a storyline that, while an interesting concept, was weighed down by continuity and technical issues. Still, things have changed so now we need to create a new status quo. Let's see just how we go about doing that.


So we start off at the Juice Bar where...ugh. Why do you exist, Richie? Zack and Trini are hanging out when...oh, Curtis? So there was a point to introducing that character? You sure? He mentions taking part in a jazz competition and wants to borrow Zack's trumpet for it. Zack agrees but brings up that it belonged to their uncle, who's a famous jazz musician, so he needs to be careful with it. Our exciting plot, ladies and gentlemen.

On the moon, Zedd catches wind of the trumpet and decides to use it as part of his next plan. The Rangers will fight hallucinations of some monsters they've fought in the past. Once they're tired out, Zedd will finish them off. A good plan, don't get me wrong, but how does the trumpet fit in? Is it just another "F-U" to the Rangers? Zedd, you're starting to become very Rita-like in your pettiness.

We then cut to the park with Zack, Billy, and Kim heading for the festival. I think. They then run into Bulk and Skull with some gardening equipment. They mention that they have a new plan to uncover the Rangers' identities, but we don't find out what it is. Oh, please, don't keep us in suspense. Zedd explains that the trumpet's music will cause the aforementioned hallucinations right before he sends some Z-Putties down. OK, I can live with that explanation. During the battle, one of the Z-Putties sprinkles something on the trumpet that I guess curses it. The Rangers finish them off and head back to the Juice Bar.

After they successfully deliver the trumpet to Curtis, we learn of Bulk and Skull's new plan: get the footprints of the Rangers from where they were last seen, make a cast from them, and then find a match. OK, this sounds like a good plan, but wouldn't that only work if they were wearing the same boots as when they made the print? And if that's the case, I think they'd catch on to the fact that regular people were wearing bright white boots!

Back at the Juice Bar, Curtis takes part in the jazz concert and I would comment on how good he is...except it's obviously dubbed in and the actor's just messing around with the instrument. The trumpet casts the spell on the Rangers...and nothing happens. Guess it's a delayed effect. After the concert, a Z-Putty appears and steals the trumpet, somehow without anyone seeing it. Zedd then transforms the trumpet into his latest monster, Trumpet Top. Ignoring the fact that this monster is incredibly ridiculous, both in look and name, why bother cursing the trumpet if it's the monster that'll play the music? It just seems like an unnecessary extra step.

After the expected gag of Skull spilling cement on Bulk, we see the Rangers wandering through the park, Zack moping about the missing trumpet. Trumpet Top then summons an old monster, Grumble Bee. The Rangers are naturally confused as to how a monster is back from the dead, but they morph and take it on anyway. Trumpet Top adds to the mess by creating illusions of Saliguana and the Fabulous Fighting Flea. Then Soccadillo shows up. Then...which one was that again? Oh, Rhinoblaster. Right. And Zack has a different voice actor and it's really noticeable. Then the Mantis shows up. Then the Stag Beetle. Then the Slippery Shark. This sequence would probably be really cool, except it moves way too fast for me to get any enjoyment out of it. Although a mildly funny bit is the monsters stepping on one another to get at the Rangers. Which is quickly ruined by Jason's other voice actor.

While the Rangers are fighting, Alpha and Zordon observe what's going on, namely them fighting nothing. Zordon, being Zordon, instantly knows that they're placed under a spell. Seriously, how does he do that? He always knows what's going on as soon as he sees it. In most cases, I assume he just heard about it, but this seems like strangely concise observations. This also earns another funny scene where Bulk and Skull see the Rangers fighting nothing and wonder just what the hell is wrong with them. Zordon teleports them to the Command Center, leaving Bulk and Skull the perfect opportunity to make new footprint casts.

Once there, Zordon explains that the group is under a spell, as well as what happened to Zack's trumpet. Of course, the only way to break the spell is to destroy Trumpet Top. Naturally. The Rangers head back into battle as Zedd makes Trumpet Top grow. So the Rangers summon the ThunderZords and form the Thunder MegaZord. The fight is pretty decent, with Trumpet Top actually using the Thunder Sabre against the Thunder MegaZord. This proves to be a bad idea, however, as it makes the Sabre shock Trumpet Top so it can get it back and finish him off. Zedd groans in disgust that he's lost yet again.

Back at the Juice Bar, the group celebrates with Curtis that they got the trumpet back when Bulk and Skull arrive with the footprint cast ready for testing. Zack gets....ugh, start some music and get everyone to the dance floor. Despite their best efforts, Bulk and Skull hang onto the cast, only to drop it a second later. You know, I get that the Rangers are just trying to cover their asses here, but it makes them seem more bully-like than the supposed actual bullies. Talk about your mixed messages. Anyway, group laughs, episode ends.


This is yet another middle-of-the-totem-pole episode. The plot is there mostly for the novelty of seeing some old monsters again, the monster is just ridiculous, and the smartest bit of writing is the plan from Bulk and Skull. That's usually not a good sign. If you want to see a bunch of old monsters in one place, then this is an episode for you, but really, you're not missing much.


Trumpet Top. Just....look at him. What more needs to be said?

Monday, March 21, 2011

Power Rangers Season 2 Episode 14 - Missing Green

So, Tommy's powers are gone. Yes, he went out in a blaze of glory and got to defeat Zedd one more time, but he's still out of the group. Yes, the two-parter wasn't that great and had a subplot that went nowhere, but the bottom line is, Tommy is out. How will this affect things from here on out? Let's take a look.


So we start off at the Juice Bar with Jason practicing for yet another martial arts tournament. Seriously, how many of these does he need to partake in? He tries to practice but is distracted by something. Zack assumes that he misses Tommy, but, in a nice bit of continuity, we find out that Jason blames himself for Tommy losing his powers back in the Green Candle saga. If Tommy hadn't lost his powers then, they wouldn't have had to worry about them decreasing now, and he'd still be a Ranger. Zack tries to reassure Jason that there was no choice in the matter, but it doesn't work.

This minor bout of depression is the perfect inspiration for Zedd's next plan. He's made candles for each of the Rangers save for Jason, and he plans to torture Jason some more by using them to drain the Rangers' powers as well. Yes, I'm going to start nitpicking here, so brace yourself...HOW?! How in the world were these candles even made?! The original Green Candle worked because it was made from the wax that Tommy was encased in to first become the Green Ranger. Therefore, it makes sense that it would have a connection to his powers. How does the same apply to these candles?! Were the other Rangers encased in wax to first gain their powers and Zedd somehow stole it? If so, it seems like a pretty important thing to leave out! And why was there no Red Candle made? Why make these candles to give a big middle finger to Jason and not just go ahead and drain his powers too?! I get the drama behind this plan and I do like it, but it still doesn't make a lot of sense!

Back at the Juice Bar, Zack, Billy, and Kim are discussing Jason's problem. Thuy Trang is still on injury, so we won't be seeing her much. Kim decides that they should go find Tommy so he can help cheer Jason up. Kim explains that he sometimes goes up to his uncle's cabin, so they decide to head there. Bulk and Skull overhear them, and hearing Kimberly mention "Ranger", assume that they're trying to find the Rangers' identities as well. So they grab Bulk's aunt's cab and follow them.

The Rangers pull over (and just to clarify, yes, they picked up Trini along the way) to consult their map. This is the opportunity needed for Goldar to appear, causing the Rangers to morph. While Goldar is monologuing, as he so often does, Bulk and Skull try to take a picture of him and the Rangers. How this will uncover their identities is a mystery. A nest of eggs falls on them, which means they failed, somehow. Goldar then teleports the Rangers to Zedd's Dimension of Doom, which is the same dungeon area from when Jason fought Tommy while he was evil and where the Green Candle was kept. With the Rangers trapped behind bars, Goldar uses the remnants of the Green Candle to light the other candles for each Rangers. I'm sure some would consider that as an explanation as to how the candles would work, but I still have my doubts.

At the Command Center, Zordon fills Jason in on the Rangers' disappearance, as well as why they left Jason at the Juice Bar. Alpha starts scanning for any sign of them, while Jason mentions that there's no point in winning the upcoming tournament if the others can't be there to share it with him. Awwww. Zedd sees the trophy for the tournament and decides to use it for his next monster, transforming it into Pipebrain. Er....OK.

Back at the Command Center, Zordon catches wind of Pipebrain, and Alpha finds the Rangers. Once they learn of the candle scenario, Jason is PISSED. Zordon tries to calm him down and gives a speech about how leaders need to make tough decisions, etc etc. Of course, Jason decides to save the others, which can only be done by defeating Pipebrain. Of course. Jason morphs and goes out to battle.

And here we have a problem. With the appearance of Pipebrain, we're finally using the Gosei Sentai Dairanger footage for monsters. Which means that there won't be any choppy Zord battles anymore! Instead, we get choppy Ranger battles! ....great. Sure, they bring in some Z-Putties to help, but it doesn't really work. And Jason sounds different! Great, now there's the voicing issues again. After some fighting for a bit, Zedd makes Pipebrain grow, thank God, so Jason summons his Red Dragon ThunderZord and fights it alone.

The Red Dragon Zord turns into its Warrior Mode and I gotta say, the Zord battles are MUCH better now. It's a solid back and forth battle and the Red Dragon is pretty agile, unlike the MegaZords which were pretty bulky and slow. The Red Dragon Zord mainly uses its bo staff to fight, even doing the Matrix spinning kick. You know, when Neo sticks that pipe in the ground and spins around on it? Basically that, except it's done to only one guy. He finishes Pipebrain off by spinning his bo staff around like helicopter blades and hitting him with it. Cool.

Back in the "Dimension of Doom", Goldar gloats some more about how the Rangers will lose and such. A nice effect here is this weird flame like effect on the Rangers, making it look like they're burning away. It's hard to describe, but it fits really well. Jason arrive and fights Goldar, eventually causing him to retreat. This scene would be pretty cool if Austin St. John was actually doing the voice here. He gets the Rangers' Power Coins and uses them with his own to restore their dying powers. OK, whatever. He frees the others and they escape, even with Goldar spontaneously coming back to try and stop them. OK.

The Rangers arrive at the Command Center after some minor drama with Jason possibly not getting out. They locate Tommy who's writing a letter to the group. By the way, a nice touch here is that Tommy is no longer wearing green, indicating the loss of his powers. In his letter, he talks about how he misses the guys, but he needs some time to himself to get things straight. He also says that he obviously doesn't blame Jason for what happened and reminds him that the team needs him. This gives Jason the confidence he needs to go back to the tournament.

At said tournament, Bulk and Skull try to prove that they met the Rangers, but the pictures they took were just of the eggs falling on the camera, of course. Jason enters the tournament and of course he wins, what else would happen? He dedicates the obvious win to Tommy as the episode ends.


This episode is kind of iffy. As an epilogue to Tommy's departure, it's alright, and it's a nice callback to what caused him to go down this path in the first place. Still, issues both in continuity and from a technical standpoint weigh this one down a bit. Not to mention we still don't really know how the episodes from here on will play out, since this was still wrapping up the Green No More storyline. If you feel you have to, then give this one a watch, but it's really not that important.


Incidentally, he got the name "Pipebrain" from the trophy name, which was called the Golden Pipe Trophy. That is a really stupid name for a really stupid-looking trophy.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Power Rangers Season 2 Episode 13 - Green No More Part 2

So, Zedd has successfully drained Tommy's powers via a shellfish monster, and has also recruited some evil clones (not really) of the Rangers to become his Dark Rangers. This would sound fairly epic, except it comes off as underwhelming in execution. Still, there's another episode to make things up, so let's see how it goes.


So we start where we left off, with Tommy on the run from Turban Shell. He tries to use the somewhat hilly terrain and Shell's very slow body to his advantage, but it doesn't last long, since without his powers, even this guy can cause some trouble for him. Meanwhile, at the Command Center, we find out there's a force field around it to prevent the Rangers from communicating with them, created from the Green Ranger energy. To make matters even worse, the force field is apparently compressing, meaning that within a certain amount of time, the Command Center will implode! Geez! This is how you raise the stakes, and now this two-parter is a bit better.

In the Otherworld, we learn that apparently, because of the force field around the Command Center, the Rangers don't have access to their powers. I think. Anyway, Goldar wants to finish them off, but Zedd has a much worse fate in store for them. He decides to send them back to Earth with their powers gone, so that they can watch Turban Shell destroy their city and not be able to do anything about it. Damn. That's some evil shit right there. Now you know why Zedd is awesome. He sends them back, and being the heroes they are, they instantly head for Billy's lab to find a way to break the force field around the Command Center.

Back with Tommy, right before Turban Shell is set to finish him off, Goldar appears to send Turban Shell to Angel Grove. Shell leaves, leaving Goldar to take care of Tommy. I like the bit of continuity here, as Goldar and Tommy have had a bit of a rivalry since Tommy's evil days. Goldar gloats about how Tommy is now powerless and adds to this by showing video from his now "glory days" of fighting with the Rangers. This is a nice way of rubbing in the fact that Tommy is now powerless and the villains have essentially won this round.

At Billy's lab, he, Zack, and Trini try to find a way to break through the force field around the Command Center, which mostly involves Billy typing randomly. A news report confirms that Turban Shell is attacking again, which does trouble the Rangers quite a bit. We then move to the moon where Zedd gloats about how much pain the Rangers must be in, before explaining the next phase of his plan: reprogram the ThunderZords and give them to the Dark Rangers. Nice.

After the others arrive and stew about the attack, we cut to Tommy and Goldar, Goldar about to send Tommy "spinning into space with this device". Or something like that. I should note here that Tommy's been beaten down both physically and emotionally here. He no longer has his powers, meaning he can't help his friends or be with them anymore, and Goldar rubbing this in his face made it worse. Or so he thinks, which is important here. Goldar orders Tommy to declare him his superior. For about a minute, Tommy looks like he's going to, but declares Goldar to be out of his mind, jump higher than any non-morphed human being should be able to jump, and starts fighting Goldar. This is the turning point for both of these characters. Tommy was already awesome before, but it's here he truly moves into "supremely ultimate awesome" territory. It's also where Goldar suffers a huge amount of Badass Decay, so much so that any of the Rangers can kick his ass unmorphed, whereas before, he could beat up all of them when they were morphed.

Anyway, they fight for a bit, eventually Tommy gets that device Goldar had and teleports him away. This also explains the message from the last part, as Tommy uses it to contact his past self. Or rather, he somehow contacts another version of him and gives him his communicator. I think. Time travel is confusing. Bottom line, Tommy gets his communicator so he can teleport out of there.

Back at Billy's lab, Billy manages to get through the force field just as Tommy arrives. Alpha manages to contact the group and Zordon explains that the only way to destroy the force field is to destroy the green crystal. Only a non-Ranger can get into the Otherworld undetected, meaning Tommy has to go back. He agrees and is teleported to Otherworld.

Once there, while Zedd is busy talking to the Dark Rangers, Tommy grabs the crystal and smashes it. This not only depowers the Dark Rangers and sends them back to Earth (wow, they were important, weren't they), but also gives Tommy the perfect opportunity to taunt Zedd before teleporting away. Zedd is enraged like never before. Back at Billy's lab, Tommy returns and everyone has their powers back. Tommy was able to regain the energy trapped in the crystal, meaning he can fight one more time. Everyone gets together and this time, the morphing sequence just feels more important, knowing it really is Tommy's last, but he's willing to go out on a triumphant note.

They arrive and immediately summon the ThunderZords and form the Thunder MegaZord. Another choppy fight later (including Turban Shell jumping up and doing...something that hurts the MegaZord) and the Rangers are knocked out of the MegaZord AGAIN. Seriously, is Turban Shell actually this strong? I might be able to take him seriously if he didn't look so ridiculous. Well, the Rangers minus Jason are knocked out of the MegaZord, actually, somehow separating the Zords and leaving Jason to fight Shell alone in the Red Dragon ThunderZord Warrior Mode. This doesn't last long either, leading to the Red Dragon Zord changing back to normal and flying away. Wait, what about Jason? Does he just stay in there?

Tommy starts to summon the DragonZord, but Zordon contacts him, revealing that Shell is weak to heat from within. So Tommy hides within a crate of fruit and is eaten by Shell. He then pulls out a frickin' lazer rifle and starts blasting! Where'd he get that?! Anyway, after more blasting, Zack gets the idea of spraying cold water on him from the outside, the sudden change in temperature making him brittle. Sure, I'll buy that. Tommy escapes and gives the lazer rifle back to Billy. Oh, yeah, duh. Obviously he got it from Billy. The ThunderZords come back online, so they reform the Thunder MegaZord and finish off Turban Shell.

We cut to the Juice Bar, where Trini explains that the Dark Rangers are back to normal with no memory of what happened. And surprise surprise, they walk in just then. The leader of the group orders some drinks from...RICHIE?! Oh hell, Ernie HAD to give him a job. Now he'll never go away! Kim gets the sudden idea that they just need friends to be good people, so Jason pays for their drinks and they start to get to know one another. Whoopdy-frickin-doo.

Back to the Command Center, the group celebrates their victory, and heap a lot of praise on Tommy for coming through and just generally being awesome. Tommy gives a bit of a speech on how the powers don't make the hero, etc etc, and Jason assures him that he'll always be part of the group. The group comes together for one last freeze-frame cheer as the episode comes to an end.

This episode was MUCH better than the last one, mainly because Tommy losing his powers was given the importance it deserved. It was constantly hovering over Tommy's head, the fact that he couldn't help his friends no matter how badly he wanted to. In the end, though, he was able to make a comeback and save the day, partially without his powers at all, proving how badass he is and handing Zedd his biggest defeat yet. This episode isn't without its faults, however. The Dark Ranger subplot ultimately went nowhere, and Turban Shell, despite having a hand in Tommy's powers finally going, was just another monster for the most part. So, this two-parter isn't perfect, and could've been done much better, but for what we got, it wasn't bad. I recommend watching it if only for the sake of importance.

Power Rangers Season 2 Episode 12 - Green No More Part 1

Last time, we had another episode with its positives and negatives. It had some good drama with Tommy eventually accepting that his powers will go, but some continuity problems dragged it down. Once again, it's better to see it as part of the subplot. A subplot that is thankfully coming to an end today. We have a two-part episode that finally resolves the issues with Tommy's powers, which will mean that he gets them back in full and resumes kicking ass. ....right?


So we start off outside the Juice Bar with Tommy moping around the basketball court. Kimberly comes to cheer him up as we get a recap of Zedd's actions for this subplot. Tommy also mentions that Alpha gave him a bioscan to determine if there was any hope of getting his powers back to full, the results of which we'll find out shortly. Lightning then starts striking the area, which results in Tommy seeing...himself? Yeah, some weird holographic copy of him suddenly appears, apparently from the future. The future him gives him some message about a final battle and his communicator, as well as to not give up, before disappearing, leaving Kim and Tommy, as well as the audience, confused as hell.

We cut to the moon briefly where Zedd promises that the Green Ranger will lose his powers today, and then the Rangers will be finished. We then move to the school where we're introduced to Zack's cousin, Curtis. And apparently, excellent dancing skills is genetic in Zack's family, because we meet Curtis while he's showing off his dance moves to a crowd. He even moonwalks, the bastard. And FUCK, Richie's there too. God, why can't this guy just go away? He and Curtis leave and Tommy walks in, explaining what happened to Zack and Billy. They're suddenly interrupted by spontaneous rolling garbage cans that have Bulk and Skull in them. They were placed in those cans and are promptly scared shitless of the group behind them. Five teenagers who are clearly bullies because most of them wear fingerless leather gloves. They are also wearing the original five's respective colours. I have a very bad feeling as to where this is going.

Apparently, my feelings aren't unfounded, as Zedd decides to take these supposedly nasty doppelgangers and make them into his Dark Rangers. Well, I'm sure another evil Rangers scenario could work considering it's Zedd at the helm, right? Er, right? There's also a green crystal that's apparently siphoning the Green Ranger power, which Zedd will use again Zordon and the Rangers. This sounds like just another plot from the past few episodes, which is a good way of luring the viewer into a false sense of security.

At the Command Center, Tommy gets the news from Zordon, and it isn't good. They're unable to restore his powers, meaning he's left with enough for one last battle. Tommy mentions the vision, which Zordon can't quite pinpoint a concrete meaning yet. He does determine, however, that since Tommy wasn't wearing his Green Ranger outfit despite being in the middle of a battle, it doesn't look good.

We then move to the beach where the Rangers, minus Trini, are hanging out. Kim explains that Trini's visiting her grandmother, hence her absence. I think the real reason was because Thuy Trang broke her leg and had to be written out for a couple of episodes. I'm not 100% sure on that, though. The doppelgangers show up to pretend to be tough, which leads to Zedd deciding to transport them to his "Otherworld" to transform them into the Dark Rangers. How much you want to bet this "Otherworld" doesn't get any mentions after this two-parter? They're teleported away as the Rangers wonder just what the hell is going on.

In this Otherworld, Zedd briefs the doppelgangers on becoming the Dark Rangers, as well as his newest plan, which is to create a monster to force Tommy to use up his powers. Unfortunately, he chooses to make one from some shells Kimberly was collecting, resulting in Turban Shell. Not only is this monster slow and very lame, but the fact that THIS guy is supposed to mean the end of Tommy is just bad.

At the Command Center, Tommy relays the test results to the others just before Turban Shell attacks Angel Grove, already in giant form. Trini arrives and Tommy obviously wants to help, not knowing it's just part of Zedd's plan. They eventually agree, and I like the more subdued "It's Morphin' Time" call by Jason, knowing that this will most likely be Tommy's last fight. They morph and head out to battle.

Once there, they see the giant Turban Shell and quickly summon the ThunderZords and form the Thunder MegaZord. And then Tommy summons the DragonZord! So, what happened to him not being able to control a Zord anymore? Aw, who cares, the DragonZord is back for one last romp! Thankfully, this means that its fight with Turban Shell isn't a choppy mess, unlike the fight with the Thunder MegaZord. Somehow, Turban Shell beats up the Zords enough to force the Rangers to eject, allowing it to retreat.

In the Otherworld, Zedd isn't too happy that Turban Shell made a run for it, so he forces it to go back and finish off Tommy. He then teleports Tommy to some field in the middle of nowhere so the two can fight. They do for a while until Turban Shell absorbs what's left of Tommy's powers and transfers it to Lord Zedd. Yep, this is how Tommy loses his powers. Just terrible.

Meanwhile, the Rangers find that they can't contact Zordon, and are suddenly teleported to the Otherworld, in a force field and demorphed. Zedd exposits about his plan to replace the Rangers with his Dark Rangers and we see them for the first time...and they look ridiculous. It's basically just recoloured Putty outfits with red eyes and mouth. How can they be expected to see out of those masks? Zedd exposits more while the Rangers try to convince the Dark Rangers to not follow Zedd. Naturally, it doesn't work. The episode ends with Tommy running away from the very slow-moving Turban Shell.


For an episode that's supposed to lead into the end of Tommy's tenure as the Green Ranger, this isn't very good. The monster is lame, the subplot with the Dark Rangers seems forced, and it overall feels very underwhelming. Ah well, maybe the second part will be better.


This is Turban Shell. This is supposed to be the one responsible for Tommy losing his powers. If you believe this at face value, I worry for your sanity.

So, these Dark Rangers are supposed to replace the Power Rangers. Ssssssssss....yeeeeeeeeah....