Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers Episode 19: Green With Evil Part 3: The Rescue



Scorpion Woman Born From Boulder
20 Minutes Horrendously Wasted








Last time, the mighty Power Rangers were yet again being beaten by the evil Green Ranger, Tommy. His strength was multiplied even further by Rita's new Sword of Darkness, which was only placing him further into her wicked clutches. In a last ditch effort to protect themselves, the rest of the Rangers summoned the Megazord to defend against Green Ranger's advances. Though he fled, they had no idea the plight of their missing leader Jason, who had been captured by Tommy and was facing a losing battle against Goldar.

This week we're following right up on that, with Jason about to get skewered by Goldar's sword while the two are battling in Rita's fog machine dimension. It's tense; Goldar's got Jason right where he wants him and looks like he's about to put his head on a pike. It's the end, Jason can't morph, he can't beat Goldar, and things are looking grim. The leader of the Power Rangers is going to die if he doesn't think of a plan to beat this devious space demon and time has run out. So Jason musters up all of his inner strength, he gathers his courage and does what any other mighty warrior would do in the same position; he slightly rolls off to the side and Goldar immediately loses him.

Yeah, that really terrifying situation from last episode was resolved by Jason inching away from Goldar. That was the solution. Jason just kinda scooched over. What a thrilling conclusion to set the bar for this episode.

Goldar is furious he fell for Jason's incredibly simplistic and anti-climactic trick, so he begins to stab his sword blindly at the ground waiting for the moment it's covered in Jason's blood. Rita however seems to want to tip the odds in her favor even more than before. She decides to summon her old friend Scorpina from whatever garbage can Zordon stuffed her in. It's nothing that's been hinted at or implied was necessary to make this Green Ranger plan go off without a hitch, but Rita's got her eyes on the prize and if it takes a scorpion lady to do it then she's pulling out all the stops.

Rita casts a vague spell that makes some lightning strike, and before I try and explain what happens, let me show you how the scene plays out and tell me if you can follow along at home.

Scorpina rock

Oh you're not sure? Well then let me explain. This boulder rolls around the mushroom forest while Scorpina is apparently trapped inside of it and her heart beats atop some scorpions that are crawling around it. After all that the boulder rolls up a flight of stairs and turns into Scorpina. I can't hold your hands through this whole series guys you're going to have to work with me here.

There's a really shitty transition from the boulder sitting there, and then we immediately see Scorpina's face. It doesn't explode or shift into her or anything, she just shows up on some mountainside somewhere. Forget all of that though, because I'd like to introduce you to my scorpion waifu.

Scorpina
Her Style, Her Smile

A lot of people talk about having crushes on Kimberly when they were kids, yeah she was cute and all that's fine, but man Scorpina was ALWAYS where it was at for me. She was like Rita in that they're both dubbed over Japanese women, except Scorpina didn't make me want to undergo chemical castration.

The Rangers and Alpha continue their attempts to bring Zordon back online while sputtering out techno babble about his energy frequency and how they're not succeeding in accomplishing much of anything. Alpha then brings up how they haven't been able to find Jason, possibly because he's being spit roasted by Goldar right now. We have established the pecking order though, the giant head in a cylindrical fishbowl outweighs the guy who we've fought months worth of battles with. Kick rocks Jason, a head blob outranks you.

The rest of the Rangers split up to find their missing leader, and we gloriously transition to Jason sweating like a pig while Goldar keeps stabbing his sword at the ground trying to make the Red Ranger even redder.  We get one of the few enjoyable moments in this episode as Goldar seems like he's found Jason and stands above where the defenseless Ranger is. Then you completely piss yourself as you watch this happen.

Goldar VS Jason
Can't see a damn thing with all 3 inches of this fog.

This segment is so much more intense than a lot of the morphed fights and I enjoyed it at first. The only problem is it's been going on since near the end of the last episode and it starts to become quite bland because nothing's fucking changing. Goldar still can't find Jason and is stabbing down blindly. We're just prolonging the episode by repeating what happened last time and what once was interesting and scary has become dull and tedious. 

Jason gets tired of rolling around on the ground like he's playing Nightcrawlers and jumps up and shouts a karate scream at Goldar, then kicks him. Jason starts talking shit to Goldar and asks how it feels being outsmarted by a human being, which takes a lot of sack coming from the guy who was about to get a tracheotomy with the broad side of an ape man's sword. Goldar scoffs at Jason and knocks him right back onto his ass and Goldar starts swinging his sword at him AGAIN. How long are we going to spin the fucking wheels on this guys?

Kim sulks at the Juice Bar after being unable to find Jason, but Bulk and Skull drop by to cheer her up by offering to find Jason if she kisses them. To be fair, if these morons could find Jason inside Rita's hell dimension I think a kiss would be a bargain. Kimberly usually isn't one to let a loser like Skull kiss her, she wants to have a white wedding after all, but she's desperate and tells Skull she'll let him if he closes his eyes. As Skull moves in for the smooch, Kim backs away and leads Skull to kiss the side of Bulk's cheek. The two start freaking out and run away to assert their heterosexuality by beating each other off in the parking lot. 

Skull Kissing Bulk
The scene that shocked dad's across the nation

Kim leaves the Youth Center happy to know she's cock blocked a pair of mongoloids once again and bumps into Tommy. She asks if he's seen Jason and Tommy gives her his condescending dick approach yet again and says how worried she must be, since that's what she does best. Zack comes in and bumps into Tommy, but having used up all of his evil passive aggression on Kim, can only muster up the best dirty look of Jason David Frank's career.

Tommy Racism
That look might not have been as fierce to Billy if you catch my drift.

It's actually pretty comical how ~Evil~ Tommy expresses his dark powers while in human form. He doesn't do much other than act like a huge prick to Kimberly, which is unintentionally hilarious. It's even funnier when you think that Rita's mastered this amazing spell to turn a human being into a puppet of her black magic and all it's able to do when he's not morphed is turn him into a really big jerk to his pals at High School. Unlike Billy, a respected loner.

Rita spies Kim and Zack following Tommy and is informed by Goldar that they clearly suspect something. Keep in mind Goldar's voice is coming from the Moon Palace, even though he's currently in his 7th hour of trying to shish kebab Jason. The continuity guy must have been as bored with this episode as everyone else is because he managed to forget where the fuck Goldar's supposed to be. You could shove this line into the mouths of any other superfluous characters Rita hangs out with. Why not have fucking Scorpina do it? You blew her out of that boulder, might as well have her do absolutely nothing.

The Putties distract Zack and Kimberly from tailing Tommy, and seem to be less effective than they were last episode when they were employing strategy. Now the Putties are back to leaping around and getting their clay asses shattered. After finishing off all of Rita's gibbering defense force, Kim and Zack note that it's peculiar the Putties didn't attack Tommy. Instead of dwelling on that very fishy detail, they decide to head back to the Command Center because they're tired of trying to find Jason and if he's dead face down in a river that's his own problem.

As Goldar poses with his blade near Jason, presumably about to lead him on another tedious session of rolling on the dirty floor, Green Ranger teleports in and stops him. Rita's informed Tommy to kill Jason himself, and thank God for that. Goldar vanishes from the Dimension as morphed Tommy and unmorphed Jason have a stare down, successfully completing the episodes second cuckolding. 

Jason makes some obvious points about how the Green Ranger "Wears a costume like us, but works for Rita." He then childishly points at Green Ranger and makes his case for why he shouldn't be on her side by saying "SHE'S EVIL!" The two trade blows, and within seconds, Tommy knocks Jason onto the floor. Is this DVD stuck on a loop? Did Austin St. John break his legs filming this episode and they had to keep him laying on the ground the whole time? What in the fuck is happening? He's unarmed so of course Jason has to be on the defensive, but does he have to stop drop and roll his way to freedom the whole time? Could you do absolutely fucking anything else to pad this out? Maybe something engaging that you don't repeat until it's time for the commercials?

At the Moon Palace, Baboo says he remembers all the horrible things Scorpina used to do when she was part of Rita's army and....wait who's Scorpina? Is she one of Finster's monsters? I think it's kind of unnecessary to use a monster when Gre-oh fuck she's that lady in the boulder from 10 minutes ago. Where's she been anyway? Baboo also has one line that's clearly not his usual voice actor, about how he wants Scorpina to keep her stinger away from him. Certainly this line was important enough to have someone else record and not just cut entirely.

Green Ranger has Jason on the ground, as per usual, and brings out the Sword of Darkness ready to impale his rival with it. Does this sound fucking familiar? Are we going to get another to be continued? Am I in purgatory? I'm left wandering the ethereal plane trying to right the wrongs of my forefathers before I can be let into the afterlife, but all I see it as is Jason perpetually being chased by bad guys around a dimly lit room while the villains occasionally swap places for a smoke break. Change this shit up a little bit for Christ's sake.

Meanwhile Billy is fiddling with the circuit boards in the Command Center saying he's almost got a lock on Jason and has the Communicators working again. Just before Green Ranger impales him, Jason is teleported back into the Command Center by Billy and we're finally mercifully spared from this endless game of cat and mouse.

Goldar drops Tommy a line and hilariously shit talks him for not killing Jason soon enough. It's almost like this episode is slapping you in the face with how much time it's wasting doing nothing new aside from introducing Scorpina. Scorpina who is currently doing nothing as Rita talks up how strong she is.

Jason explains to his friends what happened to him and all he remembers was meeting Tommy at school then vanishing. Kim notes that Tommy said he didn't see Jason, and instead of putting together the incredibly clear context clues, the Rangers do nothing but hype up how dangerous Green Ranger is. Zack actually says "Can you believe the enemy this time is another Ranger?" Yeah I can, I've believed it for the last two weeks, perhaps we can do a little more with that now? 

The Rangers conversation of obvious nonsense is broken up as the Command Center's alarms go off and Alpha alerts them that Scorpina has appeared at the Warehouse section of Angel Grove.  Better hurry Rangers, she might kill some homeless men trading beej's for crack. Alpha notes he hasn't seen her in 10,000 years, and I can relate because I think that's the last time she appeared in this episode too.

The Rangers morph to combat Scorpina at minute 14 of a 19 minute episode, guaranteeing it will be engaging. Scorpina leaps at the Rangers and blasts them with some fire, then immediately commands the Putties to fight the Rangers. Watch out guys! Looks like Scorpina's going all out right from the get go!  After an incredibly brief Putty fight, the Rangers are attacked by Scorpina again who slashes Jason out of the way and laughs at them. Goldar says she's outnumbered and must be called back before she's defeated, also because the audience almost got engaged in the fight and they had to pull the plug on that.

We cut back to the Moon Palace where Squatt and Baboo are watching Rita apply makeup and telling the evil space witch how much more beautiful she is than Scorpina. Definitely the pulse pounding action kids across the nation are tuning in for! Scorpina and Goldar barrel into Rita's presence bickering amongst each other about who should go fight the Rangers next.

What follows is the most grating and absurd scene in an episode that's made up of almost nothing but. Rita says that Green Ranger fought well against the Rangers, then asks Goldar and Scorpina if she should send Tommy down to fight again. Scorpina pouts an adorable pout and says she wants to go, Squatt says he and Baboo could go, Goldar wants to go but doesn't want Scorpina to go, Scorpina wants to go alone but Goldar says he's the most powerful so he sho... It's just this big motherfucking to-do that means absolutely nothing and it goes on for maybe half a minute, but feels like you're trapped for eternity.

It's the most meaningless scene because all we need is a cut to Rita saying "Goldar go down to Earth" but instead we have to see the fucking internal politics of the Moon Crew. A bunch of space idiots bickering while all kids are waiting for is the Green Ranger to kick some ass. It's frustrating because no matter what I say there's no way to express how awful this scene is. I wanted to post a transcript of this meandering conversation but it would make your eyes turn inside out and gush blood.

Rita cuts off this insanity by saying she's sending Goldar down while she plots to cast a spell to blot out the sun, weakening the Megazord's solar power. We've never mentioned Megazord having solar power before and we won't mention it again, but it's definitely there.

I have to give Rita credit here, this Green With Evil saga has her coming up with actually efficient schemes. From Tommy to Scorpina to shorting out the Megazord, that's three good plans compared to her previous zero. Maybe all that gnome kidnapping shit was just used to lure the Power Rangers into a false sense of security before she became competent all of a sudden.

Scorpina pout
Not sure which is better, Scorpina being adorable or Rita blazed out of her dumpster.

All that competence must have been sapped from the Green Ranger though, because we cut to him doing martial arts inside of the Dark Dimension. Who's he doing them on? Nobody. He's just standing in a dark void doing some sick karate kicks because he's bored. He asks Rita if he can come out yet but she says it hasn't been ten minutes and his time-out's almost over. C'mon guys we're at the home stretch, just gotta keep throwing scenes out there until we're done.

Rita uses her wand to make Goldar grow, and he promptly begins blasting the buildings of Angel Grove with his newfound height. The Rangers see him attacking on the Viewing Globe, and realize they need to stop him. Billy says they could be walking into a trap, and Jason tells him to suck a dick because this horrible episode's over so who cares.

The only thing keeping me going is that I know we're almost at the moment I'm waiting for.


Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Meaningless Extensions To Lengthy Multi Part Sagas



Personal Thoughts:



Holy shit this episode is terrible. I seriously didn't remember anything about this episode from childhood other than Scorpina making her first appearance. It would appear I had forgotten the rampant amounts of absolutely nothing happening.

This could possibly be my least favorite episode of this entire show. You start strong by introducing a new character, and then cut to Jason avoiding the same perilous situation for half of the episode. You can say it's building tension, but it's no more successful than the tension built in the climax of Part 2 when that was your cliffhanger. You could have them save Jason five minutes in and it wouldn't make an ounce of difference.

This episode used a very little amount of Sentai footage, which doesn't make it bad by any means. In fact the previous episode was really good and it might have used even less. The problem is that they didn't pad that stuff out with anything interesting. Scorpina is great, she's a cool villainess who looks dangerous as hell, then she fights for a minute and then gets sent back to the Palace and pouts.

While we're discussing Scorpina I wanted to mention that Power Rangers use of footage is a little more complicated than it might seem. We have footage used from Zyuranger in this season of Mighty Morphin' Power Rangers, that much is obvious. However a lot of scenes of Rita and her cronies in the Moon Palace are actually the Japanese actors in footage that was shot exclusively for Power Rangers. So it's a weird mix between Japanese footage and U.S. footage. You can typically distinguish this footage because it's shot in a slightly different quality, and the sets aren't as intricate. A lot of Rita and her Henchmen are just shot in front of a white background.


I only bring this up now because we really have no idea how much of this footage is out there, and as soon as Scorpina appeared it hit me like a brick how intricate they got. They shot scenes of Rita and her crew at the palace, they shot each of the villains individually doing some business, and a couple of these scenes have the Japanese actors mouthing English names of characters. Scorpina is clearly mouthing "Putty Patrollers" and "Power Rangers" in the scene I mentioned earlier. It's fucking cool I don't know.

This episode clearly wasn't very impressive to me, but I also get why they did it. They wanted to expand on the Green Ranger saga to have another episode, and it was a lot more exciting to bill a full week of new Power Rangers episodes than only hit 4 out of 5 days. They would expand a lot of episodes that were multiple parts into additional episodes. Two parters became Three Parters, some single episodes were expanded into Two Parters as well. Those episodes will vary in quality and necessity for expanding, but we'll get there when we get there.

All I can really say about how meandering and shitty this episode is, is that if I was having Xanax withdrawals while watching this? I promise you I'd have been driven completely insane. My last thought would be "Who gives a shit if Scorpina or Goldar fights just fucking do something already! Have the Green Ranger do more than just stand in the-" and then my heart would explode.

If I were captured by spies this episode would be my cyanide capsule. They would put the knife to my genitals and ask who I'm working for, but by then I would already be wondering what the point was of dubbing Baboo so shittily or why even have Tommy attack Jason in the Dimension. Before they even knew what was happening my brain would be leaking out of my eyes. Sorry boys, America always wins!



2 comments:

  1. "Born out of bedrock" is the best thing you'll ever write. Stop it right there.

    "Goldar says she's outnumbered and must be called back before she's defeated"

    Really, Goldar? Every monster you send down is outnumbered. There are five rangers. That number hasn't changed. Why is he suddenly surprised that a single person is "outnumbered"?

    "They shot scenes of Rita and her crew at the palace, they shot each of the villains individually doing some business, and a couple of these scenes have the Japanese actors mouthing English names of characters. Scorpina is clearly mouthing "Putty Patrollers" and "Power Rangers" in the scene I mentioned earlier. It's fucking cool I don't know."

    You do know. That's legitimately awesome.

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  2. I was drifting in and out of consciousness while watching this episode last night. I mean that's not unusual for me, because sitting back in a recliner often makes me tired, but it certainly looks like, if I missed anything at all, it wasn't much.

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