Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode 30: The Rockstar


Elite Fighting Squadron Bested By Pile of Rocks.
Giant Dog Man Looks in Mirror.








Get pumped, cause today we're in uncharted territories. We're doing something we haven't done since the beginning of the series. That's right, it's a Jason centered episode. No seriously, how often have we honestly focused on Jason at all? Last week we got to see some of his feelings on being a leader and how that can weigh heavy on a person.

This week however, the gang is headed on a "field trip" that Jason isn't tagging along for. They call it a field trip but really it's just the rest of the Rangers tossing shit into the RADBUG. Jason informs them he'd love to come with, but he has to spend some time with his little cousin Jeremy while he's in town. Oh nevermind, I guess this Jason episode is going to be focused on everyone's new favorite character Jeremy. 

Trini comes running up to give the rest of the Rangers some brownies she cooked, but Kim thinks they taste like hot garbage. In a scene that could only come from the 90's, Trini informs the rest of her friends this recipe came from her gourmet cooking class, and it has snails in it. The rest of the Ranger Teens throw her horseshit cooking away while she's not looking, and silently regret ever allowing her to be part of their team.

Before I neglect to mention it, Tommy isn't with the group right now and won't be appearing in this episode. It's pretty weird because they don't offer any explanation as to where he is or say he's busy studying or training or what have you. Maybe the writers just got sick of making reasons for him to be unable to join the fight so they didn't feel like making up a new one. Or they blew their Jason David Frank money on hiring Quagmire's actor last week and had to split the difference.

The Ranger Teens leave Jason behind and drive off, while Squatt watches them drive from behind some bushes. Apparently the Rangers don't notice him, because a fat blue hobgoblin standing half covered by some leaves isn't going to stand out much while you drive down a long stretch of road. Squatt goes back to the Moon Palace to ask Rita what her plan is today, and she tells him to shut up and stop going to Earth to eat rats.

The next thing we see is Bulk and Skull enjoying themselves on a beach in the middle of nowhere while they have some ridiculous ceremony with a pizza. Skull makes noises like they're clanging a bell, as Bulk pulls up a piece of pizza and espouses the beauty of the sloppy joe pizza. What follows is a Caligula-esque pizza eating that I'd feel remiss for not showing you. Please forgive me.

Drinking pizza
This looks how vomiting feels

Bulk sees Jason and asks who the kid he's banging is, because the best time to insult someone is when you have your face coated in pizza ooze. Cousin Jeremy asks if this is the famous bully he's heard so much about, as Jason has been calling Jeremy  night after night, sobbing about how bad Bulk has been hurting his feelings. Skull laughs as Jason makes fun of the fact he's a big fat slob, so Bulk shoves pizza in Skull's stupid face and knocks him off the bench they're sitting on.

Bulk then gets up to teach Jason not to fuck with a man covered in pizza, and tries to do some humiliating attempt at karate. Jeremy informs Jason to watch out for the remnants of Bulk's pizza that's been left lying on the ground. As you might guess if you haven't been lobotomized recently, Bulk ends up stupidly landing face first on his pizza after making an ass of himself. This ranks quite low on the "Bulk Mess Scale ™" since we just saw him guzzling a pizza funnel. Who cares if he accidentally got some on his face?

The grossest part is all the dust he got on that perfectly good pizza!

Jason takes Jeremy out to do a bit of fishing, and we get another riveting round of "Why Was This Actor Dubbed?" Because Jeremy is being voiced by a voice actor by the name of Brianne Siddall. She'd go on to do a lot more voices in Power Rangers but right now she's pretending to be a 13 year old kid. How the fuck do you hire an actor whose performance is so bad that you have to hire someone else to dub them over? Doesn't that make things more complicated?

Dubbed or not, Jason watches Jeremy do a bit of martial arts on the beach before fishing, as is customary for a character who has nothing else in his life. Jeremy stutters out a demand for Jason to teach him a cool move. Jason tries to teach his cousin some karate, but it appears his actor is unable to speak OR perform sweet karate kicks. Jeremy falls over into the sand, but Jason tells him a tale.

When he was young, Jason had a lot of trouble with self confidence, but martial arts helped him hone his skills and feel better about himself. God almighty, more character development? Two weeks in a row? You're spoiling me Power Rangers. Jason's as blank a slate as this show has, and it's full of them. The bar's incredibly low for advancing a character, but you take what you can get.

Rita screams about Jason being on the beach because she thought all the Rangers were out of town. This actually works out pretty well, Rita employing some level of logic into her search for this mirror. She waits for the Ranger Teens to lower their guard and then strikes when she has a chance to trip them up. It's a lot more clever than just making a plan off the cuff and being shocked when it gets foiled. Rita sends some Putties down to fight Jeremy and Jason, hoping this will be the one time they're able to beat an enemy.

The Putties attack both young men, and Jason tells Jeremy to stay behind him and watch his back. We get a sandy fight between the Putties and the Jeremy/Jason duo. Jeremy is totally defensive and avoids the Putties, but Jason completely shithouses them as per usual. The Putties vanish, as Jeremy neglects asking his cousin why he recognized those monsters by name and how he was able to effortlessly demolish them.

Jeremy and Jason finally get a start on their long awaited fishing, as they sit atop some rocks and kick their feet up. The show paints an inaccurate picture of the fishing process, as Jeremy finds something within 15 seconds, and doesn't spend 4 hours sitting there bored out of his goddamned mind while Grandpa recants the glory of war and separate water fountains. Jeremy reels in a bottle which he exclaims is, "weird". Jason sadly doesn't give his cousin a preachy speech about how nothing good could be inside that bottle and how alcohol will destroy his shitty life, but instead tells him to open it immediately and see what's inside.

It was fireflies!

Jason hops off the rocks after telling Jeremy to hide from the shitty particle effects that sprayed out of the bottle. Hidden from sight, Jason calls Zordon and asks what the fuck's going on. Zordon tells Jason to take that chickenshit little cousin of his and get out of dodge pronto. 

Jason heads back up and asks Jeremy if he's okay after that giant earthquake that just unleashed hell upon the planet. Jeremy says that terrifying event was actually a great way to start off his vacation. Oh good, he's one of those characters. One who's put in danger but then gets excited by it and acts like it's the coolest thing ever. Gag me.

Inside of the bottle is, what else, a map to the Mirror of Destruction. Rita recounts that the Mirror of Destruction will be able to destroy the Rangers as soon as they look into it. We see a flashback of the mirror being used on what must have been a prototype Power Ranger.

Pop Quiz: Why is this so funny?

Rita sends Scorpina down to Earth so she can retrieve the map from Jeremy. Scorpina brings Squatt and Baboo with her, that way if she fails her mission she can use them as scapegoats. Scorpina spies her prey and busts out a new trick; she snaps her fingers which prompts a group of boulders to roll together. The boulders all stack together to form a big hulking idiot of a monster named "Rockstar."

He looks like a grandpa made out of rocks.

Jason tells Jeremy to run, as Scorpina summons a batch of Putties. Scorpina tells Jason he's going to get what's coming to him fighting the Putties, then the scene awkwardly shifts to Rockstar and she commands the monster to attack. The editor must realize how superfluous these Putty scenes are and is cutting them out prematurely! Rockstar launches a bunch of stones from his cannon-like gut, which knock Jason over and cling to him while pinning him down. All things considered this is only the second worst Rocky experience for the Red Ranger.

Zordon buzzes the rest of the Rangers and tells them to stop fucking vacationing and get to "the beach." It's California Zordon, you're going to need to be more specific. The Ranger Teens teleport to "Vague Beach" and see Jason On the Rocks. Trini and Zack come to Jason's aid, and help him get his rocks off. Jason tells his team they need to look for Jeremy, while adorably pronouncing it "Germy" because y'know, this is Power Rangers acting. Nobody's calling cut until someone breaks their neck.

The Rangers arbitrarily teleport from their position on the beach, to a forest in the middle of God knows where as they look for Germy. Zordon calls them after a solid 6 seconds of looking and tells them they need to go fight Scorpina at the Beach Club. Billy hears that they have to fight and immediately runs off while saying he'll look for Germy. The Rangers morph and fight a group of Putties near a pool. While this episode is incredibly bland, it has a few worthwhile moments.

Putty Pool
Get that SHIT out of here

Kimberly tries shooting arrows at Scorpina with her Power Bow, but the villainess deflects them and slashes the Pink Ranger out of the sky. Jason tries his luck against her, and begins locking swords with Scorpina. Is this to keep her away from Germy? Is she endangering civilians? Nah we just need a fight scene. Whatever.

Zack and Trini try assaulting the Rockstar with their Power Weapons, but he beats the everloving shit out of them. It's not even a fair fight. For someone introduced with as little fanfare as the Rockstar he's really not taking any guff. Zack and Trini are in big trouble, such trouble that one of the pool patrons is beckoning to them!

Sir we're filming a fight with a rock monster. We're going to have to ask you to leave.

Rockstar launches more boulders out of his gut that weigh Zack and Trini down to the ground. Rockstar pretty awesomely kicks them into the pool, where they'll probably drown with those static cling boulders glued to their tummies. Squatt and Baboo tell Scorpina some Japanese guy was falling down in the background, and also they lost the kid with the map. Scorpina takes her crew and runs off while Trini and Zack try and dog paddle out of the pool. Not the easiest thing in the world with a boulder stuck to your stomach, believe you me.

Germy runs away from a small group of Putties who are searching for him and the map, because Squatt and Baboo can't possibly be asked to do it. Before we can do anything more with the map situation, Scorpina tracks down Kim and Jason and sics more Putties on them. Wait hold on a sec, they were just looking for the kid, now she's "found" the non rocked Rangers she ran away from not half a minute ago? Scorpina mouths some instructions to Squatt and Baboo, but because the crew forgot to dub her over she doesn't say anything. The idiot duo run off, really being creeped out by Scorpina's ventriloquist trick.

Kim and Jason arbitrarily fight more Putties by the waves crashing against the rocks. Don't get me wrong, this is a nice set-piece, but this is also the third goddamn Putty fight this episode. The Rockstar is acting more like he's some general of their army and cackling to himself. Get in the fight you lazy pile a' shit! Rockstar finally does get back in on the action and launches some boulders at Kim and Jason, pinning them to the ground. All of the five core Rangers aside from Billy are now out of the fight, so either the Blue Ranger will save the day, or we call Tommy. Hope you guys have the Green Ranger on speed dial.

Germy tricks the Putties by throwing a rock at some bushes, which says less of his cunning abilities and more how stupid the Putties are. The young boy follows the map which instructs him to take 6 giant steps forward. What kind of fucking Dora the Explorer map is this? Giant steps? Does he have to tiptoe through the mulberries too? Who cares, he finds the stupid mirror or whatever. Whoopee.

It looks like a clam with teeth.

A single Putty comes down to see the mirror he's supposed to steal getting manhandled by some punk kid. The Putty starts trying to fight with Germy and actually beats him to the ground. Before he becomes Putty chow, Germy opens up the mirror and it unleashes a gigantic laser that blasts the Putty into chunks. Wow it can destroy a Putty, this thing must be a weapon of untold mayhem.

Scorpina and Rockstar take notice of the giant death beam that came from out in the woods. Note that both of them are clearly on the beach when this happens. Not 5 seconds later, a massive shadow covers Germy. The owner of this shadow is none other than the Rockstar, holding a boulder ready to smash Germy!

Jason's cousin has the dullest of dull surprises as he utters a nonchalant "yikes", and then fires a beam from the mirror at the Rockstar. Even though Germy is laying in the forest, we see Rockstar is still on the beach, though he's supposed to be right next to the kid. It looks so ridiculous but it doesn't even compare to the most ridiculous scene of all. Ladies and gentlemen, this is what happens when the Mirror of Destruction hits the Rockstar.

Rockstar exploding
Seamless

Now that Germy has murdered the Monster of the Day, he looks at the mirror as smug as can be and says "This thing's too hot to handle." It's a horribly dubbed delivery that doesn't match what the line is supposed to convey or the emotion the actor is portraying. What doesn't help matters is Germy's next course of action is to inexplicably chuck the fucking mirror into the distance. What the actual fuck? What was the point of him finding the mirror? What a waste of my goddamned time.

Somehow Germy managed to throw the mirror all the way to the beach where Scorpina is, so she charges forward to grab it. Billy, Trini, and Zack come out of nowhere and blast her with their Blade Blasters, and the Rangers pose ready to attack her. Scorpina has a fun little fight with all five Power Rangers, but it's all too brief as Kim grabs the Mirror of Destruction. She tries to leap over Scorpina with the mirror but gets slashed out of the air by Scorpina's blade, as Rita's general gleefully grabs the mirror from her. What did you really think was going to happen there Kim?

Rita makes Scorpina grow now that she's got her hands on the mirror, all while Germy watches from far away. You're the reason she has it you little dick, hope you're happy. Guess she didn't think it was too hot to handle eh? Idiot.

The Rangers call forth the Megazord to fight Scorpina, who opens the Mirror of Destruction in front of their Zord. Since the Megazord is unable to move in anything but a straight line, it has a tough fight trying to dodge its reflection. Why does the Megazord have the cognitive abilities of a dog? Just don't look in the mirror, duck down and punch Scorpina in her Scorplabia.

Goldar shows up out of nowhere, already having grown to giant size. Scorpina distracts the Megazord, while Goldar slashes at it with his sword and taunting the Megazord with a growly "SUCKA!" It loses a lot without hearing it, but just take my word for it. I wouldn't ask you to go out of your way to watch this episode.

Goldar grabs the Megazord by its arm, and holds it still in front of Scorpina who opens the mirror. The Megazord tries to divert its eyes like it caught its parents fucking, but Scorpina comes closer with the mirror. Megazord pulls out its trump card; it stomps on Goldar's foot and throws him in front of the mirror. Scorpina doesn't want to lose her man candy, so she tosses the Mirror of Destruction into the air. Could anyone who gets this mirror hold onto it for more than three minutes? Jesus.

She only threw the mirror so he wouldn't realize how ugly he really is.

So the ugly scorpion thing throws a mirror and the Rangers are in control. The Megazord calls for the Power Sword, and in a thrilling conclusion the mighty robot is able to destroy the inanimate object as it flies through the air. Scorpina and Goldar puss out and run away, but they aren't too worried. Rita isn't going to nag her only competent soldiers. The Rangers then regroup on the beach while Zordon tells them they did a good job breaking that mirror, also that 7 years will pass in no time. Germy shows up and introduces himself to the Power Rangers, then asks where the Blue Ranger went for half the episode.

Thanks to the convenient commercial break, we get to cut back to the Juice Bar where Germy is bragging about how he beat a Putty. Big deal dork, who hasn't? Sit down and drink your milkshake.  But no, we get to keep hearing more about everything this dumb tween saw today, as he describes scenes we watched five minutes ago. He also talks about the part where Rockstar kicked Black and Yellow into a pool, which he couldn't have possibly seen because he was hiding from Putties at the time.

Germy asks where Jason was during the fight, and Jason stutters and offers no answer but "I have to go do something else." Then the episode is over. Way to limp to the finish line guys. You promise me an episode about Jason, but instead we have to focus on nothing but Germy the Wonder Kid throwing mirrors. Then they don't know how to end the episode so they just summarize all the shit you just saw. Get fucked.


Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Sloppy Joe Pizza



Personal Thoughts

Man, I got so excited rewatching this episode because I remembered not liking it as a kid. I thought that with age I'd grow fonder and enjoy it for what it is. Nope. This episode still does so little for me. We get the tiniest glimmer of character for Jason, but then ditch him to hang out with his shitty beach bum cousin. We get introduced to the Rockstar who seems really imposing, but then he just stands around as Scorpina's muscle.

I don't know why, but as a kid I was really excited by the Rockstar. He seemed like such a cool burly monster, and I thought he was going to give the Zords a tough fight for sure. The Mirror of Destruction was such an afterthought to me, that when Germy used it to blow him up I was actually taken aback. It's such an underwhelming end to a monster I was astounded. I had all these aspirations of the Ultrazord needing to be used to finish him off, but then he just gets laser blasted by a mirror. I was crestfallen.

Power Rangers couldn't have done much else with this though. You have footage of Scorpina and Goldar fighting while holding a mirror, and a rock monster exploding. You do what you have to, but man nobody is remembering this shit fondly. It breaks the mold yes. It isn't just "Monster is beaten, monster grows, monster is beaten again." That doesn't make it good however, because it takes so much cutting around to get to the mirror that I've completely checked out by the time it's found.

Oh yeah the guy in the background of that shot? That's the Japanese Blue Ranger. It's amazing that they didn't take the time to just reshoot the scenes of Yellow and Black in danger. You don't need the Rockstar costume which they apparently didn't have anyway. Just film a scene of the two Rangers with big fake rocks on their stomachs backing away from something off screen. Is that so hard?

I was taught to always end on a strong note. So one more time let's take a look at the Rockstar's final moment. 

It's magical.



3 comments:

  1. This sounds like the worst episode yet. Jesus Christ.

    Also, does it really end with Jeremy bragging about beating a putty? He doesn't brag about beating the enormous golem??

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  2. "Skull laughs as Jason makes fun of the fact he's a big fat slob, so Bulk shoves pizza in Skull's stupid face and knocks him off the bench" That's pretty awesome, man. - Paulie

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  3. I, too, wondered why Germy threw away the mirror. It's almost as if he knew Scorpina had to have it later!

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