Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode 40: Doomsday Part 2


Teenager Faced With Apocalypse, Grips Own Ass
Indestructible Space Specter Winks, Disappears Forever











Last week, the Rangers were having a hell of a rough day. The citizens of Angel Grove put on a big party to celebrate the Power Rangers and their continued massacre of stupid looking guys in rubber suits. Before the festivities could get going, Rita banished the rest of Angel Grove into another dimension. Using some of her strongest magic, she summoned Goldar's super powered Warzord, Cyclopsis.

The Rangers caught an ass whooping from the mighty mech before blowing it to Hell with Titanus and the Ultrazord. Rita buried Titanus underground and blew him to pieces before summoning her old pal Lokar and reviving Cyclopsis with her magic. Even worse, she didn't RSVP Lokar as a plus one for Power Ranger Day so now they'll have to order another pizza.

The Ranger Teens gaze upon the restored Cyclopsis inside the Viewing Globe and realize just how badly Rita has them hornswoggled. If they don't beat Cyclopsis, the denizens of Angel Grove will remain trapped in Rita's dimensional vortex for the rest of their mundane lives. Wait a second! It looks like Rita's spell didn't work that well, some Japanese people appear perplexed by this Cyclopsis situation.

The Zyurangers visit to America ends in tragedy.

Billy tells Jason the Zords have been critically ravaged by Cyclopsis and it's going to take 12 hours to bring them up to full power. Jason mulls the options for about three seconds before telling Billy they'll take the Zords at half power. If the acting were better, this would be a pretty dramatic moment. As it stands Jason just looks like he's wondering if he wants extra pepperoni on his pizza pie.

Billy politely informs his commander that his idea sounds fucking ridiculous and Cyclopsis is going to shithouse their dinosaur robots. The rest of the Ranger Teens sound off that if they don't fight back now, their city is going to get demolished by Rita's forces, and desecrated by Squatt's "hobbies." The Ranger Teens are afraid if they don't finish Cyclopsis here and now, the citizens may be lost forever. We have no reason to think that's true since the writers haven't established a ticking clock, but let's pretend that they did to make this more dramatic.

Zordon says this has never been tried before, outside of the Ranger team in '75 who chose suicide over weekly battles with a space witch. The Rangers don't back down, and prepare to launch into what could very well be their final battle with Repulsa. They morph straight to the Megazord to defend the city against Goldar's upgraded Cyclopsis. As soon as they show up, Lokar spews a tornado of wind from his mouth that sends the Megazord spiraling back, where Cyclopsis waits for our heroes.

The Warzord unleashes massive blades from its wrists and prepares to cut down the Rangers while they're on the ground. The Megazord fires some energy at Goldar's Zord to show that they aren't going down without a fight. No matter what may happen they'll stand against Rita's evil forces until the bitter end and they won't be defeated by any enemy. No matter how strong or dangerous.

Hypothetically speaking

The unarmed Megazord is caught underneath Cyclopsis' foot, ready to lose its head next. The Rangers fire the Megazord's Cranial Laser to knock the Warzord back a few steps, but it's clear that Goldar is still raring to go. Kim yells out that the Megazord's shields are down and they're in serious trouble. That's what happens when you put all your shield programs in the left arm Zordon!

Jason uses the Dragon Dagger to summon Dragonzord to help out. Dragonzord tries whipping Cyclopsis with its tail, but he appears to get locked down by Cyclopsis' wrist hands and has his drill tail hacked off. Don't worry though! The Rangers can just summon Titanus and...oh that's right. He's dead. Well at least they tried their best.

Lokar tilts his head and fires electricity from his hair, because all a floating head can do for attacks are electric hair, eye beams, and mouth tornados. The Zords fidget as they're blasted by the giant space devil and remain absolutely unable to fight back. The Megazord's weapons are offline and the machine is left unable to move. Out of nowhere, Lokar actually talks and says the Rangers are all Rita's. It says a lot about me that I saw a giant head blasting people with electricity from its hair, but when it started talking only then was I taken aback.

Rita looks at the chaos her monsters have caused and gets herself all worked into a tizzy over how fucked the Power Rangers are. Using her wand, Rita fires a pink beam of energy at the two downed Zords causing them to disappear piece by piece. The Megazord launches the Power Rangers out of its cockpit before it dissolves away in red energy.

The Saber Tooth Tiger didn't disappear, the show just forgot Trini existed

The Ranger Teens reappear in the park that still has all the decorations for Power Rangers Day hanging up. Jason tries to contact the Command Center but the frequency is unable to connect to either Zordon or Alpha. Billy surmises Rita's jamming their signal, or the Communicators get their service from Sprint. The other Ranger Teens wonder what the fuck happened to their Zords as Billy barfs out exposition about the Zords new defense mechanism that's never been brought up before. When they lose in battle they're sent back into hiding to re-energize.

This seems like such a lame deus ex machina that takes away all the severity of the Zords going to fight Cyclopsis at half power. They were barely able to fight back and got completely demolished, but don't worry, there's a back-up system that saved our asses and takes all the tension away from that previous fight. Granted we're talking about Power Rangers where this sort of shit happens all the time, it just rubs me the wrong way in this instance because these episodes actually seem to have stakes. 

Billy rushes the rest of the Ranger Teens back to his garage where he desperately looks for a solution to their Communicator's frequencies being jammed (raspberry). The situation looks so grim that Jason decides to do the one thing that still manages to make him feel comfortable.

That's nature's pocket y'know!

Rita and her crew celebrate their apparent victory over the Power Rangers but see that the teens are still messing around as civilians. Goldar offers to personally collect the Rangers scalps. Finster notes this is the perfect opportunity to strike, not because he has anything against the Power Rangers, but because he's going to continue his sordid affair with Scorpina while Goldar is off fighting them.

While Billy tinkers with the Communicators, Goldar appears right inside Billy's garage with a couple of Putties in tow. The space dog offers some G rated threats to the Ranger Teens while cackling his balls off about how dead they're about to be. None of the Ranger Teens morph or even attempt to morph, because if they did they would easily be able to hold Goldar off. Before digging in and killing the Rangers, Goldar proves why he's such a vicious threat.

Thanks Goldar! I'd been meaning to clean that table off for months.

While Alpha 5 seeks out the Power Rangers, he realizes the Command Center's computer has locked onto Rita's palace. Since the Moon Palace is currently on Earth, Alpha's been able to hack into the databanks containing files on all of her spells. Allow me to reiterate that for the back row. Alpha 5 has hacked into Rita Repulsa's DATABANKS. With FILES containing SPELLS. That is the funniest cocksucking thing I've ever heard.

Rita Repulsa is a witch who lives on the moon and she keeps her magic spells on a goddamned hard drive? Wait no this is the 90's, she must be using floppy discs. How much size does a spell take up? What file format do you keep a spell in? Do you keep all the hoobajoob bullshit made up words in a Word document? Can I use Kazaa to download spells but it actually turns out they're pornography? Are spell files protected under the DMCA? Seriously. This dame is keeping fucking spells on her Toshiba. This show is amazing.

While Alpha hacks into the database, Billy manages to get the Communicators back online before Goldar can clean off any more of his tables. Goldy freaks out that he wasted his one chance at killing the Power Rangers as they teleport away. Goldar vanishes as well and that's the end of the scene. All I'm left wondering is why did they film this scene with a couple of Putties in the background? They didn't do anything, which is par for the course for Putties, but they didn't even have a dumb fight with the Ranger Teens. For a show this cheap, why bother hiring two guys to sit around in suits that look like Bea Arthur's asshole?

When the Rangers get back to the Command Center, Zordon tells them they might have a method of stopping Rita once and for all. Having hacked all the computers on Rita's moon base Alpha's managed to find a weakness in Cyclopsis' programming. If the Rangers can change Zord formations frequently, Cyclopsis won't be able to keep up. Also if they change formations and tell the kids at home their toys can do that too, it will weaken Cyclopsis even further. Zordon's plan is to keep changing up the formations so Cyclopsis will remain unable to keep up and become weakened. Much like the Republican Party.

Out of nowhere, we see a scene of Titanus rising from the ground and roaring, because fuck stakes. Zordon informs us he's been fully energized while the Rangers were busy getting their Zords dismembered. It's a really cheap solution that only happens now so that we can get to a new fight with Cyclopsis ASAP. It's pretty lame, but I also get all giddy over Cyclopsis fights so I can't be too pissy about it.

The Rangers morph again, ready to take down Cyclopsis. Instead of going straight for the Megazord, the Rangers fire on Cyclopsis with the Pterodactyl, Mastodon, Saber Tooth Tiger, and Triceratops Dinozords. Tyrannosaurus jumps into the battle and tussles with the Warzord, he doesn't fare too well, but after getting slashed, Jason commands the Rangers to form the Megazord.

The Megazord uses its Power Sword to trade blows with Cyclopsis, but the fight is still clearly in Goldar's favor. Jason quickly summons the Dragonzord to help out against Cyclopsis, who blasts Goldar and his Zord with missiles. The two hero Zords manage to use a little teamwork to help weaken Cyclopsis further.

Why didn't wobbly wrist blades ever catch on?

With the upper hand, the Rangers form Dragonzord in Battle Mode to keep up the pace against Cyclopsis. The fight looks to be in the Rangers favor as they punk Cyclopsis with the Dragonzord's Power Staff, but Lokar gets in on the action and blasts them with energy from his hair again. The Dragonzord Battle Mode goes careening into a building and blows it to shit. It just so happens that was the mayor's house and as soon as she finds out she's cancelling Power Rangers Day.

The Rangers call for Titanus to hopefully finish this fight once and for all. The Ultrazord is formed as Jason threatens Cyclopsis and Lokar, telling them they've had it. Instead of quivering in his chin boots, Lokar just fucking laughs in their face. It's such a great moment to cap an equally awesome Zord fight. Lokar is staring down the ultimate Zord formation and just lets them know he doesn't give a shit about them. I don't know where he keeps em, but Lokar's got a set of brass ones on him.

Just before the Rangers fire on Cyclopsis and Lokar, Goldar's system starts to overload and locks up. We don't see the cockpit sparking or flashing or anything like that, we just hear a robotic voice telling us there were too many changes, and it's now safe to turn off your Cyclopsis. Goldar is totally pissed, and with good reason.

Lokar opens a peeper to see if it's still coming.

Goldar hightails it out of the Zord before he's blown up, and the Rangers leap out of the Ultrazord for no particular reason. Back on the Moon Base, Rita is flipping her goddamned lid over how bad Goldar bungled this mission. Really Squatted the whole thing up.

Baboo stammers out a line about how he's a useless character. Finster tells Rita she can't blame him because this time it's all Goldar's fault. Atta boy Finster, don't let that old space hag tell you where to get off. Squatt says this couldn't have been his fault because he was asleep. Oh so you didn't see it and that means you aren't responsible? It's people like you who let the AIDS crisis get to where it is now Squatt. You make me fucking sick.

Goldar tells Rita there's no time to direct valid criticisms at his botch job, because they need to 23 skidoo before the Ultrazord blasts her goofy ass palace. Rita steals her subordinates idea and uses her magic to levitate the Moon Palace back home where no uppity little android is going to hack into her shit again. Serves her right for making the Wi-Fi password "themoonrules#1". As the Moon Palace flies back into the sky, Rita pointedly tells Goldar to never give her a command ever again or he's gonna have her wand so far up his ass he'll look like a dog popsicle.

Back in Angel Grove Park, the boring citizens reappear right where they'd left off with their festivities. Bulkster and Super Skull start smooching the ground they left behind while the Mayor tells the town fuck-ups to get off her stage before she exiles them to Stone Canyon. The crowd soon notices their saviors the Power Rangers have shown up to bask in the acclaim of a bunch of fat white people.

The crowd applauds their costumed heroes while the Power Rangers offer mediocre high fives to their adoring fans. A group of kids start arguing which of the Power Rangers is the best, with some dork trying to argue the Blue Ranger is the best. Who do you think you are kid? Me?

Sylvia, Trini's cousin from 300 episodes ago says she heard the Pink and Yellow Rangers are the best. We had to have a girl say that of course, cause they're girls and a boy liking girls would be super fucking gay. Then all of a sudden some guy shows up.

Excuse me sir, this party is for friends of the Power Rangers only.

He tells the onlooking children that ALL of the Power Rangers are totally awesome. Before informing the kids that the Green one had a cock like a Burmese Python.

The Rangers make their way through the crowd and upon approaching this guy chatting up all the kids, they shake his hand emphatically in what's honestly a nice moment. It's not long enough to make it look suspicious to the crowd, but the viewers at home know exactly what's going on. It's honestly pretty sweet.

The Rangers take the stage to thunderous applause as Mayor Carrington gives a speech about how great the Rangers are. They've triumphed over evil, blown up buildings, inspired kids to sign up for karate classes, sold a bunch of toys, and beaten up gray space golems. Yeah that's great and all Miss Mayor but what about Bulkster and Super Skull? They've saved your city from dignity week after week! Where's their day? It's a damn popularity contest with you people.

Later that day, Zordon congratulates the Ranger Teens for their triumphant strike against Rita and her evil forces. He then tells the Power Rangers it's time for them to make an important decision, if they wish to remain Power Rangers or return to their regular civilian lives. This is kinda sudden Zordon, where's all this shit coming from? He even informs them that the danger hasn't completely been defeated so this seems rather abrupt. Zordon's HR must be coming down on him to offer his employees a way out of his awful "career."

Jason tells Zordon there's no decision to be made, and he and his friends would love to put themselves in mortal danger against space goblins week after week, for as long as the show remains profitable. Billy says they have other crimes to protect the city from, like when someone swirlies a big nerd and then steals his lunch money. Zack then has a good line by telling Zordon "Basically, you can't get rid of us!" It probably works because Walter Jones is actually charming and can sell the material. Glad it took them forty episodes to figure that out.

Zordon says he's incredibly pleased to hear they'll be staying on board. As the blue head says; "The world is lucky to have you, and so am I." Kimberly then asks if they might be able to get paid now so they can start putting away money for college, and Zordon furrows his brow and tells them that negotiations have been closed. The Ranger Teens then mimic the ending of the first episode by putting their hands together and jumping in the air. See it's like poetry, sort of, they rhyme.



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Spell Databanks



Personal Thoughts

I gave this episode more grief than last week's, but I really do love the Doomsday two parter. This episode was just a little choppy explaining how the Zords were beaten so badly the first time and then immediately came back online. It's understandable considering there was an unusable plot of the Zyurangers going to rescue their kidnapped Zords during the finale.

It's all worth it though since the Zord fights with Cyclopsis and Lokar were really fun, Tommy's cameo near the end was really nice to see considering how ignored he's been ever since he lost his powers, and Zordon's pride towards the Rangers are all great moments for the show. This episode definitely could have worked as a finale, which is good because that's what they intended on making it!

Originally the plan was to let the show conclude here, since they'd already used up most of the Zyuranger footage anyway. They were going to have the Rangers give up their powers after sealing away Rita in another space dumpster, using footage of the Megazord doing so in Zyuranger.

As you may have realized by now, Power Rangers became such a massive fucking success that it was decided to keep it going in the interest of making infinity dollars. However, let's not forget that Power Rangers is in a unique situation and is tied into its source material. How can the show continue if they used up all of the monster fight scenes from Zyuranger? We'll answer that pretty soon!

There's something I want to get other opinions on, and that's a difference in the Cyclopsis fight in Power Rangers compared to the Sentai fight. The idea of Cyclopsis weakening when the Rangers change Zord formations is completely a Power Rangers idea. In Sentai they were changing modes against him and just so happened to defeat him anyway. I honestly like both of these situations, and I'm not sure which works better.

The Power Rangers scenario gives an explanation as to why they can beat Cyclopsis this time around, and the Sentai scenario just has them muscle through the fight and manage a victory. Both of these work as nice conclusions to a big fight, but I'm not sure that either is objectively better. I've gone back and forth on it, but I'm curious what you folks might have to say! Do you like the heroes being given a weakness to exploit, or just going in and winning no matter what?

With regards to the final fight with Cyclopsis, you might have noticed Lokar grimacing in the gif up there and then just vanishing in the next shot. This is the last Power Rangers fans will ever see of Lokar, so what the fuck happened to him? Well maybe the follow gif was too graphic to show to American kids, but this was Lokar's ultimate fate in Zyuranger. Be warned, this is some gruesome stuff you're about to see.

Lokar death
Your head a splode.

Another cool thing in the Zyuranger episode was when the Rangers went to search for their Zords who'd been sealed away by Rita's magic, they encountered four ghost monsters blocking their path. You guys know I'm a big sucker for the monsters, so stuff like this gets me all in a tizzy. Unfortunately this footage was nothing but the monsters fighting unmorphed Rangers, so there was no way they could use these scenes. To be fair, the monsters that showed up as ghosts were also some of the shittiest monsters we had all season, so it wasn't that big of a loss.

Twin Man, Some Lion Who We'll Never Talk About, Cyclops, Dark Warrior

Finally, the moment of Goldar telling Rita to retreat leads me to think of an idea the writers had about changing up the show. Since Rita's footage was limited to Zyuranger and they had an American Goldar suit, they wanted to have Goldar usurp Rita from the throne at some point and take charge of the Moon Crew. This would grant them more freedom in villain plots and help keep things fresh. That actually sounds like a cool idea, and while it never came to pass, keep it in mind for the upcoming season.



6 comments:

  1. I also read that they were considering having Machiko Soga flown to the USA and interact with the rangers at their high school prom in her Rita/Bandora make ( another discarded plot point)..

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  2. I prefer them just going in and winning no matter what. The programming weakness where it can't keep up doesn't make much sense to me.

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  3. What actually bothered me more than boys saying the boy Rangers were best and a girl saying the girl Rangers are the best was that each male Ranger had a different boy choose them as their favourite, while both female Rangers were chosen by one girl. Too cheap to pay for a second female speaking part or what?

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    1. My list, from favorite to least favorite, is Kimberly, Trini, Zack, Billy, Jason. Yeah, I'm a guy, I like the female Rangers best, and I'm not ashamed to admit it (much like I freely admitted to watching "Jem" back in the 1980s).

      About this episode, it seems the townspeople are aware that they were in the other dimension or wherever, yet no one seems to have any questions.

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    2. I never understood the conventional wisdom that boys weren't supposed to be interested in the girl characters myself. Maybe I was just fortunate enough to discovery my heterosexuality at an abnormally young age.

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  4. I have to say, I'm glad I'm not the only one who thinks the Blue Ranger was the best. Triceratops FTW. The Tyrannosaurus is so overdone. Fuck that guy.

    As for the battle, I would prefer them finding a weakness myself. It (potentially) adds a strategic element to the fights. Certainly a welcome change from just powering up to whatever mode needs to be sold this week and blasting it with the same finishing move over and over again. That's not to say the "Use all the modes and just keep hitting him until he blows up" strategy is particularly inspired. But in general a tactical approach is A-OK in my book.
    That may just be the Nintendo gamer in me coming out though.

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