Tuesday, April 14, 2015

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode 47: Reign of the Jellyfish



Intergalactic Aliens Thwarted By Raised Voice
Dancing Jellyfish Provides Meager Threat







Who among you hasn't wondered about the future? What will the people of the future do about the decimated environment we've left them? When will people stop saying "I'm not racist but _____"? Is Biff Tannen still fucking my mom? I have a more general question. "What will the future think about the people of the past?" Well by golly, the Ranger Teens have a class project that will answer that very question.

They're gonna shove a buncha shit into a plastic bubble then bury it for a hundred years.

Miss Applebee informs her class that she still hasn't managed to land a man. In addition, the students will all place an item inside of a class time capsule to tell the future what their singular character traits were. First up is Jason who brings up his addition to the time capsule. Before I inform you what he's brought in, why don't you kids at home take a guess? What do you think Jason brought to show the future what was important to him in the 90's? A letter from his mother? A copy of his favorite novel? Some karate thing?

Congrats to those who guessed correctly. All all of you.

Jason tells the class this is the first karate trophy he ever won, and he's going to leave it for a bunch of future people to ogle. A treasured memento that personifies his determination and fitness, and he's tossing it in a big plastic bowl for the rest of eternity. You'd almost think Jason has more in his life than karate, but we in the audience all know that's a bunch of horseshit.

Speaking of which, why is it that Jason's sole trait is his martial arts skills? Every single Ranger Teen practices some form of martial arts or gymnastics or whatever. Why is that all Jason gets? I mean he's not as ignored as Trini is in terms of establishing who he is, but we don't really see much of him other than "the leader." It's striking me a lot during these reviews how little they give damn near half the cast to do other than dub grunts over Japanese footage.

Kimberly is up next with her item for the time capsule, and she has a pink sweater to show the people of the future that we had our own sense of style. I cannot possibly put enough "or something's" after that so I hope one will suffice. You think the future is going to be a bunch of formless robots that can't dress themselves? You had one chance to communicate with the future and you gave em a fawkin t-shirt.

Trini asks Ms. Applebee if she'll be including anything inside of the time capsule, like a copy of this episode's script which broke new ground by giving Trini a line. Ms. Applebee says she has something in mind, a picture of the Power Rangers. She'll use this to show the future that the city of Angel Grove was protected by a bunch of teenage mercenaries who murdered space aliens for kicks.

Not everyone is so happy with Ms. Applebee's decision though, as Rita throws the mother of all bitch fits when she hears this. She proclaims that she's the one that the future should be remembering. For what? All you do is sit on your witch britches and throw a monster at the planet every week. Not only that, you lived inside of a space dumpster for ten thousand goddamned years. What's a century to you ya' ancient old biddy?

Rita commands Finster to pop a new monster in his oven to make her name infamous for all time. It seems pretty likely history will plan on glossing over an ancient space witch who nearly conquered the planet on multiple occasions. That or Texas will make the textbooks paint her as a misunderstood figure. Finster tells his mistress that he'll be creating the mighty Jellyfish Warrior. Terrifying! Hope the Rangers don't find out his weakness by urinating on him.

Ms. Applebee goes down the list of named characters and asks Zack what he'd like to include in the time capsule. Zack's brought in a CD of contemporary music with some funky fresh beats to get all the future pussies wet. It will also answer the age old question of what Busta Rhymes did before his historic battle with Michael Meyers.

Next up is Billy, who offers up the condom he keeps in his wallet for when a hot babe tries to sleep with him. This will teach the future about hope in the face of insurmountable odds. Ms. Applebee asks if he has anything less depressing to include, and Billy pulls out a dinky calculator that he informs us is a "personal computer" he designed. Billy says in all sincerity he wants to show the future how advanced their technology was. I want every single one of you reading this blog to call your mother and thank them for birthing you when they did. If this piece of shit were the pinnacle of technology, I'd use it to slit my wrists.

Billy uses that bad boy to watch porno, one pixel at a time.

Finally it's Trini's turn to include something in the time capsule. The class waits with baited breath to finally learn something about her outside of her love of dolls. Trini's brought a copy of today's newspaper in so the future can see what was happening during the day a bunch of dumbass kids buried all their stupid garbage. Thank God Trini was able to provide the most generic item, we might have had to invent something for her to care about!

When Miss Applebee asks who wants to go next, Bulk and Skull come barging into the classroom. Apparently they were just skipping class until this but decided to drop in when they saw how they could impact the future. How will these two titans of the 90's influence generations to come? By giving them a comically massive sandwich they call "The Bulkwich." But how do you make a Bulkwich? By throwing everything in the deli section onto a piece of bread as follows.

Behind the scenes at Guy Fieri's restaurant. 

Later that afternoon, Kim tells Trini how nifty she finds it that Ms. Applebee included a picture of the Power Rangers inside the time capsule. Why is that such a surprise? You guys are subjugating space aliens every diddly dang day. The fact that every topic of conversation in Angel Grove isn't about how incredible the Power Rangers are is nothing short of a miracle.

Kim and Trini's ego stroking is soon quelled when Jason, Billy and Zack walk down the hallway with the time capsule in tow. Apparently since the Ranger Teens have the highest grades in class (shock) they get to bury the time capsule. Wow what a great reward. "Congrats on your 4.0, now here's a shovel. Start digging assholes."

Goldar sends down a squad of Putties to distract the Rangers while Squatt and Baboo go down and steal the time capsule for Rita. You did not read that wrong. Squatt and Baboo are actually involved in something today. Either Goldar thinks this plan is too simple to foul up, or he's not too committed to this scheme and just wants it to be over with.

Before the Putties show up to interrupt the digging, I just wanted to let you all know that Zack told his friends "I can dig it." Why don't you record that and put it in the time capsule guys? That way they know the 90's are worth erasing from history.

So yeah the Putties drop in and we get another Ron Wasserman rock fight. This time it's the song "Combat." Some more glorious 90's rock to make a bunch of teenagers punching gibbering idiots more exciting. Interspersed with this are scenes of Baboo and Squatt trying to take the time capsule away, but being distracted by the things inside of it. The worst is when Baboo holds up Kimberly's sweater and looks like he's about to try it on. All of this while Squatt, of course, sports a massive erection.

The Ranger Teens clobber the clay-boys and defeat Squatt and Baboo by yelling at them. No seriously. Jason just shouts at them to drop the time capsule and they do exactly that before disappearing. Instead of holding onto it and disappearing, thus fulfilling their mission. You two lost to the unmorphed Power Rangers shouting at you. That may actually be the most pathetic loss in this entire series.

Rita screams at the two morons for not taking her picture with them to put inside the time capsule. Wait that's all she wanted? A goddamned picture in a time capsule nobody is going to see for the next century? How petty of a person is Rita that her entire plan hinged on wanting someone to know she exists in a few decades? What kind of shitty galactic sorceress can't zap a picture of herself inside of a plastic bubble? Thankfully Finster interrupts Rita's dumbass plan by telling her the Jellyfish has been sent to Earth.

Jellyfish Warrior
Those are either eyes or Jellyfish is sporting open sores.

Zordon alerts the Rangers that the time capsule plot is now over and it's time to fight a big fish. The Rangers morph to the scene and combat the big jelly himself. Jellyfish laughs at the Power Rangers because he's a loser and doesn't know how to fight. Before the Rangers can attack him, he blast them with incendiary rounds out of his wrist. The Rangers lay on the ground, feeling the pain of his sting. Jellyfish asks if the "puppetheads" are beaten so soon, which is easily the least comprehensible insult towards the Rangers I've ever heard.

The Rangers retreat to the Command Center after being beaten for all of one minute, and Zordon asks them what the fuck they were doing out there. They whine that the Jellyfish nearly burned through their suits, and that it hurts when the enemy attacks them. Zordon has Alpha coat them in his patented "All Purpose Ranger Spray©" to ward off the Jellyfish's toxic blasts. Remember when we negated the monster's power with a spray can last week? Me neither.

The Rangers return to battle the Jellyfish, who has summoned a gaggle of Super Putties. All of whom dance with him in the park while he's awaiting his prey. The Rangers pretty easily defeat the Super Putties, all without those special weapons that were so integral to defeating them the first time around. Must be worn out from all that dancing.

With the Putties down, the Rangers combat the Jellyfish Warrior. Trini and Kim try attacking him with their Power Weapons, but he busts out an umbrella to shield himself from their attacks. Man I take back everything I said about the Jellyfish being lame, that umbrella weapon makes him a total badass.

Jason tries to fight the Jellyfish, but the monster teleports around his sword strikes and smacks the Red Ranger aside with his umbrella. The monster then spins his umbrella around which teleports all of the Rangers into another dimension. By which I mean a room with nothing but black walls and a fog machine going off.

While in the dimension, he appears translucent and is unable to be hit by any of the Rangers attacks. He whips them with his tentacle hand because he's still able to hit them while half invisible. The Jellyfish is just a little kid on a playground making up rules for why his friends can't attack him.

NUH-UH YOU CAN'T HIT ME CAUSE MY UMBRELLA SENT ME TO MY INVISIBLE DIMENSION

Billy tells Zack that the monster is time-phased, whatever that means, and that a blast from the Power Axe will be able to knock him out of his invincible state. Zack blasts the monster, and just as Billy said, the Rangers are all teleported out of his dimension with the monster reeling from the attack. The Jellyfish then shouts out "You've weakened my power!" expositorily. I'd say it makes more sense in context but I don't like lying to you folks.

Zack uses his Power Axe to slash the Jellyfish, and somehow knocks him from the park they were fighting in to a quarry somewhere. Jellyfish wobbles around and talks about how he's not dead yet, because he's too strong a monster to die from being hit twice. The Rangers pose with their weapons, but before they can attack Rita throws her wand to Earth to make the Jellyfish giant.

The Rangers summon their Dinozords to battle the monster, and for once they actually combat Jellyfish with the Dinozords before combining them. The Triceratops and Saber Tooth Tiger Dinozords try firing on the monster, but he brings out his umbrella to deflect the shots. Zack uses his Mastodon's freeze breath to chill the Jellyfish so badly that the monster ends up hurling his umbrella into the air and reeling on the ground while complaining about his ruptured tentacles.

The Rangers combine Zords and bring the Megazord into the fray. Since the Jellyfish doesn't have any weapons, the fight's pretty tepid. Jellyfish just whips at the Megazord with his tentacle hand and tries headbutting the Zord with his spiked hair. The Megazord bashes him in the face a couple times before the monster starts teleporting around again. He whips at the Megazord before the Rangers realize what a shitty monster he is and summon the Power Sword. Megazord slashes the Jellyfish down the middle and sends him to hell. Guess they won't be remembering you in the future huh chump?

Rita becomes upset that her terrible monster lost and Baboo informs her that the moon is in retrograde. Ever since I was a kid I had no fucking clue what he meant by that. Is that supposed to make her feel better? Does that explain her headache? Who gives a shit? What are you even talking about Baboo? You are the worst character on this whole show. Someone please explain this line to me because it annoys me to no end.

The Ranger Teens later meet up at Ernie's where he gives them all a drink for burying a bunch of stuff in the park. Like his tax forms. The Teens congratulate each other on getting the time capsule underground, but mention nothing about beating the Jellyfish. Mostly because he had no lasting impression on the Rangers or the audience. We interrupt this fascinating conversation about digging to see Bulk and Skull have finished the Bulkwich.

The Ranger Teens inform the bullies that the time capsule has already been buried, because nobody gave a shit about their dumbass novelty sized sandwich. Were we supposed to be laughing at the fact they're putting a sandwich in there that would unquestionably rot so badly that it would cause a new virus in a hundred years?

I need some time alone with the bulkwich

When Bulk and Skull realize they wasted their time making this monstrosity of a sandwich, they naturally drop it on themselves and get slightly messy. It's no falling into a cake, but it's serviceable enough. Especially when Skull gives Bulk some of the bread to clean himself off with.

Then everything slows down for the Ranger Teens to tell the audience each other how they hope this time capsule will be opened in a world with no hatred, no prejudice, no crime, and no wars. It's so weirdly maudlin and doesn't fit the tone of this goofy show. It's nice to leave with a blanket message of "Gee whiz I sure hope we have peace.", but this came after a guy just had a fucking sandwich fall on him. You gotta pick your battles carefully Power Rangers.



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: All Purpose Ranger Spray©




Personal Thoughts


This episode isn't one of my favorites. The time capsule segments don't serve to tell us anything about the Ranger Teens as characters that we didn't already know, and Bulk and Skull getting covered in mustard can only do so much to alleviate this one from mediocrity. I know these characters are cardboard, but when their existence is predicated on providing one factoid about themselves in different situations, it starts to grow pretty irksome.

Honestly I like the idea of the Ranger Teens planting something for the future, and having the Power Rangers picture in there is a cute touch. Otherwise nothing really happens. They plant the capsule, they hope the future will be better, and Rita wants the future to remember her because the writers need to involve her somehow. It feels like a first draft they didn't care about enough to add to, so they just kept everything intact then shoehorned in a Jellyfish fight.

I might have enjoyed the episode if the monster was a bit more flashy. They give the Jellyfish a nice cockiness to him, but he's mostly just a dud. We've seen almost everything he can do from other, better monsters before. Sending the Rangers to another dimension, teleporting to avoid hits, being voiced by Richard Cansino.

Oh and speaking of things other monsters did, here's a comparison I wanted to make for 30 something episodes. Look at the fight choreography between Jellyfish and Madame Woe. Is this basically the same thing or am I being too picky?


Now without weird warping effects.

Y'know what's embarrassing? I knew that Madame Woe scene looked similar to Jellyfish as I was watching her fight. Go back and look at the gif name from that episode, I named it some Jellyfish related thing however many months ago. Holy moly why do I know any of this shit? I could know real life things. Instead I know how a jellyfish teleports.

I think something that feels so weird in this fight is how immediately the Rangers retreat from Jellyfish. He blasts them and they instantly back down. It's so fast that you don't get a feel for the monster at all. He just shoots them and they run. How exciting! Then his hand blast never does anything that powerful again. Overall adding to him being the monster version of Valium.

Something I wanted to mention was that each of the Zyu2 monsters had a promotional still released of them in a Japanese magazine illustrating all the crazy shit in Power Rangers. The Jellyfish's promotional image had some odd looking umbrella appendages on his horns that weren't seen in any of the footage he appeared in, so I don't know if the company making the monster thought they looked stupid and removed them or what. What do you think? Do they look stupid?

......Yeah

This is the only time we'll be seeing the Jellyfish for a very long time, so I wanted to mention that he shows up in U.S. footage only twice. The first time is in some promotional karate video, where some guy wearing the suit walks by in the background for no reason. They never filmed any scenes of the Jellyfish in U.S. footage in the first three seasons, so I dunno what that guy was doing wearing that costume. Thankfully Youtube has this karate video preserved in pristine quality.


Oh yeah, and just for posterity's sake, the script seems to imply the Rangers were going to use the Power Blaster on Jellyfish.

Thanks to SirStack for posting the scripts! Check out this episode's script here.



2 comments:

  1. The only explanation I can think of for Baboo's retrograde comment is that retrograde motion can be thought of in very board terms as "going backwards or in reverse". Rita's motivation for this episode was to be remembered in the future or in a very creative sense to be remembered "going forward". Not only did Rita's plan fail to make her be remembered "going forward", she is now literally going backwards thanks to the moon's retrograde motion. Truly Shakespeare caliber writing.

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    Replies
    1. The moon doesn't have retrograde motion, though. It MIGHT have, but that would have been a very long time ago:

      http://www.mathpages.com/home/kmath273/kmath273.htm

      So, yeah, Baboo's full of shit.

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