Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode 51: Grumble Bee



Alcoholic Teenager Blames Problems On Hornet
Writing Inexplicably Shows Self-Awareness








Buckle your seat Belts kids, because today's adventure isn't for the faint of heart. For all the harrowing battles our heroes have undertaken, this is the moment that is going to prove their courage and mettle. Brace yourselves.

Directed By Alfred Hitchcock

Yeah. It's this episode. Sorry.

Ms. Applebee tells her students that only the highest grades in the class will get accepted into the "Young Scientists of America Club." So right off the Bat we're supposed to Be concerned that Billy won't get to hang out with a Bunch of other losers Because he got a B on one test. If only he got to hang out with a gang of superheroes on the weekend it might make him feel Better.

The rest of the Ranger Teens ask Billy what's got his overalls in an uproar. When he tells them the reason he's contemplating suicide is Because he got an 88 percent on a science test, his friends look at him like a total chucklefuck. They tell him in no uncertain terms that getting a B isn't Bad at all and he's worrying himself stupid over nothing.

This is the point this week's plot could diverge. The episode could Be about Billy's weird ass insecurities over not Being absolutely perfect every single time he pursues something academically, or it could Be about Billy realizing he isn't always perfect and that's okay. Sometimes he might make mistakes, and that doesn't make him unintelligent, it only makes him human. Take a wild guess which of these morals a ham-handed karate sitcom for infants is more inclined to promote.

Kimberly lets Billy know she gets B's all the time, and that it's not a Big deal. Billy pulls the standard asshole dweeb tactic of responding "Perhaps Kimberly, But I never do." Jesus Billy. Your friend reaches out to you and all you can say is "Well it makes sense for an idiot like you to get B's, But I hold myself to a higher standard you DOLT." This show was making characters out of insufferable nerds years Before The Big Bang Theory did.

Thankfully Bulk and Skull show up to Bring the I.Q. of the room down and tell Billy that B stands for Bad. The other Ranger Teens tell them to go fuck each other somewhere else and leave their friend alone. Before the Bullies can leave, Bulk drops this ice Burn on Billy.

"See ya. Wouldn't wanna.....B ya!"

We then cut to a dramatic zoom in on Billy who has Been deeply shaken By this 90's insult. Are you shitting me? Billy's getting anxiety over that? I mean it's a sick Burn don't get me wrong, But why is he upset over the words of two losers who live in the sewers? Don't play dramatic music over Billy making frowny faces just Because he got a pretty good grade.

The problem I have with this episode is Becoming more and more apparent. The show is justifying Billy's obsessive perfectionism as though he's Being completely reasonable. All of his friends are Being realistic and telling him he did his Best and it's not a Big deal, But then we have to see him get all frumpy and think he's in the right for holding himself up to ludicrously high standards. If ever there was a time this show should have taken the piss out of itself for portraying its characters as impossibly perfect, then it should have Been in the episode where Billy is struck with PBSD.

Rita Repulsa laughs at Billy's petulant whining and demands Finster make her a monster for the occasion. See kids at home? If you get a B on your next spelling test then an evil space witch is going to summon clay monsters to murder you and all of your friends. Finster tells Rita he'll whip up a Grumble Bee monster with a powerful sting to it. There's some truly masterful symbolism at play here. Billy is upset his grade was a B, so the monster he must combat is a Bee! If you missed it this time don't worry, they'll make sure to Bee-at you over the head with it for the next 20 minutes.

Back at Angel Grove High School, Billy is putting his Books away and giving us a peek inside of his locker. I only mention this Because he appears to Be hiding some explosives to take the school down if he gets a B one more time.

Just call Billy the Blue Bomber.

The rest of the Ranger Teens meet up with Billy and tell him, once again, to not sweat the fact he got a good grade on his test. They give him the moral this show should Be providing By letting him know he did his Best and that's all that can Be asked of him. Jason asks Billy if he'd like to take his mind off of things By playing some Basketball out in the park. Man Jason you are one tone-deaf friend. Asking a nerd if he wants to play sports with some jocks to feel Better? You might as well ask Trini if she'd like to come with you and have a conversation.

Billy tells his friends to take their kind offering and cram it right up their dicks, Because he needs to study more and more until he can get into the Young American Scientist Cabal. If this episode had even the slightest amount of self awareness maybe we'd start to see Billy's friends Breaking him out of his self destructive shell and help him fucking relax once in a while. Don't forget everyone, this B is apparently the first one Billy has received in his entire life. The show wants us to think his concerns for his grades are accurate after getting a B one single solitary time. Hope you can live up to those standards kids at home!

Trini agrees to stay Behind and help quiz Billy, while Jason wipes the sweat from his Brow now that he doesn't have to tell her she wasn't invited. The Yellow and Blue Ranger Teens head to the Juice Bar where Trini starts talking about some type of Bee Breed. Billy then spells everything out for the audience By clarifying that he got a B Because of a Bee question. Yeah I can hardly BEElieve it Billy. Now let me take this Bee Bee gun and go BBBBBBlow my BBBBBBrains out.

While Billy's plot already seems to have wrapped up 4 minutes into the episode, Kim, Jason, and Zack enjoy a nice day of shooting hoops in the park. Kimberly reminds her dude friends why she isn't putting out for them and mentions Tommy is away at a karate match where Kim informs us he's Blowing the competition away. Unfortunately Amy Jo Johnson put a Bit too long of a space in Between the last two words, so what's meant to sound like confidence in her Boy toy sounds more like a tacit admission of his latent homosexuality. Oh well, I'm sure they'll fix it in editing.

Rita Bitches at Goldar to go keep the Ranger Teens in the park Busy while the Grumble Bee monster is Beeing prepared. Goldar promises he'll Bring his empress victory with his Putty Patrollers, and the audience does all they can not to laugh in Goldar's stupid face. Before the scene ends, Rita saunters over to Squatt and Baboo and asks them to go do something nasty. The pair giggle and clap like the mongoloids they are as the show proves to me I'm not reaching when I assume they're degenerate sex goofballs.

The Putties swarm the Ranger Teens on the Basketball court But their fundamentals are unable to compensate for a lack of dunking prowess. The Ranger Teen trio shithouse the Putties using a mix of karate and throwing a Basketball at Blubbering dunces. The ultimate skill in any martial arts class.

Goldar shows up, ignoring the fact that the majority of his Putty squadron are dead, and starts trash talking the Ranger Teens. The dog faced moron then pulls out a magical yellow rope that he commands his remaining Putties to tie around the Ranger Teens. As soon as the rope circles around them, the three are completely helpless. Remember last week when Goldar was summoning the Dragonzord and Blowing shit up? Now his master plan is Snidely Whiplashing the Rangers.

A weary prop department seeks out Goldar's method of attack this week.

Meanwhile, Rita's sent her Grumble Bee to Earth and Alpha tries desperately to get into contact with Jason, Kim, and Zack. Since those three are poorly pretending to Be tied up, they're unable to answer Zordon's call about the monster. Zordon locates them in the park and tells Alpha he doesn't feel like using his magic head Balloon powers to free them, so he should send Trini and Billy to go try and fix the problem. Here's hoping Billy got an A on his test about dismantling magical ropes.

Billy abandons his crucial 98th study session to answer Zordon's call about saving his loser friends from their G-Rated Bondage experience. He and Trini are about to teleport to the park to Bail their loser friends out, But Zordon alerts them to the presence of Rita's Grumble Bee monster. Zordon starts talking up the monster and claiming it can destroy mankind if left unchecked, so long as all of humanity is allergic to Bees which Zordon's research is inconclusive on.

What is up with that colored codpiece?

Trini and Billy morph to take on the Grumble Bee monster. Billy makes a Bunch of weird dizzy motions around his head like he's about to sneeze, probably Because the editors didn't know what was going on in the Sentai footage and forgot to cut around it. The monster then tells the Rangers their threats towards him aren't very neighborly of them, But Trini tells the Bee they don't want him in their town. Probably not the only type of B people you want kept out of Angel Grove if you catch my drift. If you want a place in Angel Grove you need to Be a WASP like everyone else.

Grumble Bee launches some stingers from his hand which Blast the Yellow and Blue Rangers with sparks. Trini manages to steady herself after the onslaught But Billy slides around like he's Been Bathing in honey. I guess we're supposed to assume Billy is still upset about that B fiasco from earlier. I don't need the show to hold my hand and vomit out exposition, But Billy hasn't given a shit about that grade for half the episode. Why would it Be Bothering him now?

Well y'know what's Bothering me? This.

How much of any of that was necessary?

Now that Grumble Bee has Been kicked from the treetops Because Trini's a show-off, the Yellow Ranger asks Billy to help her finish the Beast off. She offers her hands to Boost him up for a high kick, But Billy is running like he's Been hittin' the Booze again. The Blue Ranger slip slides all around while we see his dizzy POV. Billy finally leaps into Trini's hand to get Boosted up only to fall flat on his ass like the chump he is. Y'know what B stands for Billy? Bottle. Stop hitting it.

Billy complains that the Bee's venom is making him weak and how he can't hang on. Yeah my dad had a real problem with "Bee Venom" too Billy, shit eats right through your liver. The Grumble Bee then pops Back up and starts Blasting yellow sonic waves at the Rangers. The waves start Bugging the shit out of the two as they hold their heads like they're fighting off the mother of all hangovers. As the Grumble Bee Buzzes at the Rangers, they decide the Best course of action is to retreat. Their mistake though, they needed to Be aggressive, B-E- aggressive. 

Billy and Trini go whine to Zordon that the Bee monster yelled really loud at them and scared them. Zordon informs the Teens that maybe if they would Bring a goddamn can of Raid to these fights they wouldn't have to come Back with their tails Between their legs, But he'll have Alpha whip up some magic weapon to save their hides. While Alpha 5 tries to invent some worthless piece of junk, Billy and Trini teleport to the park to meet up with Jason, Zack, and Kim. They say they want to check up on their friends, But it seems more likely they know how Badly that Bee is whipping their asses.

The hogtied Teens Beg Billy and Trini to help as though the rope is hurting them, But since the director didn't tell all three actors the same thing we just get varied performances. Kim seems to Be acting as though she's in pain, Jason is frustrated he can't Break out, and Zack seems annoyed he's tied up with two total chumps.

Billy and Trini do absolutely nothing to attempt Breaking the rope. They don't touch it, they don't morph and use their weapons on it, they just look at it. Billy then calls Zordon and tells him there's nothing they can do to Break the rope. Thanks a fucking Bunch Billy, your friend's are getting the life squeezed out of them and all you do is look at it and give up? I'm sure their grieving parents will appreciate your Bountiful effort in saving their children you selfish twat.

Zordon tells Billy and Trini to leave those dead meat losers Behind and go take on the Grumble Bee again Before he starts wrecking shit again. The tied up Rangers tell them to not worry about their impending death and to go fight that Big scary Bee who shoots its nails at people instead.

The Blue and Yellow Rangers jump Back into the fight and sucker punch Grumble Bee right in his Big dumb kisser. They tell the monster this time they're ready for him, But he informs them that they had Better BEEWARE! Man you guys remember the Dramole monster last week? You know what was awesome about him? He didn't fucking talk.

Grumble Bee knocks Billy to the ground and Busts out his secret move. Spewing silly string out of his mouth.

Grumble Bee gif
Grumble Bee only gets to hang out with friends around Halloween.

Since Billy's doing worse against Bees than Macaulay Culkin in My Girl, Alpha focuses his efforts on freeing the other Ranger Teens from that magic rope nobody cares about. By focusing on one small segment of the rope, Alpha's magical Beam allows the other three Rangers to escape. We don't actually see any of that though, Zordon just tells Alpha to do all this and suddenly Jason tosses the rope aside. Good on Power Rangers for utilizing the "Tell don't Show" rule so effectively.

The three freed Ranger Teens morph to the scene of the Grumble Bee Battle where they kick the monster in the face and knock it away from Billy and Trini. The frustrated Grumble Bee Buzzes his Putty friends to protect him from the Rangers. The Yellow, Black, Pink, and Red Rangers engage the Putties in combat while Billy lays drowning in yellow jizz.

Good news for fans of 90's rock, Because you're getting some more Wasserman rock today. "I Will Win" is the song this time, and if you needed something to amp you up while a Bunch of B-students knock around Blithering idiots, this is the song for you.

Once the Putties are disposed of, Grumble Bee Blasts the four Blue-less Rangers with some more ultrasonic waves. The monster laughs at the ailing Rangers and tells them they won't Be passing this test. So does Grumble Bee know the only reason he was Brought to life is Because Rita wanted to mock a Bunch of teenagers for their grades? What an empty existence he has to lead.

Billy comes to his friends aid and tells them the Bee's sonic waves will wear off just like the venom did. Oh so the venom just disappeared from Billy during the Putty fight? Are we missing a reel here? Billy was getting all goo sprayed and to solve the problem he just sat in the gunk and stewed in it for a little Bit. Now he's hunky dory. Whatever. It doesn't make sense.

Alpha 5 completes his new gadget just in time to Bail Billy out and defend against the Grumble Bee. What is it? A Super Soaker with a dildo glued on top of it.

I'm pretty sure I Bought one of those on Bad Dragon

The Nameless Device sprays foam at the Grumble Bee as the monster prepares an attack. The goo completely locks up the Grumble Bee who starts screaming Bloody murder as the foam coats him in Blue goo. Just so we're all clear, a phallic gun is spraying white goo all over a Bee monster. We get it Japan.

The monster starts covering its ears as though its own powers are Being used against it, But he's just coated in some slime. What's he gassin on about now? Jason Busts out his Power Sword and slashes the wounded Grumble Bee to take all the focus away from Billy and humiliate him in front of their friends. Next time maybe you'll come play Basketball with us dickhead.

Rita uses her wand to make the Grumble Bee into a Grumble Bee Plus, and the Rangers counter the monster with the Megazord. The two giants clash as the Grumble Bee manages to sputter out awful Bee puns repeatedly. The Megazord fulfills my deepest desires By punching him in his Big doofy face and slapping him around. The Grumble Bee tries spewing out a Bunch more sonic waves to disorient the Megazord,But all it does is make the robot stumble around a little Bit. Try Barfing some silly string on them, maybe that'll do it Grumble Bee.

The Rangers summon the Power Sword and start slashing at the Grumble Bee, where else, in his massive face. Finster, when you give a monster a face like Rocky Dennis what do you expect is going to happen when you send it into a fight? The Megazord finishes off the Grumble Bee using the Power Sword as Rita Bitches at all of her loser lackeys for not knowing how to tie ropes more effectively.

Later that day at the Youth Center, Tommy shows up and tells him he Blew all the competition at his karate match. Kim chuckles and tells her friends that Tommy keeps forgetting to say away, to which he responds By tilting his head like a confused dog. Trini asks Tommy where his green ass was while she and Billy were getting Blasted By Bee fingernails, and Kim reminds the audience that Tommy's powers could give out and they can't risk using him in non essential fights. Oh well, that probably won't Be important later.

Then Billy comes in and tells us he got an A+ on the latest test and gets to Be part of the Huge Losers of America Foundation. Wow guys I was on the edge of my seat, I almost thought Billy wouldn't get to join that club I already forgot about 15 minutes ago that we'll never hear about again. Guess Billy discovered the one secret trick to studying that teachers HATE. Spoilers: It's getting drenched in Bee cum.

So Billy gets a perfect score Because he's a perfect human Being and this show is a Bunch of saccharine hooey. Then the show pulls a hail Mary play. Enter Bulk and Skull.

The Ranger Teens notice the bullies studying really hard, as Miss Applebee has given the two clods an ultimatum. If they don't get C's on their next test, they'll have to spend their summer Being tutored By the six top students in the class. Zack stops everything as he audibly counts out the six of the Ranger Teens. Our heroes then stop their jovial ribbing and immediately start Being extra helpful in assisting the two in their studying efforts. Holy shit I love this gag.

This might actually Be the most self aware the writing on this show has ever Been. We don't pretend for a second that the Ranger Teens aren't the Best students in the class, Because they're perfect goodie two shoes so of course they would Be. It sincerely feels like the show winking at you in spite of the fact this whole episode was about the whitest white person problem ever invented By the white race. Overall I guess I'd give this episode a B. GET IT? Kill me.



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia



Personal Thoughts

Before I get started with all my usual palaver, I wanted to let you fine folks know I'm going to be on vacation this coming week. I won't be posting the usual episode review but there might be a little something else instead by a friend of the site. Stay tuned for it! Meanwhile I'll be getting my jollies on the beach.

Ooh yeah

So yeah Grumble Bee. I dunno. The episode was alright I guess? I feel like someone was standing over this script while dismissing any attempt at humor. Having Billy take his B grade so harshly is fine, but do something responsible with it. The other characters tell him to not take it so harsh, but all Billy does is piss and moan before getting an A plus on his next test. He doesn't learn anything or change. He just fights a big dumb wasp before being as smart as he ever was. What a revelation. 

Grumble Bee is a monster I enjoy for a variety of reasons. He's this close to just being a bland hornet monster, but he has a lot of fun little flourishes. His silly floppy little wings, the stinger spurs on his heels, the goofy buzzy voice that he has, and his ridiculous little teeth you can see when he's spewing his venom. All of it make a far more interesting Zyu2 monster than something as bland as the Jellyfish.  

With regards to all the shots of Billy covering his mask and falling over around the Grumble Bee, I get the feeling the Zyu2 crew were intending to make the episode about Billy being allergic to bees. I honestly don't know how else to explain his weird clumsiness and stumbling during the first fight with the monster. We can't really say for sure, and we may never know until the Grumble Bee footage is released. Just my best guess. Let me know what you guys think!

Last thing to mention is Tommy. I think it's kind of ballsy of the show to follow up the episode where Tommy returned as the Green Ranger with an episode that didn't feature him fighting at all. In hindsight though this is a damn good idea because it solves two issues. 1) We need to showcase that Tommy needs to conserve his powers as much as possible. 2) We need an excuse for Tommy not showing up in the Zyu2 fights without Green Ranger in them. By giving Tommy limited powers we can save the writers from writing in a new excuse for him being absent every goddamn week.

So that's all for now, see you guys in a couple weeks. In the meantime, make sure to eat a nice fresh pamango ripe from the trees.



5 comments:

  1. Alpha freed the three of them using an "energy beam". This beam wasn't shown onscreen and was never used to help them again.

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  2. I actually kinda like that the Ranger Teens are labeled the top in the class when they'd all just told Billy they get Bs sometimes & are happy about it. If the show had been intending to do the healthy moral instead of the unhealthy one, this could've supported it.

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  3. You are too harsh to Billy. Look, it was his one and only chance to join Intellect Army Volt (yeah, I kind of fond of Choujuu Sentai Liveman :) ), get a descent, non-spandex uniform, finally stop fighting the sklerotic space witch every week and do some SERIOUS science - like turning peoples into monsters, building giant cyborgs of destruction and hanging with company of mad geniuses onboard the pretty-good-for-1980s space station! Who could blame guy for being nervous about such opportunity?!

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  4. Ha ha, I *C* what you did here!

    ...Wait, I fucked that up, didn't I?

    (I kinda have to draw your attention to the word 'belts' in your first line though. It Bothers me.)

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    Replies
    1. If I didn't have fans like you, this blog would be trash. Thanks, Tim!

      Delete