Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Mighty Morphin Power Rangers Episode 55: Second Chance




Immortal Space Head Pocket Dialed
Aspiring Soccer Player Turns To Lucrative Career in Murder










Ugh, time for Power Rangers liberal pinko commie bullshit agenda to come out in full force today. Ernie is posting a roster for the new kid's soccer club he's selected. Instead of teaching kids how to play a man's sport like football or foxy boxing, Ernie has to teach them about that Euro trash soccer? It's gonna be one of THOSE episodes guys.

Well it turns out not everyone made the cut for the soccer team, because some little snot named Roger didn't get picked. He very clearly explains why with his expository line of "Gee Ernie. I sure do love soccer, but I guess I'm not any good at it." Has this show ever actually spoken to a child before? They don't talk like orphans from the 20's.

Ernie feels really bad about having to crush a bunch of children's dreams because they all tried really hard. Well yeah, it sucks to have to tell kids they weren't as good as their friends, but that's what sports teach you. Sometimes people fit better than you do in a certain field. That doesn't mean you're hopeless, it just means you might not have been the right pick. So practice at it and try again next season. Or you can just give up and write a blog. Either way you'll drink yourself to sleep while you wonder what could have been.

Jason and Zack convince Ernie to give the kids who didn't make it onto the team another shot at a try-out. Okay cool, that's nice and everything, but think about that for half of a second. You already announced the team and all the kids who are going to be on it. If you give the kids who didn't make it another shot, they might be able to make it on the team, but it's going to mean another kid will lose their spot.

So Ernie, who pained himself to select a kid to be on that team, is willing to do it all over again just to make the sad kids happy and some of the happy kids sad? What kind of shitty resolution is that? Maybe some of the kids you did choose to be on the team had an off-day, are you giving them a third chance when you replace them? At some point not everyone can play on this soccer team Ernie. They aren't losers who can never have a meaningful day in their lives, they just might not all be soccer superstars.

Goldar tells Rita she should help teach that kid to play soccer with some equipment of their own. The evil witch decides she'll send down a ball that will be kicking ass up and down the field. Finster suggests his Soccadillo monster that's being fed energy as they speak. What a great coincidence! Finster is clearly just making monsters while praying that he can somehow segue whatever the Ranger Teens are doing that day into a pun that makes his monster choices seem logical.

Soccadillo ball
Soccadillo stop hiding! Mommy's friends want to meet you.

The next day at school, all of the Ranger Teens discuss Ernie's half-assed attempt at not hurting a bunch of kid's feelings. Zack assures his friends that Roger will make the team as long as two grown ass men are telling him what to do. Sure hope none of the other kids have older siblings or parents who can teach them how to play a sport that Jason and Zack have shown no interest in.

Suddenly, Bulk snatches Zack's soccer ball from him. He starts spewing a whole bunch of trash talk about how the Ranger Teens don't know shit about shit when it comes to teaching kids sports so they should just shove off. Bulk tries to prove his soccer prowess by kicking the ball inside the school, but Trini informs him they shouldn't be doing this inside the hallway. Glad the writers took the time to turn you into an absolute buzzkill Trini.

Bulk kicks the ball straight into Ms. Applebee who drops all of the tests he just failed. The ball then ricochets into Tommy who dives out of the way and bashes his Communicator on the wall. Ms. Applebee then tells Bulk and Skull they've got detention for being negligent comic relief.  Thankfully this not so great scene culminates in the best scene of the episode.

Tommy gets a buzz from his Communicator and asks Zordon why he needed to talk. Zordon responds in his big booming voice "No Tommy. You contacted me." Tommy realizes there's some kind of problem with his Communicator and tells Zordon he'll get it fixed. Zordon very uncomfortably says "Acknowledged. Zordon out." This scene? Seriously goddamn funny.

Zordon is an intergalactic magical floating head in a jar and he just had to awkwardly end a phone call he didn't want to get from some karate loving dipshit. It was like watching Curb Your Enthusiasm with Power Rangers characters. It's a condensed moment of uncomfortability and it's significantly funnier than I'm sure anyone on the production side intended it to be.

Then Tommy goes into class where Ms. Applebee is teaching about survival of the fittest. Because this episode is about soccer tryouts. You know what I'm sick of? Every time a character in some form of media goes into class and the lesson plan is tangentially related to what the plot of the episode is about. Fuck off with this shit Power Rangers. I'm here to see a soccer ball armadillo and you are teasing me up a wall.

Tommy's Communicator begins beeping during class multiple times and Ms. Applebee tells him to turn off his "pager." For all you kids out there who don't know what she's talking about, make sure to go kiss Steve Job's grave. Eventually the Communicator buzzes one time too many and she demands Tommy give it to her and stop disrupting class. He then thanks her for giving him a convenient excuse to not be present during the fight later.

Meanwhile, we get to see how competent Roger is at soccer.

Keep moving those goalposts boys.

So Roger keeps on sucking wind and Rita says she wants to send the Soccadillo down right away. Goldar informs her that the monster is still charging so they'll need to wait, or else he won't be at full capacity. I've mentioned it before, but it's becoming abundantly clear that Rita Repulsa doesn't have a goddamn clue what she's doing.

She wants this super tough monster, but gets tired of waiting for it to charge after 5 minutes. She wants to throw some half-powered soccer ball at the Rangers when success is a near guarantee if she holds her horses. Goldar has to talk her out of her profoundly terrible idea by suggesting they open with some Putties instead. Rita is becoming less competent than Squatt and Baboo. Please allow that to sink in.

The Putties show up in the park ready to take on the Ranger Teens and show them how soccer is played up in space. Then Rita says she doesn't care if the Soccadillo is charged all the way or not, she wants it on Earth this instant. It has been an entire minute since Goldar explained to her exactly why this was a terrible idea and she's already ignoring his advice. No reason, she just doesn't want to wait for her armadillo to finish cooking. Just telling you folks so know who to blame when this plan goes tits up.

The Soccadillo ball rolls down to Earth and the Putties begin knocking it back and forth. Since Jason and Zack are complete dolts, all they can do is chuckle as they see this happen. Though realistically, I can't really blame them.

Tryouts were yesterday guys.

Jason and Zack become less amused when the Soccadillo ball flies past them and they have to duck before it slams into them. The boys try and figure a way to slow the ball down while they tell Roger to hide behind a tree. Maybe if he were better at soccer he could help, but instead he has to watch his only two friends get murdered. That's why you practice trapping Roger.

While their comrades are being beaten to death by a giant prop in the woods, Trini, Kimberly, and Billy enjoy a nice chocolate frosty milkshake inside the Juice Bar. They belittle Ernie for his stupid soccer idea and how it's going to make him miserable to keep putting himself through this. Ernie responds by telling them to get out of his shitty dive bar and go to hell. Luckily Zordon buzzes them and informs them they need to go save their friends so they have an excuse to leave.

The other Ranger Teens teleport to the park and start helping their friends hold off the Soccadillo ball while clobbering the Putties. Unfortunately the Ranger Teens didn't realize the Soccadillo had support from magical space wires holding him afloat.

Held in place the same way I held up tennis balls posing as planets in my 5th grade science project.

The Soccadillo ball runs out of energy and lands on the ground before disappearing. The Putties follow suit and vanish before the Ranger Teens can score some goals in their b-holes. The Ranger Teens escort Roger away, presumably coming up with a perfectly valid explanation for why they just beat the shit out of a giant soccer ball and some clay goobers.

Zordon brings his team back to home base to discuss how to murder Rita's soccer ball. When he shows the Rangers an image of the monster on the Viewing Globe, it appears in a different form that's more armadillo and less soccer. Zordon explains that's because nobody would watch an episode with an actual soccer ball as a monster, so the producers needed to jazz it up by giving it another form.

Alpha informs the Rangers that with another hour, the monster may be unstoppable. So long as Rita keeps it plugged in anyway. Zordon says they'll need the Green Ranger to defeat the monster, but only because his toys are selling better than theirs are. Alpha responds that he's been trying to get into contact with Tommy for quite a while, but he hasn't gotten a response back yet. It could potentially have something to do with that broken Communicator he was talking about earlier, but right now the episode is about soccer so who cares?

After school in the detention hall, Tommy comes in to get his Communicator back from Ms. Applebee. When he arrives, we see Bulk and Skull doing...this.

If you wanted racist gong music playing during this scene, you're in luck!

The bullies tell Tommy he's never getting his pager back and that thing's probably lodged inside Ms. Applebee by now. This is the moment Tommy realizes he needs to stop being a goody-goody and break some rules if he wants to keep being a Power Ranger. He does the unthinkable and begins scouring through Ms. Applebee's contraband drawer to find his Communicator. It will take him a while though. Ms. Applebee has confiscated an awful lot of Skull's cyanide capsules.

Sick of waiting a few seconds for Tommy to show up, the rest of the Rangers morph to confront the new uncurled Soccadillo monster.

Soccadillo
Call him the ROCKadillo.

Soccadillo charges at the Power Rangers and claws straight through them. He tells the Rangers their weapons will pose no match for his unstoppable armor. That's why they could slap him around unmorphed in the park earlier.

We get a brief fight between the monster and all five Rangers accompanied by some lovely Wasserman rock. This time it's a song entitled "I Know A Place." This is the only time they play this song in the show, probably because it's not one of his best tracks. So all you 90's rock fans out there better get your fix now.

As Tommy scours the drawer, Ms. Applebee barges in on him and sees the most model of model students stealing from her. What's this? Conflict?! Without involving a soccer ball armadillo? Well that's a first for this show. Let's see how it plays out.

Tommy asks Ms. Applebee nicely if she would consider returning his "pager." When she says nothing, he adds a "please" and gives her a nice toothy grin. We cut away, and in the next scene with Tommy he's already gotten it back. What the shit was all that about then? Man, sure am glad we waste time building up Ms. Applebee taking the Communicator only for her to relent off screen without saying a word. Granted nobody could say no to this face.

Especially not Kim.

Back at the battle, Soccadillo taunts the Power Rangers for not managing to land a single hit on him. Billy claims the monster is rapidly getting stronger, because he's the smart one so he can make shit up and everyone will believe it.

Jason commands the team to leap into the Tower Formation to blast the creature and teach him a lesson for trying to bring foreign sports onto our soil. Soccadillo sees the attack coming and morphs into his ball form to let the attack hit him harmlessly. What a shocker, the attack that has only worked successfully twice didn't prove effective against a powerful new monster.

Soccadillo rolls through the Rangers in his ball form and knocks them flat on their asses. Soccadillo then changes back into his beast form and summons some Putties to humiliate the Rangers even further. The Putties bust out some rocks and kick them at the Rangers like soccer balls. Soccadillo then turns himself into his ball form and has the Putties lob him through the Rangers causing them to burst with sparks. No wonder Roger still sucks at soccer, his teachers can't stop the ball for shit.

Tommy, with his Communicator back, begins complaining out loud that his magic watch is beeping and he can't contact Zordon or Alpha. Thankfully there are plenty of extras wandering by him who can't hear any of this identity revealing meltdown. Either Angel Grove is full of idiots, or Zordon is wiping their memory every week. Choose your own headcanon.

Alpha 5 gets a hold of Tommy just in the nick of time and explains the situation. Tommy laughs when he learns the monster is a soccer ball armadillo, but Alpha tells him he was the one fighting a goddamned rapping pumpkin last week so he better get to the quarry and bail those losers out pronto. Tommy morphs inside the hallway, just to clarify that he's an idiot who doesn't care if someone sees his top secret identity.

Green Ranger arrives in the quarry and kicks the Soccadillo ball so hard that the monster reverts back to its animal form. By the way, remember when Soccadillo summoned Putty Patrollers? Well they're not there anymore so stop thinking about that you egghead.

With Tommy here to help, the Rangers go on the offensive and bring our their Power Weapons. The Rangers leap up and strike the Soccadillo with their weapons and chump the big rodent like nobody's business.

It's been too long since we got a good old fashioned dagger throwing.

Soccadillo wobbles around all dizzy as the Rangers hold their weapons again and look ready to summon the Power Blaster. Unfortunately for the Rangers, an old space witch has a say in the matter. Rita becomes furious that the monster she arbitrarily sent down before it was fully energized is losing. She tosses her wand to Earth to make him grow, and the Rangers do their Dinozord thing. You know the drill.

Megazord and Dragonzord take their stances against the Soccadillo but the monster proves too fast for them. Tommy commands the Dragonzord to knock the monster back with its tail, but when Dragonzord tries firing its missiles at the monster, Soccadillo turns into its ball form again and is unharmed. Zack suggests to Jason that their only chance is to use the Power Sword when the monster isn't in ball form. Which he has been for the majority of this fight, but Zack didn't think of it until just now so get off his dick.

Soccadillo bounces past the two Zords and uncurls himself to taunt the Rangers. As they try and close in on the monster, he blasts them with energy beams from his eyes while cackling. The Rangers take this moment to summon the Power Sword and finish off Soccadillo with it. Hey Zordon what was that about needing all six Rangers to defeat Soccadillo? Get fucked you old loser, nobody needs your advice.

Back in the Youth Center, Ernie posts the new list of soccer players for all the dumb kids to flip out over. Roger looks bummed out at first, but soon changes his look when he tells the Ranger Teens he made it on the team. All thanks to their lessons involving punching armadillo monsters.

However Roger didn't really make it on the team, Ernie decided to create a second team of all the kids who he didn't want on the original team so that nobody had to feel bad or something like that. I'm all for not bumming people out, but this is the absolute only way the premise of this episode could have ended without being total bullshit.

If Ernie had just made a second team right off the bat, we wouldn't have needed all the drama of Roger practicing and believing in himself or whatever he was supposed to be doing. I don't even know what his lesson was supposed to be. All I remember was Tommy yelling at his communicator and Bulk and Skull's racist thumb wrestling jamboree. So the episode had to bend over backwards to make it look like there was a risk of Roger not being able to play soccer, even though the steps taken to get there didn't really make any sense.

Whatever, everyone wins. Don't think about it. The End. Fuck you.



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Pagers


Personal Thoughts

I want to love this episode for really superficial reasons I'll talk about in a second, but it doesn't really do a lot for me. It's kind of fun, I guess. It's just really middle of the road. I enjoyed the Putty fight with the Soccadillo ball in the park. That was pretty neat. I'm sure there's more than that I just wasn't really feeling it. Who knows? Maybe I'd love this episode if I watched it another day.

Like the Minotaur episode, I had an obsession with trying to find this episode on T.V. when I was a kid. The reason I wanted to see this episode so badly is because I really love armadillos. They're one of my all time favorite animals so I was super stoked to see a monster based on one. I also used to play soccer very briefly when I was a kid, which I gave up for the rockstar life of a blogger. Basically when I saw Soccadillo show up in later episodes, I needed to see his original showing.

As it stands, Soccadillo is one of my favorite Season 1 monsters just because I really enjoy his design and I can't repress my armadillo lust. He's a pretty rad Zyu2 monster and I like that they put in the extra effort to make two separate costumes for him. His ball form and his animal form. Though I am under the impression the Zyu2 crew might have gotten a little lazy when making the Soccadillo ball, because it looks like a recycled prop from the previous Sentai series Chojin Sentai Jetman. Compare the images for yourselves and tell me what you think!




Also, all that Soccadillo getting killed by the Power Sword? Hogwash I say! This monster was meant to be destroyed by the Ultrazord. I know that in my heart of hearts. How can I know that you say? Very simple. All of the Zyu2 monsters who became giant were defeated either by the Power Sword or the Ultrazord. The monsters who were meant to be defeated by the Power Sword had a slash effect overlaid on them like so.



While the monsters who were meant to be defeated by the Ultrazord had an explosion effect overlaid on them like this.


Since the Zord attacks were meant to be stock footage, that meant the editor could plug in whatever finishing Zord move they wanted to. The Ultrazord formation might have eaten up too much time so that could explain why they opted for the Power Sword in this instance. It just bugged me because Soccadillo was one of my favorite monsters and they had to beat him like a putz. What a buncha crap.

Oh yeah, some kid extra in the background of the soccer tryout scene went on to murder people. It was a story a while back that kept popping up with titillating headlines like "POWER RANGER MURDERER?!" Then you open the article hoping to see Billy finally took out his aggression on someone, just to see it's some nobody in the background of a scene who went uncredited. Basically what I'm saying is never click on a news article because they're always full of shit.





2 comments:

  1. It was the kid who played roger that went on to be a murderer, skylar Deleon is his name I believe..

    ReplyDelete
  2. The looks Walter and Austin keep giving each other in the beginning scene are funny to watch.

    ReplyDelete