Tuesday, September 8, 2015

MMPR Season 2 Episode 2: The Mutiny Part 2


Unprofitable Old Toys Turned Evil, New Toys Required to Stop Them
Bet Over Pizza Goes Awry During Piranha Attack







Last week, everything got flipped turned upside down. Rita's boss Lord Zedd appeared and tossed her in a space dumpster for being such a clownshoe last season. Zedd called forth his new Putties that were narrowly defeated by the Ranger team. Zedd upped the stakes by creating a new monster named Pirantishead who froze their Dinozords and left the Power Rangers with no remaining defense. The Rangers were left completely at the monster's mercy with no chance for survival.

….Except for the Tyrannosaurus Dinozord which it turns out he didn't freeze last week. So that cliffhanger didn't mean shit if you were paying attention. Thanks for waiting a week for that one kids!
 
All five Power Rangers call for the T-Rex to protect them from Zedd's fish flutist. In case you're just joining us, Pirantishead isn't giant yet. The Rangers are that afraid that Zedd's monster is going to trash them. Maybe you guys should try punching him in the chest. That seemed to work out pretty good last time.

Goldar begins whining that Pirantishead is a total jabroni and managed to leave the Ranger's strongest Dinozord out to protect them. Zedd says this is clearly not an oversight on his part but part of a master plan to buttfuck the Rangers so bad even their grandparents feel it. Zedd fires energy from his staff at Earth which prompts Pirantishead to play his flute nunchucks one more time. Big deal, he's going to freeze the Tyrannosaurus like he did with the other Zo-

Well shit

Yeah you know those gigantic machines the Rangers use to protect justice and the American way? Pirantishead is now completely in control of one of them. The Rangers have nothing to defend themselves. Just a gigantic fuckbeast ready to stomp them to death. I can not stress how incredible this was as a kid.

While the Rangers get doused by Tyrannosaurus carcinogens, Zordon charges Tommy's Power Coin with energy from his tube. Zordon tells Tommy he can't afford to give the Green Ranger any more energy, because he's given this little green beggar enough power to go spin kick Lord Zedd's head off and he's been wasting it fighting football playing rhinos.

Tommy teleports to the battlefield and asks his friends why a T-Rex is vomiting mist on them. Zack tells him to stop being an asshole and summon his Dragonzord before they all get massacred by their own death machines. Tommy kindly obliges and uses his Dragon Dagger to summon the Dragonzord. Then my life falls into shambles as it took me 20 years to realize Pirantishead playing a flute to control Zords is a parallel to the Green Ranger. Why did this take me so long to grasp?

The Dragonzord shows up to fight Tyrannosaurus and keep the Rangers safe from harm.  The reptilian Zords do battle while the Rangers…sit around with their thumbs up their asses. They have no comment on this fight and no desire to try and actually battle Pirantishead. They just let things play out in the hopes that, I don't know, Tyrannosaurus will get killed and stop hurting them? It didn’t take the Rangers very long to give up any hope that this fight was salvageable.

Lord Zedd has other plans in mind though, as he fires more energy from his staff to take control of the Dragonzord. At least that's presumably what he's doing. He fires energy at the Earth, and we cut to Pirantishead doing his flute control thing. The monster doesn't seem to get energized by Zedd's magic, he just sits there and when Zedd flings some lightning at Earth, decides to get involved.  You guys say what you will about Rita's monsters, at least she didn't have to charge their batteries to get them to do something.

Pirantishead tells the Zords it's not nice to fight with each other, and fires his fish beam at the Dragonzord, gaining control of it as well. Dragonzord and Tyrannosaurus turn their sights on the Rangers who now have no defense against their own Zords while Pirantishead chuckles at their plight. This is the moment, the Rangers have no hope. Zedd's got them cornered with their own Zords and they have no chance of escape. The usually confident Power Rangers are now reduced to looking like this.

Well Billy looks the same.

Zordon tells Alpha his worst fears have come true, which is a phrase that has lost all meaning when Zordon says it. His worst fear has run the gamut from multidimensional eggs being stolen to not having enough change for menthols at the 7-11 down the road. Thankfully Zordon has prepared for this apparent inevitability in what he calls Season Phase 2. 

Lord Zedd has had enough grab-ass with his machine puppeteering fish and demands that those Zords bust some ass and pronto. Zedd fires a beam to Earth, and with it he concocts his most deadly spell of all. Really shoddy editing to fill up time.

For as impressive and fun as the episode has been so far, it hits a really steep nose dive when we reach this scene. Zedd fires lightning, and Pirantishead suddenly stops appearing. All that's on screen is the Tyrannosaurus Dinozord and Dragonzord going on a poorly defined rampage. While it seems like it shouldn’t be too hard to slap together footage of the Dinozords firing their attacks and then cutting to buildings exploding, Power Rangers manages to fuck that up completely by employing schizophrenic editing that can't decide where the hell it wants the scene to go. Let me break down exactly what happens in one moment to show what I mean.

Dragonzord and Tyrannosaurus are shown hovering in the air, a position we didn't see them get in and have no reason to be in at all. Both Zords land as Dragonzord arms its finger missiles. Tommy and Jason note that he's armed the missiles and they're pointed right at the Rangers. Then we cut away to the Tyrannosaurus preparing to fire its ground breath attack by looking down; then immediately cut away from THAT to see the Dragonzord stomping through the city, completely ignoring all that missile arming we just spent 10 seconds elaborating on.

To summarize what's happening here, "The Mutiny Part 2" is completely wasting your time. They don't have enough footage of Dragonzord and Tyrannosaurus attacking the Rangers to show you, so the show is simply implying what could be happening by stapling together a big juicy helping of stock footage from Season 1. It's incredibly choppy and shitty and drags down all of the exciting action we've just seen because it's all build-up and zero payoff. The Rangers don't even get blasted or harmed, they just keep noting things off screen that look dangerous but thankfully didn't hit them. This is going to be a running theme of Season 2 so if you don't like it here, tough shit.

The only benefit to all this footage recycling is when Dragonzord runs into an old friend in downtown Angel Grove.

So you want to recycle material Power Rangers? Two can play at that game.

After plenty too much dicking around, Tommy suggests that maybe the Power Rangers could try doing something other than cowering in fear of things that aren't actually hitting them. Jason says that plan might be crazy enough to work as Tommy plays his dagger in an attempt to regain control of the Zord.

The core five Rangers leap onto a rooftop to try and distract the Dragonzord while Tommy plays sweet nothings for its ears. Unfortunately for them Dragonzord arms its missiles yet again. Only this time it actually fires at them and blasts them right off the building. Tommy is unsuccessful in serenading the Dragonzord as the Rangers cower in fear yet again. Jason says he's had enough of this shit and they need to retreat to the Command Center and hope Zordon has some advice. Hopefully he has a better idea than "get shot off of a building."

The Rangers mope to Zordon that their Zords got stolen and they just got their asses beat real bad. Zordon responds in kind that they can fuck right off for taking his priceless ancient artifact of unlimited power and letting them get shitcanned by a piranha Kenny G. Zordon says those shitty old toys Zords will never have enough power to stay on the toy shelves forever defeat Lord Zedd. They're going to need new and more profitable powerful toys Zords to make a shitzillion dollars triumph over the forces of evil.

Alpha takes the Power Rangers outside to demonstrate these new Zords that are strengthened by the power of thunder. What does that mean? Stop asking questions fuckface, nobody cares. The Rangers look into the clouds that darken with images of their new Zords inside of them. Zordon introduces the Rangers to each of their Zords. Jason will be in control of the mighty Red Dragon Thunderzord.

Do all our new Zords need strings to hold them up Zordon?

Trini meets her new Thunderzord, the swift Griffin Thunderzord.

A Zord so amazing it left Trini speechless.

Zack's new machine is the powerful Lion Thunderzord.

Zordon you remember I'm not the Green Ranger right?

Billy is blessed with the power of the mighty Unicorn Thunderzord.

You lazy shit Zordon, you just repainted Trini's.

Finally, Kimberly is given the power of the agile Firebird Thunderzord.

Kimberly I got one word for you. Thundercougarfirebird

The Rangers are amazed by their new Zords and get ready to use them to kick Lord Zedd's skinless ass all over the place. However Kimberly notices that one of the Rangers didn't get a brand new Zord for Christmas and asks why Tommy got left out. Alpha 5 cuts through the bullshit and tells Kim he doesn't know if Tommy's powers are going to remain or not. So suck it up Kim, either enjoy this new phoenix we bought you or we'll give it to Billy instead.

Jason, Zack, Kimberly, Billy, Tommy, and all the rest sit inside the Command Center while contemplating what their next move is. Alpha says that to get these new Zords working they're going to have to regain control of their old Zords first. There's something truly beautiful about how blatantly the show calls the Dinozords the "old Zords." Power Rangers is taking you by the lapels, lifting you in the air, and screaming "BUY OUR NEW TOYS DIPSHIT" into your quivering face.

After some more pointless banter on how hopeless the Rangers feel, Billy proposes a solution. He'll concoct a device that can interrupt Lord Zedd's signal and regain control of the Dinozords. The way Billy explains this makes Zedd's powers sound less like he's a devious galactic sorcerer and more like he's broadcasting some shitty pirate radio channel that's brainwashing their Zords. Like a less malevolent Rush Limbaugh.

Trini tags along to help Billy program his Signal Blocker, and to admit her undying love for his surprisingly hunky frame. After Blue and Yellow leave, the rest of the Rangers can barely muster up even the smallest shred of confidence for this plan. Kim and Jason give a half hearted hope that this has any chance at defeating Lord Zedd, while Zack and Tommy remain silent.

It's actually quite a nice moment.

Here are these superheroes who are painfully extroverted and confident, completely dismantled by Lord Zedd's looming threat. A power they don't know they can ever vanquish. It's a sobering look at how low the Rangers are feeling even with the possibility of new Zords on the way. It reminds me of the more impressive scenes from "Green With Evil" when victory felt like a depressingly unrealistic impossibility.

While the Rangers contemplate suicide, Lord Zedd gloats in his Chamber of Command. Not just to Goldar, but to a small legion of Z-Putties as well. Um Mr. Zedd sir? You do know Putties can't talk right? I don't even have proof they can hear you. I think they're just being polite for you Zedd.

While Zedd talks himself off, Squatt and Baboo remain in hiding while giggling about how impressive their new boss is. Well that's what the show wants us to think, but I know better. This scene is solely here to remind us these two simpering man apes are still around and no matter how much you pray to whatever deity you believe in, they will never go away.

Squatt and Baboo giggle as they see another script they weren't cut out of.

At Billy's garage, he and Trini put together components for the Signal Blocker. Billy thanks Trini for her assistance and she replies that two heads are betteWE ALREADY DID THAT EPISODE TRINI. WOULD YOU SHUT THE FUCK UP?

The Command Center's alarm starts blaring as the Rangers see Pirantishead has appeared down at the four wheeler rally you probably forgot about. With Billy and Trini still busy working on the Signal Blocker, Angel Grove is filled with nothing but sitting ducks for Pirantishead to chow down on. Jason says he'll take the other Rangers to go stop the monster but Zordon tells him to fuck right off. He put a down payment on those Zords and if Jason gets the pilots for three of those things killed he's going to lose some serious cash.

The Rangers aren't the only ones experiencing problems with machines today. Bulk and Skull drive their four wheelers around as they realize they don't have a goddamn clue where they're going. The boys argue for a little bit over which one of them is less stupid, with the only winner being the audience. Bulk says he has the instincts of a homing pigeon, and Skull tells Bulk "You have the homing instincts of a turkey!" With the two unable to come to a consensus, Skull suggests a competition between the two. The first one to reach the finish line is treated to all the pizza he can eat by the loser. Secretly Skull plans to lose on purpose just so he can witness this stunning display once more.

Some things were not meant to be put on film.

The Rangers refuse to wait any longer and risk civilian lives. While Billy and Trini try to speed up the progress on the Signal Blocker, the rest of the Rangers teleport to the rally in an attempt to slow down Pirantishead. Green, Pink, Black and Red look around and make the incredibly ludicrous statement that they CAN'T SEE THE ZORDS ANYWHERE. I understand not being able to see Pirantishead, he's a big dumb fish man. You know where you might be able to see 300 foot tall dinosaurs? From a mile the fuck back you nimrods.

Lord Zedd cackles at his own brilliance in somehow managing to hide two gigantic dinosaur robots from his two episode long arch-nemeses. He plans on luring the Rangers out into the open where he can summon some Putties as a distraction. Once they inevitably lose, he'll summon the Rangers' own Zords to finish them off. This all sounds like standard supervillain evil plotting, but Zedd wraps it up in such a  calculating and wicked demeanor that it sounds like he's creating the Mona Lisa of evil schemes.

As the Rangers continue to search for the monster, their wishes are suddenly granted when Pirantishead appears in front of them.

He forgot to comb his fins today

Zack notices the monster and proclaims "In the flesh, or should I say scales!" Which might be the absolute shittiest piece of dialogue this stupid show has ever shoveled into Walter Jones' mouth. As the Rangers prepare to attack Pirantishead, he vanishes in a flash of white light and blue balls our heroes. Suddenly a group of Z-Putties emerge to keep the Rangers busy. They'll also eat up some more time so we can turn what should have been a 2 parter into a 3 parter.

A fight with the new and unimproved Z-Putties commences and there are just a few things that keep it from being as good as last week's fight. The hits on the Putties feel really soft. It looks like the Rangers are lightly tapping them around and not doing any real damage. 

That's not to say this Putty fight is total garbage. You can tell the choreography is getting a lot better than before and it includes a lot of nice touches. The best part is midway through the fight, Black Ranger does a bunch of unnecessary showboating flourishes that are absolutely perfect for Zack's character. It's a little attention to detail that gives otherwise forgettable scenes life and it's incredibly refreshing. Compare that to the boring Putty fights that were littered in early Season 1 where you couldn't give less of a shit what was going on.

While the Rangers are preoccupied, Zedd alerts Pirantishead that there are intruders approaching and they need to be dealt with. You mean Billy and Trini are on their way and have to be taken out? No. The people Lord Zedd is concerned with are Bulk and Skull. Marking the first time in this show someone has cared about Bulk and Skull in any capacity.

Bulk and Skull ride around mocking their respective life mates sense of direction until they both run into each other, having driven in a complete circle. That's actually a pretty funny payoff to that gag, kudos Power Rangers. Suddenly Pirantishead appears behind Bulk as Skull spots the monster and asks Bulk "…Are we near a river?" A line that can only make me laugh when delivered by Jason Narvy or Paul Schrier. God bless these clowns.

Pirantishead blasts a bit of his flute magic at the boys' ATV's causing the bikes to drive themselves around in reverse at top speed. At least that's what the show wants us to think they're doing, because anyone with eyes can tell they just reversed footage of the boys driving their bikes really fast. In case you forgot this show was cheap.

The Putty fight concludes with some tasty looking punches to the Z Putties' weak spots and the Rangers congratulate each other on beating a bunch of fuckboy foot soldiers. Until Pirantishead reappears and activates the Zords he must have hidden under a 25 story blanket.

Tyrannosaurus and Dragonzord blast the Rangers with energy beams and leave them reeling. Jason asks Zordon if maybe they could use those new super cool death machines instead of getting their shit pushed in but Zordon tells them no, and to tune in next week for everything you actually wanted to see the new Zords do as opposed to hovering in front of a black background. Thanks for tuning in idiots.

Maybe you'll see these in action next week. But don't count on it.



TO BE CONTINUED



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Magical Machine Controlling Fish Nunchucks



Personal Thoughts


Absolutely not perfect, but ends up landing firmly in the "good" category. For as much as I complained about filler and padding, everything that wasn't shitty and time wasting felt organic and enjoyable. I remembered this episode being as obnoxious as "Green With Evil Part 3" with its repetition but I'm happy to say it doesn't even come close to that stinkfest. I'll discuss the padding a bit more in Part 3 but as for now, I'm content with this one.

I do take some issue with Lord Zedd firing energy into Pirantishead. Maybe I'm just a big baby about my precious sweetheart monsters, but it feels a little lame that Pirantishead is said to be able to control machines, but the control of Tyrannosaurus and Dragonzord is frequently referred to as Zedd's. If that's the case why is Pirantishead the one spewing beams at them and making them attack the Rangers? You muddy the waters of what this monster can do by saying Zedd has control over the Zords and Pirantishead doesn't. I understand they're trying to build up Zedd as a new super smooth badass villain, but you also take away from what his monsters can do when he has to hold their hand for them to accomplish their goals.

A handful of multi part episodes of Power Rangers would be fleshed out to go from two parts to three, and this is one of the less horrible examples. I don't enjoy the filler they pad this episode with and the T-Rex and Dragonzord "rampage" is completely ridiculous, but I understand why it's there. It's exciting and gets kids engaged, at least kids who didn't notice nothing was really happening. But you want to know something? I was totally one of those stupid kids who thought that shit was amazing. I didn't know I was being hoodwinked. Now I do, and as God as my witness I will complain about it on the internet until my fingers fall off.

One cool thing Power Rangers started doing in Season 2 was including scenes of the Ranger Teens morphed in the Command Center, only without their helmets on. It was a cool look that made you believe these six teenagers were actually the ones inside the suits, and not just a bunch of Japanese martial artists wearing fake tits.

Now someone rip Alpha's helmet off.

There isn't much to say about the Thunderzords just yet, but it's worth noting they come from the Sentai series that followed Zyuranger, Gosei Sentai Dairanger. Since the Dinozord toys had already been on the shelves for so long, any parents who had wanted them had either already bought them, or told their kids Santa isn't real and that Clinton surplus hadn't hit their family yet. Saban saw the opportunity to make some more bucks on this juggernaut of a T.V. show and commissioned footage from Dairanger so he could keep the Ranger gravy train rolling. So now that we're into Season 2, the Thunderzords are our new mech fleet. For better or worse.

Though something really sad happens with regards to the Dinozords in this episodes credits. Instead of all the kooky wacky footage of various Ranger shenanigans, there's a slowed down montage of all five of the Dinozords while the credits roll. It's almost like the show is telling you to say good-bye to them. 
   
So now that we're into Part 2, we can talk about Pirantishead. A Zyu2 monster who left quite a few questions for us Zyu2 researchers, or "losers" as we're more commonly known. Well why continue asking questions when the Pirantishead footage is now readily available? Just like Oyserizer from Season 1, Pirantishead's Zyu2 material has been released online. In the same video as a matter of fact! I'll only be covering the footage covered in Part 2, so if you want to keep the rest of the material a surprise, stop the video at 30:08. Or don't, who cares?

Look into the face of true terror.

This footage begins with the Rangers running into the city that's been trashed. Not by Pirantishead as last week's episode would have you believe, but by the Tyrannosaurus. All the scenes of Pirantishead blowing his flute to wreck buildings were made to justify the Rangers summoning their Dinozords against him. The scenes of buildings being destroyed by Pirantishead were just footage of him playing his fish flute and cutting to buildings exploding.

Nope, in the original footage Pirantishead had gained control of the Tyrannosaurus off screen and the Rangers came on the scene to see he was wrecking shit with their Zord. None of that Zord freezing stuff from Part 1 happened in Zyu2, so you may be asking yourself where the other Dinozords were meant to be. Just so happens the raw footage gave us an answer.

A man betrayed by his own legs.

They were also controlled by Pirantishead! Just for another bit of trivia I made sure to show you good people that cut to black which is very common in the raw Zyu2 footage. Every time that black screen appeared, it was an indicator to the editor to insert stock footage. Usually the Zyu2 producers were smart enough to include a brief shot before or after the cut that made it incredibly obvious what footage to use. If the screen cuts to black and then the Megazord catches its Power Sword, clearly the footage is telling you to insert the shot of the Power Sword flying down from the heavens.

Other than that, there's a scene cut of Pirantishead briefly motioning his fish nunchucks to the Dragonzord and the T-Rex, and them leaving the city with him. This was the exact moment in "The Mutiny Part 2" that they cut off the Zyu2 footage and started gluing together a bunch of scenes of the Dinozords awkwardly jerking around in a flaccid rage. So while I don't really care that we lost this scene, it's only a shame we did because it was replaced by something significantly less comprehensible or enjoyable.

The final nothing of a scene that was cut were the four non Yellow and Blue Rangers encountering Pirantishead in the quarry before he summoned the controlled Dinozords. It also helps explain an issue I had with the Pirantishead monster. I know Zedd is this super evil hardass and just made a monster that's controlling their Zords, but the Rangers don't attack Pirantishead at all. In the raw Zyu2, they encounter him and he immediately summons the Zords to protect himself. Since "The Mutiny Part 2" has to pad itself out, we have too many scenes of Pirantishead standing around in the open while the Rangers trash talk him until he summons the Zords again. The show does a pretty lame job of proving how super strong this monster is when all he does is stand in a field like a total dipshit.

Next week wraps up the Mutiny miniseries! Tune in again and see if Lord Zedd finally kills those pesky teenagers. Or if they'll bring out some bitchin' new toys to totally spank him. Who knows?



3 comments:

  1. Whew - okay, a few things.

    1) Couldn't they have updated the opening theme? They updated the ending theme for 2 episodes for Christ's sake. Next week? Oh... okay.

    2) How does a pterodactyl stay frozen in the sky this long? I mean honestly. I didn't know this flute had anti-gravity properties!

    3) Lord Zedd does not lightning-infuse any other monsters, so why does he do it this time?

    4) The lack of Ranger/Pirantishead hand-to-hand combat, despite the fact that they clearly had the suit available -and- that the choregraphy has clearly been stepped up a bit (thank you Zen Master) is a bit of a downer.

    5) "That flute of his can take control of any mechanical object." Gee, thanks Alpha. Like we're deaf in addition to being blind.

    6) Squatt, Baboo, and the peep holes. First of all, there's three, so where's Finster? Second, do they just teleport back and forth between the two rooms? And how come we NEVER AGAIN see the balcony they're on in Mutiny 1?

    Brilliant as always my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. We never see Rita's Moon Palace balcony again because that only appeared in Zyuranger footage. The Zyuranger footage of Rita's balcony was all but retired post Mutiny 1. There is one exception. Rita's balcony makes a one-off cameo return in The Wedding Part 2. Two shots of recycled Zyuranger footage show Finster listening and looking close at the balcony from his workshop window whilst one more recycled Zyuranger scene shows a brief shot of Squatt and Baboo messing around on the balcony from Finster's workshop window.
      Check out Sir Stack's Sentai footage guide. http://sirstack.db-destiny.net/morphylogeny/242.htm

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  2. I was so sad to see the dinozords go as a kid..and still to this day. I wish they could have used them until the zyu 2 footage ran out and then introduced the Thunderzords..

    ReplyDelete