Tuesday, November 17, 2015

MMPR Season 2 Episode 12: Green No More Part 1


Hero's Energy Stolen by Diaper-Wearing Mollusk
Stupid Looking Bullies Turn into Stupider Looking Mercenaries






















It's the end of an era of toys everyone. Tommy's waning powers are on their last legs and Zordon has done everything he can to resuscitate the Green Ranger's shambling corpse. Now things have wound down for Tommy and he's waiting on one final report from Zordon on how long he can remain in the fight. Judging from this week's title? I'd say his chances are looking pretty good!

Kimberly encounters Tommy shooting hoops by himself, because the other Ranger Teens are sick of spending time with him. She offers Tommy some hope that Zordon might be able to find a way to restore Tommy's energy to full, assuming that the multiple times that Zordon elaborated he could do no such thing were all simple a miscalculation from the giant floating space head. Tommy says his days are numbered; nobody wants to buy a Dragonzord anymore, the Dragon Daggers are all on clearance, and he's pretty sure they're casting him in some show called VR Troopers

Inexplicably, lightning strikes through the park all around Kimberly and Tommy. Is it a new scheme from Lord Zedd? Of course not. It's something significantly stupider than that.

Just what this show needed, more Tommy.

So, and I'm not shitting you, a faded image of Tommy appears in front of Kim and Actual Tommy to tell them he's from the future. He isn't much help though as he's only able to speak in one or two words separated from any possible context. Future Tommy says something about a future battle and using a Future Communicator before his future image vanishes. Real Tommy tells Kimberly this sounds like some kind of warning…from the future! In case you weren't listening to any of the lines that holographic character just said and needed the CliffsNotes version.

Back at Angel Grove High, Billy and Zack wander the hallways while searching for Zack's cousin Curtis. They don't have to search too long though as they soon find Curtis entertaining a group of on-looking students by dancing to some tunes from his jambox. Wow this Curtis fellow sure is a rip-roaring good time! Why I'd even say he might be as cool as Zack is. If Zack ever had to stop being a Power Ranger (perish the thought) maybe Curtis could fill in for him since they're such similar characters pigments people.

Which is of course all bullshit, because this Curtis clown doesn't have a drip-drop of charisma to him. If this show is trying to sell me on Curtis being as cool as Zack, then they're going to need to do more than have him break-dance in the hallways before grinning like a dweeb. It smacks of begging the audience to like this new character and pretend he's even an inkling as cool as Zack. Unfortunately the show forgot to hire an actor with a percentage of the screen presence Walter Jones has, so they end up with some loser nobody wants to spend time with.

Get outta here with your Carlton lookin ass.

After Curtis finishes his lackluster dance moves, Richie comes up and congratulates Curtis on his super cool dance moves. Curtis thanks him and says maybe the two of them should start hanging out together more often just in case Saban has any roles he needs to fill in the near future. Now all that's left is to find an Asian girl who never shuts her fucking mouth and their posse will be complete.

Richie offers to take Curtis out to eat, and Curtis proves exactly why you would hire him to replace one of your better actors by stammering over the line "Now this is what I call the beginning of a beautiful friendship." It comes out sounding more like "nowthyis what I. call a begin ingofa beautifult friendshit." If the reason for this character wasn't shitty enough as it is, his acting makes me want to turn off his Tom Jones music and slap him upside the head.

Tommy shows up and talks with Billy and Zack about his bizarre encounter with himself. This leads to one of Tommy's stupidest lines yet when he refers to his future self as "A guy who looked just like me." Do you honestly not believe that guy was you? Are you some kind of goddamned idiot? If a future version of yourself appeared to you on an episode of Who's the Boss then maybe you could cock an eyebrow. You are on Mighty Morphin Fucking Power Rangers. You fight giant turtles with cannons in their assholes every week. Is getting a message from your future self really that much more bizarre? Maybe you should try asking the floating head and sentient robot if they find your future vision at all peculiar. Asshole.

Then something even more insane happens. A pair of barrels are rolled down the hallway towards our heroes. Zack tells them to look out, because it would be a shame if the coroner had to write down their cause of death as "Donkey Konged." Billy, Zack, and Tommy karate leap their way away from the barrels and are shocked to see Bulk and Skull pop out from inside of them. The bullies, for once, weren't getting into comical mischief because they've both had an extra helping of chromosome pie. Instead it turns out they were put in there by the new bullies on the block. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to these jokers.

Zordon's cloning experiment went horribly wrong.

Yes these are the new bullies of Angel Grove High. Five characters who dress in different colors and supposedly have varying attributes. Gasp! You don't think...

Unlike our heroes though, these five are all about dangerous pranks like rolling idiots around in barrels. One might even call them DANGER Teens! They exhibit evil tendencies like chewing gum, and shoving around a nerdy extra that looks like an older Harold Ramis.

The Blue Bully explains to our heroes that he and his friends just transferred in. Just as I finish rolling my eyes at these five I start to laugh at the Blue Bully's voice. He sounds like he's trying to do an impression of Brad Dourif's Chucky voice. He even has the Jack Nicholson tinge to it. I keep expecting him to roar like a lion before he plunges an axe into Zack's chest. It's easily the best part of these stock nobody characters that only exist to serve as temporary foils to the heroes of our show.

Am I the only one who think he kind of looks like Chuckie too?

Tommy and Bully Red have a verbal sparring match about the rules around town, and how he better learn them quick. Rule #1: You don't get anywhere without being a puritan douchebag who espouses the benefits of homework and vegetables. Red Bully says he and his crew are used to making the rules wherever they go, so that means everyone will be forced to chew gum and sneer obnoxiously at the camera as long as he's in town. The Danger Teens depart while fiendishly cackling at nothing in particular, but it may be because they're comically exaggerated versions of human beings.

What's that you say? Exaggerated human beings? They sound perfect for Lord Zedd to create his own team of Rangers: The Dark Rangers! Any of you out there who called this plot point can mark a square on your Power Rangers bingo card. Goldar, shockingly, agrees with everything Lord Zedd has said, but he becomes confused about a green crystal he's been holding in his hand since the camera cut to him. Zedd declares this crystal will be at full energy as soon as the Green Ranger's energy is no more, and he will use it to destroy Zordon for being such a smug dick all these years.

Inside the Command Center, Zordon has some dickish news for Tommy. All the attempts to restore his Green Ranger powers have failed, and he will only have enough power for one final fight, maybe two if Lord Zedd makes another dud like Invenusable Flytrap. Tommy mentions the vision he had, and if it might have anything to do with this week's plot. Zordon says it obviously did, but the audience will have to wait and see what any of that horseshit means.

While Tommy cries on Alpha's shoulder, the other Ranger Teens screw around on the beach. All of them aside from Trini of course, who is currently arguing the conditions of her contract on this billion dollar franchise staying with her grandmother. While Zack and Jason practice some sweet karate kicks, Billy helps Kimberly find some rad looking seashells. Unfortunately she's interrupted by Brad Dourif bully who asks if she she might have any idea where AAAAAANDY is.

The Danger Teens arrive and tell our heroes that Angel Grove belongs to them now. Presumably the police have already encountered these five douchebags in leather and immediately surrendered in the face of their stereotypical fury. The Ranger Teens and the Danger Teens square off in a showdown that would look a lot more impressive if all five of our heroes were present to engage in it. Also if these idiots knew any kind of karate and weren't just lame bullies who can't do anything but provide wedgies while high-fiving each other about it.

Before the Danger Teens can get their faces smashed in. Lord Zedd zaps them with energy. The bolt transports the Danger Teens into his dimension known as "The Other World." So for those of you just joining us, Lord Zedd has effortlessly taken five teenagers and transported them into Hell. Oh I'm sorry, I meant to say "The Other World." Eventually this show is going to run out of vaguely threatening sounding names for alternate dimensions and that is the day I live to experience.

Once the Danger Teens are in his control, Zedd realizes they won't be able to become his Dark Rangers until Tommy's powers have been drained entirely into the crystal. In order to bring the Green Ranger to the brink, Lord Zedd creates a new monster based on the shells Kimberly was collecting. Behold the might of Turbanshell.

Was that nasty shell diaper necessary?

The Ranger Teens regroup inside the Command Center where Tommy tells them this new monster better be worth it, because it's going to be his last battle with them. Zordon shows them the giant Turbanshell rampaging through downtown Angel Grove. Tommy pouts as he realizes this is how his reign as the Green Ranger will end. Not with a bang, but with a mollusk that can't control its bowels.

The other Ranger Teens offer to battle Turbanshell on their own, but Zordon tells them the monster is incredibly dangerous. Zordon even claims that Turbanshell has an incredibly high power level! Heh…so Zordon's trying to tell me that Turbanshell's power level is…OVERly strong. You guys better bring Tommy with you to help.

The Rangers morph and arrive as Turbanshell continues its rampage. Just like the previous few weeks, Zack and Jason react to the monster destroying their city with recycled dialogue that makes it sound like they're not at all involved in the situation. Turbanshell demolishes a building and Jason's reaction is "THIS DUDE'S GONNA BE TOUGHER THAN I THOUGHT!" Zack responds to this wanton destruction by claiming "We need help!" It feels so stilted and lifeless, and I've had just about enough of this puzzle piece dialogue bullshit from you two.

Jason remembers they have gargantuan death machines for just such a situation and calls for the Dinozords. What? You mean the Zords from last season? Yep those are the ones Jason yells out for because the ADR department fucked up. They were so busy poorly overlaying old lines onto Jason's movements that they forgot what the name of the Zords are this season. Bang up job.

While Jason calls on the Dinozords, he has to settle for the Thunderzords showing up in their place. The Thunder Megazord comes together and Tommy decides he might as well help out if this is going to be his last fight. He summons the Dragonzord for the first time in 7 weeks to combat Turbanshell. Good to see him too. That means this fight with a Zyu2 monster and Dairanger footage won't be nothing but spliced together horseshit.

Turbanshell Dragonzord
This 2 second clip is better than every Zord fight in Season 2 thus far.

The Thunder Megazord marches in place a few times to pretend like it's doing anything other than wasting time. Turbanshell realizes he's in some kind of goddamned nightmare where he can never be on screen with the Thunder Megazord, so he whips out his shell staff and blasts it with spirals of energy. The Thunder Megazord reacts off screen as it's surrounded by explosions. Dragonzord follows suit as the two mechs are overwhelmed by Turbanshell's mediocre display of pyrotechnics.

The main five Rangers are hurled out of the Thunder Megazord as Turbanshell mocks them for losing to someone who is perennially shitting himself. Instead of going in for the killing blow, Turbanshell vanishes before promising to finish them off soon. Because this is a two part episode and we need to extend it somehow.

Lord Zedd dictates his plan to Goldar when Turbanshell abruptly appears. Zedd asks what the fuck his wormy ass is doing in the Other World, and Turbanshell immediately starts gurgling like the ugly creep he is. The monster explains he needed to recharge his shell, and make sure to reapply plenty of baby powder in his problem areas. Zedd becomes even more disgusted than before. He demands his hideous hermit-crab assed monster get back down to Earth and drain Tommy's powers for good this time.

Though this doesn't seem like it will be much of a problem, as Tommy is currently keeling over in the park while the other Rangers rush to his aid. To comfort his ailing friend, Zack offers a line from Season 1 that doesn't really fit the context, "COME ON GUYS, WE CAN'T GIVE UP. WE'RE THE POWER RANGERS!" Yes, we are Zack. Well some of still are anyway. Just before Jason can regale us with things he once said in Season 1, a blast of lightning zaps the Green Ranger, causing him to vanish from the others' sight.

The Green Ranger soon appears in a desolate valley where it seems like no other life resides. So either Zedd has cast some deadly magic, or Anthony just sent Tommy to the cornfield for thinking bad thoughts. Tommy hears an odd gurgling noise only to realize Turbanshell has also made residence here. Green and Turban battle it out in the valley as Tommy's powers continue failing him. The monster knocks Tommy over and enacts Zedd's scheme.

Turbanshell Green Ranger
Ew. Well Tommy's not going to want his powers back now.

Tommy is now left completely powerless and at the mercy of Turbanshell with no access to his friends or Zordon. Tommy runs into the distance as he can and hides behind a rock formation as the monster gurgles a laugh at him for being such easy pickins.

Zedd gathers Tommy's energy inside his crystal and cackles that the Green Ranger's energy can finally serve as the catalyst for his new squadron of Dark Rangers. The Regular Rangers try and contact Zordon to figure out what's going on, but Zedd's crystal has also conveniently shut down access to the Command Center. How? Doesn't matter. It did because this is a two parter and we need to raise the stakes. So shut up and keep watching loser.

Zedd magics the other five Rangers into his Other World where they are demorphed and meet the head honcho villain face to face for the first time. The Ranger Teens, now caught inside a shitty looking wispy forcefield are forced to listen as Zedd Bond-Villains his scheme to them. Zedd tells them their Morphers won't do them any good as long as they're trapped in his dimension, and his crystal will seal off all contact to Zordon so long as he's in possession of Tommy's powers.

Now that he has his arch-nemeses right where he wants them, Zedd introduces the fruits of his labor to the Ranger Teens. His own invincible fighting team, the Dark Rangers.

Dark Rangers
Holy shit you have to be kidding me.

Ahahahahahaha. What? This is the best you could come up with Zedd? You're joking right? Where are the real Dark Rangers? Why did you paint those Putties? He didn't have enough pink fabric either so he had to make one of them an orange Ranger. This is astounding. These guys can't possibly be what you've been building up can they? Christ almighty.

The Ranger Teens hold in their giggles while Zedd promises these Dark Rangers are serious business, and not shitty looking Putties wearing gimp masks. Zedd tries the best he can to amp up these stupid looking losers, but you can't possibly take them seriously when you get a look at them. They're fucking ridiculous.

He looks like a jack-o-lantern.

Zack tries reasoning with these gussied up clowns and tells them Zedd isn't the kind of guy you want to be in league with. The Dark Rangers inform the Ranger Teens that nobody has ever given them a chance like Zedd has, and their many years of bullying have prepared them for this descent into nihilism and genocide.

Oh yeah remember how the Ranger Teens can't have their identities revealed to anyone or else they lose their powers? And now they're unmorphed in front of the Dark Rangers who are regular humans wearing stupid pajamas? Even if the Dark Rangers are under a spell that doesn't mean they've become both blind and stupid. How long does it take for that secret identity rule to go into effect Zordon? For all intents and purposes shouldn't we be replacing all five of the Rangers for this?

Zedd says he's sick of listening to the Ranger Teens' whining about how terrible the Dark Rangers look and wishes to observe the destruction of the Green Ranger. Kimberly demands to know where he is, and Zedd informs her that her man-candy is trapped somewhere in his Other World. Wherever he is, he certainly doesn't need to worry about being alone though.

Tommy stays hidden behind a tiny rock formation as Turbanshell slowly approaches the powerless young man. The monster cackles as it tells Tommy the Green Ranger is gone, and soon the former owner of that mantle will meet the same fate. Tommy starts sweating as he realizes in the next few minutes, he's going to become literal worm food.



TO BE CONTINUED




Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Shell Collecting




Personal Thoughts



Though there's quite a bit of stupid shit in this episode, I can't deny how tense it makes everything feel. Tommy is abandoned with no powers to defend himself, the other Rangers are trapped in front of Zedd without the ability to morph, and Zordon/Alpha are unable to locate them or provide any assistance now that the Command Center has been locked down. Even though Turbanshell looks pretty goddamn ridiculous, he still managed to defeat the Thunder Megazord without much effort. Even if was in a spliced up Zord battle, he's still the first to take the Thunderzords down so effortlessly. They build him up as a pretty credible threat that you fear Tommy encountering without his powers. I appreciate that. I wouldn't give a bowl of fuck if Tommy were stranded without his powers and Invenusable Flytrap were looking for him.

For those of you out there who might be curious if there's even the tiniest bit of character to those Ranger Bullies, you'll be happy to know that they were given names. A high mark in characterization for Power Rangers. The Red Bully is Justin, Yellow is Tina, Blue is Bobby, Pink is Kristen, and Black is Zane. In case we needed to hammer in any harder that these guys contrast the Ranger Teens. I appreciate how four of them kind of fit the names of the Ranger Teens, but the writer gave up on Kimberly and just threw another girl's name out that started with a K.

With regards to the Dark Rangers, I wasn't being facetious when I described them as multicolored Putties. The Dark Ranger costumes were actually repurposed Z-Putty costumes and said to be of pretty lousy quality. I'll discuss them a bit more next week, but I promise you there isn't much more to say in that department.

Oh yeah there's one other great thing in this episode. During Lord Zedd's scene in the Other World, you can see the prop department must have fucked up his staff at some point because it's being held together by duct tape.

PowerRangers.jpg

Now onto the monster of the week, Turbanshell. I'm sad to say he's going to be the last Zyu2 monster we'll be looking at. As much as I've loved talking about all the Zyu2 material, all good thing have to come to an end. Even things that only four people care about.

Turbanshell's footage has been released for public consumption thanks to that hunkamaniac Jeff Pruitt. I can't thank Jeff enough for releasing this long sought after footage to us nerds, and I hope he's able to find the rest of it in the recesses of his basement tape collection. Check out the raw Turbanshell footage here, and I can discuss it as you watch it!


First thing that's worth mentioning is how Turbanshell is permanently giant in Zyu2 footage. He is not once shown normal sized. In Power Rangers, any of the scenes featuring small scale Turbanshell were U.S. original. That means his creation on the beach, his discussion with Zedd and Goldar, and his battle with Tommy in the Other World were all shot exclusively by the U.S. crew.

What makes this interesting is that Turbanshell has absolutely zero ground footage to speak of, and last week's Zyu2 monster Guitardo had no Zord battle footage that we know of. I'm not trying to say the two monsters are connected to one another, but it seems possible the Zyu2 crew would spice up their footage with one monster who had no Zord fight footage, and one monster who had no ground fight footage. This doesn't provide an answer for Guitardo one way or the other, but it does act as a defense mechanism for people assuming every Zyu2 fight had to include a Zord battle. Of course until we see the raw Guitardo footage we can't know for sure.

I recall people speculating what Turbanshell's potential ground footage might look like before any of the raw tapes were released. I'm happy tthat I had one more correct Zyu2 theory (that makes two for those of you counting), and that was that Turbanshell had no ground footage to speak of. It made no sense to me that Saban would use a monster's Zord battle footage in Season 2, and completely excise any potential fighting that wouldn't need the Thunder Megazord inserted into it. Why would they not use the material on the ground that would require minimal editing if any? I'm proud to say I was right on the money, and that knowledge has gotten me a crazy amount of pussy ever since.

Though I am curious whether or not Turbanshell was meant to act as a "finale" of sorts for Zyu2. Given that he's a permanently giant enemy that seemed to give the Rangers an inordinate amount of trouble, it seems possible that his placement as the last Zyu2 monster to be used was intentional. Though this is totally me talking out of my ass, and nothing but wild speculation. You'll also notice the number Turbanshell wears is 24, and there are 25 Zyu2 monsters. If the numbers the Zyu2 monsters wore are meant to represent their placement, as I'm hypothesizing they do, that would mean another monster would act as the Zyu2 "finale." So who would be Zyu2 #25? Hopefully we can find out someday. Maybe it's Two Headed Parrot and there is no intended endpoint. What the fuck do I know?

Well since we don't get much of the fight with Turbanshell today, there isn't a lot to mention. That shot of Turbanshell grabbing onto the Dragonzord originally had him turning around to smack around the Dino Megazord as well. If you look carefully in the gif above you can see Turbanshell looks like he's gearing up to attack something else when he's finished with Dragonzord.

One other fun moment in the original battle is the Megazord summoning its Power Sword to fight Turbanshell. Unfortunately the weapon proves ineffective against the monster's bulbous ass.

We were this close to Power Rangers creating another fetish.

Other than Dragonzord and Megazord bursting with sparks a few more times, there isn't a whole lot more to talk about until next week. It's gonna be our Zyu2 climax, make sure you bring some tissues. I'm going to need them.









2 comments:

  1. Strangely enough, the script I saw on Project Hexagon also has Jason call for Dinozord power. I can understand that first-season scripts had names changed often enough that occasionally one didn't get updated to the final version and an alternate name slipped into the show once, but how did writers of the second season forget that the Dinozords were verboten twelve episodes in?

    It's also interesting to see what Zack would have said if Walter Jones had still been there, like instead of "We can't give up, we're the Power Rangers!" Zack tries to assure Tommy that he doesn't have to help them fight Turban Shell, which makes a lot more sense for Turban Shell to doubt than the fact that they're the Power Rangers.

    But I might have to reevaluate Zack always having the perfect magical solution for getting the Megazord out of a jam after reading the line, "Let's try for his shell...it might be his weakness..." Also Jason gets to make up some insults for Turban Shell.

    You know, Turban Shell could still be twenty-fifth if they started numbering from zero...

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    Replies
    1. Yeah, the shell looks to be the weakness on a creature with a wormy upper torso and spindly little claws. Zack you idiot.

      Knowing Japan I wouldn't doubt they started from zero. Those kooks and their numbering!

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