Tuesday, November 24, 2015

MMPR Season 2 Episode 13: Green No More Part 2



Lord Zedd Makes Up A Bunch of Shit, Expects Nobody to Notice
Local Government Agency Uses Tax Dollars to Name Worm










Last week, Lord Zedd had all six Power Rangers by the short-hairs. He had used his newest monster Turbanshell to absorb Tommy's Green Ranger energy into a crystal. This crystal gave him the power to create his own team of Rangers who resembled comically awful luchadores. Zedd captured the main five Rangers in a 4-cent forcefield to witness his rise to power, leaving Tommy alone and powerless to fight Turbanshell.

We rejoin Tommy hiding behind a rock formation as Turbanshell looms closer. Even though he's left without any Ranger powers, Tommy figures to go for broke. He leaps over the rocks and spin kicks Turbanshell into the grass. I've become so numb to Power Rangers abruptly solving cliffhangers that I can't even tell if that's a satisfying payoff or not anymore.

The monster refuses to be bested by someone with optimum bladder control and thrusts its staff into Tommy's gut to toss him across the field. Tommy stops for a moment to realize his karate bullshit isn't going to work, so he ducks down into a small gap in the valley where he's hidden from Turbanshell's wormy sights. The monster seeks out his prey once again as Tommy hides silently in the dead grass.

Even though this sort of combat is the opposite of what Power Rangers does best, I can't help but be enthralled by it. There's no magic suit, there's no special weapons, there's no contact with a magical space head who can solve your problems for you. Tommy is alone in the wild facing a ravenous mollusk with nothing but his wits. He uses the environment to his advantage to fight Turbanshell even though he's only capable of stalling the creature. It's tense in a way that this show usually isn't, but it's a welcome change of pace when you want to make a monster seem more threatening than your typical Ticklesneezer.

As Turbanshell lumbers around searching for Tommy, the former Green Ranger grabs the monster's leg and causes it to tumble down the tumbleweeds. An action its body clearly wasn't made for.

Nice of those two gentlemen at the bottom of the hill to wait for him.

Tommy briefly grabs Turbanshell's staff to defend himself, but the monster knocks him away before reclaiming its weapon. It's at this point Tommy stops trying to outsmart his opponent. While Tommy may be a bastion of intelligence, his wits are no match when compared to an invertebrate in a diaper.

Back at the Command Center, white energy wisps surround the Rangers base, as Alpha 5 tries to figure out how to break out of Zedd's energy barrier. Zordon tells Alpha he's got five minutes to sort this shit out, because Zedd's got their Netflix account blocked off. If Zordon doesn't get to finish this season of Breaking Bad tonight, he is going to come out of that goddamn tube and turn Alpha 5 into the newest shipment of Bad Dragon stock.

Back in Lord Zedd's Otherworld, Goldar pleads with his master to let him trash those stupid kids for making him look so incompetent the last 70 episodes. Zedd tells him the Ranger Teens didn't have a damn thing to do with his embarrassing performance. Besides, he's going to be sending them back to Angel Grove, instead of killing them right there. Look guys, sometimes you write yourself into a corner and realize you ran out of deus ex machinas months ago.

Granted I actually like Zedd's reasoning for letting them go. He wants the Rangers to watch helplessly as their city gets torn to ribbons. Turbanshell is going to smash everything up and they won't be able to help now that their powers have been taken.

Wait back up just a second. Their whats have been what?

Lord Zedd stole Tommy's dwindling power supply with his green crystal, but when the fuck did the other Rangers' powers get treated as a package deal? Last week, Lord Zedd informed the Ranger Teens they didn't have access to their powers because they were trapped inside of his Otherworld. He didn't steal anything from them, they just couldn't morph inside of his evil dimension for whatever reason. Now they don't have their powers because this episode wants to artificially increase the tension. I guess you could argue that the Ranger Teens can't access their powers since they're not able to get in contact with Zordon, but if that's the case then why wouldn't Zedd have brought that up as part of his plan while it was happening?

Whatever, Zedd zaps them and they're teleported back to Angel Grove completely powerless for some reason. Kimberly reminds everyone that they still need to rescue Tommy, because she's dating him and his safety is far more important than the lives of everyone else in the city.

Speaking of Tommy, Turbanshell has finally cornered the ex-Green Ranger and is ready to finish him off. Goldar abruptly teleports in and commands the monster to back off. Turbanshell refuses to let some gold dicked idiot kill-steal him, but Goldar calls rank on him and reminds this wormy nobody he's going to be dead before the credits roll, and Goldar ain't goin nowhere. Turbanshell skedaddles as Goldar taunts Tommy with a bunch of green puns. Then Tommy feels even worse because he just remembered that's the color Ranger he used to be!

Goldar pulls out some shitty looking gadget and says that Tommy's humiliation isn't even close to being over. Tommy tries to hide his boner as he waits for Goldar to reveal the secrets of galactic BDSM, but it turns out the space baboon has something far more insidious in mind.

Invenusable Flytrap
An impromptu clipshow.

Goldar shows Tommy all three of the times he used to kick ass and bone Kimberly, but informs him all those days of shilling toys and signing autographs for fat kids are over. Goldar surmises that Tommy must have saved his friends over one hundred times by now, but according to my counts Goldar is off by approximately 785 million. Tommy soon falls sadly to his knees as he realizes this clipshow doesn't have nearly as much karate as he had hoped.

As Tommy sobs openly into his own beefy arms, Billy works tirelessly to regain contact with Zordon and Alpha. He tries to solve the problem by flapping his digits against an unplugged keyboard, as Trini and Zack notice a news report mentioning Turbanshell's reappearance in the city. The report announces that local government sources have confirmed the creature's name.

What? That's not. What? Who the fuck is getting paid to learn monster names? How do you verify that? What are the checks and balances in the Monster Naming Administration? How positive are we that Zedd didn't start this organization to siphon public funds so he could buy a new Smotherbox for Goldar?

Someone please go into the MNA headquarters and punch one of their agents in the chest. If they crumble to pieces then they're Putties, if they don't then just keep punching more of them until you find one. The government can't rule your life fam. #BushDid9/11

The news report shows footage of Turbanshell destroying the city and awkwardly cuts to a scene where Turbanshell is writhing in agony with his face covered in a white mist. Man these reporters are good. They managed to get footage of stuff that hasn't even happened yet!

Lord Zedd discusses his scheme with Goldar back on the Moon, and reveals off-handedly that soon the real Rangers' Zords will be re-programmed for the Dark Rangers to control. A development that's been introduced so late into the episode that it can't possibly mean anything. Goldar asks Zedd what he's doing in this scene, because he's supposed to be antagonizing Tommy in another dimension right now. Zedd tells him to clam up and be in whatever scene he was written in regardless of internal continuity.

Just in case you thought the show knew what it was doing, we cut from Goldar in the palace to Goldar in the Otherworld soon after. Tommy looks distraught over how bad he sucks now. I mean he's good at karate sure, but now he can't summon dragon machines and smack people around with a dagger flute. Why even bother being alive anymore?

Goldar continues to gloat and informs the Ranger Formerly Known as Green that the device he used to project Tommy's previous highlights is also a time device that can send Tommy spiraling into space. Because of course it is, why wouldn't it be able to do both of those two entirely similar things? With Tommy as powerless as a newborn pup, Goldar demands the teen to admit his inferiority to this hideous dog-faced mongrel. Mostly to give him something to j/o to when Zedd's getting extra mouthy.

Tommy looks ready to submit and responds, "Goldar you are…." Tommy hesitates again, realizing that this will likely be his final moment. He raises his head once more and concludes his sentence "OUT OF YOUR MIND!"

Okay I admit it. Sometimes Tommy's cool.

Tommy kicks Goldar's sword out of his hand while "Go Green Ranger" plays triumphantly in the background. Everything that hasn't made sense in this episode and the last fades from your consciousness as you watch a renewed Tommy do his damndest to beat down Goldar, someone who has been talking a monumental amount of undeserved shit and needed a little slapping around. It's satisfying, it's cathartic, and it's exactly the shot in the arm I needed to become invested in this episode.

After briefly being manhandled by the golden goon, Tommy kicks the time device out of his hand and catches it. Tommy knocks his longtime nemesis over and declares he was almost ready to give up on himself, but those flashbacks instilled confidence in him. Tommy says that all that footage of Green Ranger kicking ass showed him what he could do even if he isn't morphed. Which means Goldar's tactic would have worked if Tommy were smart enough to understand it.

Tommy uses Goldar's device to zap the alien and transport him to some vaguely defined location where he won't pose a threat for the next few minutes. Our hero then ponders how he can escape this dimension, since he's already tried doing karate and that didn't work. Then Tommy comes to a brilliant conclusion: He can use Goldar's time device to contact himself in the past. For those of you at home who find yourself in possession of a gorilla man's time manipulation, I would strongly advise you don't awkwardly hammer on random buttons in the hopes that it will fix your problems.

Thankfully since Tommy is our lord and savior Karate Jesus he flawlessly manages to contact his past self. The holographic Tommy gives regular Tommy a Communicator and I guess this is what the time-warp Tommy was about last week. Except future Tommy said something about a hard battle and danger or something. Tommy doesn't do any of that this week because he doesn't need to exposit vague dialogue to increase tension anymore.

Tommy uses his Communicator to teleport into Billy's garage where the other Ranger Teens are elated to see him. Particularly Kimberly who postpones her love affair with Jason until Tommy loses his powers for realsies. Before Trini can offer one of her rousing speeches to congratulate Tommy on his survival, Alpha 5 connects to Billy's computer.

Zordon informs the Ranger Teens that the only way out of this mess is by shattering Zedd's green crystal. The catch is that only a non-Power Ranger can enter the Otherworld. Ignoring the fact that the Green Ranger was transported there by Turbanshell last week, and the Dark Rangers currently reside there. I guess calling those chucklefucks Rangers would be doing disservice to the word.

Tommy says he fits the bill of non-Ranger for what would be the one time in Jason David Frank's life, and would be perfect to invade Zedd's dimension. The other Rangers tell him it's much too dangerous, but if you think Tommy "Gloryhog" Oliver is going to turn down a chance to look badass you got another thing coming.

Tommy arrives in the Otherworld where Lord Zedd informs the Dark Rangers their Zords are now armed and ready. Trust us. They look really cool and if you get a chance to see them they'll blow your mind. Tommy sneaks up to the green crystal, in plain view of the Dark Rangers who choose to say nothing. Presumably because they look like inhuman abominations of God.

They look like U.S. Madame Woe's cousins.

Tommy nabs the green crystal and shatters it before Zedd can apprehend him, freeing the Dark Rangers from his control. Did you want them to fight the regular Rangers? Or control some Zords and blow stuff up? Or do absolutely anything? Sorry chump, the Dark Rangers can only do two things: Stand around and look like gimps.

Tommy teleports back into Billy's lab, and the other Rangers are happy to see their Morphers have returned to them. I would be too had I known Zedd stole them, but that's what I get for not letting this episode do whatever it wants without nodding in agreement.

Tommy says handling that green crystal has given him enough power to handle one last fight and joins the other Ranger Teens in morphing. The Rangers summon the Thunder Megazord to handle giant-sized Turbanshell and cease his destruction of the city. Tommy doesn't summon the Dragonzord, because even if he can handle one more fight that doesn't mean he can be assed to do something in one.

The Thunder Megazord puts up a tepid defense against Turbanshell yet again and gets slapped around by the monster. Even though Turbanshell doesn't use its staff weapon, it has a new array of techniques at its disposal to defeat the Rangers. Such as sealing itself into its shell and launching itself at the Thunder Megazord so hard that it transforms back into the Dino Megazord.

10 to 1 odds that shell wasn't supposed to break open.

Turbanshell's attack splits up the Thunderzords, leaving only the Red Dragon Thunderzord to defend itself from the monster. Turbanshell blasts Red Dragon with energy beams from its eyes, leaving the Thunderzord critically injured and reeling on the ground.

Tommy decides he should probably get involved in this poorly fought battle and prepares to summon the Dragonzord. Just before he's able to unsheathe his dagger, Zordon calls Tommy and informs him that the only way to stop this monster is to heat up its inner shell and then freeze his outer shell with water. Good idea Zordon, that sounds a lot more interesting than an exciting battle with Zords.

Turbanshell abruptly stops its battle to look for something to eat, and spots a truck carrying various fruits. We briefly see inside the fruit pile that Green Ranger is hiding among the fruit waiting to be devoured by the monster. Plenty of young viewers get violent erections as they prepare to witness the second coming of Terror Toad.

Turbanshell gobbles up a clawful of fruit, which includes the hidden Tommy. Immediately after being devoured, Tommy lands inside the monster's guts and blasts his stomach lining with a gun he produced out of absolutely nowhere. Don't worry if you're lost, this comes across just as nonsensical and confounding as how I'm describing it.

Turbanshell Green Ranger
I always hated this boss in Yoshi's Island

Now that Tommy is blasting at the monster's stomach lining, Turbanshell's body starts smoking as he wriggles around in agony. Kimberly and the others notice something is strange and wonder what the hell is happening with this monster. I guess if there's one monster whose primary weakness is its gastrointestinal wall, it would likely be the one who's permanently wearing a diaper.

Turbanshell complains that he needs to stick to bland foods from now on, because food like watermelon is well known for its disastrous effect on your stomach. As the monster growls in agony, Zack offers a solution. He's going to say some recycled lines from Season 1 to Kimberly and let her explain what he can do to help. The conversation goes as so

Zack: Let me chill this dude!
Kimberly: That's right! The water, as soon as you hit him with it…
Zack: Right! Come on guys!

That sounds like two humans having a conversation with each other right?

Zack leaps off-screen where he finds a conveniently placed industrial sized water hose that he turns on Turbanshell. This prompts Turbanshell to say one of the more ridiculous lines thus far. "NO NOT WATER! ANYTHING BUT THAT!" Jesus Turby, you're bummed out by drinking water? No wonder you've got such a sensitive tummy.

The water from the hose freezes over Turbanshell's body and leaves the monster covered in chalky white splotches. The rapidly fluctuating temperatures cause Turbanshell to burst with sparks repeatedly, which in turn causes the monster to spit out Tommy in the form of a green energy ball. 

Kimberly runs to her man's side and asks him what the fuck he was doing firing a gun off inside a worm creature's belly. Tommy offers little explanation to put his ailing girlfriend at ease, and instead returns this weapon to Billy who apparently invented it off-camera without any fanfare. Exactly the kind of thing you would reserve for Tommy's final fight as the Green Ranger.

The Thunderzords are back up to speed and reform into the Thunder Megazord. The weakened Turbanshell can do little but raise his arms in protest before the Thunder Megazord uses its saber to cut him down to size. The monster releases one final bowel before exploding and finishing off the Zyu2 era. Excuse me as I jump off the nearest bridge.

Back at the Youth Center, the Ranger Teens relax after their latest hard-fought battle. Even though Tommy now reeks of worm vomit, the others allow him to hang out with them one last time before they take him out back to ritually murder him. Trini jabberjaws away about how the Dark Rangers will be brought home with no memory of what happened to them under Lord Zedd's command. This leads me to believe anyone who uncovers the Rangers' secret identities is promptly neuralized by Alpha 5.

The Danger Teens show up at Ernie's and ask for five sodas. Maybe you could not be an asshole and ask for a specific drink and not a type of drink. You dick. I don't go into a restaurant and ask for five "alcohols" all for myself, so I can drink to numb the pain of being such a worthless piece of fucking

Kimberly comes up with a perfectly whitebread solution to this problem. Clearly what these mentally unhinged sociopaths need to feel better is to have some friends! Forget the fact that these are five people all hanging out together. No, what they need is more friends, which will change their behavior and outlook on life before they're consumed by the Indian burial ground curse that turns every citizen in Angel Grove into a simpering moppet.

Richie tells the Danger Teens their five sodas will cost them $4.95. Jason slaps a crisp fiver down and tells the weird kids who rolled people down the hallway in barrels for kicks that he'll pay for their sodas.

This brief moment of kindness changes the Danger Teens fundamentally. Now they too love recycling, karate, and casual racism. They shake hands with their Ranger Teen counterparts before the scene transitions and all five of them are executed by firing squad.

The Ranger Teens drop by the Command Center where everyone congratulates Tommy on being so cool even without his powers or profitability. Tommy says it wasn't the costume or suit that gave him powers, but what the Japanese stunt actor could do that really made him special.

Tommy's going to miss the other Ranger Teens while they're on school break and they have to forcefully cut him out of their lives because he's a powerless nobody, but no matter what happens in the future all five of the Ranger Teens will always be able to hold their fond memories of Tommy close to their hearts.

Jason...

Trini…

Billy…

Kimberly…

Zack…


…On second thought, don't let the door hit ya' on the way out. Rest in shit Tommy.




Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: The Green Ranger



Personal Thoughts


As much as I want to say this one is a bonafide classic, there's a bit too much that doesn't quite cut the mustard this week. The Dark Rangers don't matter, Zedd's schemes become more intricate and unlikely as time goes on, and where in the name of fuck are Bulk and Skull? They don't even make a cameo. I need some goofery to offset all these strong emotions I'm having that Tommy will never be a Power Ranger again or whatever.

Speaking of the Green who is no more, Tommy's finale works out okay I suppose. His battles in the Otherworld are really solid stuff. The problem is his last battle with Turbanshell seems like a really shitty send-off. You have the most popular character on your show and his final showdown is against a worm with indigestion. Could you have maybe let him do something a little more exciting?

You know what would have made a pretty fun Green Ranger finale? Lizzinator. You get to see a super powerful monster that completely clowns Jason. Then Tommy can use the last of his power to bail his bro out. Then the Dragonzord gets one last solo fight, but you can explain its defeat as the Dragonzord losing power alongside Tommy. Then shoehorn in the Thunder Megazord doing its lame-ass splice fight with Lizzinator and maybe we'd have something a bit more fulfilling.

While I have your minds on Lizzinator, let me show you a nifty image. Someone behind the scenes on Power Rangers posted an image of some Zyu2 monster costumes hanging out together. While I could talk about actual people, I'd much rather discuss the empty suits hanging behind them so check it out.

Pumpkin Rapper is in the back where he belongs.

Turbanshell without his trademark diaper? I can imagine it'd be a lot easier to escort him around without that monstrosity around his waist. It makes me laugh that the Turbanshell suit was obviously so cumbersome that they would only keep his shell on if it was absolutely necessary.

As a matter of fact, we'll never see Turbanshell wearing that thing again. No, Turbanshell is another one of many monsters who was repainted and changed into a "new" monster for background scenes later on in Power Rangers history. They painted his body green and ditched his intricate looking shell to make the costume easier to move in, but look a lot less interesting as a result.

Turbanshell Mosquito Man
That's right, they turned him into a foxy looking pirate.

Now's the moment I've been dreading for weeks now. Turbanshell marks the end of Zyu2 footage. The one thing more important to me than anime, weed, and McDonalds. Somehow I'll find a way to keep writing even though I don't have my precious bug-eyed shark monsters to look at anymore. Don't cry for me, I'm already dead.

The final bit of Turbanshell footage begins right here, and the first thing you might notice is that Turbanshell immediately eats Tommy hiding in the melons. After eating Tommy he fights against the Megazord, whereas in Power Rangers these two events were reversed. I prefer the Zyu2 method of letting Tommy simmer inside the monster's tummy before emerging when Turbanshell is about to defeat the other Rangers. It builds tension instead of Tommy being eaten and immediately burning up the monster.

Something kind of cool during the Zyu2 Zord fight is that Turbanshell knocks all of the Dinozords out of the Megazord formation, much like he did against the Thunder Megazord. This results in the Tyrannosaurus briefly going one on one against Turbanshell. They mimicked this pretty adequately with the Red Dragon Thunderzord being beaten down by the monster. This is the only time in raw Zyu2 footage that the T-Rex would go solo against a monster. Unless we're missing something crazy in the unreleased footage.

Oh yeah, and one of the absolute best Zyu2 moments comes when Turbanshell is taunting the T-Rex Dinozord. It was cut from the U.S. version for reasons I can't possibly imagine.

Turbanshell gif
Japan's knowledge of American culture knows no bounds.

When Zack "sprays water" at Turbanshell, this is very clearly covering up the fact that Zack was originally jumping inside the Mastodon Dinozord and spraying snow breath at the monster. I'm not sure why they didn't use footage of the Lion Thunderzord producing mist to act as some kind of freezing agent on Turbanshell, because there's definitely footage of the Lion Thunderzord doing that. You know what I don't want to see in my karate action show? A hose being used to stop an incredibly powerful monster. Ditch that trash. It'd be way cooler to see a lion spitting smoke at a giant worm.

Turbanshell was supposed to be destroyed by the Ultrazord, and we lose one final shot of Tommy summoning the Dragonzord prior to the monster's defeat. Since the Dragonzord would have only shown up in stock footage against Turbanshell, there was no need to retain Tommy summoning the Zord. After all, it only would have stood around before we cut to the Thunder Megazord finishing the monster off for the umpteenth time if this scene were retained.

One final thing I took notice of was the fact that Turbanshell's staff weapon was completely absent during the second portion of his Zord fight. There's no explanation for it in the Zyu2 footage, so I'm not really sure why it vanished. Since Turbanshell used his staff in the U.S. footage against Tommy, it might have been interesting to have the former Green Ranger break the weapon somehow, or at least get it away from the monster to explain its absence later. It might have been cool man I don't know.

Catch you guys next week when we're finally FINALLY done with terrible looking hacked up Zord fights. Now Season 2 is destined to have interesting and fun looking fights without having to splice together a bunch of unrelated footage. Happy days are here again!





2 comments:

  1. Do you really need a fancy green suit when you know karate and have laser guns?

    ReplyDelete
  2. Hey, most of Red Dragon's fight footage came from the first fight against the Lipstick Songstress. You raise a good point that they could have given the mist attack to Lion to make up for the inability to use its attack against Lipsyncher later.

    ReplyDelete