Tuesday, February 16, 2016

MMPR Season 2 Episode 24: The Ninja Encounter Part 3



Snake Shot, Explodes
Sacred Vow Violated Within Minutes










Last week on Power Rangers, the Hatchasaurus monster got revived and who gives a fuck?

Billy works tirelessly with Alpha to try and unfreeze the frozen Trini, Jason, and Zack. Zordon says they've tried everything other than paying them livable wages, as some things are simply out of his power. Tommy is much more concerned about the people who aren't being voiced by destitute winos, and asks about Mr. Anderson and the ninjas three. Tragically, Goldar's Serpent of Darkness is on its way to taint the young students with its evil venom. Mr. Anderson however is only there for the important task of helping Goldar off.

Inside of Zedd's Cave of Dimensions, the evil snake has come to life and slowly makes its way over to the Stone Canyon students. Rocky delivers an incredibly heartfelt and realistic delivery of the line, "I never imagined I'd be using my abilities for evil." To his actor's credit though, a line that shitty couldn't have been delivered well by Nicholson.

Aisha says that it's possible those mysterious Power Rangers might be able to save them. Rocky tells her to cram it right down her cramsack cause those Rangers don't even know who they are. Yeah if there's one thing I hate about those superhero jerkdicks it's that they're so selective in who they rescue. Rocky, you are a colossal knob.

Rocky isn't the one who should be concerned though. Mr. Anderson is the one who's got his baby in the clutches of Bulk and Skull. You'd be forgiven for not remembering that if you watched last week's episode, since they only mentioned it once in passing before wasting 4 hours on a fight with Hatchasaurus.

Speaking of the Three Men and a Baby, we're about due for a scene where they have to change the kid's diaper. Why? Because that's one of the two things about babies that happen. They eat and they have no control of their bowels. There's no other content that could possibly be mined from the premise of Bulk and Skull watching a baby.

Bulk tries to calm down the smelly child when Skull runs in holding a stack of diaper boxes. Skull says he's not going to get his hands dirty with that kid, ignoring the fact he lives inside of a raccoon's asshole. Since Skull was nice enough to get all those diapers, Bulk takes the initiative and changes baby Jacob. In case you weren't uneasy enough watching a grown Neanderthal changing a baby, Bulk makes this face in the process.

What the fuck am I watching?

Now I won't blame you if you don't believe what I say next. Particularly not after that face I just showed you. Are you ready?

This scene actually made me laugh.

I realize I mention that Paul Schrier and Jason Narvy are standout members of the cast quite a bit. The reason it's worth bringing up so frequently is mostly because they keep proving it every time I expect one of their scenes to thud. "Person who is unqualified to change a baby does so while looking foolish" is a joke so old it was likely scrawled on walls by cavemen.

This scene works because we don't get a shot of Bulk fanning his nose while Skull interjects with helpful observations such as "SHIT SMELLS BAD BULKIE!" Instead, Bulk rips through a diaper with his furious meatpaws, and the very next shot is the camera rising past a small mountain of diapers. In five seconds we recognize that Bulk ruined one of these diapers, and established that he did it again approximately 500 times.

That might be some of the most economical filming this series has ever done. All for a gag about changing a baby.

After this time jump, we see that Skull is passively observing Bulk's failure while drinking out of the baby's bottle and wearing a diaper as a cap. Neither of these two things in themselves is particularly gut-busting, but combine them both with the Bulk and Skull theme as Skull looks on dismissively and I can't stop laughing.

Larry the Cable Guy's entire stand-up act was based on this one frame.

Back in the Command Center, Zordon informs the Rangers who haven't quit yet that Terror Blossom is trying to drop pod loads at the power plant. Then Billy waves a Dustbuster with a snow globe glued to it across Jason, Trini, and Zack, removing Terror Blossom's freeze spell from them.

How else did you really expect that to get fixed?

The Rangers teleport back to Terror Blossom's location where the plant angrily declares he'll fight them if he can just have five more minutes to himself. Tommy asks why he's all red and sweaty and Terror Blossom abruptly says something about jogging before trying to find the nearest bathroom.

Lord Zedd gets sick of watching his stupid flower wander around aimlessly and tosses a Growth Bomb to Earth. Jeez guys it's only six minutes into the episode. Isn't it a little early for all that? Early or not, Terror Blossom hyuk hyuk hyuk's before turning gigantic and saying that bomb was the best fertilizer he's ever used. GET IT. CAUSE HE JUST GREW. AND HE'S A FUCKING PLANT.

Tommy and all the rest summon their Thunderzords to take on Terror Blossom before he can paint the town white. Terror Blossom blitzes the Thunder Megazord with a storm of petals that freezes the Rangers' Zords. Tommy tries charging in on the White Tigerzord, but Terror Blossom counters with another petal blast. Since Tigerzord toys are fresher on the shelves, the attack does less damage than it did to the Thunderzords.

While the Rangers waste time fighting a masturbating flower, Aisha, Adam, and Rocky are taunted by Goldar inside of the Cave of Dimensions. His demon serpent continues to slowly slither around and presumably plans on actually biting one of these people sometime soon. Keep giving it more time and I guarantee something will happen here.

Alpha discovers that the Serpent of Darkness has completed its transformation and the ninjas are in serious danger. In fact they're in just as much danger as they were last episode when the serpent finished transforming. Zordon tells Tommy that he must rescue the captive teens before it's too late, and Jason and Zack can finish the fight with Terror Blossom by themselves. Kim, Billy, and Tommy can lead the rescue mission while they let Trini follow so the audience doesn't notice how often we're pairing Red, Yellow, and Black together.

"Trini", Billy, and Kim leap out from the Thunder Megazord while Tommy dismounts from the White Tigerzord. After a graceful landing


Tommy leads his team to the Cave of Dimensions, where the Stone Canyon trio lie in wait. The four Rangers arrive in time to see a batch of Z-Putties guarding the cave. In case you kids were bored by the nothing happening and baby diapers, here's a fight scene for 'ya. Now stop whining that we've wasted three episodes on this horse hockey.

The Serpent of Darkness finds its way onto Aisha's lap, and the rest of the captives tell her if she doesn't make any sudden movements then she'll be fine. Then Aisha's cell phone starts to vibrate wildly and Adam apologizes. He had just sent her a series of hysterical memes where a cat looks mad about something. 

The four Rangers continue to engage in battle with the Putties when we transition back to the Zord fight with Terror Blossom I had completely forgotten about. Old Man Voice Jason calls the monster "Pollen-Head", an insult which I feel is crossing the line quite a bit. We can't help how we're born Jason, no need to be bigoted.

Tommy tells Billy to go into the cave to rescue Rocky-tachi while he and the others wipe out the Putty brigade. Billy commands Trini to come with him, and Tommy says "Motherfucker I just told you to go save them. Don't hide behind Trini to go fight a goddamned snake, this is your job now. Half our team have been reduced to ventriloquist dummies and it's about time you start pulling your weight around here." After Tommy turns back around, Billy silently waves his hand for Trini to follow him anyway, and the two run into the cave.

Aisha notices the Power Rangers and screams out for them to help. Something that would likely make the snake coiled on her lap feel particularly comfortable. Billy rushes towards Aisha and grabs the snake from her lap before he begins wrestling with it. Those of you who were hoping to see a grown man wrestle with a snake, today's your lucky day.

Billy Snake
I appreciate his Blade Blaster sitting firmly in its holster instead of being used.

Trini uses her Blade Blaster to undo the chains around the four captives. Adam, Aisha, and Rocky run off, while Trini teleports herself out of the cave with Mr. Anderson in tow. The Yellow Ranger promises Anderson they'll get back to his baby soon, and he asks why she sounds like a 45 year old woman trying to sound like a 21 year old woman trying to sound like a 16 year old girl. Trini responds by asking Mr. Anderson if he's heard about that totally radical Peace Conference going on, and how crazy it would be if she and two of her friends got to attend. Mr. Anderson looks around in a panic as he realizes what a bugnuts reality he has to raise his baby in.

As soon as the ninja trio escape the cave, they join the White and Pink Rangers in battle against the Putties. Jeez these three are so good at karate you'd think they could be Power Rangers someday. It's a shame something that outlandish would never happen. We would need to have three actors leaving over contractual disputes for an event like that to occur. Shame we have to live in a fantasy land where actors are treated with respect.

Oh yeah, the Thunder Megazord finishes off Terror Blossom with its Thunder Saber. Were you expecting something more exciting or unique? Fuck you.

Terror Blossom
He's masturbating with God now.

Lord Zedd blames Goldar for all of his failures once again, and ignores the fact that Blue Ranger is currently getting fucked up by his snake. Goldar apologizes for the defeat of the Terror Blossom, a monster he had nothing to do with. Wait a sec, the Rangers and the Stone Canyon kids are still fighting the Z-Putties. You haven't technically lost yet Zedd. You could still get a victory out of this. Hey whoever is editing this one, maybe you should put this scene after the tension is resolved and not halfway through.

Tommy and Kim finish off the Putties and ask where the Blue Ranger went, not concerned with wherever the hell Yellow went cause she's not on the payroll anymore. The Rangers and the ninja trio rush back into the cave to find Billy still struggling with that toy snake from earlier. Billy, every other problem has been solved. Do you think you could try using one of the multitude of weapons you have at your disposal to kill that thing?

While Kimberly rushes towards him, she refers to Billy by name in very close proximity to the ninja trio. Ixnay on the illybay Kim, wasn't one of those rules Zordon gave you guys related to not giving away identities? Something along those lines?

Tommy grabs the snake off of baby Billy who can't even fight a magical serpent on his own. Kimberly shoots the creature with her Blade Blaster and causes the snake to explode. You heard me right, the snake fucking explodes. Sometimes you can benefit from taking a step back and realizing what you just saw happen.

Tommy and Kimberly realize Billy is choking after his lethal battle with a toy snake and needs help. For whatever reason, the only option they have to save Billy is to take his Blue Ranger helmet off. Did that snake have an evil spell to make someone's clothes too tight? Why is a snake whose venom causes people to turn evil causing Billy to be unable to breathe with his helmet on? Oh right, it's a contrived way to make this next scene possible.

The Ninja Trio wander in to see that the Blue Ranger has his helmet off. Instead of Tommy blocking him from their line of sight or politely telling the people he just saved to leave the dangerous cave, he does nothing to stop them from seeing Billy in the buff. It's an unbelievably clunky way of handling this moment because after watching this episode three times I still don't know how much danger Billy was supposed to be in.

He didn't say anything or choke out a line about not being able to breathe. He didn't ask for help or seem to be in serious pain. He was rolling around in the dirt after a snake crawled on him. If you want me to buy the Rangers having to reveal his identity to these strangers, you need to sell me on this situation being drastic enough to necessitate something like that.

After the looky-loos from Stone Canyon discover Billy's identity, they point at the Pink and White Rangers. They come to the conclusion that Kimberly must be the Pink Ranger, and for absolutely no reason, Kim and Tommy also undo their helmets to make the situation even worse for themselves. You don't need to tell them who you really are even if they suspect it. They could have only known who Billy was, but you decided to make this three times more complicated. What a bunch of crap.

Don't worry Amy Jo, just another 53 episodes!

Trini brings Mr. Anderson to the park where he runs around screaming his head off looking for HIS BABY. Bulk and Skull notice the man shouting his lungs out and call him over to their location, where he finds baby Jacob safe and sound. Mr. A thanks the boys for watching his kid and instead of getting a scene where they have to be humiliated in spite of their good deed, we get a nice fist bump between the boys to signify a job well done. Say whatever you want, but that's adorable. This is the one time in my life I didn't need them to fall into a cake and thankfully this episode delivered. Good job guys.

Inside of the Command Center, Zordon commends the Rangers for not getting murdered by a snake. Though for whatever reason Zordon has brought Adam, Aisha, and Rocky into the Command Center as well. He tells the trio that they must keep the identity of the Ranger Teens a secret, as they are the only ones who know the secret of the Power Rangers. Alpha reports that he's done a background check on these three and they are model citizens. In Power Rangers parlance this of course means: Total douchebags.

Stock footage of Trini, Zack, and Jason pretend they're listening to any of this, which is patently ridiculous. Of all the times to exclude these three, why not do it now? Why not write in a line about keeping them away from the ninja trio so that they won't have their identities compromised as well. You're going to reveal all six of the Rangers' identities to these guys because they found out three of them? You're playing pretty fast and loose with these rules of yours Zordon.

Zordon makes these dweebs take an oath that they'll never reveal the true identity of the Power Rangers. Since there's a bit of time left to kill in the episode he even asks them to repeat after him like they're Boy Scouts. After the oath, Rocky very awkwardly informs Zordon "We will NEVER betray you." If this show wasn't so basic I would think that's some kind of foreshadowing. Instead I know good and goddamn well that it's just shitty inflection from the actor.

Kim, Billy, and Tommy escort the ninja trio back to the park where they run into Mr. Anderson talking with Bulk and Skull. Bulk pleads with Anderson and the Stone Canyon teens for information about their encounter with the Power Rangers. When pressed for information, Aisha responds by saying she doesn't know anything about the Power Rangers. She follows this up by turning to Kimberly and winking.

Aisha, maybe you didn't quite grasp what that FUCKING OATH WAS ABOUT. Zordon didn't have a goddamned clause in there about being cutesy with this shit. He was pretty clear that you are to keep your fucking lips zipped. If I ever see the kind of shit you just pulled again then you are going to be building Alpha's on Aquitar until your lungs explode. You hear me young lady? DON'T LOOK AT ADAM, CAUSE HE'S NOT GONNA HELP YA. I TOLD YOU TO ANSWER ME





Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Snake Wrestling
   


Personal Thoughts



Yikes. What a worthless trilogy. This episode was more enjoyable than Part 1, and leagues more entertaining than Part 2, but not enough to make me want to watch it ever again. The one big compliment I can give this episode is that it's easily the least plagued by filler. There isn't a scene that overstays its welcome like in Parts 1 and 2. The longest scene in this is probably Bulk and Skull changing Jacob and that still breezed by compared to that stroller chase in Part 1. If you desperately want to watch some part of this trilogy, then Part 3 is the only one worth recommending. Though you could also watch Part 2 if you want to see this show violently shitting the bed.

For a monster that the US crew could film scenes with, they did absolutely nothing with Terror Blossom. He briefly fought the three Rangers who quit in Part 2, but aside from that he stood in a field and threw confetti twice. If you have a costume for a monster, take the time to film something with it to fill up time if you have three parts of this nonsense to give me.

Not to mention, why the fuck did they have Terror Blossom resurrect Hatchasaurus? They have Terror Blossom's suit for crying out loud. They can film Terror Blossom summoning Z-Putties and getting attacked by the Rangers. Why not save reviving Hatchasaurus for a monster that you can only show in Japanese footage? The Rangers can fight Hatchasaurus in US footage, while the monster can do its arms folded gloating in Dairanger footage.

Sorry. We're at Part 3 and I'm still dumbfounded by Part 2.

The one thing worth bringing up about this episode is the scene with baby Jacob. During this episode's original airing, a song called "Baby Sitting Boogie" was played over Bulk comically figuring out how baby anatomy worked. You might be familiar with this song if you were born in the 50's and enjoyed crooners singing about infants. When Power Rangers came to DVD, this song was replaced by Bulk and Skull's theme for copyright reasons. Thankfully someone posted a comparison on Youtube for you sweethearts to enjoy. Personally I'd say the Bulk and Skull theme fits this scene significantly better, but let me know what you think.








2 comments:

  1. I know you didn't like Terror Blossom that much but design-wise I thought he was pretty cool, like a Tom Baker era Doctor Who monster.

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    1. Other than the mandrills and maybe the fomasi, I can't really think of any Tom Baker-era monsters who look properly power rangers-ish. Even the full-rubber-suit ones were usually too generic. The marshmen might work as mooks though.

      You want a Doctor Who monster that looks like a Power Rangers motw, you really got to go with the Vervoids.

      (Also if you want a Doctor Who monster who looks like Georgia O'Keefe designed it)

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