Tuesday, May 24, 2016

MMPR Season 2 Episode 38: A Reel Fish Story


Rocky Comforts Children By Lying to Them
Lord Zedd Becomes Infuriated at Concept of Lunch










Welcome back my beloved readers! I'm glad you stopped by this week, because the episode we're talking about today is one that's near and dear to my heart. It was an episode I had recorded during the initial Power Rangers airings, and one that I have fond memories of watching. Now don't be mistaken, that doesn't mean this is a good episode. I haven't rewatched this one in a long time and it could end up being a total Herpes-inducer. Even though I remember enjoying this episode, there's this weird feeling in the back of my mind. The feeling that something really fucking terrible is hiding in this episode.

It's a bright sunny day on Angel Grove Beach and a handful of kids are enjoying the water. There would be more people here, but Saban was only willing to shell out enough money for 8 extras. The kids splash and play while a kind lifeguard watches over them. No, it's not a Baywatch babe with some totally dope hooters, it's Rocky! Ugh. If that pachinko-loving motherfucker tried to save me I would drown myself.

A couple of kids "talk" about swimming out in the lake, and make me incredibly grateful these DVD's have subtitles. Without them, these notes would devolve into what looks like text from the Necronomicon for summoning Dagon.

Aw gee, why are you scared of swimming in the lake Suzy?

Sha ipushu kishpi kima Tabti lishxarmit
qi-ishrusha pu-uttu-ru ipshetusha xulluqu
Kal amatusha malla-a sseri
Ina qibit iqbu-u ilani mushitum Dougie!

MY EYES CAN'T STOP VOMITING LOCUSTS SUZY


So whatever, there's a kid named Dougie and he's terrified to go swimming. Not only is he going to look fat in his bathing suit in front of Patty Mayonnaise, but there's probably a bunch of monsters in that lake! His little friend reminds him that his death will be quick at the hands of the dark lord Cthulu, and also they'll be safe cause the Power Rangers. Which leads me to wonder if a shark attack would be in the Power Rangers' jurisdiction. I guess if the shark is made out of rubber and carries a boomerang they'll intervene, but if it's a flesh and blood creature those swimmers can fuck right off.

Rocky asks young Dougie why he's so afraid of going in the water. The kid says Rocky can suck a fat dick if he thinks Dougie's going out where all those horrible sea-monsters are going to chomp on him. Rocky does his best to quell the Dougster's fears and informs the young lad that he's been in Angel Gove his whole life, and not once has he come face-to-face with a big spooky sea monster.

That's funny Rocky, I didn't know you've lived in Angel Grove your whole life. I could have sworn you just recently moved to Angel Grove from Stone Canyon. Unless you're a filthy degenerate liar who can only get off by lying to everyone you meet. Is that it Rocky? You don't have a personality to speak of so you know people will believe the bullshit you spew at them. Then you get home and rub one out while relishing in the fact nobody has a goddamn clue who you are.

Or whoever wrote this script goofed up.

Lord Zedd heard someone say the word "monster," and figured he could spin that into some kind of plot today. He schemes to summon forth all of the best underwater monsters from the past. These ferocious fish will gang up on the Power Rangers and use their combined techniques that failed the first time, which will presumably be more successful for no explored reason. Goldar pops up from between Zedd's thighs and asks which warriors will prove most effective against the Power Rangers. Zedd tells him to stop talking so much, and demands Squatt focus that camera if he wants to get paid. Baboo quietly titters in the background as he wonders when Zedd will realize he's been living in this palace without paying rent for the last year and a half.

Billy and Aisha drop by the beach so we don't have to spend the entire episode hanging out with Rocky. They ask why that little dweeb in the green swimsuit isn't in the water learning how easy it is to pee in the lake. Rocky explains the plot again so the episode can eat up a bit more time, and Billy responds that he knows how Dougie feels. He also used to have a comical fear of fish that was enjoyably explored in an episode that was probably way better than this one will be.

Aisha informs Rocky that the other three Ranger Teens are out scuba-diving and he tells her to shut her trap because there's trouble in the lake!

Do many sharks have helmets underneath their fins?

Rocky and Billy jump aboard a communal Jet Ski to head off these terrifying sharks at the pass. Thankfully those two embarrassing cardboard fins didn't belong to actual sharks, but to silly ol' Bulk and Skull! They were pretending to be monsters so that the Power Rangers would show up and murder them. It was the perfect plan until those dweebazoids got involved in their elaborate suicide ritual.

Rocky reprimands Bulk and Skull for their behavior, and reminds the Sharkbulk and Lavaskull that the beach is no place for fooling around. Didn't you shitheads read the sign? It said no horseplay, and that's enforced by law.

No honestly, what is Rocky being such a buzzkill for? What else is a beach for other than fooling around? How did you get hired at a place you so fundamentally misunderstand?

With the Ranger team split in half, Lord Zedd puts his plan in motion. He'll summon a dastardly fish to decimate the three Rangers on shore, and once they're out of the way he can do the same to Tommy, Adam, and Kim. Goldar says something about using Putties, but Zedd tells him to can it. This is a job for plastic seafood costumes.

Zedd fires a bolt of energy at the Earth to summon the wicked…Shark Monster?


No wait hold on a second, stop the gif. That's the Slippery Shark. His name isn't Shark Monster! Hey Season 2 writers, just because you suck at naming monsters doesn't mean the Season 1 writers did too. I'm seriously floored. How do you remember Billy's hilarious fear of fish but can't take the time to write down what you called that bug-eyed shark?

Did the people who wrote this script write down vague descriptions of the monsters and assume someone else would remember them later? Man, the writer of this episode is disrespecting whoever wrote "On Fins and Needles." What's the name of the writer on this one? Douglas Sloan? Psh. Uninspired hack, what else has he written?

...

What? How the shit did you forget the name of a monster from an episode YOU wrote? How fast did you need to turn these episode scripts around that you couldn't remember the thing that you came up with?

Well I got my eye on you Sloan. You had better helm some good seasons in the future and voice a really cool antagonist or else you're on my shit list, mister. That's right. I'll continue to write more pithy nonsense about a show you worked on 50 years ago.

So where were we at? Right before I had that nervous breakdown about fake sharks? Oh yeah.

Slippery Shark GIF
The Shagreen-Eyed Monster

So Shark Monster comes back and leaps around the park while seeking out water. Let me tell ya, Lord Zedd is going to look like a real asshole if Slippery Shark tries to attack, but immediately dies because he couldn't get to water in time. His gurgling rampage alerts Alpha 5 and Zordon who contact the Ranger Teens. With Tommy's group too deep underwater to hear their Communicators, Alpha contacts Rocky instead.

He alerts the Red Ranger about the Slippery Shark, but eases the tension by saying "Don't worry though Jason, you'll beat him just like you did last time." Rocky responds by saying, "But my name isn't Jason, Robot Slave, it's Rocky." Alpha 5 sighs deeply as he turns off the Communicator and goes outside the Command Center to grab a cigarette. He's going to keep replacing these Rangers he grows close to with bigger and bigger losers until he can't even bring himself to be on speaking terms with them.

Rocky alerts Billy and Aisha to the old monster that's plaguing the other side of the lake, and the trio morph to the scene of the crime. Slippery Shark greets the Rangers by gurgling about how he's a shark, he's a shark, suck his dick, he's a shark. Yellow, Blue, and Red try their best to keep the shark on his toes, but he wallops all three of them like the B-Team that they are. How does it feel Billy? Realizing that Tommy and Kim have put Adam into the Tenured Ranger trio and kicked you out?

Lord Zedd isn't done yet though. He's got some more old monster costumes sea creatures waiting to challenge the Power Rangers now that they've taken the bait. He fires more magic at the Earth to summon the Goofish and the Piranha. That was what Pirantishead's name was right? Ah fuck it we're not going back to check.

Slippery Shark US Footage Goofish US Footage Pirantishead US Footage
The Three Sturgeons

Ah, that's exactly what I needed. Old Zyu2 monsters coming back to beat up on the Rangers. And all of them are sea-creature related so we get to have a cool fight on the beach? This episode is starting to hit me in my sweet spot. If Bulk and Skull ran in frame, landed on a cake, and then the credits started to roll, then we would have a 10/10 episode.

The Rangers get back in the action and now the battle is three on three. The match of the century coming at ya live from Angel Grove Beach! The Bout against Trout. The Fray in the Bay. The Tragic in the Pelagic. The Power Rangers are fighting fish.

Zedd refuses to keep this battle fair and dishes up another burst of energy to bring out the Cruel Crayfish. Who? Oh you mean Commander Crayfish? Well shit, good job guys. You managed to get three out of the four monster names wrong in your script. Someday I'm going to become cripplingly depressed when I realize I know more about this stupid show than the people writing it. Or I already have and this blog is a 98 week long cry for help.

The Rangers realize quite quickly that four fish against three Rangers keeps the odds stacked against them. Even worse than before since the three of them were losing to Slippery Shark on his own Thankfully, Rocky has some crazy tricks to use against these monsters.

Can you tell which of these stunt actors is hung-over?

The Rangers realize that they can't expect all four of these monsters to be defeated by pretend kicks, so they contact Alpha 5 and beg him to get the rest of the Rangers to help. Thankfully the other three Ranger Teens have emerged from the ocean just in time to receive Alpha 5's transmission. The cyborg tells them that from here on out, only one Ranger Teen is allowed to do something fun at a time. Tommy, Adam, and Kimberly morph to where their chums are to even the odds.

The Six Rangers strike a pose and get ready to do battle with their four fishy foes. What ensues is a great big dumb brawl that helps satisfy my endless lust for ridiculous karate violence against oversized animal monsters. The fight remains interesting by switching off which Ranger fights which fish. It's not crazy high-paced action, but it's a good enough battle to keep me engaged with a bunch of old moldy fish.

Lord Zedd is infuriated by how badly his fish are getting filleted and comes up with a real crazy idea. It's something even more diabolical than you'd expect from him too. Are you ready for this? He's going to make another monster! Whoa. Slow the goddamned brakes Zedd. You're in uncharted waters now man.

Zedd takes a peek down on Earth and notices Bulk and Skull floating around in a massive blue and white inner tube. Against all logic, decency, and sense of aesthetic, he decides this tube will make the world's most devious creature yet. Stop laughing, he's being serious. With another zap of electricity, Zedd creates a monster that I can barely even believe exists. Ladies and gentlemen, I introduce you to Tube Monster.

TUBE MONSTER
Haven't I seen you somewhere before?

Yes that's right. The mighty TUBE MONSTER! A monster who Zedd turns giant immediately, possibly to hide the fact he's too lame to have any ground battle footage. TUBE MONSTER emerges and says his first two(be) lines. Here they are presented to you in their entirety for the sake of preservation.

"TUBE MONSTER AWAKENS! TUBE MONSTER DESTROYS!"

TUBE MONSTER also has two more lines after this, which may or may not be him saying something about his name and whatever activity he is currently participating in. I'm not entirely sure. Holy shit this monster is bad. It isn't his design, but the fact that his name is as generic as "John Smith." There was NO better name for this guy than TUBE MONSTER? Why not just go with the rest of the Season 2 monsters and call him Tubehead or Tubetop or….wait. Why the fuck didn't they call him Tubetop? Power Rangers you piece of shit show.

Suddenly it's all coming back to me what I hated about this episode when I was a kid.

Alpha alerts the Rangers that a deadly monster is wreaking havoc on the city. Aisha asks what kind of creature Zedd has unleashed now, and Alpha stutters for a second before muttering something under his breath. Billy asks him to repeat himself, and Alpha says "I believe he's called Tuuuuu-" before trailing off and hanging up on the Rangers.

Tommy says he can take on the four fish by himself, and tells the rest of his team to summon their Zords and take care of whatever creature Zedd brought out. Kim asks Tommy if he's sure he can take care of the fish on his own, but he reminds her that he's got this dumbass franchise wrapped around his little finger. As long as his toys are making money he writes the scripts around here, you got that?

The lesser five Rangers call on the Thunder Megazord to battle the invincible TUBE MONSTER. 
Once the Rangers show up, TUBE MONSTER declares that the Rangers are about to be destroyed along with their city. Alright cool, that's it for TUBE MONSTER's lines. Glad we got to give him some personality before he gets summarily killed. Not that I should be complaining though. This asshole sounds like Freddy Krueger with a mouth filled with marshmallows.

The Power Rangers put up an incredibly riveting 30 second battle with the beast before easily murdering him with the Thunder Saber. Thus ending the reign of the most generic monster in history. Farewell TUBE MONSTER, may you be remembered by not a single soul following the end of this sentence.

But that still leaves Tommy alone with Pirantishead, Goofish, Commander Crayfish, and the Slippery Shark. What's a Ranger to do?!

Are you goddamn kidding me?

Sweet juicy Jesus are you serious? That was it? Tommy was fighting alongside the other five Rangers and couldn't put a dent in these guys. Then after they leave, he's somehow able to beat them all single-handed? This is it. Every moment I make fun of Tommy for being a show-stealing dickhead pales in comparison to this. He doesn't even put up an actual fight. He jumps in the air and immediately goes into bass assassin mode. What a limpdick ending.

Yep, that's the end of it. All of Lord Zedd's plans have gone fins up. We see him stewing in his palace about how worthless all of his stupid flunkies are before he declares that he wishes never to see another fish so long as he lives. For the first time in forever, Lord Zedd actually calms down over his gigantic cock-up and calmly asks Goldar what they're having for lunch. Goldar hesitates for a second before informing his master that he ordered some trout, and Zedd goes apeshit.

It's a dumb gag, it's a corny gag, but I smiled. I'm not proud of it, but this goofy ass show got me.

Back on the beach, Bulk and Skull's inner tube appears on the shore due to the destruction of TUBE MONSTER. The bullies notice their lifeline is back and try to swim towards it, but they're too tired from all their shenanigans to get back to shore. Sorry Power Rangers, but you're not going to convince me that Bulk and Skull aren't world champion swimmers. How the fuck else am I expected to believe they got out of the gene pool?

Dougie notices the buffoons in trouble and breaks through his fear to go and rescue them. Well not so much save them as he swims their inner tube back out to them. That's a C- grade act of heroism, but the episode's almost over so I guess that means he cured his fear of swimming.

After a friendly lifeguard helps Dougie and Dummies get back to shore, the Ranger Teens show up to see what all the ruckus is about. When Rocky learns that Dougie saved two barbaric lummoxes from drowning, he thanks the kid for some reason. What are you thanking this kid for? Interfering in nature trying to correct its mistakes? 

Bulk starts jittering all of a sudden, and finds that a fish has snuck its way into his bathing suit. Then the episode finds its way back into my good graces.

Skull is the prototype version of Charlie Kelly

Oh "A Reel Fish Story." I can't stay mad at you.




Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: TUBE MONSTER



Personal Thoughts



This one isn't as great as I remembered it being as a kid, but it's still pretty good. You get some really fun and dumb action, and one of the most hilariously awful monsters this side of Mr. Ticklesneezer. I can't help but turn around and love how awful TUBE MONSTER is. It might actually be the laziest and most forgettable monster in all of Power Rangers. He manages to make me fall in love with him by being so utterly terrible.

Sorry, I have a hard time focusing on the episode when I think about something as awful as TUBE MONSTER.

One question remains though. Why did TUBE MONSTER look like a recolored Pipebrain? That's because in Dairanger, Pipebrain was the very first monster that was fought. TUBE MONSTER showed up in the final episode as part of an epilogue fight to imply the monsters in Dairanger would never be defeated for good. It makes a lot more sense in context, but in Power Rangers they don't even bother connecting the two monsters. Probably because even the writers knew how forgettable so many of these Season 2 monsters were.

Also worth mentioning is the footage of Tommy, Adam, and Kimberly scuba-diving was actually recycled footage of Jason, Trini, and Zack scuba diving. You can't make out their figures since they're covered from head to toe in diving suits, but it's still amusing to me. You filmed three actors scuba diving once, why not use that footage any time we need to write three of our characters out of an episode? Fuck it. We spent that money once, why spend it again?

Oh! How could I possibly ignore the fact that we're talking about Zyu2 monsters? They don't have any new tricks up their sleeves, but it's still always fun to see them show up again. The U.S. crew put together a pretty decent battle with the Rangers and these fish monsters, but it's clear they didn't have the money for a big impressive ending. At least they added some electricity effects on the monsters to imply they were wounded by Saba's slashes. That's a hell of a lot better than Tommy killing Pursehead with one dinky little kick.

I'm pretty impressed how well these four had their costumes hold together. The last time we had a gathering of old Zyu2 monsters, half of them had huge gaping holes in their suits. Slippery Shark has a little hole under his neck that's probably not supposed to be there, but I can't tell if that's a damaged costume or if the actor didn't put the head part of the suit on right. Goofish and Commander Crayfish look pretty good, but Pirantishead is having some problems.


This will be the last time we ever see Commander Crayfish, and officially see Pirantishead. Much like the Bloom of Doom before him, Pirantishead was repainted to make a background monster for use in Power Rangers Turbo. Check 'em out!

Pirantishead Repaint Pirantishead Turbo

Blue Grouperhead Fire in your Tank

I promise I will think of something else to write about in these sections other than monster costumes. Maybe.

If you have anything you'd like to hear about around these parts then let me know. Season 2 isn't giving me as much to talk about as I would have hoped. Thankfully that should change  pretty soon in the next few weeks. Until then my friends!






2 comments:

  1. RIP Tube Monster.
    May we never, ever, ever forget.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I was excited for this episode when Zedd shitted out three monsters, because during the ol' Rita days, when three monsters attack the Rangers, they usually get their shit pushed in.
    On top of that, one of the monsters included Pirantishead who single-handedly delivered the Ranger's their asses on a platter. Why the fuck did the show pretended that never happen!?
    "Remember when I frozen fucked your Zords into ice, including that fuckin' mammoth? Yeah, get REKT again!". *jumps to a high building and blows on fish-nunchucks*

    Then Zedd busted two more squirts? How can the Rangers beat this!?
    Oh yeah, that's right, Tommy is OP Ranger now.
    This should've been the last ever episode of the Power Rangers if it's proven that Tommy is this damn strong to take out four monsters with ease.
    Man, fuck this episode so much.

    ReplyDelete