Saturday, October 15, 2016

Top 10 Best MMPR Season 2 Episodes



Obviously, Season 2 was a bit of a bust in terms of quality content. We really had a massive slog near the end and nobody wants to deal with all that bullshit. But now it's time to be a bit more positive. To focus on what Season 2 actually did right. As much as I enjoy being a snarky doofus, I have to admit there were a few episodes of Season 2 I actually have quite a fondness for. So let's get on with it!

Make sure to share your favorite Season 2 episodes too! I love knowing how close I come to other people's feelings on this series I hold so near and dear.






10) A Monster of Global Proportions




I'd be lying if I said this episode was the best thing Season 2 produced, but it still introduced us to the cutest Zord this franchise will ever see.

Before I ramble endlessly about how much I love Tor the Shuttlezord, let's talk about the other positives of this episode. Even though it focuses heavily on the World-Get-Your-Insubordinate-Actors-Out-of-the-Series-Conference, it manages to sidestep the awkwardness of casting body doubles for Jason, Zack, and Trini. They aren't even mentioned until halfway through the episode. The show actually functions significantly better when it stops trying to pretend those three didn't quit. Yeah they're off-camera, let's move on with the plot.

Then we get a relatively imposing monster in Fourhead, followed by the debut of Tor the Shuttlezord. My precious cawing little turtle. Everything about him is absolutely adorable. The way he scratches his feet like a bull, the way he struggles around when he gets tipped over, all of it. He's an absolute delight. The Tigerzord's fine, the Thunder Megazord overstayed its welcome by a good 30 episodes, but Tor is Season 2's Zord MVP. Well done buddy, you're one shell of a Zord.


9) Two For One




Yeah that's right, I liked the episode with a monster named Pursehead. I'm as surprised as you are.

Other than the aforementioned monster, this episode really hit the mark for me. Tommy and Kim go on a date, Trini gets to show off a little sass, Zedd whips out a double dose of monster magic, and we even get to see the Thunderzords fight without combining for once! Literally for once, because they'd never do it again. Thanks for nothing Dairanger. Why don't you take your plot about the duality of human nature and amazing kung-fu choreography and shove them up your ass. I want toy unicorns shooting fireballs.

The reason this episode is ranked so low is honestly all because of Pursehead. What an absolute misfire she is as a monster. For the majority of the episode, all she does is fire a big shitty looking compact at the Rangers. Her design isn't bad, but that's ignoring the fact that she's a giant goddamned purse named Pursehead. PURSE.HEAD. That's riding awfully close to Tube Monster levels of laziness.

But she clearly wasn't the monster we're supposed to care about. Lipsyncher is the one who fulfills that criteria. She's not much more intimidating, what with the fact she's a giant tube of lipstick in a thong. Nothing outstanding, but it's still pretty fun. I'd definitely say it's worth a shot.

Oh yeah, and Bulk and Skull's "Power Rangers Detector" might be one of the funniest gags in the whole season. It almost makes their stupid attempts to discover the Rangers identities worth it.

8) The Song of Guitardo




Spoilers: You're going to see a few Zyu2 episodes on this list. Get comfortable.

As a respected loner, I don't much care for human romance. That being said, "The Song of Guitardo" hit my sweet spots. Kim's song for Tommy is sweet and it doesn't come off as ham-handed and uncomfortable like you would expect from Power Rangers. I would go as far as to say it's one of the only emotional moments in this series that actually works. Kimberly sings a melancholy song about changing, which is her way of telling Tommy she'll still toss him a quickie even when he stops being the Green Ranger.

The sentimentality is also coupled with some extra silly Bulk and Skull shenanigans. Have you ever wanted to see Skull adjust a pair of fake princess titties? You've come to the right episode! The fact that he adopts a horrendous cockney accent for absolutely no reason provides the juicy cherry on top of this sundae. Now to wait for Bulk to fall into it.

Guitardo isn't a mind-blowing monster, but his battle with Tommy and Kimberly is enjoyable. I also really like that Kim gets to be the one who saves Tommy this time around. Nice to see someone other than that Green has-been getting screen time. Oh yeah, and Kim's finishing move on Guitardo is fucking aces. Well done everyone!

7) The Power Transfer Part 1




Make no mistake, this episode has a handful of things that are pretty lousy. But it's on here for one simple reason. I love me some Serpentera.

I don't care about the fact the Rangers are getting replaced, I don't care about a Swiss Peace Conference, I don't care that the Rangers have to go to some planet to find a magical sword, but I do care about a ten billion foot tall robo-dragon who can nuke an entire goddamned planet with the press of a button.

I'm sorry, I really don't have anything else to say. Serpentera is so fucking good. This episode is good solely because of his debut and everything else is nothing but a means to get to footage of Serpentera.

And that footage is good enough to land it this high on the list. Because that dragon is a stone-cold murderer. It's glorious.

6) Forever Friends




The word "realistic" doesn't belong anywhere near the Power Rangers franchise, but this episode gets about as close as possible. At least until the samurai made of handsaws shows up.

This is one of the few episodes of Power Rangers that I enjoy for reasons other than "Dinosaur heroes hit all the bad guys!" The action in this episode is passable, but that isn't what I'm here for. The drama triangle between Aisha, Kim, and Shawna is all really fun to watch. Shawna slowly transitions from an eye-rolling mean girl stereotype into a fleshed-out character. She's given more depth in 20 minutes than Rocky received in 30 episodes.

Not to mention I love the fact that Shawna calls Kimberly on the fact that she's acting so inhumanly nice. Shawna was acting like a humongous prick to Kim, but Kim still listens to Shawna's story about her parent's divorce. It's believable not just because the Power Rangers all have to be good every single moment they're on screen, but because Kim's been through a rough divorce. She's willing to help someone in the same spot, and it hits the mark perfectly for me.

What else happened in this one? Doesn't matter. If the main course is good enough, sometimes it's worth dealing with lukewarm potatoes.

5) The Wedding Part 3




A number of the episodes I remember enjoying as a kid didn't live up to the hype on this rewatch. I'm happy to say this episode was just as much fun as I remember.

Rita and Zedd getting married is one of the few good ideas that came out of Season 2. Rita basically stopped being a character in late Season 1, so it's astounding that the writers even wanted to bring her back. Not only did they bring her back with plenty of flair, they hitched her to the villain they created without any Japanese influence. That's pretty ballsy, and adds a fun bit of spice to an otherwise droll back half of a season.

I'm always a big fan of Power Rangers pulling out old monster costumes, so naturally I was excited to see some of the classic old monsters drop by. Even better is the absolute absurdity that is Rita and Zedd's wedding reception. Invenusable Fly Trap and Grumble Bee drink dry ice martinis, Snizard plays piano, and Robogoat gets forcefed jelly by a Z Putty. It's bugnuts insanity and I wish it lasted an entire episode.

For as much as I detest spliced together Zord battles, the battle against six of Rita and Zedd's old monsters is a bunch of big stupid fun. Just when the show runs out of usable Dramole footage, they pull out scenes of Eye Guy firing energy. It works a lot better than the other shitty one on one Zord fights that can't show contact, and concludes this trilogy in a satisfying skirmish. I now pronounce you man and wife. Mazel tov.

4) Wanna-Be Ranger




I've been a nut about this episode ever since I was a kid, and the only surprise here is the fact I didn't put this one at the very top.

I know it may not sound like the best episode of Season 2, but it's always held a special place in my heart. Primator has always been one of my favorite monsters, and I love his shapeshifting gimmick. The action in this episode is some of my absolute favorite stuff from Zyu2, and I'm always happy to sit down and watch it again.

Primator trying to invade the Command Center stops mattering as a plan about two minutes after Zedd suggests it, but it's still a much smarter idea than Rita ever cooked up. It also gave us the moment when Billy calls Alpha 5 a "naughty, naughty boy." Which is a line so funny that it would get this episode on my top 10 regardless of any other content.

I'm not particularly interested in the subplot with Alpha 5 learning how to play soccer with some dumbass kid, but that's really the only thing I dislike in this episode. I don't think it's a bad idea to focus an episode around Alpha, but I also don't want to see children anywhere near this children's' television program.

3) The Green Dream




Remember about two paragraphs ago when I said Primator had some of my favorite Zyu2 fighting footage? Well this episode's action blows it out of the water.

Holy smokes almighty I love the fight with Robogoat. Let me offer a list of characters who've defeated Tommy in a one on one fight without some power draining technique.

1. Robogoat

Oh what's that? Yeah that's right. He's the only one who managed to beat Tommy in a battle. How do you other monster chumps like that? A goat wearing a gold bowl on his chest beat the Rangers' ace in the hole. Kick rocks Pursehead.

Robogoat somehow manages to be a pretty threatening monster, in spite of his hilarious bleating. He even seems to be one of the few monsters that really put the Thunder Megazord on the ropes. Even better is his ass-kicking swordfights with Jason and Tommy. No Putties, no 5 on 1 bullshit, Robogoat wants a duel and he's going to get it no matter what you say. He steals some stupid magical sword that doesn't make any sense, but that's all to make him look even more boss.

This is the first episode that focuses on Tommy's powers being weakened, and it's easily the best. I don't need monsters designed specifically to drain energy. Give me a boss bitch goat who can kick plenty of ass and I'm sold.

2) When is a Ranger Not a Ranger?




Alright, that's enough babbling about cool fight scenes. Here's one of the all time great episodes of Season 2. A character study on Bulk and Skull.

While I couldn't hide my inevitable disdain for Bulk and Skull's tedious subplot about discovering the Power Rangers' true identity, I'm still happy it led us to this episode. Bulk and Skull are a pair of Neanderthals who only exist so the universe can humiliate them. The fact that Power Rangers took the time to give them some sort of pathos and humanity is utterly astounding.

An episode that seemed like it existed to explore what would happen when the Ranger Teens lost their memories soon evolved into Bulk and Skull's finest hours. They discovered exactly what they wanted. They know who the Power Rangers are. They could take this information and become famous for being the Edward Snowden of magical superheroes, but they choose not to. They make the choice to surrender their chance at fame and fortune to do the right thing. These two utter lummoxes make the decision to be heroes, and it's great.

This is the first flash of character that you see from Bulk and Skull, and it's insane to think these are the same Biff Tannen wannabes from the pilot. If you want to know why people love these two so much, look no further than this episode. I was really close to putting this at number 1, but I had one that I couldn't ignore. No matter how obvious of a pick it is, no matter how simplistic it is to select this one, I had to go back to basics for number 1.

1) The Mutiny Part 1




I'm sure this is an easy pick, but let me at least try and defend myself here. I seriously feel like this episode is the best because of how many fucking things it manages to accomplish and how quickly and effortlessly it manages to turn this whole series onto its head.

Season 1 of Power Rangers was odd, but Rita and her cronies never seemed to be particularly intimidating. They were a nuisance at best. Then comes the first episode of Season 2 where a brand new villain appears in the goddamned sky and tells Rita she's an incompetent buffoon and strips her of her command. Then he renovates the Moon Palace to his liking, subjugates Squatt and Baboo, humiliates Goldar into five seasons of servitude, and declares war on the Power Rangers.

Zordon doesn't mince any words when he tells the Rangers how hopeless their situation is. Zedd is more dangerous than anything they've ever seen and the Rangers are told that in excruciating detail. It sets the stakes so amazingly that it feels like it was written by a completely different team.

Zedd unleashes Putties, the crowning jobbers of the Power Rangers universe, and they manage to absolutely school our heroes. If that wasn't enough to terrify you, Zedd's newest monster is a fuckin' piranha. Not just any piranha though. A piranha who completely negates the Rangers Dinozords. Holy fucking shit. THAT is how you introduce a villain.





4 comments:

  1. Honestly, you didn't include my single favourite of the season on here, but then again, my love for "Best Man for the Job" may be a bit irrational. I love comedy episodes in PR, and this one makes me laugh a lot more than most. I fall for the ending hook, line and sinker, and it had by far the best Bulk and Skull stuff in ages (I'm rather more down on WiaRNaR? than most; I honestly think that it does a lot of damage to Bulk & Skull's arc in the first 6 seasons when seen in retrospect). But I can't honestly call any of the episodes you picked here bad, so I'd call that a success.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I went out and bought a Robogoat action figure on the strength of your treatment of The Green Dream. Primarily for use in my ongoing Doctor Who Art Project. But my son basically proceeded to beg me to let him have it every five minutes for the next two weeks before I caved and gave him the ridiculous little guy.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Solid list, however one thing that surprised me- No Great Bookala Escape? I love the sheer mind melting insanity of that episode. Ditto Storybook Rangers Part 2.

    ReplyDelete
  4. I loved Green Dream and the Wannabe Ranger, so glad to see them on the list. I'm surprised no White Light, at least part 1. The suspense in that episode always seem to intrigue me even when I was younger. Very good list nonetheless.

    ReplyDelete