Sunday, January 15, 2017

MMPR Season 3 Episode 5: Ninja Quest Part 2


Kimberly Finds an Interesting-Looking Rock
Vampire Egg Planted by Demon Crows










Last week on Power Rangers, Rita Repulsa got a visit from her skeleton brother, Rito Revolto. Rito planted some eggs under the moon's soil and offered to finish off the Power Rangers as a wedding present to his sister. Zedd supplied Rito with a few monsters and sent him on his way to ambush our heroes. Rito went giant and briefly battled the Thunderzords before summoning his monster cohorts to aid him. The Thunderzords quickly got trounced in the battle and dumped the Rangers from the cockpit. Why? Because they had to fucking explode. That's why.

Tommy and the other five seat-fillers are left stunned. Their giant war machines are piles of scrap metal! Now how are we going to tediously finish off stock footage of a monster that we fought in Season 1? No more Thunder Saber? No more of that one shot where the Thunder Megazord's eyes light up and it does something? No more choppy and hastily-edited pieces of shit that I have to pretend to be engaged in? I'm crestfallen.

Sorry. I'm just gloating now. I'll stop.

Tommy puts on his acting voice to inform the audience, "We've lost more than our Zords dot dot dot. We've lost our powers. COMPLETELY." Left without powers, the teens hoof it back to the Command Center on foot because Zordon isn't giving six shithead kids who crashed his new Zords a lift back to his place. Do you have any idea how many mangled children's hands went into the delicate crafting of the robot lion?

Zedd proclaims that his forces have finally taken the Rangers out of commission by demolishing their Zords. Just like the last time he did the exact same thing. But this time their pajamas went away too. That's a pretty good sign! Goldar whines that he could have beaten the Rangers if he had four monsters backing him up too. Goldar, you have had about 80 monsters back you up during this series. Stop pissing and moaning about how bad everyone else makes you look. Why don't you go hang out with Squatt and Baboo. Dick.

Billy scours through the Command Center only to find it completely trashed. The Command Center's core is busted, and he has no idea what fake words he can use to fix it. Zordon explains that the Zords are gone for good now that the Command Center's power supply has been diminished. You know what else has been diminished? Our profit since those goddamn Thunderzords went on clearance. We're the Power Rangers goddamnit! Not back endcap swamp trash like VR Troopers! 

Adam asks where their powers came from, because he wasn't around in Season 1 when that question was answered. Zordon proclaims that some guy named Ninjor forged the Power Coins himself a few trillion years ago. At least that's what the guy who sold them to Zordon outside a 7-11 dumpster told Zordon. He might have just really wanted that meth.

Alpha claims that this may not be merely a legend. They were also given a map with the Power Coins that showcased the location of Ninjor's temple. Zordon refuses to let the Ranger Teens travel into the Desert of Despair. Mostly because it would be incredibly derivative of the adventure they went on in the movie and not worth the audience's time. Also because it's dangerous or whatever.

Zordon relents and gives the Rangers the map. Because this plot isn't going to move itself along. Since the Rangers don’t have powers anymore, they're required to use a far more archaic form of teleportation. Standing around in a circle holding hands like dorks.

'Bout to make the Grinch's heart grow three sizes over here.


The Ranger Teens prayer circle works without a hitch! They vanish from the Command Center and land smack-dab in the middle of the Desert of Despair.

Which couldn't have been that hard. It's clearly only 50 feet away from the Command Center set.

So what kind of dangers await our heroes in this so-called Desert of Despair? Scorching heat? Giant ants? Downpour of snakes? Nah, those things would cost money. Instead, the Ranger Teens are besieged by a wailing bush. Or at least a bush that was videotaped during a windy day with some wails ADR'ed over it. That's pretty threatening right?

D-did you guys use all the money from that movie budget? Maybe you could have saved 50 bucks to make some monster cacti or something. We know they couldn't have used that godforsaken pig suit after the movie was over. They rightfully burned it in effigy. 

Back in Angel Grove, Bulk and Skull continue on their own quest...to become police officers I guess? Well how else are two buffoons like them going to get a piece of ass in the 90's? Pick up artists hadn't been invented yet, so we innocent schlubs had to find other ways to trick women into fucking us.

Bulk and Skull wander around Angel Grove PD, making sure not to say anything amusing or endearing while there. You good readers know that I'm a sucker for a good Bulk and Skull scene. Unfortunately, there isn't one to be found here. They kind of get caught up in a group of jogging officers and they become dizzy? I guess? It's pretty ill-defined slapstick. What I'm trying to say here is that I have a bad feeling about this police officer subplot already. I want Bulk and Skull to continue being entertaining, and if I have to barely tolerate them for another year's worth of episodes then I might just rip my own dick off.

Just as I prepare to put my genitals in a vice, I look back at VLC and see Skull making this face.


 Okay boys. All is forgiven.

Bulk and Skull learn that they have to be in peak physical condition if they want to be part of the Angel Grove police force, and the very thought sends shivers up their spines. You would think this would be the part where they give up, but no. Bulk angrily tells Skull they're going to do it no matter what. Because the writers room has come up with at least 4 more "Bulk and Skull as cops" B-stories, and they'll be god damned if they lose those now.

Back on the Moon, Rita voices my opinions when she asks "How long is this going to take?" Though she isn't commenting on the episode, but rather the magical eggs her brother planted. As soon as she opens her maw, the eggs begin to caw. I can do what you do Robert Pinsky you no-talent son of a bitch.

So whatever, the eggs are hatching or something? Rito offers to tell Ed and Rita, but he loses his train of thought and forgets what his gift was. Rita threatens to bash his bony balls in if he doesn't remember what he brought her, and this jogs his memory pretty damn quick. Rito brought his big sister a batch of bird costumes he found sitting in the dumpster somewhere in Australia. That's right. The birds are back in business!

WHADAYA MEAN THE OOZEMEN COSTUMES GOT LOST IN SHIPPING?! 

The Tengu Warriors hatch from Rito's eggs and beg-sorry what was that? Oh I'm so terribly sorry. These creatures aren't Tengu Warriors, they're Tenga Warriors. A distinction so utterly worthless I'm still not sure why they made it.

The baby birds squawk out questions to one another about what they should do with their newfound life. They agree that they should teach themselves to fly, what with their being birds and all. This means a few useless seconds of stuntmen in bird costumes jumping around and flapping purple-hued wings. Otherwise known as the 12th level of Hell.

Rita is utterly ecstatic about her new bird slaves; a reaction which soothes Rito's dusty old bones (full of green dust), considering how picky Rita is about her presents. Rito recites an anecdote about the time their parents bought Rita a baby dragon instead of the planetoid she wanted, so she used the dragon to burn their house down. And presumably burned all of Rito's skin off. Because why else would her brother be a goddamned skeleton man? I'm starting to think this Power Rangers show is a real goof!

But Rita is disappointed with Rito's gift. One of his shitty little eggs didn't hatch at all! Did Rito accidentally plant some lame Goony Bird egg down with his Tengas? Not a chance in hell, because that last egg has something extra special inside it. A Vampirus monster! The bone daddy is hatching a vampire from a Tenga egg. For those of you not paying attention. Or too astonished to believe this shit.

Zedd uses his Zedd-O-Vision to locate the Ranger Teens. Once he realizes what they're looking for in the desert, he becomes incensed. He tells his whole chamber to stop yammering with incidental dialogue so he can come up with a plan that doesn't involve Baboo pissing about how hungry he is or whatever the else fuck.

Rita comes up with the brilliant idea to use those freshly hatched birds to swarm the Rangers while they're searching for Ninjor's temple. Then they can plant the Vampirus egg as backup!

So just in case anyone didn't see the Power Rangers movie, Season 3 is going to start with an evil creature sealed inside of an egg, and a group of Tenga Warriors assaulting our heroes while they seek out new powers from a mystical deity in a desert. All completely new and original concepts.

Billy consults the map and tells the other Ranger Teens that they should almost be at the temple's location. While they travel, Kimberly stops absolutely everything to say "Hey you guys, look at this rock." She stops her friends' life-or-death travels because she found a dope looking piece of granite. Well I hope she's proud of herself, because that rock wasn't a rock at all. It was a bomb!

There aren't enough "whats" in the entire universe to explain how stupid this moment is.

If your episode requires your characters to walk in the desert, you are legally obligated to never write the line "Hey guys look at this rock." Because it's easily the stupidest fucking thing you could ever say in a desert. Kim may as well have stopped the others to say "Hey you guys check out this heat." If you want to make an explosion and fire happen, then make it pop up suddenly without warning. Don't have a character grab a rock that explodes.

So whatever, they look at that rock. That she just found. When she says"ow," she gives it a throw. Now they're all surrounded by flames that burn Billy's map. Oh no! Now that map that might be leading us to a fictional location that only exists in myths is no longer with us. Now how are we going to find the place Billy said they were almost at?

Whatever. Aisha gets trapped in quicksand or something.

Do people drowning in quicksand often get consumed by energy tornadoes? 

The Ranger Teens save her. How? Who cares. I just want the Rangers to find these powers so we can go home already. I have the VHS tape of your movie Saban! Why would I want to watch it again, but worse?

Our heroes  locate the rock formation that supposedly holds Ninjor's temple and immediately embark on the final stretch of their journey. Thank God. Upon arriving at the rock formation, our heroes are immediately attacked by the Tenga Warriors. Rocky poorly acts his inner monologue by exclaiming "Aw MAN. Could this? get…..any worse!" No Steve. It couldn't. Just sit in the background while the adults are morphing.

With the Purple Parrots keeping them from reaching the Temple Games, the Ranger Teens get on the defensive. Tommy comments that they've never seen these creatures before. A line that exists solely to prove the movie didn't happen in this continuity, so fuck you for paying money to go see it.

The Tengas fly through the teens in a G-Rated version of the fight scene from that movie none of you kids went to go see. I'm sorry to keep drawing parallels, but you're kind of begging me to when you essentially reenact scenes from a movie I just watched. Is this my fault for reviewing the movie right before Season 3? Or is it entirely possible that you shouldn't double dip with a plot you used for your feature film by reusing it for your next season's opening. Maybe I'm biased, but the latter sounds more likely.

The Ranger Teens use their brains to outsmart the Tengas. By which I mean they squeeze through a narrow rock formation that the Tengas can't fit through. Kimberly couldn't even find another rock to throw at them? Ditch this malarkey.

As soon as Adam asks what they should do next, he leans up against a rock that shifts out of place. No, this one isn't another bomb. It's access to a secret tunnel that opens up in front of the Rangers. I have already had enough of this Indiana Jones Jr. bullshit.

The best/worst/worst part about the scene of the Rangers heading into the underground temple is that the effects artist was clearly getting bored. I'm right there with 'em. But instead of sitting here whining like I did, someone behind the scenes decided to add the stupidest things I've ever seen emerging from the temple.

WOO-OOOOO GET FUCKED

Now that the Rangers have been subdued, the Tengas take their Vampirus egg and plant it underground right in front of the Ninja Temple's entrance.  Because we need something in place to guarantee this miniseries lasts for a fourth part. 

Billy escorts the other Rangers through the underground tunnel, but only finds a dead end waiting for him. Tommy starts growling and barking at the dead end and rushes into it headfirst. He evaporates in a burst of cheap white electricity special effects, and Kimberly calls after him. Billy discerns there must be some kind of power vortex situated there that can teleport people. Or something. The other Rangers follow after Tommy, and dramatic music plays to pretend this is worth being concerned about. Well it has to be frightening, because the episode is over! Already? I'll take it.






TO BE CONTINUED




Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Buying Your Sister Sentient Bird Monsters For Her Wedding







Personal Thoughts



No thanks. I spent a month of my life watching the Rangers bumble their way through a jungle and I'm not in the mood to watch it again here.

In all sincerity, I didn't like this episode because of how little seemed to happen. The Rangers went into the desert, the Tengas hatched, and Billy lost his map. I don't know what it is, but Power Rangers multipart episodes always feel like they're incredibly rushed, or going at an astonishingly glacial pace. There is no in-between. This sort of episode has material that worked in the movie, because it was much denser. A lot more was happening than a gaggle of dummies waltzing through the sand. This episode is one of the first times I've really felt this show's lack of budget on-screen. Their trials and tribulations in this desert were a noisy shrub and a bomb rock? Get the fuck out of here.  

The Tengas are back in the show, and that means we've got a brand new army of grunts for Season 3. I remember skipping over a lot of scenes with them whenever I was a kid, so I'm not sure how well I'll end up enjoying them this time around. I appreciate having foot soldiers that can talk, so long as their banter doesn't become too grating. The only thing that's odd is their presence means the Putties are now completely absent from the series. We never mention those dorks again. Why? Who cares. They're all in the space dumpster just like Rita. Pasta la pizza idiots.




6 comments:

  1. After the explosive part 1 this edition was a drag tbh part 3 when it gets good again.

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  2. Bro don't diss the Tengas, Ron Wasserman gave them an awesome fight song.

    Also fuck yeah, Season 3. I can't wait to see the Rangers get turned into a variety of objects because 'Villain who turns the rangers into various objects' was like the only villain type they were willing to do this season. FOOTBALLS, BRICKS AND MORE!!

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  3. As much as the journey of Bulk & Skull can seem nonsensical at times, they're the only two characters in Power Rangers history to undergo more than superficial character development.

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    1. Well, there's Tommy. The show obsesses over showing us his every movement and action, but his character only develops when he stops being a character. He goes away for a couple of years and reappears as some kind of unspecified celebrity, then vanishes again and reappears a few years later as a paleontologist. I mean, some people might mistake this for the writers just randomly adding traits to the character because they don't give a fuck, but surely this is just obfuscating the true brilliant subtlty of their multi-decade plan.

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  4. One subtle change I thought i noticed in season 3. Someone correct me if I'm wrong, but I'm pretty sure that because the Tengas were living creatures, we never see the rangers "destroy" any - they always teleport away at the end. IIRC, we do see them destroy cogs, though not often, but not Pirannhatrons. Not sure after that (Honestly, once you get past In Space, I have a hard time remembering the mook-class monsters at all)

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  5. Tommy showed his incompetence again as a leader in the zord battle Jason would have retreated Tommy just ignored zordons warnings.
    JDF is a good politician the focus has to be on him and he has to look good and be the star lol.

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