Monday, February 13, 2017

MMPR Season 3 Episode 8: A Brush With Destiny



Lord Zedd Turned into Delicious Dinner
Kim Sent to Live With Uncle and Auntie in Bel-Air






I've mentioned quite a few times that I don't have vivid memories of Season 3. While that's definitely true, I'd be telling alternative facts if I said I wasn't familiar with the story beats that Season 3 sets up. The reason I mention this now is because the first episode after our Rangers get their new Ninjazords is immediately used to set up future events in Season 3. For any other show, that might seem like a standard practice, but this is Power Rangers we're talking about. This show attempting to maintain continuity is like a one-armed clown trying to juggle. Not quite as funny though.

But you good readers have spent 119 weeks listening to me be pithy. Let me actually congratulate Power Rangers on doing something rather intelligent with its plot. It sure beats the clusterfuck of Season 2 when half the cast had to be written off for about 20 episodes.

Today, the Angel Grove Junior Police are holding an art auction fundraiser. I can't imagine how deep the citizens' pockets are in Angel Grove. This shitty town has some kind of benefit or banquet or fundraiser every goddamned week. How bad is the funding for every single institution in this town that every organization has to put on a bake sale to keep the lights on for the month?

Tommy and Aisha visit Kimberly, who's got a piece of art on display for the fundraiser. Ladies and germs, I'm proud to say I've finally become a complacent sheep. How do I know? Because I saw Kim's art project on the table and said to myself, "Was Kimberly ever good at art before? Oh probably. Who gives a fuck?" Congratulations Power Rangers. You've finally broken me.

Tommy and Aisha break Kimberly out of a space-out session to ask about her art project. Kim informs her friends that she has good news and bad news. Aisha asks for the good news first, and I can take a guess what the good news isn't. Kimberly's hideous art project. What the hell is this thing?

It looks like a puppet from Allegra's Window.

Kim's good news is that her mom is engaged to a French painter. Wow that's great Kim! Aisha is over here apparently not having any parents whatsoever, but now you have three. Take your dad and Vincent Van Gogh fuck yourself.

Kim points out her new step-daddy, who's showing off his painting of a mole to a group of inexplicably interested onlookers. Aisha mentions that Kim's new father is cute, which is a line that was probably supposed to come across as cute. Instead, it sounds relatively inappropriate given the context. How would you feel if I referred to your new stepmother as "one sweet piece of ass, Greg?"

Kim's bad news is a real doozy. Kim's mom is going to move her family to Paris so they can live with her new hubby. Oh jeez, another contract dispute already? You sure know how to burn through 'em, Saban.

So yeah that's Kim's horrible burden. She's going to have to live in one of the most beautiful cities in the world with her new foreign daddy. That means she won't be a Power Ranger anymore! Thanks for nothing Kim. Maybe back in Season 2 we could have made do without you giving our Megazord a skirt. Now you form the head on our Megazord. The ever-loving head! You think you can waltz out of here to go sip champagne in ol' gay Paree? Get out of my face.

Later that evening, Kimberly has a nightmare about her new living situation. She dreams that her new dad isn't a dad at all, but a horrible monster! And boy howdy when I say horrible…

Plus 10 points for making his smock the color of the French flag.

Kim's nightmare keeps getting worse from there. Yeah, it somehow gets even worse than the implication that her mother is going to bang a 500 pound French badger. Kim also sees an image of the Pink Ranger waving goodbye to her, before disappearing into the ether. The obese mole monster beckons to Kimberly, "Not so fast my little croissant!" Then the dream ends before things can get real gross.

Oh and if you're curious what that mole monster's voice sounds like, imagine the most stereotypical French voice possible. Then shove a few snails into its mouth and wonder why the French hate us so much.

Finster meets up with Rita and Zedd to discuss a new scheme he's hatched. Finster has conveniently concocted a gizmo that allows his masters to view the dreams of Earthlings. I'm not sure if Finster was able to discern that Kim is having chronic nightmares, or he coincidentally made this little dream ray at the most plot-perfect time ever.

Well I would have bitched if they spent too much time explaining it, so I'm not going to complain about them being succinct for once. Beats having "A Brush With Destiny Part 6."

Lord Zedd suggests using a little psychological warfare on the Pink Ranger. He commands Finster to find a way to bring that monster from Kim's dream to life. Once they summon it, Kimberly will be powerless to fight back. Also the other Rangers will somehow be defeated as well. Zedd didn't quite think this plan all the way through.

The next afternoon, Kimberly meets the other Ranger Teens in the park. The other Ranger Teens try and help Kim come to a conclusion about how she can keep the Ranger side of her life going while not ruining her mom's new marriage. Aren't you almost in college, Kim? Maybe your mom doesn't want you tagging along to France while she and her husband break in their new mattress.

Adam asks if maybe they should try asking Zordon for advice, but Billy shuts him down by claiming, "He probably already knows." You guys sure are calm considering the horrific surveillance state you live in. The guy who's supplying you with nuclear death machines also knows the ins and outs of your personal life too? Hope Rocky likes Alpha 5 knowing which issue of Playboy he was slapping off to the night before.

While Kimberly sulks, Rita and Zedd's plot begins. Finster says he's recalibrated that dream gun to turn dreams into reality. Keep that thing around Finster. Even if Kimberly's dreams can't be used against her, you can bring Tommy's next dream to life. Whatever it is will keep that karate dog's leg twitching for the rest of the fight.

Rito and the Tengas take Finster's device before teleporting to Earth. The Rangers morph into their Ninja Pajama forms to take on the Tengas, and it finally dawns on me. The Putties are gone. We're not going to see them ever again. The Tengas are going to be the foot soldiers from here on out. There's no point where any of the villains address what they did with all their old Putties, so it feels a little jarring. But now we're going to see a bunch of purple birds get their beaks pushed in every week. I'm fine with that. The Putties were cute for a while, but if I had to hear that gibbering noise one more time I was going to have a nervous breakdown.

The Ninja Rangers waste no time in smacking around the Tengas, with the exception of Kimberly who's still feeling lightheaded from all her badger nightmares. A group of Tengas take advantage of Kim's dizzy state by carrying her off and pinning her against a tree.

I swear to you this scene is a lot less gross than it sounds.

So the hideous purple bird creatures pin the teenage girl against a tree while her boyfriend cries out in protest. A scenario that the alt-right believes will happen if we implement looser immigration laws.

Rito and Finster commence with their scheme. Rito offers a sarcastic quip about how he's sorry he has to do this, but "Good vs. evil and all that." It's the most magnificently prick-ish delivery. He slaps her Communicator off of her wrist before Finster zaps her with his dream gun. After the beam subsides, a vision of Kimberly's dream monster appears inside of the dream gun.

In case you were just tuning in, the bone daddy used his evil horde of parrot demons to capture a young woman so his tree leprechaun associate could zap her with a magical dream beam to bring a French painter mole creature to life. Because this show is fucking great.

Finster and Rito teleport away, and this is the first time I noticed something that would soon become a staple of Power Rangers: Creative teleportation effects.

Not exactly sure why Finster's crying.

Tommy and company finish the fight with the Tengas, prompting them to fly back to the Moon. I hope you won't get bored by that, because it's going to happen every single time the Tengas are summoned for the next 35 weeks. It was either that or have Mike Pence hold a funeral for the purple bird carcasses that were tragically ripped from their eggs too soon.

The Ninja Rangers power down and run to help out the weakened Kimberly. Too little too late, everybody. You let Finster and Rito zap her for a good 30 seconds while you were beating up those birds. I'm sure she'll appreciate that when her scrambled mind ends her up in the nuthouse. At least she'll get some sweet release when the Chief smothers her to death with a pillow.

But there's more pressing matters at hand than Kim's ongoing lobotomization. Bulk and Skull were left to guard the art exhibit, but they fell asleep and let all the art get stolen! You goddamned idiots! Now who's going to buy that fancy picture of a mole? Or Kimberly's ugly plaster mask? Actually, probably the same people who would buy them now that they're missing. Excellent work boys!

Bulk panics when he realizes that all that priceless art has been stolen. Skull responds quite accurately by stating, "It's just that ugly mole picture. Good riddance if you ask me."

Mr. Skullovitch, you are a man after my own heart.

Back at Angel Grove High, Bulk and Skull desperately interrogate a 30 year old extra pretending to be a student. Unfortunately, he's unable to provide them with the information that they seek since he's contractually obligated not to speak. Saban doesn't make trillions a day by letting some blonde shithead say words into cameras.

Bulk and Skull pass by the Ranger Teens, sans Kimberly, in the hallway of Angel Grove High. After unintentionally blowing their cover, Bulk tells them not to breathe a word of this dastardly art heist to anyone. Because for all we know, an obese rat in a beret could have stolen all the art right from under their noses!

…On an unrelated note, Zordon summons the Rangers to the Command Center due to an attack on Angel Grove.

All of the non-Pink Rangers arrive at the Command Center to get the low-down on Zedd's newest scheme. Kimberly wasn't invited because she can't stop dreaming of electric moles, and also she lost her Communicator in the last fight. Not because it's particularly important, but it was a convenient way to keep her out of the upcoming fight so who cares?

Zordon alerts our heroes to Zedd's newest monster, the devious Artistmole. This Artistmole is the very same creature who was trapped inside Kimberly's nightmares, in case you thought this was an unrelated badger monster running around. Zordon promises to locate Kimberly while the other five Rangers morph to battle the monster. Won't be too difficult. All they need to tell him is how useless an art degree is in a capitalist economy then watch as he swallows the business end of his paintbrush.

Now that the Rangers are engaged in battle with the monster, and you all know what that means. Monster summon Putties to fight and stand Japan footage then grow and Thunder Saber roll credits. Wait, hold on a minute. We're not in Season 2 anymore. This is Season 3, bitches! You want to know what that means? Almost every single monster from Kakuranger got shipped over for Power Rangers. That means the Rangers can actually fucking fight them without the use of horrendously-shitty editing. Saints be praised.

Paint me like one of your French moles.

Sorry, I let that .gif get a bit ahead of me. Tommy tries to attack the monster, but as you can see it doesn't quite work out for him. Billy calls out and warns Tommy that they need to fight the monster together. A fact that's been proven incorrect for about 50 solid weeks. What series have you been watching, poindexter? You're in Tommy-town now kiddo. Either get in line or you can pack your shit up and head to the nearest Peace Conference.  

The Rangers realize that this mole's got them pegged. Since Kimberly is evidently out of commission, they call for the aid of the mighty Ninjor. The great Ninjini flies onto the scene with the help of his magical flying cloud. I can't wait for Ninjor to start busting out the Power Pole on this doofus.

Ninjor asks what the Rangers need help with, and Aisha informs him that some punk-ass badger won't fall over when they kick him. Ninjor offers his own brand of vigilante justice by slashing at Artistmole, but his sword phases through the monster. Ninjor has a pretty amusing reaction as he scratches his head and posits, "This isn't working the way I thought it would." Something about how Ninjor, a creature without fingernails, still attempts to scratch his ninja helmet head in puzzlement really amuses me.

Artistmole uses his magical paintbrush to zap Ninjor and the Rangers, draining them of all their color. This apparently drains them of their life force as well, but do you seriously believe the Power Rangers are going to lose against the 2nd monster of the season?

The only way you could make these characters any whiter.

Meanwhile, the confused Kimberly wanders around the park to find her Communicator. She's still stumbling around all dazed and confused. This is either because she was recently the victim of a brain probe by alien laser technology, or because she didn't sleep too well last night. Space lobotomies will have about the same effect on you as only getting 35 winks.

Kim finds her Communicator and realizes that Zordon has been blowing it up nonstop. She teleports to the Command Center, where Zordon gives her the sitch. Kim sees Artistmole inside of the Viewing Globe, and she panics when she realizes it's the creature she's been dreaming about. Alpha 5 slowly realizes that having a subconscious isn't worth it. Not as long as you have to look at things like that when you go to sleep.

Zordon informs Kimberly that only she can defeat Artistmole, as he was born from her mind's eye. Because we want Kim to defeat this monster, but we also need to write in a specific reason why Tommy can't beat it himself. That White Ranger is our meal ticket and I'll be goddamned if we don't give a good reason as to why he can't whack that mole.

Zordon elaborates that he already knows about Kim's hesitation about moving away and ceasing her Ranger activities. Because much like Kimberly, Orwell's nightmare has come to life. Zordon tells the Pink Ranger that everyone fears the unknown, but she should trust that her mother has her best interests at heart. Gee golly gosh, thanks Zordon. I almost sacre-blew it!

Before Kimberly morphs to combat the monster, Zordon informs her that she must destroy his color palette to restore her friends to normal. Make sure to remember this, because nobody else is going to.

Kimberly morphs and arrives at the park where Artistmole awaits her. The monster attempts to blast her with his brush, but she runs through the explosions without taking any damage. She attempts to drop kick the obese marmot of nefariousness, but he takes the opportunity to blast her in mid-air with his brush. Once she's on the ground, the monster pins her with his oversized brush, and gets ready to smear her colors all over the pavement.

Just before impact, Kimberly catches his paintbrush between her hands in a chop motion. This shocks Artistmole into making this face


right before she karate kicks his brush apart. With the monster stunned, Kimberly busts out her Blade Blaster and fires on Artistmole. Rocky tells Kim she should fire again, and aim for his stomach as it's and I quote, "A big target."

TUNE INTO MIGHTY MORPHIN' POWER RANGERS THIS WEEK WHEN THE RED RANGER FAT SHAMES AN AARDVARK!

Kim blasts Artistmole once more, causing him to burst with sparks. The monster promises that he'll be back before teleporting away. After he's gone,  Ninjor and the Ranger Teens have all of their colors restored. Thankfully Kim destroyed his palette by…sort of shooting around it? And breaking his brush? I don't know. Who cares. Maybe whoever wrote Zordon's lines forgot what they filmed and DJ Z was freestyling in the booth.

So you all remember how Artistmole was born from Kimberly's nightmares? And how she was afraid of him because he represented her hesitation in leaving Angel Grove? Well none of that shit made any difference during the fight. Artistmole honestly didn't even sound like he realized he was born from Kim's dream. There was no line where he acknowledged Kim any differently than the rest of the Rangers. It's really odd and makes this fight come across pretty lopsided. 

An enraged Rita and Zedd bicker over who had the idea to summon this stupid monster. They realize this anger is better left in the bedroom, so they cease their squabbles and make Artistmole grow. The Rangers call upon the Ninja Megazord, and Ninjor grows giant to back them up. The fight doesn't last very long. Ninjor goes Battle Mode and launches a fireball at the monster, and the Ninja Megafalconzord uses its double punch to finish him off. It's a pretty mediocre Zord fight, but we'll have some better ones in Season 3.

I think?

Back at the Moon Palace, Rita and Zedd begin to bicker once more. I would normally write around scenes like this, but I really enjoy the back and forth between these two. Rita calls her doting husband a "piece of New York rare steak." It's a really baffling insult, but I want to work it into my everyday life. Zedd retaliates by calling her a hot dog, but after that exquisite steak line, you've gotta give your wife the win Zedd. She roasted your New York ass.

After the battle is over, Bulk and Skull wander into the Youth Center. They soon realize that all the missing art is now inexplicably back in its place. The reason the mole painting was missing was because Kim's new daddy had to get its frame fixed. Bulk and Skull are speechless before informing him not to let it happen again. Or they'll be back. Probably with another completely useless b-plot to pad out the episode's length.

Kimberly takes this opportunity to confront her mom and discuss her upcoming marriage. Kim lets loose with all of her concerns about how she's afraid to settle into a new life with new friends in a new country in a new school with new androids to give her new robots to kill new alien invaders. Kim's mom discounts those last few tidbits and asks her daughter why she's been so quiet about all of this. Kim says she just didn't want to ruin her mom's happiness. You'd be forgiven for thinking this relatively realistic piece of family drama was in the same episode as the monster mole who fought people with a paintbrush.

Kim's mom thanks her for being honest, but their heartfelt family moment is broken up when Aisha and her parents show up. The Deus Ex Campbells inform Kim and her mom that they heard about her situation, and thought they'd offer a solution. Aisha's parents inform Kim that she can live with them for the remainder of the school year. Hahaha what? Excuse me?

Is that a thing that actually happens in the real world? Like artist badgers? Do kids who don't want to move choose to live with their friends' parents? And even if the parents are cool with it, how much money do they have in order to take another person into their home? Do you know how much it costs to live in fucking California? What kind of international drug running parents does Aisha have that can afford another person living in their house?

Well enjoy your new life Kimmy. Trapped underneath the Campbell's stairs until a magical crane flies in and offers you a ticket to the Pan Global Games.





Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Obnoxious French Stereotypes



Personal Thoughts



This one's pretty decent. Amy Jo Johnson is definitely the strongest actor on this show, so I'm glad they gave anything that required some pathos to her character. Her tension makes sense, but I feel pretty burned by what a cheap resolution that final scene is. Kim is about to have this difficult conversation with her mom, but Aisha and her family bail Kim out because she's contractually obligated to film another 20 episodes. It really strikes me as a cheap resolution.

Artistmole is such a ridiculous monster. I kinda love him. His name might be genius or terrible. I'm not sure which. I made a bold claim that it's obviously a reference to Aristotle, but my editor informed me I was "absolutely fucking bugnuts." I'm not sure which of us is right, but it's probably not the guy writing about artistmoles. 

From here on out, the monster fights are going to be significantly more engaging than they were in Season 2. Since Power Rangers had almost every monster costume from Kakuranger, they were able to film exclusive fight scenes with the U.S. Rangers and the Kaku monsters. Then when it came time for the monster to grow, they could switch to Sentai footage for the Zord battle. It's so much more satisfying than the shit Season 2 was asking us to swallow, so I'm pretty excited to watch it play out. I'm even more excited for whenever I'm inevitably disappointed and give up all hope in this show, and my life.





7 comments:

  1. Kim actually is good at art in the Spit Flower ep (making that model) and I think in S2's finale, Billy And The Clonastatue.

    The weird thing here is Kimberly's incoming stepdad is not the same incoming stepdad she had in Return Of An Old Friend. Wuh oh.

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    1. Billy and the Clonastatue is unquestionably funnier than everything I'll ever right. God bless you.

      And that stepdad was played by Doug Sloan. Same guy who played Kim's Uncle Steve. Maybe Kim's mom broke up with him when she realized she was fucking her brother's twin brother.

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  2. I missed out on season 3 the first time around. Just assumed Power Rangers had gotten canned halfway through season 2 for some reason. Next thing I saw was a random episode of Zeo, and I'm just like "What the everloving shit is this balls and why did the cute valley girl suddenly become australian? Does this have something to do with me suddenly growing hair in new places?"

    Hope Rocky likes Alpha 5 knowing which issue of Playboy he was slapping off to the night before.

    I think we can all safely assume that Playboy would not be the high quality smut rag Rocky would favor.

    Dude's probably masturbating to the Abercrombie and Fitch catalogue while quietly weeping.

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    1. Holy shit, all I want to see is Rocky doing a Moe Syzlak and admitting he gets off to Sears catalog.

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  3. Wait...the Rangers have parents?
    Since when?!

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  4. I gotta say, as the 30 year old blonde shit head pretending to be a student on that show, who was contractually obligated to keep my mouth shut...it was fun to do that scene, even though it took 2 hours (whichI wad paid nicely for) cuz Skull (Jason) and Bulk (Paul) had a giggle fit and kept fuckin up the scene. I appreciate the shout out though!

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    1. I'm absolutely ecstatic that Paul and Jason were laughing and goofing up takes. I'm even more honored that an extra from this show heard me refer to him as "some blonde shit head."

      Thanks a bunch for the comment, man. Hope life's going well for ya.

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