Monday, March 13, 2017

MMPR Season 3 Episode 12: Stop the Hate Master Part 1




Graffiti Artist Tracked With Magic Shoe
Zedd Makes Monster Out of Brussel Sprouts









Gauging from the title of this episode, Saban has found this blog and plans to drone bomb me off the map. Shut it down everyone. This is not a drill. There will be no part 2. Read further updates from me at prisonplanet.shirtless.gov.

Oh wait, I can't quit yet. This is my long-awaited Aisha focus! She even gets a two-parter all to herself. Which is good, since she's going to get her ass booted out the door as soon as we start gluing shapes to the Ranger's helmets. That means you kids better get comfortable, because this is the last chance you have to acknowledge that Aisha exists.

Inside of Angel Grove High, Kim and Aisha read a flyer hung up on the wall. Kim yelps in excitement when she realizes she's listed on there, but Aisha pouts upon learning she isn't. Kim says this has to be a mistake, because Aisha is perfect for a member of the Angel Girls Club. Might have dodged a bullet there, Aisha. That sounds less like a club for young socialites and more like a suicide cult.

So what's this Angel Girls Club all about? Something something community dedication. Nobody cares. We've already signed these characters up for every possible after school club they could possibly be a part of. We're at the point in this series where we have to start making them up.

Aisha takes a look at the girls who actually got a place in this club, and it's a bunch of hoity-toity upper class broads who do that cheesy cheek kissing with each other. They're a group of actresses that look like they were taken from an 80's boob comedy. They're probably extras from the snooty dorm in a slobs VS. snobs movie. It's something I wanted to screengrab, but it looks exactly how you'd expect it to. Awful.

While the preppy girls fake kiss each other or whatever, Kim says she'll try talking to the club leader, Veronica. Aisha says that isn't necessary, because she totally doesn't care about being in this super awesome club. Whatever you say, Aisha. It hasn't even been two minutes yet and you expect me to believe the plot's already been resolved? Not to mention this is only Part 1. Who do you think you're kidding little missy?

Veronica congratulates Kim on her induction, and informs her that their spaceship will beam them all onto the planet Grebula next week. Kim asks why Aisha isn't allowed to come on their magical journey, and Veronica states she didn't have the right "qualifications." I'll have you know that you're referring to the former fire safety captain of Angel Grove High, Veronica. So why don't you show some respect and shut the fuck up?

Later that day, Kim meets up with Aisha again at the Youth Center. Aisha whines that the only reason she wasn't picked for this punch-gargling death club is because Veronica secretly hates her. Kim says there's no way that someone hates Aisha, and she's going to get to the bottom of this issue in no time. Aisha is still unsure, and Kim helps boost her spirits by wrapping an arm around her and laying a nice wet smooch on Aisha's cheek. Haha just kidding. Let's see what she actually does.

Well I'll be damned. I thought I made that up.

This moment is so weird, but not in the normal Power Rangers sense of the word. It's weird because it seems natural. Like something that two friends might do when they care about one another. It's particularly charming and actually gave me a smile. Usually the Ranger Teens just babble incoherently about how they're friends and also kill giant rubber tennis rackets in their spare time, but this is one of the few moments I actually buy any sort of connection between them. It's a genuinely cute touch that feels out of place in a show that's so devoid of human emotion.

What I'm getting at is I'd bet you 20 bucks it was ad-libbed.

Zedd enjoys all this talk of Aisha hating someone and decides to use it as part of a new plot. Rita barges in and says this plan better coincide with her anniversary present. Anniversary? Anniversary of what? The two of you have only been married for like 20 episodes. You cuckoo old bitch. Does this show think I'm going to believe a whole year has passed? Wait a second. Something feels a little familiar about this. Rita and Zedd having an anniversary…lemme check something.


Oh motherfucker you've got to be kidding me. I knew that line sounded familiar, and it's because Zedd and Rita have already celebrated their anniversary. When? About eight goddamned episodes ago. Power Rangers, I'm not trying to ask for much. A little internal consistency is all I want. Once you have your characters mention an anniversary, one of your writers ought to jot that down in a book before you use it as part of a b-plot again. That's why Season 1's episode "Happy Birthday Zack" wasn't followed up a week later with "Zack's Happy Birthday."

Forget it, it's Rita's anniversary and she wants to know what Zedd's got planned for her. Zedd has based a plot off of Aisha's hatred, and plans to have Finster cook up a monster made of pure hatred. This creature will be able to turn the Power Rangers against each other and destroy them from the inside out. I mean it's no football centipede, but not all ideas can be winners, Zedd.

Back at the Youth Center, the male Ranger Teens scrub the graffitied walls of Ernie's outdoor café. Ernie thanks them in a manner that very clearly means "You know you're not getting paid for this manual labor right?" But the Rangers don't mind. They're used to offering their abilities to an ungrateful slavedriver every week with little to no reward for their trouble.

The Ranger Boys ignore any potential compensation for their work as they ponder who could possibly be spray-painting the café. Normally they'd accuse Bulk and Skull, but their characters have done a total 180 since Season 1, so they're out. Maybe Zedd made some graffiti wall monster this week. Nah, that's utterly ridiculous. Season 3 isn't that desperate for monsters. Yet.
  
This graffiti artist won't be on the prowl for long though. Bulk and Skull are currently investigating the situation in an attempt to locate the perpetrator. Bulk contacts Skull via headset, and we see Skull hiding underneath a table in the Youth Center. It's some over the top silliness, but it fails to get me smiling. Thankfully that's mitigated by a scene where Skull can't get his headset to respond. Skull gets frustrated, takes his shoe off, and uses it like a phone ala Get Smart. It's not the most original joke in the world, but it happens fast enough that it got a startled laugh out of me.

 You idiot, you're holding it upside down!

While Skull talks into a sneaker, Kimberly meets up with Veronica and asks her what she meant about Aisha's qualifications. Veronica rolls her eyes and says this is all because Aisha's family simply doesn't make enough money to allow her into this club.

Christ on the cross, that's going to be our conflict this week? Some snooty rich kid thinks Aisha's parents don't make enough money? The same parents who could afford to let another kid come and live with them? The same parents who own a home in California? Forgive me if I don't have empathy for Aisha Sr. and Mrs. Aisha Sr. only pulling in a collective 150k a year.

Veronica and Kim get into an argument over the stupid rules of this fancy club for dicks. I'm almost on this episode's side when Kim starts defending Aisha, but then the script goes off the goddamned rails. You would expect Kim to talk about how Aisha is a good person and supports the community and bathes the homeless and yadda yadda yadda. Instead, Kim informs Veronica that Aisha's dad "has a really good job." Holy shit. You're actually getting involved with this discussion on how much people's parents make?

Imagine that you're some poor kid watching this episode. Or some poor adult writing a review on it. Let's say that your family works really hard to scrape together enough dough to make sure you can afford your precious Ninja Megazord toy. Imagine the message this show is sending to you about your parents when Kimberly, one of the heroes, continues along Veronica's line of thinking. Aisha's dad might not be rich, but he's still got a great job and makes a lot of money so fuck you for thinking he's anything less than upper-middle class!" Then the kid at home ponders to themselves, "Wow, I guess people in the real world only matter based on how much they're paid. I sure am glad I live in a capitalist hellscape."

Kim decides to quit this lousy club so she doesn't have to be around a bunch of self-righteous jerks who belittle people that they believe to be their inferior. Instead she can hang out with her good friends, the Power Rangers after enjoying a rousing laugh at Bulk and Skull's expense.

Back on the Moon Palace, Zedd inquires how Finster's new monster is going to work. Finster claims that it's a plan so simple, even Zedd should be able to understand it. Mmm that's what I like. Nice and sassy Finster. If you don't think he's the best character in this show, I'm not doing my job right.

Finster gives Lord Zedd a handful of what appear to be carrots. Finster claims these are "seeds of hate" that he's removed from every monster he's ever created. Oh yeah, if he didn't take those things out then Gnarly Gnome would have spent a lot of time discussing how mad he gets when "certain people" move into his apartment complex.

Zedd tosses the seeds of hate at Earth, and he and Rita mumble out some ridiculous incantation. Their venomous words give energy to the seeds and allow them to take shape into this week's monster: Hate Master. 

I hate him already.

The wicked Hate Master starts rhythmically moving his hands as he showcases what his character is all about. No matter what he says, every.mother.fucking.word he speaks is in the most cloying and obnoxious rapping ever recorded. I mean we're supposed to think he's "rapping," but in reality he sounds more like he's desperately searching through a rhyming dictionary every time he barfs out another god-awful line.

I don't think it's humanly possible for me to emphasize exactly how terrible this rapping is without having you beautiful readers hear it for yourselves. The only thing I can do is provide a few bits of dialogue from this asshole so you get the gist of how obnoxious he is.

"Things could not be any sweeter, 'cuz my masters are Zedd and Rita."

"The Power Rangers I'll defeat, spreading hate is really neat."

You know what? Two is enough. If you don't get the point after those atrocities on humankind, there's nothing more I can do to show you. I'm not going back to listen to any more of this goddamned trash. Of all the monsters we've gotten, why is this the one that gets a two-parter? Son of a bitch.

Outside the lunch café, Kim and Aisha discuss the Angel Girls Club situation. Aisha complains that her parents own a nice house, so those girls must be mistaken. Because again, any of you kids out there who live in a shitty household are getting judged by your favorite superheroes. Kim tells Aisha that she decided to quit the club after they refused to hear about how well Aisha Sr. cleans up every year.

Okay, so I guess we're done with that story now. I mean where else could we possibly go with it? Kim gets in a club and Aisha doesn't. Aisha is upset, and Kim quits to spare her feelings. Lesson learned, we still have another 30 minutes of these episodes to get through. Thanks for tuning in anyway.

Aisha panics and realizes that her grandmother is in town. Psh, where are they going to stash her in Aisha's pitiful two story house? Aisha rushes off to go meet with her as Kimberly says that she would love to be introduced to her grandmama. Usually a sentence like this would mean that you're asking to meet with a friend's relative, and are hoping to be given the opportunity to do so. Aisha, who evidently has the social grace of a herpes-riddled koala bear, politely stares at Kimberly for a second before leaving her alone at the café. Thanks a mill' for dropping out of that fancy club for me, now I'm going to go hang with my gram gram without you.

Zedd and Rita take a moment as they realize they haven't figured out what to do with their Hate Master. Zedd rambles out some half-cocked plan that mostly sounds like he's just winging this one. The Hate Master can cast a spell that causes people to be overwhelmed with hate, but only if he's in possession of something you touched, because it has your spirit in it or something. Why does this have to be so goddamned complicated? You made a mutant out of radishes, why does he have to do all this "double, double toil and trouble" bullshit to make his magic dance?

Instead of sending down a pot-bellied wizard to cut off locks of the Ranger Teens' hair, Zedd sends the Tengas down to Earth. He plots on having the Rangers trample the dirt underneath their feet during the Tenga battle, then have Squatt collect the dirt to give to the Hate Master. You want to know how to turn this into a standalone episode? Cut all of that ridiculous malarkey from your script and just let the rapping space goblin throw hate at people.

While the Ranger Teens (sans Aisha) walk home from the café, they're ambushed by Zedd's Tengas. They Ninja Morph and lay the smackdown on our feathered friends. This battle actually gives me more of what I've been looking for in these Ninja Ranger battles, super cool ninja tricks. The Tengas attack Billy and Adam, and the two of them vanish before they can be hit. When the Tengas go looking for them, Billy and Adam's hands come up from the dirt and flip the birds. I know it's going to sound like sacrilege, but sometimes you want to see more than kicks and karate chops.

Then Season 3 remembers it hasn't given Tommy anything cool to do for a while, so they're contractually obligated to fix that. A group of Tengas begin to kidnap Kimberly, because it was the 90's and she's a woman, and Kim calls to Tommy for help. Instead of actually doing anything to help, the Tengas awkwardly throw Kim at the White Ninja Ranger, but he catches her flawlessly. Once Pink and White are together, they combine their powers to create…um…ninja lasers?

NINJA FINGERBANG ATTACK

While the battle rages on, Aisha heads home to find her grandmother waiting for her. As soon as Grandma Aisha sees Regular Aisha, she asks what's got her dreads in a twist. The Yellow Ranger comes clean about her day at school, and how the spawn of her grandmothers' loins don't make enough dough for her to be in the fancy kids club. Granny A makes the point this goddamn show should have been making from jump street when she asks why Aisha would want to be part of a club that treats people like that. Thank you, you wonderful old woman. If you hadn't cut to the chase then I'm sure this nonsense would have gone on for three episodes.

Grandma Aisha offers Aisha Jr. a necklace that she says has been in their family for generations. Be careful giving out family heirlooms to Ranger Teens, lady. You don't want her to pull an Adam Butterfingers and lose that thing. Next thing you know Zedd is going to turn it into a monster, and I don't want to put up with some lameass necklace monster. I'd much prefer to watch some rapping gremlin talk about how much he gets off on hate.

Speaking of the Hate Master, Squatt is about to help the creature's plan along. How so? By vacuuming up dirt that the Ninja Rangers have stepped on. That's the otherworldly space technology he has access to? A damn dry-vac? All so he can give that loser DJ a handful of dirt? Man this episode is dumb.

I guarantee he put his spiky blue dingus in that thing first.

So whatever, Squatt gets the dirt sucked up without any trouble whatsoever. The Ranger Teens barely even acknowledge he's there, which is what I've tried to do for the past 120 weeks. Almost immediately after Squatt grabs the dirt, the Tengas disappear and the Hate Master arrives in their place. Squatt dumps the vacuumed up dirt into Hate Master's hateful hands, and then teleports away before he has to be asked to contribute anything meaningful to the plot.

Hate Master rubs the dirt together before chanting off another series of insipid rhymes describing his spell. It produces a large stream of red diamond shapes that cause mental anguish to the Rangers. Meanwhile, my mental anguish comes courtesy of Hate Master's stupid ass rapping. Every single line this idiot has is worse than the last and I can't stand it. Well, let me take that back. There's one set of lines from Hate Master that I actually get a kick out of.

"Zedd pulled out all the stops, made me out of carrot tops. Finster claims they're evil seeds, spectacles is what he needs."

This makes me laugh because it almost, ALMOST, feels like this show is being self aware about its own cheap and shitty props. It also interests me that Hate Master apparently has knowledge of a conversation that took place before he even existed. Is Hate Master some kind of omnipresent being who only takes corporeal form in order to rap about a bunch of stupid bullshit? Probably. Who cares?

The hate particles float around the Ranger Teens and eventually dissipate when the Rangers are infected with hate.

…Fuck.

Zordon and Alpha get in contact with the Ranger Teens to find out why they're inhaling all those hate fumes in the park. Tommy, infected by the evil particles, callously tells Zordon to stop bothering him with all this alien-murdering business. Billy agrees and says he's sick of hanging out with the "intellectually-challenged." Kim retorts that the nerd boy should work on his insults.

The funniest part of this scene is when Adam and Rocky start arguing with each other. Adam is portrayed by Johnny Yong Bosch, AKA the nicest man ever to walk the planet. Seeing him try to chew out Rocky is laughable, because I'm pretty sure Bosch has never been angry before. Rocky's acting however, is amazingly terrible. It's the hammiest and goofiest attempt at yelling I've ever seen. Why don’t you stick to something you're good at, Rocky? Like nothing.

Rita and Zedd cheer on their monster's success and decide that it's time to finish the Rangers off for good. They use their growth lightning to turn Hate Master massive, and he probably uses some insufferable rhyme at this point. I don't remember, and I'm not going back to check.

Alpha panics when he realizes that the Ranger Teens are acting like spoiled brats, and there's nobody to stop this giant monster. Zordon reminds him that Aisha wasn't involved in the fight, so surely she can help take on Hate Master. So long as her disgustingly poor father will allow his daughter to fight giant seed creatures.

Aisha and Grandma Aisha reminisce, but they're soon interrupted by Aisha's Communicator. After lying to her beloved grandmother, Aisha departs and asks for the 411. Zordon explains that all of her friends now hate each other because of some magical pixie dust or something, so maybe she can use her limitless powers of persuasion to turn them all whitebread again. She says she'll give it her best shot and Zordon teleports her to the park where the Ranger Teens are still arguing. Aisha politely asks them to stop, and they angrily rebuke her advice. Tommy says that Aisha is a joke, much like the rest of the losers he has to share screentime with. This scene seems to lead to a boiling point where all the Rangers are about to get into a knockdown drag-out fight with each other, and I'm curious to see where it's going.

Then a swirl of red energy forms around each of the Rangers heads and they're cured of the hate spell. No, I'm serious.

God.damnit. This show can eat all of my dicks. Holy shit.

Aisha quickly vomits out a line of exposition stating that the monster's spell must have worn off. She and her friends quickly morph and summon their Ninjazords to the city, and just when you think this episode is going to defy all the odds and only last a single part, we cut back to Zedd's palace. That's when all joy leaves your body and you see the writing on the wall. We have to put up with another week of this same premise stretched out for another 20 minutes. Fuck me sideways.

So, because there's no just and loving God, Zedd realizes that Hate Master's spell wasn't strong enough. Zedd sends Hate Master a message to do his hate thing again, only this time make sure he does it right. The giant monster waves its hands, and the Ninjazords react to his off-screen movements by slowing down. The Power Rangers are hit by a second dose of dust, which prompts all of them, sans Aisha, to become massive knobs once again. All six Rangers abandon their Zords and...why did they even get inside of them? What was the point of ANY of that? Why did the spell wear off in the first place if Hate Master was just going to do it again? WHY DOES THIS HAVE TO BE TWO EPI-

Aisha tries to corral her rowdy teammates, but they won't hear it. Tommy expresses how sick he is of being Zordon's puppet, and the rest of the Ranger Teens agree. They all decide to head to the Command Center to bitch at Zordon now that they're made of pure hatred. That or Hate Master was able to infect them with hindsight and realize they're getting hosed by that mutant head.

The hate-ified Ranger Teens tell Zordon off for making them fight his battles. While this happens, Zordon desperately looks for the kill switch he planted inside these death merchants in case they became sentient. Billy doesn't give Zordon the opportunity, as the Ranger Teens toss their Communicators to the ground, he presses a switch on the panel that teleports them outside of the Command Center. Alpha whines that Zedd might have created the ultimate monster. Yeah, it looks like it. Zedd and Rita created a purple batch of seeds that makes people angry through rap. Utterly unstoppable.

Alpha and Zordon try to figure out why Aisha was unaffected by Hate Master's magic, as it may hold the key to defeating him. Because if the Ranger Teens can't break out of his spell, they may turn their powers on each other and destroy one another. Wow, that sounds like it would be a pretty interesting direction to take this episode. Shame that it won't even sort of be broached next week. Why? Fuck you.

TO BE CONTINUED






Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Aisha's Poor-Ass Dad






Personal Thoughts:
  

I don't even know what to say about this one. I didn't dislike it as much as I did last week's episode, but at least that one didn't feel so padded. Usually I don't mind two-part episodes, because it's typically only the 3 parters that feel stretched beyond belief. This episode somehow managed to make 20 minutes of material feel next to unnecessary. There was absolutely zero purpose in having Hate Master's spell fail initially. The entire Ninjazord summoning felt abysmally tacked on. We don't even see a fight with Hate Master! He grows, the Zords show up, then the Rangers get hate dusted and peace out. I don't remember for sure, but I think that club Aisha wanted to join barely features in next week's episode. Thanks for all the padding, I really wanted to put up with this rapping jabroni for another week.

Oh man the Hate Master. What a piece of trash. Fans of this blog may recall I was a lot more lenient on the previous monster who spoke in raps, Pumpkin Rapper. Well the difference between these two is actually pretty distinct. Pumpkin Rapper had approximately 1/20th of the lines that Hate Master had. Pumpkin Rapper said some stupid shit but he also didn't spit it out quickly so he could move on to the next embarrassing line. Also, Hate Master isn't a pumpkin-faced freak, so the novelty of his awful rhymes wears off almost instantaneously. 

Fun Fact: Both Pumpkin Rapper and Hate Master are voiced by the same guy, Michael Sorich. He also does the voice for Squatt whenever Power Rangers remembers he exists. No offense to Mr. Sorich, but a rapper he ain't. He's a doughy white guy who can't bust a flow to save his life. I don't know if he lost a bet or something, but if I had to do the voice for two rapping monsters, I'd reevaluate everything in life.

Who am I kidding? I'd give everything I own to voice Pumpkin Rapper.




4 comments:

  1. Perhaps because they live on the moon, they have to celebrate an anniversary every month.

    Hey, is it true that Michael Sorich voiced the rhyming Pachinko Head? Maybe there is a pattern here!

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  2. You will get your zord fight next week lol its quite a rare one too for reasons I am sure you will realise.

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  3. My favorite part of this episode is when the Rangers are arguing with each other under Hate Masters Spell Tommy's just kicking a bush for absolutely no reason.

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    1. I guess leaders have the occasional aggression that needs to be channeled through attacking an object.

      Kind of like Troy's hatred for water bottles:-).

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