Monday, March 20, 2017

MMPR Season 3 Episode 13: Stop the Hate Master Part 2



Robot's Nipples Used For Transportation
Toy From 100 Episodes Ago Brought Out of Retirement








Last week on Power Rangers, some rapping monster made everyone hate each other while Aisha's grandma gave her a necklace.


Alpha 5 begins this thrilling follow-up to the previous week's adventure by scanning Aisha's arm to figure out why she wasn't affected by Hate Master's spell. Oh boy! I already know the answer to this one. It's because Hate Master didn't collect anything that Aisha had touched last week, since that was how his spell worked. How'd I know that? Because I paid attention to what that fucking episode told me you worthless show!

Alright, enough. I can't be so hot under the collar because of some mohawked freak desperately trying to get a record deal while spewing hate dust. No matter how annoyed I was last week, I need to let this episode stand on its own. It's difficult to do so, since this is basically still the same episode, but I'm gonna have a real bad time if I can't even escape Page 1 without being a big pissy baby.

Ah well. Never stopped me before!

Alpha's scan directs him to the necklace that Aisha was given by Grandma Aisha. Because…wait what? Her love necklace was acting as a shield against Hate Master? I just elaborated on why Aisha wouldn't have felt the effects of his spell, but now Power Rangers is making up some other reason as to why it didn't work?

Imagine that I cast a spell that only puts people with black hair to sleep. Then some guy with blonde hair asks why he wasn't affected. A doctor with a PHD in magical bullshit shows up to announce that the blonde man wasn't affected because he had a rampaging hard-on at the time. Then the doctor and the blonde man have passionate sex, because the saddest part of this story is that you thought the doctor was a man.

But enough terrible metaphors, because something crazy is happening in the Command Center. Zordon inexplicably flickers in and out of his giant fishbowl jar. Out of absolutely goddamn nowhere, Zordon blinks out of existence and the entire Command Center's power shuts off. Aisha panics that Zordon's gone, but Alpha silently weeps when he realizes the madman who's enslaved him for centuries is finally dead. This could be the day that he's finally found peace.

We soon discover what happened to Zordon when we transition to the Youth Center. Billy is tinkering with a small, golden, cheap-looking prop. He chuckles as he mentions aloud that this should take care of Zordon. Hey you good people reading this, let me float a quick idea by you.

You know what might have been a decent cliffhanger last week? If Billy shut off Zordon before teleporting himself and the other hate-fueled Rangers out of the Command Center. Instead, we ended the last episode with a limp-dick closing scene where Aisha pouted about her friends being real grumps. Why did we have to waste a minute of this episode on how powerful Aisha's shitty locket is before spiriting Zordon away? That's such a much more effective cliffhanger, it boggles my mind why they didn't use it. How is Billy destroying Zordon from countless miles away by using some computer mouse covered in gold tinfoil? How was Part 1 so drenched in filler, yet still unable to end on a satisfying note that was already in the script for Part 2?

I don't care what next week's episode is, I already want to be watching it instead.

Kimberly mocks the nerd boy's pointless invention, and tells him to get a life. Billy briefly retorts, but Jason David Frank gets pissed off that he hasn't had a line in the last 25 seconds, so he gets all up in Billy's face. For as much bitching as I've done about this episode so far, let me say that I absolutely love Tommy copping an attitude to Billy in this scene. It's absolutely glorious. I'll bet it's still just as great even without words. Well…let's test that out.

That final "duh" from Tommy is cinematic perfection.

I'm not going to say this one moment turns the whole episode around, but I can at least say I've found something to enjoy. Will it stick? Who knows. I'll take what I can get.

Zedd and Rita watch in glee as their despised nemeses have become colossally rude dudes. All of a sudden, Rita turns her back to the camera and rattles off exposition about how Aisha hasn't been hypnotized by hatred, and how Zedd better not fumble this anniversary or he can forget about getting his knob slobbed. The only reason I can imagine they have Rita turned away from the viewer is because this script was running late, and the director didn’t know what lines they'd be shoving in her mouth. So instead of having an idea of where this plot is going, they turned Rita around, had her gesticulate, and figured someone would fix it in editing. Because why aim for a satisfactory product?

Meanwhile, Alpha 5 pouts inside of the Command Center. He can't produce the energy to bring Zordon back online. Aisha offers to help him, but Alpha scoffs in her face. The only Ranger who can do anything in this scrapheap is Billy, but he's too busy sending interdimensional head wizards into the nether realm. You really think you can do what he does, Aisha? I know your grandma gave you that chintzy locket, but did she also give you a book on Command Center repair? Didn't think so. Sit back down girl, the robot is talking.

Whoa, this episode is getting pretty heavy. I think we need some middling comedic shenanigans to bring us back down to normal. But where are we going to get those?

Why's Bulk dressed as Paul Bearer?

So why are Bulk and Skull dressed up as waiters? Trying to get as close to food as possible? Naw, it's because they're trying to find that graffiti artist from last week that literally nobody reading this will remember. They figure this is the best way to stakeout his ongoing crimes, despite the fact that a graffiti artist would almost certainly not be acting in broad daylight. Unless they wanted to get caught by the long flabby arm of the law.

The junior police patrol immediately disregard the aforementioned task as they get into their waiter characters. This goes tits up in approximately 4 seconds when they accidentally splatter some poor unsuspecting woman with creamy dessert. They also drop some food on her.

I wouldn't even want to talk about this scene if it weren't for the over the top French accents that Bulk and Skull put on during their waiter masquerade. As cliché as it may sound, they never fail to put a smile on my face. It's the most unnecessary touch to an already ludicrous plan, but Bulk and Skull put so much heart into their idiocy that it's a sight to behold.

Tragically, that scene abruptly ends when we cut back to the Moon Palace. The following minute of the episode is taken up by a completely nonsensical scene of Rita asking Zedd for a second honeymoon. It prompts an argument between Rita and Zedd that comes out of, and goes, absolutely nowhere. It's some of the most egregious padding I've seen in this show, and that's saying a whole mouthful.

After this dialogue mercifully ends, Lord Zedd summons Hate Master back to Earth to spread his evil magic. Hate Master spouts off another set of atrocious rhymes as I desperately check the Doomsday Clock for our inevitable extinction.

Bulk and Skull stomp around the park, having completely blown their cover during their stakeout. We learn that the woman they spilled food on was apparently the governor's wife, which sounds less like something that belongs in Power Rangers and more like something that would be in an 80's boob comedy. Thankfully, everything comes back to the correct fictional universe when Bulk and Skull are confronted by Hate Master. The boys are frozen in fear, and soon fall under Hate Master's wicked spell.

Did I mention that every time Hate Master casts his spell, he spits out a few more hot verses? Because boy howdy does he ever!

With their minds overtaken, Bulk and Skull immediately turn on each other. The hate spell inexplicably causes Skull to start doing a Z-List Robert DeNiro impression, which actually made me smile. Possibly because my friend and I amuse each other by comparing our own increasingly terrible DeNiro impressions with one another. It might also have something to do with how Bulk ends this scene.

…My friend and I don’t do that.

Back in the Command Center, Aisha asks Alpha 5 how much energy it would take him to teleport her outside. Well gee I dunno Aisha, how much energy would it take you to use your tootsies to walk out the front fucking door? Just because you have a super-advanced robot slave working for you doesn't mean you can have him work his magic when you don't feel like buzzing an Uber. Maybe if your grandma loves you so much she can come pick you up from the rinky-dink sweatshop you've been enslaved at.

While Aisha tries to schedule someone to give her a ride, the rest of the Ranger Teens are acting like massive peckers. Adam and Tommy get into an argument over who should be using the Youth Center's gym equipment, while Rocky stands idly in the background and pretends to have a personality. This scene doesn't work for me whatsoever, and for once I have to take someone to task that I don't want to. I can't, in this universe or any other, buy Johnny Yong Bosch as a dickhead.

I've never met Mr. Bosch once in my life, but from basically all reports from anyone who has, he's one of the nicest guys around. I'm certainly happy to believe that, because I can't even sort of buy him acting like a jerk in this scene. He jabs Tommy in the chest and says "Why would you work out? You're not any good." The problem is that he says this line really flat and without any energy. Bosch can totally emote when he wants to, but it almost seems inhuman for him to express some kind of anger or frustration. It's almost like he doesn't want to say a rude line to the other actors because he feels like it would hurt their feelings. It's the cutest goddamned thing, but it kind of takes me out of the whole hate dust plot.

Who am I kidding? I didn't give a shit to begin with.

Aisha and Alpha concoct a plan to get her out of the Command Center. It's called the fucking door.

Alternatively, she can use Alpha 5's circuitry to activate the teleportation matrix…or whatever. She presses a button on his nipple that causes the robot to coo in ecstasy. Think I'm being a smart ass? Go watch the episode. Try telling me that isn't his robo-nip and that he doesn't make some pleasure noise. Try and step to me on Power Rangers knowledge and you're liable to get bitch-slapped, kid.

Aisha diddles Alpha's nipples a bit more before energy surges from him into the Command Center's grid. Alpha uses this surge of energy to lactate locate the source of the energy disruption. It's apparently coming from inside the Juice Bar! But his energy transfer isn't going to be able to get Aisha all the way there, not unless she starts flicking those light switches on his chest a little bit more. Aisha holds back her vomit as she tells Alpha to send her to the park and she'll hoof it from there.

Before she's teleported, Aisha gives her grandmother's necklace to Alpha 5. Why? I sincerely don't know. She tries to give an exposition dump about how Alpha will need it in order to break the spell on the other Rangers. I'll forgive this show for pretending Grandma Aisha's necklace is some mystical artifact that can break an evil demon's spell, but why the hell is she giving it to Alpha? Aisha is going to meet with the characters who are afflicted with the hate spell right now, so wouldn't it be smarter to keep it on her and use it on her friends? What purpose is there in giving it to Alpha? How do you know you can even convince the hate-fueled Ranger Teens to come back to the Command Center.

Oh wait, I cracked the puzzle. The person who wrote this episode realized Aisha's necklace would nullify Hate Master's powers, so any confrontation with them would have absolutely zero sense of danger unless she left it in the Command Center for some dumb reason. Sorry children's television series writers, you can't fool a man in his mid 20's.

Aisha is teleported into the park, but she's soon met with a flock of Tengas. She Ninja Morphs and immediately lays the hurt on the birds. This is one of the few times we've ever seen Aisha get a solo fight, and she actually gets to kick some ass in this scene. Seeing the Yellow Ninja Ranger beat down half a dozen squawking assholes is quite a lot of fun. Shame we didn't have time to do anything like that for her back in Season 2.

A pair of Tengas exit the battle so they can sweep up some of the dust that Aisha's stepped on. Jeez, is that the only thing you guys can think of giving to Hate Master? All he needs is something that his victim has touched, and he didn't even need to do that when he hypnotized Bulk and Skull. I'm starting to think all this dirt-collecting shit was yet another attempt to prolong this script. Not to mention an attempt to spice up this rapping dipshit of a monster you're trying to shove in our faces for two weeks in a row.

I mean we do get to see giant bird monsters sweeping up dust. So if that's something you ever wanted to see, I'm sorry.

Would it be racist if they were using feather dusters?

After collecting the needed soil sample, all of the Tengas retreat from their fight with Aisha. She demorphs and ponders what's going on. Her questions are soon answered when the Hate Master appears, dirt firmly planted in his hands. After a series of inane raps, his evil spell begins to take hold of Aisha's mind. Drats! If only she had a magical artifact that somehow stopped his magic, but was inexplicably left in the least convenient place possible.

Aisha tries to fight Hate Master's dust, but she finds herself unable to hold on. Not until a magical montage of her grandmother's kind words ring through her ears and help block her from the spell. As she remembers Grandma Aisha's lesson, the hate dust evaporates from around her. Hate Master panics as he realizes his dumbass schemes aren't going to work anymore, and teleports away from the Yellow Ranger.

You're kidding right? This loser monster was face to face with one unmorphed Ranger and couldn't even put up a fight? Can you do anything more than throw red dust at people you absolute jabroni? You're a literal monster and all you can rely on is your one cornball trick? Seeds of hate my ass.

Now that the monster has unceremoniously disappeared, Aisha rushes to the Juice Bar. She arrives just in time to stop Adam and Tommy from clobbering one another, and potentially creating some sort of interesting conflict. Aisha yells out that violence doesn't prove anything, unless it's against giant bird creatures or rapping mohawk genies. Then it proves that you can sell toys to little fat kids.

Aisha desperately tries to convince the hateful Rangers that they're all supposed to be friends. If not, then how are they going to combine a bunch of robot animals together to punch gigantic plastic potatoes? Her impassioned words manage to negate the evils of Hate Master's spell and…no really. That's how they solved this. Aisha yelled at them for a minute and then they were cured. You're kidding me. Zordon could have fixed this whole problem if he would have sprung for group therapy. What a kick in the dick.

Once the other Rangers are back to being whitebread losers, Billy gives his crappy little jamming device to Aisha. This allows the Command Center, as well as Zordon, to regain power. Alpha cheers as he prepares to use Aisha's necklace to counteract the hate spell on the Rangers. Even though that's apparently what Aisha did four seconds ago, so what was the purpose of all that bullshit with the necklace in the first place? Why would you introduce a mcguffin only to use it in the stupidest and most unnecessary way possible? Alpha is using the necklace to cure the Rangers of something they're no longer afflicted by! What is even happening in this dirtball of an episode?

Zedd and Rita come to the conclusion that their dipshit monster isn't worth anything, so the only way to salvage this bungled plan is to turn him gigantic. Once Hate Master grows, he spouts off one of his patented rhymes. Though I only mention it this time, because the first line always gives me pause for concern.

"HEY GO FIGGER!......."

Um…what do you plan on rhyming with that odd bit of mispronunciation Hate Master?

"I'M THIRTY STORIES BIGGER!"

Phew. Thank God. I thought this monster's rap was going to turn into an outlet for hate speech real quick.

Zordon and Alpha 5 blather on repeatedly about how Aisha has yet to break the spell completely, and all those impassioned pleas she used in the last scene were nothing but a waste of the audience's time. Not like these scenes in the Command Center where we talk about how the spell has yet to be broken fully though. This is completely necessary and serves the plot perfectly.

And wouldn't you know it, Zordon somehow manages to cure everyone perfectly with a magical pixie-flavored rainbow beam that was powered by an elderly woman's necklace. Love conquers all, as long as it doesn't need to be conquered in a single episode. We've got a quota to meet!

The Ranger Teens learn that Hate Master is attacking Angel Grove, and he might also be about to drop some serious slurs if they don't stop him. Our heroes morph and summon their Ninjazords to battle him in the city, but for once they don't immediately combine into the Ninja Megazord. They actually use the separate Ninjazords to face Hate Master one-on-one. Not because it would look interesting or be fun to watch, but because Hate Master is such a gigantic loser they don't need to use all the Zords together.

Adam fights the monster first by busting out his Frogzord's special powers. One particular power that is a little twisted if you put any thought into it.

GAMMA DYNAMITE
The li'lest suicide bombers.

After the Frogzord orders its young to kill themselves in an attempt to slaughter that rap ogre, Adam realizes they're going to need more firepower to defeat him. Tommy agrees and says he knows exactly what will do the trick; Titanus!

So Titanus comes in and blasts Hate Master with fireballs aftwait WHAT?! TITANUS?! Titanus hasn't been in the show since Season 1! Where in the fuck is he coming from? Did Saban have a warehouse full of unsold Titanus merch he needed to get rid of? What the fuck is happening?! Am I dying?

Whatever, I'll explain it in the wrap-up. Otherwise I'll have an aneurysm.

The other Rangers use their Ninjazords on Hate Master and kick the shit out of him. Ape uses his twin sword attack to slash the monster, Falconzord bombards him with rockets, Wolf fires laser beams, Bear fires laser beams, and Crane finishes the fight by…firing laser beams. Looks like whoever came up with that frog suicide bomber attack went out to lunch when they had to write new attacks for the other Ninjazords.

And in case you were wondering; yes, that's how Hate Master is killed. He gets hit by the Crane Ninjazord's laser beams and dies. They couldn't even have Aisha get the killing blow on the one monster she fought by herself. Kim gets to swoop in and do it because some editor was too lazy to rearrange the Sentai footage. Hope you enjoy the two episodes we're going to give you in an entire series, Aisha!

But there's no need to worry, because Aisha does have some good news. Once the Ranger Teens reconvene at the Juice Bar, she announces that the Angel Grove Youth Girl's Club For Benefit Glorious Nation of Angel Grove is going to accept her after all! Some faceless member of the group investigated Veronica and found out that she was excluding a bunch of people, so she's been asked to resign. She's also been burned at the stake for her unforgivable behaviors of having a flaw inside the city limits of Angel Grove. Sorry Veronica, hope you enjoy rotting in the pits of Hell for your attempted class warfare.

Oh yeah, and were you wondering who the graffiti artist was that was messing up Ernie's cafĂ©? No? Well I have to tell you anyway or else the episode won't end. It turns out that Skull was the culprit all along! Skull was sleepwalking, and this apparently caused him to spray graffiti all up and down the west wall of Ernie's restaurant. Then everyone has a big hearty laugh as Bulk and Skull are forced to clean up the mess because…I don't know. Who cares? At least that awful Hate Master is dead, and I can finally rest easy knowing I don't have to put up with some other monster who speaks only in rap. 





Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Fostering the Hope That This Dumbass Show Wouldn't Dare Have Another Monster Who Speaks Only in Rhyme, but Knowing Deep Down There's Sure to Be At Least 40 More.






Personal Thoughts


I don't even know if this episode is better than last week, and I don't care. I don't want to watch either of them again. Ever. There were some enjoyable bits, like the fight with Aisha and the Tengas. That was really about all I enjoyed though. The Bulk and Skull b-plot has one of the lamest resolutions I've ever seen, and that club Aisha wanted to join last week was only mentioned for about two lines this week. It all feels so disjointed and lopsided. I'm astonished that this episode was actually intended to be two parts, because nothing about it feels grand enough to merit that sort of importance. Aisha didn't get to join a club. Oh no. Now the Rangers hate each other. I guess that's enough material to stretch into 40 minutes.

I didn't hate the Zord fight, but it had really shitty pacing. Before one of the Ninjazords would attack, we had to get a scene where one of the Rangers had some quip about how big of a dork Hate Master was. Only for them to fire some dinky little eyebeams at him, and then we would cut to another Ranger and start the process over. Adam's Frog Ninjazord moves were cool, but everyone else got the short end of the stick.

Which actually brings something to mind that annoys me. Hate Master grew giant twice in Kakuranger. The first time, he fought only against the Wolf and Bear Ninjazords, and the 2nd time is the footage that got adapted here. Power Rangers didn't use any of the first Zord fight with him, and I think that was a bad move. There was a scene where the Wolf Ninjazord used its tail to cut Hate Master that would have looked a lot more interesting than hitting him with eyebeams. Especially when half of the Zord fleet used the same basic move on him.

Not to mention there was a scene of the Bear Ninjazord opening up a crevice in the ground and causing Hate Master to fall in. If Power Rangers used some clever editing, I don't think it would be too hard to make it look like this attack actually killed the monster. Imagine that! Aisha getting to destroy a monster in an episode that focused on her. And you have footage that you can use to tell that story! Nah, it'd be better if Kim finished it with some boring lasers from her mechanical peacock.

Oh right, I said I was gonna mention Titanus. Well the reason he's in this episode out of absolutely goddamn nowhere is because this episode aired out of order. Titanus is going to be reintroduced pretty soon, but this episode assumed he already had been Unfortunately, that means his appearance makes zero fucking sense as it is, and only serves to make the Zord battle with Hate Master feel even more janky.

To be completely fair, I seriously doubt this is anything that you can directly blame on Saban Brands. This episode being aired out of order is probably Fox Kids' fault. I feel I should mention that because of all the things I rag on the show about, I don't think they had much, if any, control over when episodes aired. Perhaps somehow more knowledgeable on the subject could weigh in, because I don't have a goddamn clue about a lot of the behind the scenes junk. I'll talk your ear off about Ninja robots, but scheduling conflicts are out of my wheel house.




1 comment:

  1. I can't, in this universe or any other, buy Johnny Yong Bosch as a dickhead.

    I've never met Mr. Bosch once in my life, but from basically all reports from anyone who has, he's one of the nicest guys around.


    My personal headcanon, based on nothing at all, is that Adam is the President of the United States of America during SPD. (He's succeeded by a faux-populist corporate shill who sweeps into office by stoking racism against aliens, and brings in an era of corporate neofasicm that effectively reduces most of humanity to serfdom and eventually leads to the dystopian timelne of RPM. Man, I should not have wished for my Power Rangers Fanfic to come true on that stupid cursed monkey paw)

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