Monday, May 8, 2017

MMPR Season 3 Episode 17: A Ranger Catastrophe Part 1


Skeletal Space Demon Placed Under Citizen's Arrest
Haunted Cat Used to Deduce Teenagers' Schedule











Hey, they mixed up the titles. It was last week's episode that was the catastrophe.

Alright, see y'all next week.

Ah shoot, that's not fair. There might be some great material in this episode. How do I know? Because Saban pulled out all the stops and got a guest star for this one!

Who?

Even better than that is what Aisha's doing this week. She's volunteering at a vet's clinic, and that means I get to see a cute-ass woofer. I'm a simple man, Power Rangers. If you show me a dog I'm automatically giving whatever stupid shit you show me at least one star. Make it a corgi and we're bumping you up to two. Man, everyone loves dogs. That's why Tommy's toys sell so well.

Dr. Veterinarian thanks Aisha for her volunteer work. The doc then adds that without people volunteering, her rinky-dink shack would be closed down within a month. Aisha chuckles before saying she needs to get home and do some studying, likely not picking up on the not-so-subtle hints that Dr. Vet wants her to live inside this shack while performing free labor forever. Thanks to the invisible paw of the free market.

Aisha strolls through the park with Kimberly while the girls discuss how much they love animals. Except for those bummer animals that don’t have any homes. Yeah, no shit. What a bunch of selfish assholes. I'm trying to feel good about myself while petting that pooch, and then it has to guilt trip me with literal puppy-dog eyes because I'm not bringing it home with me. Get fucked Sarah McLachlan, I'm booping snoots over here.

The girls stop their discussion on cute animals as they run across, conveniently enough, a cute animal. A little white cat to be specific. Kim and Aisha ponder over who could own it, and why it has to be one of those depressing homeless animals. Why couldn't it be one of those cute animals that's owned by someone and doesn't have to remind us all of the intolerably depressing reality of overbreeding animals?

Thankfully this cat isn't some mangy stray, but a calculated plot from Ms. Rita Repulsa. She plays coy about what her scheme is when Zedd tries to inquire about it. This is actually a pretty respectable way to build up suspense. Almost every time one of the villains has a plan on this show, they spend a few minutes elaborating on it so the audience knows exactly what to expect before it even happens.

I don't think that's a bad idea in the case of Power Rangers, since the schemes that our villains come up with can be some truly bugnuts-crazy bullshit. But that doesn't mean I don’t enjoy schemes that are kept under wraps from the characters as well as the audience. Usually the tension of this show comes from "How are our heroes going to escape this kaleidoscope with dreadlocks?" But when you keep things on the DL, the question becomes more vague: "What do the villains have planned for our heroes?" I find it much easier to get invested in the latter than the former.

Though I could still totally go for a kaleidoscope with some dreadlocks right about now.

Aisha and her new cat friend meet up with the rest of the Ranger Teens at Ernie's café. The hair on Tommy's neck starts to stand on end when he sees that darn c-a-t around here. While Tommy makes some deep guttural canine growls and paces territorially around the Juice Bar, Kim asks if Aisha found that cat's owner yet. No kidding! It's been a whole commercial break and you still haven't figured out where that cat with no identification belongs?

Nah, the Ranger Teens are far more positive about this than I'm portraying. Aisha says she gets to keep the cat if nobody adopts it by the end of the day. Is this common practice for veterinary offices? If Aisha wanted to keep that thing, why couldn't she? Let the vet make sure that cat isn't possessed by the soul of Thackery Binx and be done with it already.

Bulk and Skull drop in to make their contractually obligated appearance and ask Aisha why she's bringing a cat to a restaurant. She's violating a shitoad of health codes by letting that thing around people's food. Which is a weird thing to have your stupid characters say, considering it's a completely reasonable point. I'm the most sympathetic, bleeding-heart pansy in all of society, but that doesn't mean I think we should let animals roam around restaurants. I've grown up with cats all my life, and you know what cats do? They fucking puke all over your VHS tapes of Power Rangers and ARE YOU FUCKING KIDDING ME WHISKERS? THAT WAS THE ONE THAT HAD SOCCADILLO ON IT! YOU PIECE OF SHIT CAT, GET OUTSIDE AND STAY OUTSIDE. I DON'T CARE IF IT'S RAINING, GET OUT!

Anyway, Bulk and Skull get shooed away by the Ranger Teens. Though our boys in blue aren't deterred. Bulk postulates that he and Skull could locate this cat's owner and become heroes in the eyes of the public! Then Lt. Stone would stop threatening to beat the two of them with bars of soap stuffed in a washcloth every night. This mediocre plan is carried simply by how amazed Skull is with it. After Bulk suggests that they'll become famous for rescuing a cat, Skull responds, "…You're amazing. I'm in awe." Even better is the multitude of goofy faces Bulk makes while Skull blows smoke up his ass.

Nice Steven Seagal impression.

Now we need to pump the brakes, because Lord Zedd offers a rebuttal to this plan. Something nobody has thought of until this very moment. What if somebody else takes this cat in? Which might be the dumbest goddamned direction they could take this plot. Why do we have to be concerned that Aisha might not adopt a cat imbued with the magic of space demons? This hardly seems like a necessary piece of plot. Aisha could have taken this cat home, gotten attacked by whatever cat monster it'll turn into, and we could have wrapped this shit up by the end of Part 1.

But I'm okay with this wholly unnecessary addition to the plot. Because it results in one of the stupidest goddamned scenes I've ever seen.

Zedd sends Rito down to Earth to make sure nobody but Aisha gets that cat. This doesn't sound like a job that will result in the bog standard "Distract Rangers with Tengas. Invoke 2 Minute Battle Scene. Continue Episode" plan. So what's Rito supposed to do to make sure Aisha gets that kitty?

He hides behind bushes and scares anyone who comes near the vet clinic.

It's the stupidest and most abrasive solution to a problem I've ever seen, and I guffawed when it happened. It's such a beautiful scene. Two nice middle-aged folks come to adopt a pet, and some goddamned zombie comes out from behind a shrub and gives 'em the stink eye.

Oh man and that's the best part. Rito doesn't even do anything threatening. He doesn't shake his sword at the couple, he doesn't fire lasers at their feet, he doesn't offer to separate their heads from their bodies. He jumps out and says "SURPRISE!" like he's part of an elementary school's haunted house. This guy possesses magical space powers and resorts to spooking people off his property like he's a Scooby Doo villain. It's flawless.

While Rito stakes out more people he can "ooga-booga-booga", Bulk and Skull conduct a stakeout of their own. They see the giant bag of bones gallivanting in the bushes and ponder what jurisdiction alien slaughter zombies fall under. While Skull is afraid of the consequences, Bulk suggests sneaking up on Rito and arresting him.

Just going to pause for a second and say I no longer care what happens with regards to that cat. All I want for the rest of this episode are scenes of Bulk and Skull trying to slap a pair of cuffs on Martian skeleton-men. Then conclude with a scene of Lt. Stone beating Rito with a phonebook while demanding evidence of his sister's crimes.

Bulk and Skull hilariously tiptoe up to Revolto and declare him under arrest. Rito doesn't pay these two jokers any mind as he tells them to buzz off. I don't believe it! The Good Cop/Fat Cop routine didn't work on the nightmare monster from the moon! The boys continue nagging Rito until the Bone Daddy hollers at them to leave him the fuck alone. He leaves the Moon to get some peace and goddamned quiet away from his lousy sister and this is what he has to deal with? No wonder Lord Ed wants to blow this shithole planet up.

Aisha stops tending to the cat that legally can't belong to her for another 8 hours when she hears the unmistakable sound of two humiliated young men screaming. Aisha looks out the window to see her old pal Rito 'whackin off in the bushes. She Ninja morphs and engages the warrior general in battle. It's a tragically short fight that consists of Ninja Aisha tripping Rito and posing triumphantly. Maybe I'm the idiot for expecting a reanimated corpse to be a particularly competent fighter.

While Aisha engages in a battle that should be a whole lot more interesting than it is, the other Ranger Teens are catching lunch at Ernie's café. Rocky has a mountainous sandwich in front of him that he eyeballs like he's Fred Flintstone scoping out a brontosaurus leg. Before Rocky can take a bite, Zordon buzzes his 24-hour alien-murdering platoon. Rocky offers a hysterical pout before plopping his meat mountain back onto the plate. It's a moment that feels like I went back in time to the Power Rangers writing room and suggested it.

Zordon tells the Ranger Teens to get their ninja-pajama asses down to the veterinary center posthaste. They morph to the scene and slap Rito away from Aisha before he can win this fight that he was clearly losing 20 seconds ago.

Zedd offers Rito some back-up by summoning the Tengas, which prompts the best goddamned reaction from Rito I could have asked for.

Rito Tengas gif
Pile of Processes Perplexed by Purple Pigeon Paratroopers.

Rito and the Ninja Teens square off, each standing in a Red Rover line facing the opposition. Then the scene zooms in on Rito who looks up at the sky in confusion. When I first watched this scene, I wasn't quite sure what the hell was happening. Now that I've watched the scene for the 8th time, I'm even more confused at just what the fuck is happening.

The five primary Ninja Rangers are standing in a cheerleader pyramid while leaving a big enough hole for Tommy to jump through and pose dramatically. I have absolutely zero clue why they do this, as it comes completely out of nowhere. This pose is the most unnecessary goddamned thing I've ever seen. I'm fine with the Rangers striking a pose before battle, but this looks like they had to fucking choreograph it. Who was coming up with this during their off-time? Oh who am I kidding? It had to have been Tommy. Guy spends all his free time thinking up ways to have his team make him look better.

Power Rangers pyramid
"I'm glad we all took that trip to Ninja Cheerleader Camp."

Even better than this inexplicable display of athletics is what happens right after. Rito replies "Ooh! Fancy-shmancy!" and then the show cuts to commercial. This cracked me right up. Usually we see commercial breaks after something dangerous is indicated or we see the Rangers about to get beaten. Well this week, someone realized they forgot to include a commercial break so they were forced to ramjam one in after some baffling team pose.

After this pyramid debacle occurs, the Ninja Rangers battle Boney and the Birds. It's a fight I find myself enjoying for some reason, and I think it's because they introduce some new ninja tricks for the Rangers. Adam throws dust cloud explosions at the Tengas, and Rocky…fuses with a tree? The Tengas try pecking at the tree and figuring out what the hell just happened, but they're met with a foot coming out of the oak and knocking them on their asses. After Rocky de-fuses with the tree, he quips at the birds.

"Gotta watch out for those trees. Especially when they branch out."

Ugh. I hope Rocky's sandwich had herpes in it.

While the battle rages, an unsuspecting observer has their eye on the combatants. It's that magical cat that Rita wouldn't stop yakking about! What interest does a cat have in high stakes TV-Y7 karate action that the whole family can enjoy? And a cat watching Tommy without hissing in terror at that shambling pooch-human hybrid? No, no none of this makes one lick of sense. That cat can't be a real cat. It must be an imposter!

Power Rangers Katherine
Animorphs.gif

Right away I find something very interesting about this scenario. This cat that Rita is hyping up to be her big scheme didn't turn into some doofy-ass cat wearing lingerie. She turned into a seemingly normal human girl. We've seen Rita's minions transform into humans before, but this is the inverse of that. This demon cat turned into a person, and I'm hesitantly curious about it. Is she one of Rita's slaves who happens to look like a persona ala Scorpina? Is this a surprisingly human monster that Finster concocted? Or is this an honest to goodness teen girl who Rita accepted into her fold? This is the first time Power Rangers has me curious what's going on where I'm not subsequently confused and furious.

God I hope that feeling lasts.

Rito and the Tengas continue their battle, but Tommy and the Gang leave them battered and bruised. Rito prepares for a counterattack, but the Tengas abandon him before he can mount it. Realizing how outgunned he is, Rito turns tailbone and retreats from the fight. Our heroes bravely mock this brainless skeleton ninny as he quietly sobs his eyeless sockets out.

You destroyed the Thunderzords, Revolto. Get it the fuck together.

The evil cat-girl continues watching the Rangers triumph over Rito before she's interrupted by Dr. Vet. D.V. asks who the hell this girl is, and how she possibly snuck into her veterinary office without opening the front door. Cat-girl responds in an Australian accent that she was kidnapped by a television producer while he was filming a movie in her home country and brought to the United States so she could be forced into film-slavery for a children's karate program looking to adopt a pet!

The Ninja Rangers demorph and then something happens that astonishes me. Power Rangers remembers a gag it set up a few minutes ago.

After he removes his Ninjamas, Rocky pats his stomach and complains about how hungry he feels. He prays to his almighty god, Zordon, that his sandwich is still safe and sound at the Youth Center. That was shocking enough, but then Power Rangers does something even more shocking. It has one of its characters act like a human being.

Adam teases Rocky that his sandwich might still be at the café, and the Black Ranger Teen then busts into a full sprint towards Ernie's Juice Bar in pursuit of Rocky's sandwich. Rocky offers an admonishment towards his friend and chases after him. It's a weirdly charming bit of character that feels bizarrely real. Two buddies giving each other a light-hearted hard time. Almost seems like something real people might do. I like it!

Aisha, Kim, and Tommy head back into the vet's office to see if anybody claimed that snuggly kitty yet. As soon as they head inside, the cat-girl notices our heroes and turns tail before they spot her. Cat-girl's cat form soon runs up to the three Ranger Teens and Aisha picks her back up. When Kim tries petting the cat, it hisses at her and bats her stupid pink hands away. Well no shit the cat doesn’t like her. Kim's got Tommy's stink all over her and that cat can smell trouble.

But good news everyone! Its officially been the legally obligated period of time before Aisha could own this cat, so now she's got a brand new pet! Now we can leave it at the Command Center to be a team mascot, only for Alpha 5 to forget to feed it.

"RANGERS! I'M SO SORRY! I FORGOT THE AY-YI-YIAMS!

God. Those poor Rangers come back from a long day of slaughtering mutant gophers wearing flak jackets to find their cat dead on the floor. Ah well. There's a 70% chance that Zordon would eat it while they were gone and blame it on Billy leaving the Command Center door open anyway.

Dr. Vet asks Aisha what she plans to call her new kitty, and Aisha comes up with the name P.C. Oh fucking GREAT. I'm trying to watch some baby karate show and fuckin' Obama has to come in with his goddamn leftie political correctness agenda and shove it right into my face AGAIN. First we have to have one of the Rangers be a black and now this?! Well I've had enough! Come read my dissertation on how political correctness, and also how the holocaust was greatly exaggerated, at my actual website: Brietbart.thinktank/Jewluminatti

Wait what's that? It stands for Park Cat? Oh…um. Let's talk about the next scene then. Forget all that other stuff I said.

So Aisha brings the P.C. Agenda home with her as she and Kim discuss the Pink Ranger's floundering relationship. Kim mentions that she hasn't had time to hang out with Tommy while practicing for the upcoming…Olympics? I don't remember. Who cares? Aisha comforts her and says that Tommy is a great guy, and he's way better than the other dregs that associate themselves with her. I mean who's she gonna bang instead? Billy? That dude couldn't find a clit with a microscope. Skull? Sure, if you wanna smell like skunk dick for the rest of your life. Rocky? PASS.

All this talk of the cute boys in Angel Grove spooks PC out of the house. Aisha and Kim panic that they’ve just lost their 5 hour old cat and rush outside to find her before they become the John Ramsey of cat owners. Little do they know that P.C. has hidden herself in the bushes and transformed back into that teenage girl once again. Now that we see her again, I just noticed that holy mackerel. She is…what's the best word to describe it?

Catherine Sutherland
Meow!

The Ranger Girls run off to search for their long lost kitty while the cat girl smirks at them from the shrubs. Out of balls-ass nowhere, Rita teleports down to Earth and asks her servant what's taken her so long. The cat-girl says that she's finally gotten the information she was waiting for. She's gotten the hot deets on Tommy going to the movies with Kimberly. Hahaha what? That's what you concocted a demon cat girl for, Rita? So you could find out when Tommy would be trying to fingerbang Kim after 5th period? Why didn't you spy on these kids like you do every other week? You are making this "murdering children" thing way more complicated than it needs to be.

When Rita learns the juicy scoop of Tommy's afternoon activities, she whips up a new portion of her devious scheme. Using her witchy magic, she transforms a nearby dumpster (a cameo by yours truly!) into a car. Something that makes perfect sense, as I also live on the planet of the horsefuckers. 

But far worse than any car-dumpster shenanigans is the license plate. Get your barf bags ready everyone!

Who wrote this shit? Eartha Kitt?

Back at the Youth Center, Tommy desperately awaits Kimberly's arrival so he can teach her the popcorn trick during the 3:30 showing of Dunston Checks In. While he's left pining for his sweet Kim, he's met with the mysterious kitty woman who flashes him a genuine, Grade-A, Australia fuck smile. She informs Tommy that she's new in town and could use a little help with her broken-down literal junker of a car. Because Tommy is an anti-social idiot, he politely informs her "Maybe you should call a mechanic." Astute observation, Dr. Oliver. "I have a headache." "Maybe you should call a doctor. I've got boards to break with my fists so piss off. HUT-SEET-OOYAH!"

Kitty Galore tells the Human Dog that she was hoping he could take a look at her car. In case he didn't miss the unbelievably subtle hints she was dropping about how bad she wanted to sit on his face. Tommy agrees, because he figures he might be able to angle a threesome with his girlfriend and some Australian chick nobody knows. But no worries, she introduces herself. Her name is Katherine, but you can call her Kat.

I want to bury my foot so far up this show's ass it would take an archaeologist to dig it out.

4 seconds later, Tommy shuts Katherine's hood and tells her fixer-dumpster of a car has been fixed. Because not only is Tommy a karate guru, a football superstar, a television commercial magnate, a straight-A student, a women's self-defense teacher, and an astronaut, but he's also a flawless mechanic. By the end of the series I hope Tommy Oliver is a racecar driving super doctor who can spin kick a tyrannosaurus in the face.

Sorry, that would be utterly preposterous.

Tommy says that Kat's car looks awesome, and he's always wanted to drive "one of these things." You mean a car? Do you not know how to drive, Tommy? Aren't you like 38 years old? Whatever. Kat says she would be happy to let him drive around the block in her car, as long as he promises not to remove the insultingly stupid vanity plate. Tommy says he shouldn't, but Kat convinces him after asking him a 2nd time. It might also have to do with the fact that Ernie's Juice Bar is located directly one block away from some place the map refers to as "Fuck Mountain."

Tommy drives Kat's car down the road as Rita watches with glee. She instructs her hubby to do his thing, and Zedd promptly blasts Kat's car-dumpster with a bolt of lightning. Once the car's been blasted, it teleports into...an inordinately cheap-looking dimension.

Are they trapped inside a kaleidoscope? 

Tommy shouts out that he's not able to control the car, and there are probably all sorts of crazy things going on around him. He's not entirely sure since the effects artists haven't mocked up what this dimensional drift is supposed to look like, but it's probably be pretty badass when it's done. Kat panics and wraps her arms around Tommy while yelling about how scared she is. She also throws in a brief mention about how randy she gets when she's stranded in a giant hall of mirrors world.

With their scheme underway, Rita and Zedd instruct Rito to get his bony butt down to Earth. Why? Because this thing needed to be two parts and we're going to have to burn through some serious footage to get Part 2 longer than 4 minutes. Rito beams down to Earth where his demented family members turn him gigantic. Also, apparently whoever was editing this scene got an eyelash on the project or something. During the scene of Zedd and Rita doing their growth lightning thing, there's a really noticeable tear in the film at the bottom of the screen. Was this how this episode got aired? Probably. Who cares?

Visual confirmation that this show is paper-clipped together.

Aisha and Kimberly meet up with the other three Ranger Teens at the Youth Center when they receive a message from Zordon. Something about some giant skellington tearin' ass all over the city. I don't know. Also that dog they let hang around them is currently trapped inside a sweet ass trash-car that's careening through a bunch of Christmas lights. Now what are the Rangers going to do? Fight some guy they beat soundly, or try to locate Tommy while he's busy boning some human cat hybrid? The exciting conclusion comes next week!



TO BE CONTINUED



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Tricking Men Into Sex By Feigning Car Troubles


Personal Thoughts


I actually really liked this one! The mystery behind Katherine is played surprisingly well for Power Rangers, and I'm really glad that they chose to only give you a taste of information about her. We don't learn her name until near the end of the episode, and Rita talks to her as though she's a lowly servant. We'll obviously learn a bit more about her in the upcoming episodes, but this is a really cool way to introduce a character. I may even prefer it over Tommy's introduction during Season 1. Granted, we're only one episode in. I probably shouldn't jinx myself.

Something to note about the actress who plays Katherine (Catherine Sutherland) is that she was initially in the running to play Dulcea in the Power Rangers movie. The producers liked her quite a bit, and offered her a large role in the upcoming season. At least I think that's the case. I could be mistaken. Let me check Catherine Sutherland's IMDB page and see if it can verify these claims.



Jesus fucking Christ.






11 comments:

  1. Pumpkin Rap GodMay 9, 2017 at 4:32 AM

    One thing I'm surprised you didn't notice, as perceptive as you are and how you're seeing all kinds of things that I never did, is that Zedd's costume is falling the fuck away by this episode. His right shoulder is off-color and looks patched on, and in the "Grow Rito" scene (with the torn film) the bottom jaw that normally wiggles a bit when Ed Neil says whatever it is he says that gets dubbed over has completely come off. There's practically a second mouth flapping under the mask.

    I wonder if they filmed this whole arc out of order and it got damaged in a later episode.

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    1. Make sure you understand how shattered I am to not be the one noticing when costumes in this show are visibly corroding under the sheer weight of the pennies that are holding them together. I noticed a pretty obvious tear in Zedd's seam back in A Friend in Need Part 3, but I just assumed that was one of the only issues and everything else was working out okay. Now I need to go back and keep an eye out on Zedd's deteriorating costume! Thank you for enlightening me to this!

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    2. I just hoped I wasn't the only one trying to chronicle the droopage of Stag Beetle's horns. ...Oh, and now ZyuRanger's Zyu2 edits have disappeared from YouTube while I wasn't looking.

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    3. Oh don't worry about that, you have a brother in arms with me! I love observing how busted-up monster costumes become. Oh man, speaking of Stag Beetle, check her out in "Flashes of Darkonda." Particularly in the shot when Andros flies by on his Galaxy Glider. Instead of her big, awkward, cumbersome claws, someone on the crew just slapped on some black gloves or some goddamn thing. It's great.

      Also, they might have lost the claws entirely since she didn't have them in Men In White either. They had Stag Beetle wearing a pair of big goofy lobster claws. It's the best.

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    4. Did you ever hear the story of how Stag Beetle's suit actress almost fell off that cliff? http://kidsisinhollywood.blogspot.com/2009/09/power-rangers-infamy.html
      I found that at random while I was searching for images that might prove my suspicion that Rito Revolto's camo side was repainted at some point for having faded too much. Maybe it's just the lighting they were using, but to my eyes he definitely looked darker throughout the second half of this season.

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    5. Oh I did see about that actually!! Then Ms. Fies went on to be totally gorgeous and the most beautiful beetle there ever was. Imagine how shitty the world would be if she really did fall off that cliff? And also we would never have a background monster in Men In White. Now that would be a true tragedy.

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  2. Kat is best girl. People always have the nostalgia for Kim but it's ALLLLL ABOUT KAT

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  3. Is that seriously what the P.C. stands for? I was so hoping it was Princess Catherine.

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    1. It is, but isn't it common for people to be named after where they were found and what species they are?

      That's why they call me TJ. Trash Jackass.

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    2. That is Pretty Crazy if you ask me.

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  4. 4 days late.. where is part 2?!?!?!

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