Monday, May 22, 2017

MMPR Season 3 Episode 18: A Ranger Catastrophe Part 2


Telekinetic Teen Teleports Talking Tiger-Sword
Holographic Witch Provides Dating Tips








Last week on Power Rangers, Rita turned some Australian girl named Kat into a cat who was adopted by Kim and Aisha as their new pet. Kat tricks Tommy into taking a ride in her car, and Zedd sent the both of them into another dimension comprised of cheap effects. The other Ranger Teens prepare to rescue Tommy, but learned that a giant Rito Revolto was stomping around in downtown Angel Grove.

With Tommy trapped inside some Party City dimension, the other Rangers desperately hem and haw about what they're supposed to do now. We can't sell merchandise without that idiot doing the grunt work for us! Do you think we're going to sell a Ninja Megazord without a falcon hot-glued to its back? Get fuckin' real!

Inside of Zedd's alternate dimension, Tommy is overtaken by a bolt of ill-defined magic and falls unconscious. Kat sneers now that her prey has been vanquished, and teleports back to Rita's Moon Compound in a bolt of lightning. Katherine arrives on the Moon in her kitty-cat form and snuggles into Rita's loving embrace. The Wicked Witch promises her feline servant a bowl of milk, freshly squeezed from Squatt's tender udders.

Zedd and Rita gloat that they finally have that damned White Ranger right where they want him, and Goldar begs for a chance to sink his fangs into Tommy as well. The big golden rat complains that Tommy is his sworn enemy, or at least he has been ever since Jason left the show. Zedd agrees that Goldar deserves a chance to redeem himself after two and a half seasons of abject humiliation, and allows him to battle Tommy. So long as that beautiful golden ass is back in receiving position at exactly 0600 hours.

Goldar storms into the alternate dimension and we get a good look at where this episode's budget went. A stupid gargoyle fresh from the set of Are You Afraid of the Dark.

Trying to make soup out of my fears? Fuck outta here.

The primary five Rangers try desperately to locate Tommy, but Zordon tells them they've dicked around for long enough. Rito is currently the size of a football field and racking heads up and down Angel Grove's business district. Billy happily abandons the search for Tommy in the hopes that he can become the new leader of the Power Rangers.

Keep dreaming, idiot.

The five Rangers morph and begin harassing the giant bag of bones. Rito leans down and laughs in their faces, as his giant-sized breathing blows them backwards. And don't you worry my dear reader, this occurrence most certainly results in one of the Rangers making a comment about how bad Rito's breath it is. Because deep down, you knew they would. There was never a doubt in your fucking mind.

The Rangers decide to stop commenting on Revolto's dental hygiene and summon their Ninjazords to prevent his assault on the city. The five separate Ninjazords battle Rito without combining, and it's a violent battle. A rumble like none you've ever seen before.

Y'know, unless you saw Ninja Quest Part 4. Since this fight is recycled footage from that episode.

This annoys me. I was a huge fan of this Zord fight when it first showed up in Ninja Quest, but what's the point in using it here? I mean it's obviously because the writers of this show needed to fill an extra 4 minutes to pad out this two-parter, but that seems like a particularly cheap and lazy way to do so.

The episode doesn't change much about this fight either. They add a couple of extra effects around Rito's flamethrower when he attacks the Apezord. Rito has different lines when he gets attacked. The only big change is that the scenes where the Falconzord comes in and they fight Rito in the sky briefly are cut, what with Tommy being stuck in another dimension and all. Ultimately that doesn't amount to much, because we're still watching something that we've seen 95% of before.

The problem comes in when I watch this and realize a cold truth. I have no reason to talk about this scene. I said everything I had to say about it in the "Ninja Quest Part 4" post. It's the same basic fight with a couple different words shoved in Rito's bony maw. What else would I possibly have to say here? Aside from "Goodbye World."

Oh, except for the fact that they fucked up the audio mixing during the Ninja Megazord double punch. When the Wolf head is connecting, you can hear the Ape head's growl start and then abruptly cease. So even if you wanted to enjoy watching this great Zord fight again, Power Rangers decided to do it worse the second time. Which is insane, since they could have re-aired the same fight that was already done fine the first time! JESUS CHRIST THIS SHOW

But it's fine. I'm cool. I'm collected. That was just a miniature detour in our adventure. A couple of minutes that the show needed to burn through. There's no need to keep bitching, because the scene is over. As soon as Rito is defeated, he arrives back at the Moon Palace with his head hanging in shame. It's actually a pretty funny moment, particularly because of the raw absurdity captured in this image alone.

Guest Starring: My Father as Lord Zedd!

Back inside of the Command Center, Alpha informs our heroes that Rita and Zedd are blocking all of his attempts to locate Tommy. Good. That means we're back where we started before the Rangers engaged Rito in battle. Why bother utilizing actions that have consequences when we could just shoehorn in old footage instead? The Rangers still can't find Tommy, and we're pretty sure that girl he was riding with is dead by now. Even if they find the White Ranger in some podunk dimension, Zordon's going to have to pull out all the stops to get him off that murder beat.

Inside of Zedd's dimension, Tommy awakens to find Goldar cackling in front of him. Which means that Goldar was standing around and taunting Tommy's unconscious body for a solid 5 minutes. If I woke up in a similar predicament, I promise you that I would find the nearest sharp object and stab myself until I stopped feeling. Was he waiting for Tommy to wake up and hear his growly chortles? I guess I should just be thankful Tommy didn't wake up to some space dog sucking on his toes.

Tommy demands to know what Goldar has done with Katherine. Instead of receiving an answer from the golden gorilla, a holographic image of Rita appears to taunt Thomas. Because why bother teleporting into a dimension when you could send a digital construct of yourself to do it instead? Rita chastises Tommy for spending all his time thinking about some pretty little girl, and asks him how he thinks Kimberly would react if she knew about this. Yeah, that's the person I want to take relationship advice from. Some 500,000 year old space witch who roofied a man so hard he was forced to marry her. Get bent, Repulsa.

Tommy ignores this mockery and morphs to battle Goldar. The White Ranger demands to know what happened to Kat, but Goldar correctly points out that he's not in any position to be making threats. He's trapped in a devious dimension of fog machines, dim lights, and a chintzy gargoyle statue. That means that uh…I guess good can't win there? Whatever. Makes as much sense as absolutely everything else in this hodge podge of a show.

Now that enough time has passed, Billy has managed to lock onto Tommy's location. An image of Tommy battling Goldar emerges inside of the Viewing Globe, but the other Ranger Teens are still perplexed. Where's that girl that Tommy was cheating on Kim with? Also, why is Tommy pretending that Goldar is a threatening opponent? Adam asks if Billy can break through Rita and Zedd's forcefield, but the Blue Ranger has his doubts. There's still like 10 minutes on the clock and if we keep pushing things then we might be able to buy ourselves "A Ranger Catastrophe Part 3."

As Goldar and Tommy battle, Rita watches from the Moon Palace. She comments that she's going to miss Tommy…NOT!

I'm not being hyperbolic when I say that Rita's line gave me honest-to-goodness douche chills. Sweet Jesus. There have been two "Not" jokes in this series so far, and that's at least 4 too many. If I have to hear one more of these 90's relics, I expect my goddamned skin to crawl off my body.

Squatt and Baboo announce that Billy and Adam appear to have left the Command Center. Because their characters still exist no matter how much you pray that they'll disappear. Rita uses this opportunity to enact her backup plan for destroying the Rangers. She zaps Katherine-cat with her wand, which teleports the kitty to Earth. As soon as it lands on the planet's soil, the cat transforms into a monster, which I will bet my life savings on being called something ridiculous like Katastrophe.

...Yeah, it's Katastrophe.

As Billy and Adam head over to Billy's garage-lab, the Katastrophe monster intercepts them. Billy and Adam morph, hoping the riddle of the Katatafish will soon be told. The boys battle valiantly, but the monster proves quite a bit tougher than they are. It also proves to be far more obnoxious, because every single movement that this monster cat makes is punctuated by a growling "ROWR" noise. So do you remember that angelic Australian voice Catherine Sutherland possessed in the previous episode? Well now please put it through a feline filter and imagine her growling out all of her lines. Great googly moogly it's bad.

Nothing against our resident Aussie actress, but I'd be hard-pressed to find any person on this flat Earth that could make a bunch of cat growls sound palatable. Aside from Michelle Pfeiffer.

After getting their asses handed to them by a lingerie-clad housecat, Billy and Adam beg for backup from the rest of the team. Yeesh. Looks like Katastrophe isn't the only pussy around here.

…Sorry. That one was in my contract.

Kim, Aisha, and Rocky all morph to aid their comrades. Katastrophe responds to their appearance by exclaiming, "The whole litter!" Which might seem innocuous, but it's actually quite a humorous line when you remember that the monster who spoke it is in fact a cat. It's dialogue like this that makes me so glad I've gone back to revisit this series.

This show is about halfway through ending all 9 of my lives, and I'd wager that it'll have the 9th by Turbo.

Once all five Rangers are in the fight, Katastrophe is quickly trounced. Realizing how badly she's losing, the monster turns tail and flees. Or fleas. Cause she's a cat. I don't know.

Billy and Adam continue trekking to Billy's lab while the other 3 Rangers retreat to the Command Center. Why? Because this episode has a hard-on for interrupting developments momentarily, then restoring them as soon as a few minutes of fighting have passed. Rita is incensed at how badly all of these plans are going today and commands Rito to get his bony butt in gear to help out Goldar. I kind of appreciate the fact that Rita and Zedd are clearly just throwing Rito at whatever plan they already had going on as an afterthought in the hopes that he'll accomplish something. It almost feels like the show is becoming cognizant of its own limitations.

Almost.

Back in the dry ice dimension, Goldar asks if Tommy is ready to surrender. The White Ranger proudly states that Goldar knows him better than that, and he'll never give up. Suddenly, Rito pops up and asks Tommy a reasonable question.

"I don't know ya. Will you surrender to me?"

Credit where it's due, I really like that line. It's a moderately amusing quip on its own, but I enjoy how it plays into how recently Rito has become a mainstay of Zedd's gaggle of freaks. Rito knows the Power Rangers as "Those six kids that are a collective pain in my brother-in-law's metal ass." He's been around for like a week, why would he care about these losers in pastel pajamas?

Rito and Goldar team up and slap the everloving shit out of Tommy. White Ranger unsheathes Saba and tries to keep up with the two henchmonsters, but they still manage to outmatch him. Goldar even knocks White Ranger's blade from his hands before asking if Tommy would smarten up and join the forces of evil. Is that what Zedd has been trying to do with Tommy all this time? Turn him into a Hitler youth? I'd go back and check previous episodes, but I'm just going to assume this has been contradicted dozens of times and not waste my energy.

Rito grapples with Tommy and holds him down while Goldar prepares for the deathblow. Tommy realizes he's up shit creek if he doesn't pull out something stupid, and boy howdy does he do something stupid.

This reminds me of a scene from a movie…but I can't remember which one.

Meanwhile, Billy has managed to magic up some bullshit science that should prove potent enough to rescue Tommy. Zordon warns that whatever piece of plastic that Billy brought along this time must be used carefully, or it could trap Tommy inside of the Morphing Grid forever. A threat that might mean something if we had any idea what that entailed. Would Tommy be reduced to a giant neon-colored head in a fishtube? Cause this is only making me want to see it more.

So the Ranger Teens form a prayer circle or whatever, and their combined energy brings Tommy back home. The Rangers swarm him and say how happy they are that he's safe. Makes quite a bit of sense. Like the old saying goes, "Distance Makes the Dog Grow Fonder."

This concludes the exciting adventure of "Tommy Gets Stranded in Some Vague Dimension For However Long We Need Him to Be There." At least now he's not in the merciless clutches of *checks notes* Goldar? Yeah, I guess he's still a valid threat in this series.

Tommy thanks Billy for his help, and promises if the Blue Ranger is ever in danger of being decapitated by a skeleton, he'll try and be of some use too. Though he may be safe now, Tommy still becomes concerned that Katherine is nowhere to be found. Billy says he was unable to find her coordinates, or her geothermal molecular signature, or an image of her because he doesn't know who the fuck she is. You're the only one who met her Tommy, why would we remember some chick you went for a drive with?

Rita and Zedd bicker over how badly their monsters bungled this operation. Zedd asks why this brilliant scheme had to get pissed away so quickly, and Rita retorts that it's because he stuck his big limp dick in where it didn't belong. I was about to agree with her, but I soon came to the realization I don't have any idea what part of the plan was Rita's and what part was Zedd's. Ah screw it. They're both losers.

Zedd and Rita summon Katherine into their chambers and tell her that her job isn't finished yet. The writers still had a couple of cat jokes they could shoehorn into the script, so she needs to get back to the battlefield. Katherine transforms back into Katastrophe before teleporting back to Earth. Then Squatt runs into Zedd's chamber bellowing about how that cat monster gave him fleas all up and down his dingus. Baboo nervously titters in and says those are crabs, and Squatt has had them for decades now. The audience shares a hearty laugh as the braindead troll scratches his crotch while slobbering all over his meaty bosoms.

The Ranger Teens are alerted to Katastrophe's presence, and morph to confront her in the park. Katastrophe says something about a scratching post, and Zedd gets tired of her shit and makes her grow giant. After the monster threatens our heroes, they promptly summon their Ninjazords to handle her. While they form the Ninja Megazord, Katastrophe is soon intercepted by Ninjor. Oh HELL yes! Ninjor is back in action. We haven't seen him in like 7 episodes! Maybe if this show wanted to sell Ninjor toys, they could have tried not airing a week's worth of episodes without him all in a row.

After a brief tussle between Ninjor and Katastrophe, Ninjor transforms into his battle mode and joins the Ninja Megafalconzord in battle. Ninjor launches his fireball attack at the overgrown alleycat…wait a second. Have I not .giffed that attack? Holy shit! What have I been doing with this blog?!

Ninjor fireball gif
Stole this move from the White Tigerzord.

After suffering Ninjor's assault, the Katastrophe monster is finished off by the Ninja Megafalconzord's power punch attack. Which means that…I guess they killed that Australian girl too? Sweet Jesus this episode got dark! Oh hold up. Scratch that. The Rangers abandoned their Zords and found Kat sitting safe and sound in the park. She's not licking her wounds or seeming like she just goddamn exploded. She's sitting around like getting punched by a flying wolf and ape robot ain't no thang. That's utterly absurd.

Katherine plays the role of a damsel in distress as she talks about how she was captured by an evil witch and a whole bunch of horrible monsters. Don't worry, Kat! Tommy can take you to a much safer place, where there's a malfunctioning android who prays for death every day, and a gigantic lava lamp head who bellows out orders to a group of teenage mass murderers.

The Ranger Teens escort Katherine out of the park while she spins a (ball of) yarn about how she was captured and forced to watch some kind of intergalactic orgy between a blueberry ogre and a stammering vampire bat. Kim says how happy she is that Katherine is alright, but the l'il Aussie tells her "Please, call me Kat." To which everyone in the audience says, "Yeah, we fucking got it. Jesus Christ."

Kat mentions how she's just moved into Angel Grove from Australia. Unfortunately, the production of a total bomb of a movie bankrupted her countries' economy, so she was forced to flee to America. Kat heads home so she can finish unpacking, or whatever corny lie she makes up to convince these whitebread losers she isn't a demon cat possessed by wicked spirits summoned by a space witch.

After Kat "leaves," her cat form shows up in the middle of the park. Kimberly and Aisha flock to their precious kitty cat and offer her solace in the form of snuggles. Then, just as the episode finally ends, we close on one of the stupidest shots I've ever seen.

Speaking of Goosebumps…



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Gargoyle Statues



Personal Thoughts



Y'know, this one wasn't bad really. I just got kind of tired of the constant back and forth we had to sit through. This episode feels like it could have been a solid 20 minutes if they would have trimmed some of the fat here and there. Ditch that worthless retread of the Rito Zord fight, condense the two Katastrophe fights into one, and...ah who am I kidding? They probably had 30 minutes of material and had to come up with some bullshit to finish the last 10. That's the issue I have with just about every Power Rangers multi-parter. It was one B-plot away from feeling like a fully-fleshed out episode.

I guess I just feel bad singing the praises of last week's episode while bemoaning this one being a real drag-ass. I think it's just a whole lot easier to look at "A Ranger Catastrophe Part 1" as a whole product. It feels complete. This episode has a superfluous Zord battle stapled onto it and comes out feeling like more of a slog. I mean I'm happy to see Ninjor again, but Jesus Christ I could not care less about Tommy being stuck in some foggy cave with Goldar and Rito.

Seriously, what was up with that one? Was Tommy weakened in that Vague Cave? Was he too concerned about Katherine to focus? Tommy was able to clown Goldar without morphing back in Season 2. What got up Goldar's ass to make him a challenge all of a sudden? Gimme a break.

Don't get me wrong though! I didn't think this was a lousy episode, I just had a lot higher hopes after last week's episode had me really engaged. Let me know what you good readers think! Maybe I'm all mixed up here. Help me out for goodness' sake.

Oh man, but I'm not the only one who needs some help. The Katastrophe costume ain't holding up so well in some shots. They're pretty quick, but you can see the suit is definitely tearing apart in a couple scenes. Such as this one.


Meowza. Someone put this kitty down.





3 comments:

  1. I wonder if THIS should have been the one episode to insert that footage of the yokai spirit floating away talking to represent Kat escaping from her monster form in the explosion.

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  2. If I am not mistaken, this was the last time Saba ever spoke. Kinda depressing when his last words were "I failed you"

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    1. I remembered that piece of trivia later this week! Recently I also saw a video showing a version of this episode that didn't have the faded scan-line effect on Rita's hologram, making me think it was a last-minute decision as to whether she was actually there or whether viewers would get the hint.

      I just watched the next episode, and I would say don't worry, I'm pretty sure it stays epic through at least two and a half parts, although you'll have to prepare yourself for more fight banter that's just "Let's blow through all the famous expressions we can think of regarding the monster's one theme we've decided upon, ain't we punny," and the international cut suffers from an infamous last-minute name change. Then the three-parter after that seems to be using lots of drama to distract me from the plot inconsistencies.

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