Tuesday, July 25, 2017

MMPR Season 3 Episode 25: A Different Shade of Pink Part 3


Aussie Wins Again!
Teenager Escapes Prison By Massaging Skeleton







Last week on Power Rangers, Kimberly was admitted to the hospital after falling off a balance beam. Katherine admitted her part in Kim's current situation and begged for forgiveness. The Ranger Teens accepted her apology after learning Kat was caught in one of Rita's spells. Later in the day, Rita appeared and issued an ultimatum. If the Rangers don't surrender Katherine back to her, then she's going to toss Ninjor in a magic river or some other mystical garbage.

Tommy and Billy reiterate this bad news to Zordon, as the Blue Ranger Teen informs his master that the moon demons plan on throwing "Ninjer" into the Sea of Sorrow. Filming hasn't been in Australia for over six months, asshole. Get your vowels back in order.

The Ranger Teens refuse to let their new mentor succumb to whatever evils await him inside of Rita's magical ocean. Aisha mentions that Ninjor has always been there for them, particularly whenever the Japanese footage calls for it. Though Tommy isn't sure what to do, because that would mean handing Katherine over to Rita and Zedd. Is her life truly worth that of a magical blue genie spaceman? Sure she tried to kill one of our nearest and dearest friends, but she seems relatively sorry about it. Maybe she's on the up and up now!

When Adam asks Zordon for advice, the opaque freak says this is a decision they'll have to make on their own. Because they're wise and kind and loving and blah blah blah. Just a bunch of meandering hogwash so Zordon can act like he's not complicit in whatever murder is about to take place here. Give me a break, you old chicken hawk.

Meanwhile, Zedd whines about Rita's capability in carrying out this plot. Zedd argues that Rita is a constant screw-up, and all of her schemes always fall apart. Unlike the great and powerful Lord Zedd, who is well known for his multitude of successful teenager murder operations. If this scene sounds like it doesn't establish any new information or seem particularly necessary to the episode, then I've done my job.

Katherine returns to Angel Grove Hospital where she talks with Kimberly about the Pan Global Games. Kat reveals that she was originally going to be part of the diving team, and presents a scrapbook of her accomplishments to Kimberly.

I can't help but read that title as some belligerent racist who is furious America isn't winning

Katherine recounts her tragic accident to Kimberly and describes her accident on the diving board. Naturally, Kim empathizes with the situation and asks Katherine if she tried again the next year. Kat admits that she never got back in the water again, and she's been terrified of swimming ever since. Kim mutters about how she's glad she isn't afraid of the balance beam, but Katherine kindly reminds her that she's full of shit. Ever since she fell off that plank of wood and almost died, she's been afraid for some reason. It's time to brush yourself off, yank out those IV's, and go earn gold medals, Kimmy!

After visiting Kim, Katherine meets up with Tommy and Rocky at the Youth Center. Katherine tells the Ranger Teens they have no other choice. She has to be sacrificed so they can get their friend, Blue Bucktooth Face, back from Rita and Zedd. Rocky asks if Katherine hit her head on another diving board this morning, because that plan is total suicide. Tommy jumps in and informs Katherine that he disagrees with her plan, and he has a far better plan of his own. Because no character on this show will have any autonomy so long as Thomas K. Oliver is here.

Kat and the teens meet up in the park, where Billy brings some paper towel roll painted blue with him. Tommy makes sure that Billy is ready with his invention before telling the rest of his friends to go hide behind some trees, so he doesn't risk someone seeing a bunch of losers hanging out with him and his new Australian girlfriend.

Rita, Rito, and Goldar arrive on Earth where they harass Tommy and Katherine. Upon Tommy's request, Goldar drops the Ninjar. Rita demands her part of the bargain be upheld and requests Katherine be given back to her. As soon as Tommy shoves Katherine towards Rita, he bellows for Billy to fire his device. Billy's piece of construction paper with macaroni and glitter on it creates a barrier around Katherine that blocks Rita and her goons from grabbing her.

Imagine having the intellect of Albert Einstein, and the only thing you're allowed to use it for is to make some shitty arts and crafts project to keep your boss's new girlfriend from getting groped by a skeleton. If I were Billy, I'd contemplate inventing a noose.

Rocky nabs the Ninjar and realizes that it's completely empty! Well who'd a thunk it? The woman named Rita REPULSA wasn't playing fair in her deal. As soon as the Rangers realize they've been bamboozled, the Tengas arrive and attack. The Rangers ninja morph and ensue in yet another fight with a flock of six goofy ass birdboys.

 Thankfully, we don't waste too much time on the Tengas before one of them breaks Billy's forcefield device. Rita's crew immediately snag Katherine and prepare to take her away to the Moon Palace. Kat begs for Tommy's help, because she's a woman, but Rito teleports her away before Tommy can do anything. The White Ranger tells Rita that his team will get Katherine and Ninjor back in no time, and she responds like so.

SMELL 'YA LATER!

Back on the Moon, Rita gives Zedd the business. Not only did her plan work, but she made him look like a total dickhead. Zedd admits his defeat, because he's a henpecked nothing of a husband, and asks what Rita plans to do with Katherine now. Rita plans to toss Katherine inside of Ninjor's bottle so she can send both of them to the Sea of Sorrow. But they'll need to wait until the tide comes in before they can be taken out to sea properly.

Taking all bets now; What will this Sea of Sorrow look like? Will we see a regular sea while the villains assure us that it's absolutely the most evil water of all time? Will the director film at a beach and overlay some shitty night filter over it? Will it be Japanese stock footage of the ocean?

Oops, sorry. Looks like you're all wrong. The Sea of Sorrow will never be shown, because we can only film Katherine inside yet another nondescript cave setting. This show's consistently nonexistent budget will never cease to amaze me.

Were real rocks too expensive?

Squatt and Baboo initially guard Katherine, which is a horrendously poor idea. You want to throw her into the sea, or be informed that she's "gone missing" from your two resident sex goblins? Thankfully, Rito shows up to relieve the morons of their duty. He makes some joke about not having any muscles, what with his being a skeleton. Then, in a particularly odd turn, Rito asks to see Kat's panties before singing a song about shipping booze off to some guy named Binks.

As Rito fusses about his sore neck, Katherine offers to help him out by massaging his neck.

TUNE IN TOMORROW FOR ANOTHER ACTION-PACKED EPISODE OF POWER RANGERS, WHERE AN AUSTRALIAN GIRL RUBS THE EXPOSED NECK MUSCLES OF A DECAYING ZOMBIE-MAN!

While Katherine gently caresses Rito Revolto's disgusting mess of a body, she spots a glowing box hidden in the corner of the cave. She inquires what's inside of it, and Rito announces that it's the Pink Ranger's Power Coin. As Katherine continues her massage, Rito eventually falls asleep and drops the key right in front of Kat, which is exactly how I wanted this exciting escape to conclude. What in the everloving fuck is this dumbass show?

Katherine slinks outside of her cage and nabs Kimberly's Power Coin, but not before Rita shows up and chases her around. Instead of using any of that dark magic she's known for several centuries, Rita decides to gallivant around the room to reclaim her prisoner. She doesn't wake up her snoozing brother, summon a monster, bring in one of the more-intelligent minions she has. Why bother? It's not like Alpha 5 has found Katherine's coordinates and teleports her out of danger.

Inside of the Command Center, Alpha 5 finds Katherine's coordinates and teleports her out of danger. Damn! Good try Rita. You almost had her.

Katherine soon arrives in the Command Center with the Pink Power Coin in tow. Zordon introduces himself to the young Aussie, who promptly begins vomiting in abject fear. Alpha 5 emerges to try and calm her down, but the sight of a fully-sentient automaton causes her to become even more violently ill. The Ranger Teens watch in stunned silence as this poor teenage girl from foreign lands is forced to interact with living proof of the fact that there is no God.

After Katherine spends a few months in a psych ward, she meets up with Tommy and Kimberly. She returns Kim's Power Coin to her, and then asks them to watch as she faces her fears. Why is this a scene in the episode? Because this is the closest thing to action we're going to get this week, so why not?

Nice of Katherine's stunt double to do that dive for her.

Kim and Tommy congratulate Katherine on overcoming her fears, and Kat proudly proclaims that she performed this dive so Kim could see how to quash her own fears. Kim agrees, and this leads us to another montage of Kimberly doing gymnastics at the Pan Global Trials. Instead of falling off and injuring herself again like a total dumbshit, Kimberly lands her dismount and receives adulation from the crowd. Possibly because she overcame her fears, or possibly because she reclaimed her magical coin that gives her superhuman abilities. It's impossible to be sure which is responsible.

Kimberly arrives at the Youth Center, where all of her friends (and Rocky) congratulate her on her performance. Gunthar Schmidt also makes a big announcement, he's inviting Kimberly to live on his compound in Florida  where he'll um…teach her gymnastics? Yeah, sure, that's the ticket!

The Ranger Teens reconvene at the Command Center and Zordon tells Kimberly she absolutely can't let this amazing opportunity slip through her fingers. Also, if she quits of her own accord then he won't have to pay out her pension. Kim declines this offer, as she had promised to protect the world when she became a Power Ranger. Zordon says that this chance is something she can't possibly pass up, as it will provide her with experience that will prove invaluable for her when she someday returns to be a Power Ranger.

Hold the phone a second, Zordy. What if Kimberly wants to quit your horrific freak show to go be a gymnast? Why are you assuming that a teenager who is going to partake in their inevitable career would want to come back and be shackled down to your horrific life of alien murder? Zordon doesn't even really seem to give Kim the option of, "Hey, if you're ready to hang up your helmet then that's fine too." What kind of goddamned nightmare farm is this? Isn't it possible that she just wants to leave this atrocious hellscape and never see any of you animals again?

Kim eventually relents, and everyone pretends that they care about her leaving. We all saw the contract negotiations for this season, Kim. You weren't fooling any of us. Though this leaves us with a real pickle; what are we going to do now that we're down a Ranger? Yeah, a Ranger that doesn’t have their own Zord or individual weapons anymore. Would really hurt the team to lose that dead weight.

But Kimberly has someone in mind for the role of Pink Ranger. It's the person that our show has been spending an uncharacteristic amount of time on for the past 10 weeks or so. Yep, Kim has decided to pass her Power Coin on to Katherine. Hopefully she'll be able to keep the Pink Ranger tradition alive by giving a bunch of 6 year olds their first awkward boners when they realize they have special feelings for the Pink Ranger.

Kim and Kat hug out their emotional moment as Tommy pouts in the background. Not because he's going to miss his girlfriend, but because it isn't about him for some reason. He could be the Pink and White Ranger if he really wanted to. Hell, why not get rid of all five of these losers and let Tommy do the whole thing himself?

Zordon promises Katherine that someday, footage permitting, she'll be able to pilot the Pink Crane Ninjazord. Until that day comes, she gets to share a Zord with Tommy. Sorry, Kat. You picked the wrong season to join our crew. Oh well, you'll get over it.

Kim offers all of her friends a fond farewell. She tells them with utmost sincerity that she's going to miss hanging out with them more than anything in the world. She even tells the rest of the Ranger Teens that she loves them like the fathers she's never had. She then congratulates Katherine on escaping from Rita's imprisonment and...wait a minute. Why was Kat in Rita's clutches again? Oh right, she was getting traded for Ninjor wasn't she?

Wait a sec...well Katherine is gone. But what happened to Ninjor? The plan was to throw both him and Katherine into the ocean, but nobody ever rescued him. We got Kim's coin back, but I guess Ninjor got tossed out to sea. What a lovely ending to this momentous occasion. Happy to have you on the team Kat!






Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Florida Gymnastic Fuck Dungeons




Personal Thoughts


This one seems so weird to me. This episode feels like it's supposed to to be all about Kimberly's final hurrah, but she becomes an afterthought in her own episode. Katherine proves herself by escaping Rito and jumping in a pool, but Kim spends half the runtime in a hospital bed. I was actually kind of stunned when I saw that the episode was almost over. Three episodes and this is how you say good-bye to your best actor? She didn't even get to beat up a giant trash can! I mean at least this beats the way we wrote off our last three actors. Though I'd be hard-pressed to think of a way you could possibly make it any worse than that.

Maybe it's just me, but this episode should feel significantly more important than it does. I can tolerate a lack of action, though the child inside me is screaming in terror at the very notion, but this still falls rather flat. Kim's goodbyes were sweet, she gets to live out her dream, this is all nice. But man does it fail to strike a chord. I feel so goddamned lukewarm about the whole scenario.

Sorry, I'm just rambling at this point.

I can barely even think of anything to mention now. Amy Jo Johnson had apparently told Saban she wanted off the show around the end of Season 2, but she was willing to let them space out her inevitable departure through the upcoming Season 3. Which is pretty respectful considering this show lit you on fucking fire within the first 20 episodes. But everything I've seen of Amy leads me to believe she's a total sweetheart and would believably be really respectful about leaving the show. She even showed up for a special appearance in a later Power Rangers installment, but that's for another day. Hopefully not for a very very long time.








16 comments:

  1. So... I guess Gunthar Schmidt wasn't an international spy after all? Was there ever really a spy? Is anything real? Where are the guys who are supposed to be investigating these things?

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    1. Every time I looked at the draft of this episode, I wondered if I was missing something. Did they solve that in Part 2 and I forgot? I would have sworn they settled this C-plot, but my mind must be playing tricks on me again. Guess I got brain problems!

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    2. I think it was settled by Bulk, Skull, and Stone falling down a laundry chute into the Sea of Sorrow.

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  2. btw, have you considered a patreon or a tip jar?

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    1. Actually I have, but I've put that on hold until I'm updating more consistently. It wouldn't be too fair to ask for people to compensate me, and then tell them I'm taking another week off.

      But in time once I get my head on straight, I very well may. Honestly, thank you very very much for even inquiring about putting money towards this. It's a seriously humbling thing, and it means more than you'd even believe.

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  3. So, in order of runtime:

    02:00 Moon sequence 1 - I've never been able to see Carla Perez as western Rita as being the "same character" as the Rita we knew in season one. It's not simply that they replaced an old Japanese grandma with a young Filipino girl, it's that she's constantly alternating between seducing Zedd and being catty to everyone else, and through season one we weren't familiar with either. But damnit, when she gets angry at Zedd's taunts, for just that moment I believed.

    Of course the next time she shows up she's sticking her tongue out, then trying to be Marilyn Monroe again, and finally chasing a girl around a fake rock. So it was just for that moment.

    12:50 Moon Sequence - Zedd says, "you'll figure out a way to ruin everything!" and turns around and ambles away like he's half-drunk. His butt has a visible hole of significant size right where he would sit. Yes, this is the shot I was talking about when you were running out of enthusiasm for this show.

    14:40 - Oh right. This is the episode where they film slow-motion gymnastics to the show's until-now undiscovered trove of porn music. AND the diving footage that the Twitch marathon clipped to replay again and again. There's a lot of TV-Y7 spank material in this one, isn't there?

    This was the beginning of the end for me as the kind of fan who was obsessed with Power Rangers and daydream theories about it when I wasn't watching it. However we are still some episodes away from rock bottom. That's the next pointlessly long three-part trainwreck.

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    1. Also, I liked how Zordon offered Katherine the pink shark cycle like that's a real superpower, and the cycle itself warped in with it's own little CGI teleport that had a "swimming fish" animation.

      This was the period where the effects people seemed to be obsessed with making teleport effects and consistently sticking to them (eg: Rito's warp where his head separates from his body). I think going all Finding Dory with the shark cycles is about the point where somebody must have called a time out.

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    2. I'm liking having a new actress for Rita who can do new things just for how I can buy her personality as "young Bandora" rather than just a bland dub over Bandora.

      Was Master Vile really that bad for you? I know I kept watching Power Rangers (Zeo) through 1996 regularly enough to have been trading guesses with my brother as to the identity of the Gold Ranger and remember roughly what became of all the characters that season, but Turbo was the instant quit for me. I think you mentioned caring more about the martial arts than the long-form storytelling, but I was the opposite, and I hated what Turbo was foisting upon us instead of properly following up on Zeo's finale. (Or maybe I just thought I couldn't follow what was going on after I didn't get to see the movie.) I don't believe I watched a new Power Rangers episode in full again until 2006...

      Well, if I can find my way through Power Rangers Turbo on a full-series re-watch this year, then I can finally see how Saban handled space opera!

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    3. Master Vile himself wasn't the problem, in fact they did a pretty good job trying to adapt what was clearly a Doomsday-style big final battle into something that was momentous yet inconsequential. I can and will rant about it, but for the sanctity of internet comments (hah) I'll save it until we get to that episode.

      This was the start I guess because I left "ew girls" somewhere near the tail of season 2, and also because while Katherine's ranger career was really unfortunately written, and then nearly everyone familiar were replaced with uncredited rangers and child actors. By Zeo the producers basically started a shipping war with the remaining Kim fans, by telling them that not only was their ship no great thang but that TomKat is so awesome that you should time warp into the future and check out their ranger grandkids (subsequently this was retconned as an "alternate timeline"). And by Turbo, there were times they made her seem a little too close to Justin. Basically, Sutherland deserved better.

      As for me, I endured every episode until Lightspeed Rescue before tapping out. You're right that initial Turbo was bad (ELGAAARRR, DETONATORRRSSS!) However, after they took a six month break they came back with no more mandatory detonator plots, better production values which steadily built up until Lost Galaxy, and finally they went ahead and accepted Carranger for the goofy clown show it is. And while it was initially disappointing to see everyone BUT the annoying child power fantasy character get the boot, the 2nd generation Turbo rangers were a good team, that elevated to one of my all-time greatest teams when Justin was replaced with Alien Hanson.

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    4. Heh, I'm watching that Kakuranger three-parter again, and while it seemed so tense and revelatory the first time, now I can't help but think "So Sasuke just has to run in and slash the guy, right?" after each part. In its place I recall Power Rangers took the opportunity to set up the next season! ...And now that you mention it, that setup also ended in precocious children and DETONATORRRSSS!, and we get a chimpanzee before then, too.

      So, yes, I'm excited to see the exact point at which the universe stops revolving around Tommy and/or the Pink Ranger!

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    5. For some reason, Carla Perez works for me. I'm sure it has a lot to do with Barbara Goodson's shrill screech coming off of her lips, but she somehow manages to make me believe she's a Japanese space witch. I like to imagine that corralling Zedd into a sham marriage gave her an extra pep in her step, which resulted in her attitude adjustment.

      Holy shit, I completely missed Zedd's burned-out asshole. That's astonishing. That might explain why there are so many scenes in later episodes where Zedd spends all of his time sitting on the throne. Pumpkin Rap God, if you weren't here then this blog would be missing the important things left and right!

      And no kidding about the wank sesh material. If people ever wonder why Amy Jo Johnson was the crush of so many 90's kids, look at her in that leotard. The score has fuck trumpets underneath it for christ sake! They lit that scene like this was supposed to be on fucking Cinemax. Holy jeepers.

      And because Blogger is a real pizza trash, I'm going to respond to Ryan's comment as well.

      I won't spoil how I feel about Master Vile and the Glitter Rub, what with it being like three weeks away, but I remember feeling a very specific way. We'll see how that pans out, but I think you might see a lot more to say when I hit that particular trilogy.

      Jesus Christ. It's been so long since I've gone through Zeo or Turbo. What have I gotten myself into? Ask me about monsters and I'll give you a novel, but the plot beats? Shipping? Chimpanzees you say?! I don't know nothing bout none of that shit.

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    6. As of a few years ago, Kat/Tommy was still considered endgame. Apparently they keep trying to bring her back for episodes like Forever Red and she was supposed to appear in Dino Thunder, but for Forever Red she was pregnant and in Dino Thunder she had prior obligations. If I'm remembering it right.

      It's a weird thing where the writers seem to have shipped it for 20+ years.

      (That said, I don't mind the Tommy/Kat romance so much, if not just because it feels a little more natural and built up to than Kim and Tommy's "I guess I'm not a Power Ranger anymore" "I always thought you were hunky" "Let's date" deal.)

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    7. I remembered Zeo being awesome when I was a tween, if only because the show was doing less preachy role model stuff and more universe building. But holy moley, I did not think it held up well under re-watch. The movie episode (think "Showbiz Monster #2") is hilarious because it's Power Rangers trying to make an edit of a goofy Ohranger episode into something that's as semi-serious as it ever is. Tommy is riding on horseback? The Megazord uses it's finisher on a bridge? What?

      Shipping: The ski lodge three-parter is agonizing. The writers throw a "she's never coming back, stop wishing" brick at the Kim fans, and the show becomes so ridiculously focused on Tommy as the guys take him skiing to forget his old girlfriend and maybe find a new one (and forget being single, being single is for guys like Adam, and Tommy isn't Adam because he's important.)

      Possibly it's greatest sin is that Mondo sabotages a ski slope's direction signs to try to get some rangers to fall off a mountain to their death. Which is a horrible plan if your enemies know teleportation.

      Maybe we can ring in the new year with that garbage.

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    8. Yeah, it still had a few clunkers, but what impressed me this time was how it quickly became more watchable than Ohranger. (And isn't it the Blue Ranger who can't keep a girl interested in him?)

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  4. With all the recent news about US Gymnastics, this whole "come live with your coach in Florida, Little Orphan Kimmie" thing feels a little extra...ugh

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  5. Okay, so maybe the "skeleton on bike" reference wasn't for real, but could this episode possibly have been inspired by how badly the hostage exchange for the dinosaur eggs went in Zyuranger?!? ;)

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