Monday, August 14, 2017

MMPR Season 3 Episode 27: Another Brick in the Wall


Sub-Plot Deemed Too Boring to Read About
Body Transmogrification Cured With Poison 






When I first started writing this blog, I mentioned how the Blue Ranger has always been my favorite. Probably because I too like to pretend I'm intelligent, but that's neither here nor there. He's not great because the writers use him to solve any possible problem by inventing some chintzy little gadget, but because he actually went through growth. Billy's arc resonated with me and always made me enjoy him, no matter what humiliating overalls the costume department feels like shoving him in. Now, he's the only one of the original five Rangers left. It's kind of sad, but it makes me happy we're still getting a Blue Ranger focus today.

But I can't shake the feeling that something in this episode is going to hit me like a ton of bricks.

Speaking of Billy, you know two people who aren't Billy? Tommy and Adam! This episode starts with the two Ranger Teens sparring in the Juice Bar, as Katherine shows them some model neighborhood she designed in art class. It's based on some low-cost housing project that's currently going on in downtown Angel Grove. Oh, cool! A low-cost home in California? Probably only runs about 750,000 dollars a month.

Kat's model has been selected as the design for the new housing project for all the destitute members of Angel Grove's community. Oh, so we're just going to give people homes now? Fuckin' freeloaders! Kat, I've got bad news for ya. You're in America now, toots. Any of these buildings you want to make need to be built on the corpses of these destitute shitbags.

WHAT IS THIS, A HOME FOR ANTS?!

Rita bellows at her cronies once she realizes what an obnoxious twat Katherine has become. That girl started off with such promise. She would sneer at teenagers while trying to bang their boyfriends, and now she's trying to provide shelter for the homeless! Goldar hears about this scheme, and asks if Katherine could try building a house for Rito so he can finally move out. Which prompts Zedd to cackle uproariously and pat his mutant golden chimp son on the shoulder affectionately.

The relationship between these space shamans is one of the most fascinating things I'll ever witness. Forget all this teenage karate action nonsense; I want to see Goldar's internal struggle between allowing Lord Zedd to be his daddy in the streets and his daddy in the sheets.

Katherine manages to coax her fellow Ranger Teens to assist her in this house-building project, which they agree to partake in, what with them being personified doormats. Billy and Aisha will partake in constructing walls for the home, Rocky and Adam will fix up the landscaping, and Tommy will be put in a kennel so he doesn't bark at all the Mexican day-laborers that Ernie hired to finish this project on time.

Rita sends Rito, Squatt, and Baboo to Earth to observe the Rangers Teens' construction project. Which is extremely necessary when you possess a magical telescope that can see what's happening from 250,000 miles away in pristine visual quality. At least this scene allows us to get some absolutely hysterical gutbusters from Squatt and Baboo.

Baboo: This is just like watching an ant farm.

Squatt: Only bigger!

That noise you just heard was me beating my goddamned head into a brick wall so I can forget these two deviant fuck socks are still on this show.

So anyways, our heroes start production on Katherine's housing project while a skeleton-man and two sex offenders watch them from the bushes. I can't possibly fathom why Power Rangers' ratings were sinking in Season 3. Well I'll tell 'ya what will get those kids interested: A musical montage where a bunch of 20-somethings act like they're building a house!

Aisha scrubs graffiti off of a wall, Katherine drops a stone on Bulk's foot, and Moe Howard's estate has grounds for a lawsuit.

If you're a fan of Flinstones-esque sound effects, then this scene is for you!

After a hard minute and a half of work, the Ranger Teens call it a day and head to Ernie's for a rutabaga shake or whatever slop he tries to feed people. They ask Katherine if she wants to tag along, but she has to take some pictures of the building project for her scrapbook first. A scrapbooking ex-diver from Australia who partakes in building low-income houses while she's not busy transforming into a cat? Was Power Rangers writing Katherine's character with a dartboard?

Once the Ranger Teens depart, Rito and the Tengas show up to ruin Katherine's project. Katherine wanders back onto the worksite and hollers at Rito and his crew to stop. Katherine ninja morphs and tries to stop the Tengas from ripping apart the yard. She fights her best, but the Tengas drop her like a sack of bricks. She buzzes the other Rangers to come bail her out, but Zordon responds coldly.

"KATHERINE! WE'VE GIVEN YOU A WHOLE TWO DAYS TO FIGURE OUT HOW TO BE A POWER RANGER. IF YOU CAN'T FIGHT THE TENGAS BY YOURSELF AFTER ALL THIS TIME, THEN YOU DESERVE TO BE PECKED TO DEATH BY HIDEOUS MUTANT PELICANS. PLEASE TRY NOT TO GET TOO MUCH BLOOD ON THAT OUTFIT, AS WE'LL BE NEEDING IT FOR THE NEW PINK RANGER SOON.'

The other Ranger Teens Ninja Morph to the construction site and do battle with Rito and his crew. You excited to see a fun fight with the Ninja Rangers and their mystical otherworldly powers against a group of demonic avian fiends? Then don't watch this episode. Because all that happens is the Rangers backflip a couple of times and Rito falls over. You can make these kids do anything, and you still stick with the standard karate flips? What a bunch of bullshit.

Zedd asks Rita why her plan is sucking so much dick, and Rita promises it's about to get better once she unveils Step 2. She's going to turn that stupid kitty kat into a monster again and have her slice the Rangers to ribbons. Rita fires a beam of energy from her wand down to Earth, but it inexplicably misses and hits a wall from the constructed building. This energy creates Rita's latest monster. Ladies and gentlemen, I present to you: The Brick Bully.

Brick Bully
Did she mean to coat him in tumors?

Holy shit. Yeah, this is seriously our monster this week. That's the threat? A personified pile of construction equipment. I could handle the taxi, I could handle the garbage can, I could even handle that goddamned rapping ogre with a mohawk and tigerprint leggings, but this feels like such a new low.

I'm not going to pretend I don’t know that this guy is based on a Japanese myth, but that hardly changes the reality. I'm a 5 year old child watching this program (ostensibly,) and I have to watch the Power Rangers fight a big brick shithouse? He doesn't even look mobile for Christ' sakes. If you pushed this guy over he'd starve to death. Look at that chucklefuck up there. With his upside down goddamn face. What a total piece of garbage. Hit the bricks.

Tommy and his five friends back away from the monster due to its "overwhelming power," and they strike a defensive stance. Brick Bully ponders what unjust universe allowed him to exist, and why he has to be such a hideous abomination. He tries to figure out what special skills he possesses, only to learn that he can throw exploding bricks at his enemies.

If you wanted to know why I took last week off, read that last sentence one more time.

The Rangers fully morph to confront this atrocious monster. Adam and Aisha get knocked back by his stubby little arms, and try to recoup from his slow and cumbersome assault. Brick Bully chucks energy blasts at Adam and Aisha, which turns the Yellow and Black Rangers into colored bricks. Wow, I take everything back. This Brick Bully monster is fucking amazing. He's using a power that no monster ever has before.

Two seconds later, Brick Bully uses the same magic on Tommy and Rocky, transforming them into bricks. No hype or shock, they're simply slapped with energy and turn into bricks. In the most tedious and uninteresting way, Rita's creature has subdued 2/3rds of the Power Rangers. I couldn't be more invested in this plozzzzzzzzzz.

Billy and Katherine gather up their bricked friends and take them back into the Command Center. Hey wait a second here, Billy? Who's Billy? Isn't he the Ranger I said we would be focusing on this week? Well, I'll be damned if I'd forgotten about him up until now. Possibly because this has really been a Kat episode for the last 10 minutes.  Is my brain actively fucking with me?

Alpha 5 waves a magic science wand over the 4 Ranger Bricks in an attempt to figure out how much time the episode can waste on revitalizing them. Katherine pisses and moans that this is all her fault. Not because these emotions mean anything, but because this episode is trying desperately to find something it can be about.

Alpha announces the terrible news that each of the Rangers have been miniaturized and encased inside of a solid brick. In case you didn't quite grasp that incredibly obvious premise while you were watching it happen. Billy talks about how their best chance might be in using the process of erosion to skin the bricks off of his friends. Katherine mentions how pollution is a good source of erosion, so maybe Billy could make a miniaturized pollution device. Or you two could teleport those bricks over to Chernobyl for a few days.

As Billy plots out how he can poison his brick teammates, the Command Center alarm blares. Now that the Brick Bully doesn't have more people to turn into brown bricks with moin crap, he's started attacking the city. How is he doing so? By…eating building supplies? Jesus Christ, this episode is off the fucking rails. What is the point of absolutely any of this? Oh, hold the phones. Apparently, Brick Bully has eaten so many building supplies that he's become even stronger and changed into an advanced form. There it is. The stupidest thing I've ever had to take at face value from this show.

Least he turned his face right-side up.

Billy asks Katherine to hold down the fort while he heads out to battle the Brick Bully himself. He morphs back to action and challenges the new and improved Brick Bully. The monster's new strength quickly overwhelms Billy, which leaves the Blue Ranger rolling around in the dirt while he's pelted with bricks. Instead of using some sort of cool, powerful, visually-interesting technique to defeat the monster, Billy surmises that he needs to stall the monster and keep it from eating more building supplies.

Is VR Troopers on? I'm sick of this shit.

So Billy gets beaten on by the Brick Bully for another minute or so, before the monster starts getting woozy and mentions how hungry he's become. Billy counterattacks with some stunningly unimpressive attacks, and the monster whines that it's too hungry to fight back anymore. Which is exactly what I'd expect from an episode as good as this.

Rita panics that her dumbass pile of blocks has failed to make an impact, so she zaps him with energy to make him grow. The giant Brick Bully threatens Blue Billy by falling down in an attempt to squash him. Unfortunately, this forced perspective fails to make a dent in the Blue Ranger. Billy realizes that standing around like a moron against a gigantic brick wall might not prove effective, so he summons the Blue Shogunzord to do battle with Brick Bully 2.0.

Now that he's in Japanese footage, the monster demonstrates some more impressive abilities to fight the Blue Ranger. With a flick of his wrist, the Brick Bully surrounds Billy's Zord with a massive set of walls. B.B. then hurls a few spears at the encased Shogunzord, which causes a massive explosion to engulf it. Brick Bully cackles as the flames rise, but he's astonished to find Billy and his Zord still standing. How? Because Billy hasn't been allowed to do anything cool for like two and a half seasons.

Back inside of the Command Center, Katherine has encased all four of the Ranger Bricks in a mini-forcefield that contains "simulated pollution." Which is the most baffling invention I've ever heard come from this show. You're telling me that the Command Center, which houses a fully-sentient automaton and a giant balloon wizard head inside of a fishbowl doesn't produce any actual pollution to utilize? There ain't any solar panels on that thing, so I don't know who this show thinks it's fooling. Every time Zordon hiccups, it should wipe out another species.

Not to mention that this method of curing the others might not be the most sound. You're going to encase them inside an inescapable glass tube and pump them full of a limitless stream of poison. Oh sorry. "Simulated" poison. I don't give a shit if they're bricks or not, you might be causing some slight problems when you're coating your teammates in "simulated carcinogens."

Anyways, the Blue Shogunzord turns the fight around and wallops Brick Bully. The Blue Shogunzord whips out its lance weapon and charges at the monster. Then…um…this happens?

Brick Bully GIF
Did I just have a stroke?

…I'll talk about it in the wrap-up.

Billy returns to the Command Center to find Katherine bathing his comrades in poison gas. He asks her to make sure she sprays a little extra on Tommy for safekeeping, but much to his chagrin, all four of the Rangers are soon revived. Billy and Katherine congratulate Alpha 5 for assisting the other Rangers, as Aisha shivers and clutches her chest while Rocky hacks up blood. Adam clutches his chest as he feels his lungs shrinking and collapsing as he sees all of his teammates smiling jovially at him. Tommy stands by with a stupid smirk on his face while blood dribbles from his nose, and asks if anyone else thought being a brick was fun, but he likes breaking bricks with karate even more.

The gang reconvenes at their Humanitarian Housing Project, where Katherine has gotten an award for something or another. Suck twenty dicks, Jimmy Carter. Some Aussie in pink spandex kicked the shit out of whatever habitat you built.

Oh darn, I completely cut out the side plot where Bulk and Skull were tasked to find stolen building supplies. You know why? Because they didn't fall into one GD thing. I don't ask for much out of this show, but if you're going to tell me that you can't write one comical scene of Bulk and Skull running into drywall like Wile E. Coyote, then you can get right out of here with that shit.

Wish this episode had bricked my hard drive.



Your Weekly 90's Nostalgia: Scrapbooking





Personal Thoughts


Nothing. That's what this episode did for me. Absolutely nothing. I was left feeling absolutely bored basically halfway through this one. I didn't hate it, but it felt like a bunch of puzzle pieces jammed together without regard for the final product. It was missing a cohesive thread that tied all this stupid bullshit together, and that left it feeling like it was missing a point of any kind. I love Billy, but this episode was lame. He deserved better.

I'm fine with Katherine not getting turned into a brick, but you can feel the writers desperately trying to keep her relevant in the episodes now that she's become a Ranger. It makes sense to keep her in focus, but it hinders the scenes where Billy is fighting the monster. We should feel tension that Billy might lose to this new monster, but what's there to worry about? If he loses, then Katherine can come in and help out instead. It's just boring, dog. I don't know what else to say.

Oh right, Brick Bully's weird death scene. The reason it looks all odd is because he didn't originally die in the Sentai episode that his Zord battle originated in. In Kakuranger episode 5, the Blue Shogunzord was about to hit him with its weapon, but Brick Bully was saved by the efforts of his brother, See Monster. Since Power Rangers ain't having some bullshit episode where the monster survives, they had to make do by using computer effects to make it look like Brick Bully got iced. The problem is how weird it looks, what with the Blue Shogunzord attempting to hit the monster with the wrong end of its weapon. It also seems funny to see a Power Ranger murdering a monster while it was helplessly laying on the ground.

Now off to forget about this episode the only way I know how. Pumping "simulated toxic" directly into my lungs. Ciao!




7 comments:

  1. Yeah, the episode sucked, but it also makes Billy one of the few Rangers to ever solo a monster and finish it off by himself.

    That list is, what. Jason, Tommy, Kimberly? Maybe Zack, I don't remember. I don't think any of the replacements ever came close.

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  2. Haven't watched this episode in a long time, probably since it aired. I'll just numerate my thoughts:

    1. Half the show's opening is now from Katherine's introductory arc. They were really determined to focus on her to an unusual extent for a ranger wearing a previously used uniform. Someone clearly thought they had this great idea for a mid-season arc about an evil character turned good, but there's two problems: It had been done once before and much better last season with Tommy, and Katherine isn't bringing a whole lot here aside from a new accent. The conclusion to all this is one of the lowest points of MMPR to me, but we'll get there when we get there.

    2. Opening moon segment: Rita is really pissed about those homes for the homeless. You'd think that she owns shares of Goldman Sachs.

    3. This brick monster actually amused me because it's very unique and different from the "giant animal with more fangs and claws" that we're so accustomed to. The funniest thing about it to me is how it's so floppy and that justifies the rangers punching and kicking it a lot. You'd think it would be painful to punch a brick wall, living or not, but the suit's structure just isn't up to it so, hell, karate away.

    4. Also, who was painting graffiti on these walls? You'd think Angel Grove would police that shit a bit more than most towns, since they have crazy people in spandex to deal with the seriously important shit. And they also have a "Junior Police Patrol" that doesn't do much policing.

    5. Speaking of, this episode has a moment where Rito tries to pal around with Bulk & Skull, a prelude to his first half of Zeo.

    6. I'm sure there's some impractical reason involving either the stage being too cramped or the props too expensive, but I wish they'd let USA Rita chuck her wand off the balcony and then play the Zyuranger footage of it falling to Earth and setting off a shockwave. That little continuity nod would have been great, and I love seeing how many different seasons of Super Sentai that early Power Rangers can patch together into it's hybrid beast.

    7. The Wolf Shogunzord beats this monster all by itself, without any Megazord necessary. I haven't seen that since.... Excluding meaningless Goldar battles or Tyranno/Dragonzord fights, had it been done before? I don't think even the Falconzord beats monsters solo, and it felt like the most powerful standalone zord to this point. This sort of thing would become much common starting next year when Red Battlezord and Pyramidas smoke monsters all by themselves.

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    1. Oh, wait... Red Ranger's Thunderzord morphs into a stick-carrying man and has killed off something-or-other. That's about it.

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    2. The Red Dragon Thunderzord killed off two or three monsters (depends on whether you count everyone turning into the 'assault chariot' a Megazord thing), and the Tyrannosaurus killed off a monster way back at the beginning.

      I think the White Tigerzord might've destroyed two or three monsters on its own in Warrior Mode, but I could be thinking of the White Tiger Megazord.

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    3. The Red Dragon Thunderzord killed Pipebrain and his elephantine penis, and also scored a killing blow on Lipsyncher. The Wolf Shogunzord killing an enemy is pretty unprecedented though. Since when is a non Red/White Zord able to kill an opponent? Not 'til Gingaman, and they're going to cut that shit out in Lost Galaxy anyway.

      The White Tigerzord never killed anything without turning into the Warrior Mode, when it used its thunderbolt on a couple of old Zyu2 monsters.

      I went to college.

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    4. Tyrannosaurus Dinozord disintegrated "Giant" in like... episode 2? I think it also did the same to Shellshock, however, I think Dragonzord was present for that.

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  3. If anything deserved a "Minecraft with Gadget" reference, it was that.

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