Tuesday, March 15, 2016

MMPR Season 2 Episode 28: The Power Transfer Part 2

Potentially Atomized Teammate Not Considered a Priority
Three More Innocent High-Schoolers Forced Into Superhero Slavery

Last week on Power Rangers, those three actors who obviously quit our show like 6 months ago were conveniently selected to go to a Peace Conference in Switzerland. Zordon refused to have a team of Rangers that only consisted of three meat-shields and not six, so he sent the Rangers out into the deepest recesses of space to find a magical sword or whatever. Lord Zedd refused to let Zordon find new expendable child soldiers, so he put a bunch of losers in Angel Grove to sleep before he attacked the Power Rangers with his new murder machine, Serpentera. While the Rangers tried desperately to retrieve that sword or whatever, Lord Zedd launched a gigantic wave of energy from Serpentera to completely obliterate the planet. We've come a long way from Zedd trying to turn Kimberly into his sex slave.

Back on Earth, Adam, Aisha, and Rocky have been hogtied to a tree by Z-Putties after trying to wreck Zedd's sleep machine. Adam silently groans as he realizes this is all because he figured out who those stupid Power Rangers really are. He could have averted this whole situation if he had just Oedipused himself the second Billy's helmet came off. No, of course not, now he's roped to a tree because he had to be a Nosy Nancy.

Rocky notices the sleep machine's gas is starting to float in their direction. If they don't figure something out quick, they might fall asleep! Oh no, what an absolute tragedy. I sure hope those superheroes can come and clean up this mess after they're done getting murdered by a Chinese Myth Dragon out on Pluto 4.

Adam spots a soccer ball a short distance away from his feet and realizes this might be their only chance to make this sub-plot interesting. Aisha has to barf out an awful line about how this is a bad time for soccer, because we live in a world where high school students talk like 40 year old screenplay writers. 

Adam has Rocky wiggle himself to the other side of the tree to hide. With Rocky obscured from their captors' view, Adam yells out "GO ROCKY! RUN AWAY!" The Putty holding the keys runs towards the tree to see what the hell's going on, and Adam kicks the soccer ball right into its gooey chest. The Z-Putty disintegrates and drops the keys, which Adam snatches up with his feet. Phew! Thank God Lord Zedd sent the stupid guards this week or these three would be in trouble.

Aisha, Adam, and Rocky unbind themselves and pose to fight the Z-Putties. This results in Rocky making this face.

Is he supposed to be dressed like a lumberjack?

The Stone Canyon Trio bust out their ninja skills and kill the rest of the Z-Putties. Not because they're particularly skilled fighters, but because you could sneeze on a Putties' Z and kill it. With the foot soldiers finished off, the Stone Canyon kids put their sights on the source of all that sleepy fog. The teens waste time dicking around with that soccer ball from earlier so they can showboat around before kicking it into the sleep machine. Wait a minute here. These three are athletic and obnoxious extroverts? If only you three were willing to live off of mediocre wages for the rest of your careers maybe you could be part of Zordon's crew.

Oh sorry, wasn't something else going on? Oh that's right! A nuclear holocaust being delivered to the Power Rangers courtesy of a gargantuan robot dragon.

As Serpentera continues blasting the Deserted Planet, Tommy and the others continue desperately trying to remove that sword or whatever from the statue holding it.  When Billy looks at the map again to try and find a clue, he notices that the ring binding the map looks like it would fit on the statue's finger. This absurd scheme works, because of course it does, and the sword is released from the statue.

Hey Zordon? Next time you send us out into the middle of goddamned nowhere to solve some arbitrary puzzle so we can send three of our team on a vacation, maybe you could drop some hints when a motherfucking serpent deity of annihilation and misery comes flying in. You massive bag of assholes.

Speaking of, remember last week when Zedd pressed a big red button inside Serpentera? The one that launched a massive explosive shockwave that would devastate anything in its path? Well the writers must have been big fans of that scene, because the build-up to it is redone again in its entirety here. Simply with different dialogue to pretend we're seeing something new.

It's pretty annoying that they milk this scene again, but I get why they had to. If you want me to believe that the Rangers still had a minute or two to grab that sword, you wrote yourself into a corner if you ended the last episode with them getting caught inside a devil dragon's H-Bomb. The only way I could think to rewrite this is by having Goldar beg Zedd not to press the button at the end of Part 1, and have the "To Be Continued" on Zedd pressing it. The show screwed its dramatic tension by having Serpentera launch an extinction ray at the end of Part 1, only to be firing randomly at the start of Part 2.

That's not to say I don't love absolutely every second of the attack though.


Old man voice Jason pleads with Alpha 5 to teleport the Rangers off of this godforsaken planet and get them into the Command Center this second. The planet explodes in a horrific hellstorm, and we cut to the Command Center where Alpha reacts in the most low-key tone-deaf way to what we just saw happen. It was an entire planet getting vaporized, and Alpha responds "I hope I managed to bring them back." It's said in the most nonchalant and apathetic tone that it almost reads like he's trying to get all of his friends murdered in space. All while Zordon cashes in their life insurance.

Once the core five Rangers are back in the Command Center, Billy rushes to the console and struggles to locate Tommy's signal. Alpha 5 lightly chastises Billy for nearly overloading the console. You dickhead. You just teleported us from the farthest reaches of the Andromeda Squared Galaxy and it's going to short out your console to look for some dipshit dressed like a tiger who won't shut up about karate? Tommy could be dead? Who cares about that? Billy could be racking up some serious coinage on the electric bill.

Billy manages to get the White Ranger back into the Command Center, and as luck would have it, he's managed to retrieve the sword or whatever. Zordon commends them for surviving his oblique task and somehow not being nuked back into the stone-age by Serpentera. Fake-Voice Trini tells Zordon they can't possibly go to the Peace Conference after seeing such a horrific beast. Stock-Footage Trini agrees and replies with an out of context, "There has to be another way."

Zordon belches out a speech to Trini, Zack, and Jason about how they'll always be Power Rangers at heart, as well as at conventions. Now their powers can finally be transferred to three new Rangers who will keep their traps shut when the show they're on becomes a runaway success. Billy asks who could possibly fill the lofty shoes of three people who wanted to ditch this franchise. The audience all collectively gasp. Who's going to replace our favorite Rangers? What are you blind? Who else do you think it is?

Sorry Tommy, we realized dogs are cheaper than actors.

Oh I'm only teasing. As it turns out, the new Rangers are going to be Aisha (Yellow), Adam (Black), and Rocky (Red). Wow! What a shocker. The three characters who have been dickin' around since we started talking about the potential of three Rangers leaving are going to be our new Rangers? Why even bother building this up as a mystery?

With the White Ranger we had a few red herrings. They weren't incredibly convincing, but there was some effort to distract the audience. This time around, who the fuck else could it have been? There were absolutely no other characters who could have fit the Ranger criteria. It's like if I'm the only person my girlfriend has ever seen or heard of before, and I tell her that someone she knows is coming over tonight to tell her about children's programming from the 90's. Who else could it possibly be?

Tommy's excited to see Adam and Rocky, but doesn't mention Aisha. He only excludes her because…well…you know.

Zordon imbues the sword or whatever with mystical energy that transfers energy from Zack, Trini, and Jason into Adam, Aisha, and Rocky. At least that's what he says it will do. Instead, both sets of Rangers are given identical sets of uniforms and weapons. Not because that's how this power transfer should actually work, but because we can't possibly film Zack, Trini, and Jason out of suit anymore. So that sword or whatever is more of a power duplicator than it is anything else. I understand the behind the scenes reason for why you can't depower the old three Rangers, but in-show it looks much less sensical.

Zack, Trini, and Jason teleport outside of the Command Center one final time as Tommy bids his friends a fond farewell from this franchise forever. Billy says with little enthusiasm, "I hope they'll be back soon," but Kimberly has much more important thoughts when she tells Tommy this is a whole new beginning. Yeah think of all the new toys we can sell! New faces to show new kids and new plastic their new parents can buy them!

Zordon declares the new Rangers an integral part of the team. He digs into his bag of bullshit to find two adjectives he can use to describe these characters who have been given next to no characterization up until now. Zordon declares Rocky to possess "strength and knowledge", Aisha to be "spirited and clever", and Adam to be "watchful and intelligent." It's a shame we didn't get a fourth new Ranger who could be "determined and perceptive."

Adam provides the only character given so far by thanking Zordon and promising he won't let the floating sack of goo down. Neither of the other two new Rangers say anything, because they're trying to figure out where Zordon got the idea that they were spirited or knowledgeable.

The only benefit now is that we might finally get a chance to see these three as their own unique individuals. Up until now, I've almost always referred to them as a collective. Everything that they did was together like they were some kind of teenaged Cerberus. That's why the traits Zordon assigned to them sound like such total horseshit. Their "character" lies in the fact that they're good guys, and there are three of them. All I'm asking for Power Rangers to do is not turn these three into a Legion. Give them something unique to who they are, which I know this show will try to accomplish.

Who the fuck am I trying to kid? No they won't.

Lord Zedd becomes enraged that Serpentera is moving so slowly on its journey to Earth. Goldar reminds him that Serpentera might be low on gas after they just nuked an entire goddamn planet, but Zedd doesn't pay that shit any mind. Instead of pissing and moaning about his slow trek to Earth, he summons a monster to greet the Earthlings in his place. With a blast of his wand, Lord Zedd makes Tick Guy appear.

Hey Zedd I've got a crazy idea. Next week try making a monster that isn't a Cyclops.

Alpha 5 alerts the new Rangers they're about to get a crash course in how bad this job sucks. Lord Zedd's new monster Silverhorns. A giant blue beetle with massive claws and powerful electrokinetic abilities. Aisha asks if they're allowed to back down from a fight that sounds horrifying and impossible to win, but Zordon and the veteran Rangers all chuckle at her naiveté. Kimberly smiles and tells the new Rangers that they're on-call 24 hours a day, which is supposed to be really charming, but comes across much more depressing than the show intended it to be.

The Rangers morph to the scene of the crime where Silverhorns lies in wait for them. In case you needed an idea of how this monster sounded, imagine someone doing an exaggerated redneck accent while imitating Bobcat Goldthwait. If you needed a reason why I don't often describe how the monsters sound, please refer to the previous sentence.

The Rangers put up an absolutely pathetic showing as Silverhorns effortlessly blasts all six of them with electricity and knocks them to the ground. Adam and Rocky ask Tommy what they're supposed to do when they're losing a fight against a significantly more powerful opponent. Tommy looks at them perplexed and says "Well you keep fighting until you win." Adam looks to the ground silently as he contemplates exactly what he got himself involved in.

Silverhorns takes pity on the new Rangers and decides to give them a fight they can actually win. He summons some Z-Putties to help finish off our heroes, but there's nothing to be excited about here. We've seen the new kids beat down Putties unmorphed like four times by now. Now that they're roughly 830 million times stronger than they were before, what did you think the result would be?

Zedd becomes enraged when he realizes Serpentera's attack on the Rangers wasn't successful. Not only that, but the Rangers must have had their powers transferred if all six of them are present. Goldar surmises that the Rangers must have escaped, and Lord Zedd G-Ratedly calls him a complete dipshit. Zedd sends a Grow Bomb to Earth for Silverhorns to become giant, but he needs a little help from a stagehand to make that happen.

Looking for your glasses at 3 in the morning.gif

Silverhorns grows massive as Zordon contacts the Rangers. He tells them that Serpentera will soon descend on Earth and they will need to split up their efforts. Rocky says he'll take the Red Dragon Thunderzord to take on Silverhorns, and promises not to let them down. A promise he will fail to keep for the rest of this season and the majority of the next. Adam says they can take the other Zords and, I quote, "Clobber Serpentera." I'm sorry Adam, did Zordon use the word intelligent to describe you? You might want to ask him later if he realizes he just hired someone who thought he could defeat a 10 million foot tall genocide dragon with a dinky ass Lion.

Rocky and the Red Dragon try to battle the mighty Silverhorns, but the battle quickly becomes one-sided. Silverhorns spews electricity from his horns that utterly emasculates the Red Dragon. The Thunderzord gets a few hits in, but it's clear Silverhorns has the upper claw. The best part is when the Red Dragon uses its staff to slash at Silverhorns, but the monster laughs at Rocky like the putz he is. Rocky contacts Billy in a panic and asks what to do when he's getting beaten so badly, and Billy responds in a frustrated tone "Just keep fighting stupid, it'll be fine." Rocky looks at the horrific mutant tick charging at him and begins to hyperventilate. He didn't want to do this. He can't do this. He's going to die here.

The other five Rangers look on in awe as Serpentera lands on Earth. Tommy realizes Rocky is going to get slaughtered if he doesn’t have someone bail him out, so he leaves the other four Rangers to battle Serpentera. It's bold decisions like sacrificing 2/3rds of your team that remind me why we made you the leader of the team Tommy. I'm glad Billy worked so hard to save you from the eternal darkness of space you colossal dumbass.

Lord Zedd commands Goldar to fire up the gigantic Zord and turn Angel Grove into Ground Zero. As soon as Goldar tries activating the Zord, its eyes flicker and shut off.  It turns out that Serpentera's power was almost completely drained after it annihilated the Deserted Planet. Zedd is livid that he spent so many space bucks on some giant piece of shit that takes 4 billion triple A's and won't last more than two hours in battle. Thanks for tuning in everyone, maybe something good will happen next week!

While this resolution leaves you with horrendous blue balls, I understand why they had to write Serpentera this way. Other than brief scenes of him decimating the Thunderzords, there's no footage of the Rangers successfully battling, much less beating, Serpentera. Power Rangers is tied to the footage it can use, and when none of that footage shows a genuine fight with a creature then you need to get creative. Serpentera is, for lack of a better term, completely fucking invincible. Nothing the Rangers have could ever stop it, so the only thing it can ever do is look incredibly imposing before it needs to recharge.

The problem then becomes apparent when you as an audience realize that any time Serpentera is potentially winning, the only possible way for him to be beaten is for his batteries to run out. The Rangers just got a new toy and it's clearly not enough to beat Serpentera. If that's the case, then it stands to reason nothing they have in their arsenal will ever be enough to stop him unless Zordon busts out a new toy for them. So now any time you think Serpentera could potentially be a threat, you're silently counting down the minutes until his batteries shut off.

Well...at least he looked cool.

Tommy and the White Tigerzord join Rocky in the battle against Silverhorns. The monster retaliates like a spoiled child and smashes a nearby mountain. Not to attack the Zords or anything, but because he's a big fussbucket. Silverhorns blasts the White Tiger and Red Dragon with flames from its horns, and continues launching streams of electricity at the duo. Tommy realizes he's not doing any better than this loser who replaced Jason, so he calls for Tor the Shuttlezord to help out. Hopefully he'll be more useful this week and Silverhorns won't stomp on him.

With Serpentera shut down, the other Rangers summon their Thunderzords to join forces with the others, and they combine to form the Thunder Ultrazord. Silverhorns looks on in despair as he realizes he's completely fucked, and the audience gets to go apeshit over the fact they're going to see that incredible Thunder Ultrazord finisher again. And really, what kind of blog would this be if I didn't let you fine folks see it too?

Did this result in any creepy fetishes about getting crushed? I'm going to assume the answer is yes.

Lord Zedd offers little rage about his predicament. All he can muster up is a reasonably irritated demand for Goldar to check Serpentera's remaining power. Conveniently, the gigantic Zord has just enough strength to get Goldar and Zedd back to the Moon Palace. Upon hearing this, Zedd hilariously kicks at the metal walls lining the cockpit and curses the irony that he has the strongest weapon in the galaxy, but doesn't have what it takes to kill a bunch of dweeby teenagers. Finally accepting the tragedy of his situation, Zedd commands Goldar fly the Zord back to home base.

But before he heads home, Zedd makes sure to drop a nice and badass claim. He doesn't care if the Rangers are at full strength again. He doesn't care if there are 6 of them or 100 of them. He will use this goddamned murder dragon to slaughter them so long as he's wearing that metal codpiece and not one fucking floating head in a fish jar will tell him otherwise.

Back in the Command Center, all six Rangers congratulate each other on a job well done. Alpha says it's awfully sad to see the three old Rangers leaving, but Billy tells him to clam up because they have new characters they can ignore now. The last we see of Zack, Jason, and Trini is a shot of them on the Viewing Globe. Rather, a shot of their terrible looking stand-ins getting out of a taxi and desperately trying to hide the fact they look nothing like the actors that quit.

What a perfect way to say farewell to those three nobodies huh? As far off in the distance as possible and immediately ignored by their three best pals. Fuck those guys, we have new friends to help us fight evil. See you dorks in the funny papers! 

Aisha, Adam, and Rocky all look around the Command Center quietly as they ask each other if they're really on board for all this. They could die at any given time. Did you hear what Kim said about always being on call? What am I supposed to do if I fall behind in my schoolwork? How can I have a personal life if I'm busy fighting space beasts every day of my life? 

Not only that, but did you hear Zordon say we have to keep this secret? How the hell am I supposed to keep this from my parents? Can I ever fall in love with someone if I have to keep this deep dark secret held inside? Being a superhero sounded a little fun before, but now I have to deal with this nonsense every week? Any day I could be called to go up against a horrific beast who could kill me. Honestly the day I'm most afraid of is the day one of us dies against a monster. Not because you'll be gone, but because I'll never know for sure if deep down inside you wanted it to kill you and end this misery.

Don't pray for us. Our lives are already over.


Personal Thoughts:

Even though I get kind of annoyed at the reason behind their leaving, I'm glad we can finally bid farewell to the three quitting Rangers. It was really becoming a colossal bore having to watch the writers bend over backwards to justify the fact that half of their cast wasn't going to be on-screen this week. This episode gets kudos for finally dealing with that issue, even though not much else keeps the episode from being rather by the numbers. Serpentera is great until you realize that he can stop mattering as soon as the writers decide he's kicked enough ass.

The battle with Silverhorns was pretty good, but as soon as the White Tigerzord shows up everything goes to shit. The editing becomes a lot more choppy, since in the Japanese version the White Tigerzord was fighting against the Thunder Megazord alongside Silverhorns. This results in plenty of scenes of Silverhorns launching attacks from off-screen, and then cutting to the Zords reacting. I thought we were done with this nonsense after the Zyu2 monsters went away.

Oh yeah, there was a quick shot cut of Silverhorns getting crushed by the Thunder Ultrazord. Check it out!

While I didn't mention it earlier, Silverhorns appears exclusively in US footage until he grows giant. I'm starting to feel like a real goof since I complained so much about how Season 2 has like NO monster costumes from Dairanger you guys. Like for seriously. As it turns out, it's been about 40% monsters that have their costumes in US footage, and 60% monsters who can only react in Japanese footage. The problem is that just about every one of the monsters we do see in Power Rangers-exclusive scenes is filmed exactly the same way as Japanese only monsters are filmed.

The US production crew can film Silverhorns interacting with the Power Rangers. Instead, they opt not to do that and chose to film Silverhorns in a field throwing electricity off-screen at the Rangers. As a matter of fact, Silverhorns is never once on camera with the Power Rangers. If you have this suit, why would you film it like you're trying to hide something? Have the Rangers surround Silverhorns with their weapons before he blasts all six of them. Have one of them try and punch him but get knocked back. Show me some fucking contact for all that's good in this world.

I tune into this show for people beating up monster bugs. Is that too much to ask?

One final amusing image was one that I found of the stand-ins for Jason, Trini, and Zack. It's fun to look at and see exactly what the actors had to look at while they pretended they knew these people.


  1. So that sword or whatever is more of a power duplicator than it is anything else. I understand the behind the scenes reason for why you can't depower the old three Rangers, but in-show it looks much less sensical.

    I remember an old argument over this, possibly on rangerboard, like, 15 years ago or some shit. I think we eventually decided that it meant "transfer" in the same sense as those heat-transfer T-shirt printers they have on the boardwalk in beach towns to print off mildly edgy slogans onto T-shirts for unattended teenagers (Like that year every girl from 11 to 21 was wearing a shirt that said "I KISSED A GIRL AND I LIKED IT").

    So, like, the sword inked up Jason and rubbed him all over Rocky.

    There's a thought I'll never get out of my head.

  2. Whether you intended it or not, I'm taking the "space bucks" comment as a Spaceballs nod.

  3. Watch out for this monster and his colour change.

    I think the reason they film the us shot monsters like that stars he as it sounds to keep some sort of continuity to the fights.

    1. True; if you only started watching regularly in the middle of the second season (since getting popular enough to be renewed also tends to mean getting more convenient time slots for me to watch, apparently), you could easily believe that this is just what a Power Ranger monster is: just some goon standing around alone somewhere, casting vague magic at nobody in particular. Why would anyone expect the Rangers to rough up those precious rubber suits? Surely they're being saved for some cyclops jamboree later on! Definitely not gonna be immediately forgotten forever except for if they need a filler monster for a sudden Masked Rider promotion!

  4. "Completely fucking invincible," is a damn fine phrase, I think.

  5. I like to imagine that the Red Dragon Thunderzord busting out all its moves early into the fight with Silverhorns was a result of Rocky pressing all the buttons, trying to figure out how to drive the thing...

  6. An episode that contains one of Zedd's best lines after Silver Horns' death. “Do we have power yet, Thomas Edison?”

    1. It's probably the way Axelford says "Edison?"

  7. Farewell Jason, we will see you again in Zeo.